Starting a DJ business requires careful consideration of various factors, including what kind of service you’re offering and how to create a compelling brand and online presence.
It also means researching the business side of becoming a mobile DJ, ensuring you’re fully compliant with the law and prepared when it’s time to pay your taxes.
Continue reading, and we’ll break down everything you need to know to start your business, from establishing your brand to reaching out to clients and fans.
How To Start A DJ Business (Step-By-Step)
A successful business requires a broad range of skills, from a strong grasp of business and finances to thinking creatively and designing a great brand.
Fortunately, we’ve covered all aspects of what makes a successful business and the resources you’ll need to get started.
Here’s our 10-step guide exploring everything you need to know to start a DJ business:
Step 1: Choose Your Type Of DJ Business
The first step you need to take before starting a DJ business is to determine the type of business you’re looking to set up, as this will dictate the following steps.
A mobile DJ business is very different from one for a club DJ looking to play music in large venues, with varying approaches to marketing to their target market.
Determining your musical genres and target audience will also help you understand the DJ techniques you need to master to deliver the goods.
Creating a plan of action effectively ensures you are clear on the key considerations, including what makes your services unique and the kind of venue owners you want to reach.
This plan will help you weigh your potential costs, from the type of DJ gear you will use to your budget for marketing and promotion.
Once you’ve arrived at an approximate cost to get set up, you can assess your assets and decide whether or not you need to raise money to cover these expenses.
If you seek investment elsewhere, you’ll need to demonstrate a profitable business model with a clear pricing structure included in your business plan.
Step 2: Research Your Competition
With the nature of your DJ business established, it’s time to research the competition and see what you can learn from them.
Whether setting up a wedding DJ business or putting together a mobile DJ business plan, seeing how other small business owners brand and promote their services can be a great source of inspiration.
Consider how they present themselves to potential customers, including their choice of DJ logo, the DJ services they offer, and their social media accounts.
It would be best to look at other businesses on both the local and global scale to see how other DJs promote themselves across a broad spectrum.
While researching for a local DJ will give you insights into your direct competition, professional DJ websites will help inspire you to build a much more polished brand.
You can also pick up many tips and tricks to improve your DJ skills by researching your competitors and analyzing what they bring to the table that adds value to their services.
Step 3: Invest In The Right DJ Equipment
As any business owner knows, you need the right tools for the job, which means carefully researching and investing in the best DJ gear that meets your requirements.
If you’re looking to start a mobile DJ business, you may want to invest in a good sound system and the obligatory DJ controller.
While most DJs playing in local nightclubs will use the venue’s equipment, they still need a full setup where they can create online mixes and other content for promotional purposes.
Understanding what kind of music and events you’re playing means, you can identify the most common DJ mistakes to avoid, choosing the equipment best suited to your style.
In addition to your controller, you’ll need to consider whether you’ll need your own amp and speakers, multiple decks, and additional peripherals such as microphones and spare cables.
Once you’ve arrived at a total cost, including any extras such as lamps, a decent desk, and camera equipment if you don’t want to use your phone, you can build your rig and start learning how to master it.
Step 4: Create Your DJ Brand & Persona
Once you’re completely clear on your business model, it’s time to build a DJ brand and persona that fits your target market and attracts potential clients.
This means choosing a DJ name and creating the branding to go with it, from a clean and eye-catching DJ logo to the aesthetic style that will run through your promotional materials.
While many DJs use their name for their professional moniker, some prefer to create a new alias they can use for their DJing persona.
Once you’ve settled on a name, you’ll need to check it isn’t taken, so head to a service such as GoDaddy to check the domain’s availability and any social media services you intend to use.
Next, you’ll need to design your logo – or hire a professional designer to do this for you – which you can use on your website and other marketing material.
A great logo should capture the essence of your business, so it will look very different if you’re looking to play at birthday parties compared to a techno DJ who wants to perform in nightclubs.
A good rule of thumb is to keep your logo and branding neat and straightforward, avoiding excessive detail and colors that prevent your brand from popping out of the page or screen.
Step 5: Register Your Business
Making sure the necessary permits and paperwork is above board might not be as exciting as building a DJ brand. Still, it’s essential to getting a successful business off the ground.
If you’re looking to start a mobile DJ business, you’ll need to select one of the best DJ insurance companies, ensure you have relevant licenses, and understand the local laws to abide by.
Running the day-to-day operations of your business involves collecting invoices from clients, paying any taxes you owe, and generally maintaining financial well-being.
You’ll need to register your business, determining whether you want to run your business as a sole proprietorship or a limited liability company (LLC).
A sole proprietorship works as an unincorporated business run by a single person. It is cheaper to set up, but you risk a challenging tax season when mixing personal and business funds.
In contrast, an LLC gives you liability protection and is run through a business bank account, meaning if your business goes bankrupt, your assets are not at risk of seizure.
Different countries and localities have different requirements, so check with your local authorities to ensure you have the correct business insurance, documentation, and licenses before you put on a gig.
Step 6: Compile Your Music Library
A mobile DJ business isn’t going to succeed if you don’t have an extensive music collection to draw from when performing live music at gigs and other events.
This means you’ll need to be able to access new music, so you can put on new and exciting shows that your audience will love.
While some DJs still play sets using vinyl, most mobile DJs prefer the more cost-effective method of downloading new music online.
There are plenty of resources online where you can acquire large libraries of content, so finding out how to choose one of the best DJ pools should be your next step.
You can sign up to ZIPDJ, opening up access to content covering a wide range of genres and additional features to help get your new business off the ground.
They also include many tools and resources to help you build fantastic DJ sets, and you can use playlists to streamline the process of putting together music for your next mobile DJ gig.
Step 7: Set Up Your DJ Business Website
Whatever the nature of a business, an eye-catching and informative website is essential for attracting and retaining the best possible clients.
When conducting your market research, you should pay close attention to the best DJ websites available and the design elements and functionality they deliver to customers.
Make a list of the features and information you want to include on your website and any assets you already have, such as recorded mixes and event photos you can use to start building content.
Creating a professional website complete with animations and graphic design can be expensive, particularly if you’re hiring designers and web developers to do it for you.
That said, there are plenty of services, such as WordPress and Squarespace, to set up a website for free using a range of templates.
A website is among your greatest resources for attracting more clients, so compare your design to other sites and tailor yours to suit your ideal customer.
Step 8: Connect With Clients & Fans On Social Media
Social media accounts are essential for anyone looking to book more DJ gigs, creating a solid network of fans who enhance engagement and interaction with your brand.
Small businesses of all kinds utilize social media accounts to reach their customers, and mobile DJing is no exception to the rule.
While a small business would traditionally advertise in the local paper and Yellow Pages, today’s business model requires a strong social media presence to get noticed.
Set up accounts with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other services to reach potential clients, using branding and logos consistent with your website.
Next, set up a schedule for posting content across your social media accounts, including any links to your mixes on SoundCloud and photos from events showcasing your performances.
You can sign up for tools such as Hootsuite to automate your posting schedule, saving valuable time and ensuring your content goes online consistently.
Perhaps most importantly, try to engage with all interactions from your posts since this will help you establish and build long-lasting relationships with your fans and clients.
Step 9: Reach Out To Potential Customers
It’s no use building up a comprehensive music library, matched with the best DJ visuals you can afford if you don’t have anyone attending your upcoming events.
To build an audience, you’ll need to get in touch with event organizers and other vendors looking for your service.
If you’re looking to start a wedding DJ business, creating a contact list for local bridal shops is an excellent place to begin to see if they can help you find clients.
Start by building a list of local venues and promoters who fit your style, then make sure you have your contacts organized so you can contact them individually.
Be completely clear on your rates, including whether you require a non-refundable deposit if your service comes at a flat fee and if they need to pay more for extras.
Lastly, if you have any gigs lined up, you should use these to network with event promoters and venue managers to get more work in the future.
Step 10: Create Digital Content (Consistently)
Creating an online presence doesn’t end when you’ve set up your website and social media accounts; it requires constant attention to keep your brand in the spotlight.
We’ve already touched on the importance of regular posts on your social media pages, but there’s much more you can do to boost engagement and stay relevant to your fans.
Consider hosting contests and giveaways since these can be used to direct your followers to react to and share your content with a broader audience.
If you have a budget available, use this to promote your next gig, for instance, by using Facebook’s targeted advertising tools to advertise only to those in your local area.
Once you’ve established a following, find out how to live stream your DJ set and schedule regular live sessions to strengthen your online following.
Make sure you choose the best live-streaming service for your style, as with some services, you’ll have to deal with avoiding copyright infringements.
One of the most popular platforms is Twitch, although Mixcloud provides healthy competition and promises to take care of music copyright issues for you.
Promote your live streams and events across all your online channels; before long, you’ll earn more money from a broader selection of clients.
That concludes this comprehensive guide to setting up a successful DJ business that captures the essence of your style while attracting the best customers.
There’s a great deal to consider, so don’t be afraid to ask for help and hire freelancers to ensure your business is as polished and professional as possible.
Once you succeed, you can transform your music hobby into a fully-fledged DJ career capable of making a great living.
Access an extensive library of great music inside ZIPDJs pool to help launch your DJ business.