DJs are the kind of professionals who are usually seen at weddings and parties, to liven up the celebration and add some music and possible mixes. Most of the time, typical DJs are not seen at corporate events, since live bands usually take their place. But you could change that with just a few different approaches.
The main ways to get high paying corporate gigs is by marketing, socialising/networking, and promoting. Putting yourself out into the world with producers or even party planners could significantly improve your chances of gaining more and higher priced gigs.
Receiving high paying corporate gigs would require a few extra steps in between to ensure success as well, which we’ll cover in this article.
According to Speaking Lifestyle, “To get hired in the corporate world, you will definitely have to change your brand/context.”
Instead of calling yourself a DJ, using a different name that sounds more sophisticated, such as “Audio/Visual Professional”, can boost your bookings and allow you to charge more.
How to Get Corporate Gigs
Although printing out flyers showcasing a DJ for rent would be a simple way to spread the word around town, there are much better ways to get yourself noticed at a corporate level and could even allow you to come off as more professional. The Bandzoogle Blog lists 8 tips on how to book a corporate gig. In summary, suggestions include:
- Make a setlist of popular songs– Make sure to create a setlist of songs everyone will recognise and reach out to clients for other songs they may want to hear
- Find a unique angle– Once you find your unique angle, highlight it on your website, and make it your selling point
- Be diverse– Create multiple diverse playlists to make sure you will properly please the entire crowd
- Make your own video– The video you create is the first impression potential clients will have of you, so it is important to have great visuals and audio
- Ring in reviews!!!– Positive reviews bring in positive possibilities
- Preparation– Be prepared for anything. This step ties in with having a diverse playlist
- Support local or charities you believe in– This allows you to support a good cause, and corporate sponsors love to pay someone who cares about others and proves it through charities
- Enjoy yourself – If you are not having fun and bringing the excitement to parties, it could reflect on the crowd! Let yourself enjoy making music.
Although it may depend on the type of corporation looking for a DJ, it is safe to say that no company will hire someone who does not or cannot suit their needs.
Flexibility is one of the most important characteristics you can have when DJing, in order to make sure both the client, and the attendees, go home happy and exhausted from dancing.
Using even a few of the methods we discuss below could prove to have a long-lasting impact on your passion (or career) and could lead you to gain higher paying jobs.
How to Get a High Paying Corporate Gig at a Festival
While most people hear the word corporate, and imagine big companies with stuffy cubicles, festivals and even nightclubs can be included in the corporate category.
Festivals such as The Glastonbury Festival, or even Boomtown are usually sponsored by high paying companies, although the Glastonbury Festival is a corporation in, and of, itself. These festivals are an opportunity where names do not matter, only skills and talent!
A festival could hire Calvin Harris (for example) as one of their DJs, but if it is not a good and skillful performance, it could result in low ticket sales and even bring down his name from social media blasting. If you are not a well-known DJ, a festival would be the perfect way to spread your music and even play to show off your talent.
Know Your Niche
The most important thing about finding gigs at a festival is to find the right one for you. If a DJ specialises in EDM music, then a pop festival would not be the greatest fit.
Figure out accessibility, music genre, and even the demographics of who will be attending and DJing.
The next step in the festival research is to create a professional bio. This should be tailored very similar to a normal work resume, but it leans more toward passion and a love for music rather than background and past jobs.
Another way to showcase talent is through video reels, contacts, and samples. According to DJ Top Tips, “A ‘showreel’ is a short video showing you at work, doing what you do best.”
These videos can be used as promotional tactics and be posted on all social media networks. They should showcase the best music you have to offer and maybe even cool special affects you use to show off how a typical party usually goes down.
Using contacts could also be useful when posting these showreels and getting your name out there. Having people who have worked in this particular industry, especially those who work for big companies, can be useful most of the time, specifically when attempting to aim for a high stakes festival.
Having samples of music, on hand, and quickly accessible, can also lead to gaining a quicker gig opportunity. If a client looked over a DJs resume and was interested in working with them, the next question would be “can I hear a sample?”
Most clients will not hire you without seeing a form or credentials or hearing a sample of your music. This is to avoid hiring someone not qualified for the job, such as a DJ who claims they know exactly what techno mixes they can make, and then only makes pop mixes, against what the client wanted.
Having a quick way to simply whip out your samples and play them for someone could score brownie points with clients. Your fast response could even have them automatically consider hiring you.
How to Get a High Paying Corporate Gig at a Nightclub
High paying Nightclub gigs are mostly all about luck and meeting the right person at the right time.
Sometimes even, a little planning will go a long way.
While the information could be incorrect, it never hurts to do a little research into where specific promoters will be and how you can catch them.
DJ Tech Tools states that when meeting a promoter, “You can engage in small talk, but don’t pitch, hand out business cards, or ask for a gig. It’s better to talk about something casual, funny, or non-DJing related.”
It is best to never over-deliver to a manager or promoter. Slide in an easy conversation, follow-up with an email, and try to casually snag a gig without making them feel trapped and without being too overbearing.
The most important part of networking is to talk with as many people as possible to try and get your name spread out and about.
Who knows, perhaps the DJ is looking for someone to fill in due to an emergency or just really needs to take a bathroom break and needs someone to cover their turntables and soundtrack.
Maybe someone in the crowd is looking for a DJ to play at their birthday party and the perfect opportunity was just presented to them.
DJing, specifically at nightclubs, is all about networking and communication.
Never be afraid to ask questions or chat with random strangers in order to make it a good night for both parties and hopefully walk away with a brand-new gig opportunity.
When people come to Nightclubs, they expect to have a great night full of laughs and giggles, not to mention the hype of the music and the rush of dancing. If the vibe is right and people are getting excited and enjoying the music, the night will be one to remember!
Ways to Promote and Spread the Word About Available Gigs
As a DJ, the two ways of receiving gigs are either going out to hunt for them, or them finding their way to you.
The easiest and quickest way to earn gigs is by promoting yourself on every platform possible. This includes Social Media, Google, Job Sites, and even good old flyers.
If a DJ were to go out to parties, or nightclubs every week (or even every day) they would generate a wide scale of potential clients and possible collaborators.
Most DJs are friendly and approachable. Not only is it part of the job, it results in better ratings and more clients, so it would be no shock to see numerous people up at the DJ stand, chatting or even requesting songs.
This would be a perfect networking opportunity. Simply walking up to talk to the DJ and possibly getting some tips, or even their contact information for further assistance or collaboration opportunities is a great way to get your name out.
If a big corporation or investor hires a DJ for their event, talking with that DJ could even lead to having them mention your name to their clients (who will then mention it to other friends and co-workers). Before you know it, your name has been circled throughout the entire corporate cycle.
Another efficient way to promote your company would be to give handouts.
While today’s generation mostly uses phones and not CDs or USBs anymore, many corporate decision-makers still use a laptop. Giving out a giveaway with a link and/or a QR code to your Spotify account would allow users to easily scan or type the information into a browser to view all the music that you have released to the public.
Giving out a simple social media handle such as an Instagram page or Snapchat could allow for faster exposure, specifically through the younger generations.
Asking people to screenshot and repost something posted on snapchat will cause them to post it on their story and tag you in it, then their followers will add by mention and the cycle goes on and on.
Essentially, any type of social media platform, invite platform, or even discussion platform could allow any DJ to get their music and name spread through the system faster. Although most people do not usually look at flyers hanging around town, maybe placing them in a crowded or usually populated area will cause passers-by to take a second and read the information on it. Popular websites, areas, or even highways could be the big chance to receive more exposure.
Although it may be discouraging, starting small as a DJ will allow you to climb up the social ladder in order to make a name for yourself and promote your work to others.
Having a popular name will not always be a good thing though.
Just because a DJs name is passed around does not always mean it is good, so make sure to stay on top of your responsibilities and get those good reviews rolling in.
Earning More Money as a DJ
The amount of money earned working as a DJ depends mostly on who the client is, how much the company makes, and even what type of event it is. While there are many factors that could go into a DJs salary, The Bash was able to research at which parties DJs usually earn the most. This includes events such as:
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While these prices vary depending on multiple situations, most jobs will allow DJs to set their own price and either agree, or even negotiate to see if they could get a lower rate.
When deciding how much to charge for each gig are some factors to consider. Drawing upon inspiration from LSA’s article, here are some of those learnings:
- Show off what makes you unique– Make sure you find a unique selling point/proposition, or USP, that can set you apart from the other DJs. Everyone has their own style and personality, so use that to your advantage when trying to bring in more clients and receive larger, more lucrative gigs
- Calculate your expenses to develop your fee schedule – Take into consideration how much you will have to spend on transportation, fuel, parking, equipment, insurance, and even how much it costs to download certain music
- Justify your costs– While most clients will attempt to negotiate for a different or lower price, it is important to justify the amount being charged due to the costs necessary in order to perform at their events.
- Define your value proposition – Have a clear value of what you are worth as a DJ and ensure that you don’t sell yourself short. Comparing other DJs prices with those of your own could provide a great example
- Focus on charging for the entire project; not an hourly fee – While charging for an hourly fee is okay for mobile DJs, Club DJs should focus on charging for their set in-total, since they may only play once during the night.
- Put yourself out there– Promote the gigs! Do not rely on paying a promoter to do it when using your own words and knowledge could take you much further.
- Be visible so you’re a known quantity – Every gig or show played is an opportunity for people to hear remixes, samples, and even to see a DJs partying style. While yes, there is money involved, it is always good to play like it is a normal party between friends, to just relax, and have people see your true self.
- Money Matters – Everyone needs money in some way or form, especially when it comes to a type of service. If a DJ feels uncomfortable discussing money with producers, signing on a manager, or even a close friend could help to have as a negotiator in order to smooth over the transaction process.
While there are many ways to earn more money, these are some of the most important to remember.
Each DJ is different and unique in their own way and that is something that will always drive clients towards you. These clients want someone unique, or even popular, in order to enjoy good music and even be able to brag to others about what entertainment they enjoyed that night.
DJing is somewhat of a “you scratch my back, I`ll scratch yours” way of thinking because while clients are doing the DJ a favour of paying them for their services, the DJ is also doing the client a favour by making their night memorable.
This is why it is very important to listen to both parties so that everyone walks away happy.
DJing has a lot of aspects to it which go much further than simply knowing how to mix songs into cool tracks. Socialising, networking, and promoting are the top three ways to get recognised and receive more gigs, which can lead to higher paying gigs as well.
While every DJ has their own unique abilities and ways of networking, these tips are sure to ensure success. Even so, it never hurts to add a special twist and make it your own.