If I was starting out as a DJ, I would need to consider what type of DJ I actually want to be. Will I be looking for a club or pub residency? Or do I want to attend wedding receptions or children’s parties? There are many types of work as a disc jockey, and it needs some serious thought before taking the plunge. After all, there is a decent bit of cash that needs to be put down at the start, and whilst dj finance options exist it is good to think things through before going forward.
To be a successful DJ, I will need to be able to entertain an audience and put on a show. As such, consideration needs to be given to if I have any exceptional qualities to enhance my shows. Am I an extrovert or introvert? Have I any specialist knowledge in any particular form of music? Could I stand up in front of an audience and perform? It is not just about turning up and plugging equipment in and playing any old song that comes to mind. I would need some experience before starting my career and may do voluntary DJ work at a local youth club or at the village hall. Any type of experience would be beneficial to enhance my skills.
If I decide to go down this route, then what type of music is the best choice for me? Well, if someone has a vast knowledge of soul, reggae or rock music, etc., it would be a good idea to stick to things that we know best. For example, if I was a soul enthusiast, then perhaps I should specialize in playing at soul-themed events. Do some research in your area and find out:
- What type of venues are available
- Where do the local soul fans go
- What are the latest soul music trends
- How much interest is there
If I draw a blank and can’t find an existing soul venue, then I could consider promoting my own local events in a pub, club, or hall. Many local landlords or venue owners would put on a trial night to gauge success, especially if I DJ for free or agree to accept door admission prices only. Perhaps I could negotiate a percentage of the bar profits. Anything that draws new customers to a place is bound to have an appeal. Remember the old saying, “everyone has to start somewhere.”
As a new DJ just embarking on my career, I need to get myself noticed. At the start, no one is going to come looking for me, so I will have to seek out my audience. Whatever type of disc jockey we intend to be, it is essential that we promote ourselves right from the start. Start small and aim higher and higher. One of the best ways is to set up my own website as well as a Facebook site and any other social media platform that is around. As I play more gigs, then I will have more material to promote my new career.
Find someone to record and video any shows and post these on the sites to let people know what is offered. If I intend to specialize, then I will write a blog showing off my knowledge of music. Why not consider an online quiz and get people interested in this music? If you have no gigs to record, then set up one in your home for your family and friends or hire a local hall or club. The possibilities are endless, and I have just scratched the surface of what self-promotion a budding DJ can do.
There is no doubt that furthering my new career as a DJ will mean a lot of hard work. However, we all need to consider where we can fit in, either as a specialist or a general performer. Each audience has its own particular niche. The secret to success will require me to find my specific role in this popular market.