Getting a decent gig or finding a venue to start is the biggest concern for new DJs. You are new in business, don’t know too much about the fine prints of this industry and no connections at all. I wouldn’t blame if you jump right onto the first opportunity you get, even if it is free. Not free for the customer, free for you ! I mean, a non-paying gig.
DJ’ing for free is like being an intern at a giant corporation. You put your time and effort into it and do not receive anything in return for a certain amount of time, money wise. But there is always a path at the end of it, a name you put on your resume, work experience, meeting with new people and proving yourself to business professionals, in order to build a good reputation.
So, you should follow the same rules in DJ’ing just as if you are an intern. A free performance may very well bring you more gigs and even private parties. The main purpose is to promote yourself.
I may sound like I support and advice you to DJ for free. Don’t get me wrong, getting over the down side of being a new DJ would require you to do that, but only in certain conditions.
Why DJ For Free
I strongly believe that a beginner DJ should play without getting paid, only if it will convert into more clients and gigs. You can practice at any given time, anywhere. Doesn’t matter if it is paid or not. The time you spend to DJ for free has to mean something. Let’s say, a fashion show, a house party, a warm-up session at a popular bar or club. All of these can expose your talents to people who might be interested to hire you for their events or establishments.
I always say, ” You never know who watches you while DJ’ing “. At the end of the night, somebody approaches you and hands his business card over, then says ” give me a call “. It happened to me and I got a long-lasting series of gigs at a loft in New York City 🙂 So, don’t just do free DJ’ing at the corner bar with 20-30 customers a whole night. The owner still makes money but you get nothing. Try to find bigger events with more people attending, who would care about your talent and offer your services free for them. Believe me, it will lead to something good.
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