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

skill action man alone feet street

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

sleep feet tired.jpeg

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
pay invest money 1

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
man random mininmal

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.

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What happened to DJ SW@T?

If you know me, you know I am into loads of different music. I was originally turned on to Drum and Bass music from the start. I liked the fast paced sounds, and how it was influenced by so many other genres. From that dub and reggae sound to a more ambient and soulful feel.

I was lucky enough to work with Viper Recording’s producer Inside Info. We released two tracks “Awkward” and “Bottled” and ended up filming my first music video for “Bottled.”

There were definitely situations that made me ask myself a lot of questions about the scene and how women were viewed in it. Something that probably sounds ridiculous to so many considering the rights we have in our country but it was something more and more women had brought to my attention over the years. Situations that came to light as I experience abuse and harassment. This was actually one of the reasons I was inspired to create the Drum and Bass Girls of Canada in 2009. I created with my sisters a roster of strong women across North America in Drum and Bass ready to strengthen our brands while working together in support and motivation.

I talked about the differences in a very important interview I did with Girls on Decks. It really forced me to reflect on everything I had been through and what I was feeling in the present. It was lovely to get it out there, as typically it wasn’t something I enjoyed talking about.

I dabbled into other electronic music genres like dubstep and electro but I found myself back into house and techno music each time.

Before fully switching over, I worked with local artists Tripwave on a tune, “Feel it” featuring my vocals. An elaborated music video came out of that production directed and produced by Cory Quinn. It’s was the craziest two days of filming, not sure where I got the energy from but by the end of it I was dead to the world. The end result, one amazing video.

Once realizing my new niche I quickly saw how SW@T was heavily  known in the drum and bass community and now dubstep community with “Whispers – Biome feat. SW@T” radio 1 play.  It occurred that my new interest in music was lost on many fans and people that had come to know the name SW@T. It was time to make that clean break and move on in a new light.

Around came Kilma. The name Kilma is from this old 70’s movie. It’s super weird like most of the movies from that era… like Barberella. None the less is reminded me of my jungle roots since she was an women of the amazon and was a part of a tribe of women that ran the island. It just bought me right back to the empowerment of women. Her tribe was all female and women ran the world.

As I started playing with the word I ended up with some fun tag lines, like “Don’t Kilma Vibe” and “Kilma Tempa.” It was somewhat fitting considering my old tag line was, “Don’t F#%$ with SW@T.” On the outside it sounded like some super angry person, but really it was always about taking care of business. Like any professional you’ve got to get things done.

I dropped everything, my old alias, the music and started from scratch again. As opportunity would have it, I was able to re-brand in the Jungle as Kilma. How fitting, eh? I was given the chance to play out in Costa Rica in February of 2014. I made great new friends, saw a part of the world I’d never been to and got to play one of the most beautiful Envision Festival. It was quite the intense experience and I will never forget what knowledge I took from that trip.

When I returned home I was buzzing with different ideas, I couldn’t wait to get started. I got back in touch with a friend,Chris Tweten aka Tweten Online. He is the social media genius of Winnipeg, working in the Ramp Up Manitoba space with like minded entrepreneurs. I knew that if I wanted to make a real impact this time around, I needed to be working with people that could offer what I could not. The idea of #BrandMeSilly came to me because I always had loads of people asking me questions about branding and promoting themselves. I wanted to take those bits of advice and turn it into real knowledge that when used properly people could monetize from. With the help of Tweten Online we were able to come up with workshop to help strengthen our local community.

Another project that I started up some months ago with the Re-Brand is “The Basement Sessions.” It’s a live stream radio show that happens each Saturday evening on UStream.TV. It’s loads of fun and I get to share this show with my friends both locally and across the globe. People tune in, watch, get in the chat room and we get to be interactive, silly and enjoy one another’s company.

I think my most favourite part of the re-brand is the fresh start. It’s a very different scene of people and environment. My goal was to work with people looking for a new, exciting, and different experience. With so many DJs to choose from now a days it’s easy to get lost in opinions. With me, they knew I was going to be different from the average DJ and cater to a different crowd.

To me, djing it like dating. If you meet someone new and try to be who you think they would be into instead of just being you, you’ll end up with someone that likes the phony you. If you dj music you don’t like, that will show too. I think in order to get your own crowd of people you have to stop worrying about catering to “the people” and start worrying about pleasing yourself. The people that dig your sounds will come around.

Kilma in Costa Rica (Envision Festival 2014)

I had such a great time in Costa Rica, was able to get you a recording of my set at Envision Festival 2014

Kilma Music, Live in Costa Rica at Envision Festival 2014

Here are a few pictures from my travels.

Neon Steven and Kilma ( Costa Rica)

Neon Steven and Kilma ( Costa Rica)

Kosmik and Kilma (Envision Festival)

Kosmik and Kilma (Envision Festival)

www.DontKilmaVibe.com

 

Kilma, Funkhunters, Kosmik, Saratonin Envision Festival, Costa Rica

Kilma Music Costa Rica Photo Shoot

Kilma Music
Costa Rica
Photo Shoot

(Envision Festival) www.DontKilmaVibe.com

(Envision Festival) http://www.DontKilmaVibe.com

Kilma, Hermosa

Kilma, Hermosa

(Envision Festival) www.KilmaMusic.com

(Envision Festival) http://www.KilmaMusic.com

 

The Funk Hunters, Neon Steven, Kilma Music, Kilma, Don't Kilma Vibe

The Funk Hunters, Neon Steven, Kilma  www.DontKilmaVibe.com