5 Rules All Pro DJs Should Follow

Are you working towards building your DJ career?

Pro DJ rules

You have been living the life of a DJ. You stay up late attending gigs, networking or perfecting your latest technique. You work day and night to get mixes just right so the audience and promoters love you and want you back time and again. But you just aren’t getting the traction you were hoping for…why not?

There are plenty of reasons; you’re not networking in the right places, people aren’t looking for new talent or you aren’t a proven entity yet. Whatever the reason is, you can overcome it. Really. If you’re willing to work at being a better DJ, a better business person and a better person if your attitude sucks, you can have a long lasting career.

There are a few rules I think we should all live by as professional DJs. They will help keep you grounded, focused and positive as your DJ career experiences the inevitable ups and downs.

Rule #1 Don’t Be A D*ck

One of the most difficult things to do as a DJ—more than learning your DJ hardware—is to accept the praise without letting it go to your head. Over the years I’ve seen amazing DJs who started their careers with a bang screw it all up because they thought they were the greatest thing that ever stepped inside a DJ booth. These DJs have crap attitudes so despite their wizardry as DJ…no one wants to work with them.

This is a rule that will help you throughout your entire DJ career. If you’re a decent and easy to work with, that’s great. Show up for your gigs on time (early) and keep the crowd entertained because trust me; they are there because of the music you play…not your sparkling personality.

Rule #2 It’s Not ALL About The Tech

New DJs especially but plenty of digital DJs have a hard time stepping away from all of the tech offered by their DJ equipment. It’s easy to get caught up in all the information being spat at you from the screen of your hardware, thinking that it wouldn’t be there if it weren’t crucial.

Instead think about the reason you’re at the gig: the crowd. You are there as an entertainer which means you should take a step away from that blue-lit screen and put on a little show, connect with a hottie on the dance floor or bust a move to your own tunes.

There’s nothing wrong with technology. It’s made being a pro DJ a hell of a lot easier. But it has also allowed introverted DJs to hide away being their tools and toys.

DJ rules to live by

Rule #3 Worry About Your Brand

You knew from a young age that you weren’t going to be the guy wearing a suit to the office and worrying about things like focus groups. Congrats. But you are still in the business of being a DJ. That means you do have to worry about your brand.

This means you need to maintain a solid social media presence, across all platforms. Be available to your followers and let them know what’s going on in your life. I’m not saying you have to go all Kardashian and post every little thing that happens…but you should talk about upcoming new releases, collaborations, new tracks you’re working on and even talk about your DJ and musician pals helping you.

Believe it or not at some point you will be an ‘old’ DJ which means you’ll need to find creative ways to reinvent yourself for new generations of clubbers who may not be familiar with your musical genius.

Rule #4 Manage Your Career

When I was a brand new professional DJ I dreamed of the days when I would have an agent or manager working hard to get me gigs, endorsements and residencies around the world. Until I met my first unscrupulous agent.

I’m not saying their all bottom-feeders but I am saying that there are plenty of bottom feeders out there. With that being said it is important that YOU manage your career no matter who else is on your payroll. Make sure you know where you’re playing, how much you’re getting paid and what is expected of you before you agree.

You don’t want to blindly accept a gig that could bring in big money but cause problems in the future.

Rule #5 Do Something New

If you’re planning to have a long DJ career then you are going to have to find ways to stay fresh. This means trying new things with your equipment, your music and even your style. Don’t be afraid that you might lose a few followers if you try the unexpected. Being a great musician is about being creative and touching people through your music. You’ll never be able to do that if you’re always chasing followers and Facebook likes.

When you’re ready to debut something new try an underground club, release it as a half-track online or venture outside of your comfort zone for a gig in the ‘burbs.

A long DJ career is a rarity for most DJs but I think following these rules will help you stay relevant and stay booked.

I hope I helped you give your DJ career a boost. Email in the box below to get access to Free video DJ lessons that will answer all of your questions on how to become a disk jockey!

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