Getting DJ Gigs: Where to start? Part 2

In this blog I continue to identify some simple key areas that all DJs need to address to achieve gigs. You may or may not know where to start, but it really comes down to understanding and then applying some effort in the following areas I will cover. In part 2 here
I will talk about the importance of networking, what can stop us from networking and how to approach it from the ground up.

Pioneer CDJ 2000s

Pioneer CDJ 2000s

“Nobody is ever successful on their own.” - Giovanni Polizzi,
founder of Majik Entertainment


Is paramount to any of your success in the music industry. Building long-term relationships is vital, but also thinking long-term, not short-term. The key is to make a small start and get to know people who work in nightclubs first. You don't always have to talk to the main boss or promoter to begin with; they can normally be the hardest to get a hold of. It can be better to start with bar staff, people at the door, and security to work your way up to the bigger names. If this is a club you can see yourself involved in as a DJ or promoter, it can be a great way to start.

Networking at a nightclub

Networking at a nightclub

Getting DJ gigs is not easy work and can require a great deal of networking and getting to know the right people for the job. Once people start recognising you from week to week and you begin to get conversations started with people you don't know, it becomes easier and easier. Then you can gain more confidence in approaching DJs, promoters, and club managers when it comes to the topic of DJ gigs. Social skills come from developing social confidence, so that’s why it’s important to build one step at a time and work your way from the ground up.

What stops people from networking

Not putting yourself in proximity to the right people, the right nightclubs, the right locations often enough, but more importantly, the root cause is “Fear”. Fear and being uncomfortable meeting new people for the first time, fear of rejection, and fear that we are not enough. I will be honest. I am not the greatest of networkers, and being an introvert I would rather not have to socialise with groups of people I don't know, but I had to, to get where I am today, and that’s why I am where I am today. We all have to as aspiring DJs. I feared all the things above rejection and not being good enough, but the fact is, a lot of the fear, if not all of it, is not real, and we make up false stories in our heads most of the time.

If you keep showing up and putting yourself in uncomfortable situations, doing bit by bit on a regular basis, you will eventually overcome any discomfort, and meeting new people of influence will become second nature.

Quality not quantity

Aim for a good quality group of people to become involved with and become friends with, positive, friendly, and purpose-driven people. Aim to build friendships before asking for anything off people, in this case DJ gigs. People can often think that quantity creates a club. I disagree to an extent. A quantity of people will keep the night afloat. But quality people will make a club. It will create an electric vibe and atmosphere, which people will always want to come back for more of. Nightclubs want class and passionate music enthusiasts, not trouble. So make sure you are in a quality environment, and be a quality individual.  

Make a networking list

Make a mini goal of starting to get a list together of contacts and connections and to meet at least one new person in the music industry a week, just one. That’s fifty-two new connections or contacts a year. Create a spreadsheet and write down the people you will need to meet and make friendships with, so you can get involved, contribute, and get DJ gigs. Work your way from the ground up, bar staff, other patrons, DJs, promoters, then perhaps managers. You need to build friendships with all, but more importantly, look at it long-term. Don't just think about your first DJ gig; think about your DJ future.

In part 3 of this series, I will talk about how you can add value to people’s lives, create rapport, and make people like you.

Posted on January 24, 2016 and filed under DJ gigs.