“7 DJ Success Tips To Make Your Gigs Double”
Are you getting the number of gigs you want (and deserve)?
Whether you are just starting out or you are a seasoned veteran, you know DJing is no longer a profession of the “elite few”. With the advent of CD turntables and laptop DJing, it seems like anyone can be a DJ these days, or at least call themselves one.
But if you’re a newbie, or if your profession is at a plateau, how do you get more gigs? And more over, how do you make your gigs double when you have them?
There’s no formula, but you can follow some basic guidelines if you’re looking to turn your DJ hobby into your profession, and make your profession as a DJ more profitable. So without further ado, here are the 7 DJ Success Tips To Make Your Gigs Double…
1. Know your Fundamentals, Know your History
Are you looking to get rich quick, or do you want to become a master of your Craft?
Do you know the fundamentals? Do you know the history of DJing? Do you know the history of music?
I’ve been playing music since I was 6 years old. Over two decades ago, the flute became my first instrument. However, I grew up listening to Alt.Rock (Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, RHCP), Punk (Fugazi, Op Ivy) and started going to Raves/House Parties in my teens… I also used to freestyle rhyme over House beats in college.
By the time I decided to DJ, I knew the history of music from classical to house music at the CORE of my Being.
You don’t have to know everything (and I surely am learning something new every day!), but the point is that I lived it and then decided I wanted to DJ in 2003. So,
- Know what you love to listen to and want to play. Make sure you also know the history!
- Study your favorite DJs to understand sonically how DJing works and how/why they move you.
- Learn to beat match to understand how to “see” with your ears. I learned on vinyl. DJing isn’t just about auto-sync and watching a screen, it’s about being able to see with your ears, and listen with your eyes via watching the crowd.
2. Know why you want to DJ (BONUS: Know your end game)
When you decided to DJ, did you know why you wanted to do it? On that note, did you come up with an End Game plan?
For example, do you want to be a mobile DJ and “retire” as a manager for DJs? Do you want to be a club DJ and “retire” as a producer for TV/film? Wherever you are in your DJing hobby or profession, take a moment to create a plan for where you’re going. It’ll help you know what opportunities to say yes to, and save you time on your road to success. (Hint: think longevity if you’re truly in it for the love!)
3. Know what makes you unique
Do you know your Unique Selling Proposition? When I first started DJ in 2003, what made me unique was that I was also a singer-songwriter and even had opened for Nina Sky (“Move Your Body”). I knew music, and I lived music, and people wanted to book me because of it. Then I went to, and graduated from the Musician’s Institute in Hollywood, CA, and by 2005, I also could say that I had trained and learned from the best, including Tre Hardson of The Pharcyde. Flash forward to 2014, I am unique because I’m an Award-Winning DJ and Intuitive Health Coach. So, what makes you unique? (Bonus: How to find your USP) (Double bonus: Be nice. It’s really not “cool” to be a jerk DJ :-) ).
4. Know your audience
This will change over time, but you should know your core values so that even as your audience changes, you will know who YOU are at the core. My audience is diverse and so are the parties I have played over the years. But what stays consistent is my passion for House music, and my eclectic taste as a true audiophile. Another thing that stays consistent is my audience loves art and loves music, just like me! Your audience should grow with you, as you develop and become more authentic. Which brings me to #5…
5. Know your music
Kinda going back to #1, you really gotta know your music. These days, it’s not just about knowing one genre. The world is a global music community, and to be able to know when to flip the switch and cut into a throwback or jazz-influenced tune, even if you are playing EDM, is to know how to get booked and continually get booked! Plus, when you know your music, you will know the importance of remixes/mashups and how they can create the perfect mood for your gigs. Speaking of which,
6. Know how to produce/compose/sing (Be a creator)…
DJing isn’t just about digging anymore, though it is definitely still a part of the craft. Digging, or finding gems that no one else has, is an art unto itself; similarly, creating songs that no one has, is your ticket to ride!
Keep in mind, you don’t have to produce/compose the music that you DJ. I personally have a niche with producing independent artists, and for composing for independent film and live production. What I create is not always what I play, but it has still allowed me to have my music heard, while staying creative. (Bonus tip: collaborations are gateways to success!)
7. BONUS TIP: Remember #1
You can have a successful career as a DJ and get a lot of gigs being authentic. You don’t have to follow what everyone else is doing, but you DO have to know what it is you want. Oh, and be willing to work at it. Because no matter how good you look, if you just pretend to play with dials and knobs, sooner or later, you’ll be made:
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Hi, I’m Tera*, and I am an Intuitive Health Coach, Award-winning DJ and The Life REmix Expert.
I am here to INSPIRE motivated people all over the world, WHO ARE READY,
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I use integrative knowledge from my training at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and a depth of life experience, as well as my highly intuitive nature, to get you to TRANSFORM one or more areas of your life, as QUICKLY as possible. I specialize with working with women to reduce stress and worry by helping them have a Happy Period! More information can be found at my official website.
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