Being a professional DJ is a fulfilling career, but it can be unpredictable. You might have a successful summer with plenty of bookings and then realize your next season is quieter. Many DJs ask us how they can find more business, and it’s a question both new and experienced DJs have.
It’s a little easier to keep the opportunities rolling in once you’ve built a name for yourself. But how do you find enough DJ gigs before then?
Whether you’re just starting your DJ career or you’re an experienced DJ going through a slow period, this article will help you find new ways to grow your business. Read on for 11 ways to earn more business as a DJ.
1. Create Your Own Unique Selling Point
Like most creative careers, there’s a lot of competition for DJs these days. That’s why it helps to have your own distinct style and services.
You’ll want your playlists and sets to impress, so look for something that nobody else is doing. Develop your own trademark sound and approach to mixing tracks, or mix in your own beats and vocals. It’s tempting to stick with popular tracks, but this won’t help you stand out from the crowd.
Another way to stand out is to build a brand around the type of gigs you’re looking for. Whether you want to play clubs or weddings, make sure your brand and marketing makes this clear. This will help people quickly decide whether you’re the right DJ for their event.
2. Have a Standout Website
Most promoters and clients will want to check out your website before they book you, so make sure it stands out.
As you build or revamp your website, focus on what you can offer to potential clients. Help them imagine how you’ll make their event memorable. Share photos and videos from previous events where you DJed to show what you can do.
Don’t forget about the practical things, too. Make your website easy to navigate and list your contact details so people can get in touch with you about potential gigs. Make sure your website is optimized for mobile, as many people will browse on the move.
3. Make Yourself Visible in Local Searches
One of the best ways for people to find local services is through search engines like Google. That means it’s especially important to make sure you’re easy to find on search engines.
To help you appear in local search results on Google, sign up for a Google My Business account. From there, you can create a listing with your business name, address, contact details, and website. This listing then has the opportunity to show up for people searching for a DJ nearby.
Once you’ve set up your listing, spend some time customizing it. Add your logo (if you have one), photos, and more details about your business. You can also post updates, so use this space to promote upcoming events or talk about gigs you’ve recently played.
Keeping your listing up-to-date with new content and user reviews can improve your visibility in search results. If you want to attract interest through search results, it may be worth speaking to a freelance contractor or agency that specializes in SEO.
4. Collect Reviews and Testimonials
Recommendations are a powerful way to win new business as a DJ. With a stream of positive reviews to your name, people will feel reassured you’re the right person for their event.
If you don’t already, make it part of your routine to collect reviews and testimonials from clients. They don’t have to be long — a few sentences of genuine praise is enough to convince potential customers.
You can collect these reviews in person or with a feedback form. Encourage people to rate you on your Facebook page and leave a review on your Google listing. Your star rating will show next to your Google listing in local search results. This makes you instantly more attractive than other local DJs with a lower or zero-star rating.
5. Reconnect With Previous Clients
It’s always worth developing a strong relationship with your clients. Not only does it help things go smoothly before, during, and after the event, but it can help your business in the long run.
When you do a great job for someone, chances are they’ll keep you in mind for the future. The couple who booked you for a wedding may recommend you to a friend or book you for another celebration. Personal recommendations are a valuable way of earning new business as a DJ.
If it’s been a while since you worked with someone, get in touch with a gentle reintroduction. Maybe there’s an event coming up that you think they’ll like or you could ask if there’s anything you can help them with. It may not result in a new booking right away, but you’ll stay on their radar when an opportunity comes up.
6. Become Part of Your Local Community
There’s a lot of value in becoming a well-known member of your local community. With a good reputation, people are more likely to trust you with their business.
You can get involved in your community in lots of different ways. You could support local events and help promote shows and gigs, even if you’re not the DJ. Business networking events are also great — not only do you get to meet new people, but you could win business from them, too.
If it’s within your budget, consider supporting fundraising and charity efforts in your local area. You could sponsor a local sports team or help to raise funds for an important cause. If you can’t contribute financially, offer your services as a DJ or to promote the event or cause on your social media channels.
Being part of your community and a champion for good causes reflects positively on your personal and professional reputation. It can help you stand out among others who are less active.
7. Network With the Right People
Everyone knows that networking is a powerful way to get to know new people and find business. It can take up lots of your time though, so make sure you’re networking with the right people in the right places.
Do some research and find the best people to connect with at agencies, event companies, and venues. Find out who your local promoters are and introduce yourself to them. Build real relationships with these people and focus on your long-term goals as a DJ.
Become helpful to the people in your network in a genuine way. Attend their events and show support, ask if you can do anything to help, and show an interest in their business. More often than not, this is rewarded with support, loyalty, and future business.
8. Collaborate With Other Businesses
As well as networking with promoters, you’ll want to build ties with local businesses. These are the people who could become some of your best champions, supporters, and referrers of new opportunities.
Support the businesses in your community. Look for ways you can meet and work with others in a similar space. Maybe you can work together to stage a fundraising event or run a group giveaway to reach a new audience. Even if you don’t formally work together, the support and motivation you get from each other is invaluable.
There are often many businesses that have a similar audience but aren’t in competition with you. For a wedding DJ, this can include wedding photographers, stationery designers, florists, and decor suppliers. Most couples want to hire a DJ, so it’s a good idea to become known to vendors who supply the industry. It’s also a good way to get on the preferred vendors list for venues or event companies.
9. Be More Visible Online
We’ve talked about networking offline, but online networking is just as important. If you show up in the right places, you’re more likely to be found by the kind of clients you want.
Look for groups and forums where you can contribute to the discussion and add value. This might be user groups for DJs and entertainers, or something more outward-facing aimed at event planners or newlyweds. If you regularly offer insights or help to others, your name will become associated with being helpful, valuable, and someone worth considering for a gig.
Another great way to be more visible online is by blogging. You could start a blog on your website and offer useful advice for potential clients or for people looking to make a start in the industry.
If you don’t want to manage your own blog, look for opportunities to write guest posts for other blogs. This helps get your name out there and you can reach a new audience. You’ll also want to focus on your social media and make sure it reflects who you are, what you can do, and why you’re a good choice for someone’s next event.
10. Use Targeted Advertising
Sometimes you need to invest a little money to make money. A good way to bring in new leads without spending a lot is to run a small advertising campaign online.
It’s easy to set up a small test campaign through Facebook or Instagram. You can create an attractive image, write some copy that sells what you do, and target your ad at your ideal audience. You could also try advertising on search engines like Google. This type of advertising is known as Pay Per Click (PPC) and you only pay when someone clicks through to your website. This means it’s cost-effective and you can control your budget.
Once you’ve found a type of advertising that works for you, increase your investment in it. This can help bring in a steady stream of inquiries from relevant clients. If you need help with this, there are plenty of affordable digital marketing agencies who can support you.
11. Get an Agent
If you’re a DJ struggling for time and want to focus on music, it may be time to consider getting an agent. They will help find and negotiate deals for you, so you can spend your time on other areas of your business.
One of the main benefits of an agent is gaining access to their network. A good agent will be well-connected in the industry, so you’ll be put forward for opportunities before they’re common knowledge. This is especially helpful if you don’t have much of a network yet or you’re not confident at negotiation.
It’s not always easy to get on the books of a DJ agency. They’ll often focus on DJs who are already famous or popular, as they’ll earn a decent commission on those bookings. If you’ve built a solid brand, have plenty of talent, and glowing recommendations, you’re more likely to be signed.
Build Your Network and Reputation for Better DJ Gigs
Finding new business as a DJ is often about relationships, reputation, and being proactive. Once you’ve built a network and have formed genuine relationships with those in your community and industry, it’ll be easier to find the right gigs.
Focus on delivering great work for your clients, collecting reviews, and being a helpful member of your community. You’ll find the work you put in now will pay off in the future. And you never know — the person you help out tomorrow may just have an opportunity for you next week.