Taking the step as a part-time bedroom DJ to "getting money and getting paid" can be, without doubt, a pretty daunting step. In the beginning, as any DJ will attest, making ends meet can be pretty difficult. The industry is very competitive and there is only a finite amount of work available from bars and clubs. DJs don’t tend to have tens of thousands of dollars to spend on marketing and promotion.

Below, we have for you some tips on a handful of fundamentals to promote yourself as a DJ. Some of the tips are specific to being a DJ, and some are just some general marketing principals that should be understood by everyone, regardless of career.

Create distributable mixes

If being a DJ is a business, then your mixes are your product. As such, you need to be able to provide bars, nightclubs, festivals, and promoters with examples of your work. There are lots of file-sharing websites these days to upload and distribute them online if you don’t want to go old-school with CDs. A great service and community for this is Soundcloud.

Flyers and Brochures

It’s tempting to make black and white flyers or brochures because they’re cheap, however keep in mind that this will reflect on you as a brand. A cheap flyer will make you look like a shit DJ, of which there are plenty out there. Spare no expense with your promotional material. If you are short on cash, try approaching your local university’s graphic design department, and get a budding uni student to design it for you.

Diversify Your Skill Set

The more genres you can DJ for, the more work you can available to be hired for. Also, it’s very limiting (creatively and career-wise) to narrow yourself down to only one specific genre. Nowadays it isn’t expensive to expand to other genres, as all it takes are dollar downloads for the tracks. Ten years ago, you would have to buy hundreds of new vinyl to build up a collection in a genre, which became expensive extremely quickly.

Learn to Sell

Learn some basics sales skills. It’s not hard, and there are plenty of online resources out there that can instantly improve your sales abilities. This will, at the bare minimum, give you the confidence to get out there and sell yourself as a DJ. A great book, which is actually required reading for most MBA programs, is How to Win Friends & Influence People.

Networking: Facebook and Twitter

Make yourself a Facebook fan page and go get fans! You would be surprised how many followers you can get just through friends of friends, and will allow for credibility when approaching bars and nightclubs. Also, most DJs are addicted to Twitter and it’s a great way to network and get your name out there. Remember one of the most fundamental rules in business: your success will be all about who you know.


Remember! As a freelance DJ you should be treating yourself as a business. If you want to be successful, you will have to be serious about dedicating your time to practicing, networking, selling, and always discovering new music to be on top of the scene.

Do you have any additional tips for a new DJ starting out? We’d love to hear them in the comments section below!