Get Gigs and Make Money by Promoting Yourself

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Get Gigs and Make Money by Promoting Yourself



Whether you have a wedding DJ business or if you are a club DJ, you will want to promote your business as much as possible.  The easiest way to do this is to approach family and friends.  Make sure that if you are scheduled to perform in a club that you have as many family and friends in attendance as possible.  In this world of being a DJ, you will get most of your business by word of mouth.  So it would help if you were sure that as many people know about your business as possible. 


One way that you can promote your business is to offer your services for free at an event for family and friends.  This should be an event that is not just for family and friends but will also include other guests. It would help if you had cards that you hand out to others so that they can hire you for the job.  If you do a good job at your first gig, the chances are that you will get others. 


Another way to promote your business is to join your local Chamber of Commerce.  Many people who are new in town and looking for the services that you provide will look to the chamber to help them decide which are the most reputable businesses in town.  By joining such a group, you are adding credibility to your business.  


Always have your business cards on hand.  You never know who you are going to meet when you are out who needs a DJ.  If you are working as a wedding DJ and also have aspirations to spin disks, you should have two cards printed.  Make sure that you give the appropriate card to the right person.   Strike up conversations with those at parties and other events where you meet people.  Again, this is a business where people generally get the person from ‘someone they know.” 


If you have a gig, you should tell those who are interested in your services to drop in.  They can take a look at how you perform to decide if they want to hire you.  By always being at your best, you stand a much better chance of getting more business. 


Have a Plan B

Always show up on time.  Always make sure that your equipment works. While there are some things that you cannot do anything about, there are ways to back up your equipment.  A generator, for example, can help if you have a power outage.  Be flexible when it comes to performing.  This is important when you are dealing with people.  Sometimes people will say that they want one thing when they want another.  Do not get annoyed, but make sure that you can change your plans.  Nothing should be etched in stone, although you do want to have a performance plan in mind when you are acting as a DJ. 


Charity events are another way to promote your business. You can donate your time to a charity event, meet a whole new group of people who will not only enjoy your music but will also admire you for giving of yourself to a charity cause.  You can often get business in this way, and many bands, as well as those who act as DJ s, will give of their time to such events. 


It would help if you always were promoting your business.  Make an excuse to talk about your business to those who you meet.  You never know if the guy you meet in the elevator has a friend who is opening up a new nightclub and is looking for a DJ. 

The chances are that your first gig as a DJ will be something small and maybe even family related.  The best chance you have of getting a gig is through a family member or by hosting a wedding or some other party.  While you wait to for your big chance to become a DJ at a club, you may have to make ends meet by doing DJ work at a variety of different functions.  Weddings are a big deal, and you probably will start with something smaller than that. 


It is important that you take your DJ responsibilities seriously no matter what type of gig you get.  You will get work by word of mouth as a DJ.  This is true even if you work in a club.  If you have a good reputation, one of showing up on time, making people happy, playing the right music and doing your job, you will get good references.  If you have a poor reputation, word will get around.  No matter how talented you think you are, no matter how good of a performer you think you are, you have to give the people what they want or else you are not going to get any more work.  It is as simple as that. 


It would help if you had a pretty good idea of what people want when you do this gig as well as any special requests for songs.  You should ask whoever is hiring you for the gig if there are any songs that they want to be performed at the event or any games.  Make sure that you have the music and that you do a test run.  Most of the time, events where someone hires a DJ is a once in a lifetime event.  For you, this is just a job, but for some people, they plan this event for months and in some cases, even years.  In many cases, it is a once in a lifetime event. 


It would help if you went over your routine with the person who hires you for the event.  Make sure that there is nothing that you are leaving out.  If for some reason, you are doing a wedding, the guests, as well as those in the wedding, will depend on you to keep the party going and to make sure that you make everyone happy with the music.


Start by Playing Weddings

It is a good idea to start your DJ career playing for weddings or other events.  This can not only get you used to perform in front of crowds, but it can also give you money that you need to improve your equipment and get more music.  Just as someone who is looking for an acting job will often take another job in a field close to acting, you should also take a job that will pay the bills and still enable you to pursue your dreams of spinning disks. 


You cannot expect to walk into a club and take over on your first night.  You can, however, continue to go to clubs and look for jobs while you are not engaged in doing paying gigs.  The minute that you get your first job at a club, you can then pay more attention to your music mixing than you do to your wedding DJ activities.  In the meantime, you will have made enough money to have accumulated more music as well as better equipment. 


If you are looking for a paying DJ job at a new club, the best way to do so is to talk to the owner and then produce a demo tape.  You can offer to work one night in the club as a test.  It would help if you never offered to work for free, however.  Oddly enough, people who offer to work for free are not taken as seriously in any business as those who demand payment.   By producing a demo tape and talking to the club owner, you may be able to get a job. 


Do not expect your first DJ gig spinning records to be on a Saturday or Friday night, either.  The chances are that you will be given a job during the week.  You will have to work your way up towards the higher paying gigs as you continue to wow the crowd and gain an audience.  Club owners are interested in making a profit in their club.  The more people you bring in, the more they drink.  The more the people drink, the more money the club makes.  That means that if you have a following, you will be promoted.  This is how it works when you are working as a DJ in a club. 


Always be professional.  Always test your equipment before you even get started.   Make sure that you study the club before you even start so that you know what type of music that they play and what the people like.  Remember that scene from “The Blues Brothers?”  Where the blues band walked into a Country and Western bar to play the blues?  It was funny in that film, but will not be funny if you do this in a real club.  Make sure that you know what they like and give the people what they like.


This does not mean that you have to be a carbon copy of every other DJ in that club.  You gradually want to start to bring your mix and your personality to the club.  For your first gig, you may even want to play one of your mixes.  See how the crowd reacts. 


Being a DJ in a club or even as a wedding DJ means practice.  Do not expect to set the world on fire the first night you perform.  Your goal should be to build up a gradual group of followers who come to the club and who like what you spin.  Sooner or later, you will be asked to get those Saturday night gigs. 

A club job is the dream job of anyone who wants to spin disks and become a DJ.  But it takes time to land the dream job.  You are going to have to work at a lot of other clubs, smaller clubs before you land the big job. 


Once you have a following, you can then seek out a job at a large club where you can earn money or, in some cases, a percentage of the profits of the club.  The choice is yours.  Many of those who work in this industry prefer to take a percentage rather than a flat fee.  In some cases, the DJ becomes part owner of the club.  When people start to attend a club because they like the guy who is spinning the disks and mixing the music, club owners take notice and will often offer a piece of the club as a way to pay the DJ. 


A DJ does not have to stop there. 

There are some who go on to perform as artists in their own right.  If you have singing talent, for example, you may wish to look for more fame in the recording industry.  Once you have made a name for yourself as a gifted performer, you may find that other doors open for you in the entertainment industry. 


To get a job at a hot club, you are going to need more than just a demo tape and a few followers.  You are going to have to have a resume of clubs where you have worked.  You should always continue to look to better yourself when it comes to playing as a DJ in clubs so that you can get to the top of your goals.  As it was mentioned before, clubs come and go.

Music changes. Trends change.  So it is important that you strike while the iron is hot and continue to create higher goals for yourself so that you can continue to climb the ladder. 


It would help if you made as many connections with club owners as possible to get a chance to perform in their clubs.  The best clubs are those that are located in the larger cities, so it may be necessary for you to relocate if this is the job that you want to have.  New York and Los Angeles are the prime areas where the hot clubs are.  If you get in with one of the hot clubs, you can make a lot of money and enjoy your successful career as a disk spinning DJ. 

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