If you’re not there yet, I highly suggest first checking out my article “BECOMING A DJ | THE ULTIMATE BUYERS GUIDE” to help you get started, and then come back here!
Getting booked as a DJ on a regular basis will take time.
You’re fairly new to the scene. Other DJs in your area may have been doing this for much longer and may have established a reputation among the market. Have patience in getting the word out. Becoming a reputable professional DJ doesn’t happen overnight.
Put some work into building a presence both in your community and online. In fact, they work hand in hand with one another.
After all, what good is building all that presence on social media if you have nothing to post?
Being out and about in your local community helps a lot with getting quality content to post. Take the time to build fan pages and networks online.
Once built, make sure to post to them on a fairly regular basis. We’ll go through this in more detail later in the article.
It could seem like an insurmountable task to get booked regularly in the beginning. However I can all but guarantee taking the suggestions below along with great tenacity and patience WILL MAKE IT HAPPEN.
Now that you have the right attitude, let’s look at how to get booked!
Networking is by far one of the best ways to become a successful DJ!
Networking, according to Oxford Languages is by definition “The action or process of interacting with others to exchange information and develop professional or social contacts.”
In DJ terms, this means getting out there and meeting the more established DJs in your area, and other key players in your space.
The DJ community is usually a small tight knit community where every one knows everyone else (Cue the Cheers them song).
Introducing yourself to more established DJs and having a willingness to learn and be a part of the Community usually goes a long way!
First, look at what type of DJ you’re hoping to become, as this will help narrow down your search and give you better direction. Most want to be either a Nightclub DJ, a Wedding/Corporate DJ, OR both – like myself 😀 .
Once you’ve decided your direction, search on social media for an established contact within that space and send them an email/message. Or, send several messages to several Companies/DJs.
Tell them that you’re new to DJing and that you would like to learn more about becoming a DJ alongside one of their pros. This approach can easily lead you to getting invited to a gig in an apprenticeship fashion.
Show them you have a great willingness to learn. They will ask you to come out again and again. They do this to ensure you know how to set up DJ gear with no issues.
This usually leads to them feeling comfortable with having you on the decks for a song or two during a set, so the main DJ can take a break for a few minutes. Assuming you did a good job, you may then be asked to do an opening set or some other portion of the event.
Before you know it, the senior DJs can’t make it to a gig for whatever reason, or have been approached by several clients to be booked on the same day. Because you’ve proven yourself to be a competent team player, you’re next up to bat with a gig of your own! If that gig goes well, you’ll more than likely be asked to do other gigs.
This method is probably one of the surest ways to eventually get booking on a regular basis, but it does take time! Be ready to put in some time and effort for little to no money.
That being said, you will be gaining real world experience on how to deal with different situations and setups. This approach can also lead you to meeting other well established DJs in your area that may be looking to expand their DJ Roster.
This could prove far more valuable in the long run.
Asking friends and family is another great method for getting booked as you’re starting out.
Between birthdays, BBQs, and other holidays, your friends and family will more than likely be having social gatherings at their house, backyard or at a small hall.
Along with great food, music plays a large part in most social gatherings. Offer your DJ services for free (or for little money) to rock the party rather than opting to use Spotify.
This is another great way to gain real world experience.
Family and friends are usually much more forgiving should something go wrong or mistakes be made. When you’re DJing for these types of social gatherings, there’s more than likely going be other friends and family there that you’re not as closely connected to.
Having them see you rockin’ the party can easily lead you to other gigs outside of your immediate friends and family. Eventually, you’ll be doing gigs for people who are not at all a part of (or even close to) your immediate circle of friends and family.
Another great reason to start with this route is that your friends and family will usually be more than happy to give you a positive review on sites such as “Google Reviews” or “Facebook Reviews”. We’ll learn about these further down in the article.
Having positive reviews will be crucial to your overall online presence. As potential clients start looking at who’s available, I can guarantee you they will be looking at your online reviews before considering you for their event.
This method works well if you have a large outgoing family or a large group of friends.
As you’re just starting out I would suggest that you first start with low pressure gigs such as birthday parties, family reunions, and holiday parties.
Stay away from higher pressure gigs such as weddings, large corporate events, and premium-ranked night clubs. These gigs may be out of your experience scope at this point.
Your main goal here is to get some good experience playing in front of a crowd, and to get some reviews and pics together for your social media presence.
Once you’ve got some practical experience and pictures together, you’re ready for the next step…
Developing a website and social media
The cornerstone of your online presence will be your website. As potential clients begin to look for a DJ, one of the first places they will begin their search is Google and other online sites such as instagram and Facebook.
Create professional pages on all social media outlets used in your area and have them link back to your site.
This allows you to grab the attention of potential clients and lead them back to your site, which will have all of your information.
Your website doesn’t have to be ultra slick, super amazing looking site that’s ridiculously expensive (and complicated) to put together.
The truth is, if you’re regularly posting to your social media sites, your potential clients will already see you as an established DJ.
Having a website will help to solidify their confidence and will give them more information on who you are and how to contact you.
Let’s take a quick look at how to create a simple website
I won’t spent too much time on this as there are tons of great articles and YouTube tutorials that cover this information far better than I can. I also don’t want to lose sight on the actual reason you’re here.
I’ll add links to articles and YouTube tutorials as we go…
Below is a video explanation on Web Hosting
Here are a few common places to find Web Hosting
Below is an incredibly in-depth step by step tutorial on how to build a site using WordPress.
Connect your site to Google and other search engines so people online can find your site after it’s built. Here’s a video on how to do just that! 🙂
This is the simplest way to get a website up and running.
I would suggest checking out other articles and YouTube tutorials as building a website is undoubtably a long a daunting task.
This section just scratches the surface!
Here’s a great video on how to get started with Google My Business
Google My Business is an amazing way to get noticed by new potential clients. It’s free to sign up and maintain.
Using this method is most effective once you have some previous clients that are willing to submit a review for you as you can’t submit them yourself, and you have a website.
“Facebook ads are targeted to users based on their location, demographic, and profile information.
Many of these options are only available on Facebook. After creating an ad, you set a budget and bid for each click or thousand impressions that your ad will receive.
Users then see your ads in the sidebar on Facebook”
Using the Facebook Ads Manager allows you to run ads to your WhatsApp and Instagram accounts as well!
Facebook ads are a key component for getting new wedding clients if that’s your goal! Additionally, it’s inexpensive and fairly simple to set up.
Chances are new clients are there waiting to see your DJ ad. Every time I run an ad, I almost always come out getting 3-4 new clients – along with better exposure to my site!
The success of Facebook ads comes down to a few key factors. Let’s go over these factors and some examples, below.
Run your ad at times during the year when potential clients are most likely to be actively looking to book vendors.
The second week in January is definitely a great time because a lot of couples get engaged over the Holiday season. Another great time is in the beginning of the Spring. The bulk of weddings take place between May – October, so posting an ad in March or April tends to get traffic from clients who left booking a DJ until the last minute or who are looking for an alternate DJ because their original DJ fell through (this happens more often than you’d expect!!).
You’re able to run ads with various goals using the ads manager. Its absolutely imperative to choose the right one. Otherwise, the money and time spent is essentially thrown down the drain. The ad style that works best for me is “Messenger ads“.
Messenger ads works well because it allows the potential client to contact you without leaving the Facebook platform. Thus making it much easier for them to contact you.
Check out this video on how to set up a Facebook Messenger ad
You can choose to run video ads or use still pictures. I’ve had some success using picture ads, but I absolutely get far better results using video ads.
Facebook gives you the option to build a short fifteen second video using still pictures within the ads manager if you’re just getting started.
That being said, you will definitely yield better results by taking a bunch of video clips from prior gigs and producing a quick 30 – 45 second commercial.
Here’s an example of a 2019 video ad I used with great success
Your add copy is very important for this to work. Keep your text relevant to your potential client. Outline pain points along with how you can best remedy them.
Remember to keep it fairly casual. Above all, make sure your ad copy is fun to read. Facebooker’s are there during their off-time, not in search of any particular product or service.
Ad Copy Example:
“HEY Brides : CONGRATS…. Your search for an AMAZING wedding DJ is over!
Your wedding day will be one of the most memorable and cherished days of your life, YOU DESERVE award-winning service and an incredible experience!
With my SIX point guarantee, you can rest assured that you and your guests will have an unforgettable time dancing the night away with the music of YOUR choosing.
HUGE music catalog
Friendly and Personable with you and your guests
“Club Style” Music format
Have a question? Looking for a quick quote? Message me now! :)”
Facebook ads are definitely worth it If you’re willing to spend some money and have a great strategy in place.
Take the time to plan out a great ad that your potential clients won’t be able to resist!
The rest will fall into place by responding to your messages in a kind and knowledgeable manner.
This video does a great job of explaining the basics of Pinterest and how to get set up.
Bark.com is very well explained in this video
Bark is an amazing platform when used correctly.
Using this site and the tools set out above will get you booked eventually. As you use the site more often, you’ll learn what works best in your market.
You may not win them all. Nonetheless it’s been a great platform for me since using the tools and strategies set out above.
A good win rate is about 10% from what I’ve experienced.
Watch a full tutorial on how to set up Google AdWords below
As mentioned above Google ad is not where I put most of my time or resources.
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