Photo via Flickr. This post ran originally on THUMP UK.
Being a DJ, or a party promoter, in 2017 is about way more than just music. In fact, music only accounts for about 7% of what you have to worry about when it comes to securing your place in the ever-changing market of dance music and nightlife. The days of flyers are long gone—if you want to stand out from the crowd you're going to have to think outside the box!
Here are some steps you can take in order to make sure you become more than a DJ or a party. Here's what you can do to become a internationally known, loved, and reputable brand.
1. Press Shots
So you've got your name, and a passing knowledge of how a Pioneer controller works, but oh no! You've forgotten to get your photo taken! Don't panic, all you'll need to do is get a mate with a DSLR to take a couple of snaps along the following guidelines, according to the genre of music you play.
Techno — Look blankly at the floor of an abandoned warehouse or industrial estate. Ideally black and white.
House — Smile slightly at the floor of an abandoned warehouse or industrial estate. Ideally black and white.
Garage/Grime — Look seriously at your trainers in an abandoned warehouse or industrial estate. Ideally black and white.
It's not enough now to be good at DJing. You've got to bring more to the table than just a decent record collection and rudimentary mixing skills. Same goes for party planners—there's more to worry about that just giving people a night they will remember for the rest of their lives. You've got to be funny, and when I say funny, I mean really funny. So funny you'd share a picture of Willy Wonka with the words "So you've just taken MDMA and now house music has changed your life?" Or a picture of some Hobbits hugging with the words "When You Find Your Mates in the Club." These are the images that mark you out as something special. Not just another run of the mill DJ or party, no, something greater, capable of giving laughter, capable of making even the most cynical punter erupt like an untamed bugle. Post your memes freely and liberally; cutting memes, dank memes, culturally relevant memes, potentially sexist memes that nobody will call out because they've already got tickets to see you next Friday. Post them on all platforms and become more than you ever knew you could be.
3. Themed Nights
Looking for a way to do something different? Well why not have a themed club night? Instead of just relying on the bog standard "dark room with flashing lights" thing, why not experiment with some decorations or even kooky costumes. Perhaps you could throw an Alice in Wonderland themed event—a cultural reference point that is literally begging for somebody to adapt it in some form. What about a carnival themed night? What about Cowboys versus Indians? Whatever you do, don't forget, club culture cannot die as long as there are blokes dressed up like the 188 mascots organizing arm-wrestling contests in nightclubs. Hey, you could even do a "Death of UK Nightlife" themed event where all the girls come dressed trendy ping-pong bars and the lads as Japanese hot dogs.
Technically your club night won't exist unless you have a hashtag that runs alongside everything you post on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Something like….
As a DJ, what you get up to away from the decks is just as important as what goes on behind them. With that in mind, a surefire way of keeping interest in your personal brand piqued is through antics. Antics are a great way of showcasing your sense of humor, as well as gaining those all important likes and shares. Why not do something really out of the ordinary like DJ an impromptu set from a branch of Robert Dyas? Maybe invite a bunch of your biggest fans back to your Travelodge for afters? Or Facebook live yourself trying to eat an entire car tyre?
6. You've Got to Get Yourself on Snapchat!
Filters galore and so much more!
7. Instagram Hotels and Airport Lounges and Anything You Eat
Prove you've been to Amsterdam by taking a cheeky snap of your airport pint with the caption "Absolutely gasping! Prague here we come!" Posts like this are really important for your brand. If you don't share pictures of your mate trying to hump a Japanese peace lily in the lobby of a Dusseldorf hotel, how will we know you're an international DJ at all? How will we know you're not just FAKE NEWS?
8. Get Good at Using Emojis
Ok, we admit it, a lot of these tips are quite time consuming. Sometimes, words can serve to do little more than trample on the delicate point you're trying to make, like trying to use a nail gun as a hole punch. Sometimes you need the intricate, intimate art of emojis. Trust me, this will help your brand. Roughly speaking here's when to use them…
= Retweeting another DJ who says you smashed it last night.
= This emoji means you are back in the studio, and the tunes are going very well.
= The ideal caption to a video of you sending the main room absolutely crazy last night.
= Perfect accompaniment to your "Can't wait to see you later Birmingham!" tweet.
= Good one to post alongside your "yasssss burrito time" Tweet.
9. Learn to Love Clickbait
Facebook is a fickle platform, and you've got to work hard to make sure your fans don't get distracted by newer, sexier DJs, or flashier parties with more confetti. How do you do that? Easy. By posting a steady stream of articles with titles like Ten Child Stars That Grew Up Real Fast or Good Luck Trying to Eat Chicken Nuggets After Watching This or This Dog Started Fucking Its Owner's Hoover And We Can't Even, you can guarantee people never lose interest in your diverse and stimulating page.
10. Buy Likes
If none of this works, don't panic. You can buy yourself popular.