How To Get Rich As a DJ
In my previous post I wrote about getting a paid job as a DJ. Of course we do not want to stop there, we want to make a career! That's why we're going to step up our game 🙂
Making a living in the entertainment business is about being there, being professional and being within the price limits. Making a lot of money however is something else entirely.
You might have heard it said before 'You have to be really lucky to become succesful' or 'Only a handful of people make it in this scene'. That's because they figured out how it works, and they have put in the work necessary.
I can't promise you a succesful career, but I'll try to give you some guidelines to get started.
Make yourself irreplaceable
Being 'just another DJ' means you're replaceable. This means that you can't charge significantly more than your fellow DJs, or your clients will start looking for someone else.
It's important to make sure you have something that other don't have, whether it be a specific act, a well known name or anything else. Make sure that guests will be disappointed if someone else shows up.
Build a network as if your life depended on it
The world of entertainment is build around networks. People hire artists they know rather than artists they don't know.
Contact DJ related companies in the area, grab a cup of coffee with the local club owner and be present at DJ related events like the dutch Dancefair.
Doing everything yourself is awesome, but it won't make you huge. You need marketing specialists, financial management and promoters to make it in the scene. Think about it, how many famous DJs do you know that take care of all their affairs theirselves?
If you've got something to offer there are loads of booking agencies that can place you at great gigs, giving you time to perfect your craft.
Build a brand
As a DJ you're not just someone playing the music, you're selling the promise of an experience. By creating a brand you make clear to your clients what separates you from the rest.
An important part of building your brand is getting a following on social media, so get people to like and follow you, and make sure you post regularly!
Get an EPK
An EPK, or Electronic Press Kit, is a way to show potential clients why you're worth the money you're asking. It's an overview of your experience, your style and your fans, it can be compared to a 'DJ Resume'.
You can either make your own, or get one professionally made. Remember, a good EPK will pay for itself in no time!
Dedicate all of your time
Nobody ever got successful half-assing anything. If you want to play at the high level gigs you need to put all of your time and energy into it. I'm not saying you should stop everything else in your life, but don't expect to become successful if you're working on your DJ career 5 hours per week.
Dress like an artist
I personally hate this advice, since I like to dress like the most boring average Joe, but it's true. DJs are artists, and artists have to stand out. This means that you need to dress a little better than the rest of the world.
It's important to pick a style, and stick to it. You're building a brand, and it's very important to portray that brand's quality and image.
Release a couple of tracks
The professions of DJ and producer have become intertwined in the last couple of years, and to be successful you will probably have to succumb to the idea that you need to release some music. If you are able to produce music yourself I would highly advise you to do so, since it's the best way to portray your style.
If you're unable to produce music on your own you can always produce megamixes or podcasts to put your style out there.
Set your goals
Where do you want to be in 3 months, where do you want to be in 6 months, where do you want to be in a year and what do you want to look back on in 60 years?
It's important to make it clear to yourself what you want. You will find it's much easier to reach something if you've written down exactly what you want.
Keep having fun
It sounds so trivial, but it's so essential. The world of DJ-ing is brutal, the hours are terrible and the travel times take their toll. If you're not having fun you will not be able to keep doing it long enough to become a successful DJ.
I want to leave you all with one last thought:
In 60 years you will probably not look back on your perfectly structured finances, you'll look back on the awesome times you had!
Don't let money take over, keep doing what you like 🙂