How To Get DJ Gigs!
How do you get more DJ gigs? And how do you ensure you’re the DJ who gets the next available gig? In this dedicated guide, we’re going to help break down the steps you need to take to ensure you’re first in line for the next gig!
Are you good enough?
Before looking for new gigs, we need to ensure that we are good enough to maximise any given opportunity. There is no shame in admitting that you need a little longer to sharpen those skills. Listen to other DJs on Mixcloud and Soundcloud, head down to local clubs and events and have a hard listen. Is your mixing good enough to be approaching venues and promoters? Remember, you can always take more time to learn more skills. Rushing into your first few gigs may ruin your reputation and make getting other opportunities harder.
With that said though, don’t be scared to leave your comfort zone. It’s not always easy to believe in yourself and make that leap of faith into your first gigs but to chase your dreams we must take the first step. Every DJ learns something new at every gig they perform. Mistakes will happen, it’s all part of the process!
Points to remember:
- Listen to the DJs at local events & clubs
- Search online for mixes and performances by DJs playing similar genres
Building a portfolio
An increasingly important part of DJing is your online presence. Using social media is a fantastic way of letting the world know about you and your skills. To visualise this properly, put yourself in the position of the promoter. If you’re looking for a new DJ, are you more likely to choose a DJ with a strong online presence? A DJ who’s sharing videos and mixes demonstrating their skills. Or would you go with a DJ who’s not using social media to their advantage and just trust that they can DJ? It’s a no brainer.
Even experienced DJs can level up their opportunities by dedicating time to social media. Posting regularly whilst also interacting with venues and events helps boost presence. There will never be a negative outcome from showing the world your skills. It doesn’t take long to create content, especially if you’re practising or playing a gig already. Hit record and get that portfolio built up!
Posting to social media works wonders, but for maximum effect, we have to stay consistent. The algorithms of each platform work best when that user is posting regularly. To achieve this we recommend setting a schedule or a plan that will remind you to not only post, but create the content too. This then has the added benefit of not only boosting your reach and building your portfolio but also sharpening your skills at the same time.
Content is fun and engaging. But sometimes it can be difficult to find that spark and the motivation to create something worthwhile. This is where it’s best to look at other content creators and take inspiration from what is working well. Remember to follow your favourite DJs and save posts that grabbed your attention. These transitions and skills are not only fun to emulate and copy, but they also help boost your skillset too. Remember directly copying another DJ won’t help you create your own unique audience, so remember where the line between inspiration and emulation lies.
Sharing Your Mixes
Mixes are one the most important tools available to DJ when wanting to get more work. Not only do mixes provide great content, ideal whilst building your portfolio up. But they also help demonstrate your skills to any potential new venue or promotor. Uploading to platforms such as Mixcloud or Soundcloud enables you to reach a worldwide audience with your DJ skills whilst also having a place to direct your next potential employers. Remember to engage with all the comments made on your mix, make sure anyone who sees this page knows you’re busy and active!
As a bonus, if you record yourself performing the mix you can also use this footage on sites such as YouTube and Facebook. Chopping up the best parts can even make great Reels for Instagram and Tik Tok! Helping make one piece of content go a lot further!
One of the best ways to get new gigs is to be known. Try and engage with other DJs and event brands online as much as possible. Encourage positive activity as this will see others return the favour which helps massively push algorithms! Support your local nightlife industry and become known in your local scene. Going to events and venues and getting to know the people who run and work for these events is a great way to get your foot in the door. Engage with the local DJs and support their nights. Being friendly with the staff will mean you’re more likely to receive the call should they need another DJ and it helps build relationships that can last your whole career.
We can’t stress how important this method can be. Becoming well known within your local nightlife scene is so important and it’s impressive how much it can help DJs. As the saying goes, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”!
When the new gig comes along, ensure you’re taking full advantage! This means acting professional, arriving on time and helping support the event throughout. First impressions really do matter and even if you make a mistake in the set, showing that you’re 100% committed to the event and putting on the best show will ensure people want to work with you again! Promoting the event in the build-up and filming parts of your set not only helps boost the night but will also look great on your socials too! This is a win-win situation and you can use this gig to help you get others!
Stay On Top Of Your Game!
Finally, ensure you never get stale as a DJ. Try not to perform the same mixes and routines week in, week out. This very quickly becomes predictable and this allows a DJ with more passion and enthusiasm to potentially take your gig. Remember to stay sharp, try new things and consistently push your social media presence. We always want to be pushing for the next goal and the next step and the only way to do this is to keep bettering ourselves! You could take one of our dedicated DJ courses to learn dedicated skills or join the DJ Hub for the most up to date and advanced techniques! Whatever you do, make sure you do it to the best of your ability!
Best of luck and remember to use our helpful PDF guide found at the top of this article to help you maximise your potential!