Have you ever thought about becoming a DJ, but always ended up getting up confused as to how to begin with it. While there are many ways to become a DJ, we recommend you to try out the freelance way.
The Freelance industry is a highly competitive and lucrative place where one, with skills and other essential characteristics, can achieve sufficient stability and growth in one’s professional career. The opportunities to grow and earn handsomely are immense, and all you must do is to ensure that you undertake all your businesses professionally.
Taking into account all that has been stated above, it is obvious that becoming a DJ is not hard provided that you are serious about it. There are many people who started out as freelance DJs and have now become prominent artists across the globe. These DJs are invited to big events and are paid greatly, and thus, should be inspirations for all those who wish to take the same path.
In this article, we have comprehensively jotted down the ways to become a successful DJ in the freelance industry. If you keep in mind the points mentioned hereafter, you are sure to start off smartly and end up somewhere nice and paying.
With this, here are the ways to become a freelance DJ:
1. Educational requirements
Becoming a DJ does not necessarily require any particular education; what is needed the most is a great knowledge and taste in music. But, there are certain things you should keep in mind while starting off a freelance DJ.
- Many clients out there expect minimum educational requirements such as successful completion of 10+2 from a recognized school in the country.
- There are many schools where you can study music. These schools will help you hone your skills and make you well-versed with all major and important aspects of music.
- While it will be a little difficult (not impossible, though) to find good DJ schools in India, there are plenty of DJ schools across the globe, and in case you have guts and money, you should study abroad.
Some recommendations on schools include Dubspot, New York; Full Sail University, Florida; Scratch DJ Academy, New York; Point Blank Music College, London; F.A.M. E. Disc Jockey School and many others.
- If you cannot afford to pay high tuition fees of these schools, you may consider joining virtual classes where you can get theoretical aspects of DJ-related work cleared. The Spin Academy conducts a number of DJ related online courses. The schools we just mentioned also operate online courses on DJ.
- As far as educational requirements are concerned, the first-hand experience as a DJ or a music-related event organizer is imperative, If you have none, you can consider joining an internship program.
- Talk to a DJ, work closely with him, and get a shiny certificate. Training, whether at an internship or professional level, will greatly improve your portfolio and improve your credibility.
- Once you have done enough, make sure you properly draft a portfolio and put it on display on major freelance platforms.
2. Skills needed to become a freelance DJ
You need to market yourself in the freelance community in order to secure some space for yourself. While there are short-cut ways to market yourself and gain employment, the best way is with the help of your skills.
Now you may be wondering what kind of skills a DJ needs, and we are here to tell you about that. These skills are fundamental to the profession of a DJ, and without these, one cannot achieve much. So, pay attention to what is mentioned below.
- The latest technology boom has taken DJ-ing to a whole new level. Now, it is reasonably expected from DJs to be well-acquainted with the Midi Controllers. Remember that vinyl-only DJs are no longer fashionable, and as clubs are getting more advanced and popular among people, technological expertise is naturally expected.
- DJs must be able to market themselves—that is how DJs ensure that their presence in the industry does not die down. It is, therefore, important that you are a social animal and part of a considerably big network. You must establish connections with local and national bars; and if you are aiming for bigger things, get contact details of international clubs.
- If you are a DJ and do not experiment with music, then there is no hope for you and your future. DJs must be able to mix songs without deteriorating the overall quality of music—which we usually witness. You need to be well-versed with various techniques of remixing, the current favorites, and other creative techniques that help in bringing much creativity out of music.
For improving your remixing skills, you can take the assistance of many software tools such as Audition, Audacity and Pro Tools that enable DJs to create and remix music. Your aim should be to not toe the line and bring forth something unique and enjoyable.
- Studying music is important. You might be an avid music lover, but if you do not study music, then you do not do complete justice to your music. Whether it an old or new song, you must study every bit of it. The more you have studied, the more confident you will be when experimenting with music.
- Obsession with DJ equipment is welcome. You must not be satisfied with whatever equipment you have; update yourself, on a regular basis, about latest advancements in DJ equipment, and if your budget allows, get them and work on them. This attitude of experimenting with new technology is highly wanted in the DJ industry!
- Patience is the key. DJ industry, especially in India, is still in the growing phase, and you might find it difficult to find work in the initial stages, or you might end up working on an unsatisfactory pay scale. You must remain patient and let things work out for you. If you have talent, your time will come. Just make sure that you keep yourself advertised on all major freelancing platforms and regularly apply to openings.
3. Work opportunities for freelance DJ
Nowadays, people hire DJs for many occasions. They are needed for schools discos, teenager parties, anniversaries, weddings, christenings, and funerals. In fact, a DJ is needed for almost any occasion. All you need to have is a strong network which allows you to increase the number of your performances and improve on your reputation.
When you are supposed to perform at an event, make sure you socialize with people attending the event and hand out your business cards. Offer them discounts or special offers, and you sure are going to get better opportunities.
4. Pay rate of freelance DJ
The pay rate of a DJ depends upon a number of factors such as educational qualifications, experience, and general reputation. Even if you do not many educational qualifications, but enough experience, you can get a handsome paycheck. However, rookie freelancers will most likely have a moderate start.
Keep attention on freelance forums and maintain contact with other DJs to be informed of latest pay rate developments. While you are at liberty to hike pay rate, you must do that reasonably or else nobody will invite you to perform at their events.
5. Online freelancing
Much of the freelance community is working through the virtual space. The Internet offers plentiful opportunities to freelancers out there, and all that is needed from you is a profile on major freelancing websites.
There are many freelance websites operational, and each of them offers access to a massive network of clients who are looking forward to working with capable DJs. Some of the websites that we would like to recommend are freelance.com, upwork.com. elance.com, fiverr.com, and worknhire.com
In order to make the best use of these websites, create a well-informed profile, upload your portfolio, and apply to openings whenever they are announced. When applying for an offer, make sure you have properly drafted the proposal.
The proposal is a fundamental application requirement. It is basically a statement that the applicant provides as to why he should be hired or what makes him stand out. Highlight concisely your achievements and what you aim to provide. This way you will be able to put forth a clear and understandable self-image.
Apart from these websites, there are many community forums that operate online. These forums bring freelancers and clients together. These forums contain discussion forums, feedback forums, complaint forums and what not. Quite often the members of these forums organize meet-ups, which we strongly recommend you should attend.