Being a DJ is a different type of hustle compared to being a musician, playing in a band or even typical musical industry work. It’s a solo career that tends to require a lot of consistent work, a healthy amount of self-promotion, and very few people who will actively sympathise with your workload. Like with other music careers, networking is key.
But what are the best networking tips and tricks for DJs? It all depends on how you’re trying to network with others. Different tips will work better depending on which route you choose, including:
- Social Media
- Job Listing
- Networking With Fans
- Networking At Clubs
- Industry Meetups
In order to get a better grasp of how you can network with professionals, it’s a good idea to research smart tips that are tailored to the networking method you’re going to use. This guide will help you figure out what you need to do and how you can do it successfully to ensure that you help expand your name in the realms of the DJing world.
Before Using Networking Tips and Tricks for DJs…
It’s great that you want to network with others to further your career. In fact, you should congratulate yourself on that. However, you can’t just dive right in and hope for the best. You need to make sure you have a brand, a sound, a genre, and a goal in mind.
Do not try to network until you have the following things set up:
- Music/Mixes. If you want to be a DJ and don’t have any mixes, equipment, or music you made, you need to work on this area first before networking. A DJ without any evidence of their work is not going to get very far with networking. Work on a little bit of music before you try to broach a booking!
- Business Cards. If you’re going for a networking event, they’re pretty much a must.
- Social Media Handles. Try to be on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram at the very least.
- A Logo. It’s a good way to tie in your brand.
- Releases Online. Soundcloud and Spotify are good starting points. If you have a YouTube video, all the better.
Remember, without anything to show anyone, trying to further your career won’t be possible. To get started, focus on getting a few mixes together, set up your social media handles, publish onto Soundcloud and get networking.
Social Media for DJs
In most music scenes, social media is what makes or breaks a musician’s career. If you don’t have a lot of followers, most record labels and club promoters will ignore you. So, it’s a good idea to really brush up on your social media skills. Here’s how to make the most of your posts.
- Post regularly, and keep it upbeat. Positive and inspiring DJ posts are posts that get likes, fans, and followers. Consistent posts keep people engaged. Both are important to make sure that you get the love you deserve.
- Tell people to spread the word, check out new music, and support you. Studies show telling people to do something will increase the chances of them supporting you.
- Use good graphics. You might be a DJ, but social media is a visual thing. Good graphics make for good numbers.
- Hashtags are important. Hashtags aren’t just for Twitter anymore. They’re pretty much the way people discover posts that involve their interests. By adding at least six hashtags, you’re making it easier for fans to find you.
These basic tips are good for laying out a good social media campaign, but that’s not all you need to do. You also will need to do a little extra outreach to make your campaign gain traction.
Reaching Out to Others Online
Social media is great for finding new fans, groups, and promoters interested in booking you. Reaching out to them is a must. Here’s how to increase your visibility online and make connections using your platform:
- Joining Similar Groups. Participating in online groups is a great way to find new fans, give people a way to connect to you, and also makes it clear that you’re legitimately into your scene.
- Sending Love to Others. Compliments are a great icebreaker when you’re trying to network with others in your music scene. Giving others a compliment is a great way to get them more open to speaking with you and collaborating with you.
- Ask for Feedback. A good way to get better at music and maybe show fans your humble side is to ask for feedback on tracks. Who knows? You might just find a mentor online through your work.
Promoting Your Social Media Campaign
To get the most out of your social media efforts, you will need to make a point of getting as much reach as possible out of each profile you have. Just making quality posts will only do so much. These tips and tricks can help you get the most out of every post you make:
- Don’t be afraid to boost or advertise your posts. People pay for ads because they work. If you invest on a good number of posts, you will most likely find new fans and get taken more seriously.
- Cross-promote your social media platforms. Remind people on Twitter that you have a Snapchat. Remind Facebookers that you are also on Twitter. The more you get followers on every platform, the better off you’ll be.
- Collaborate with influencers and other musicians. The best way to get more fans is to reach out to others in your scene and do collaborations with them. By teaming up, you can pool fans and gain more visibility. y
- Don’t forget to put your social media handles on your business cards and merch. It matters, and it gives you a way to make sure people know which handles are legitimately yours.
When in doubt, hiring someone for your social media campaign is a wise idea. Your DJ career is a business, why wouldn’t you treat it like one.
Job Listing Networking
Believe it or not, you can actually find a lot of great connects for DJs by just applying to online gigs on sites like Craigslist or Upwork. If you’re looking for quick work, these types of gigs will offer a decent amount of money and possibly access to more upscale opportunities.
The best way to work any gigs you land through these routes is to prove to the gig issuer that you know what you’re doing. When you show you’re capable and reliable, those connects will be more likely to hire you again or introduce you to heavy hitters.
Networking With Fans
If you’re already playing gigs around town, you already know how important it is to network with fans. Fans aren’t just great for increasing your gig turnout and boosting demand for your songs; they can also help you increase your network.
Not sure how to network with fans or improve your reach through them? Here are some smart tips and tricks to try that can boost your time spent with fans:
- Tell fans to support you when you enter contests that require fan votes. The more engaged your fans are, the better your career will be.
- Have giveaways for fans. People love free stuff from the artists they enjoy. Giveaways, especially when it involves audience participation, will help you get your name out there.
- Regularly shout out your fans. A lot of major DJs befriended fans back in the day. It can work wonders for you.
- Create inside jokes about your brand with fans. Part of networking with your fans is knowing how to grow a community around your brand. Inside jokes and communication makes it happen.
The thing about networking with your fans is that it’s a numbers game, and you need to use personal discretion to figure out who’s worth your time. For every dozen or so people who won’t be able to do much aside from offer support, you’ll find one or two who might link you up with a bigwig.
Networking at Clubs
Any DJ who wants a booking will need to go to clubs on a regular basis. Not having any “facetime” in your local scene often means you won’t meet the people who make decisions about bookings and have ties to record labels. So, expect to hit the club and do it the right way.
Going to Clubs Like a DJ
Of course, just showing up at the club isn’t enough to get bookings, you’ll need to approach it in the right way. Here’s how to network the right way next time you go out:
- Attitude is Everything. Appearing confident is key when networking in clubs, but you don’t want to be seen as over confident and even arrogant. After all you are looking to make new connections and friends.
- Dress well. DJs have to have a certain level of showmanship, and that includes looking good. Promoters and fans tend to be more attracted to DJs who look as good as they sound. By dressing well, you’re signaling that you know how to be professional and presentable.
- Meet (and befriend) other regulars. Promoters will always want to book people who regulars know and love. By being part of your scene’s local communities, your networking efforts will bear a lot more fruit.
- Offer to help around the club if need be. DJs that are willing to help make parties good without pay are the DJs who often will get their reward in the form of bookings and networking opportunities.
- Pass around business cards. This is a networking moment for you. Bring your business cards and make sure you present your cards at the correct time to the correct people.
Networking With Headliners
If there’s one person you should try to get cozy with, it’s the headliners and current DJs on your local club lineups. The people on the lineup are where you want to be, so why not join their crowd? Go out, compliment their sets, and trade information. You never know who will help you get a big break!
Are you looking to take your DJ career to the next level? Do you want to get a record deal or start working with more people in PR? If so, you might want to start going to the music industry meetups.
A quick online search will help reveal good events you can attend. Make sure to dress well, grab your business cards, and get groomed. It’s time to make a splash with your local bigwigs.
Who to Watch For
Industry meetups offer up huge opportunities to meet people who generally don’t show up at clubs. These meetups tend to be a little more corporate than what most DJs are used to, but that’s what makes them so powerful. They give you opportunities to reach out to people.
When going to a meetup, make sure to trade cards with everyone. But, if you can, make a point of getting in touch with people who have these job titles below:
- Record Labels Employees. It doesn’t matter if they’re a sound tech or a major executive. Any in is still an in you should have. You never know what kind of record deal you might be able to score.
- DJs. As a DJ, you can never have too many friends who also enjoy spinning a record too. DJs have a tendency of helping one another out and can be excellent friends. A collaboration with the right DJ can launch you to stardom. So, keep in touch.
- Media and PR Professionals. Having the right PR person on your team can build up buzz immensely. Don’t underestimate these people! They often have major connections that are difficult to reach. By befriending them, you can easily find yourself in the top echelons of music… and maybe also getting some good press.
Important Tips For Meetups
Meetups that are industry-centric aren’t like your typical night out. Being too casual can end up harming your reputation with top players, and may also make people think you aren’t serious. Since these are very delicate interactions, you need to know how to act around them.
If you’re new to upscale meetups, these tips below will help you make the most of your time:
- Treat every person as a potential employer. Meetups are a formal matter, and to a point, act a lot like job interviews. People are sniffing you out, wondering whether they should book you, or if you are really serious. Be professional, and show you’re the real deal!
- Remember that it’s a numbers game. Every connection you make won’t be a big break, but it will help expand your circle. The more people you meet, the more likely it is that you’ll run into a top promoter!
- Never be rude or snobby. This is a rule that should be applied to just about every aspect of your networking career, but it’s doubly true when it comes to meetups. You never know who knows who, or who might be willing to work with you. Don’t discredit anyone, and you’ll keep your options open.
- Don’t flirt at professional events! Sure, the girls might be gorgeous, but you don’t wneed to flirt at these events. People talk. It can ruin your reputation in the long and short term.
- Reach out to people after the meetup, and keep them in the loop. Connections you make at meetups only matter if you actually stay in touch. So, make a point to reach out via email.
Universally Important Networking Tips
DJs have it rough when it comes to navigating the music world. It’s a particularly rough field to get into, and it’s a journey every DJ has to make on his own. Not all DJs will succeed in making it big. But, these final tips can help you make the most of your networking efforts, regardless of how you reach out:
- Learn from others, and don’t be afraid to ask for advice. A lot of famous DJs wouldn’t have got as famous if they didn’t learn better skills from others around them. Asking for help doesn’t make you look stupid; it makes you look ambitious and improves your spin game.
- Keep a detailed list of people you’ve worked with and the events you’ve played. Your events are your resume, and playing with big names will get you far. That being said, you never know who will get big in five years’ time.
- Watch out for hustlers. When you’re in music, everyone will have a service to offer you. Some are legitimate. Some aren’t. Before you hand over any cash, make sure that it’s something worth buying and that you’ll actually get what you pay for
- Know when to ask and when to stop pushing. Asking for help is great, but if you notice that someone isn’t comfortable, let it go. You don’t want to be known as the pushy DJ that begs for gigs.
- Above all, support your scene. The scene needs DJs, but it needs support for those parties even more. So, promote local parties regardless of whether you get booked. It’s a win for everyone involved.