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.

How To Be A Happier DJ

Are you waiting for success to bring you happiness? Well it should bring you some excitement to know that happiness actually brings on more success. So you don’t have to wait any longer. Nope. Actually the more you believe that you are in control of your life, the happier and more successful you can be. If this sounds like unicorns and magic potions read on. If it is not, then you probably know someone that could use this article, but feel free to read it anyways.

“You Validate Your Ideas By Pursuing Them” – Mel Robbins

1. Listen to music from the happiest time in your life

I took this straight from Eric Barker’s blog and for good reason. One, you’re a freaking DJ. Two, imagine how this effects others, too?! Some of my most popular mixes have had those ‘throwback’ tunes people loved from the 90’s or 2000s. It totally makes sense why people go wild at weddings and socials listening to the Spice Girls and other timeless music that reminds takes them back to a emotion in time. Cool thing is that neuroscience backs this idea.

2. Make Your Dreams Bigger Than Your Fears

It’s probably been quoted by more than a few celebrities at this point, but it really does work. I know for me, sometimes I find myself obsessing or stressing out one particular task, but when I shift my focus and think about the bigger goal I feel less fear about the hurdle ahead.

I grabbed this one from Eric Barkers blog about the happiest people having goals. He quoted this book.

Via Engineering Happiness: A New Approach for Building a Joyful Life:

“In his studies, the psychologist Jonathan Freedman claimed that people with the ability to set objectives for themselves—both short-term and long-term—are happier. The University of Wisconsin neuroscientist Richard Davidson has found that working hard toward a goal and making progress to the point of expecting a goal to be realized don’t just activate positive feelings—they also suppress negative emotions such as fear and depression.”

3. Let Go Of The Outcome

There is only so much we can control in this world. When we let go of the things we can not control, we can find some peace. This is where you can refocus your energy on the things you can control. For example, I can’t control the weather. It might rain during one of my outdoor patio gigs. I can however bring tarps, have additional sound inside ready to go and a plan of action if we must make a quick change over.

On the topic of not being able to control things like people’s opinions of you, I chat here in a vlog about why you should probably keep doing the things people are making fun of you for. 

4. Remove the distractions that aren’t really helping you

You really can use laziness to your advantage. We are naturally drawn to things that are easier, not what actually makes us happier. The satisfaction out of creating and finishing a new mixtape feels wonderful. However staying at home and watching t.v. is easier and what a lot of us end up doing. So while starting that new tune seems like a lot of work when picking up your phone and checking facebook for the 30th time today may seem easier, in the end it’s not making you happier. It may be time to shut off that wifi or delete the apps that are distracting you, cancel the cable and have your music stuff ready to go, plugged in and right in your toolbar.

Want to figure out how to stop procrastinating? I dive more into that here.

How To Find Your Good Vibe DJ Tribe

You meet another DJ and think, “Cool we have something in common. We are both disc jockeys.” But as you get to know this person they may not be on the same page. Maybe they aren’t very passionate about music or maybe they are totally business driven. Whether you decide to add them to your good vibe DJ tribe or not, there are a few questions you’ll want to ask yourself FIRST.

1. What sort of vibes does this person give me?

How To Find Your Good Vibe DJ Tribe

Do you feel energize after speaking with them or do you feel emotionally drained? Think about it. Maybe you went to a business meeting and you thought you were both on the same page about things, but when you walked away from the conversation you felt exhausted maybe even a bit stressed out. This is likely your gut telling you, slow down. Something is off here. Whether the vibes are electrifying or not try number two.

2. Can you learn from this person?

How To Find Your Good Vibe DJ Tribe

Do you feel like this person has a lot of experience and knowledge to share, maybe on a topic you’re not quite sound on? Do they seem open to share that information or do they hold their cards close to their chest? Maybe they ask you questions about the way you run your business that gets you thinking about something you haven’t really dived into before. But don’t forget in turn to ask yourself the third question.

3. Can this person benefit for YOU?

How To Find Your Good Vibe DJ Tribe

Relationships need to be a two way street. You need that balance of give and take or else someone’s going to feel taken advantage of. (Yes, could be you.) So show people the love, help where you can and see how you can make this relationship mutually beneficial. No matter how much more experienced you feel they are,  you still have something to give. What is it?

4. Does this person motivate you?

How To Find Your Good Vibe DJ Tribe

Now this doesn’t have to be a direct act of someone trying to push you towards your dreams nor cheer you on, “You can do it!” But it could be someone that strives for greatness in themselves, someone that will keep you on your toes in trying something a little out of your comfort zone. Sometimes for me it’s just being around someone that it always interested in learning and trying new things. Maybe it’s an instrument or taking a production workshop. It gets me excited and thinking about what I can do next. How I can do MORE.

But Kilma, why must I feel incentive?
Look, you may think you’re doing well because out of all your friends you work the hardest… but if the hardest is just an extra hour of practice here and there it’s not really enough. When you have people around you doing more or simply things you’re not doing it’s incentive to learn, to ask questions and to make you weakness your strength. And to add to that, sometimes we keep certain people in our life because it makes us feel like we are doing well because we are doing better/more than them.

How To Find Your Good Vibe DJ Tribe

The last note to keep in mind; sometimes the people in your tribe are NOT djs. Maybe they are a sound engineer or restaurant owner. Some of the people in your tribe may just be industry influencers that you watch from a far, read their books and take their webinars. There are many different ways to create our tribe, but mostly it’s about keeping that good vibe going while surround ourselves with people that are just as if not MORE driven then us so we can continue to strive for greatness. 

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?

How To Get Paid For A DJ Gig

It’s a simple process yet people tend to skip right over to step 4 and wonder why step 5 rarely happens. What’s the definition of crazy? Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Yet there is clearly a reason why people are scared to ASK for that payment and I have a theory where that steps from (but I’ll leave that for another article.) Let’s start with the 5 easy steps to ensure you get paid.

1. Get the details!

 How to get paid for a dj gig

Great! Someone has asked you to play a dj gig. You don’t know the date, the time slot or if they even have a working bathroom… what not to do? Accept the gig, yet. Why? Well in order for you to ask for a wage it’s pretty important to ask for the details FIRST rather than come off desperate for the job. Be grateful, of course. Thank them for the consideration, but make sure you know what you’re getting into FIRST!

2. Ask for or make an offer.

 How to get paid for a dj gig

If they haven’t offered you a fee they may be awaiting your charge. Heck, you could even go as far to ask, “What sort of budget are you working with?” Or go the bold route and simple state, “This gig sounds right up my alley. I typically charge $ amount per hour. All I request is the industry standard turntables which you’ve mentioned will be supplied and of course a trusty dj monitor. If this works for you, I’d love to confirm the gig and send over my press-kit for any promotional needs.” Easy, right?

3. Confirm the details.


It may seem over kill by now but sometimes the best way to ensure your payment is to have a paper trail, one that is CLEAR! If the promoter has said YES to the fee, this is typically when a client might received an email (from you) with your press-kit (if they do not already have it.) The email would be confirming details with the invoice attached! How professional, right? It says a lot about the service you provide and how serious you take your craft. This also gives them the opportunity to CONFIRM all of the details. Maybe there is a specific time you need to be there for set up and backdoor to use. Be in the know, far before the show!

4. Confirm Booking / Play Gig!

 How to get paid for a dj gig

You got the go ahead from the coordinator confirmed, so feel free to tell your friends! It’s 100% good, no wondering, stressing or feeling taken advantage of. You can rock out that DJ gig knowing you’ve done your best to ensure the right equipment will be there and that payment will be in hand.

5. Get Paid.

 How to get paid for a dj gig

In your details you would have confirm how much, when and who is paying you to ENSURE you get paid. Whether by cheque, e-transfer or cash!

TIP 1: If you make the mistake of forgetting to confirm details don’t assume you’re not getting paid. Simply ask, “Whom will I collect my fee from?” Unless you’ve been told other wise, typically a promoter shouldn’t be putting you on a flyer or event page and then having you play just to say, “Sorry there is no payment…”

TIP 2: If you’ve made your message clear ahead of time and you are struggling to get a response but a flyer has gone up on your name, a quick post on the event page should get you a fast reply.

“Hey there, I notice my name on the flyer but I am awaiting important details and haven’t heard back from anyone. Please contact me so we can work things out a.s.a.p. Cheers!” 

It’s calm, it’s professional but it says, “You don’t get to put my name out there BEFORE confirming these details.” This seems to work well since many people have not transferred over to facebook messenger as of late. Personally I’ve had this happen to me a couple of times and usually it’s just a miscommunication between the designer and organizers but you need to make sure to nip it in the bud, just in case you need to back out of the show. DJs tend to look like the unprofessional ones when it’s a back out day of, even when it’s the promoters bad. Protect yourself and stay on top of things!

And PLEASE let me know if these techniques have been working for you or any you might add to the list! One last exciting and easy tip: Secure your payments in advance using AGNT!

Need an agent? Look no further than AGNT the application for both djs and promoters on the look out for artists. Fill out your profile for free here and get booking gigs TODAY.

how to get paid for dj gigs