15. Where to Go From Here
We hope that all the topics we've covered in this book, from mixing techniques to marketing approaches and business practices, have given you a clearer idea of what it takes to be a better DJ. To elaborate on a point that world-class manager Ash Pournouri makes in our interview with him (Chapter 14), there are three paths to success for every professional DJ: get musical with your mixing, hone your performance skills (and crowd instincts), and curate your brand.
When you think about yourself as a DJ, it's crucial to identify what you're great at, and then move forward. (As we've said before: pick a niche, and then own it.). Once you're comfortable with the music you play and what you can do with it, the other paths to success--performance and brand--will follow.
So to sum up, if you want to improve the musical aspect of your repertoire, here's what we recommend:
- Learn all the tricks of advanced DJing--harmonic mixing, energy level mixing, energy boosts and mashups.
- Follow the latest trends in music, but make sure you have an ample collection of classics.
- Be adventurous with your music choices. It's important to know the latest bangers and club staples, but you need to stand out from other DJs too. Stock your music library with unique and eclectic material.
- Understand the progression of music throughout the night, and be ready to play in any time slot.
To improve your performance chops, remember these steps:
- Get a feel for what creates a great experience for your fans.
- Make sure you have a reliable DJ equipment setup that you can count on.
- Always have a "rescue plan" so you can keep playing if something goes wrong.
- Make backups of your music and be able to use them in any situation.
Familiarize yourself with the roles of everyone in the club scene, respect their hard work, and do what you can to keep them happy.
Finally, to improve your brand, focus on the four main aspects of marketing:
- Design a simple but eye-catching DJ logo for yourself.
- Get your promotional pictures done so they look as professional as you can make them, regardless of your budget.
- Carry business cards that are high-quality, simple and sleek.
- Launch a Facebook page where you engage your fans with frequent updates and useful posts--not just about you and your music, but about anything that might interest the people who follow you.
It's entirely possible to make a career out of being a DJ. As we can assure you, it's an amazing feeling to play in front of a live audience. All the information in this book is intended to support your efforts and improve your chances for success.
On that note, if anything you've learned here has contributed to your success story, we want to hear about it. Please post it anywhere online and let us know...and keep mixing!