Whether you are a full-time or part-time DJ, if you really want to get to the next level you have to “go to work” everyday. I don’t mean go to an office or punch a clock, but do something productive towards your DJ career on a daily basis. Here is a list of things you can do to stay active:
1. Being seen
Online: Utilizing FaceBook does help quite a bit. Being seen is part of the process and being active in social networks is important. A great way to do this is leaving positive comments on the pages of your friends, fans, and colleagues. Leave feedback on their photos, videos, too. Let them know publicly how much you appreciate fans or how hot a fellow DJ’s last set was. Be supportive of others and they are more likely to be supportive of you.
In person: Support other’s events by showing up. You don’t have to stay long but show face, shake some hands, hand out some CDs, and smile as much as possible. It’s like running for office so kiss a baby or two while you’re at it.
2. Make a new mix and push it
I always say when gigs are down make a new mix. Then use the web to get the word out about downloading it. Promote the mix heavily. I’m assuming of course that it will be a good mix. It is great to burn it to CD and hand it out too if budget allows for this.
3. Write music reviews
Not all of us are cut out for this but if you feel comfortable with your writing ability review a few new tracks and send them into industry magazines. You never know…they may publish it. This will not only get your name out there a bit but it gives you something to add to your press kit. You can even start your own review blog and promote it. Also send feedback about tracks directly to the artists. They sometimes use a line or two from fellow DJs to promote the track. If they like it they may start sending you demos directly for feedback or reviews.
4. Throw and event
I don’t recommend this for everyone unless you really know what you’re doing. The last thing you want to do is throw an event to get your name out there and have no one show up. Also budget may be a concern here as well. If you can afford it, bring in a big name DJ to play with you. Now don’t do this for the sole purpose of having a big name on the bill with you. Do this because you really want to throw a quality event. People will respect you more for throwing a quality event than they will for adding a big name next to yours and they can tell the difference. There are a lot of benefits to doing this but they will come naturally if your intentions for quality come first. Don’t force it.
5. Get in the studio
For the producing DJs out there you already know that when things are slow you need to get in the lab. I have yet to venture into the world of production myself but I do know the makings of a great track. Please don’t jump in just to put your name on production. We have enough crap coming out every week to sort through. Get into production with the intent on making something with substance and quality. Producing mediocre tracks will not help your career at all. It might be a good idea to make your own edits of tracks your currently play just to get started.
6. Write a “top ten”
Writing a monthly top ten track list and posting it publicly may also get you noticed. I don’t personally do this but it is one of my goals. Others will see the type of music you play by scanning your list regularly and it keeps your name out there in an industry-related nature. Producers might want to see their tracks on your list and may start sending you material.
7. Do a photo shoot
Nothing screams “I’m alive and well” like a great photo shoot. I’m in desperate need of a new shoot myself. New pictures sometimes can present a new image. If they’re hot, promoters will see how to promote you and even publications may take an interest. Once you use a hot new image for the first time on a flyer people will notice.
8. Updating content
Update your website, FaceBook, MySpace or any other web content/profile with your latest gigs, bio, and photos. Many biographies end with current projects that are now 2-3 years old. Also update your media kit with new photos, bio or discography information. If you’ve been in the press, add clippings as well.
9. Notify your fans
Use social networks and e-mailing lists to let your friends and fans know what you’ve been up to or what you’re currently working on. Add up-coming event flyers, links to photo galleries, video or mix downloads. Don’t wait for them to find out accidentally. Make it your responsibility to inform them.
Plan to do something…anything…on a regular basis that will get your name out there consistently. Train your fan base to expect to hear from you. You must be seen or people will forget and move on.