4 Ways For Aspiring DJs To Gain Exposure
When you set out to establish yourself as a DJ, the hardest thing can be to set yourself apart from the pack and gain listeners. On the one hand, there’s something exciting and unique about being able to mix whatever sounds you like, and truly work out an individual style like nothing else out there. On the other, however, countless others are doing the same thing, even if no two sounds are alike, and that makes it a very competitive field, even within the broader, cutthroat world of music production.
As most artists who “make it” will tell you, there’s a great deal of luck involved with gaining exposure and generating a meaningful base of listeners. No one can tell you exactly how to do it. A creative approach, though, can at least make it more likely that you’ll be heard, and thus increase your chance at success.
One of these four ideas might just get you started.
1. Stick To Your Name
This is the simplest of tips, but one that comes from a piece on how to become a famous DJ from scratch in six weeks. The piece acknowledges that this isn’t ordinarily possible, but still presents some interesting ideas. One is the basic notion that changing your name can confuse fans as you attempt to establish yourself, and consistency will be your strongest asset at this stage. That means some creativity and self-confidence at the very beginning of the process, as you come up with the name in the first place, but it’s a very good idea to make sure it’s one you’re 100 percent sure you’re going to stick with. It makes it that much easier for fans to stick to you, too.
2. Document Over Social Media
We’re not merely suggesting you post regularly on social media, as any aspiring artist in the modern world likely knows to do that much. Rather, the suggestion is to really obsess over documenting your process and evolution for followers. In a way, people stay on social media and follow people they admire because they like to be part of a story, and it’s your responsibility as a prospective DJ to make that story engaging and worthwhile. This type of engagement can grow your following, which is good not only for getting your sound out, but also for affording you new opportunities. As one article on how to get DJ bookings correctly points out, being able to point to social media channels with large, active followings is often a good way to convince venues to let you do a show.
3. Release Music During March
This is a more pointed and obscure idea, but speaks to the kind of creativity that can ultimately lead to more listeners and greater exposure. Specifically it’s the idea of seeking out competitions to showcase your sounds, and in this case we’re talking about “DJ March Madness.” March Madness, as you may know, refers to the college basketball postseason, which as one overview explains cuts down 351 Division 1 basketball teams to just 68 for a single-elimination tournament that captures an incredible amount of attention. Named after this event, DJ March Madness naturally isn’t quite as well known, but it’s a great opportunity for exposure. Basically, it’s an unofficial contest by which 32 tracks from 32 different DJs who released music in March are chosen for a voting-based competition, with the winner being crowned “Best New Release.”
4. Make Your Art A Narrative Experience
For DJs and other types of musicians, it’s fairly common to hear the tip that album cover art matters a great deal. But in DJ-ing, you actually get a chance to use it as a creative weapon, rather than just make sure it’s good. Because lyrics and literal, up-front themes are less emphasized in this particular form of music you get a little bit more flexibility to make album and track cover art whatever you want it to be. Turning it into a story by creative narrative elements and linking one design to the next is a good way to give listeners one more thing to get excited about. Plus, provided you’re good with the art or have someone on your team who is, it’s fun!