When it comes to making money as a DJ, learning to DJ is the easy part, getting the gigs is the hard part. Depending on what kind of DJ you want to be, whether it is a Club DJ, radio DJ, wedding DJ, etc. your first clients are going to be the people you know.
This goes back to the old saying of, its not about what you know, its about who you know. So start reaching out to all your friends, family, coworkers see if they are throwing any parties, weddings or any type of event that needs music and a DJ.
If you are new to a city and don’t know anyone, it might seem impossible to get your first DJ gig. This where being approachable and knowing how to build rapport with people really helps. People skills goes a long way when you are looking for work.
Steps on Getting your First DJ Gig
Know that you know How To DJ and you know how to use your DJ gear. You want to establish a niche for yourself. Are you going to be a Wedding DJ, Club DJ, event DJ, or radio DJ?
You can try to be all of them, I know tons of DJs that do this. I would recommend trying each gig a couple of times. There are going to be things you like more than others, some are going to pay more, and some are going to be a lot less work.
Once you have established the type of crowd and audience now you can market yourself.
Do all the necessary things you need to make yourself as professional as possible. So make a website, get business cards, make a facebook page, twitter page, basically make a brand out of yourself.
It doesn’t matter if you don’t think you are at that level yet, if you look the part people wont doubt your abilities. Fake it till you make it, like the saying goes.
Once you have marketed yourself, you can go around to local venues, local ads, and build leads. Leads are potential clients, not all will hire you, but you are just planting a seed.
If all else fails throw a Party
If you weren’t able to land a gig after this, then you didn’t ask enough people or didn’t try hard enough, or your salesmanship is just horrible.
The next thing you can do is throw a party for your friends and rent out a venue.
You will be able to showcase your skills as a DJ and you bring in money for the venue. Talk to the owner and tell them that you are going to be bringing in this much money at your party.
This is where you tell all your friends, family, whoever to come down and party.
If you can provide value to your client again and again, that’s huge money for them. Why wouldn’t they hire you again, right?
Once the parties over, talk about numbers, pitch the owner again, tell him you’ve built a strong following. And secure your position there.
If you plan on making a career out of DJing, you need to start acting more like a business owner and less of a technician.
You already know the basics of DJing, there is no need to stress yourself over that, more skills will be added over time. You wont get the necessary practice though if you are only playing for yourself. You need to do shows and gigs. So focus more on getting work and you will succeed at DJing.