Performing & promoting your livestream
With DJ livestreaming, you have to talk a bit more than at a club gig, but a bit less than at a mobile gig.
Look at the camera. Try to always have stuff moving in the shot. Thing about the interest in your scene and ways to make it more dynamic. Definitely have both you and your DJ gear on show – people are interested in both.
Also, remember you are LIVE. This is the unique thing. So play on that – interact with the live audience. Get conversations going. Do all the stuff you couldn’t do were it a set recording. It’s what makes people feel involved, feel a sense of occasion, and want to come back for more.
Remember to explain who you are, what this is, why you’re doing it, what to expect – and to do so several times, as people will come and go. Tell people where to find the recording and the track list (people always want a track list). Reduce the music volume considerably when talking on the mic.
Oh, and even if you’re nervous, try to look like you’re having fun. The nerves will pass, it’s DJing not open heart surgery and if you make a mistake all will be OK – plus it’s not like you’re charging for it. People will want you to do well. And you will make mistakes – just try and stay calm and carry on from where you left off.
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Did you enjoy it? Want to do it again? Though so. However nerve-wracking it feels, it is a bit like a scary amusement park ride: First time you don’t enjoy it, but as soon as it’s over, you want to get on again!
The keys to promoting are to firstly be consistent (same time every week, same format, same title etc), secondly try and get friends and family involved first and get them to help you promote it wider, and thirdly, to make sure you have recordings you can promote. That’s why YouTube is a good idea, as it saves a video for you.
I also like to put the audio into Mixcloud (here are some of my Mixcloud livestreams, audio-only versions).
Once you have recordings, you can share them – on your socials, post embeds on your website if you have one, and so on.
Lastly, remember that building an audience for your DJing online may take months or years – and that’s fine. If you’re doing it because you love it, that shouldn’t worry you – and you’ll probably find you start to build an audience just at the point that your livestream develops into something that has worth. Show 100 will be better than show 1. The biggest mistake people make is in not giving their shows the chance to get that far.
Livestreaming is a great way to share your music and creativity, that is coming of age right now. But it is still “new”, and if you choose to do it now (which you should) you’ll still be one of the early adopters.
That’s great because it means you’ll be ahead of the pack – but it also means you are going to spend a good deal of time scratching your head, making mistakes (“I can’t believe how stupid I was just two weeks ago…”) and, yes having awesome breakthroughs.
Read this next: 10 Livestream DJ Set Mistakes You Should Stop Making Immediately
Recently, I was chatting to a network engineer, who was tweaking our multicast camera set-up in our main studio (the one we use to broadcast our live lessons and public tips and tricks shows from).
“It’s pretty amazing what you’re doing here,” he said, to which I replied, “Honestly? I still feel like we’re in the dark, just learning as we go along. And I still don’t trust the stream to stay up from start to end, never mind go off without a hitch, every time I go live…”
You’ll feel like that too. It comes with the territory. Just make note of what works, and just as importantly what doesn’t, ask for help when you need it (we’re here…), and take the knocks and the triumphs the same way. It’ll keep you sane on your livestreaming journey.
I do hope this article and the many resources we’ve linked to from it help you to do this – and do let us know how you get on!
• If you’d like me to teach you how to livestream, whether on your phone, laptop or in a multi-camera, studio environment, check out my DJ Livestreaming Made Easy course. I’d be thrilled to have you as a student!