If DJ plays in a forest and no one is around to hear it, do they make a sound?
Sure, it makes a sound, but since no one heard it, it probably means you didn’t promote yourself enough.
Promotion is an essential part of your DJ career. From beginners to pros, DJs should spend a significant amount of their resources promoting their business to book more gigs.
Let’s look at some tried and true ways for a DJ to promote their business best in 2023.
Tip #1: Start By Knowing Who You Are and What You Want
This tip is all about the foundations of marketing. You must know your unique selling proposition (USP) as a DJ and which people need to hear it most.
Many business owners get into trouble here because they aren’t specific enough. For example, if your USP is some version of “laying down the dopest tracks” and the people you want to hear it is “everyone booking a DJ,” then you are not specific enough.
Real marketing starts with knowing the product. In this case, you are the talent, and your music is the product. Therefore, as online business insurance firm Thimble says, your first step is to solidify your DJ brand by asking the following questions:
- In other words, what do you want to play?
- Determine what adjectives describe your work.
- Do you want to book weddings, corporate events or have a standing gig at some nightclubs?
- Look for things they have in common, such as age, gender, life stage, and, perhaps most importantly, media preferences.
When you have the answers to these questions, you have the beginnings of a brand and a brand message. These points and goals will be the guides that help you promote your DJ business in ways that are meaningful to you.
Tip #2: Don’t hand your target your mixtape without laying the groundwork.
This tip comes straight from Phil Morse, author of Rock the Dancefloor: The proven five-step formula for total DJing success. On Digital DJ Tips, Morse explains that you never want to hand your mix tape cold to the person you want to hire you. Why? Morse says that hardly anyone ever has been booked off their mix tape alone.
Instead, Morse says you should ensure that everyone around your target knows who you are. You want all of their entourage to have heard of you, listened to your mix, and would give you a thumbs up if asked about you. Then, when your target finally does get your mixtape, they can ask their group about you, and you have a better chance of booking after members of their entourage say, “yes.”
Tip #3: Mind your socials.
This one is no surprise. The more likes you have, the better your chances of booking. Morse says, “If you smash it on Instagram, you’ll get the booking. If you don’t, no chance!”
The Houston Chronicle’s Chron Online publication small business guide explains that a Facebook Fan Page highlighting your DJ events can help “increase your visibility.” They compare the likes to an endorsement of your skills. Additionally, DJs can use social media to connect with other vendors, such as event planners and wedding venues, to form partnerships and cross-promote services.
Thimble also likes social media to promote your business. They share the following ideas on what you can post:
Social media has a lot of platforms. Perhaps the most far-reaching is Instagram/Facebook, with over a billion users (1.28 billion) at the end of 2022. However, don’t forget Twitter (if it survives the Musk takeover) and TikTok. For example, there have been over three million views on #djbusiness on TikTok (and counting).
In addition to your social media presence, Chron suggests another way to increase online visibility is to create a professional website that showcases the company’s services, pricing, and customer reviews. A website is an essential tool for any business, as it can help potential customers learn more about your brand, sound, and vibe. Plus, it can be a place to start collecting email addresses to send out promotional content.
Tip #4: Leverage the Cloud.
In addition to coming up with branding that works for you, Thimble also emphasizes the importance of creating a playlist or a mix to showcase your skills. Sharing platforms like SoundCloud, Mixcloud, or Mix.dj can be an excellent place to showcase mixes and playlists.
SoundCloud is a music and audio platform that allows users to upload, share, and promote their original audio content. It’s where musicians, podcasters, and creators can share their work. Users can create an account, upload their audio content, share it on social media, or embed it on their website. SoundCloud also has a built-in commenting system and a system for reposting content, which allows users to share and promote other users’ audio content.
Mixcloud is another platform similar to SoundCloud, focusing more on DJ sets, radio shows, and other long-form audio content. Mixcloud has a large community of DJs, radio hosts, and other music enthusiasts, and it’s a great place to find new music and discover new DJs and radio shows. Mixcloud has a feature that allows users to listen to the mix while reading the tracklist. Users can also create their profiles, follow other users and curate their playlists.
Mix.dj is another platform similar to SoundCloud and Mixcloud, but it focuses more on electronic music and DJ performances. It allows DJs and electronic music producers to upload their music, live sets, and remixes. In addition, Mix.dj enables users to create and share playlists and a feature that allows users to discover new music based on their current listening habits.
Tip #5: Work it like a business, not a hobby.
It is essential to remember that your DJ career is a business, not something you do for fun—even if it is fun for you when you do it. Therefore, you should treat it like a business, giving the promotional/marketing side some of your time and energy.
Start by asking your clients for referrals. Referrals are essential in this business. Chron suggests offering referral incentives like a discount on the next gig or a referral fee for new bookings to current customers when they send friends and family to you.
Additionally, you should have business cards. A professional business card is an excellent way to leave a tangible reminder of what you do with potential customers.
Businesses are also part of the community they serve. So, get out there and perform. Getting involved in the community by participating in local events, such as fairs and festivals, is an excellent way to increase visibility and connect with potential clients.
Furthermore, everyone loves a deal. So, offering special deals and promotions can also be an effective way to attract new gigs. Some ideas could be early-booking discounts or special packages for weddings or corporate events.
Promotion is enormous for your DJ career, so putting your resources into doing more this year can only help. Whether it’s building a brand, connecting with other DJs and industry professionals online and through music platforms, creating playlists and mixes, or leveraging social media marketing, it is essential to be consistent and persistent in promoting oneself as a DJ to build a successful career. In addition, implementing these strategies allows you to market yourself and stand out in a competitive industry.
DJ Marketing Tips (2021). Available at: https://www.thimble.com/blog/dj-marketing-tips (Accessed: 24 January 2023)
The 5 Steps To DJing Success, #5: Promoting Yourself – Digital DJ Tips (2020). Available at: https://www.digitaldjtips.com/2020/05/the-five-steps-to-djing-success-5-promoting-yourself/ (Accessed: 24 January 2023).
Advertising Ideas for a Mobile DJ Company (2023). Available at: https://smallbusiness.chron.com/advertising-ideas-mobile-dj-company-70119.html (Accessed: 24 January 2023).
Instagram users worldwide 2025 | Statista (2023). Available at: https://www.statista.com/statistics/183585/instagram-number-of-global-users/ (Accessed: 24 January 2023).