In this blog, I want to identify what helped me over my 9 years as a Melbourne based DJ and how it can help you achieve big things in a shorter time. This is for the bedroom DJ/Producer, deciding to make a career out of DJing, who can see a fulfilling future for him or herself in the music industry.
Decide you want to make it a Career
Believe it or not, the hardest thing for most people is to make a life changing decision, as it will affect the course of their future. It doesn’t matter if it is to be a DJ or to take an important job offer, we can all procrastinate on a decision, and overthinking is the biggest killer to progress. What accelerates progress in any area in our lives is to make clearly defined goals or outcomes of what we want to set out and achieve.
Some people reading this may just want to take up DJing as a hobby, while others want to make more of it and achieve bigger things. Whatever you decide is fine, but make sure you are doing it for all the right reasons before you make a commitment. What will give you the motivation to achieve goals are the clarity of why you want to become a DJ. Start with why.
Learn from an Expert DJ/Producer
Something overlooked these days is the advice we seek from people to learn things. We seem to get many tips, tricks, and opinions from others, but how many of those people can you say are experts in their craft? It’s not smart to take advice from people not succeeding in what you want to succeed in. Whatever you are looking to achieve, make sure it is an expert in that field. Walking the same path as someone you admire is the best and most efficient way to get results that will bring you the reward later in your career.
Seeking mentors, coaches, and a trainer is a must for any DJ/Producer looking to get anywhere fast. Just be sure you are a great student that will learn and do the work.
Become an advocate listener of the DJ’s
What makes you a great DJ and producer is the ability to listen to plenty of music over the course of your career, continued learning; it should never stop. It gives you perspective and insight how you can apply other DJ/Producers ideas and techniques and turn them into your own. A great book on how you can do this is from an author, called Austin Kleon. In his book Steal Like An Artist, he explains how everything in this world is just one gigantic remix, and nothing is ever original; everyone copies with their own unique twist and spin on ideas. A DJ does this in a nightclub. This is how to DJ in a nightclub. Put your own unique spin on other people’s music to make it your own.
The endless possibilities come from you listening and watching as many DJ’s as possible and generating more ideas and insights then making them your own. This was the best way I learnt to DJ in nightclubs.
Focus on your craft/product
Honing in on your Craft/Skills/Product is what will determine how much value you hold in others people’s eyes. As they say, skills pay the bills, and to become an expert, you need to train like one. What makes people a real pro is dedicated practice in one specific area until you get results or hit goals. Robert Green’s book, Master beautifully explains it. To become a master at anything, you need to dedicate yourself to that career. Dedicated Practice is also mentioned in a book, called Peak by K. Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool.
It’s not something many people do, because it is hard and requires extreme drive, passion, sacrifice, and uncertainty. Which is why most people will always choose a nine to five, because it gives people a great sense of certainty and security. To make a living from being an Artist requires a great deal of uncertainty and time, where you just cannot see light at the end of the tunnel. It requires risk and a different lifestyle choice compared to other people.
This is why I started with the importance of your decision making.
Your product being the music, your skills will determine your success and income. Being an expert in your field and having a unique product makes you money and keeps you in the music industry.
Realise you need to market and network yourself
You and your product are nothing without a strong network and many successful marketing campaigns behind it. To ignore either of the two is complete ignorance, and I am sorry to say, you may as well not even bother to make a career out of it if you are not willing to learn Marketing and Networking. I will honestly say I am not the strongest marketer and networker; however, I know the role it plays in my career, so I continue to learn and apply new techniques. It’s all trial and error.
It’s a learning experience, and to grow my brand and my confidence levels, I just keep applying myself, which is what every DJ must do to get to new levels of growth. No matter how good you and your product are, it won’t make an impact, unless it has the support or a team behind it to push it through a flooded market. Make it a task to learn something new each week.
I hope you got a lot of value from this blog, if you are interested feel free to check out The DJ Disclosure Training Website.