If you are an aspiring DJ, you may be wondering how you can go about booking some paid gigs. Though there are courses that teach beginners the technicalities of DJ-ing, actually finding and booking gigs can be a laborious task.
Typically, you can get a gig in one of two ways, you will either be contacted directly by those who are organizing an event or you will have to go in search of them yourself.
Promoters tend to look for established artists that are already well-known in the industry. If you are a new up-and-coming artist, you will have to put in more effort to get these gigs yourself.
To help you with the process of getting more DJ gigs, below we have identified several ways that you can increase your exposure.
Make sure that you are prepared
Preparation is key to success. Before you embark on your quest to find gigs, you must make sure that you are ready for any upcoming performances.
You will need to familiarize yourself with all of the equipment that you are likely to be using. Aside from this, you also need to be confident in your skills so that you can play without making any mistakes.
Ideally, you should also have a demo cd to hand that has all of your work on it. This will allow club owners and promoters to listen to your material.
Furthermore, you must also make sure that your sets are long enough to entertain a crowd for a prolonged amount of time. If you run out of material, you may not receive a good response.
As a DJ it is important to apply considerable effort to promoting yourself through various social media channels. It is also worth building a website as this will provide a platform for those who are interested in you to visit and gather more information about your music style.
Social media will prove particularly effective in helping you to build your brand. You can use these platforms to publicize your work and engage with your followers.
The more well-known you are, the more job opportunities you are likely to be offered.
Gig for free – showcase talent
Getting involved in free gigs is a great way to showcase your talent whilst gaining more experience.
Whilst this may not appear to all DJs it is a worthy option for those who are looking for more exposure and want to increase their chances of booking more paid gigs in the future.
Once you feel as though you have reached a stage where you are more established, you can begin charging for your gigs.
Have a professional attitude
Having a professional attitude towards gigs will show promoters that you are serious about DJ-ing and will increase your chances of getting booked. Confidence and energy will also display your enthusiasm and will make you stand out more to promoters and venue owners.
Collaborate with other artists
Learning how to work with other artists will enhance your chances of booking gigs. It can also have benefits for both parties that are involved in the collaboration. You can draw upon each other’s strengths and see whether you can apply these to improve your skills.
Be punctual and versatile
Promoters will have more trust in those who are punctual. Failing to turn up to a scheduled gig on time or at all will leave them disappointed and they will also be less likely to recommend you to others.
As such, you must ensure that you do not let the promoter down and you turn up on top. If you can get to the venue earlier, then that is even better.
Having a versatile attitude towards gigs will also work in your favor. There may be instances where the time of the gig changes so you will need to be ready for any sudden changes to the original arrangements.
Immerse yourself in the club setting
Another effective way of getting yourself known is by immersing yourself in the club setting. Visit venues that you feel cater to your music aesthetic and see how well the location works for you.
Club owners and promoters will likely take a liking to those who support other gigs that are held at their venues. Remember that this isn’t necessarily a social event for you.
Of course, you want to enjoy yourself but the main reason you are in attendance is to familiarize yourself with the setting that you could potentially be dj-ing in.
Contact the promoter or venue manager directly
Try to get to know the promoters or owners of the venue and express your interest in DJ-ing at their establishment. Remember that their primary focus is on generating an income so you will need to show them how you are going to attract a spending crowd.
There are several ways of approaching a promoter or venue manager. Occasionally, they may hold sessions where you have the opportunity to go and speak to the managers directly, otherwise, you may wish to try and contact them via email.
It is also worth keeping in touch with the promoter following the gig. This will allow you to gain feedback on what was good about your set and any aspects that could benefit from improvement. You can also let them know that you are available for future gigs.
Have a genuine and courteous personality
It is important to have a genuine and courteous personality. Promoters typically have busy schedules so you want to try your best to keep them happy rather than add to their stress.
If you don’t agree with what they are suggesting, you should avoid arguing with them. Also, show the promoters that you are willing to go the extra mile when needed.
As you can see, getting gigs requires a fair amount of effort on your behalf. There may be times when you aren’t met with immediate success but you must remain persistent as this will increase your chances of booking gigs in the future.