How To DJ – From Artist to Businessman

Are You Wearing Both DJ Hats Effectively?


smush-be+a+pro+dj

As much as we DJs would love to live the life of world-famous musicians and movie stars, the fact is that most of us will never have an entourage of people at our beck and call. What’s my point, you wonder, other than making you feel bad for your life choices? My point is that as DJs we have to be both the creative and the business sides of our careers. Unless you have an agent, manager, webmaster and a whole host of other professionals in the family…these tasks will all fall to you.

As daunting a task as this seems, it is actually very doable.

DJs for the most part work at home except when we’re performing and that means your home and your office are virtually the same space. How you set up your work space and living space will help you make the transition from working to chillin’ easily.

Office Space

When it comes to planning the business of being a DJ there is one important rule: don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good. The fact is that it will be a long, long time before you are able to rent actual office space in some cool downtown loft…or whatever. But if you have an extra bedroom for guests it would better serve your career if you turn that guest room into your office.

Even if you don’t have an extra room you just need to take a corner of the living room and turn it into a dedicated office space. Don’t use the coffee table or the kitchen table; because I guarantee you will lose information on bookings, set lists and outstanding invoices. A proper office where you set up your computer, calendar and anything else related to your business of DJing should have a place.

DJ Nook

Since your office space is dedicated to the business side of DJing you will also need a creative DJ space so you can, you know, be creative. You need a space dedicated to your creativity as a DJ and nothing else. This way when you grab up those headphones and flick on your laptop your brain knows that it’s time to go into “creative DJ mode” and it gears up so you can give it your best.

Do whatever it is you have to do in order make this space conducive for you to be creative. Put up posters of your favorite musicians, spread records, CDs and cassette tapes all around to get you in a musical vibe. This is your creative space…treat it as such.

smush-how+to+dj+creative+and+business

Keep A Calendar…For Real

As a creative type I admit that it took me much longer than it should to get my schedule in order. I would place things haphazardly in my calendar when I remembered which means I was often rushing off to a gig with just minutes to spare, sending out invoices just days before I really needed the cash and missing opportunities that could have helped my DJ career.

It doesn’t matter how little detail; write it down. If you have a Skype meeting, plug it into your calendar with a reminder. Even events as small as an upgrade of your DJ software should go into your calendar because it will take some time and you don’t want to have a practice session scheduled while focusing on your upgrade.

Your best bet is to find an app that is a calendar and to-do list in one. You will be the very best personal assistant and booker ever!

Remove Distractions

When you work an office job it’s easy to chat with your coworkers and text your friends in between tasks. As a DJ you can’t really stop in the middle of a practice session to check your email or answer a phone call or text. Well you can, but it would be a tremendous mistake. Your practice time is for you and your music. Nothing else.

Don’t let outside factors distract you from your goal. When your creative juices are flowing let them flow until they can’t flow anymore. In fact my advice would be to put your phone on vibrate and turn off any computer alerts if your work and DJ laptops are one machine.

 

One of the things new DJs fail to grasp is that being a professional DJ is about a lot more than mixing tracks. You need to handle your schedule, promotions, gigs and payments. It all falls on you until you have someone you trust who can help you keep your career going forward.

Keep your business space separate from your creative space so your brain is prepared to be what you need it to be to become the best professional DJ you can be.

What do you do to make the switch from professional DJ to agent, manager, promoter and public relations?

I hope I’ve been able to help you play the part of creative DJ and cutthroat business tycoon successfuly. 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!

beginner dj setup

 

Enter your email and click “get instant access” to get your FREE video DJ lessons showing you how to be a disk jockey!

About DJ Sean

Connect with Sean on Google+



Leave a Reply