How to Get a Job As a DJ

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The entertainment and nightclub industry is very competitive when it comes to hiring disc jockeys, or deejays (DJs). Club managers and owners want someone who can attract patrons with creative music sets yet knows when to clear the floor so beverage sales increase. A good DJ listens to the crowd, is innovative and networks with managers and other DJs. With self-promotion and persistence, getting work as a DJ is not difficult.

  • Create a biography or resume of the work you've done, including club performances, parties and other DJ gigs. If you're trying to get a job at a nightclub, the manager or owner will want to know what type of experience you have.

  • Get business cards with your DJ name, company name and contact information. You can design cards yourself online or have a printer create them for you. You don't have to spend a lot of money on cards if you're just starting out. Some websites offer simple, fun templates and will print business cards at affordable prices.

  • Create a demo of your music mix. A 30-minute demo is enough to showcase your programming, music selection and mixing skills. Refrain from making longer mixes as they are unnecessary and the club may use your mix in the beginning of the evening before the main DJ performs.

  • Network with promoters when you go to clubs or events. Hand out your business card and offer to send them your demo. Ask if they or anyone they know is looking for an opening or closing DJ. Getting into the environment is crucial, and socializing will help you become known. Rarely will you get the main spot if you're just starting out, so offering to do an opening or closing set will give you experience in front of a crowd, and the manager or promoter can determine whether you are good enough to DJ on a regular basis.

  • Observe the crowd when you get the chance to perform. If you are the opening DJ, refrain from playing all the hits during your set. Opening DJs usually perform when there is not much of a crowd at the club or when people are just arriving. The main DJ will play the hits later in the evening so it will work against you if you play them too early.

  • Use creativity in your song selection. It's OK to use one or two current hits, but also take requests from the crowd.

  • Practice professionalism and good business ethics. Managers and promoters don't want to hire DJs who are egotistical or demanding. Expect to pay your dues and work hard to get the main spot by being professional at all times.

  • Promote yourself at every opportunity. Use social networking sites such as Facebook or Twitter to boost your name recognition. Offer to help promote the club you're interested in by sending fliers and promoting it online.

  • Set up a website and post sample (demo) mixes there. Showcase the events and clubs where you have performed so you can build on your credentials as more gigs come your way.

Tips & Warnings

  • Don't be discouraged by rejection. The entertainment industry is very competitive, and DJs are a "dime a dozen." Be persistent and practice your craft and you'll soon land more gigs than you can handle.

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References

  • Photo Credit dj wave 225 image by Nathalie P from Fotolia.com
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