Achieving success in DJing or music production is not about following a set path, it’s about setting goals that matter to you, and feeling part of something you love. Nowadays, you have to “choose your own story” because, while the objective metrics of success still apply, there are tons more ways to “make it” in DJing.
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This was also the subject of an episode of our Tuesday Tips Live show, on our Global DJ Network Facebook Group, our Facebook Page, and our YouTube channel. Subscribe in any of those places to catch the show live, every Tuesday at 4pm London time.
To get signed to a record label, to get a manager, a publisher and an agent, to get the tours and the press interviews and the fame, you HAVE to have built momentum around yourself – that’s how you’ll get noticed by these people. No one becomes successful without being recognised for a body of work – even anonymous artists like Banksy are where they are because of what they’ve created in spite of their anonymity, not because of it.
These tips will give you new ideas as to how to create momentum yourself to propel you towards success this year.
5 Tips To Accelerate Your Success
1. Produce relevant, thoughtful content
In today’s hyper-connected, always-on digital age, if you’re not making stuff and putting it out into the world, everything else fails. I’m talking about mixes, productions, remixes, playing gigs, writing, posting to Instagram Stories… do stuff that counts. Make it the heart of what you do, and make it regular, like clockwork.
No excuses, because even though we aren’t living in a meritocracy, if you don’t work hard you don’t get anywhere.
2. Go out and meet other people
Wherever you are in the world, you are surrounded by awesome, exciting, inspiring DJs, producers, writers, designers, video creators, promoters and so on. Set yourself a target of meeting one new person a week, meaningfully, and ask how you can support what THEY do.
Even if you live in a sleepy town or a city where dance music isn’t part of the prevailing culture, there’s someone who you can reach out to and grab a coffee or a drink with. Maybe it’s the owner of a bed and breakfast by the lake who needs help planning a summer party, or the cafe round the corner whose playlist has gone stale. There’s always someone to meet.
3. Practise your “elevator pitch”
Who are you? What do you do? What are you working on right now? If you can’t tell people this, and do it in such a way that you make them want to listen, how can you expect any type of success? Start thinking about these questions and write down a concise answer that you can easily memorise and repeat verbatim to anyone who asks.
Make it empowering for you, and convincing for the listener. And remember: The first person you have to convince is yourself!
4. Treat your fans like the VIPs that they are
Make your fans feel like they’re the most important people in the world. Answer every comment, preferably with a question to get a conversation going! Facilitate discussions with your fans by being their gateway to each other, especially in the beginning. Help them, share knowledge, be open and generous to your audience.
You build a following from the inside outwards, one person at a time, and it’s how everyone of great significance did it, from Prince, Pete Tong and The Beatles all the way back to Plato and Aristotle.
5. Stop fretting about what to post on socials
Make steps one to four the subjects of your social media posts, Instagram Stories, likes and shares. Here’s your content plan: 1. Your work, 2. People you admire, 3. What you’re up to right now, 4. Your fans and what they’re doing / thinking / sharing.
Sure, work out what post types to create (text, image, video, audio), when to post them (preferably when your audience is awake / active online), and spend a bit of time making things look nice. But you’ll be surprised to know that these things are nowhere near as important as you might think compared to the importance of doing the work, prioritising living, breathing real-world connections, and giving genuine attention and respect to everyone who reaches out to you in whatever way and for whatever reason.
The internet continues to level the playing field, and more than ever this is a “DIY” culture – you can be a one-person business, and achieve awesome feats. There’s actually never been a better time to become a great DJ or DJ/producer, there have never been so many opportunities, so you owe it to yourself to try! And remember that success in DJing, like a lot of great things, means you’re playing for the long game.
Have you got closer to your DJing goals this year? Why or why not? What do you think needs to be done in order for you to progress? Let us know in the comments.