When it comes to DJing, it is easy to get caught up in the “fame” of making people dance. However, if you let it go to your head and don’t treat DJing as a profession, you will be replaced faster than you can say “Panda”. Venues are places of business and should be treated as such. You are an independent contractor at a business who is under no obligation to use your services. There are many things you can do to maintain a happy professional relationship with the venue while still maintaining your DJ relationship with the patrons. Here are 5 tips to be a more Professional DJ.
Show up on Time
This is really important. Check the traffic, plan on arriving earlier than you need to, and give yourself enough time to set up. I know plenty of DJs who never got booked again because they could not adhere to this simple rule. Make sure you know what time you need to be there and make it happen.
Respect the Equipment
This is not your stuff, but treat it like you bought it. Don’t put your drinks on it. Don’t be rough with it. Don’t steal knobs and other pieces that make it run. Most venues have cameras and they know when stuff goes missing. The resident DJs know for sure and will report missing stuff. If you were the last one to use something and now parts are missing or it is sticky, rest assured, you will probably never work that venue again. When the nights is over, make sure you leave it in good condition for the next DJ. Depending on the venue, you might need to put covers on equipment, wrap wires, or turn off power strips. Try to leave it in the same or better shape than you found it.
Do the things you say you will do. If someone asks you for an image or logo for a flyer, do it quickly and don’t drop the ball. If you set up an appointment, show up and make it a priority. If you promise to bring a piece of equipment or certain music, make sure you do. Your word is your bond and you will be judged on it.
Never stop improving
How much time have you spent trying to get better at DJing? Have you gone to any seminars? Have you practiced learning new skills? Did read any books that will help you professionally? Did you learn any new programs? It is never ok to rest on your laurels. There is so much information out there and new things to learn. Don’t get left behind and become outdated. If you love it, learn everything you can about it. Here are books to get you started.
Be Friendly to Everyone
This includes the management, the staff, and the patrons. Even if they test your patience, happy people tell better stories. Remember, Satisfied Customers Tell Three Friends, Angry Customers Tell 3,000. There are many types of relationships going on behind the scenes that you don’t know about. A bartender or security guard might have more impact on your career than you could ever imagine. DJing is often times more about networking than anything else and the industry moves quickly and changes often. Maintaining relationships is critical and leads to other opportunities.
As a DJ, your reputation precedes you where ever you go. Do your best to keep it intact, not just with the people who listen to you, but also with the people you work with. You will get more gigs from your work connections than from your fans, so always be a professional and be someone people would want to work with again.
Video DJ World Champion