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.

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3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Planning for the New Year

Before planning for the new year, I like to reevaluate the previous year. I do this because it gets me to question just how efficient I am being with my time, money and energy. It’s not an easy task mind you, because it’s one where we must be TRULY honest with ourselves and it’s easy to make excuses. If however you can be direct in finding those answers, the benefits will far outweigh the slight discomfort. Moving forward you can really start to change the behaviours that are not working. I find it best to write these answers down starting with the question:

1. What did you set out to accomplish this year?

2. Why or why didn’t you achieve these goals?

3. How can you do differently moving forward?

 

More awesome ADVICE 4 DJS

5 Habits of The Happiest DJs

Have you ever wondered what the happiest of DJs are doing differently from the rest? You see some artists successful however… miserable. Meanwhile others really seem to have it together. In my personal search for happiness, while also trying to find that work-life balance that fits a family, I really had to dig deep on a personal level. So I sought out the research while checking out what some of the happiest artists are doing. What I found across the board was that:

1. They are optimist about their future

 5 habits of the happiest djs

What holds you back from sharing that new DJ mix or pursuing the music production world? It seems the common theme here is, ourselves. When you feel the possibilities are almost limitless there is nothing stoping you. Self-doubt however ( a learned habit) really seems to the the #1 thing people allow to stop them from taking action, even when they seem to be pointing the finger at everyone else.

2. Can and do savour the present moment

 5 habits of the happiest djs

When we become present, something really amazing happens. We aren’t dwelling on the mistake we made in our last track transition nor are we worried about whether or not we’ll have a great review on our mobile DJ facebook page. We are able to appreciate the fact that right here and now we are getting to make money doing the thing we love, that we are present with our  crowd experiencing the music we love and enjoy.

3. are deeply COMMITTED to their life ambitions and goals

 5 habits of the happiest djs

It means that even when you’re not rolling in the money and are spending countless hours working on a new track, you are fully invested in the bigger picture. You work hard at the things that you find tedious so that you can continue on with your passion in the long run.

4. show STRENGTH & cope well while face challenges

 5 habits of the happiest djs

Understanding that one bad situation with a promoter is a learning experience and doing differently moving forward, is huge. It’s adjusting to a situation where maybe things weren’t probably set up in advance but you’re making the best of a situation and keeping a professional manner about yourself. It’s being a supportive DJ and producer when those around you need that strength.

5. devote time to family & friends

 5 habits of the happiest djs

Last but definitely not least, making time for those we care about. I know both for my family and myself, being able to be present and spend quality time together not only builds stronger bonds and intimacy but it keeps us grounded. Even when we absolutely LOVE the work we do, we thrive on connections outside of business, too.

Did we miss anything on this list? Share your thoughts on facebook. What habit really stood out to you?

More great Articles and vlogs here:

 

3 Common Mistakes To Avoid at DJ Gigs for both Beginners and Advance Artists

The absolutely worst time to have you vibe killed is during your own DJ set. These are situations both  beginner and experienced DJs can find themselves in. Below each example I’m going to touch on how this can effect BOTH seasoned vets and those still trying to hit that learning curve. Starting with one of the more obvious issues we note first.

1. Your Levels Are All Over The Place

If you haven’t been educated on the distortion followed by redlining your mixer, listen up now. If the sound on your mixer’s master output or even the channel in which you are mixing is hitting the red, the sound of your music is being compromised. We find this happens in few situations. The artist can’t hear their monitor and turn up their master output instead of their booth or maybe they simply do not know what is going on.

Solution: Find the loudest part of your track and see where the levels are on your mixer BEFORE you mix it in. This way you know that when at full volume your mix will not clip because you’ve change the level to match below 0.

2. Messy or lack of Eqing

 

This can go one of two ways. You’re not allowing for your tracks to breath or you are over EQing causing some uncomfortable sounds like harsh highs. Sometimes you’ve got both tracks match up perfectly and as you’re bringing in your next track the bass drops. Even though everything is in the same key you’re noticing your mix sounds muddy. In very active music like drum and bass and dubstep (the robots and dinosaurs fighting kind) the bass or multiple sounds can compete which is how you can end up with a unappealing sound. On the other side over eqing can also create some sharp even painful (for some of us) noise.

Solution:
This video is a simplified explanation on eqing.

3. Being under prepared

 

Whether you have a 5 hours gig at in a lounge where you’ve got to keep the atmosphere swanky or you’re at the club and have an opening slot for the headlining act. Being prepared is something most DJs aim for, but we don’t always think of the ‘what ifs’ and make assumptions about how the night may go down smoothly. In those situations when things go the wrong way, we are thrown off and suddenly our vibe is seriously killed. From technical issues with the software to a hardware cord snapping in two. Being prepared can start with the music, having the right vibe to ensure that if things to go awry there is a back up but it doesn’t end there.

Solution:
Make a list of things that could go wrong and then plan for it. From cords to ensure your programs are updated but also tested in advance. Double checking on the gear being supplied, even speaking with sound personal if your set ups are more extensive.

At the end of the day we’re human, we make mistakes and all the preparing in the world doesn’t mean you won’t run into issues from time to time. In our opinion and experience these are the common ones, so if you find this helpful please share with your DJ friends so we can all enjoy more smoothly run shows!

Awesome helpful articles:

How to Become a More Confident DJ

I can and can’t recall my first DJ gig. I got drunk. It was about ten years ago. I was nervous as hell and thought alcohol would help my nerves. One drink turned into five and by the time I hit the decks, well… it was messy. Clearly it didn’t work for me. For my next few shows out I decided to just stick it out sober at least until after my sets. I choose to feel the uncomfortable feelings and play anyways. It didn’t instantly make me some flawless mixer of music but I did learn some valuable lessons in becoming a more confident DJ. Watching Mel Robbin’s recent workshop reminded me why this worked so well for me and even taught me some new things I’ve been using in production.

The three points she made that sent this message home were:

“1. Confidence is a skill – Mel Robbins”

skill dance man

No, I wasn’t confident going in but over time it became a skill. I knew that if the music was starting to slip, what to do. If I was having a difficult time mixing I’d double check and see if turning my monitor up would help, or if it was facing the right direction. If I couldn’t hear my music through the headphones, I’d take a breath, stop the panic… and realized they weren’t plugged in. As time went on the skills in calming myself down and just taking a moment to trouble shoot any issue helped me build the confidence that I could deal with whatever came at me and the rest was out of my hands.

“2. Confidence is situational – Mel Robbins”

Skill action man street

Even TODAY in some situations I feel more confident than others. If I am playing a club I’ve played at before or a piece of equipment I am more comfortable on, it’s no big deal. Hell sometimes just looking out into the room and seeing people I know and care about make all the difference. In the past I might looked up and see someone that I wanted to impress in hopes of a future booking and allowed it to make me nervous and throw off my game. While it may now actually get me excited about showing a new tune I think they’d enjoy.

“3. Confidence begins with action- Mel Robbins”

skill street feet man alone

You can’t think your way to confidence. You really just have to DO IT, take action and build it as a skill. Yes you’re going to feel out of your element and uncomfortable but the more you do it, the better you’ll get, which will build confidence and eventually you get so confident that you stop letting the little or even the big stuff throw you off.

So how can you apply this to your life, TODAY?

Start DOING, now. Get messy, make mistakes, do things you are unsure of and learn as you go. It’s how we build confidence. We built the habit of doubting ourselves, we weren’t born that way. How many times did we fall when learning how to walk and how many times did we get back up? You get it. Just start with where you are at.

Mel Robbins wrote an amazing book on taking action called, “The 5 Second Rule.” You can purchase here. I’ve also left a video below that dives into the science of why her rule works.

Find more awesome content here:

The REAL Reason DJs Dislike Branding And How To Get Past The Marketing Myths

If you’re like I was, you probably cringe at the word “marketing.” It sounds so damn corporate. But what I if told you it doesn’t have to be? That it’s not about saying, “buy my latest record” or “listen to my newest mixtape.” Promoting your brand can be authentic, it can bring value to others and even make you feel good about what you’re doing. But there is just one thing you have to do first. Get out of the mindset that marketing is a bad word so that you can take control with ease and STOP making excuses. Yes, I said it. Excuses about why you aren’t putting the effort into marketing. Let’s start with something easy.

1. The myth about marketing

Here is the good news. Marketing your brand doesn’t mean spamming people. Here is the bad news. It still takes effort on your end. Which should actually be good news to you because you can stop feeling like paying for likes is enough to get you a dj gig. It’s NOT. Stop telling yourself this is what people do, just to justify not trying. We are the rule not the exception and if  you focus on the exception of your perception you will feed into those beliefs.

2. You have more time then you think

djs need More time

It takes 5 minutes to check out a few local promoters, show your support and DM them on Instagram. Heck, you can do this while pooping. I’m not saying you should tell them to book you, (nor run your marketing from the bathroom) but start off by getting on their radar. People notice when you’ve just subscribed to their pages, commented on their recent content and show up to some of their events. It’s about focusing on the effort not the outcome. Keeping it small but in motion.

Pro tip: Take inventory of your time. How are you spending it and how can you spend it better? Are you on facebook too much? Read this article about what a social media detox could do for you.

3. You can create marketing content by doing what you love

Yes that’s right. You’re making radio a mix? Film it. Put it on your youtube channel. Boom, you’ve just created content for your video medium and guess what? It took 20 extra minutes of your life to set up a camera, record, upload it and write in a description and tags. You can get savvy and super creative with this. Think of producers that literally make tutorial videos out of music they are producing. Imagine gaining the kind of traction that gets these companies paying YOU to review their swag? Which leads me to number four.

4. Helping others IS promotion of your brand, too

Dj Investing in yourself FIRST

Do you like to help people? Does it make you feel good? Awesome! You’re able to market your brand this way too. When you give people something of value, you’re giving them a reason to come back to your brand’s pages. You’re someone they are going to think of when they need a DJ or knows someone that might need one.

Having trouble getting started? Read this article on how to STOP procrastinating STARTING now. 

5. Start being patient, now

Get it out of your head that people are overnight successes. Those are 10, 20 even 30 years in the making and you don’t know the full story about how someone got where they are. Heck you don’t know what crap they went thru to get there. How many failures they had to make, just to get that ‘big break.’ I know for me I’ve been a DJ for over a decade, I’ve had my ups and down and loads of experience. But when I rebranded 3 years ago, people that never knew me before the changeover were shocked that I already had a bit of a following seemingly, ‘overnight.’ I didn’t. And there is a lot about the new image that put me at square one. So don’t judge a brand by its facebook fanpage and then give up before anything really had a chance to happen.

6. Less really is more

If you have 10,000 facebook friends but rarely anyone comments, likes or shares your content; let alone comes to your shows, it doesn’t mean much. But if you have 100 fans and 70% of them show up at your events, share your mixes and stay in touch, you’ve hit the jackpot! It’s always better to find your niche rather than try to make EVERYONE happy. So stop worrying about the numbers and start executing on the things you can control.

All you can do is focus on yourself. If you focus on others but you don’t dive into their story or you allow it to prevent you from ever working any harder, well… that’s on you. Not them. It’s not our responsibility to change others. All we can do is be the change we want to see in this world. And don’t feel bad if after reading this you STILL don’t want to market yourself. Not every DJ wants to tour the world or get their music out there. Some just want to play music and chill with friends and that’s totally cool too. Just try to remember there are those that want more and that is okay too. That doesn’t make all marketing, bad marketing. So if anything please remember to encourage your friends and their dreams. You never know who might be the next big act and you don’t ever want to be the person that motivated them by saying they couldn’t do it.

Do you think you may have a fixed mindset? Do you need a psychological adjustment so you can let go of what you can’t control and start taking action today? Read this article here.

The Fixed DJ Mindset That Is Holding You Back And How To Break Free

This year I become infatuate with Impact Theory and co-founder Tom Bilyeu. With what I would say is an exponential rise in entrepreneurship, Tom’s ideas of the the relationship with one’s mindset and it’s impact in business is totally on point. It was actually something his wife Lisa said during one of their relationship theory episodes that really hit home for me. “You get what you focus on.” I wanted to translate how I view that in the DJ world today starting with something I think we can all relate to. Drama.

1. If you focus on the drama, you’ll get more of it

Why djs always get what they focus on
“It’s a trap!” Don’t get sucked in. It’s not to say that all people that experience drama are going out there and looking for it, but that when you experience it, if you put all your energy into it… you’ll get MORE. I should know, I’ve been there.  Say for example you’re in an argument, the moment is heated, maybe unresolved but you decide to walk away and cool off. If you allow it to fester and continue to fume about it, you may find yourself stuck. So what can you do?

2. Refocus your energy.

refocus yourself in your passion
If we want a mindset that allows for growth, sometimes you need to break the pattern. Refocus that energy into your work, your art, maybe even yoga or exercising. This is where I might go listen to knew music, prep for an upcoming show, focus on design or editing a new video. Just throw yourself into your passion.

3. Come back and Resolve the issue. (If you can…)

you get what you focus onThe
I don’t want to say go record a 4 hours dj mix and never return to the problem at hand. But if you can focus on something that makes you happy or that gets you out of the fixed mindset, you’ll be better able to view the problem with a clear head and come up with possible solutions. You’ll thank yourself later for not trying to solve the issue when your mind just wasn’t in the right head space. And makes sure the person you’re coming to a resolution with has had time to chill, too.

4. Let go of the outcome.

let go of the outcome
We can’t control the people we work with, or the events that may follow but we can control how we responce to those events. We can plan for the worst, so that we can deal with the rest with ease. You’ve mentally prepared for all possible outcomes and let go of what you can’t control.

This might not seem business related but it 100% is. Think about if you had to make a huge business decision and it will have impact on your finical stability. You want to ensure you’re making a decision based on what’s best for you and your business partners, not simply on the emotion in that moment or pressure you may be feeling by others around you. This is also important in professional relationships with clients or other co-founders. This is especially important when you’ve invested in business with others.

Notes: Refocus your energy, resolve as best you can and move on.

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