How often have your friends or family members told you to give up on your DJing dreams because you’ll never be able to DJ full time? How often has someone told you to “get a real job” or “start living in the real world?” How would you like to prove all those people wrong?
Every day, there are new success stories of DJs who have made the leap from weekend warrior to full time DJ. But for every success story there are a thousand failures. So do you have what it takes to DJ full time?
How to Know When You’re Ready to Quit Your Day Job
Everyone has to pay their bills, and there’s no shame in working a day job while you DJ on the side. But how do you know when the time is right to shake off the shackles of your Joe job and commit to pursuing your dream every day?
A general rule for freelancers who want to break out on their own is to leave a 6-month “grace period” where they can still pay their bills even if they don’t get any gigs. This is a good rule to apply to DJing as well. Most people will also recommend that you make sure you’re gigging at least 4-7 times a week on a regular basis before you quit your day job. This is also good advice, but what happens if those gigs suddenly dry up (and there’s a good chance they will)? That’s why you’ll want to have some savings to fall back on – so you can navigate those dry spells and focus on building your DJ career without having to worry about getting evicted and living on the street in a cardboard box.
The Boring Part of Learning to DJ Full Time
DJing full time is a total dream job, right? I mean what’s better than playing music every day?
The bad news is, if you think DJing is all about playing music, then you don’t have much chance of making it as a professional DJ. Of course you need to master the music side of things in order to make DJing your real job, but the essence of making it your real job also means that you’ll have to do a lot of other things that you may not enjoy as much as spinning your favourite records.
If you’ve never thought of yourself as an entrepreneur, than maybe trying to DJ full time isn’t for you. Unless you happen to be the one in a million artists who gets signed to a major label deal, you’ll have to learn to run your DJ career like a business. In today’s music industry, the artist has to fill the role of producer, manager, promoter, agent, marketing director, and a million other jobs that help turn your music into a full time career.
Thinking Outside the Box
In addition to learning other roles in the music industry, you’ll also have to come up with other ways to diversify yourself if you want to build a sustainable career. Armin van Buuren, for example, runs several radio shows and podcasts in addition to DJing. Many other DJs earn money by writing for music blogs, managing other artists, or even partnering with corporations and using their music to promote products.
Are you willing to consider other ways of making money besides DJing in order to build your career? If not, then maybe you’re not ready to DJ full time.
On the other hand, if you’re willing to put in the work and stretch yourself every single day, then it is possible to turn a few regular DJ gigs into a full time career. Just don’t expect it to look like a dream job right away.
If a full time career is what you’re after, a great way to ensure success is to make sure you know your stuff. At Spin Academy, our lessons cover everything from how to get started to celebrity interviews on how to make it in the industry.