How to promote yourself as a DJ
How to promote yourself as a DJ
Perhaps you're a new graduate of our DJ courses or you're reading this blog thinking about how you can promote yourself as a DJ. It's such a fundamental question so we're here to help point you in the right direction! If you want to learn how to promote yourself as a DJ follow this and all our other blogs.
The internet's omnipresence has informed a lot of our behaviour in recent years, and more often than not, trends follow suit - in turn becoming unstoppable forces for marketing and monetisation. This is reflected in the way we see music and artists compared to just a couple of decades ago. The music industry is no longer a numbers game but a race to the top whilst utilising every digital asset possible, but this is by no means a bad thing. Some of the most original and captivating creators have come up organically using these tools, and many are DJs. Much like in any other sector in music, being successful in the DJ industry is no longer just about the music, but all of the content surrounding it. Artists all over the world struggle with this, even with a huge team behind them. Here are some of the best ways to market yourself as a DJ and Producer.
Find Your Niche and Establish a Brand
If you’re a DJ who wants to become well known across the scene and perhaps even beyond, you’ll need to encapsulate a certain style that listeners can vibe with. Maybe that’s through a monthly night that you organise, with genre-specific aesthetics and of course the right music to suit it. Perhaps you’re known for your wild breakcore bootlegs, who knows! Your brand is yours to make your own. You may become known for DJing these styles of music (with many a curveball thrown in of course) and be associated with the energy that gets brought along with it. You’ll often find that as you grow as a DJ, you might want to deviate from your original sound, and that’s perfectly fine! If you’re eclectic enough in how you transition genres, your fanbase will likely follow you and who knows - they might discover their fave new genre of music through you. Part of establishing your brand could be through working with local artists, whether they be talented friends or people you trust to design what you have imagined in your head. If you’re looking to develop a recognisable brand to fit your style, it can usually help to stick with the same artists from the get-go. As you grow, the recognisability of your logos, event posters or album artwork will grow with you. People will start to associate the art style with you and the quality of your sets/productions. Some artists’ brands come in the form of a persona, which can often be very impactful if it reaches the desired audience. Adopting a persona can often allow more room for creativity and deviation into something truly original. If the persona is comical it can also work well given the niche humour that audiences on social media tend to enjoy. Be careful though, you don’t want your brand to dilute the music too much!
Document as Much as Possible!
Documenting your experiences is especially important for gaining traction as a DJ or producer - especially when it’s in video format. To have a visual record of your antics in life is helpful when you’re aspiring to become a known figure in the public eye. These antics can be both music and non-music related because if people become big fans of yours, they’ll most likely want to view your content regardless of context. It’s a long-term strategy but it will contribute to higher views on your platforms, which is always good for the algorithm! It’s obviously easier said than done for a lot of artists, especially ones that want to make it in the scene but don’t necessarily want the spotlight. But if you’re the sort of DJ or Producer who feels comfortable on camera, it helps to have as much content as possible for fans to engage with. You can also cut, edit and mix-match the footage to complement your brand or aesthetic and divvy it across all social platforms giving you lots of engaging content for your viewers to enjoy.
Form a Collective
A collective is essentially a group of like-minded individuals coming together to pursue a common goal. Forming a collective of DJs and Producers is a great way to market yourself as both a part of that collective and as an individual. For example, if you wanted to put on a House night in a London venue, putting on nights as a collective would be much easier than putting one on individually because you can share the brunt of costs. It makes it much more affordable to split venue costs when you’re splitting it amongst a few others. Everyone involved can advertise the night on their own socials too, maximising the number of people willing to attend! Not to mention friends of the DJs and the crowd that they bring too. If the nights are successful, then you can guarantee repeat attendance and this is when your brand starts to gain traction. This coupled with a good style and regular content such as regular releases from individuals in your collective, content for social media or even good-looking merch will really make your group stand out in the scene. It’s a given that members of a collective will willingly support each other too, sharing each other's work on their own platforms, meaning you’d gain traction in your personal DJ career too.
Have a Strong Social Media Presence
Whether we like it or not, social media is here to stay in some shape or form, so artists should become as savvy as possible so they can reap the many benefits that it offers. Instagram is a great tool for promoting events you may be involved in, both pre and post-event. Sharing and resharing event posters, set times, and venue information is all great for building hype around a certain party. Often others involved will tag you in stories, opening you up to be followed by mutuals or fans of the other DJs on the event roster. Instagram carousels and Reels are the two styles of posts that are the most favourable to Instagram’s algorithm, so if you can come up with a consistent stream of content for both then you will likely see increases in engagement. Carousels encourage viewers to swipe, so make a conscious effort to put your juiciest bits of content at the end of your carousel, to condition your followers to swipe as much as possible. Reels can consist of similar bits of content chopped and edited in different ways, so if you had a couple of hours of footage of your life or brand or collective, you can essentially have a huge amount of content for your viewers to engage with at least for a while.
Tik Tok is an unstoppable force at the moment, and with endless opportunities for DJs to engage with their target audiences, it would be foolish to pass up on such an opportunity to gain new fans. Like with Reels, Tik Tok gives you a very small window of opportunity to grab attention, so your content has to be punchy and to the point. Perhaps consider posting one of the best drops in your most recent DJ set, or a short but fun announcement of your upcoming gig. DJ-related memes never go amiss either! Tik Tok live streams are also very good for audience engagement and many DJs Livestream for hours on end using the app and garnering lots of interactions with their target audience. Imagine swiping on your for you page to hear an absolute stomper of a track! That will guarantee you to stay for a while, or at least check the user’s page out.
As a DJ, blogging is one of the most under-utilised mediums for garnering marketability. Yes there are countless blogs spread across the internet, but how many do DJs write themselves? People who look up to DJs or live vicariously through them would be thrilled to read blogs from the DJs' perspective, rather than just an enthusiastic (and sometimes pretentious) music enjoyer. Blogging is also brilliant for Google’s algorithm. Imagine for a second that Google is an enormous, electronic pet. The more you feed it juicy bits of information such as blogs, which it very much likes, the more Google will come back and see you as a reliable source for information. This in turn will favour you and your writing will often appear in more engine searches over a period of time. Writing your own content also improves your chances of appearing in other people’s writing. Remember literature reviews? Yeah, like that. But people are actually quoting you for something interesting and linking back to your writing. This not only improves traffic on your site, but it makes room for a new potential fanbase. Anyway, think about it.
There’s obviously never a guarantee that any of the above tactics will propel you into the spotlight, but it’s always worth giving it a go because these days, you never know what could go viral. So keep making those rave memes, writing those blogs, or posting grainy lo-fi skate fails to your Instagram with your tunes as the backing track. Never lose faith and remember that you get out what you put in! If you’re savvy with your marketing, but think you could improve in the DJ or production department, come check out our studio. Click here to contact us.