How To Become A Mobile DJ, Pt 1: Which Type Do You Want To Be?

Phil Morse | Read time: 5 mins
Become a mobile DJ Becoming a mobile DJ Mobile/event DJing
Last updated 23 September, 2021


What this is about…

Have you ever thought about becoming a mobile DJ, or are you already trying to be one? For many, becoming a mobile DJ is a great way to earn extra money, be able to play out more regularly, carry on DJing when family and career become a priority, or play extra gigs alongside club work. That said, for many, mobile DJing is all they do – and they love it that way!

This is one of a special series of Become A Mobile DJ articles, exploring the secrets of DJs who’ve built profitable, easy-to-run mobile DJ businesses. If you want to take this further, do check out our New Mobile DJ Blueprint course.


The 3 Types Of Mobile DJ

Today, we’re sharing with you the three types of mobile/wedding DJ, and helping you to identify which of these three types you will probably want to focus on becoming.

1. The “Side Hustle DJ”

This type of mobile DJ is in a good place. It’s a place where it’s possible to make good money, while maintaining a healthy balance between career, home/family and DJing, and just as importantly, keep it all FUN.

One DJ in the “sweet spot” is our community member Mickey, in Argentina. He wrote to us:

“At my age (45) I find that DJing balances my life as a corporate lawyer. I started DJing back in the 80s when I was only 14 years old. I am doing something I love and getting paid for it. A dream come true…”

Mickey is typical of about 25% of mobile DJs: We call them “Side Hustle DJs”. (We’ll get to the other two types in a bit…)

Side Hustle DJs love their DJing and get paid well for it – yet their modern and streamlined “micro” DJ businesses take minimal time and effort to maintain.

These successful “Side Hustlers” get to pick and choose the gigs they play, turning down work that doesn’t appeal to them.

They’re in demand, and don’t worry about the competition – indeed, they know, respect and work with many of the best DJs in their areas.

They’ve discovered a way to run a DJ business that is very different from previous generations, and they feel blessed to have done so.

They love their mobile DJing, and don’t want anything to change.

Another of our community members, Rish from South Africa, says it well:

“Everybody has their own way of relieving stress, whether it’s going fishing, cycling etc, but when I put on a pair of headphones and touch a controller, all my stress disappears…”

That’s a pretty normal feeling when we escape into our music, right? We can all relate to that!

2. The “All or Nothing DJ”

So… one thing the “Side Hustle” DJs are not is this type – the top 5% or so of mobile DJs. We’ve called them the “All or Nothing DJs”, and they show a very different set of characteristics to Side Hustle DJs.

These guys (they are usually male – 97% in fact) earn upwards of $50,000/year or more, usually much more, and are always full-timers. For them, it is important to be in the top 3, 2 even 1% of DJs.

They play three or four gigs a week, minimum, and they usually specialise in weddings. They dedicate their whole lives to being on top of their game: For them, mobile DJing is a calling.

They are the kind of DJs who employ other DJs, and who are happy to spend serious money to make money. Indeed, we run a coaching programe if this is the kind of DJ you want to be, our Complete Wedding DJ training, run with one of America’s biggest wedding DJs, Jason Jani.

But while being an “All or Nothing DJ” is a great job for a certain type of person,it certainly requires a lot of dedication and a big game-plan. It isn’t for the casual DJ. That’s why most DJs decide they don’t want to go there.

David, from Florida says it well:

“It still feels more like fun than a job and I think that’s important – keeping it as a side gig helps to ensure it doesn’t lead to burn-out!”

3. The “Break Even DJ”

However, another place most DJs definitely don;t want to be is this type of DJ.

We call this type “Break Even DJs”, and they represent a whopping 70% of mobile DJs.

Break Even DJs are basically “amateurs with benefits”. They’re in the game to try to fund their DJing habit by playing mobile gigs – actually, any gigs.

They know the money has to come from somewhere, so they offer themselves up for parties, work events, friends’ weddings, empty pubs on a Tuesday – anything to offset some of the expense of their hobby.

They typically earn an absolute maximum of a few hundred a month from DJing – on a good month, that is. On a bad month, it’s nothing – and bad months often pile up.

Break Even DJs may play two or three gigs that pay OK a year – but they’re generally not happy with the quality of their bookings, and they tend to feel “stuck”.

It’s not a good place to be. Because one of the truths about “Break Even” is, of course, that “Break Even” is a small step away from “Broke”.

Which Type Are You?

become a mobile dj
Before you can work towards where you want to be, it’s important to identify where you are now, and what your ultimate aim is.

So which type are you?

Side Hustle?

Break Even?

All or Nothing?

There’s a 70% chance you’re a Break Even DJ, because our surveys tell us this is where most mobile DJs exist. (Of course, you may just be considering getting started in mobile / wedding DJing, and so you’re none of these at all yet.)

If you are a beginner or a “Break Even DJ”, that’s great news – because it means this series of articles has been designed just for you.

Who this series is for…

We’re going to explore how to make the journey from the start or the 70%, to the 25% zone – from beginner or struggling Break Even DJ to successful Side Hustle DJ.

As you can see from the numbers, the odds here are good. In fact, as we find out in the next article, it’s actually pretty hard NOT to move to the 25% successful Side Hustle zone, once you’re doing the right things.

…and who it ISN’T for

It’s only fair I warn you reading this now that you MAY find some of what’s coming uncomfortable. The route to becoming a successful Side Hustle DJ is not for everyone. You’re going to need to decide where you stand with it.

Things have changed, and what used to work in mobile DJing is now part of the problem. And not everyone is cool with this.

(Big clue: If you’re long-in-the-tooth, clinging to the old pre-social media world, you’re going to struggle – probably already are.)

Another clue: If you’re convinced that other DJs undercutting you is the cause of your issues, and that things will get worse no matter what you do, then guess what? For you, they will.

You can’t hold that opinion and benefit from what I’ll be sharing with you. It requires you to reframe your beliefs about what’s really going on out there.

Are you ready to do that? Be honest with yourself.

Finally, just to be crystal clear – if you want to be a full-time mobile DJ and earn $75k, $100k, $500k or more a year, this isn’t how to get there. As I say, we have training for that already – it’s called Jason Jani’s Complete Wedding DJ and for the top 5% of pro wedding DJs, it’s awesome – but that’s not what these articles are about.

On the other hand, earning good money from filling dancefloors as a successful “Side Hustle” mobile DJ, and having the time of your life doing so? Does that sound like fun? That’s exactly the path we can show you, and will be showing you throughout this series.

Is this something you are READY for? Then let’s carry on in Part 2

Mixing For Mobile & Wedding DJs