In this blog, I want to talk about what promoters look for when booking a DJ. Having been behind the scenes for a Melbourne premier trance promoter, Majik Entertainment, for three years, I learned many valuable things. This will help give you the perspective of what goes through the mind of a promoter. Here is how to get DJ gigs at clubs.
Become influential online
A promoter likes to see engagement in a DJ online. Hype and an influential presence is almost everything when it comes to getting attention. I say almost everything because networking makes up the other aspect, which I will get to in a moment. Followers/fans online do two things. First, they show people that a DJ/artist is popular, with a certain amount of credibility. The second thing that they do is indicate to a promoter that this DJ could be a great candidate for their night if they are suited musically for the gig. This means having the right sound and style for a particular time-slot.
The more followers one has, the better, because it limits the potential risk that a promoter has to take when booking you for the gig, as they expect you to get people in the door. This is why numbers matter online, much like plays, likes, follows and comments on music. It’s essential to look like a pro, by having congruent branding and fitting images to go along with your identity, and dressing for the part when it comes to press shots, as it is massive when it comes to growing your brand as a DJ.
From word of mouth
The music industry in Melbourne, and perhaps other certain places in the world, can be a very tightly-knit field, and word travels fast, whether good or bad. A great reputation is built by a person who is not only a great DJ and producer, but who also has the ability to network and communicate effectively to others. This is the key to get DJ gigs at clubs, it relies on your ability to get your message heard by others. It’s not always just how good your music is. I have known some awesome DJ producers who are super talented artists, but when it came to having people skills and a good reputation from word of mouth, it was shocking.
No one will work with people who have bad attitudes or reputations. This goes for online too. Don’t be the type to be the keyboard warrior on Facebook. Promoters are always watching what happens with big news and line-ups. On the other hand, if you have a good reputation, you will be surprised how fast you can get to where you want to go. The gigs can come flying your way by multiple promoters at any given time. It has happened to me when I least expected it, and it can happen to you, only if you get out there and get active so that people can get to know you. Hiding in a bedroom and waiting for the call could be a long wait that most likely will not happen if you don’t become known in the scene by networking and adding value.
Know your key influences
Following my last point, getting active in the industry is the first step to know like-minded people, but to know people of key influence that can put you on for your gigs, become a promoter. By becoming a promoter, you can get gigs through that avenue and get to know the big names in the industry. Will it take time? Yes. It is a longer route most definitely, but it is highly effective, sustainable, and rewarding, with great long-term gains. “Promoters love contributors, and that is what they look for the in the industry,” says Giovanni Polizzi of Majik Entertainment.
Be so good they can’t ignore you
Your music is always your golden ticket, but just how good are you as a DJ and electronic music producer? There are so many people out there that want what you want—to be the star of the show—but can you honestly look at all of the competition out there and say to yourself that your music is by far the best in your genre or niche for your hometown? And if so, do you have the stats and reputation to back it up? I don’t want to sound like a pessimist, but the reality is that most DJs don’t, and yet they get shitty at promoters because they don’t get the attention they deserve.
If you can clearly answer yes, that you are one of the best, and you have a great online presence but still don’t get booked, then perhaps get on board as a promoter, and attend more networking seminars where you can be exposed. I come across a lot of people with a fixed mindset that only want to do things their way and do what is comfortable for them. Hence, they struggle in the industry. I used to be a horrible networker, but thats because I never did it. I still don’t regard myself as a pro networker by any means, but I had to do something different, and that is what I am saying to you.
Tick off the skills, online presence/following, and then go network. Or, just network your way to success. Believe me, it happens. That's one way to get DJ gigs at clubs.
What have you tried that has worked or not worked for you so far?
Leave those comments below ;)