Yo, DJ, That’s My Career: 8 Steps to DJing Professionally

Close-up of boutique recording studio control desk.

Are you looking to become a professional DJ?

Being a professional DJ is a great way to share your love of music and turn your passion into a full-time job.

Starting a DJing career can be difficult, but if you truly love music, it’ll be worth the effort. Here’s how to prepare yourself to get gigs and start DJing professionally.

The first step to a DJing career is simply having a lot of passion for music.

You have to love what you do, or you won’t be successful.

After you’ve decided that djing is for you, it’s time to get down to business and set yourself up for success. To get you started, here are five steps to help you turn your DJ passion into a full-time job:

1. Figure out Your Goals

Every business plan needs clearly defined goals. So before you ever book a job, you need to clearly define what you want to get out of your DJing career.

Do you want to be full-time or part-time? Do you want to work in clubs or private events? How much are you going to charge? All of these questions (and more) should be answered before you commit to being a DJ.

2. Invest in Equipment and Software

Once you’ve got a solid plan in place, it’s time to invest in some equipment.  You’ll likely need a laptop and a DJ controller set up.  These pieces of hardware can be inexpensive if you buy them second-hand, but you should still have some money saved up to invest in quality pieces.

You’ll also need to stay up-to-date on the latest music tech and trends in the industry.

3. Take Some Lessons

If you’re just getting started as a DJ, you should consider taking some lessons.

Online classes are an option, or you can find a local DJ who is willing to help teach you.  This step doesn’t require a hefty investment.  Even watching videos on YouTube will help you get better over time.

Just like learning any instrument, DJing takes a lot of hard work and practice.  You should be willing to commit all of your free time to constantly getting better at your craft and always consuming new music.

4. Create a Website and Market Yourself

Once you’re ready to launch your business, you need to start marketing yourself.

Build social media channels, spread the word with your friends and family and create a website so people can easily find and book you.

Visit jamesguthrie.com for an excellent example of a small business, music based website.

5. Work Hard

Building a DJ career from scratch isn’t going to be easy, and it’ll require patience and a lot of hard work. Make sure you show up to every job on time and be reliable. You’ll need to build a solid reputation for yourself to keep booking jobs.

Learn More About Music Industry Careers

Like we mentioned earlier, it’s not always easy to land a career in the music industry, but if you’re passionate about music, it can be done.  And just working within the business is a great way to pay the bills, while learning about the industry itself.  On that note, check out the DMN job board for updated listings in the music industry.

We’ve also got more helpful tips about DJing. This article on creating better acoustics in a room is another resource worth checking out.