House DJs Catz ‘N Dogz built their Soundcloud following by 2,236 in the 30 days ending June 9 – how can you, too, earn this sort of boost?
Want to get your career kick-started? Take onboard these 12 tips to make things happen fast
With so many parts of your career that need attention – online, offline, in the club, in a record company’s office – it may feel as though you need not one but 12 DJs to handle it all. We’ve learned from some of the top names in the industry, who have given us their take. As such, here are 12 tips for one rocking career.
When you are starting out, it makes no sense to turn down small gigs like playing for beer at a friend’s party. This is a chance to become more relaxed when playing for people and to learn to read a crowd. Meanwhile, its likely that a few people that you haven’t met will be in attendance, increasing your exposure. If they like your set, They might be part of the gang that you bring to the club when you play there, which promoters love.
Of course, when your profile grows you will want to be a bit more discriminating.
Your bio will often be the main source of information for new contacts, so you need to make it count. In order to find the right balance between sounding boastful or nervous, try playing down your top achievements and emphasising smaller, more personal ones. All bios will need to be well-structured: make it start with something impressive, then nail some facts and end with your most recent large-scale gig as a climax.
Don’t forget style: write in the first person, avoid clichés and points that say nothing (‘is a music-lover’). Also, always get a couple of friends to read it before it goes live.
See The Significance Of Every Single Gig
People can tell when someone is not giving it their all – you might not like the venue, but, as a DJ you have the power to energise a slow night by looking after the crowd. No matter how small the club, you never know whether someone who could advance your career is in attendance. If you always mix like EDM is going out of style, you have the best chance of getting their attention.
For a modern DJ, producing your own music is a must, this being a great way to contribute to the scene and raise your profile among influential people. This will require you shelling out on some software – a good sequencer is the powerhouse of your setup, and you will need to choose carefully the one which best suits your needs.
It is tempting to lose yourself in the music and creativity, spending hours and hours making music. However, taking regular breaks, like going for a walk, will allow you to get a better perspective on how a track sounds – when you come back and listen after a short break, you will be amazed at how different it sounds compared to when you listened to it repeatedly.
Be A Ruthless And Calculating Producer
Try not to start loads of new tracks and never finish them. This is not to discourage creativity, but doing this means lots of work but nothing for the club afterwards. Learn self-discipline and make sure that you see your work through to the end.
Also, if you feel that you are devoting effort to a track but it is not working, do not be afraid to shelve it and move on. Some tracks just go nowhere and prevent you from making other music.
SoundCloud.com – an online service which allows musicians to upload and share tracks – is an essential tool for DJs presently. For this social network, like any other, it pays to work to make your profile convincing to visitors – you will need a cool photo and an interesting bio, alongside a snappy and relevant username.
Remember to be savvy about posting content – people will be overwhelmed if you post a bunch of new mixes in a single day. Rather, if you spread them out your followers will be more able to appreciate them. Of course, it pays to share what you do on SoundCloud on your other social networks. Following people can be a way to get followed, but make sure to follow relevant people whose audience crosses over with yours.
Archive your records, production projects and inspiration
Just like you create a well-organised library of the tracks that you use to DJ, it pays to keep your production files as neatly organised so that you do not spend time finding a project rather than working on it. Further to this, it makes sense to carefully save and catalogue any inspiration that comes to you, for use on a future date.
Getting signed to a label is tough, it will require determination alongside hard and clever work. Those in charge of labels say that people still send low-quality demos to them, always ask yourself whether you can do anything to make your music even better. Further to this, be active around your music, like building up your social followers and making friends in the music scene, this all helps to show that people are interested in what you have to offer.
Importantly, labels do not like to be spammed and they do not like you to send generic emails to loads of them. Choose one or a few labels, address the person to whom you send your email by name and tell them why you chose them. Also, make it easy for them to hear your material, like by sending a private SoundCloud link.
Booking agents will take care of the strange world of concerts, fees and festivals so you can concentrate on mixing. The top way to get noticed by an agent is to produce great tracks and to be signed by a reputable label – having a convincing online following can help, too.
This may seem contradictory, given the emphasis on social networks. However, the more time you spend online, the less you do practising, making friends and producing. Make sure that you run your social networks efficiently, so that only a few minutes work can get you results.
The JustGo.com social media management tool is designed specifically to rationalise your networks so that you have more time left over to work on your music.
Be A Recognisable Face
Remember that there are other ways to get recognised in your local music scene other than DJing. Why not host your own party in an obscure venue with some friends, or hand out your tracks to local DJs? If you expect people to be interested in your music, do not forget to take an interest in other DJs’ sets, this will be an opportunity to make friends, and to meet important contacts.
It is hard to predict where your career will go, but, if you immerse yourself among the right people, you have a healthy chance of making the connection that will give you a break.
Interacting with young people is the key to sparking or extending a career. While the market it full of great DJs providing music for older fans, many younger people are just starting to choose their own music, which is a great opportunity for you to show them something new. If you give people below clubbing age good material, by the time they are old enough to come to your sets you will have created a new generation of fans for your music.
These tips should provide an outline for setting your career in the right direction and keeping it on track. It may seem like a lot, it is, but by planning and knowing your priorities in each area, should should be able to handle your career efficiently.
Tell us in the comments how each tip works for you, or if you have any.
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Facebook is often heralded as a marketing super-tool, but some mistakes – like buying fake likes – can seriously blunt your social network.
Custom audiences on Facebook allow you to advertise to a given group of people, chosen by you to best contribute to your publicity.
Facebook’s advertising tools include a system, which allows page users to define an audience for their ads, rather than marketing to all users. This means that as a DJ you can make your ad-spend really count by arranging it so that only the Facebook users who are most likely to like your page or attend your performances will see your marketing.
Getting your Facebook content seen by as many people as possible, for free, relies on understanding and providing what the Facebook users enjoy.
Marketers and analysts know a great deal about how to get your Facebook content seen for free. A few simple choices within how a post is structured and your page’s relation to other pages can greatly increase the audience of your content.