Pro Tips For DJs During The Off Season

Right in the beginning of the year many DJs complain that there really aren’t enough DJ gigs coming in. It’s right after Christmas and New Years, Festival season is far away and the high time for weddings is months away. In this video I talk about some tricks and tips to preparing for the high season while you’ve got the down time now.

1. Make Playlist for EVERY occasion.
Whether it’s an art show, store opening or headlining an event. Make sure you’ve got a variety of playlists ready to go.

2. Organize, pre-pack and plan.
Think of anything that can go wrong or that you might need and pack it. Maybe it’s a couple of back up usbs, headphones, ear plugs and a power bar. Add in a few converters and headphone adapters.

3. Update your equipment and test your equipment.
Ensure your cords are sending sound both left and right, link cables are in good working condition and any updates have not only been done, but you’ve tested.

Episode 64 – Female DJs & The EDM Industry (Passionate DJ Podcast)

Passionate dj podcast


In this week’s episode, I join my friend David Michael on Episode 64 and it’s all about the issues and concerns which women often experience as DJs, or in the “EDM Industry”.

We chat about several issues and you can read and listen more to the podcast here.

Why Free-Jaying Isn’t Working For You

I’ll be the first one to say it, freejaying simple does not work when you do not know how to run your business in the first place. In this video I explain why. And YES, I know some of you are going to tell me, “But Kilma, I’ve been able to network and gain some SERIOUSLY awesome paying gigs through it. That’s awesome, but I’m NOT talking about YOU. I’m talking about people that freejay 3, 5, 10 years into their career and STILL aren’t able to make a living off of what they are doing because they are dealing with some of the very things I outline in this video.

If YOU know a FREEJAY that is making the mistakes I chat about here, SHARE this video. Get the word out, because when we all work together and set our standards higher it forces business owners to take our business MORE seriously.

There is room for EVERYONE!

DJ Kilma On Youtube
Other awesome articles:

5 Questions To Ask Yourself When Being Offered “Exposure” Payments

No this is NOT an article about justifying taking gigs for exposure, because guess what? Clearly it does not pay the bills and YOU my friend, deserve to be paid! Yes, every artist at some point will be asked to free-jay an event. But when it feels like it’s the majority of your offers, naturally one might wonder what that is all about. While clearly an influx of inexpensive deejays can affect the economy there are some tell tail signs within your brand that maybe attracting the wrong clientele. Here are some important questions to ask yourself.

1. What does your brand image say about you?

 Why am I bring offer exposure dj gigs?


Does your website, logo and description look & sound professional? Do you personally value your craft and invest in your brand?

Unsure? An outside (professional) opinion will help clear this up. Try asking 2-3 friends or business professionals that can objectively look at your business. But remember you must be open to the constructive criticism. Someone from the outside will notice issues like missing links, spelling errors and even points of improvement.

2. What does your business approach look like?

 Why am I bring offer exposure dj gigs?


When people ask you for a quote or to play an event, are you gaining details or shooting off a price before you know what you’re getting yourself into? Maybe you struggle at asking for your worth and hold off asking for a wage until the gig has been complete.

Tips: Do not assume payment! Always confirm details and a wages a head of time. You might be surprised to learn that in many cases there are 1 or 2 artists on a line up that have been paid while others that did not require the payment therefore never offered one.

3. What types of events do you typically play?

 Why am I bring offer exposure dj gigs?

Dive bars can be fun, but if you perform for a club owner notorious for not playing their artists, you may end up on the potential free-jays watchers list. Where the assumption might be that you play for free. If however you are playing for bigger events (charging your worth) there may be an assumption of payment as those clients expect they’ll be paying top dollar.

4. What is your reputation?

 Why am I bring offer exposure dj gigs?


Are you known for getting back to clients right away with a great record for being on time? How about equipment, does it fail often or even worst… unprofessional behaviour? If you think “word of mouth” is bad, check out the infamous video of Hippie Sabotage. The social media world does not allow for this type of behaviour to go unnoticed anymore. While everyone loves to have a good time, it’s important to respect the patrons and staff! Really, why the heck wouldn’t you?!

5. Are You Consistent?

 Why am I bring offer exposure dj gigs?


Are you consistently giving it your all at each event or do you let your mood negatively affect your performance?  Everyone has off days, but it is still important to set the stresses of life aside so you can focus on your delivery each time. You may find this is actually a fantastic way to calm and cope with life’s craziness, by diving into your work!

Keep in mind:

Being offer “exposure gigs” doesn’t necessarily mean you are not giving value to your clients or that word around town is you are a free-jay. However taking a second look at how you are running your business may help you find where you can improve your image, business practices and offered services. Need extra help with this? On Sunday July.31 in Winnipeg, Manitoba at the Strange Things Emporium (B-914 Corydon Ave) we will be doing a FREE WORKSHOP, touching on the common mistakes and easy fixes in branding. This will  include charging your worth and getting it! Please contact me if you are interested in signing up as seating is limited! 



Eight Helpful Articles For DJs:

Winnipeg DJs – What To Know, What To Ask

Whether you are looking to hire or are the dj yourself there are a few really important questions both the customer and artist needs to know and ask one another. So let’s dive right in!

Disclaimer – No, you don’t have to be from Winnipeg for these to apply but this article will have a few Winnipeg entertainment companies mentioned for locals looking!


Winnipeg DJ

Customer to the DJ: What can you offer for the theme of my event?
Is this a wedding, fashion or art show? Maybe this is happening within a club environment and you need country music only! Your entertain will need to know this information and you need to know if this is within their realms of services. Don’t assume every DJ has ever track ever made, nor that all djs offer all the same services.

Disc jockey to the Client: What is the theme of your event?
If you say YES to the gig not realizing they needed folk music and all you have is hip-hop you might not be the person for the job or silly enough not prepared for the day of the gig. Find what sort of atmosphere they are going for.


Winnipeg Disc Jockey

Customer to the DJ: What services do you provide?
Do you need music, games and someone to coordinate between vendors? Maybe it’s for your wedding and you’re in need of dj to direct the photographer as to where you will be entering the venue, as well as speaking with the catering company about when dinner will be served. (Extra tips on wedding djs here.)

Disc jockey to the Client: What services do you need?
Maybe the venue is expecting you to bring your own sound and gear and doesn’t realize that your rider sates that they are to provide the equipment. You may be an electronic music artist that allows for artistic freedom and they are looking for someone to cater directly to their needs outside of your brand. Knowing this allows you to offer the right entertainment company if this is NOT what you provide.


Winnipeg djs

Customer to the DJ: What would I be looking at paying?
Keep in mind the artist will need to know what exactly you need, ie. sound, hours djing, music style etc. to give you the right price.

Disc Jockey to themselves: What is a fair price?
This is more of a question towards the entertainment company themselves. This is where your “DJ Fee Calculator” comes in handy. You’ll need to figure out the amount of hours you’ll spend preparing, money spent on music (if you need additional) rentals and promo including the hours spent setting up, performing and taking down gear.

Previous Events

Winnipeg DJ

Customer to the DJ: What experience do you have?
If the price is a little too good to be true, you may want to question their experience. As it’s said in the industry, “Good djs ain’t cheap and cheap djs ain’t good.” That isn’t to say there aren’t some great ones under valuing their services, but take the time to find out what previous events this djs has been involved with. This can include checking out their website and social pages to see what sort of feedback and projects they have been involved with, to reviewing their press-kit.

Client Tip: If you are a club owner and you are on the look out for DJs that are also great at marketing their events, or running special themed nights, find out if your dj has a press-kit with reference to previous work.

Disc jockey to client: What experience do you have as an event coordinator?
If you are playing for a first time promoter that is stating they are providing sound equipment, there are some things that can go wrong if they aren’t aware of whom they are hiring. It’s not to say this person isn’t capable of throwing a great event but you’ll want to ensure the person has the knowledge and support so that the event will run as smoothly as possible. As an artist there are few things that are worse then showing up at an event where the sound engineer does not know what they are doing and YOU end up looking like the unprofessional one while playing.

Available for Art & Fashion Shows In Winnipeg
Kilma (Electronica)
Cherry Tree Productions

Available for Club / Lounge In Winnipeg
Kilma (Electronica)
Bomb Squad Entertainment (Top 40 – Electronica)

Available for Weddings & Socials In Winnipeg / Manitoba Area
Kenny Beats
Bomb Squad Entertainment
Gudlite Entertainment
Cherry Tree Productions
Special Request Weddings

Available for Bar Mitzvah Djs
Cherry Tree Productions

Throwing a Wedding Social? Here is our 2016 list of places that donate!

6 Warning Signs That You Might Be A Jaded DJ

If you have a friend that sounds like this, I dare you to tag them on FB or Twitter. Hell, chances are they even try to fight you on this one. On the slight chance it could kick them in the butt to change… let’s do it anyways! Here are the 6 warning signs that you’re dealing with or simply ARE that jaded dj.

Are you a jaded dj?
1. Happy DJs irritate you

Like literally someone just being nice makes your skin crawl.

2. You are unable to be happy for other DJs

Even if it is actually a dear friend of yours, you just can’t bring yourself to say how proud you are because you’d in some way be saying all those grumpy opinions of yours were actually very wrong.

3. You find faults in everything dance music has to offer

Are you a jaded dj?

You cant help but put down anything good. Electronic dance music is becoming more widely accepted and you are angry that people didn’t like it back when you were still playing out.

4. You Are Subconsciously Jealous of others djs

Some may fully deserve the success they are gaining, but a part of you always finds the need to point out how they could be more to your standards (even if you have no plans on pursuing a career further, let alone trying any harder.)

5. You’d rather blame other djs, than change.

You easily spend hours online or with friends complaining  about things you dislike about the scene, but heaven forbid you get out there and make any changes, let alone acknowledge your faults.

6. You’d rather hate other djs, than look at your career.

Are you a jaded dj?


You look critically at those around you, avoiding any responsibility on your part. Could you make those changes? Sure… “But what about all the OTHER people around me?!?!”

Here is the thing…

Whether 1 or 2 of these things sounds like you on occasion or this entire list… it may be time to take a step back and ask yourself, “what is this really about?” Are you unhappy because you feel a lose of power and control over these situations? I’ve got news for you, those “irritatingly happy people” have decided to let go of what they can not control and take a hold of what they can. And that’s exactly how they find happiness, strength and inspiration. But you have to let go of those excuses FIRST!

We all have days where we think, “Seriously? This is not fair, this is not okay!” 

Anger and knowledge is powerful! If you let it, it can put you in a place of a movement. Don’t like the fact that you’re not getting the pay you deserve because you feel people are offering their services for free? TEACH people about valuing themselves and charging their worth! Show by example. Share an article of helpful tips on becoming a better dj or why it’s important to purchase top quality tracks. If you are angry about the unfair treatment you see djs experiencing or the poorly planned events in your city, TAKE CONTROL and do your own thing. Learn, experiment and show people how it’s done through actions.

My challenge to you to BE the change. Let go off excuses and do something BIG!

Are DJs Truly More Privileged These Days?

If you know a dj that was in the game before the turn of the century you’ve likely heard the story. About how they had to walk up hill both ways, with a bag full of records and wiggle through a crawl space to get to their crazy warehouse gig at the old spaghetti factory. You’ll likely hear about how the age of the internet has made it ‘easy’ for anyone to become a famous dj. Just buy a few thousand likes on facebook share a fancy photo shoot and you’re good to go. With easy access to bank loans and equipment what’s stopping these massive amount of djs from becoming famous if these new wave of artists apparently have it, “so easy?”

What does easy access to equipment really mean?

That there will be MORE people in your industry to compete with. Plain and simple.

Is the internet really all that helpful?

Networking – 4 Reasons You Need to Go to Shows and Special Events Outside Your Own

If you were one of the few that knew how to send an email, sure! But anyone can and it’s driving promoters and label owners bonkers! They also see right through ‘buying likes.’ 50,000 fans on a page with little engagement shows there is no real organic fan base.

Are more parties creating more opportunities?!

As becoming a dj became popular, so did what people what thought it meant to be a “promoter.” Which actually means an over saturated market with an underwhelming amount of quality shows.  The truly great parties are far and few between.

But there is good news!

All you have to do is adapt and educate yourself so that you can figure out what works in the long wrong and which techniques are just the short wins! Okay, maybe it’s not easy… and yes it’ll take a lot of work, but wouldn’t you rather that than people handing dj careers out like candy?

How can I compete with all of this COMPETITION?

Don’t try to be like everyone else! Set yourself apart. What makes you different from the rest? I go more into that idea here. But ultimately stop looking at your spot in the industry as just a “house or techno music dj” and more about the full experience someone gets from your brand. #DontKilmaVibe

how can I utilize social platforms?

In short, you can learn about each network and how it’s audience enjoys the platform best. From jokes or inspirations quotes to photos and video. “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook.” Is a fantastic book by Gary Vee that explains just that. If you need some bite sized information that you can use RIGHT NOW, check out Savvy Sexy Social by Amy S right on YouTube! Or you can hire people like me to run you social media. Okay, maybe that part is easy!. (If you’ve got the right brand to back it, of course!)


What about dj gigs?

Pick your events wisely! Instead of trying to get any and every show possible, search out the quality gigs. Heck, maybe you want to really set your brand a part and start actually throwing the events you play. Talk about the power of branding from the inside out! And ALWAYS charge your worth, whether it’s negotiated with a promoter or the bar owner. DJs that charge get re-book by the businesses that see the value in their service vs. being re-booked because they can be used repeatedly. Set your stands so that the business you work with must abide by the same standards.

Now go out there my little djs and get things rolling! Need help branding with a bang? Click the photo!branding with a bang with kilma

The career move that changed my little dj lifeHow to save time in your dj career #AskKilmaThe Biggest Myth Many DJs Believe & Why You Shouldn't Believe It

The Career Move That Changed My Little DJ Life

We look at a person we envy and think, “I wish that was me.” The touring dj, the successful producer or the big named label. We want that for ourselves. But how? How did they do it. What was the life changing move that pushed their career in the direction they envisioned? For me is was this one thing that I saw those artists repeatedly doing.



They didn’t just try and learn everything they could or plan for a brighter future, but they actually took the time to execute, daily. It’s that one thing people seem to be confused about. Like, “I have all of this information, now what?” USE IT! Try it for yourself. Does it work? Maybe it doesn’t for you and you need a different approach? Can you improve what you’ve learned? Try it!

How do you take action?


Get off you ass and do things. Do all the things. If you learned about how to approche a club owner about hiring you for an event, go talk to a few club owners. Practice your pitch in the mirror, have a mixtape on hand and walk in there. It doesn’t matter if they actually dig your idea.  (Silly as that might seem.) What matters is that you are taking action and making those moves. Putting yourself in situations that create opportunities and learning experiences so that your approach becomes better and better. But wait… you’ll also have to:

Stop thinking “failure” is a bad thing.


Failure means you tried, which means you are getting up off your ass. Right? Not trying means you’re not really putting yourself in a place to succeed, which is the true tragedy. If what you do doesn’t work, then you’ve just figured out a way  it doesn’t. Now go out there and find a way it does. And don’t forget to:

Starting measuring your success!


What did you learn from your experience, how are you different from a week ago, month ago, year ago? What were you able to accomplish in “this” period of time? Like in the gym, you should be tracking your reps and the weight you are lifting. How are you physically feeling? Are you getting enough food, can you improve your work out? It’s a great way to track your progress and remind yourself, “you’ve got this!”

With practice these actions become habit. Procrastination happens less and less and self-motivation flourishes. Now that you’ve got this information, go do something awesome for your career, then tell me what you did? Tag @KilmaMusic on twitter or Instagram or hit me up on facebook.

Other Articles You Might Dig:
Measuring Your Success As A DJ
The Ultimate DJ Planner
7 Failures Every DJ Experiences 

Quit The DJ Career or Dump The Relationship?6 Warning Signs That You Might Be A Jaded DJ

How To Get Feedback And Pitch Your Event Idea To Club Owners

Before we jump ahead of ourselves here, let us all remember that consistency is key and no matter how good you pitch to a club owner is… if there is no real follow thru you can kiss your weekly event bye-bye.

Today’s #ASKKILMA question comes from Producer, DJ and Label boss owner herself OANA. She wants to know how to gain feedback from promoters, which indirectly turned into a talk about how to pitch your club idea which naturally brings feedback straight from the mouths of those club owners, promoters and bar managers.

Don’t forget to subscribe and send your #ASKKILMA questions via facebook, twitter and instagram. Want to be anonymous? Email your questions to Beats (at)

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