10 Best Ways to Get More DJ Gigs (Instantly)
DJing as a profession has several unique perks that most other jobs do not have. Not only does it provide a lot of flexibility when it comes to the schedule and other things such as the fact that you do not need to wear a uniform, but also it’s a great way to meet new friends that have the same interests as you. Not to mention: because you are technically self-employed, you have significantly more control over your income than most other professions, making it a great choice for those who are fine with working over 40 hours a week.
This is one of the reasons why I made this article. I wanted to create an article that lists the best things to do to get more DJ gigs. As EDM and electronic music become more popular, the more DJs start popping up and so things get more competitive, which makes gigs harder and harder to come by.
Trying the following tips will definitely help you maximize opportunities and improve your chances of getting clients. I hope this article is useful to you.
10 Tips for Getting More DJ Gigs
1. Focus relentlessly on your physical appearance
One of the factors that DJs often overlook when it comes to marketing is how they look. I’m a firm believer that the better a DJ looks and dresses, the more gigs he will eventually have scheduled.
Everybody knows that the club scene can be pretty superficial, from the venue goers to the club managers themselves. This means that the way that your sex appeal and the way that you look overall will have a dramatic effect on how people view you.
This is something that you really should take advantage of. You should be dressing in cool clothes and follow current fashion trends in general. You don’t need to spend thousands on expensive clothes, but you need to focus hard on looking like a somebody, not a nobody.
Aside from this, things like hitting the gym consistently, taking care of your skin, and things like tattoos or piercings will also help you stand out among other DJs.
2. Maintain a strong online presence
Maintaining a strong online presence is one of the most important things that any DJ must have in mind if he wants to make a living off this business. In fact, this is perhaps the most fundamental and important tip on this list, and it can definitely make or break any DJ. First of all, you should be creating accounts in all the social media accounts available.
Keep in mind that they are all completely free, so aside from the obvious ones like an Instagram, Snapchat, or SoundCloud account, you are also doing yourself a favor by creating accounts on more niche or obscure social media platforms such as Myspace and Tumblr.
After you do this, it’s time to start making content religiously. While it’s not the best idea to spend too much time on social media since it can take time from your actual DJing, posting a few things here and there will definitely be beneficial. It’s important that you focus on sharing content that people actually find useful and will probably share.
Remixes of new songs is a very common way for newer DJs to make a name for themselves, and I’d recommend that you do the same. Aside from this, try to make sure that you have a consistent image with a well-made logo and an easy to remember and catchy name.
3. Niche down
When it comes to getting more gigs, there are some times where the best thing to do is to focus on specific markets. And when I mean markets, I’m talking about specific tastes and scenes of electronic music.
There might be a growing hardstyle scene near where you live, with not enough DJs providing that kind of music. Being able to adapt to their demands is definitely a great way to improve your clientele and get more gigs.
Now, not everybody will be able to completely switch from one DJing style to another, but let me tell you that it isn’t rocket science either. I would strongly recommend that you get in touch with other DJs playing near your area.
They might be able to inform you about the hottest trends of the area that they mix in, and if they are not able to supply you the information, you always have online forums to assist you with this. All in all, niching down simply has to do with finding untapped opportunities and supplying a demand, and when done right, it’s a very lucrative way to do business.
4. Try to join competitions
If you didn't know, one of the fastest-growing ways to make a name for yourself is to enter a DJing competition. This is perfect if you have the chops and are hungry for an opportunity, but don't have the brand name or connections to actually shine in a DJ booth.
Most bigger national competitions will probably be out of reach for most reading this article, so it's important that you focus on more local events without as much participation.
While many think that only the competition winners get the exposure, that is not the case. The ideal thing to happen is for you to be awarded first place of course, but as long as you are getting the opportunity to share your talent with other people, it doesn't really matter that much where you end up. Plus, the opportunity to meet new people while competing is invaluable!
5. Provide value in other ways
Many DJs think that the way to make a name for themselves is by creating amazing mixes and hoping to get noticed by somebody with influence. And while that might be true, it’s not the only way to do so. In fact, you do not have to be the greatest mixer to make it big. You can simply learn to provide value in other ways.
One of these ways is to start offering what your competition doesn't offer. One example of this is offering a more complete entertainment offering than what most other DJs are marketing. This is something that is obviously going to vary depending on the crowds that you tend to play on, but when done right, it has the potential of generating more revenue than just providing a barebones service. This tip works best when you have a comprehensive understanding of what your expenses are when introducing the extra service.
6. Work and mingle with DJ communities
One of my favorite ways to get more exposure and get more gigs is to become well known in your local DJ community. And you can do this in several ways. You should really go ahead and assist any local DJing events, ideally with other DJ friends if you have them. If you have the chance, joining the afterparty is a great way to mingle and meet new DJs. You should take advantage of the situation by sharing your favorite artists and genres. In short, try to get to know people, and if you do this well enough and If you keep going to the same spots, the most influential and important people might start remembering your name.
These people will eventually start talking about you with other DJs and venue owners, and this all translates into more gigs. Just keep in mind that building a reputation and getting people to know you, does take some time though, so if you are desperate for new clients, there are more hands-on approaches for getting them, such as paying for advertisements in real life or online.
One of the best communities to join is a DJ agency. While they usually charge a fee, the benefit that you get by doing so is massive. You get the opportunity to get matched with a diverse set of clients that you wouldn't have had contact with otherwise. Below I provide a very useful video that I found that lists a number of DJ agencies that you might be interested in.
7. Work with other professions
One of my favorite ways to get more gigs and clients is to work together with other professions to kind of cross-sell your services. For example, I tend to do this a lot with a stripper friend that I have.
Since most of the people that are looking for his services are throwing parties and other celebrations, they will most likely need a DJ to provide music and MC services. This is where you come in. You can bundle these 2 services together to the clients and they will most likely agree to both.
You can do this with other types of professions such as catering businesses, magicians, clowns, etc. You could even take it a little bit further and provide these complimentary services yourself as I mentioned above.
It could be a great opportunity to make more money over the long term, especially if you have the motivation and cash to start up these kinds of businesses.
8. Collab as much as possible
One of the best ways to network and get more gigs in this business is to collab as much as possible. No matter if you are an experienced veteran or just have a few months of experience, the best thing that you can do for your DJ career is to meet people and exchange ideas, collaborate on mixes, etc.
Not to mention the fact that the more people you know, the more likely it is for you to meet club managers, promoters, and other folks that might be able to help you climb the ladder of success. This is perhaps the most obvious tip on this list but it’s honestly one of the most useful too.
Thankfully, the technological advancements of the last few decades have made collaborating very easy, and you should try to take advantage of it. Soundcloud has cemented itself as a really useful tool among DJs and artists alike, and I’d really recommend that you start there.
As a rule of thumb, the more exposure you get, the better, so as long as you are not making a fool of yourself, you should really strive to take advantage of every opportunity.
9. Maintain a professional but accessible image
This is very similar to the first tip that I shared above. Maintaining a very fresh, sophisticated image will definitely go a long way when it comes to making your name well known.
You should focus on exhibiting a very polished brand, with professional logos, photography, maybe even shirts & caps of your logo done. If you are going to be creating a website, it should load as quickly as possible, and have a more streamlined design. In short, when it comes to DJing, perception is reality, and so you should use this fact to your advantage.
Many potential clients do not really know how to gauge the services of a DJ, and this makes first impressions key when it comes to sealing deals and converting potential clients onto leads.
That’s why you should really focus on the image that you project to the general public. I’d really recommend that you spend some money on improving what you project as much as possible. Doing so will definitely help you secure several new clients.
10. Negotiate in unorthodox ways
While many DJs struggle to get people interested in their services in the first place, there are others that simply can't seal the deal when negotiating. And while there are many tips & tricks that can be really helpful when it comes to this, not everybody finds them useful.
If this is your case, then let me tell you that you are going to have to negotiate in more unorthodox ways. Can't get the payment that you are looking for? try to add other things to the deal. Something that I love to do is to promise them to invite several guests to the nightclub. This is especially useful if the place isn't the most well-known or trendy place in the block.
You are going to have to get creative with this depending on the demands of the venue. If they tend to be at full capacity every weekend but are desperately looking for bartenders for next week, you being able to provide them that might be the difference between getting the gig or not.
I love researching and writing about new and exciting things in the world of mixing, including tutorials, reviews on hardware and software, as well as finding the latest and greatest. My goal is to help people become better DJs by providing them with all the knowledge they need to do just that!