Let’s say you’ve been crafting your brand and persona as a DJ for a while. You’re good at your craft and have somewhat of a following, but you would like to build your DJ brand and persona to new heights. Combining your passion with good communication skills to self-promote is an easy way to gain more opportunity and reach a larger audience. Good communication skills allows you to connect with promoters, organizers, and your fans — both online and in-person.
When you’re starting out, you might only be focused on having successful live events and mastering your style. However, nowadays, DJs must be dedicated to their fans and establish a creative brand to build their careers. Crafting your persona, creating an online presence, and learning how to network are the key elements you need to uplift your DJ career into a successful brand.
Crafting Your Persona
The first step in creating your brand is to determine what your overall image is going to be. This can be the hardest part, so don’t be afraid to experiment! Work towards the vision you set out for yourself and have the willingness to fail along the way. A passionate work ethic will push challenges you may face into progress during your journey. Having a unique personality and stage presence is attractive to potential fans and promoters. Knowing your purpose and expressing your passion through your work creates a persona that reaches more audiences and recognition overall.
DJ Khaled is a great example of this! DJ Khaled is a self-made producer that would bounce around hotels in Orlando, Florida before he made it big. Soon after, he was acknowledged nationwide by giving back to schools and areas of the Orlando community. His persona centers around happiness and spreading loving energy throughout the world, primarily through social media. A unique personality stands out on social media, and utilizing online spaces is often how successful DJs market their personality to the masses.
Now that you have a cohesive image, creating an online presence provides a marketing avenue to reach larger audiences and particular target markets. Quality content and an engaging presence on social media will strengthen your brand and persona tremendously. Connecting with fans and other DJs within the music industry is more accessible online. You have access to the global music industry, as well as trends and current events. Strategically connecting with the community will gain you notoriety and give you a voice
If you don’t have a professional social media presence, now is the time to create one. If you have an established following on social media, it will be easier to professionally approach networking opportunities. Social media is great networking tool; it keeps your fans connected and allows you to receive feedback in the industry. Build your following by telling your personal story on social media. Embrace your passion, show off your work, and your drive to succeed in the industry.
Interact with other accounts and your followers to keep people coming back to your page. Don’t forget the content! Posting upcoming events, mixes, news, merchandise, and other creative content is crucial to building a social following. Create content for other DJs to improve your reach and odds of appearing in their social feeds. Share content by other DJs as well! Interacting with content is a great way to increase your reach organically, and without having to pay for pricey advertising.
Finally, professional photos or graphics can perform well, but videos are where you can really shine. Use electrifying promotional videos to show off your skills and exhibit your persona. These short, eye-catching videos will demand attention of the viewer, and you can even use them to showcase your talent with a mixed soundtrack. Videos can accomplish many marketing goals, such as announcing your shows or teasing future projects. Adding an engaging call to action at the end of a video can also be a way to get viewers to remember your brand. Ask them to visit your website, follow your socials, or check out your next event on Facebook.
You should also invest in a professional website for your DJ brand in addition to social media. Websites allow you to present your story, work, and persona in a more informative way. Your website often will be the first thing your audience will find when they put your handle in a search engine. Link to your website on social media, and make sure it’s well-designed, clean, and full of good content. Post your vision, brand, good quality photos, your best mixes, upcoming gigs, and merchandise options on your website. Viewers will better understand your brand by the content you publish on your website. An Electronic Press Kit (EPK) groups these segments on your website to display information about you and your music career. Adding this will allow you to reach viewers outside of your existing network and give promoters, organizers, and future fans a quick synopsis on who you are and what you are all about.
Now that you have a persona and an online presence to back it up, you can start building relationships with others. Networking is the most effective skill for DJs to promote their talent. You need to have the skills to pay the bills; however, networking your brand and persona is essential to building your audience. It is important to have a professional approach when networking as a DJ because it is easy to sound desperate. If you build a relationship with promoters and organizers first, it will increase your chances of being able to perform onstage when you ask.
Networking topics to help build professional relationships:
1. “My fans are discussing your upcoming event and I wanted to find out more.”
2. “I’m following your social media accounts and I’d love to find a way to collaborate with you.”
If you’re looking to promote yourself, you’ll need to provide value in having other industry professionals work with you. They likely want to promote their own brand. Being able to set yourself apart from others is key to landing the opportunity to collaborate. Having a social media following, DJ experience at events, and developing your existing brand will make yourself more attractive to collaborators and allow you to network more easily.
Collaborating with other DJs is a win-win situation that will gain both you and your colleague exposure to a wider network. Partnerships also allow you to break into new markets and find more ways you can better yourself as a DJ. You can always learn something from other artists. You can also connect with your community to find out what your city has to offer in terms of DJ opportunities. Other artists in the community can help you discover opportunities, such as weddings, clubs, and other venues.
Climb the Ladder
Keep on climbing because there are endless opportunities for you to assemble a career in the music industry. Promoting a DJ brand or persona never ends because you’ll continue to meet great people and find new ways to better yourself along your journey. Now that you’ve seen the framework to building your DJ career, start putting your knowledge into action.