25 Aug Are you ready to go full-time as a DJ?
Are you ready to go full-time as a DJ? A lot of people never really know the right time to become a full-time DJ, loads of people spend years of their career as a part time DJ. Some people do have a eureka moment but most decide that they need to make a plan to turn their passion into a full-time job. Here is our guide on what you need to become a full-time DJ.
How regular are your gigs?
A mistake a lot of part time DJs make is that they have a few busy months at first and decide to go full time. The only problem is they are crazy busy with gigs for the first three months, but then the gigs dry up in the fourth month. Now, this may not happen to all DJs but it’s very important to realise that there won’t always be gigs available. A good rule of thumb is if you have been getting gigs for at least three to four days a week for a year or more, then you are in a good position to become a full-time DJ. Just bear in mind you can get by when the gigs are not as often as you like.
Producing your music
Being a DJ is all about the love of music, and in this case, it’s all about your music. Being a full-time DJ means you will need to be working really hard on producing your own tracks and mixes.
You should be aiming to spend roughly 15 hours per week on producing your tracks/mixes. This will help you to find out what style of DJ you will become, as well as improving your ability and performance levels. While you are just starting out you probably won’t like most of the tracks you produce. But the more time you spend doing this you will hone your skills as a DJ. Don’t forget to keep looking for gigs and get yourself out there.
Part of being a full-time DJ involves a lot of time self-promoting. You will need to hit Facebook, Twitter & Instagram hard. Try to post a few posts a week if not daily, also get yourself a website promoting you. On the website, you can have a newsletter sign up which can be used to reach fans, event planners, club owners and even record producers.
Make sure you put a few hours in each week to stay in touch with other DJs, fans and club promoters. This will keep you active on the local scene as well as well as keeping your relationships strong. This will make it easier when you want to send out sample tracks or mixes.
Sorting your finances
Before you do anything rash like hand in your notice, you need to make sure your finances are in order and you know how much money you need to live on and how much wriggle room you have. The easiest way to do this is to create a spreadsheet, you will need to list all your outgoings from rent to car payments, down to the last penny. You will need to see which expenses you can cut out or at least reduce.
Once this is sorted you can come up with an amount you can live comfortably on. A good rule of thumb is to have 12 to 20 months worth of cash saved to cover your bills if needed between gigs.
Being a full-time DJ takes a lot of organization, from your finances to gigs as well as your music collection. It takes a lot of discipline and dedication when you go full time. Make sure you get out there and promote yourself and keep honing those DJ skills while producing your new mixes.