The DJ Hustle: Getting Booked
If you’re new to DJing or a veteran who has been in the game for years, one thing remains consistent – the ongoing hustle to gain bookings. As a DJ, bookings are your bread and butter, the money in your pocket to keep the lights on. But more importantly, the more bookings you have under your belt, the more exposure you have to new audiences and fans. You also have an excellent chance to improve your DJing skills or learn something new with every gig you play. In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at how you can land more bookings and attain steady bookings in the long run.
Be the life of the party
Take a look at some of your DJ idols, icons or mentors. What is one thing we all have in common? It might be a skill set that’s through the roof, but there’s a good chance it has a lot to do with your attitude. One of the best ways to get bookings is to be the person that everyone wants to be around. As a DJ, you ARE the party-starter. Take that spotlight mentality with you wherever you go. Networking with club owners or promotors? Let them know that you’ll bring the party to their venue and they can depend on you for a stellar night.
Show off your skills
We’d never want to discredit skills, as this is also a major factor in getting bookings. You should hone your craft and practice on a daily basis. Show off your skills by consistently sharing new music and mixes via Soundcloud/Mixcloud or other sharing platforms. Lastly, make sure any gigs you do play are on point, because you never know who is watching. Your next booking could come from someone observing in the crowd. Bookers and venue owners recognize hard work and passion!
Promote, promote, promote
In an ever-growing industry and saturated scene of talent, it’s important to find ways to make yourself stand out. Get creative when it comes to getting your foot in the door. Ask the club owners if they need help with upcoming events or offer to promote the party. If you are active on social media and you’re out and about supporting parties in your area, bookers will take notice. Also, don’t discredit playing a party for free , an offer to play in smaller rooms, or to play for a friend’s show. Take these as opportunities to gain more exposure in your local scene. This will not only help you build your resume, but will gain you support from the people you are helping out. Your kindness may be remembered down the road and that’s invaluable.
In short, if you position yourself as a person people want to be around (party with) you’ll create lasting relationships. Your skillset and passion will bring you to the next level. Once you’ve refined your skills and made friends with everyone in the room, don’t forget to go above and beyond. This goes for new DJs and vets; favors and working well with people are things you can do to build a name for yourself as a reliable and professional resource.
Remember that your success should be a journey, not a destination. Every small step of improvement you make should be recognized and appreciated!