Have you ever considered a career in music? Everyone has at least once. Some sing, some learn an instrument, some get their friends together in their dad’s basement and gain a noise complaint, and some fill stadiums.
You might have considered music, but have you considered DJing? It’s a good way to get into making music without needing to get an entire orchestra together and it’s in high demand online. Read our guide to find out more about DJing in the digital age.
What tech will you need?
There is a belief that being a DJ is expensive to get started in, but that’s the key there: “getting started”. You don’t need tech and decks flooding your living room. There is a beginner option.
What you will need to get started is to choose between vinyl and CD turntables. CDs have the advantage of not skipping while you are scratching, but vinyl is so integral to so many forms of music throughout recorded history that it is hard to let that go.
Once you’ve nailed that down, you’ll need to look for a mixer. A mixer allows you to blend one track over another. On the simplest level, if you were to go down the route of being a “radio” DJ, you would be able to smoothly let one song end another begin. But mixers do so much more. You can separate frequency bands, reverb, delay and filter until you have a track that is so far from the original, it’s a mix.
You’ll also need some DJ controllers, or MIDI controllers, which can be used with a laptop for an entry-level option. And in that case, you’ll then need the software. There is a lot to choose from there, but among the best are the likes of Serato, Traktor, and Virtual DJ.
And then you’ll need speakers, headphones, and a few accessories like a flight case to keep everything undamaged.
Where will you play?
Well, that all depends on the kind of DJ you intend to be. There was once upon a time when the term “DJ” brought about images of Robin Williams saying, “Good morning, Vietnam”, rather than images of Daft Punk spinning vinyl.
And with podcasts taking off in such a big way, that image of Robin Williams isn’t a bad idea. You can stream your music in a weekly or even daily event on just about any platform you wish. The best one that comes to mind for the sake of music would be Twitch, as it seems to have looser policies on music copyright.
Maybe you don’t want to be the personality of essentially a radio station. You can always head to YouTube and present yourself as a music artist. Create music videos, start vlogging, etc.
If you are exclusively looking to simply put your music out there, you can look into Soundcloud. The term “Soundcloud rapper” exists for a reason. Soundcloud has made a few stars of its platform, including Lil Nas X. If you find yourself wondering where to start, follow this guide to EDM DJing for some ideas.
And of course, there is the traditional route. The idea of a DJ for an event hasn’t gone out of style and they are in high demand for every birthday party, wedding, leaving do, and corporate event that needs livened up.
Where will you market?
The brilliance of the age we live in is that marketing is no longer exclusive to the big companies. Digital marketing is more affordable, more accessible, and easier than traditional means of marketing. This means it’s really simple to put yourself out there and gain some followers if you do it right.
The good news here is that there is something that social media platforms hate: copyrighted music. But, depending on the kind of DJ you are, you will be able to sidestep that by making your own music.
You just then have to get your sound out there. TikTok and Instagram are great places to post music. With live options you can give private gigs to your audience and grow a following of people tuning in for everything from a nightly rave in their bedrooms to some study background music.
Once you have a following, you can look into some affiliate marketing. A simple shoutout of a product can get you commissions based on how much traffic you send to the brand. And affiliate programs are everywhere. Open any gambling site you can think of, and we bet you’ll see “Affiliate” in a link at the bottom of the page where you would expect to find “Terms and Conditions”.
If you can incorporate different elements of content to your social media accounts, you can expand on this marketing. You can start an affiliate marketing blog or create YouTube content by filming yourself. Look into platforms like Linktree, Patreon, Fanhouse and Kofi to establish a place where your fans can show their appreciation with funds and donations.