How to expand your market

As your music is starting to be recognised, you may eventually catch the ear of a fellow artist who may want to work with you on a collaboration project as a once-off or even on a permanent basis. If this were to happen, and you two were both able to pull it off, two different markets and groups of followers will culminate into one as two people will be advertising the music as opposed to one.

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There are many different avenues to market your music as shown on the graphic above as well as the big ones Soundcloud, Spotify and the iTunes Music Store. Once your music is exposed on those platforms, your music opens up multiple avenues and thousands upon thousands of potential buyers of your music.

Having said that, people that don’t listen to your particular style of music may hear an aspect of one of your songs and may want you to work on something with them or for them; for example you write a nice piano breakdown or chord progression and may work well in a movie or a video game.

As shown below the worldwide online music market is extremely vast – it’s up to you to be the one that stands out 😉

global-online-music-market

“How do you get gigs?”

Aside from networking, it is imperative to have excellent communication skills with people over the internet as well as face-to-face. As I tell many up and coming artists that ask me, if you are truly passionate about your art as well as becoming a DJ, then that will naturally come through in the way you talk to people. You should be able to explain without thinking what club you would like to play at, who your biggest inspirations are and why, where you see yourself in 5 years as well as how you’re going to get there. As well as these tips outlined above, you really do need to take absolutely every single opportunity that you get and with each one you get, treat it as if you are making a first impression. Because first impressions never lie!

The big C in Music – Copyright!

As much as DJ’s and Producers nowadays love to sample, remix and bootleg their favourite songs, one of, if not THE most important aspect of the process is to stay on the right side of the law. Copyright is one of the the most important, yet controversial factors of the music industry as it is the legally binding right that protects an artists work and ensures that the correct rights holders receive their fair share of royalties.

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Electronic dance music has been around for decades and has risen to prominence the past few years after its mainstream introduction to the USA market. Its roots lay in sampling which was made famous by Hip-hop artists in the late 1970’s and 1980’s and has paved the way for many artists to gain considerable recognition.

In spite of these advances, it is important to give credit to the correct artist or record labels when releasing new music as well as the misconception regarding remixes and bootlegs. For the record, a remix is an official remix where the artist and/or the record label has approached another artist and asked them to remix their work; whereas a bootleg is an unofficial remix and should be labelled accordingly as I have done below with W&W’s track “Thunder”.

“How do you survive being a full time DJ?”

Many times I’m often asked how do I survive being a full time DJ – and the truth is, at times, it is extremely difficult! I am extremely lucky and fortunate to be in the amazing position that I am in  with the awesome network I have and support that I get from friends, family and fellow artists. These factors are only possible due to almost-obsessive amount of hours I put in especially when starting my DJ career.

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When I first started DJing, I had already been producing music for a year and a half at the time and was looking for my big break. I entered the Your Shot program which is a yearly event where the group will interview thousands of people around the country and select 80 people from each state to give them an all-expenses paid 6-week DJ crash course. After the competition I was in frequent contact with a good friend I had made during my time in Your Shot and we were constantly on the hunt for any opportunity we could get.

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Often times the struggle to get work would feel like this^

Eventually within the first 3 months we had helped each other get a few non-paid gigs until we both scored our first paid gig in November that year! I had literally just left my secure finance job that week to pursue my dream and have not looked back since. I used this opportunity as the platform to meet as many people as I could in the industry up until the point I am at now where I have on average 1-2 gigs per week which enables me to live off.

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My first paid gig was the SOLD OUT Fantasy Old School feat. Sydney stars Suae & Pulsar

The most important point that I cannot stress enough is to be realistic when negotiating a rate when getting paid for a gig and to encourage as much two-way communication as possible with the person paying you!

The Importance of Social Media Presence as a Modern DJ

As a modern DJ & Producer one of the most important aspects of your career is the management of an intertwined and active social media presence. This usually includes the creation of a Facebook Fan Page which is constantly updated to include interactions with your fans, info on upcoming gigs, progress on new tracks and links to new work that you have uploaded for people to enjoy.

FB Page

As seen above ^ the cover photo shows the upcoming gig as well as the logo as the display picture. The latest pinned post was a mix featured on a new podcast in Melbourne and has been posted with the Soundcloud link.

As for Soundcloud, the site incorporates a links feature which allows you to include links to other social media pages as seen on the right panel in the image below

Soundcloud Page

The same also goes for Instagram with the blurb that can be filled in underneath your profile picture and name as seen below

IG Page

These features are fairly straightforward however not everyone utilises them effectively and could potentially miss out on potential bookings. Speaking from personal experience, I have been booked many times since I began my career in 2014 and have received praise from event organisers and managers for my ongoing and active social media accounts. Having said all of this, your performances have to back up what you post!