Okay so you’re starting to DJ and you’re wondering how can I make money as a DJ. You eventually would like to make more money than just a free drink at the bar. Well, here are some tips on how to make money as a DJ.
1) Make a name for yourself I know this is an obvious tip, but it is true. The more people who know you as a DJ, the more gigs you can get. Whether this be through the music you produce or your wicked DJ skills, making a name for yourself is one great way in how to make money as a DJ.
2) Network This means going out to events and networking with promoters and people in general. Send letters, set up interviews to the clubs and bars that would most like your kind of music. Get used to the phrase: ‘It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.’ Everyone you talk to about your quest to find work eventually says it. Networking can range from a simple meet and greet with a club or bar owner when you hand over your demo tape, to meeting people who introduce you to more people, and eventually getting work from those connections.
3) Play for free Play for free are three little words that can get you very far. Ask yourself this question, would you rather play for free, or not play at all? As you try to get work, getting your foot in the door is more important than getting paid. When you send off or hand in your demo, offer the bar/club one or two free nights of your services to let them see how good you are. You’re more than likely to get the chance of a warm-up slot from one or two places if you offer to play for free, prove you have the skills to be a good DJ, and agree to play music suitable for a warm-up set.
4) Get your own equipment (or have friends in which you can borrow). Yes a lot of bars and clubs already have good music equipment set up, but if you’re starting out it may be hard getting those gigs, anyhow. Plus, DJ equipment at bars, no matter how state of the art they are, are sometimes worn out and missing a few knobs by the time you start spinning. Getting your own equipment can also be a huge investment, but it’s a lot easier getting jobs where the promoter or event producer doesn’t have to worry about those extra costs.
5)Market yourself online Creating the best Web site in the world won’t get you any work on its own, but a Web site that backs you up as a pro DJ goes a long way to impressing those who choose to check it out. As well as hosting your latest mix and a DJ resume for future employers, your site can also promote the nights you work to other people. If you establish a great following that you can keep up to date through your site, and almost guarantee a club that a certain number of people will turn up, your case for working at the club is sweetened by the guaranteed door money they will receive.
With the creation of Web sites like facebook, you don’t even need to have your own site anymore, and can instantly get in touch with all your friends to let them know where and when you’re playing next. You can use WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) layout editors to spruce up your profile, but with some HTML knowledge and creativity, you can create a vibrant, well-laid out and informative profile that sells you just as well as a personal Web site.
6) Music production Get your hand in some production. If you can mix live, you can mix anytime. There are always people looking for some audio production, from dance groups to businesses. Make your services available for more things and you are bound to get more work and learn how to make money as a DJ.
7) Bring Mix CD’s If you aren’t doing so… you should bring a few of your Mix CD’s to the gig in case you gain a few new fans. This goes for any other type of promotional memorabilia. Who doesn’t like free giveaways anyway?