How To Become A Mobile DJ, Pt 3: Play By The New Rules

Phil Morse | Founder & Tutor
Read time: 5 mins
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. We’ve already published Part 1 and Part 2, and this is Part 3. If you want to take this further, do check out our New Mobile DJ Blueprint course.

Quick recap…

Back in Part 1, we looked at the types of mobile DJ, before looking in Part 2 at a change in thinking that’s going to be necessary if you’re serious about running a successful part-time mobile DJ business.

I ended the last article with a warning, basically that the DJs successfully side hustling their way to getting all they want from their mobile DJing are committed and consistent in their actions.

In short, they’re professional about it.

I did that deliberately, so the “big secret” I want to share with you today – about how today’s mobile DJs achieve success – doesn’t scare you.

(As you’re reading today’s article, though, please just bear in mind that to be professional, you don’t have to spend every waking second doing it. That’s not what professional means at all in this context. That’s important.)

What your success will look like…

So let’s paint the picture from a business point of view why all of this is worth the effort.

Imagine knowing…

  • How to get a steady stream of high quality mobile DJ gigs coming your way
  • That you CAN ask for the fee you feel you deserve, and get it – or walk away knowing there are plenty of people who WILL give you that money
  • How to “automate” the boring bits of your DJ business, to free you up to do what you do best – book great gigs, share your amazing successes with the world, and play great music to full dancefloors…

That’s the result of implementing the best practices we’re going to share with you – practices that together constitute the “new rules”… the “blueprint” for how Side Hustlers operate.

The prize is big. So let’s look at the missing piece, the secret about what all the new rules we’ve identified have in common…

Because it turns out that the “new rules” of DJing right here, in this day and age – the rules that govern how successful Side Hustler DJs are operating today – are not to do with DJing.



They’re the “New Rules of Business”.

What are the “New Rules”?

So here it is: Successful Side Hustler DJs are simply implementing a set of best practices based around how the very latest breed of modern “micro businesses” conduct themselves…

…a set of rules that simply did NOT EXIST 10 years ago, and that few people in mobile / wedding DJing have even heard of, let alone mastered.

  • THAT’S why the $50-a-night crew we spoke of in the last article are no threat (they aren’t professional enough to implement the rules)
  • THAT’S why the “Victim DJs” we also spoke of in the last article, and those who won’t open their minds to learning, are no threat (because they reject the rules)
  • THAT’S why Side Hustler DJs find it easy to make good money from their DJing while still maintaining careers, families, a life outside of all of this (because they know exactly what to do with their limited time for building their DJ businesses)

What, it’s really nothing to do with DJing?

Now you might be thinking: “Hang on, are you saying that it is nothing to do with DJing – my music, my gear, my performing talent?”

No of course I’m not. These things are and always have been super-important.

But while you need to enjoy playing music for people to be a good DJ, it turns out that that is NOT one of the factors that separates the DJ types.

There are good and bad DJs among the Break Evens, the Side Hustlers, and even the All or Nothings!

Yes, there are high paid DJs who are achieving these results despite not being very good at it – and great DJs failing because they don’t know or implement the rules!

The truth is DJing itself hasn’t changed in the past 10 years, and frankly mobile and wedding DJing hasn’t changed in the past 25 years.

But businesses?

Businesses 25 years ago would be utterly unrecognisable compared to businesses today – especially small, part-time home businesses.

It’s the BUSINESS RULES that have changed.

You want to know something even crazier?

Even most successful “Side Hustle DJs” are only partly implementing the rules.

They do some of it right, but very few of them are doing all of it right. They’re often doing it on instinct, not to a plan.

Yet just by “accidentally” implementing some of the rules, they are currently effectively separating themselves from their competition, and reaping the rewards. It’s enough!

An example area where it’s all changed…

Let’s look at just one of the areas where mobile DJing has been completely changed by the new rules: Marketing.

Thanks to the way modern micro-businesses can operate (driven by the internet), you have the ability to:

  • Run super-targeted ads on Facebook, Google or Instagram – meaning you don’t have to have a huge marketing budget to build a name as a mobile DJ
  • Find people online who are posting information about their parties, birthdays and weddings, connecting you to the best gigs automatically
  • Easily research and network via social media with complementary professionals – wedding venues, photographers, event planners, florists and so on – allowing the formation of informal networks so the work comes to you before other DJs even hear about it

I could go on, but the point I want to make is that these New Rules aren’t just “add ons” to the old ways of doing things. They’re not just “nice to haves”.

They ARE the new way of doing things.

I don’t know about where you live, but they don’t even print the “Yellow Pages” directory any more where we are.

When was the last time you looked in your newspaper classifieds to source a service?

(When was the last time you even bought a newspaper?)

Does “word of mouth” nowadays for you mean actually asking a friend about a product or service… or looking at user comments online somewhere?

You get where I’m coming from.

The New Rules of Business have REPLACED the old ways.

The old ways DON’T WORK any more…

…and it all happened FRIGHTENINGLY fast.

The old ways vs the new ways

Pre around 2005, a struggling mobile DJ trying really hard might have made, say, $20,000 a year – but probably spent most of that on physical music, expensive gear and old-school advertising.

To be a DJ up until around that time, you didn’t just have to be professional about it – you had to have cold, hard cash in the game too. You needed a lot of commitment.

And even then it was truly hard work. Great DJs failed regularly.

Really, you had no choice but to be an “All or Nothing” DJ – you didn’t survive long otherwise. You needed to DJ a LOT to break even and start making any profit.

Fast forward to now. Sure, there are loads, LOADS more DJs out there (gear and music are much cheaper – another result of the new rules – meaning the barriers to entry are smaller).

But hardly any of them “get” the New Rules of Business.

They can’t take advantage of the speed to market, the plummeting costs of marketing, the ability to research, network, over-deliver and re-book clients to fill calendars, the digital innovations in business admin, and so on…

Once you implement the new rules, if you earn $20,000 a year from this, or even $10,000, from playing a few gigs you really enjoy, you they get to keep much more of it.

Result? A profitable Side Hustle DJ business!

So why WOULDN’T you do this?

And you see now that we live in a time where… why wouldn’t you follow your passion?

Why wouldn’t you pick the very thing that you’re actually excited and passionate about – that gets you up in the morning and keeps you up late at night – and make some money out of it?

Today, you only have to bring a little bit of moderate professionalism (plus the new rule book) and you can easily stand out from the crowd.

In most cases, if you really want to learn how to make the relatively short leap from Break Even to Side Hustle, it’s yours for the taking.

This is happening right now, and there’s no standing still – you need to be in it or you’re going to go backwards, fast.

So in the next article/lesson in this series, Part 4, I share with you how these New Rules of Business translate into the “best practices” for mobile DJs who want to run a successful “side hustle” mobile DJ business.

Click here for your free DJ Gear and software guide