Episode 143: How to Get More DJ Gigs

Episode 143 focuses on a heavily requested topic: HOW DO WE GET MORE DJ GIGS?! While there’s no magic formula, we do have some tips to try and connect with more people and line up more opportunities. For some bonus tips on how to get more DJ gigs, subscribe to our Patreon page to receive our monthly bonus show: Afterparty!

Here are some things we cover in today’s episode of The Passionate DJ Podcast:

Online Presence

Make sure your online presence is up to snuff! Make sure to have a personal website to act as your “home base”, that reaches out to your social media platforms of choice. Then, use social media for your interactive engagement with your current and potential fans.

Your website should include a photo gallery (with a few of your very best photos), social media links, contact information, playable mixes (and tracks, if you’re a producer), a mobile-friendly design, a way to capture email followers, and a place to buy any merch or music you might be selling.

It’s also important to remember that social media is a portal to interact with our current and potential fans. You want to find a balance in regards to promoting your work… nobody wants to be that spammy DJ.

In today’s show, we talk about how to get the most out of your social media platforms. Primarily, we discuss the metric of engagement, and how much that matters.

So how do these platforms determine engagement? By measuring how much other people interact with you and your posts. Likes, shares, follows, hearts, views… all of these things contribute to the way your posts rank.

Posts that get a lot of engagement are often boosted in the algorithm (on platforms such as Facebook). This means that it will get seen by more people, without you paying to boost it.

This is why it’s important to mix up the types of posts you make: different people will engage with different types of posts!

Promotional Materials

You’ll also want to develop effective promotional materials, for when you’re ultimately asked. At least an EPK or a One-Sheet is essential, but you could go really interactive and present a promo video introducing yourself to anyone discovering you on the web.

Electronic Press Kit (EPK)

An EPK is a brief digital “resumé” for your work as an artist. It’s hyper-focused on all of the stuff that is needed by a promoter, or the media. This is where you can include information about yourself, provide materials related to your brand, and introduce your sound.

In the episode, we make several suggestions on what to include in your press kit:

  • a few good photos
  • a (very) short bio
  • the best examples of your work
  • social media & contact info

Promo Video

Some DJs choose to step it up, and create a promotional video. This is a great way to stand out on your social media platforms, and is easier to get done than it’s ever been in the past.

A good promo video is short (30 seconds is good, 90 seconds is too long), and helps introduce your brand and sound to potential fans.

Include up to three killer facts or endorsements (if you have them), testimonials (especially mobile or wedding DJs!), social media info… and one clear and direct call-to-action. This is something that you want the viewer to do, such as subscribe to your YouTube channel or join your email list.

Some people choose to create these videos on their own, but you can also get the job done by posting it on Fiverr.

Doing Research

You never know what is happening at a gig, another show, or any number of unique opportunities that exist. Get ahead of the curve, and do some research.

Some points we make in the episode:

  • Scout out other nights
  • Arrive early
    • Observe the energy in the room & decide where to take it
    • Interact with patrons & staff
    • Show willingness to support others in the community
    • Give yourself time to react to disaster

Also, remember to interact and speak with the promoter/manager/wedding planner. You want to foster those positive & mutually-beneficial relationships.

Thinking Outside The Box

It’s easy to get stuck in our own head, about the types of gigs we are limited to. That’s where thinking outside of the box comes in.

For example, there are a lot of ways to define a warmup gig – not only is this a support role where you play a supporting role for a headlining DJ, but it can mean many different things.

In the episode, David mentions the example of a semi-annual fashion show he has played for many years. He is responsible for playing chill, laid-back music to the models and photographers during the early hours (before the actual show starts). He “warms them up” while they are having hors d’oeuvres and performing a photo shoot.

There are many other types of venues and events, and we bring up several examples:

  • Coffee shops
  • Fashion shows
  • Crossfit
  • Sporting events
  • Street fairs
  • Quirky shops

Of course, another common option for those DJs who feel they have nowhere else to go: starting and building your own night.

Outreach

In Episode 143, we also talk about the need for outreach. Gigs aren’t just going to fall into our laps… we need to hustle them into existence!

As Tony often says… a closed mouth doesn’t get fed.

We approach the conversation from two main angles: pitching, and the followup.

When pitching an idea to a venue, promoter, etc. it’s important to be able to explain the full concept for your night in less than 5 minutes. Ideally, you can give the full idea in a 30-second “elevator pitch”. Explain your concept, and describe the value that you’re offering to their business or brand.

In other words, identify the gaps in their musical programming… and explain to them how you can remedy that.

It’s extremely important to follow-up with your contacts, because not every gig is going to land after the first ask. Of course, there are limits… but only making an ask one time, is guaranteed to leave a lot of gigs on the table.

Continuing to stay in contact with each other (and eventually, providing repeat value) will help you to see increased results.

Collaboration

Of course, we always like to promote a spirit of collaboration here on Passionate DJ… and that’s where we wrap up the conversation in Episode 143.

There are a number of benefits to working with partners towards a common goal:

  • Increased gigs for both parties.
  • The ability to break into new markets.
  • Playing off the strengths of each party involved in the project.

We also discuss the importance of determining and defining your common goals, being patient, putting aside ego, and having strong communication.

Links and Resources 

Here are the links and resources mentioned in Episode 143:

Listen Now: