A DJs Guidebook To Getting More Gigs
Making it big as a DJ requires more than sheer talent. It depends on your ability to get gigs and exposure. While there isn’t a proven formula to max on gigs, there are two ways you can get them. Either they will come to you, or you will have to look for them. Newbies have to rely on the latter and wait for gigs to come eventually, but you cannot leave things to chance. You have to find ways to attract them until you become a big artist, or you will never make it to the next level in your career.
As a newcomer, you cannot expect people in the circles to know you and reach out directly. You cannot afford a booking agent as well. Securing opportunities, therefore, can take a lot of dedication and hard work, and there aren’t any shortcuts to success. But there has to be a road to reach there, so how do you manage to start getting gigs? Let us share some tried and tested strategies that real and successful DJs use to make it big in the industry.
Network as much as you can
Your chances of landing gigs improve by networking and making the right connections in the industry. Being at the right places like clubs and events helps. The more you circulate and the more influential people you meet, the better your chances get. Promoters tend to book people who are around. DJs who attend club nights regularly are the safest bet for them. Socialize with promoters and cement working relationships to get the visibility and networking advantage. But make sure that you limit your club night presence to finding work prospects and do not end up becoming a party animal.
Promote yourself for visibility
When you are just new in the industry, you may not want to depend on promoters to get work. Starting your own night is a great idea to launch your DJ career. You can do it by booking your venue and getting the audience in with a free entry party, but it may not be viable if you are tight on money. The other way is to perform at a place for free to get the exposure you need. It is a low-cost way to start as you need to spend only a little on photography and promotion of the night. Once you gain some experience, you can try the paid mode by hiring venues and charging on the door. There’s some financial risk involved, but you have good chances to earn profits and get recognition.
Be the best in your field
Even as you network with the right people and promote yourself for visibility, nothing matters more than raw talent. If you are good with music, gigs will come flowing sooner or later. Focus on becoming the best in your field so that you can stand out in the crowded landscape. Choose a niche, practice with the latest tracks, and step out of your bedroom studio to get exposure. You can get smart with your visibility strategy by using YouTube to display your skills. But make sure that your videos are super-impressive. You can check some popular ones for inspiration.
Try a DJ swap once in a while
A gig swap with another DJ is a good idea if you want to explore new opportunities and broaden your horizons. It works for professionals already running their own club nights or having a resident slot somewhere. Look for someone having the same elsewhere and swap places. It is normally a straightforward swap with no money involved, so you need not worry about the expense. You simply need to book the other DJ to play at your night, and they will do the same for you at theirs. It is a great way to grow your followers across a wider geographical area in your city or even overseas. Everything boils down to finding the right person to collaborate with.
Connect with promoters and managers directly
A more aggressive form of networking is by connecting with promoters and managers directly. You can do it in different ways, such as meeting in person, visiting events, or through recommendations. Explore event venues on the fly and carry your mixtape to showcase your work. It may take some effort and patience to go from venue to venue, but you will probably land a worthwhile gig opportunity sooner or later. You can also connect with them on social networking sites, which is an easier way. There are good chances to find the sweet spot if you are persuasive and consistent.
Become a mobile DJ
If you have the perfect mix of talent and an adventurous streak, becoming a mobile DJ is the best way to get more gigs. Being flexible is the key as it can bring more money and opportunities when you start your career. Mobile DJing for parties and events brings the benefits of exposure and income. It may not be as glamorous as performing in a club, but payouts are often much better. With mobile DJing, you also get experience with other styles of music, which can be an advantage for any professional in the industry.
Become a recognized producer
Gigs will come organically once you gain recognition in the industry, but you will have to wait till you get there. It isn’t as easy as it sounds, but a great track and good luck can make you a recognized music producer at the early stages of your career. You will have to dedicate a lot of effort and time to the first project. The good thing is that you can go ahead on a budget, with only a minimal investment in a home studio. If you have real talent, you can kick start your career and get gigs flowing after your first hit.
The music industry is competitive, but there are opportunities galore, even for DJs who have just stepped in. You only have to be smart enough to look for gigs at the right places, and you can have plenty of them coming.