Social media as a DJ/producer can be a frustrating game for some. It’s more important now than ever before to grow your DJ following in order to grow your brand, become known, and get the gigs. Our success can really depend on the numbers we have on our Facebook, SoundCloud, and Instagram accounts. Although, I feel our success is determined by how we grow on the inside to become the person we were meant to be, on the outside as a musician being popular or not determines just how far one can go. In this blog, I will talk about why we struggle to get followers/likes, and what we can do to overcome this challenge.
The problems with growing your DJ following
I have seen the dramatic shift that has taken place in the music industry over the last decade, and being a Melbourne based DJ, I consistently see DJ/producers struggle, like myself, to build a following and get those likes. I have also done some of the things I will mention in this blog, with many other DJ/producers, to get more likes, listens, or followers. The biggest mistake we make when trying to grow a following is we don’t understand it takes multiple points of contact with any individual.
This is the scenario in most cases…
You are a talented DJ/producer; however, you are not known in the music industry and have a small following on paper. You have been working super hard in the studio making music or you have just finished a DJ mix with some of your best music ever. You can’t wait to show everyone, you're so excited, so you get on Facebook, Instagram, and SoundCloud to upload and share your work, hoping people will jump on board and love your music just as much as you do, so much so, they follow you, like your music, and are hanging out for your next masterpiece.
Then the harsh reality comes. What we thought would happen doesn’t. You start spamming to get attention, you contact and message random people to say “Hi, I am so and so; check out my music at SoundCloud etc.” No-one or few people respond to your call; you get frustrated, confused, and disheartened, wondering why people don’t really care like you wanted them to.
Here is why in two words…
A solution to building an online presence
The average modern DJ/producer doesn't grow their brand the way they would like to, because they don’t understand or cannot link the importance of relationships. Relationships equal likes, and to grow your DJ following, you need to build lots of them. There is are certain stages that connect the average person to you, to start liking your music and your brand.
Those stages are…
At a glance, when they look at your brand for the first time, you are unheard of or at least unknown, then the second or third time people will become familiar with your brand; from three or more visits, people will become curious with what you offer. After this stage, they are more inclined to check out your music, because curiosity has gotten the better of them. Whether they find your music valuable, you will move onto the next stage, which is to become known to that individual. If they find what you have valuable, then they will follow/like you, but to build a following of super fans and get people to buy into you, they have to trust you. Trust with someone online is as good as a relationship.
Think of this as an evolutionary process, because it really is; however, many DJs don’t view it like this. The modern DJ and music producer falls into the trap of instant gratification and wants that like or super fan in one initial point of contact; unfortunately, it usually does not work like that. A great book and approach I have used to build my following and add value is Gary Vaynerchuk’s principle Jab, Jab, Jab right hook. What does this mean? It means that to get a subscriber, a sale, a like, or even a super fan, you need to give three points of value before you ask for the like. I have found this to be a very good concrete method to grow a DJ following, and I would highly recommend this book Jab Jab Jab Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk.
A practical conclusion
To get a like, follow, or super fan, the modern DJ/producer must change their approach to how they contact and connect with people. I guarantee you, if you contact a random person asking them to follow you on SoundCloud or listen to your music on first attempt, you will definitely screw up any chance of ever getting that person interested in you and your music. Would you go up to someone you have never met before and ask them to buy you lunch? I don’t think so, so why is the mentality gone out the window for communication online?
Realise it’s an evolutionary process and don’t fall into the trap of instant gratification and poor communication. Always offer value and get to know people first. To grow a brand requires constant value, complete omnipresence, and consistent communication. If you can do this over time, you will build trust, create a valuable brand, and become successful in the music industry.
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