I have been a DJ now for over 26 years with over 200 DJ Bookings under my belt, so I thought I would share with you, in no particular order some tips on how to get more DJ Bookings.
Do A Radio Show
Trying to get on a legal radio station like Capital Xtra, Kiss FM or BBC 1 Xtra may prove difficult, not impossible though but it seams like you need know someone that knows someone or these stations will head hunt you, try seeing if you can do a Guest Show or an Internship. Failing this you can try to get a show on a Pirate Radio station, these stations are illegal so you may want to check out the consequences of being on one but they are a lot easier to get on, in some cases you may just need to submit a mix CD, phone up the station and ask to speak to management or turn up to a meeting. Lastly with the invention of the internet there are tuns of Online Radio stations, contact details can be obtained from their website give them a shout and ask how can you get a radio show.
Do A Mix CD
Do a promotional Mix CD, burn up some copies (contact the PRS & find out how many you can legally distribute) or distribute it digitally through websites like SoundCloud or MixCloud. You never know who may listen to your mix, a Promoter may hear it and contact you and you could also start to build up a fan base.
Beggars can’t be choosers, approach Promoters (contact details are usually on flyers) and offer to play at their night for free, if they like your set they may book you regularly and eventually pay you, also there could be other Promoters in the crowd that may like your set and in turn want to book you. Apart from this, once again it gives you a chance to build up your fan base.
Put On Your Own Events
This is a lot less hard then what you may think and a tactic I used, if you can’t beat them join them. Some clubs are in need of Promoters, they are in the business of selling alcohol not promoting parties so they will normally contract this out. If a club is popular they will normally charge a hire fee, something that you may want to avoid if you are just starting out. Less well known clubs or bars on the other hand are generally happy to hire out the venue for free or for a small fee, they keep the money from the bar and you take the door money or they also take a % of the door as well. Basically doing your own club nights gives you the chance to promote yourself, build your fan base, you never know who will be in the crowed ( a big time promoter maybe ) and also it gives you the chance to take center stage, no more warm up set you are doing the main set!
Put your money where your mouth is, invest in yourself spend some money on advertising, Google Adds, Facebook, Twitter, you get my point. Do your home work, you do not want to waste money but an effective add can booster your career and may not be as expensive as you think.
Invest In A PA System
Apart from DJing in clubs you should consider Corporate Events, Christenings, Weddings, Proms and Milestone Birthdays, in most cases you will need a PA System for these type of events. Hiring one in may prove costly and make you less competitive, so it is a good idea to invest in one. A good system with decks, a mixer or a controller may set you back around £650-£800 but it is well worth it in the long run, you will recuperate this money easily after 1 or 2 bookings. If you go down this route bare In mind you will need a car/van, Insurances and maybe a website.
Become An Open Format DJ
If you just play one type of music say R&B consider playing other genres as well, Hip-Hop, House, Dancehall, Dance or Garage etc. Although I do not like spreading myself too fin as a DJ, being able to play other styles of music makes you more competitive in the market.
Join A DJ Agency
Sign up to a DJ Agency, this is something I am considering at the moment, a good one should be able to push your career further. A simple Google search brings up a list of agencies, I am weary though of any agency that wants a fee upfront, let them put their money where their mouth is and take any fees from my bookings.
Join A Crew
Form a Crew or join a Sound System, the more members you have in your team the further your reach, which may lead to increased DJ bookings.
Approach a Nightclub that plays your style of music and ask if you can do a warm up set for free, if successful this may lead to regular work. Another tactic you could use is apply for work at your favorite club, venues are always looking for bar staff. Once you have your foot in the door it is easier for you to move around the company, you will be the first to know of any DJ opportunities, one week the resident DJ may fail to turn up giving you the opportunity to rise to the occasion.
Work On Your Image & Personality
It’s a shame but I think now a days (as a result of Social Media) image is just as important as skill. Hit the gym, look the part and dress for the occasion. If you don’t have a mic man/woman host your own set, this gives you a chance express your personality and promote your name.
Learn Some Tricks
Every body thinks they can DJ nowadays and the change in technology has made it so much more easier to do so. The market is saturated and competitive so stand out from the rest. Learn some extra skills like scratching, some tricks or incorporate some sound effects into your set.
I hope the above has been useful, listen to my latest Mix and download the App (full info below) please share, leave your comments and follow me @teamdjl SC: DJlclubnights
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