When starting out as a DJ you may also find the following guides helpful:
What skills do you need to be a DJ:
- Have passion for music
- Create a lively atmosphere
- Good song selection for correct circumstances
Learning how to DJ
If you are starting from scratch and have not got a clue how to mix one song with another, then don’t panic as you can learn. You can either teach yourself with tuitions, videos and the internet, you can go to classes but the best way is just to practice. Each DJ is different so teaching yourself will make you more unique than learning directly from others and most top DJ’s have only ever learnt by teaching themselves.
If you would prefer to take a few classes to improve your skills, there are hundreds of academies across the country that will guide you in the right direction to becoming the next big DJ.
It may help joining someone who is well experience DJ to get some basic tips and some experience in the trade. It also helps to have all the correct equipment at the beginning so you don’t cut any corners.
Being a DJ comes with a lot of responsibility. There is nothing worse than having a bad DJ at your wedding which is supposed to be the best day of your life. No pressure! Just make sure you are good at what you do and confident before you start advertising your services to the public.
Different DJ’ing events
DJ’s are constantly in high demand as it is such a broad area of business. There are many different needs for a DJ including, school discos, children’s/ teenagers and adults parties, weddings, anniversaries, funerals and christenings. In fact, there doesn’t even need to be an occasion, if someone wants a party, they will need a DJ.
It is important to get your music right. If you are hosting a children’s party it is not likely they will want to listen to John Bon Jovi’s greatest hits. Make sure you know all the different genres and have the widest range of songs in your music collection to avoid the embarrassment of you not being able to provide a song request from Nanny Mable at her granddaughters wedding.
Pricing for a DJ event
If you have got all the equipment needed for a regular party as mentioned above then it is normal to charge between £300-£400, which will average at around 5 hours on a weekend (Friday-Sunday) and you can charge a bit less (£200-£300) on a week night. This also depends on the location of the party. You are entitled to charge more for the party if it is out of your area and they insist on having you.
Going Freelance as a DJ
There are numerous benefits of freelancing, for example the freedom and flexibility to work for as many different types of client as you like as well as the obvious benefit of increasing your take home pay. In fact our freelancer take home pay calculator shows you how much you can expect to take home as a freelancer.
Finding work as a DJ
When you start off hosting DJ events, it is hard to get yourself known and out there, you have to be good at marketing your skills! Here are some suggestions on how to market yourself:
- You may want to setup a website. It only needs to be simple you don’t need to be an html expert. The website needs to be information rich about the service you offer, a price list and contact details.
- Place an advert in your local newspapers this can be very affective as it targets your specific areas; in addition usually newspapers have a website you can advertise on too. Often when you buy space on one you they offer you space on both.
- Place an advert in local shops, local newsagents etc, usually have a space for adverts in their windows – these can be cheap and run week by week, giving you the advantage of removing them whenever you feel like.
- Advertise on Gumtree, This is free! Gumtree has a specialist section for DJ’s, to make your advert stand out you could offer discount on your first couple of events to get yourself known and build your confidence.
- Set up a Facebook and Twitter account. With the increasing use of social media amongst all ages now, there is no escaping these two sites. Set up a separate account just for your DJ’ing services where you can offer any promotions, basic information and pictures of parties you have held.
- Another great free way to get yourself out there is word of mouth. As long as you have a good reputation with your skills, there will be no problem in people finding out about what you do through mutual friends. This network will grow quicker than you think.
Having made the decision to give it a go, whether full or part time and whether to set up as a sole trader or limited company, you’re going to need a wide range of tax and accountancy advice and support in the early days when setting up as a freelancer.
Good luck on becoming a DJ, we hope you found this page helpful. You may also find the following pages helpful:
- Freelancing Part Time – can you freelance whilst still in your permanent role?
- Sole Trader or Limited? – which route is right for you?
- VAT and NI – how do VAT and NI affect you as a freelancer?
- Freelancer Take Home Pay Calculator – how much more could you earn by going freelancing?
- Finding Freelance Work – how to find your freelance roles
- Freelancer FAQ’s – all your questions answered