It’s the question on everyone’s lips: how do I raise my profile and get people to notice and like what I’m doing? Competition for the title of professional DJ-producer is fiercer than ever, and technology is constantly making it easier for newer producers to do more with less. So how do you form a reputation for pure quality in a noisier and noisier world?
Remix and collaborate
Collaborating with different people raises your profile. The power behind remixes is introducing work to an entirely new audience. If you’re a tech-house DJ, export the key stems of one of your tracks and offer them to a trap producer. Contact bands and offer them remixes. If you know a sax player or percussionist who might be open to performing, reach out and offer them a spot at your next gig. Find a female singer and a recording space and see what happens. If you DJ, produce and play an instrument or sing yourself, you’re a triple-threat. Keep your live set vibrant and interesting by offering something that the other DJs aren’t doing. Work with others to make yourself indispensable.
DJing is a very competitive field, but one thing that all the top names have in common is the sheer volume of work they’ve published. Remember, it’s quite normal for a producer to publish work under different names, so chances are that the ones who inspire you are actually doing a lot of other stuff you might not have ever heard. So start getting as much of your stuff out there as possible. Don’t hang on to tracks for too long. Publish continuously, and learn how to finish work without letting perceived imperfections get in the way of release. At least one new track a month keeps you current and creates the impression that you’re not past your sell-by date. Be prolific. Social media marketing has a huge part to play in your success.
Find your people
Growing an audience while attending an online DJ school and living the rest of your life can be a time-consuming experience. You might only have another ten or twenty email subscribers after a year. The fewer people you’re being followed by, the more personal you have to be with them. Without turning into a stalker, start to recognize the difference between casual fans, superfans and potential influencers. Get to know as many of them personally as you can. Maybe they’re more into streaming music from home than heading out to parties. Send them tracks. Maybe they’re just into getting wild at events, but not as interested in the releases themselves. Send them comps to your shows and your friends’ shows. Unsubscribing is a simple click away, so make sure that every fan sees you and your work as a source of joy and fun.
It’s not about you
It’s tempting to fall into the trap of thinking that the self-promotional work you do is only about raising your own profile as an artist. But it’s more than that, isn’t it? You are as valuable as the number of people who are having a good time. The art of DJing has suffered some terrible injustices at the hands of major promotion. Like the badly-behaved rock star stereotype, the image of the solo DJ has often been tarnished by the perception of amateurism brought on by technology’s lower and lower barrier to entry. Prove your real worth by listening to your audience. DJs and producers who have found their niche have done so by blending their own aims with that of the available community of fun-lovers. One last time: DJing is not about the guy or girl in the booth, it’s about the appropriateness of the atmosphere that they create based on the demands of that place and time. Be humble.
Keep your eyes open
All producers benefit from following existing trends. Keep your eyes on the charts. Get to know where your search for new music takes you, and what it teaches you about yourself. But don’t expect to gain much lasting popularity by being a complete copycat. Part of your long-term goal should be finding your voice (which is really creating your voice). The end result should be something that people can’t find anywhere else. Being risky in your production by deviating from trends can have bigger payoffs. Some of the greatest remixes surpass their originals in popularity because of the direction the remixer took. If you’re able to remain inspired by keeping your productions, song choices and mixes originals while also keeping your eyes on what the audience wants, you’ll raise your profile as a worthwhile asset to your environment.
Raising your profile as a DJ really comes down to educating yourself about the needs of your society. If being professional is truly what you want, keep focusing on the beautiful energy of the music itself, and keep sharing it with the people who enjoy it as much as you. This is the secret sauce of a career in creating good vibes: keep smiling. The results could just be a job in which your work doesn’t feel much like work. You know it’s what you want to do. Now find out how to do it with the learning offers from DJ Courses Online.
John Bartmann is an award-winning music producer and DJ.