Many producers have the dream and ambition to play their own productions in front of huge crowds to see them go crazy to their tracks. But how do you start and get your first gigs?
The first and foremost thing that will increase your chances of getting booked for a gig is to get noticed for your work and DJ skills . But wait, I can hear you thinking… “How do I get noticed?,,
There is a key element in trying to get noticed by people who could potentially help you getting booked for a gig, which is networking.
Try to establish contact with promoters, bookers, programmers, event managers and club owners. You can find out who practices these professions by making use of LinkedIn and Facebook. LinkedIn has a function that allows you to find people that practice a certain profession, which is perfect for our case.
Making the connection is easy, just send them a polite message or an e-mail explaining what you’re trying to accomplish and steadily build your relationship from there.
Building relationships with people that could potentially help you is of great importance. When you build a solid relationship with someone who could potentially help you getting booked for a gig, they will start noticing you because they will either follow you and your work, or because you keep them updated on your progress regularly.
Another great way to help yourself get bookings is to make connections with local DJ’s, promoters or club owners. It is really easy to get in touch with them, since you can actually speak to them in person.
You can pay a visit to your favourite club in town before it gets crowded (preferably right when the club opens), ask for the owner of the club and ask him or her whether they are currently looking for new DJ’s and are possibly willing to give you a shot. Even if they say no, don’t let this discourage you, just keep trying at other clubs and remember that the owner has now seen you in real life, knows who you are and what you do.
So the next time they are in need of a DJ, they might think of you. For this reason, it’s also a good idea to share your contact info during your visit, so they can get in touch with you later down the line if needed.
Build your social media
Social media and image in general has become an increasingly more important asset over the years and it certainly did not go unnoticed for programmers, promoters and event hosts. To put it shortly, the more social media presence and followers you have, the higher your chances are to get booked for a gig.
While this may not sound fair, the reason behind this statement is pretty self explanatory. A certain amount of money needs to be raised to fund the costs for hosting the event and therefore, the more followers you have on social media, the more likely it is that a larger amount of fans will show up at your gig to see you play, which means that the event will sell more tickets and thus raise more money.
For this reason, it’s a good idea to be present on social media platforms with an artist profile and try to post high quality content that looks professional and appeals to your fanbase. Doing so will make your follower numbers grow. If you release music, fans of your work will look for your social media channels to keep up with your latest material and follow you. Therefore, releasing music will definitely grow your following numbers as well.
To wrap it all up, getting booked for a gig as an upcoming DJ/producer will definitely take some effort and sadly, as in most creative industries, has no guarantations. But the more work and effort you put in the topics discussed above, the more you will increase your chances of getting booked for gigs.
Remember that your favourite DJ’s you see playing at Tomorrowland invested incredible amounts of hours and effort in networking, improving their music production skills and in growing their social media profiles. There aren’t any shortcuts.