DJs went from playing the background music for major acts and performing in small underground venues to performing in stadiums for tens of thousands of fans. This is one of the reasons why so many people want to be DJs today. Successful DJs don’t become successful overnight or out of chance. They had to make a lot of sacrifices to get where they are today and work their way up from the bottom. If your dream is to become the next big international DJ, know that everything is possible, but you have to be ready to put the work in. Here are some of the things you need to know before you start a career as a DJ.
Tips for becoming a dj
You Have to Be in It for the Right Reasons
You can’t become a DJ just because you want to impress people and look cool. You have to do it because you genuinely love music, and you like to make people feel something special during your sets. Even if the DJ is the center of attention at concerts, being a DJ is really about serving people. If you don’t go in with that optic, your sets will fall flat and you’ll eventually grow tired of DJing.
You’ll Have to do a Lot of Things You Don’t Want to do
One of the things you’ll have to be prepared for when first starting out as a DJ is doing a lot of sets in settings and conditions you don’t really like. That is the nature of the game, and you have to be ready to work on weddings, random small events, and private parties, among other places. You also have to be prepared to work for free so you can build a name and a portfolio. If you’re not ready to do this, forget succeeding as a DJ.
You Can Start with Nothing but a Laptop
You should know that you don’t necessarily need a big setup when getting started. A full DJ setup can be expensive, and you don’t know if you have the skills to be a DJ, or if you even like the job yet. So, it would be a better idea to start with a laptop and see how things work. If you like DJing and you want to get more serious, then you could start investing in a full setup.
If you want to know how to DJ on a laptop, check out Pirate.com. Not only do they teach you how to DJ on a laptop, but they explain exactly the kind of setup you need and some of the challenges working with a limited setup brings. You’ll learn how to pick up a perfect laptop for DJing along with reviews of the best DJ programs on the market to facilitate your search.
You Might Need to Do More than DJing
You’ll have a hard time finding a popular DJ that doesn’t also produce music. As a matter of fact, most major DJs gained worldwide notoriety through their production and not their sets. This is easy to understand since music travels much more easily than a DJ set. This is why you should consider learning how to produce music while you build your career as a DJ. You can decide to go the self-taught route or get a real formation.
Many academies will teach you how to produce music, and they greatly vary in price. Know that this will be money well spent, however, as this could be what ends up getting you recognition. You’ll also be able to play your music on sets, which can be very satisfying.
You’ll Need to be Resourceful and Deal with a Lot of Rejection
As a new DJ, you can expect a lot of people to say no. You will need to be ready to deal with rejection, but also know how to create opportunities for yourself. If you can’t get a club in the city to hire you, know that there are always department stores, resorts, restaurants, etc. You might even have to convince someone that they need a DJ even if they have never considered the idea.
Another option would be to find a venue you can book and host nights there. You could get a deal with a smaller venue and book it on the same day every week. Most of the time, you will have to settle for the middle of the week, but you can still make it work. You’ll need to promote your gigs aggressively and think about co-hosting with other DJs in the area.
Having promotion skills is essential as a DJ, so learn how to market yourself. You need to have a nice website with pictures and videos of your gigs. You should also release your sets online so people can know what it’s like to be at one of your parties. Social media can also be a very powerful tool to promote your brand, so learn advanced social media analytics and build a consistent content marketing strategy.
Standing Out Can Become Difficult
DJing has become incredibly popular, which means that the field is more competitive than ever. Standing out is tough, and unless you know how to differentiate yourself, you might get lost in the sea of DJs out there. This is why branding is very important as a DJ and why so many DJs have gimmicks right now.
You don’t necessarily have to wear a costume like Marshmallow or turn into a character like Daft Punk but having a signature look could help. The ambiance at your shows and your energy will also help you stand out. If you’re an energetic person and you like to really get into the music, be yourself, as it could be what makes you different from all the DJs that just stand around and turn knobs during their sets.
Now that you know a bit more about what it’s like to be a DJ, you can start to take the steps necessary to become one. Remember that it’s hard work and that nothing comes overnight in this business, so be ready for the road that lies ahead.