Inside Tips for DJs
So, you want to work as a DJ and not just as a diversion? Being a successful DJ is about more than knowing how to “put a groove on.” Sure — with easy access to every song in the cloud – technology decreases entry barriers — but it takes more than song choice to learn how to move the crowd. Here are tips from a seasoned DJ who has performed at parties, weddings and clubs for decades.
1. Specialize: Don’t be everything to everybody.
If you’re just in it for the money, you’re probably not going to go too far. Great DJs cultivate a deep love for music and the ability to develop an individual sense of style.
The deeper you dive into your musical identity, the more you will stand out from the crowd. For example, if you’re known for playing R&B, people will seek you out for events that fit your soulful reputation. Or, if weddings are your thing, hone that craft and your sound and commit to that clientele. Take a look at the top wedding DJ tips.
2. Update your website frequently
A lot of DJ’s have a website advertising their services, but it’s static — maybe just a splash page with the same information every single day. That’s not a good look. Your site needs to communicate to potential clients that you are currently working and actively spreading joy.
After each gig, try to update your website to show pictures of smiling faces on the dance floor. Try scanning the event hashtag on Instagram to find images of the party and message the person who posted it to see if they’ll let you use the photo. Potential clients will see that people are having fun at your events. Try to get pictures of groups dancing, hands in the air or giant smiles. The more recent the photos, the stronger the message is to people who are shopping for someone to rock their event.
3. Make friends with your event information sheet
Many DJ’s don’t pay close attention to the details before an event. This is where your event information sheet is critical. The event information sheet is what you hand to prospective clients to fill out before providing a quote. Don’t ignore it. It’s really hard to price an event correctly if you don’t know the venue well. For instance: How many steps does it take to get into a building? Are you on the ground floor? If on the second floor, is there an elevator? All those things add time to your day.
You want to get solid answers to as many questions as possible, and get them in writing. On the day of the event, you don’t want to discover you’re on the second floor of a brick building and will be carrying equipment up and down a flight of stairs. If you’re not informed up front, you won’t be able to provide an accurate quote for your work.
4. Invest in quality equipment
You will be judged on the quality of your sound system, in addition to the music you play.
Absolutely do not skimp on your equipment. You’ll likely spend a few thousand dollars to start your business. It sounds like a lot upfront, but isn’t all that much. Make the investment at the outset, in order to get a decent sound system. If you skimp on your wireless microphone, you will live to regret it when it goes in and out during wedding toasts. And protect your equipment with DJ liability insurance because the last thing you need is your investment being damaged.
5. Invest in Uplighting
Lighting contributes to the vibe almost as much as the sound does. And, the biggest bang for your buck is “uplighting.” Uplighting is the colored lights that are set on the floor, shoot up the wall to add color, and create a festive mood in a party space. A low-cost, $300 purchase will go a long way to make events feel special. Once you’ve made the purchase, you can offer “uplighting” as a separate feature and charge more for it. It’s the best money you’ve ever spent because everyone wants their event to have a fun feel.
In the end, it’s also important to have fun. If you aren’t able to have a good time while building a DJ career, this gig may not be the right choice for you. Let us know what else makes your top 5 tips for growing your DJ business.