The Beginner DJ Blog

How To Promote Yourself As A DJ

Muxx June 24, 2010 Tutorials No Comments


Promotion, one of the deciding factors of some DJs (including wedding DJs) wouldn’t you suppose? Before you scoff at promotion, do realize that if you do plan get out there so people can hear your mixing, you will need to try out some promotional tactics.

Promotion isn’t all bad – just think, you’re spreading your awesome mixes to those that may not be able to find them on their own!

So this brings us to the real question: “how do I promote myself as a DJ?”.

There are many different ways for DJs to promote their mixes, skills and business.

For each of these, some may work better for the type of DJ you are. For example, business cards will work better overall for mobile/wedding DJs while promo CDs will work better for those that are trying to make the circuit.

With that being said, let’s take a look through some of the ways you can promote yourself as a DJ.

DJ business cards

Do you need a business card for DJing? Some of you actually do.

As mentioned earlier, not all DJs will need a set of business cards but for those that treat their DJing as an actual business, such as mobile and wedding DJs, it’s important to get a set so you can hand them out at networking events and to potential clients.

A DJ business card should have the essentials:

  • Name
  • Contact information
  • Simple description of what you do

The best business cards are often the most minimal. There’s no need to go super extravagant by adding in a paragraph of text; this only distracts the potential client – just get them the basic information.

Use every opportunity to pass out business cards. If you’re playing at a party, leave a stack on the DJ booth for people to pick up. Hand out your business cards to people that come up to talk. Slip a few into the gift baskets at weddings.

Your business card is your chance to hook people so you can tell them more about your services. Don’t try to make the sale up front, wait for people to call or email you; then begin to setup some form of business.

For design inspiration, how-to’s and where you can get business cards, check these resources:

Promo mixes on Youtube

As I touched on before with creatineg a tenminmix, Youtube can be a great way to promote your mixes and your persona.

Creating a video is very simple, requiring only a pocketful of money to sport for a video camera but if you want to go simple, you can always just record your mixes and place it to a picture.

Youtube recently included a simple video editor which covers the basics of editing the front and back of your video which should be fine if you’re doing a consistent mix.

However, the main benefit you can gain from Youtube is when you can show yourself. Since many promoters and viewers are also looking for personality, being on camera can have very powerful effects to your promotion.

After you’ve uploaded a video, be sure to add it to your own blog or website. Try to get your friends to embed the video or share it on your Facebook page.

Make sure you also set a download link so people can snag your mix and listen at a later time. Just name the file with your name and possibly contact details like email address so people can contact you at a later time.

Another bonus is if you take your video and use Tubemogul to distribute the video across the net on dozens of other video websites.

Here’s a few resources to get started with video:

Putting your mix in the cloud

Want a truly powerful way to promote your DJing? Try hosting it on various mixing websites such as Mixcloud.

The user base for many of these websites consist of highly passionate music fans which will share your mixes with others. Additionally, users can easily embed mixes right into other websites so their community will find your mix, starting the process all over again – promoting the hell out of you!

With your mix now hosted in the cloud, you can also link to it within your Facebook, Myspace, forum and other various web profiles around the net. The more you can place your link, the more chances people will find you.

Make a truly amazing mix and your link will spread virally; thousands will come to listen and recognize your name. Who knows, maybe a promoter or club owner catches wind of you and gets you on board.

Start here when getting your mix online:

Creating a promo CD

Are tapes and CDs the thing of the past? Well, maybe tapes but CDs can still certainly do wonders to promote yourself as a DJ.

Although you can greatly benefit of using online websites and services, you can’t hand out an MP3 at parties and events. At these parties, your CD can be land in the hands of many people.

When playing your mix, just like business cards, leave a stack of CDs for people to come up and grab. Whenever your mix is breaking down, throw a couple promo CDs to the crowd. Also remember to chat with people afterward and slip them a CD – all additional ways of promoting your mixing.

The mix is the most important part of your promo CD. Don’t make it too long because people don’t have all the time in the world but not too short either.

The design of the promo CD can also play a large role. Although the mix is the most important part, an attractive design will get people intrigued and egg them to pick it up and hold onto it.

If you have questions about how to record your DJ mix to MP3 to later be burnt to a CD, check out these resources:

Build your social network

Want to know the best way to promote yourself as a DJ in this day and age? Social media.

Yup. Faceboo, Myspace, Twitter plus the thousands of other social websites – you have to get out there and spread your mixes like a wildfire.

Start with your friends, ask for them to tweet, like and share your mixes with their friends.

From there, reach out to other people on this network but without being spammy – cause no one likes getting those random invites from people they have no idea who they are.

If possible, remember the names of people you meet at parties, friend them and accept their friend requests. Build your online brand, promote, promote, promote.

The more followers and friends you get (in a non spammy way) the more chances your mixes will be spread across the net. Additionally, others will see that you’re starting to take off and take notice; this is the idea behind building a tribe around yourself.

Tips for Twitter and Facebook:

Building word-of-mouth buzz

Word-of-mouth is still a great way to promote yourself as a DJ; this is done primarily through one method: creating a kickass set of mixes.

People don’t want to talk about DJs that don’t bring the ruckus so it’s imperative that you give them something worth talking about.

Try out new tricks, throw down raw tracks, surprise people and blow their socks off whenever you mix.

If you did it right, people will talk to their friends about your mix. Burn it to CD and listen to it in the car. Tell others whenever they are asked what DJs they recommend.

Get into the minds of your fans!

Although these tips are aimed at business, you should take these into consideration as your DJing is essentially just that:

Signup for DJ related websites or create your own

With a website, you have two things available to you:

  • Create your own website
  • Join a DJ community

The first, creating your own website, is the most powerful because you can brand every aspect. You can add tons of images, upload whatever you want, talk about whatever and keep everything all in one area.

Alternatively, if you join DJ websites, the large existing community will be a great starting point to promote yourself as a DJ. These websites have thousands of other DJs and fans of the music constantly searching for new music and people to connect with.

If you’re particularly tech savvy, you could build your own website with resources from Smashing Magazine or using templates on ThemeForest.

Definitely try starting with Mix.DJ and work your way from there – with over 100k members, it’s a great place to start.

Going old school: flyer’s and posters

A previous post here on BeginnerDJ talked about promoting clubs with flyers; much in the same, you an use these same tactics to promote yourself as a DJ.

You can get a huge stack of flyer’s for a few bucks or print your own.

Distribute the hell out of these all over the place. Pin em to the wall, hand them out at parties, leave a stack at local events.

The limits are endless – just use your imagination.

Check out UPrinting.com or VistaPrint for online companies that can print your flyers. They’re cheap and will have your order ready fairly quick.

Try out advertising: online and offline

If you’re really wanting to spread your promotion like crazy (and not afraid to spend a bit of money) you can try your hand at online and offline advertising.

Although it’s a little risky – it’s also platforms that not many DJs are jumping into.

Google Adwords doesn’t cost a whole ton and because not as many people are bidding on keywords related to your mixing the cost is going to be fairly low.

You may also want to try out radio ads or even TV ads but at that level, you’re probably going to want to have an actual business for weddings; something where you’re going to be making a big sum of money per investment.

Here’s a few reads to get you started with online advertising:

2 books to help you learn DJ promotion

There are written books on the subject of creating a successful DJ business including a ton of different ways to promote yourself – gasp! real books!

These are definitely worth your while:

Why promotion is key for successful DJs

There is a great argument of content vs. marketing. In terms of DJing, there are clear benefits of being able to promote yourself – you get to reach a larger audience.

This doesn’t mean that your mix has to be lacking; you need to put your best effort into creating a memorable mix before you spend all your money and time to promote yourself as a DJ.

Once your mixing is down, use your time wisely with many of these tips to begin promoting yourself and your mix.

Take each step at a time; start with one of these techniques, master it and begin working on the next.

Each of them work well together: creating a promo CD and handing it out with business cards, etc, etc.

Once your word is out there, start the process all over again with a new mix. Build, build, build.

And when you’re on the top, give a shout out to Beginner DJ.

Image by: VinylSearcher


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