Getting DJ gigs: Where to start? Part 3

In this final blog of the three-part series, I am going to talk about adding value to get DJ gigs. And more in-depth ways to contribute towards the nightclubs you want to be a part of. The music industry needs continued contribution in order for it to survive and grow. And as DJs, we must add value in order to get DJ gigs.

Armin van buuren - Armin Only Tour in Minsk-Arena

Armin van buuren - Armin Only Tour in Minsk-Arena

The challenges I faced

When I started out as a bedroom DJ eight and a half years ago, I thought if I just stayed at home, practised every night until I had the ability and confidence to put together an excellent quality mixtape, then I would have all I needed to play to an audience. Well, I sure was wrong. I found out quickly that it was not as easy as I thought it would be. You see, great musical taste and skills were not the only thing I needed to get gigs. There was more to it than that. I needed to have a sufficient amount of people to bring into a nightclub in order for a promoter to book me. Nightclubs need to put on a DJ who can attract people into a nightclub.


Because it’s about what the DJ and his patrons can do for a nightclub, not what the nightclub can do for you. Not just in monetary gain, but for reputation, survival, and growth. On top of that, there is also another side to it. That’s the need to have the right contacts and connections in order to get a foot in the door, which will take time to develop and should always be an ongoing process throughout your DJ career.

So how can we become someone of value in order to get DJ gigs?
When we start adding value we gain rapport off people. In other words, they will see us as someone of value.

Ways to add value

Adding value is the number-one thing every DJ must do to get gigs. Contribution is the fastest way toward any DJ gig. Here are some ways you can contribute to nightclubs, the music industry, and its people.

  • Bring a group of friends with you on a regular basis into nightclubs each week.
  • Become a promoter, promoting event flyers, selling tickets, spreading the word by bringing your friends and other people through the door.
  • Produce your own music, but more so having a great, influential online presence. This includes having raving fans, followers who listen to your material and are always liking, commenting, and sharing your music, as all promoters look for this.
  •  Have great branding and imagery that looks professional and would make promoters want to check out your profile. This is great representation from a promoter’s standpoint.
  • Be respectful to all people including patrons, promoters, and all DJs. Have a positive, can-do attitude. This is half the battle as there is a lot of jealous negativity and bad attitudes out there. Take time out for people and be willing to meet, greet, and get to know them on a personal level by taking an interest in them first and asking questions about them.
  • Think of ways you can make a difference in the music industry in any form of contribution, like starting up your own night or event, maybe even starting some type of education and training for people.

See it as business

See the business side of it and don't take things personally. If you are a DJ who is not continually adding value in some way or another, you will find it hard to get any sort of reciprocation when it comes to DJ gigs. You have to be worth something to a nightclub, despite being a great DJ. You have to be a DJ who will be hard to replace in value. The reality is you are either an asset or a liability when it comes to a nightclub. Sounds harsh, but you either enhance the nightclub, make the nightclub money, or you don’t.

If you are in a position where you are starting out, now is the time to think of ways and have a plan to add value to people. If you are in a hard place right now and not getting the results you want, or DJ gigs, review your plans. Ask yourself, how can I help people in music? How can I be better at adding value in the areas mentioned above? There is always a way to get around these challenges.

It can be challenging at times when you work hard at what you do, you have a great passionate for music, and it seems that other people seem to get a shot and you don’t.

Keep trying and don't give up

Do the work and know your time will come. Don't give up because you have had bad experiences with people or an unsettling situation. The reality is you will most likely fail before you have any success with DJ gigs and in music industry. Just embrace it, and find a good group of friends who will support you through your DJ journey. Failure is a better teacher than success, and every time you fail, remember that you are one step closer to success, which is your first DJ gig.

Feel free to comment below and ask me any questions.

Posted on February 2, 2016 and filed under DJ gigs.