It goes without saying, these days a DJ is only as relevant as their brand. Developing a relatable persona online and following through with high-energy performances is essentially what creates the product that DJs sell. Don’t be fooled: as much as talent has to do with success, at the end of the day, every DJ has to be a salesperson – selling their DJing services to promoters or convincing them that including a specific DJ in their program or event will translate into the success of that event. This salesmanship is fundamental to the success of DJs.
While it is important to always study trends and improve one’s craft, it is generally accepted that it is easier for a great salesperson to sell a lousy product than it is for a lousy salesperson to sell a great product.
A DJ should always be aware of how they present and position themselves when marketing their talent. A conscious effort should be made to create and maintain a character that is identifiable with the DJ’s core audience. Being unique and reliable is part of branding. DJs should offer a complete and professional product. And interested parties should know what to expect once a specific DJ has been hired. This is not to discourage innovation; memories are created by positive surprises and unique experiences. Therefore, before every gig, a DJ should strive to understand their potential audience and what they, as the DJ, can do to make their performance unique and memorable while paying attention to what the audience already loves about them.
While it is not recommended to oversell oneself, every DJ should always aim to create repeat customers and referrals by their work ethic, proficiency and persona. Though no one appreciates a pushy salesperson, being available – asking the right questions, and the willingness to go beyond the call of duty – will have positive effects on any DJ’s brand.
There are countless ways to create, maintain and grow your brand both locally, and internationally, but in this day and age, none is as important as social media. Between TikTok, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, LinkedIn, SoundCloud, Mixcloud, and all the rest, there are huge communities of people, already sorted by interest, who are ready and available for you to market your product to.
There’s no way to overemphasize the importance of using all of these resources to their full capacity. Stay on top of trends, stay active and use as many features as possible. These are the best tools in your arsenal as a young artist, and it is incredibly important that you get the most out of them.
For example, try hashtags. Here’s a question: If you have 30 chances of winning the lottery, would you only play 17? Well, the same applies with hashtags. If a platform like Instagram allows you to use 30 hashtags, then use every single one of them. Waste no opportunity.
Though it is crucial for every DJ to grow their brand and develop their presence, it is equally important to defend and maintain that brand. In branding, everything from one’s attitude, mannerisms and approach to one’s craft, should be taken into consideration. As a DJ, once you consider yourself a professional. it means that you have graduated from performing at non-paid backyard barbeques or dingy venues unless otherwise there is a serious advantage of doing so – either financially or reputation wise. If Drake calls you to play at his dingy venue – go!
The expression “awesome by association” carries a great deal of truth in the DJing community. A DJ’s reputation is reflected by the people and companies they work with, so choose wisely.
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