Is there a fast way to become a successful DJ? Well, I can say, over a 9-year career as a Melbourne based DJ, there most definitely is a faster way. It will still take time, but as I look back on my career, I can suggest what I know will help you get better results in a shorter period of time.
Study successful DJ’s
It’s not about reinventing the wheel; it’s all about studying the successful traits of a DJ. What makes them good compared to others? What is their music selection like when they play? How is their sound different and what makes their brand get attention online? These questions are just some to ask yourself, along with many more you will build in time. In the beginning of your DJ career, you want to become the observer, the watcher, going out every week to study the crowds, the DJs, and the music in the nightclubs.
I always used to do this, and I was curious to find out how to get DJ gigs in a nightclub, so I was always out and about. I always learnt so much more by watching my favourite DJ, rather than just sitting home and watching a DJ set on YouTube. You get to feel what the DJs feel in the clubs and that’s the atmosphere. You can’t get that at home.
But, you can watch some of the YouTube videos on how you can improve in the area of DJing, whether that’s music production, marketing, or networking, and I would advise this, too.
Find that DJ and learn everything possible
Look for a mentor in the music industry that can teach you what you need to know. This is very important. It is the quickest way to greatness. It will cost you, but if you are serious about a career in the music industry, you won’t second guess it. There are many ways to go about this. You can find the right people by networking in the nightclubs, paying for one on one mentoring online or through training programs, or finding a mentor through word of mouth.
Never be afraid to approach or ask people. Just be polite, respectful, and get to know people before asking for something from them. I would also like to add do your homework on that DJ. Ask yourself if this person has achieved the results I want to achieve, before committing to any mentoring.
Learn to become a goal setter
Many people roll their eyes when they hear the word goals. They are so under rated, yet only 8 to 10 percent of people actually have proper goals and achieve them. What gets measured gets accomplished. You will never know how much you will progress if you don’t keep track of where you’re going. Plus, it feels great when you tick off a meaningful goal you have worked so hard towards. Set yearly goals then break them down into quarterly goals and then weekly.
This stops overwhelm and makes the goal much more achievable when it’s on paper and clear to the mind. What you focus on most of the time you will get if you work towards it.
Do what most other DJs will not do: Network
It takes courage to network; confidence comes along the way. If you aren’t the greatest of networkers, don’t stress. I wasn’t, but I can tell you that you can’t avoid it forever. It’s paramount to success in the music industry. I always suggest teeing up a meeting or meeting an individual online then meeting them face to face to build trust and a proper friendship that can lead you toward a greater path to success.
If you’re always out in the nightclubs, you cannot help but get to know the right people and be in the right place at the right time. Sounds simple, but many DJs I come across would rather stay at home then make a name for themselves, why? Because I believe they think it’s easier to network on Facebook etc. And that may look like that on the surface, but when it comes down to rubbing shoulders with the important people, it often becomes much harder. Networking is a necessary and learnable skill.
Develop more of a music business mindset
DJing these days is big business, and it takes you, as the DJ, to understand you have to see things from a promoter’s perspective. Example: Will you DJing in the clubs make the promoters money? Will you be an asset to the club or a liability? This is what a business man thinks as a nightclub owner. It revolves around getting people in the door consistently to create a successful night or weekly club. If you can do that, expect to cement a DJ residency in a nightclub.
I hope this has helped you in a big way. Let me know your thoughts by commenting below.