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!