6 Ways to Gain Trust and Decode The Needs of Promoters

Not every potential client is looking for the same skill set or experience when booking a disc jockey. It’s important not only to ask the right questions but decode the needs of these business owners so you avoid wasting time and focus on what will help your clients. So how can we gain trust while figuring out their needs?

1. Leave your ego at the door

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Our ego LOVES to get in the way. You know the feeling, That need to correct people. Not only does this put most people into a fight of flight mode when it goes against their belief system, it makes us less likable. Yuck! And if that’s our first impression, well… you get the picture. While we all want to show our confidence in the business, check yourself before you wreck your chances.

2. Ensure Your Potential Client Is Heard

Are you in a business meeting and thinking about what to say next? Stop! Listen to your client. Hear what they are saying and think about what you’d like to know MORE about. If you want to gain trust they need to KNOW your invest and fully understand their needs. You can’t do this if you’re trying to finish their sentences or heaven forbid ‘correct’ them.

3. Ask Questions Regarding What You’ve Seen & Heard

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Dive into a comment they made. Maybe a potential client is talking about how they’d like to gain more notice of their new club. Keep it light but positive. “I took a look at the reviews online and it clear people really love coming here. Can you tell me what you’ve found has and hasn’t worked this far?” Or, “Why do you think you may be struggling to bring in more clients?” Instead of guessing, ask what their thoughts are, first. Maybe they are a new business and they haven’t considered hiring someone to market their brand? If the client it open to consider additional options to benefit the business, instead of promising them the world by booking you (which likely wouldn’t help in the long run) the questions open up the conversation about possible solutions.

4. Offer New Information In The Form of Questions

We did this a bit in number three however this is where you may be thinking about how this will effect your own live DJ Gig, for example sound. If you straight out tell a client that the quality of their sound is awful, after they just spent all that money on their new system, chances are there will be push back. However if you ask, “Have you thought about hiring someone to run sound for your establishment?”  If they’ve never thought about hiring someone to run this, here if your opportunity to sneak in the benefits of having an engineer to keep things running smoothly throughout the night. Or maybe they are thinking about doing top 40 bar music in a swanky lounge. Ask them if they’ve considered house music and what sort of mature, higher paying clientele that may bring in.

5. Avoid wasting energy on things they don’t need

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Some events don’t want nor need your help bringing in a clientele. This might sound odd at first, but if your doing an opening for a store, or maybe you’re a mobile dj doing a wedding, getting the word out about the event might not only be unprofessional but may clash with the marketing teams ideas. Maybe they’ve got an in house designer and that saved you time coming up with a new logo for the event you’ve got coming up.

6. Focus On Setting Yourself Apart While Adding To Your Clients Experience

We can’t do it all. I mean, we can but we just end up being, ‘okay’ at a bunch of things, instead of REALLY GREAT at one or two things that set us apart. To be a great DJ is to know what you can and can’t do so that you can delegate the rest. Maybe you are not the best at marketing a business, but you know a few great businesses that are. Maybe setting up sound is something you can do, but it time consuming and takes away from your performance. Hire or suggest a business hires someone. If you’re up front about what you can do but also give they client references, you’re giving them options they may have not considered so you can focus on the end goal. Putting on a fantastic DJ set.

Note: If you are just faking it through these interactions, people will see right through it. Practice this in your everyday life, with people you care about and you’ll soon see how your relationships can change. In turn it can make these business relationships and meetings go much smoother. So practice, practice, practice!

Speaking of promoters, you may want to avoid these nightmare ones or at least know HOW to deal with them.

More awesome Advice:


What Vlogging Taught Me About The DJ Business

Who would have thought vlogging would teach me so much about running a business?

The 5 things I learned were:
1. You have to start with what you got.
2. Content is always more important than the gear you’re using.
3. You just have to DO IT!
4. Never stop learning.
5. Planning goes a long way.

I go into more detail in the video. But I wanna hear from YOU. How have you applied random cooking classes or kick-boxing skills to your business?

Too Busy or Just Distracting Yourself?

It’s incredible to hear the stories people make up as to why they have “no time” for their passion. When often the reality is, they are scared. Scared of failure, feel a lack of knowledge and so they fill their time with mindless projects that aren’t actually “adding” to their life, so much as distracting them. An excuse not to push through their fears. If you are doing the following things, chances are YOU are the one holding yourself BACK from your potential.

Too busy or distracting yourself?

You Work On Things That Can Wait

You need to finish a mix for next Friday, but instead you are writing an article that isn’t due for 5 weeks. If the most important thing for you to make your career move forward is submitting that mix, then the article can wait until that task is complete. In your mind you might think, “Well this is a taste I need to get done.” But we often work on the tasks that can wait when we’ve got a deadline out of sub-conscious fear. Before you know it, the deadline is here and this happens…


Imagine the amount of times an internet radio show or the owner of a regular podcasts hears from a dj the day a set is due, ” Holy crap! My entire dj program has crapped the bed and I unfortunately lost the mix I’ve been working on for the last 3 weeks.”

.0007 % of the time this is true… most of the time it just is NOT! If you know you are not going to do something, own it. If you know you will put it off, don’t commit. Intention mean NOTHING. Action is everything.  If you have to actually recorded something first, then do that.

You Work On Things That You Hate

I dislike doing laundry. So much so, I used to clean the entire house before touching it. Cleaning isn’t fun for me either but the idea of having to fold laundry, organize everything and put it away seemed like more of a task then just cleaning the house. Learned to “eat your frog!” If the worse thing you have to do in your day is eat a frog, the rest of the day is easy. JUST DO IT FIRST!

The Solution – Ask yourself the hard questions

Working with artists and business owners one on one, I have to ask a lot of questions when issues arise. You can’t figure out a solution if you don’t understand what the REAL problem is. Almost always, the issue is fear. Fear of rejection, fear something wont work or wont be good enough. Then we get to play the “what if” game. A game where we don’t just say, “what if this thing happens…” but play it out to the end.

Q: What if I share this piece of music and people hate it?
A: Then I will ask for feedback.
Q: What if the feedback isn’t helpful.
A: Then I will ask for help.
Q: What if no one will help me?
A: Then I will read up online and watch tutorials.
Q: What if I am still awful even after all of that?
A: Then I will go to school for production and ask for help from the professionals.

The idea is to prepare yourself for the worst, accept it and then take the risk anyways. Often we find our fear is far worse then the reality but this way instead of fear of possibilities, we take risks for the opportunities.

On that note: here is a sneak peak of something I’ve been working on and news of our move of The Basement Sessions to MixLive.TV and you can watch it on your mobile anytime. Share your stories and music in the comments. When were you scared to share something but did it anyways? Maybe today will be that day.

The Difference Between a Good DJ and a Great DJ

It might not be what you think. It might even sound unorthodox, but he main difference between a good dj and a great dj is their mindset. How you ask and why? Imagine that you in fact deal with all the same things as every other dj, but your mindset is in a place that allows you to take action, make the hard decisions and turn situations out of your control into learning experiences. What if suddenly, every bad thing that happened to you created a new opportunity, an eye opening experience? Maybe even new content? Suddenly that average dj, turns into someone with conviction and drive.

Monday of last week David Micheal founder of the ThePassionateDJ.com put together a panel of DJs Caise Lane, Joe Pardo and myself. DJs I feel are a consistent example of people being the change they want to see within the industry. They’ve all help create opportunities for other artists to grow, learn and excel in their feild.  David’s podcast on  “I’ve Got Passion… What About Purpose?” is a fantastic example of what GREAT djs live by. Someone whom is always learning and trying out new techniques, keeping the mindset and turns any situation into an opportunity to learn.

A bad situation gone good

A few years back I played a huge music festival. The stage I was originally  to play was a 200 people space. It shut down an hour early and I had the last set. Right away my new friends came together to find and get a hold of the people in charge to figure out what was going on and how we could fix it. Promoter turned around, chatted with one of the djs and managed to get me a 30 minute slot on the 5000 people stage.

Talk about panic and over drive, but when you’ve got the right mindset and team of people around you amazing things can happen. Don’t lose hope but be prepared for the worst to you can excel when things go haywire.

New Content

When I think of albums that went to #1 on the pop charts, they were often about “break ups.” People took these awful situations and turn them into moody, deep and soulful tunes. For me, the content on my website, videos and even motivation talks come from situations that were not always “fun “to deal with. Instead of those 4 hour facebook rants, turn a crappy situation into a new tune, funny video or drive to record a mix or meaning song lyrics for your next tune.

Learning experience

The moment we feel we have nothing more to learn, is the moment we get stuck. There is no such thing as over preparing and that’s what you learn each time you run into situations you thought you planned for. Earlier this year I went to an event where one of the CDJs were not reading my cds. Thankfully my new friend and dj, Milo of The Red Line stepped in and was able to do a tag set so that I could still play.

The Red Line with Kilma, Milo and Dj cheapseats interview and mix

New friendships / Business Relationships

Milo’s kindness and quick  act saving my dj gig created interest in what he was about and doing. Within a month we’d collaborated  on one another’s projects and have a future project in cross promotion of our radio shows: The Red Line vs. The Basement Sessions May.23, 2015. It just goes to show that getting involved and helping someone in need when the stress is high can make a huge impact.

But how about you, what’s your story? How do you keep the mindset that works for you and create opportunities for yourself?

Other helpful articles you might dig!

5 Reasons Djs Need Bigger Goals
Are You The Weakest Dj?
Djs Stuck and Going No Where Fast
Why You Should Never Do a DJ Gig For Free

4 Reasons DJs Should Give A Crap (Explicit language) How you’re putting your career on hold.

There is this idea that if you just don’t give a fuck that life will be a better experience. Life ain’t  easy, the road is not straight, and shit mosts definitely happens. While the thought of throwing caution to the wind may sounds like a great idea, I’ve got some ideas on why giving a shit is actually pretty great great and how it might just make your life just a little bit easier. Because that “fuck it” and “who cares” attitude is holding back many dj careers and we know you want to have an edge.

1. To have a sense of gratitude

Could you imagine if you did something nice for someone and they just didn’t give a fuck. Would you do that nice thing for them again? Chances are, NO. Show your gratitude and have more of it come back to you. Lack tack and watch others artists and promoters avoid you at all costs.

2. To Giving Credit To Others

Have you ever been ripped off? Worked extremely hard just to have someone take you work and take all the credit? When good things come to you, who do you end up sharing it with? Not that asshole! Give people credit in your life, for their work, their support and their love and appreciate the abundance that comes your way.

3. To Accept Responsibility

Let’s say someone made a mistake. It’s an easy fix but instead they just decided; they don’t give a rat’s ass. It is funny how someone can make a wrong, right but will choose not to because it’s “too much work.” Even though the end result can create a stronger, more respectful relationship.  Don’t be “that person.” Creating last relationships with trust!

4. To Continuously Learn

Imagine a world where your parents thought exactly the same as they did as teenagers. What a nightmare, right? A complete refusal to live in the now or plan for the future. (Sorry to those of you that have parents like that.) It keeps them stuck in old ways that just don’t work anymore. Be curious, learn about the things you care about and be open to the things you don’t. A growth of knowledge is an investments in your future. Care about becoming the best version of yourself.

Let go of the outcome

Try not to confuse “letting go of the outcome” with “not giving a fuck.” Clearly it is not healthy to be constantly stressed out about the little things, we don’t want you to sweat the small stuff. If you find you are its most likely because you are ignoring the BIG things.

I care, why don’t the people around me?

There are two main issues people tend to run into.They either don’t like confrontation or they simply don’t know how to talk to people in a way that is well received. Meaning they might avoid confrontation all together and say they don’t care, and it’s not a big deal. Or simply do not care about the end result and fly off the handle when they talk to someone.

Typically these do not end well for either person. Why? Because they are not able to get out what they mean to say in a way that is heard. It leaves people emotional un-satisfied, as a result pent up angry, hurt and often denial about the situation at hand. To the professional the person may come off as a jerk or even a push over. This behaviour can result in seriously harming not only the career you are so diligently working towards but your emotional health too.

How do we fix this?

Even if you feel completely, socially-awkward there are a few ways you can handle this.

Write it out:
– get clear about what you are trying to say and want to accomplish.
Talk it out:
– in mirror and/or to a trusted friend. Work out the conversation until it feels right.
– talking in a respectful way both about yourself and towards others.

If you can practice these techniques during smaller situations along the way, the bigger situations become a little less daunting which helps you to come off confident and in control when it matters.

Did you find this article helpful? Or are you more confused? Please let us know in the comments. If you dig it, please share with your friends so they can enjoy some helpful advice.

Other awesome articles to help your DJ career:

Don’t miss out on this interview with The DeeJayPreneur herself Casie Lane where I talk about re-branding, haters and common career mistakes you should watch out for.

How I came to be a DJ.

Funny story time.

I went over to a mutual friend’s place and the guys were playing on a pair of technic turntables. I was pretty excited and asked if I could try. Their response, “It’s too technical for you.”
I was intrigued. Some might say a bit determined and I just had to try. The very next day I found a friend willing to let me try it out. Wouldn’t you know I was hook immediately!

Kilma Music

Who would have thought almost 10 years later I’d experience touring across North America, get to visit other countries, release music, sing, host multiple radio shows and even start my own business helping other DJs? So many blessings I was able to experience because of my curiosity and drive.

The message I want to leave everyone with it that, regardless of what people say if you really want to do something, you have the ability to make it happen. Heck, being told you can’t, might even push you to do it that much more.

Do you have a similar story? Make sure you let me know below.