I was speaking with a fellow PANDA last night about his current job situation. He’s traveled around a lot, to many different clubs, and hasn’t been able to find a place to call “home”. So I put together a list of tips I learned over the years, as well as some thoughts from other PANDA D.J.s, on how jocks can up their game and help themselves find a better job and hopefully a place to settle down.
* Dress to Impress: It’s always a positive to show up in a jacket or a shirt and tie, even if the club doesn’t have a dress code. It’s the best way to get immediate attention. It doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg to do so, either. Many struggling djs are on a tight budget, so stores like T.J. Maxx and Marshall’s are great for snatching up solid color button-up shirts, ties and even suits for low prices. Wal-mart has dress shoes for under 30 dollars and most people can’t tell the difference in dark lighting. Cheap dress shoes are always better than expensive sneakers! As you move up the ladder, you can start to outfit yourself with better and better styles.
* Getting employers the information they need: How often have you heard “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know?” People don’t put much work into their resumes because they think a “friend of a friend” is usually going to get the job. And usually, they are correct in this assumption. There are exceptions to the rule, however. We don’t want to be like everyone else, so put a little more effort into it. Firstly, get some head shots of yourself done. It’s likely that you know some girls or fellow employees at work that have a knack for taking photos and will do it on the cheap or even pro bono. It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece, just you in a new suit, smiling. Secondly, get a website up and running that you can put all your professional information on. Pictures of you at the club, an info area with a detailed resume’, a contact area, and a Youtube video of yourself in the dj booth so they know what you sound like. Thirdly, get a business card and put the link to your website and Facebook on it. Clip that to your resume’. Finally, your resume’. Management needs all vital information and they need it succinctly. Google “best resumes ever” and see what you find. Some are funny but some will give you great ideas for eye catchers for your own piece.
* Networking: Go out and meet your local jocks. Listen to as many of the best guys in your surrounding markets as possible. They all had to learn and that’s part of how they did it! Another powerful tool for learning is Facebook! For years I struggled with getting my name out there. The SCI Facebook page changed all that. It gave me the forum to show that, even though I was young, I understood this business. It’s the best way to get your ideas and opinions out there so people can see what you’re all about. Meeting fellow djs from around the country can help you grow exponentially with your craft. Make sure to come off as well spoken as possible, I speak from experience when I say it’s never good to go off on tangents in a public forum. I could go on for hours on the positives on , but you get the point. Social groups are the way to go. SCI, Panda DJ’s Only and now the new Pandamembers.org forum.
* Social Media: Here we are with another side to Facebook. It allows you to connect to your audience and get the word out to friends. Give your business card out to every regular customer you see and make sure they know your info is on the back. Posting the days your working, what specials are going on and “check in.” It doesn’t hurt to let your favorite girls know you’re working that night. They come in, their regulars come in. It all builds from there! Use FB to your advantage. It’s an invaluable tool. And when possible employers see your current Facebook page is filled with entertainers, customers, and you putting your club out there, they will be more inclined to give you a chance.
* Listen to other experienced D.J.’s: Just a couple of quick, but important tips from our Panda D.J. group. Gems like this are presented daily.
“Preparation: write, edit, find music, build better sets, check out how other clubs and DJs run things, always looking at new gear and try to constantly get out of your comfort zone. Basic stuff that people overlook. Pay attention to the small details, complacency will kill you. As a 16 year vet, meeting fellow Panda’s has helped me keep my eye on progression.” Don smith
“Stay fresh and put the ego away. s there to humble you! Have fun every night, no matter what, and always stay classy regardless of demographics or club reputation. This will ensure your reputation will follow you to your next gig. And always SMILE on the mic! Mark Wagoner taught me you can never sound boring if you’re smiling!” Michael “Doboi” Mcguire
* Read guides from experienced D.J.s: Check out www.stripclubdj101.com by Bill Hibler. It’s worth every single penny. Some of the above ideas I got from him years ago. Somewhere out there is a D.J. handguide from legendary D.J. Chris London, too. Get your hands on that as well!
* Auditioning: This is what it all comes down to. Take all of the above, put it together into one tight, confident package. Find the club you want to go after and make it happen! I hope these tips will help you in finding the club of your dreams. Feel free to contact me at DJRonJames@gmail.com with any questions or comments.