There’s no doubt that playing private parties as a freelance venture can be a profitable and rewarding gig; however, as is the nature of freelance work, the jobs can be sporadic. One thing to consider after becoming an experienced DJ is to try to secure a club residency. Of course, many freelance DJs are more than happy to do their own thing, but for those who are seriously considering applying for a club residency, here are six important things to keep in mind.
1. Make connections
It’s a piece of wisdom that applies to many different jobs, and DJing for a club on a full-time basis is no exception. Obviously, it helps if you can make friends with DJs, bar owners, and promoters, but it is also just as important—if not more important—to make sure that you don’t burn your bridges. Going to a club while drunk and disorderly will obviously not bode well for your chances as a club DJ, so try not to make any avoidable blunders, and keep your drinking to a minimal level.
2. Have a promotional mix ready
It may be a good idea to record all of the sets that you do, because different rooms will have different styles, and you should make sure you can show your depth and versatility when it comes to music selection. A CDR essentially serves as the portfolio aspect of your résumé, so, just like your résumé, make sure that it is polished and constantly refreshed with reasonably up-to-date content.
3. Keep your sets fresh and interesting
Once you do get employed via residency, it is imperative that you take your work seriously—don’t get lazy! Try to use your newfound avenue to employment as a way of accumulating a loyal following. Like a stand-up comedian, pay close attention to what works and what doesn’t. Pay attention to trends, but don’t be afraid to try to set them, too.
4. Use social media to promote yourself and your club
Social media can be important, but it’s not enough to just have a Facebook page and let the likes roll in. Posting quality content and promoting others is a good way of showing you’ve got your finger on the pulse. Using videos and guerrilla marketing techniques can also be useful, even if that means using old-school techniques such as business cards, posters, and flyers.
5. Constantly improve and hone your skills
It is widely said that it takes 10,000 hours to truly become a master of your craft; and, while the raw figures will vary dramatically, the point is still valid. During your downtime, try allocating some time towards learning a new DJing technique.
6. Maintain your connections
Making connections are great, but don’t make them for the sole purpose of advancing your career. Making friends in the industry can go a long way to making sure you’ve got each other’s back, whether it’s professional, personal, or health-wise. If you enjoy a mix or track that your friend is putting it out, make sure you share it on your social media platforms.