So you’ve managed to get yourself a couple of regular bar gigs, or maybe even a set in a local club. You’re finally getting a little bit of cash back to support your DJing hobby. (Still stuck in your bedroom, dreaming of all of this? Find out how How To Digital DJ Fast can make this happen for you!).
Chances are though, that you’re not making a huge amount of money from your DJing – and that’s both fine, and completely normal. But there are ways you can add to whatever you’re being paid to DJ.
So apart from show fees (and selling mix CDs – but you don’t do that, do you, as that would be illegal?), here are a few ideas that I’ve either used or seen working for other people:
- Sell merchandising. You’ve got a DJ logo, haven’t you? Why not get some T-shirts printed up, and get the venue to display them behind the bar? Wear one yourself when DJing, and sell them (maybe on a profit split with the venue – they can possibly co-brand them). Even if you end up doing this at cost, it’s getting your name out there…
- Teach DJing. So you may think you’re just a beginner, but believe me, if you’re playing anywhere in public, regularly, there are an awful lot of people who want to be in your position. Why not get a business card printed up and when people chat to you at your gigs and say they’d love to do what you do, offer them lessons?
- Get a sponsor. Got a local DJ store, club wear shop, listings website? Maybe they can sponsor you, either by providing you with something you need (gear, tunes, clothing) or with cold, hard cash. In return they could get their name on the flyers for your events, or on that T-shirt we discussed above, or even on your website (see number 5 below)
- Hire yourself out for parties. Many bar DJs don’t want to be mobile or wedding DJs (and if you do, The Complete 21st Century Wedding DJ will tell you everything you need to know). But that doesn’t mean you wouldn’t want to play the same kind of music you play in your bar gig at someone’s party – right? If you’re playing a cool set in a bar, often someone will ask if you’d like to do this. Give out a card and get a number and follow up…
- Put adverts on your website. You could do this for your sponsors, your venue, or other local businesses. Make sure all your Facebook, Twitter and email activity promoting your gigs leads back to your webpage, and make sure you can tell potential sponsors how many people see the page each month. If all else fails, just sign up for Google AdWords and slap their banners or text ads on your page. You’ll probably not make much, but if you’re serious about making any kind of living as a DJ, every little helps – especially at the start…
Have you found a way to make a little extra cash on top of your DJ fees? Have you ever done or seen done any of the suggestions I make above? Please feel free to join in the conversation in the comments.