Just a Friendly Neighbourhood DJ Reminder…

STOP playing for jerk promoters that don’t give two $*#!s about you.

Hi, it’s me again.
Yeah I know, my articles have been almost non-existence this year. My head was focused so much in recording and editing videos for Disc Jockey News T.V. that it wasn’t until today, when I was about to go on a facebook rant that I decided this was far better as an article.

Why?

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Because I am SICK AND TIRED of seeing good people get used, that’s why! I want to scream if from the mountains, “CHARGE YOUR WORTH!”

The other day I was chatting with this super rad, hard working human in the rave music. They were asking for advice on a situation they had found themselves in. A promoter they’d previously played for was doing some more than shady iiiish with an upcoming event. They didn’t know whether or to take on the event or avoid the headache. Was it really worth the drama? One of the questions I asked right off the hop was, “Is this a paid gig?” In which they told me they hadn’t even paid for the LAST event.

This is what BLOWS MY MIND…

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There are hard working promoters, busting their butts, competing against people like this. The ones that aren’t paying their DJs, they are causing a mess of a situation meanwhile the promoter that ACTUALLY CARES is paying out of pocket; REGARDLESS OF ATTENDANCE.

Yes, that’s right.
You heard me.
Giving you cash, no matter what.

If we want to be the change that we want to see in our industry, it’s important to work with people on the same wavelength. Why? Because when we continue to support people that continue to USE artists, we ALL suffer. We are not only teaching them ‘this is okay…’ but we screw over the good people. The promoter, the artists, the club owner, go-go dancers, visual artists, designers etc. The only people that end up thriving are those that are literally screwing others out of their hard earned cash.

And yeah, I get it. Some people are sooo green, they just don’t ‘get it.’ And that’s okay. We can teach through what we allow. We can educate in kind ways. BUT… we need to STOP being desperate for ANY and all DJ GIGS. Start searching for the RIGHT events and people to work with. 

This article is clearly MY opinion. But the more artists I interview, industry people I work with, the MORE I see and hear about this standard and it’s importants. And while there are exceptions to the rules (Yeah, I know you’re already heading to the comments section to tell me…) definitely don’t be bending those rules for people who are making money off the backs of hard working artists. Don’t fall for the sob stories.

Playing a few gigs in the beginning of your career, great. Wanting to guarantee the quality of your work and offering a full refund and or  ‘try it out’ kind of thing, might work for you. Sometimes. In specific cases. I hear you!

It just hurts my heart to see exceptional artists get straight up USED. Spend their hard earned cash on new music, equipment, design work, and hours into practicing and branding, to walk away feeling exploited. This is NOT okay.

If you walk away with anything today, I encourage you to LEARN the difference between ‘means well’ and someone manipulating kind hearted humans. When you make the mistakes, learn the lesson. ALWAYS!

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And guess what? Been there, done that myself, too!  You’re not stupid. You’re still learning and we will CONTINUE to learn a lot of hard lessons in this industry. It’s just easier when we aren’t making the same mistakes all the time.

Work for quality promoters, EXPERIENCE the difference and then go tell your friends!

Here are some awesome articles to help you on your journey of educating yourself:

5 QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF WHEN

BEING OFFERED “EXPOSURE” PAYMENTS

7 REASONS YOU SHOULD NEVER DO A DJ GIG FOR FREE

DON’T GET SCREWED! – A DJS GUIDE IN DEALING WITH BAD PROMOTERS

HOW TO NEGOTIATE A WAGE – YOUR DJ FEE

3 REASONS ARTISTS NEED TO INVEST IN THEMSELVES FIRST

Here is all that video stuff I have been business with:

Have a question for the series? Tweet me @KilmaMusic

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How to STOP Missing Out On Paying DJ Gigs

It blows my mind the amount of times artists miss out on opportunities to make money. Not because there is something wrong with their talents or even something out of line with their style of music. As you’ll soon see for some of the silliest reasons disc jockeys around the world are missing out on quality, paying gigs. There may even be a few you didn’t think of yourself. I know number 3 surprised me the first few times. Let us start with something obvious but often missed.

1. You are simply not reliable

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You have a business opportunity and you pass it by. Not because you can’t do it, but because you don’t make it a priority. A potential new client sets up a meeting with you and you never show or come too late and forget to bring that DJ mix you promised.

2. You are too slow to reply

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I’m sure you’ve heard that saying that the early bird gets the worm. If you respond quickly, execute on what you SAY you’re going to do; you’re already a head of the game. You’re showing that you are both reliable AND you are eager to work with them. But if you take your time, watch out because someone else WILL rise to the occasion and scoop up that gig.

3. You’re not charging enough
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If you think putting your price too high seems pretentious, imagine what charging too little looks like. Why is charging a fair price important? Imagine purchasing discount clothing and you get tired of it before even wearing it. When your not invest you won’t feel bad about throwing them items away or forgetting that you ever own it. In the DJ world, sadly you become easily replaceable with too low of a price. Why? You won’t be the only one offering too low. If you can add value to your service, you’re talking a whole other game that I get into here. 

Need some help to figure out how much to charge, check out the DJ fee calculator here.

4. You rely on them for things that are your job

How to deal with haters

Unless you’re the IKEA of DJs you wouldn’t expect the newly weds to set up your equipment at a wedding you’re djing at. Or maybe you are a club DJ would you expect the bar manager to be responsibility for your evenings playlist? Extreme? I’ve have more than a few DJs playing after me asking me to help them figure out how to set up their Virtual DJ at a live gig.

5. You do the bare minimum
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You are either uninterested or don’t think do go above and beyond for your clients and or fans. It’s unfortunate because even the smallest of things can make a HUGE difference for those in support. For example you may consider doing a sound check before a dinner rush in a lounge to ensure you will not interrupt the dinner service. As a wedding DJ and master of ceremonies getting to know the wedding party before making introductions is a biggie. And if you are a DJ booked on a line up with many other artists, promoters and even fans tend to take note when you simply show up, play and then leave the event.

Think about the time you had exceptional customer service. People remember the employee that went above and beyond. The person noting even the smallest of details. Even with artists, people remember the talent that came up and spoke to them after the show or asked about their day. Fans remember the artist that took the time to support the other DJs that came on before their set.

Now I’m not saying put on a phony smile and make nice with people kissing babies and shaking hands. At the end of the day you’re going to do what works best for your brand. I think it’s worth consider your experience as a fan of other artists and what sort of treatment meant the most to you. Think about how you can implement it in your industry and then DO IT.

Enjoy this article? There is a hell of a lot more where that came from.

3 Steps to Become the DJ You Want to Be

 

Whether you’ve been in the industry as a DJ for a long time or are just jumping into things now, these three things can make a HUGE different in your career.

1. Change the story you tell yourself.
2. Change the people you hang around.
3. Use the 5 second rule

I dive more into this in the video.

Want to hear more great advice for djs? Click on one of the articles below!

Measuring your success – How well are you doing?

Measuring Success how well are you doing?

Personally, it has been a dream of mine to do motivational speaking. Imagine my excitement when DJ Your Life’s asked me to speak for their Off The Record project? At that point I had quite a bit of practice with my #BrandMeSilly course in public speaking, but as I prepare for this… I realized just how different it would be. In being asked to do this, some of the topics mentioned sparked up a lot of interesting questions within myself. It got me to analyze how I was doing things, how much  had changed throughout the years and gauge my success.

What is Success?

Success

Success may refer to:

Success is of course different for each person. It is one best used to measure how well you’re doing vs. how well you are doing compared to others.

Competing with yourself

People say a little competition is healthy, but the competition we really need to focus on is how much better we are doing since the day before, week or even year. Sometimes people get caught up on “being better” than the next guy and they go too small. Once accomplishing that they might never try any harder or they build resentment towards that individual. It’s good to have personal goals and realize those goals will change and grow as time goes on. But comparing yourself to others can be a dangerous cycle.

Celebrating the small victories

In planning for my goals, I knew the only way I’d accomplish the big things is to do little things each day. Maybe I was networking with different Canadian artists, practicing for a weekend dj set or I could just be dropping off a mixtape to a couple local promoters. I had to celebrate the fact that I landed a dj gig, finished recording a mix or created a solid and reliable new contact. I was working towards a bigger picture and putting in the time need.

The hard part

Being patient. Why? Because we live in a world where self gratification is everywhere. A like on your post, comment on your status or even a share of your mixtape. Many of us have grown accustom to these self-gratifying, sometimes undeserving attention that when we aren’t getting it, we doubt ourselves and abilities. We have to allow things to fall into place without rushing it before we are ready.

“Heaven forbid we reach our dreams and aren’t ready for it.” – Unknown

When you make a mistake, don’t miss the lesson.

If you’re not making mistakes, you’re not taking risks. This is such a great way to measure your success. If you were still making all of the same mistakes,  chances are you wouldn’t be going any further in your career.  Someone would still be screwing with you, you might still not be getting paid and struggling to stand out among your piers. You might even be making silly mistakes that are bringing the wrong type of people into your life.  Everything is a learning experience that can bring you towards success, but you have to learn the lesson first, and apply the knowledge as you go.

How do you measure your success? What is something you’ve accomplished that you’re proud of? What is a lesson learning experience you’ve had?

Next week’s topic – Self Motivation – because you’re never “in the mood” when you need to be.