How DJ Sean J Took His DJing Hobby and Turned it Into a Full Time Job

Are you wanting to play more shows and make more money as a DJ? Once you catch the addiction of learning how to spin and create high energy and verify impactful mixes, you’ll never want to stop working on that craft..

Being a DJ is fun, but getting paid to DJ is even better. 

Today, I’m sitting down with DJ Sean J, who turned his love for DJing into a full time career. Sean is going to teach you the ins and outs of how to play this game and set yourself up for success.

Prepare yourself, this is a long episode, but you don’t want to miss a single minute as we lay it all out for you!

In this episode you’ll learn:

  • How to be a full time DJ
  • Which gigs pay the most
  • What to expect when being a mobile DJ
  • What is required to be a DJ
  • How to get started

and so much more!

Episode Links

 

Electronic Dance Money Episode 016 – 3 Tips to Getting More Streams on Your Tracks – https://enviousaudio.com/episode16/

Show.co – https://show.co

Electronic Dance Money Community – https://www.facebook.com/groups/393782934612748/

Automatic Episode Transcript — Please excuse any errors, not reviewed for accuracy

Speaker 1:
0:01
Hey guys, welcome to electronic dance money, your number one business resource for making money as electronic musicians and producers.
Speaker 2:
0:29
[inaudible].
Speaker 1:
0:29
Okay, sweet. And we’re going, we’re good to go. So
 
Speaker 3:
0:34
today, is it going to be van? This episode’s been in the works for a little while now. We’ve been talking for like a month and a half, not really talking, but kind of. We, we talked for a little bit and got everything sorted and it’s been a minute since I’ve had guests on. I’ve, it’s been like two months or something, maybe pushing three, so I’m finally happy to have a guest on it. My guest is Shawn Johnson. He is a professional DJ. Uh, you do all sorts of different kinds of deejaying stuff. Why don’t you get into just a little bit of kind of your, the different areas that you work in with deejaying? Yeah, man. Well, uh, first and foremost, thank you for having me. And, uh, I checked out a couple of the episodes of the podcast and like you said, we had some good conversations leading up to this.
Speaker 3:
1:21
I’m excited to be a part of this. So yeah. Um, my name government is Sean Johnson. I’m easy to stock with DJ name, super original DJ Sean J. So, uh, yeah, I’ve been deejaying, uh, for about 13 years now is doing the math and doing the calculations and I’ve been full time, it’ll be eight in about February of next year. So the Newman’s for L a for a little while. Um, I am a full time DJ coming from the club world in the mobile world and corporate events. When I say mobile it includes weddings and corporate parties, but they kind of like are all one big bucket. And then, uh, yeah, the typical nightclub bar, uh, I, I’ve done some casinos and doing, doing some traveling with that stuff as well. So essentially everything under the sun and the DJ space and then got into production and all of, all of the, uh, original music making stuff much more recently in a serious fashion.
Speaker 3:
2:15
So yeah, it’s kind of like the short elevator pitch version. Yeah. Well. Um, I think one reason why I wanted to have you on the show, you know, the, the whole podcast is really about teaching producers how to make money doing the things they want to do and mostly be involved with music. And I, so here in Austin I have a monthly meetup group with a bunch of producers. Um, and I’m constantly trying to bring in new producers too and we’d just get together and talk music network. And we just had our most recent one on Saturday. And this was like a big part of the discussion cause there were people at the meetup who are barely big producers.
Speaker 4:
2:59
I’m a big mastering engineer and actually Alberta who is on
Speaker 4:
3:04
this, on episode three, he was there and we were talking about what it takes to kind of make it in the industry and what it’s like. And one of the things we were talking about his, you have to get so lucky and your timing has to be so on point for you to be a [inaudible]. Just touring artists making music and that’s all you’re doing. And this is something that I repeatedly say on the show too. And so, you know, one of the reasons why I have this podcast is to teach people that yes, you should shoot for those goals. I think they’re important. Uh, I think they’re important to individual people, but you have to realize that that doesn’t about 99% of the time, that doesn’t cut it. Just making music and being an artist and touring, you meet the right people at the right time.
Speaker 4:
3:54
It can happen and it does happen, but you have to branch out. And if that means you have to DJ weddings, it means you have to DJ weddings. But guess what? Weddings pay really good money. Corporate events pay really good money to the point where if you live under your means where you can, you can save money, you don’t have any debt and you’re kind of running your own show. You could more than likely line up stuff where you only play three or four [inaudible] nights a week. Your shit’s paid for that week. Your shit might even paid for that month be paid for that month. So that’s why I wanted to have you on this episode because it’s people, especially electronic music producers, they feel like it’s a cop out or somewhat of a failure. [inaudible] DJ weddings to do events and it’s, it’s not in their nature, but you look at it and go, what are you, where are you trying to do?
Speaker 4:
4:49
Do you want to be full time with music? Cause that’s a very quick way of going full time with music. You’re learning a craft your cause. Guess what? I know that most of you producers out there [inaudible] either one aren’t producing. So you’re not really a producer. You’re just deejaying at home for you, yourself and your friends. Or you’re more of a DJ or more of a producer and not a DJ so you’re not practicing. So you can kind of being a DJ and a producer, you merge the best of two worlds. You can get really good at deejaying. So when you land those actual gigs where you’re playing a legit show that you want to play, uh, you’re going to be fucking phenomenal. You’re going to blow the crowd away. You’re going to know how to read a crowd, which is so important. So that’s one of the main reasons why I want to have you on you. Oh my God. You’re taking all the words out of my mouth with that one. Yes. All of that is so real. So, um, yeah, let’s, I, I want to hear a little bit more about your story. How did you, what got you into this corner of the market? And especially with producing too, you know, cause like, like you said, you started out as a DJ and now you’re starting to get more into the production world. So I’d love to kind of bridge two gaps,
Speaker 5:
5:58
but let’s go all the way from the beginning, man. What got you into wanting to DJ and how did you go about starting that kind of thing? Man, that like opening ran right there, got my blood pumping because everything you said is just so on point. So let me get into the, uh, the, the old stuff and we’ll catch up with the new stuff and like my motivational speech. So, um, essentially when I started deejaying it was because I was basically going up, going out to clubs and bars with my friends. Um, well, but short and simply I came up as a dancer and in the hip hop community in Baltimore, I’m coming to you live and direct from Baltimore, Maryland. So, um, this was mid two thousands. And as a break dancer b-boys the original term, um, my friends and I would go out to whatever bar would let us just rock out and do our thing every night of the week.
Speaker 5:
6:44
It was just the routine. And after a while you just, you’re in so many different venues, you see so many different DJs, you see so many different environments. I just kind of started paying attention a little bit more from like the dance floor in front of me to like, what’s that guy doing in the corner? Um, for anybody who’s not up on like hip hop history, uh, the four elements of hip hop or emceeing, the art of rapping, deejaying, the thing we’re talking about right here, Bboying is the dancing and then, uh, a graffiti, the like visual art part of it. And then some people put another stuff, but whatever. So the key is that everybody in like hip hop culture had a thing that brought them to it. But then any of the other elements are kind of like, you’re instantly exposed to that.
Speaker 5:
7:25
Um, I was a mediocre dancer. We, I can put it like that. I was in some competitions and didn’t do the greatest, but my friends were like, there’s, some of my friends are still to this day doing like world-class, like red bull, red bull, a BC one winning. And these guys are like for real, like world-class dancers, super competitive, traveling the world, good friend of mines, uh, playing, uh, almost all of the red bull events around the world as well as the other Bboy events. So, like in the grand scheme of that hierarchy, I was mediocre at best buy, like my heart was in it. So once I started realizing the K DJs and other side of this and I know the music and I own like seeing someone else manipulate the room and lots of other different, uh, environments, not just clubs and bars, maybe there’s something to this.
Speaker 5:
8:09
So I just basically like on my own, I guess intuition started trying to figure out, I know these songs, how is he like adjusting things to make them faster or slower. And then like that’s the thing that directly connects with, uh, what happened next is this all happened while I was in college and, um, the actually along with that, so there was this weird, uh, overlap in my life or there’s like three chapters. So all of this was happening while I was in college, but I was also in the army for eight years. So this was like a halfway point in my life where I was halfway through the army. I was like in the early parts of college and didn’t really know what I wanted to do. I just knew I wanted to stick with this creative art stuff in whatever capacity I could because forget wanting to go and sit in a job and not be in a cubicle, I just couldn’t see myself doing that.
Speaker 5:
8:53
So, um, fast forward a little bit then like I’m in college and I’m trying to find a way to make it work and connect all those dots. Like self-talk, DJ, I’m getting pretty good just practicing in my bedroom. And then suddenly, uh, one of the bars that my friends and I would all go to every single week was like, Hey, we’re closing down. And a bunch of the DJs that we used to have every week aren’t, uh, available for the weeks and the weeks and months leading up to us closing. Do you want to DJ? And at that point it was like the two. Yeah, the two, the two turntables I started with are sitting here in front of me and I’ve had them this entire time. I was like, I’m practicing entirely uncertain tables, but that bar had CDJs, this isn’t like 2006, seven, somewhere in there. So I didn’t know how to use CDJs, but I figured out like, all right, I’m going to do whatever it takes because this is my shot.
Speaker 5:
9:39
Like I’ve been doing this for a couple of years now. This is my shot, burned a bunch of CDs. A friend of mine that I would usually go out with, he would let me borrow his CD book from his car and I was shooting from the hip but it made it work and like that led to a string of gigs. And because like my friends in the dancer community like Hey you’re one of us. Anytime somebody needed a DJ, I had like, I had a lot of people that were throwing my name around and like the biggest lesson out of that chapter of my life is it wasn’t about me being the best or the worst. It was about me being somebody that everybody had like a positive interaction with and like I was taking it really seriously. So like if someone else was unavailable, I would make myself available.
Speaker 5:
10:17
Like, I would skip out on class on Monday to make sure I could be there for the house party on Sunday. You know, it was ridiculous. But um, this is mid college so I’m trying to find a way to connect that, connect those dots from like I do this fun thing that’s in the music space to a degree and using like the fact that I was in college and had kinda had like a pick of whatever was available, stumbled across a degree in audio engineering and radio production. So I volunteered at the student radio station, eventually got a job as the programming director for that station. So I was in charge of building the schedule and making sure peoples shows were cohesive and like all of the, not spoken about things in the music space. So it’s like I’m in my mid twenties and now I have like responsibility but I’m also a club DJ and so people are like, my name gets thrown around and even more of those circles that I wasn’t a part of but like in a positive way.
Speaker 5:
11:08
Now I also have like a business structure kind of around everything that I’m doing and I’m pursuing a degree, learning how to use pro tools. But lo and behold, I didn’t like pro tools. And to this day I still kind of, not my favorite, but I spent a lot of that student loan money on Ableton, so I got able to in suite and held on for dear life. So, uh, yeah, from that point it was just kind of like the slow progression of like people spreading my name out there. Um, basically after the, a student radio station had an opportunity to work with one of my professors who owned an independent hip hop label called [inaudible] music group. So, uh, him, Brandon Lackey, he owns a studio in Baltimore that anybody listening would definitely be, uh, a behoove you to Google it, the lineup room. And uh, the lineup room is now grown from just like one guy running too.
Speaker 5:
11:53
Like he’s got it, he’s got a crew, he’s got a team. He’s basically like the top notch through year one or the top two studios in Baltimore city period. And then, uh, I got a big up him and Dwayne Lawson because Dwayne lost and he’s a producer who goes by the name of headphones. They were the co owners of the label but headphones had an experienced and long resume within the music industry specifically in hip hop. So like all of these things came together. This is like 2007, eight. And I was like, my whole world is all of these things connected to hip hop culture and connected to music. And I was like, I don’t want to be limited by one thing. So, um, from the being involved with the label label, Hey, we need a studio engineer, sign me up, coach, put me in. I know how to show up to work on time and do all the things necessary.
Speaker 5:
12:39
Cool. Hey, we need a tour. DJ put me in, coach, I’m down, let’s go. And anything I could do to just be more involved. I just took the initiative and just jumped on it. And, uh, having all of that around me, learning how to be learning how to use the software to basically do anything I needed to do with within Ableton was what my degree was in. But, um, that creative process is the thing that I neglected for a really long time, even though I had like these amazingly skilled producers as mentors at that time. And then even going down the road later, other people as well. I just like couldn’t really figure out how to make that workflow work for me until the last couple of years. But, um, that’s kind of the short synopsis. I’m not short at all. That’s that, that’s how we get to here.
Speaker 5:
13:24
Um, but then here’s where my, my, uh, my long winded stand on the soapbox moment comes and you, you nailed it Christian. So the thing that happened to me is I graduate college, right? Working for this record label. We were gone on going on tour, doing college shows, doing regional stuff like submitting to magazines and festivals and just doing all the things that you got to do with a record label to make sure your artists are visible. And I’m just like a part of all of that. But then I figured in my mind, all right, well I don’t know, how would I make a fulltime living out of this? And I’d just finished schools. I got like a six month window and so I got to start paying off loans. I guess it’s time to get a real job question Mark, you know? But that’s what I did cause I didn’t know any better.
Speaker 5:
14:06
It’s like I just kind of slowly started fading to the background of the record label cause there was like, Hey guys, like I got to pay the bills and I don’t know how I’m going to do that. I was making enough money while I was in college. It didn’t have anything to really spend it on. But like once the rent starts kicking in, it just wasn’t, it wasn’t adding up. Um, so there was a point, and this is in like to actually wrote myself a little timeline, digging up my old notes from emails and stuff. So I graduated college in 2011 and uh, sorry, 2010 and then I basically immediately got a job working for a audio visual company. Um, I’m not going to say the name, uh, very, very well known Avi company. There’s only like three of them nationwide. So if anybody’s in that space, I’m sure some of your listeners are, they can probably guess, but I started working for a company and working my ass off.
Speaker 5:
14:55
I think I was like on a regular basis, working like 120 hours a week. And then I got to that, that reaction right there was me every single week. I got to that burnout point and I was like, I haven’t touched my turntables in like six months. I don’t have the money to pay the bills and I have to figure out where my food’s going to come from some days. But some days like you’re at a hotel, they feed you. Mmm. So I said, if I’m going to be this miserable, I’m going to do it on my own terms. And then from that moment forward it was like there was no plan B cause it distracts from plan a, we got to make this work and I’m so glad and I’m so fortunate that all of those years building up with this like community of dancers and now these record label artists and these producers that were my mentors, that all of these other people that were like, all right Sean, if you’re going to take it seriously, we got your back.
Speaker 5:
15:40
Um, I’ll put your name in the hat whenever I can. They make sure you can find some gigs. And that’s what led me into this space of doing like the corporate stuff and mobile stuff. Because up to that point I was just doing college parties and clubs and I was established in those circles but that’s not where the money was. That would make my life sustainable. I got connected with a couple of DJs that were doing private events and a friend of mine, an old friend of mine convinced me to try doing a wedding and I was kicking and screaming and I was like, I am not that corny guy. I will not do this. I’m so against that. And like to this day, every time I get on a microphone at a wedding, I’m like, I know that people’s perception of me is exactly what I thought myself was going.
Speaker 5:
16:21
I thought I was going to turn into that. So I was like, nah man. All I gotta do is keep it genuine to like what I want to represent. And it doesn’t have to be the corny guy with the bow tie that tells jokes like you don’t have to do that. And we’re fortunately in a space that people kind of get the difference if they want that guy, they’re going to go hire that guy. But there’s a lot of options for people with my background that are more established in like the professional club world in the competitive spaces that they go and hang out and socially as opposed to the guy had the, that does bar mitzvahs and only that.
Speaker 4:
16:52
Yeah. You know, and this is, I was the person that was like forever. I would have people be like, Oh, so do you, cause you know, Oh tell him you know, I, I’m an EDM producer and I also do some DJ stuff. There you go. Immediately the followup questions. Oh, so like you do weddings and stuff. And I was like, no, I that was like hard, no, fuck you, I don’t do weddings. No, I’m not that. Yeah. [inaudible] I’m not that person. That’s not me.
Speaker 5:
17:19
And then
Speaker 4:
17:21
I had a buddy of mine about a year ago, he, he has his own wedding deejaying business and it’s just him and he’s had it for years while he’s trying to kind of get away from the space and hire people to do it. And he reached out to me
Speaker 5:
17:36
and
Speaker 4:
17:37
he told me, he told me what the payment would be, what the hours were like and what the, what the job required in one it requires, like he handles all the gears stuff and all the admin stuff. So I literally just need to show up and basically MC, it’s be like the, the client, the, the bride puts together an entire Spotify playlist and I go off of that. So like I don’t even have to choose music. So it is such a killer, good gig. And I thought, you know, I took a few days to think about it and I was like, why am I so afraid to make money for something that’s so easy? [inaudible] that’s gonna make someone happy. Like people at the wedding, it’s going to make people at the wedding happy and I’m never going to see these fucking people again. The issue is the ego.
Speaker 4:
18:27
I’m so afraid of people just referring to me as a wedding DJ, but that’s not who I am. That’s not what people see me as. And even if I told people I’d DJ, I do get hired to play some weddings. They’re not going to see me as a wedding DJ. If I tell my friends they’re not going to see me as a, it doesn’t. Regardless, it doesn’t fucking matter. It’s not like a switch that just gets flipped and magically you become this thing. It’s like everything up to that point builds up to what your reputation is. Yeah. No one gives a shit either. And guess what? If they do [inaudible], they don’t have seven, 800 $1,500 in their fucking pocket or even more for sitting behind some decks for six hours, maybe, maybe six hours. It is so fucking crazy. The amount of money to be made in weddings, especially as a DJ, and you can market yourself too as someone who doesn’t do country stuff, someone who doesn’t do whatever like you can market yourself.
Speaker 4:
19:23
As you know I’m great at hip hop and EDM. You want hip hop and EDM at your, at your wedding. I’m your fucking guy. I’ll do cocktail hour, we’ll have the slow music. But when your party, when you want your party to start, I’ll let, I’ll make your fucking party start. And that, that’s the big thing that I bring to the table when I used to DJ, when I do DJ, when I do shows or um, when I’m just playing electronic music, I am the fucking person that everyone wants to be in front of and watch because I’m so animated. And if you can take that energy, do a wedding dude, the first wedding I ever did was for this couple who were shit, they were like 23 and 24, something like that. Really young right in the sweet spot. They’re like young enough to still want to have fun, but they don’t want to not have a party and disappoint their parents.
Speaker 4:
20:13
Yes. So do they had some ratchet ass fucking music on this playlist? I was playing some of this shit that I was like, did they want me to play this at a fucking wedding? Okay, sure. I’ll play it. Those ones are the [inaudible] a bunch of Cardi B and shit. And so I’m like, okay, like this is going to be fun. When you see that kind of playlist where there’s all this dude dirty music, you’re going to have a fucking blast. So I gave it my all bride was coming up with, to me dancing with me. People were taking Snapchat and Instagram videos of me. There’s videos
Speaker 3:
20:48
out there somewhere and sent to a long list of friends being like, look at this fucking wedding DJ. And I was getting down. And when you bring that energy, it’s so much fun when I get done. So it’s a lot of nervousness when you’re going into a wedding that I’ve experienced. I get real nervous, especially with having to talk on the mic, which I’m glad I’m actually doing it because it’s making more, making me more comfortable, public speaking and talking in the mic, which is great. It’s an underappreciated skill that you get really good at. Cause you have to, yeah. Yes. You can’t fuck up. And here’s the other thing too. When you’re doing, when you’re teaching a wedding, you don’t have enough power to fuck up the wedding. Like there’s, you have no fucking power to fuck up the wedding. It’s such a cake walk and it’s, it’s a lot.
Speaker 3:
21:35
It’s some nerves like leading up the anticipation of leading up to the day and then when I get there I’m kind of in work mode and then when the party starts I’m having the time of my life. There is no better feeling like I have a feeling of ecstasy when I’m on my drive home from the fucking wedding, I’m blasting music, I’m in a party mood and I’m like that was so much fun. It was so much. It’s just like, it’s just like if you play a normal club show or something and you throw down. I was just about to say, it’s just like when you’re leaving a big room club, it’s the exact same feeling because really at the end of the day it’s like you’re the thing that is providing a good time for people, but when you’re in the context of like a private party where people have like gathered into like let’s say some random banquet hall at like the local community center or whatever, like it could be anywhere.
Speaker 3:
22:22
It just doesn’t look the same, but it’s the same energy and the reason that people are really, uh, much more attuned to what their options are out there when they’re looking for a wedding DJ or a corporate event DJ for like the company barbecue is because they know we want somebody who’s not going to make this suck. We want that energy. We see at nightclubs and festivals, everybody’s old enough to know the difference between the guy who’s 65 with a fake Mohawk and the, and trying to hold onto his golden years. And the guy who was like, Hey, I just want to have a good time. Like you guys tell me how you want things to flow and I’ll keep things on track. Yeah, yeah, definitely. It’s an [inaudible]. It’s so funny. I look at the stigma that I had before of like just shitting on wedding DJs and then when you experience it, you realize it’s not that bad and it’s kind of fun.
Speaker 3:
23:09
So, um, and, and it’s important to have a balance. Like there’s, there’s overkill and everything and there’s burnout and everything. If you’re doing three weddings a week, you’re going to get exhausted. It’s going to become like a day job and it’s going to become boring. But if you do something like what you’ve got set up, which I think is interesting where you’re doing, uh, a bunch of different events, you’re not just a wedding DJ, and that’s important to, to, um, point out this episode isn’t about teaching you how to be a wedding DJ or glorifying how great it is to be a wedding DJ. This episode’s more
Speaker 4:
23:46
finding a source of income through deejaying, whether it’s a corporate event, whether it’s a wedding DJ, whether it’s getting local gigs, whether you’re playing at a club, whatever it is, there’s money to be made as a DJ and you don’t need to just niche down into weddings. Don’t, you don’t need to dive right into that and just stick with that. And I think that’s what I think that’s what some producers here when you say, Oh, well why don’t you do a wedding gig or a corporate gig? They hear, Oh, I’m only going to have to do that and that’s all I can do. No. So I, I’m interested what, what are the different kinds of gigs that you do? Cause it’s not just one gig, one type of gig, I should say.
Speaker 5:
24:27
Yeah, it’s not just one thing at all. Um, so I was looking at my calendar. It’s, it’s as of the time of recording this, it’s November, 2019 and I was just looking at my calendar just to kind of see what the recap of the year is. I just finished my last wedding of 2019, uh, two weeks ago and I calculated everything up to this point. Um, for this year I did seven, what you, what I would consider a corporate events, seven corporate events, meaning I went to a particular location that accompany, had booked me for not a particular individual and played music for them. One of them, um, Baltimore city in the last couple of years has uh, enacted this thing called light city where it’s like an arts and music and lights festival happens at night and this is the first year they did at the end of the year instead of the beginning of the spring time. So, um, I got contracted basically by the arts, uh, advocacy group, nonprofit for Baltimore city to be their resident DJ for that for four days.
Speaker 5:
25:24
Um, that was one of the corporate gigs and that being like one of seven clients that I’d had. So, um, that’s just an example. That’s something recent that just passed. So that’s on the top of mind. But then I’ve also had contracts with like Verizon who has like a training headquarters in Northern Virginia. And sends all of their like regional management to there to get experience. And they do an after party with a big like big production, high value production, and then me as the DJ for a year with a couple of other guys rotating it depending on the weeks. Um, then there’s the local shows and that’s what I consider, like the stuff that I got started in is like the small room clubs and then eventually the big room clubs and then the local bars. Um, more so than a lot of other cities. However, Baltimore has turned into a Barre town and there’s only a handful of very small handful of clubs leftover.
Speaker 5:
26:14
And I kind of started seeing the beginning of that change in like 2011, 12 when it was like really taking this seriously for the first time. So what I realized is you gotta be at a certain skill level to maintain this. And that was kind of my calling card. I’m coming from that like competitive b-boy nature was like, all right, well here’s what I do, here’s what you do, who’s better? And it was all about like I want to be the battle DJ that always wins and like there’s a certain amount of competitiveness that I think that served me well because you could put me in a club next to somebody else. I’ve got my own particular style, but I’m also able to reach, still reach for a lot of genres that other people weren’t able to reach for. Like you could probably, and you could play anything with a big drop in the middle of the night club and everything to get going, but like if you could weave in something that’s like what someone like DJ jazzy Jeff would refer to as like the hard left turn playing like a Motown song or primetime at a nightclub and make it make sense.
Speaker 5:
27:05
That’s the stuff that I was able to really like lean on my laurels. Like I knew I was skillful enough and able to scratch and juggle and do the technical stuff enough that I could hold my own in the clubs. So I quickly said, I know where I’m at in the food chain. I’m going to make my way down to DC. DC’s 45 minutes South of me. And so it’s very few and far between that unfortunately I hope it’s changes that a Baltimore DJs would jump in their car and drive down to D C cause the PayScale’s higher in DC’s a top 10 nightlife city. So grabbing all that part up, um, for this calendar year, um, between DC, Baltimore, uh, trips out of state to like New York and Virginia. Um, and Pennsylvania, I did 65 what I would call the local shows. That’s the bars, the clubs, the casinos, and that’s the stuff that got me started at, in this.
Speaker 5:
27:53
So, um, seven corporate events, 65 local shows, and then 24 weddings. The first time I did, uh, the first year that I did weddings full time, I did about 35 weddings or no, I mean it was closer to 40. It was ridiculous and I hated my life because I was so exhausted. Just like you said, doing two and three a weekend. And I was like, Oh, I just got to make money. And then I found my breaking point. I was like, okay, let’s figure out how to balance this out. And now it’s been a long time, but I feel like this is the equilibrium I want to stay at. Most of my gigs are things that I can invite my friends to, but they don’t have it on a Friday or Saturday. Those are usually the gigs where it’s a private thing that I can invite people to because it’s Verizon or whoever is paying me.
Speaker 5:
28:40
Yeah, I, that’s important to mention. Weddings are fun. They’re great. Would you say weddings are the most exhausting? Weddings for me and part of this is my own creation. Um, weddings are the most exhausting because it’s one person responsible for all of the lights, sound and everything. Um, so I like I’m getting there. Um, an average wedding day for me starts at, let’s say of the gig starts at six o’clock. I’m leaving my house at two and that’s because I gotta load up my car. Or if I’m doing the rental thing, uh, which I do pretty often load up the rental vehicle after I pick it up, get to the gig, unload the vehicle, set up all the equipment, soundcheck, make sure everything’s good, meet the venue, people talk to the wedding party and then the party starts and that’s like, whew, that’s a lot. Then you got to undo it at the end. It’s, I will say like weddings are great, but they’re man. And that’s why you burn out and like you don’t want to just, I mean you can if you want. Cause I, like I said, incredible fucking much incredible money. Weddings.
Speaker 3:
29:42
[inaudible] I’m sorry, not just incredible money. Incredibly consistent money, which is a very key, very key point here is the consistency. Everyone’s getting married every fucking day. There’s always new fucking like the wedding business. [inaudible] is never going to go out of business. It is such a secure job, but it’s a lot of fucking work. It’s cause like you said, you have to do all the setup, all the breakdown you have to get with the coordinator, makes sure everything’s lined up. There’s a lot of work to do about the week before. You got to make sure you’ve got all the music in place, you’ve got a timeline for the entire event, you gotta, there’s a lot of stuff involved. If you’re renting stuff, you’ve got to make sure all that renting equipment is ready and we’ll kind of get into that. And just a second. And you, you said you did 24 this year, that’s fucking two weddings a month.
Speaker 3:
30:31
Nothing they do. There’s so few weddings, four. I’m sure you don’t need to say how much you made, but I’m sure it’s not bad money. But like by any, most of these fucking producers listening, I’m sure they have not made that much money deejaying alone. So I’m going to, I’m going to be real vague with this intentionally, but I want to make sure we highlight this point for people. Um, again coming from that same perspective of like that’s a corny thing that I’m never going to do. Well imagine if you made the same amount of money working five days but only over the course of eight hours in one day. That’s the kind of money that even in a very scared like very crowded and competitive market where the, where the rates might not be that high. That’s what we’re talking about here. And that’s without giving out numbers.
Speaker 3:
31:18
But you can do the math for your own market. Do you want to work five days and make the same amount of money as you could in one day? Sometimes it’s more. I think when you’re working when, and I don’t want to, we’ll we’ll deviate away from weddings cause I know we’re focusing a lot but I, but the, the, the, the premise and the point to all of this is the fact that like don’t, don’t feel like you need to hold onto these values that are, that don’t make sense that are kind of, they’re meaningless. You got to look at how many, how many people are going to be at the wedding. Cause that’s how you can really determine how much you’re going to charge. If you’re playing for three, 400 people, you can charge a lot more than you would for just a hundred people. Oh, and here’s a side story.
Speaker 3:
32:00
I’m glad you said that but it just reminded me of something. I was doing a wedding, uh, again talking the weddings. I was doing a wedding a couple months ago and uh, at the end of the wedding, the person who was the manager in charge of all the catering crew comes up to me and says like, Hey, I’ve been doing this for a really long time, but you’re one of the best I’ve ever seen. And that was a really fun party and I’m glad I got to work with you. Give me your card. I work for, I’m not going to say the name of the group, but I work for a group that does booking for large festivals. And I’m going to put your name in the hat to make sure that we can plug you in on this too. And I’m like, Aw, thank you. I’ve been trying to get into the door of that group for years and all it took was just treating every gig. Like it was important. Like he, I could just easily sit down
Speaker 4:
32:40
in a chair and press cruise and let the songs auto mixing tractor or something. But you don’t have to do that if you treat it like a job. If you just treat it like you’re a professional, if you walked into a bank and had that same perspective, that’s what we would be expected. So that’s what I do. And that’s what led to bigger opportunities I never would have found on my own. I don’t think people realize the kind of people you meet at these kinds of events. You meet so many different kinds of people and so many people that appreciate what you’re doing and they tell you that they appreciate it and they enjoy watching you and having you there. And then a tip cause it’s part of the, the culture. You get tips at the end of these that are a lot. Yeah, you’d be, you’d be surprised how many people that might be in your niche or your network or what like could, that can do you a favor and just for you being a professional and like massive smile on your face, loving everything about even if you hate what’s going on, love it.
Speaker 4:
33:37
And you’d be surprised how many people want to, um, want to connect with you and get your number. And either potentially, same with wedding coordinators. If you’re working with a fucking wedding coordinator and you put on a good show and be professional and you sh you show up and do everything by the book how they want you want it done and the bride. And most importantly, the brides parents are very happy that coordinator’s going to see that and they’re going to go, you’re the best DJ I’ve worked with. I’m going to be bringing you consistent work. So you’re networking quickly grow when you do enough of those gigs. But let’s, so yeah, let’s get away from weddings for the time being. Um, and let’s talk a little bit more about local shows because you brought something up earlier about how when you were first starting to DJ and you’re doing these local clubs and you started reaching out to your friends and your friends would hit everyone up and you would have bat crowd.
Speaker 4:
34:32
Yeah. This right here, what Sean was talking about, that is the key to local gigs. I think the most important thing for you to do before you jump into getting local gigs, and this is whether you are playing some bar and they want top 40 or hip hop or whatever, or you’re going to talk to a promoter who maybe Zed is dead, is coming into town and you have the possibility of opening up for [inaudible], Ed’s dead. A lot of the times those promoters are going to go like, this is what you see a lot of times. Okay, you got to sell 20 tickets. Here’s 20 tickets. You got to go sell them. Well, you got to bring 20 people to the show. It’s very important for you to network within your local scene, get involved with your friends, hang out with your friends, go out to have drinks with them.
Speaker 4:
35:18
Go out to clubs with them. Go out to bars with them. Now [inaudible] this is funny, so this is the opposite of what a lot of songwriters and big producers will tell you. They say, don’t go out. Stay locked in your bedroom and just work on music. I think that’s important. I think you should do that and you should do that more often than you go out, but you don’t want to seclude yourself so much from your friends where they stop inviting you out to things and they stop hanging out with you. Because if you do that, when it comes time for you to go, my music is great. I’m making really good music. It’s standing up to a lot of professional stuff and you want to start opening up for artists. If you don’t already have like five or 10,000 fans or likes or whatever, cause a lot of the times they’ll go off of that.
Speaker 4:
36:03
In addition, if you don’t have a big enough following on social media, they’ll go, okay, you need to bring, you need to bring people in the door cause they’re paying for drinks in there, paying for door fees. If you, if you have to bring people in, but you’ve secluded yourself so much that you can’t tap into that network and you can’t hit up 10 people who will then hit up. Each one of those people will hit up 10 more people. You’re fucked, dude. You’re not going to bring anyone to your show if you’re not. If your friends aren’t bringing new people on your show, they don’t know about you. Do you get cut out from the local scene and now you’re not growing any fans in the local scene. So what you brought up is I like that you walked into it so perfectly with these local gigs.
Speaker 4:
36:44
You had all these really good friends that you went out and had a good time with and they know you’re a good time and they go, Oh, he’s going to play a fuck. Yeah, I know he DJs. I’ve been hearing him DJ for two years. This is going to be fucking awesome. He’s a good friend of mine. Let me hit up as many people as I can. Next thing you know, it’s fucking eight o’clock nine o’clock doors are like, people are just starting to show up, but it’s not, you know, on a slow night. Normally these, you know the bartenders are like, yeah, it’s slow until 10 or 11 all of a sudden it’s fucking packed at 8:00 PM because your friends just brought 50 fucking people and everyone’s on the dance floor dancing and then people outside of the bar look in and go, what the fuck’s going on in there? Drawing more people in. This is such a fucking key component to playing local gigs or even opening up shows for artists. You if you can, if you can grow a network and tap into that and bring those people as shows, it’s going to bake you so wildly successful. Promoters are going to love you and you’re going to be opening up way more shows than anyone else who just sold five tickets and the dance floor is fucking empty when they’re on.
Speaker 5:
37:55
I’ll Louis Hollaback. Um, actually of the way you worded that was, it was spot on and thank you for all the compliments in that because that that happened to me by accident. But um, here’s something that I, this is one of the keys to a lot of the things that I do. Um, at some point years ago, um, actually I’m going to make two points real quick. So there’s a lot of parallels between being a DJ and looking at a room of people and playing music and saying like, all right, I’m going to feed my decision on what I’m going to do next off of the reaction. I just got. So like there’s a lot of parallels to stand up comedy and being a DJ I look up to and have for my entire life for the entirety of the time that I’ve known about him. Look up to Dave Chappelle and in Dave Chappelle did an interview once and said, when he told his dad, I think I want to do this comedy thing seriously, his dad was like, well I dunno if there’s enough money in that, do you think it’s really going to be worth it for the amount of money you could really potentially make?
Speaker 5:
38:44
And he’s like, well hold up dad. Here’s the way I see it. If I can make a teacher salary doing this thing that I really love to do, then it’s worth it. Right. So I took on that perspective of like I’m not in it for the money, I just want to make it sustainable. So that’s what led me to just say like, Hey, every time somebody says Sean I want to come out specifically cause you’re deejaying somewhere. I’m like, no, I don’t want that to be seen as like a lightweight decision. That’s a big deal. Cause like people could go to so many other places and spend so much. I mean, my birthday was on Saturday. My mom, like I just turned 34 my couch is comfortable for somebody to get up off of their couch and go specifically because they trust the EU. We’re going to make sure they have a good time.
Speaker 5:
39:27
That’s, that’s awesome. And those people that have done that for me up to this one in my life and continue to do that, like I respect that to no end, but I took on the perspective that I want to treat this like a job and I’m going to follow whatever path and we’ll get whatever knowledge I can from any source as long as it’s somebody that’s got some sort of authority or experience in the environment. So it clicked in my mind years ago. Well, everything that I’m doing in the DJ space is essentially an extension of everything that bands have done since the 60s. So I just started reading a bunch of books and reading any information I can get about like the history of ACDC and stuff like that because once you start finding interviews with tour managers and booking agents, all of that stuff directly connects into, all right, well I may not be a five piece band, but I understand what the five piece band to got.
Speaker 5:
40:17
Yeah. I did to get recognition by a city they’d never been to before. That’s the stuff that allowed me to really start taking seriously. Um, this network of just friends of mine, literally just friends of mine. They’re just like going out to clubs too, like their other dancers. So for me it was, I’m going to be playing at this place that we all go to and after years and years of doing that and you guys trust me and you’re, even if I didn’t even know what you sucked, like we’re friends. So then if I ask you, Hey, what are you doing on, on Friday of next week because this Friday we’re here but next week I’m going to be over somewhere else. They’re going to come with me. And that’s because anytime these people would like tell me they came man you did really good. It was like all right, well I’m going to make sure I buy you a present for your birthday or something.
Speaker 5:
40:58
Cause like you didn’t have to be there from from me just trying to figure out how to eat and you’re still riding with me. Like that’s a big deal. So for me a lot of that came down to like just be humble and appreciate all the little things that other people show you love with. Cause it’s a lot easier to find the haters than it is to find the people who are going to publicly praise you. Right, right. I you brought up a key thing too, which is so such a big part of this podcasts, which is the sustainability aspect. If you’re listening to this podcast, what more you want than
Speaker 4:
41:34
a sustainable career in music, whether you’re making $28,000 a year or you’re making $100,000 a year, doesn’t matter what the price point is. What you’re looking for is consistency and sustainability. You want to make sure you’re going to get that paycheck to pay the bills. And if you’re making $27,000 a year doing something you love, it’s okay. It’s okay because you’re doing, you’re your own boss. You’re doing what you want to do. You’re not slaved behind a desk eight hours a day and then having to go home and work another four hours on your craft. You might need to do that for a little while. Um, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but the whole time you’re doing that, all you’re wishing for is, man, I wish this music thing was more sustainable. I wish I was making the money I’m making now in my career so that I can just work six or eight hours a day.
Speaker 4:
42:30
Or if I want to take a fucking Thursday off, I’ll take a fucking Thursday off. Cause it doesn’t matter because I’m my own boss and this is, these are this what we’re talking about. Here are the things that are going to get you to that point. And I think everyone, like I said, everyone listening to this podcast, if you don’t want that, then what are you doing here? You’re listening to the wrong podcast if you’re not looking for sustainability. But I would, I, I think I, it’s fair to say that just about everyone listening to this podcast wants that sustainability and deejaying is, I don’t want to say it’s a quick way to get there, but it is a very consistent way to get there. Like if you can land these gigs, it’s a consistent way it picks up, it snowballs very quickly. If you’re good at what you do in your professional, it’ll snowball. And if I can jump in there, it’s a complimentary skill
Speaker 5:
43:20
because you have to understand BPM and rhythm and bar structure and all that stuff to make music. But you have to even more understand how that and the changes in that are going to affect other people. So when you see like, okay four four is the easy way to get people grooving. But like if you change up the rhythm of a four four track and play a three four track after like five minutes, you, they don’t have enough time to really ride that vibe. Those are the things that being in your bedroom and producing beats all day, you can learn how to do a lot of that stuff, but when you see it happen on the fly and then you have to learn how to correct that, that skill is going to educate it. What you make going forward. And a lot of what are a lot of what the really successful, I’m traveling DJ’s going from like club to club or festival to festival have figured out is exactly that. You can make club bangers all day, but they gotta be able to fit together but still have your stamp on them.
Speaker 4:
44:11
Yeah. Well in, in playing local gigs, is there a quick way, very easy way to test your music out on the crowd? How are people feeling? There was, um, I think Armin talks about it in his, his masterclass. He talks about how he would play. He was playing local clubs and I’m not sure if it was Amsterdam. It was somewhere in the Netherlands who would play clubs while he was also bartending, so he would play a track rundown, poor people drinks, go back up, play a track, and he was playing his music. A lot of times he was playing his music. Yeah. A lot of times he was playing his music to an empty dance floor and it’s a very quick way to see how does, how do people react to your music and you’ll see, you’ll hear like when the crowd’s really going, if you go, okay, I’m going to throw on a new track that I made that I know is a banger, but let’s see if it stands up. You throw it on. If you see bodies starting to stand still, you know something’s wrong with your production, you might even point out, okay, this section is the issue. Deejaying and producing compliment each other so well. I know everyone knows this because if you’re a huge producer playing these, you’re, you’re deejaying most of the time. Unless you do a live set [inaudible] it’s a D Jane’s a fucking great way to do, to mix both your love for production and your love for live music.
Speaker 6:
45:27
Everything you learn as a DJ will help you as a producer. Everything you learn as a producer will help you DJ. It’s just about saying all right, well how much of my time do I want to put into each one? Like the, if you are a successful producer there will come a point that you will have to learn how to DJ cause that’s the most logical way to be able to present your music to people. So you might as well as learn how to do it and get at least decent on decent edit early cause you got the opportunity in the local scene to make those mistakes as opposed to make those on the big stages.
Speaker 4:
45:53
Yeah. And I will say like, cause cause I see, I see small producers talking on Facebook a bunch about how, okay, I’m going to start doing live stuff like playing stuff live. And I think that’s great and you should do it because I think there’s a great craft in that and you can put it on a really good show with like [inaudible] as an electronic artists putting it, putting on a live show, like something like the Chainsmokers do and the glitch mob. But the, all those people know how to DJ and DJ really well. And it’s because there’s a lot of time, like let’s say you do happen to go on tour, um, whether you’re just opening up for someone or you’re headlining. Like there’s a lot of clubs you won’t be able to set up a live show in. You’ll have to DJ. If you look at the glitch mob, a lot of the times they’re just deejaying and the the amount of work that goes into putting a live show and if you have to put everything together, break it all down and play a live show and do all of that in four hours and then leave.
Speaker 4:
46:52
That’s a lot of fucking work. It’s very exhausting and usually there’s a whole fucking team behind those people setting those things up so they don’t have to do it. If you’re a one man show doing that, it’s great, but you’re going to prob, I’ll say you’ll probably burn out fairly quickly. You know when you’re, when a band is going the drum or setting up his drums, the guitarists, they’re tuning maybe one or two guitars themselves and everything set up and then the club is doing all the audio so they don’t have to worry about that. But when you’re, when you’re a one man show and you want to set up an entire live show with synths and drum pads and all that shit, it can be pretty exhausting. I’m not saying
Speaker 3:
47:30
for a live show, like if you do Ableton with, um, a machine or Ableton push and then you have one other thing that’s not a lot of work that goes into that, but most of the time you’re also deejaying at the same time when you’re doing that, like you’re not doing, you’re not playing a song in the ending, you’re going into another song and you might have stuff set up. So you are doing some sort of deejaying. A perfect example is ill Gates. He does that kind of stuff where he’ll have able to push, set up and um, a bunch of other different drum pads and sometimes he’ll do like his machine and uh, just work off a CDJs and a mixer. Like you gotta be flexible. He’ll do a whole live show like that. But a lot of the times he doesn’t do that.
Speaker 3:
48:13
A lot of the times he’s just deejaying on CDJs. So it’s, it’s cool to have that setup and be prepared to do that, to put on a really fucking sick ass show like that. But then there’s a lot of times you’re going to have to DJ. So for you people who put off DJ who are electronic music producers, like I just, it’s not entirely realistic to look at it at all and go, I’m never going to touch CDJs ever. It’s kind of a, an unrealistic expectation. Like at some point a club’s going to want to book you or someone’s going to book you and they’re going to be like, yeah, sorry, we can’t set that up. And it might be one of your favorite clubs and how you can’t play it because you don’t know how to play on CDJs or DJ at all. I’m so glad you said that, cause that actually transitions into something I wanted to get into a bit.
Speaker 3:
48:59
So, uh, right now we’re in this, this state with equipment that, um, well I’m kinda jumping back in time again when I started off CDJs uh, I think it was like the CDJ 1000 Mark two was like the newest thing you could see. And that’s like that first gig that I had where I was like, I don’t really know what I’m doing. That was on one of those. So like I’ve always had this little bit of apprehension to CDJs but I had to like force myself through it. But fast forward now that at that point and still now is the club standard, any club or festival you go to is going to have CDJs regardless of the model, they’re likely going to have a pioneer nexus mixer. Probably a nexus too. And where this place right now that because the controller market, I mean just the cost of the entry point of getting a DJ controller versus buying a set of CDJs and a mixer is so much cheaper.
Speaker 3:
49:48
Everyone has controllers and the [inaudible] the starting point for any person who is in production and needs to get a little bit of gear to start deejaying, you’re going to get likely get a controller first. Um, you can always move up from there. But it’s interesting to see how, um, there used to be a stigma around the idea of having like pre graded music or anything. Like if you’re producing an Ableton, there used to be a lot of people who were like, yeah you shouldn’t DJ and Ableton because everything’s matched for you and now people are like, well as long as the music’s good cause people can’t tell the difference but like do what works for you. I just think that it’s really good to keep in mind that controllers are made to emulate CDJs so the more comfortable you are on a CDJ controller,
Speaker 6:
50:29
the more that skill set really lends itself off to what you’re going to find in these larger stages and if you’re in like the mobile space, you’ve got to start somewhere and start off with like the essentials, the computer, the controller, the music library, DJ. That’s not just music that you like, but stuff that other people like and then build from there and like when it comes down to just like starting your DJ business, if you’re looking at what gear is going to be necessary to get you from that, I’m only a producer too. I need to start practicing how to do something that’s going to be a little more sustainable financially. That’s when you have to start looking into the controllers that will allow you to do a little bit of both or one that you don’t have already.
Speaker 4:
51:08
This is might be a little side thing to that, but it’s still involved with it. One of the things we were talking about in the meetup to mostly about production is, one of my issues with production is I always, I would always produce music for other producers without really realizing it. I was so concerned about so many things and then it dawned on me where I was like, who am I making this music for? Cause people, normal people who don’t understand production would listen to this and be like this is fucking great. They don’t notice. The reverb is a little long over here like and so I started producing music for other producers. It’s the same thing with deejaying though. So when you’re deejaying or we’re doing a live show, are you doing a live show for, you’re doing a live show for other DJs and producers that might be in the crowd, but more than likely aren’t because those people are probably at home producing all your producers.
Speaker 4:
51:58
You’re at home on the weekends fucking producing. If you’re playing a show, do you think other producers are in the crowd? No. They’re at home producing. They’re all working on their show. Yeah. So like people who are in the crowd don’t fucking know Jack shit about deejaying or production. There may be one fucking guy who’s taking it off that night and going out. [inaudible] if the music’s good, it’s fucking good. If the production’s good, it’s good. Like all that matters is how, how does it correspond to other people? Does it sound good? Is it sonically pleasing? Then it’s good and so you don’t need to, it’s the same with Lee. I still have a pioneer DDJ uh, that I’ve had
Speaker 6:
52:39
four
Speaker 4:
52:40
[inaudible] was the first model DDJ sr or something, I don’t know. But the nomenclature of all of them, and then they’re all like S Y, Z fucking crazy letters bus came out and I’m like, I’m lost now. Yeah, there’s so fucking many. I know. My, my controller when I bought it was $1,000. Now it’s like $300. It’s fucking nothing. I bought it in like 2012 or something, maybe 2013. But the point is, is I can I still do Jay on that thing? I know it like the back of my hand and I make mixes sound like professional shit made on CDJs. Like it doesn’t mean you don’t need $6,000 over the CDJs to be good. Uh, you can spend $1,000 on a controller that does way fucking more than mine does. It looks and feels a lot more like CDJs and you can that stuff into
Speaker 3:
53:26
the club. Let’s get a little bit into that, um, with gear, because when you’re doing some corporate stuff or especially weddings, that’s where gear does get important. One thing that I don’t like talking about his Garren how you need this gear to be good or you need that gear to this gear will fix your issue. That’s not true at all. Yeah, I’m on the same belief there. Yeah. With weddings there is gear that you need. There’s, there’s stuff you need that is going to not necessarily make you sound good or look well like good speakers will make you sound good, but that won’t make like you’re, you’re deejaying better. There’s there, there really isn’t any gear that’ll make your DJ gear or deejaying better, but there are things that are going to make the night better and make the night happen. Like you can’t DJ a wedding without speakers.
Speaker 3:
54:19
Do they want lights? If you don’t have lights, you can rent lights. You need a microphone. Like there are things you need in order to run the night. So let’s get a little bit into that. What do you have set up? What do you recommend? And let’s, we’ll get into the renting of stuff too, because you don’t need to own everything, especially if you don’t have a big car. Amen. To that. So that, that’s the part one, part two I’ve been like just fortunately recently graduated to the point where like I can balance up the rentals versus the stuff that I own and not try to try to buy it all myself. So, um, yeah, to get down into the meat and potatoes of that. Um, I started off on turntables. I mentioned that before earlier in the conversation and I still have uh, two sets of turntables.
Speaker 3:
54:59
The one, this is audio podcast that you guys can’t see this, but like I’m sitting in front of my turntables, uh, two techniques, 12 hundreds that I’ve had since forever ago, 13 years ago and they are old faithful. That’s like the industry standard when it comes to the turntables for deejaying because the ones that I have are Mark twos. They were made in 1973 I believe. And they still work flawlessly. I’ve like replaced like an RCA cable on one. And I had my head like a tone arm clip bracelet and the other one and that thing was made. These things were made in 1973 or 1970 something. So the reason I stuck with the turntables is one, it’s cause like it’s how I taught myself. It’s how I learned is what I got comfortable with and [inaudible] basically Bulletproof. Um, but however, just recently, earlier this year, a good friend of mine who’s like a DMC battle guy who knows like turntables, like the back of his hand and which ones are the best motors and all that convinced me to buy a set of new Mark TTX turntables.
Speaker 3:
55:55
Those came out about the same time I started deejaying, but I just liked the strength of the motor a little bit better. And over the course of my, my time using turntables, I can tell the difference. So [inaudible] I bring those out. Those are like my on the road turntables currently. Um, however I have mixer wise, this is somebody going to Matt, Matt about this and I love that you said it before Christian. So, Mmm. Native instruments. I use tractor and I like tractor because it allows you to do a lot of stuff the same way. Able
Speaker 5:
56:24
to let you do a lot of nerdy stuff and customize things to your workflow. Very easily. I use tractor because it allows you the same thing and I currently have and I’m holding onto until they give me another version of it. Two tractors, two mixers, no internal effects. They’re just two channel battle style DJ mixers. But the cue points are in the position where I can reach him with my thumbs if I’m scratching or juggling, I know where everything is and I know the inside like sub layers of them like the back of my hand. But if I want to change something, like make a button, do, do, do two things at once. I can do that. When I first started deejaying in first started learning how to DJ, let me say, um, the gear I started with was actually first I bought one of these turntables and then I had a Sony Walkman because I was a poor college kid and I had a couple of records and I had blank CDs.
Speaker 5:
57:16
So what I did is I would record the records onto a CD and I learned how to beat match by just playing one of the songs on the CD player. Like, let’s say something like songs in the key of life, Stevie wonder album. I would just go through the songs on there, press play on the CDJ, I mean not the CDJ plus press play on the Walkman and then beat match whatever song was playing from the vinyl into the CD. And that’s how I learned. So the gear you use doesn’t really matter. It’s about coming to this with a perspective of like, I want to get good at this and if you can do that without a screen in front of you, it gives you a huge advantage. That was just like a necessity for me, but I’m holding on to old gear that works really well because I re I refined my skills to the point where that’s a thing that works for me.
Speaker 5:
58:04
Um, there’s features that newer mixers have that I don’t own and I learned how to use those going from club to club because, uh, like we mentioned before, if you’re seeing a bunch of like headlining DJ’s, a Calvin Harris and Avicii, ti YesTo, anybody who’s at that level, they come in with their own tech writer. And then the festival people say, okay, how many CDJs do you want, what mixture do you want? And they go get that stuff. So once you start seeing certain mixers and certain other things around enough, you kind of learn, all right, I know all the essentials because DJ mixers or DJ mixers. But then I learned how to use a pioneer effects because for six months I rented a pioneer mixer and made sure I knew how that worked inside out just as well as I knew my tractor stuff. And then I got rid of the rental and then I just kept sticking out with what I had because I knew how to go from one platform to another. And uh, also to that point I initially learned how to use DJ software using [inaudible]. This is the first time I’ve said this publicly. I initially learn how to use DJ software with virtual DJ cause I was pouring, it was cheap, dude. I will, yes, I, I used virtual DJ for, okay. Actually, if you sign up for my email list, the first email that I send out as a welcome email, it’s kind of about my history and I, I put the controller that I learned in there, a picture
Speaker 3:
59:22
of it and it’s this little Hercules DJ controller with wheels jog wheels that are like this fucking big. They’re tiny. Like I remember exactly which one you’re talking about and I couldn’t afford that one. So I got the one that was just the mixer. It was like a four channel mixer dude that those jogging meals were, I mean if you, if it, if any of you played GameCube, think of a GameCube disc. That’s how big those wheels were. This controller is half the size of my fucking keyboard. I learned how to DJ with that on virtual DJ and um, I found some like old fucking mashups that I made that was like, this is kind of fucking cool. That’s wild, man. I wanted that thing and I just couldn’t get it. That’s crazy. All right. So, um, yeah, I mean that just kind of illustrates my point right there.
Speaker 3:
60:10
The gear you use doesn’t matter as long as you use it to its fullest potential. Cause once you outgrew that thing, what do you do? Just throw it in the closet and get something else. Bam. [inaudible] normally like you said, like I haven’t gotten a new controller cause I don’t need one. I love my controller, I know it. I make great stuff on it. You have turntables that you’ve had pork ever and that’s what you use cause you, you know how your gear is and this is well the same with like if you’re doing sound design, I use serum and only serum. You wanna know why? Because I fucking know how to use serum. I know the ins and outs of stuff. The only thing I don’t know how to use on serum is the wave tables. It’s the only thing I don’t know how to do is design wave tables.
Speaker 3:
60:53
But everything else I can make just about any sound using Sierra man, it’s because I fucking use it and everything. These are all my sound design sessions. I’m good at using serum. It’s the same with DJ and gear. You don’t need to go out and spend $6,000 on CDJs. If you’re wanting to do this, you can go out and buy a used $500 controller and get a gig next week. Play for a whole fucking week, learn the system, read the manual, look up YouTube tutorials and you’ll fucking be ready. And that gig might pay you $1,000. So the controllers paid off like that. I’ll do you one better. So, uh, in the last two years I started teaching deejaying and others, you can’t see the shirt I’m wearing right now. But uh, yeah, I’m currently wearing a shirt for beat refinery DJ company that got started in D C, uh, bought into by a while bought as a franchise by Bach to rock music.
Speaker 3:
61:42
So beat refinery was started by all of the, like most prominent DJs in the DC area as a place to say, okay, we’re the top tier of the club market. We want to make sure we’re doing a solid for the next generation. So I am now gone on and started teaching for the beat or finery the school closest to where I live in Baltimore. I say all that to say, I tell my students, Hey, you don’t even need to worry about buying gear until you learn how to beat match. So that’s that one. Skills come first, all that stuff I’ve, we’re teaching you, we teach on turntables. If you’ve got controller, you can bring in your controller. We got a couple of you can use, but like you learn how to do the essentials with the least extra help
Speaker 6:
62:20
you can get and all of that stuff transfers. Then when you’re looking for a controller, I have a student that has the DJ to go to, I think it’s new. Mark made that cost $79 currently as of this podcast recording. And that was his first controller. And then he eventually upgraded that about six months later. And this kid is like 14. Um, he started getting some gigs and he started getting some gigs that paid a little bit of money, but not much. Again, he’s 14, so like a little bit of money. I don’t know what the numbers are, but enough that he was like, I need to get something bigger and better cause I got money to spend it on. So then he sold that for probably not much of a loss. And then he bought us at a turntables and a mixer just like the ones we have at the school because it made it easier for him to do the homework that he’s working on between classes.
Speaker 6:
63:07
But at the end of the day, um, you have to be able to plug that stuff into something. And the secondhand market for controllers is very, very, very active, just like the secondhand market for speakers. So when we start talking into like the next step up, um, you have to be able to, uh, get to be able to figure out what kind of events you’re going to do before you start really going all in on buying expensive stuff. There’s going to be a benefit to buying speakers that are like, let’s say 15 inch woofers and really, really high our, um, RMS output on the, on the a wattage for the tops. But you have to know what you’re really getting yourself into. If you’re doing events that there’s like less than 200 people, um, you don’t have to go all out all out on that stuff. You don’t need to own a subwoofer because Hey, guess what, you can go to a local music store. Um, I don’t want to throw brands and stuff in here, but there are major equipment in speaker purchasing stores that you can walk into for $120 and get a rental of two speakers and stands and cables included for 120 bucks right now. So rather than going out and buying stuff, rent the stuff that you are going to need to get through your first couple of gigs and that’ll help you figure out what it is that you need to buy when you start going all in.
Speaker 4:
64:19
Do you have any resources people can check out to learn? Cause I think this, you know the audio world and I’m not talking about production, I’m not talking about deejaying, I’m talking the live audio world where you have speakers set up is a whole nother side of the business that I’m not even, I barely know shit about. My dad. [inaudible] is a fucking audio head dude. He’s an audio file. He, I mean he’s so into speakers in the way things sound and he could, I mean I could bring him on for fucking episode and we could talk all about audio for probably three or four hours there. It’s insane. My dad loves audio. I don’t know Jack shit about that world. Um, and I would be interested in checking some things out. Do you have any YouTube videos or any resources where people can figure out what is going to be the best thing for them to rent? And I’m sure people, I will say, I’m sure there’s people at the store who can help you out too, who can be like, okay, you’re doing a wedding gig. This is how many people, this space, these will probably be best
Speaker 5:
65:18
for you. But do you have any resources that people can check out for YouTube videos or articles, anything like that? So there’s a bunch of stuff that I’d saved. Um, I can, I, I can say that I do have some resources, um, however, I don’t have them in front of me. If I did some digging up, I could find some stuff because I, for one of the things I did along the way coming up is after graduating college, just kind of going along the process, I, uh, had got invited to teach to teach a live sound class, um, for the university I went to because they needed somebody to do a special topics class for graduating seniors. And I was like, Hey, this is the thing I wish I knew how to do when I was there. So I know that, uh, Yamaha made a manual, I can’t remember the name of it, but it’s basically like the industry standard on how to understand live, sound and live audio.
Speaker 5:
66:04
That was one of the required readings for the class that I taught and it’s, I think it got written in like 84 or something like that. But that manual is still very, very, very accurate on it all. Understanding all the fundamentals of live sound and how speakers reproduce sound waves and all of that stuff. Um, that’s a go to after every show I put out the resources for like what specific things we talked about including links. So, um, yeah, we’ll follow up and I’ll, if you can give me some resources. All those resources will be on, um, the podcast, this episode on my website, envious audio.com/episode 15. So you guys just need to go there. There’ll be links on there for resources into how to kind of pick and choose what’s going to be best for events that you’re doing. Yeah, I got you there.
Speaker 5:
66:53
And if anybody’s got any questions on this stuff, then I’m always open to answer anybody’s questions. I’m an open book. I just want to make sure I’m being a helpful resource because I remember when I was starting it was a lot harder to figure this stuff out. Yeah, yeah, definitely. 100 I I completely agree. So [inaudible] same with like so light. Do you think this is, I have a question for this for you because I do wedding gigs. I’m learning a lot of shit from this since I do wedding gigs as well. I find myself doing more weddings without lights. Then with lights. Do you find yourself doing the same thing? Exact same situation. I own zero lights for that reason. Um, whenever people want to get lighting in, that conversation pops up. If it’s something that’s coming, uh, like a client comes to me directly and asked about lights, then I’ll just subcontract it cause it’s easier that way.
Speaker 5:
67:39
And I gotta store less stuff. I own speakers, several speakers, a subwoofer and all of the gear. I would need to connect everything together into one big system or multiple systems at the same venue. And I, that’s what I usually end up doing. Like two sets of speakers in two different rooms for one for like ceremony and cocktails and one for like dinner and dancing. That’s usually what ended up ends up happening. But lighting is a specialty. I’m just like, people can specialize in sound design or mastering or anything else. There are people who specialize in lighting and video production and so rather trying to divert my skill set even further cause like I, I basically just embraced it a long time ago. If it’s to do with sound, I got you. If it’s to do with keeping the party live, I got you. If it’s to do with like programming moving heads, I could figure it out but I’d rather not spend my time on that and I’ve just kind of, anytime I get those questions, I’ve got people that I can call, I’ve got places I can go to pick up the gear and I’d rather just like take it out of my pocket and pay somebody who’s a specialist.
Speaker 5:
68:41
Then pretend that I can do everything. Lights are somewhat unnecessary unless the conversation is brought up. But you know, another necessary thing is a microphone. And here’s the thing is, well actually I think owning a microphone is good. I think the mic we use that we use is, I want to say it’s the blue blue. Okay. Let’s Bluetooth microphone or wireless microphone is probably going to be your best bet too. Especially when doing speeches. People want to, sometimes they want to walk away or they’re can a talk at a table that’s away from you. Especially with feedback. Yeah. Having correct Mike placement. I’ve had, I’ve had that issue where I’m like, Oh shit, this is, the feedback has started to like, I’m trying to adjust shit to make sure there’s no feedback. But um, what Mike do you use? So, um, the micro, actually this is really good.
Speaker 5:
69:30
This is a nice little segue here. So I’m the microphone I’m talking into right now as the studio and radio microphone, it’s a leisure electro voice. Our [inaudible]. This does not leave my, my workspace at home. However, in my hand right next to me hooked up to my sound card the same way is a achy, I mean, sorry, not an EKG, a Sennheiser Xs series microphone that I got a couple months ago because I needed a second microphone and this just ended up being my go-to. So I’m going to switch over to the Sennheiser real quick and I want to illustrate a point because the reason I’m not using this up to this point is going to be real clear. So hold on one second. All right, so now I am talking into the Sennheiser wireless microphone and if the input gain on this as much less sensitive. Yeah, I’m going to not talk for a second.
Speaker 5:
70:17
I want you to listen to what happens, hear how that gate is set there. And it gradually gets noisier as I stopped talking and then the gate brings the sound away. Um, a lot of the really cheap wireless microphones have these builtin Gates in order to prevent feedback. So I’m gonna switch back to my good microphone so you can hear the difference between the two of those. Um, one of the things to keep in mind is if you get a cheap wireless microphone, that is something to look for. So I have no the knowledge that that’s a thing that you have to worry about. So I turn the squelch as low as it can go and it still is kicking in as you can hear. But I know that I need to bring up the gain in my mixer before I hand it to anybody. And then I do all of my talking on a wired microphone that’s at my setup because I don’t have to worry about any of the other surprises like that with a wired microphone. I just make sure that I either get, if
Speaker 4:
71:14
I had a much nicer, much nicer, uh, Evie, my a microphone and they changed the frequency spectrum laws for wireless stuff earlier this year. So I got hit with that and just bought some stuff to get me through to December. And so we’re around the corner. I got to get some newer, nicer stuff. Don’t get cheap. Wireless microphones is the bottom line though, dude. Yeah, that microphone different. I mean, it’s a crazy audio difference that came out of that. I mean, it’s unreal. So I’ll do it one more time just with the [inaudible]. It’s so bad. This is the, this is the wireless.
Speaker 5:
71:45
This is the wired, don’t go cheap.
Speaker 4:
71:47
So, um, yeah, and you know, we’ll kind of get, what we’ll do is in those resources to, uh, I’ll get a list of like recommended stuff for people to begin with because I think that’s [inaudible] the thing like Blake, we were talking about with CD, like you don’t need to start off with CDJs. Um, it might be nice if you have fucking 6,000, I don’t think most people have $6,000 to just throw it out and rock what you got. But most people can’t afford that out the gate. Don’t fucking put this shit on credit
Speaker 5:
72:16
business straight up with debt because if you don’t know how to, you’re going to make enough money to pay that off. You’re just setting yourself up for a bad day.
Speaker 4:
72:22
There’s nothing worse than the psychological effect that having debt has on you. I’m sure a lot of people here, they’re listening to the podcast probably have some form of credit card debt and you know how stressful it can be. Well now imagine it’s just like you don’t spend $50,000 on a studio space when you haven’t even have had a track signed to a record label or buying all fancy gear for production. When you have any even how to track signed to a record label, you don’t want $8,000 worth of deejaying gear if you don’t even have a single gig set up, let alone like four or five. I mean even that, cause if you’re trying to pay the bills with this shit, you’re just going to end up paying the bills that you have for the gear and you’re not actually making any money. Then just trying to pay off the shit you already have.
Speaker 5:
73:07
Yeah. Once you establish what you’re going to be able to bring into, pay that stuff off. That’s when I mean I’m not going, I’m not a financial advisor, I’m not a lawyer. I’m just a guy that does their stuff. So I would just very strongly suggest, and so you know where your sweet spot is until you know how much you can like project out three months from now and be able to pay off from that income. Don’t get company debt, don’t get company credit cards. Just don’t, don’t do that until you need to. And I’m not even even at the place where I need to. I’m 13 years into this like you’re, yeah, don’t do it.
Speaker 4:
73:40
It’s, it’s, it’s very unnecessary. So let’s, let’s just recap that a little bit. I would say fine if you don’t DJ at all, if you have no idea how to DJ, which I think most of you do know how to beat match, you know how to DJ for the most part. If you don’t know how, find a friend, you know someone, I’m sure you know someone in your town or find someone that has some gear that you can hang out with and they can teach you. Ask them to teach you. Um, a lot of the times you can go to these rental places too and rent out a controller and bring it home rented. You know, if you have to spend hundred dollars for
Speaker 3:
74:12
a week or a weekend, spend it and block yourself in your room and learn how to DJ. Um, watch tutorials. Don’t spend any more than a thousand dollars. Like that might even be too much. You could, I would put that on the high end, but I a thousand percent agree with you. Yeah, you could probably the, was it the new Mark that you were talking about or know the DJ, DJ, go DJ and DJ number two, go to number two again, I’m, I’m pretty sure it’s by new Mark that is the least expensive controller I’ve seen recently and I’ve recommended that to a couple of my students. But I do know for a fact that’s the one that um, one of my students, my younger students bought that got started starting cranking out gigs and then he replaced it with something else. So there you go, like a $80, you can get what you need to get started.
Speaker 3:
74:59
And then go from there. And so I think, you know, if you’re going to buy anything, if you need to, if you’re going to buy anything by controller, that’s obviously, I think that’s number one. And then, you know, find out what speakers are going to work best for you and rent those bitches, rent those bitches for a while. Rent until you can save money for your business and then you can buy by whatever you’re using and you know, and pay it off. And then you could probably even find them used so long as there’s not a crossover blown or something wrong with, um, yeah, the speakers are, they don’t sound like shit. You could probably find some used. One more thing I wanna I wanted to touch on there. So we got specific with a lot of the DJ specific year. Um, and I don’t want to recommend brands on speakers because everything goes so quickly and changes every single year.
Speaker 3:
75:47
The speaker technology is getting amazing now, but this goes back to something that we were talking about earlier with having a network of people. Um, if you are a producer and you know you want to get into deejaying but you know another person who is already deejaying, why don’t you link up with them and see if you can either come with them and assist with the gig and then you can hear what the speakers sound like in a different room. Or maybe even just borrow those speakers to get started with your first gig if you’ve got something already booked on paper. Because having those people who have a little bit more experienced than you or the same amount of experience might just give you the tools you need to say, I got to borrow this. What if I give you a couple and a couple bucks just to trust me with your stuff for the weekend?
Speaker 3:
76:26
And then there you go. You’ve got your own network of people without having to go to like the big box place and do the rentals. Yeah, yeah, that’s, I, I, I agree with that 100% I think that’s a really good point. If you can, if you can tap into your network, that’s even better. And then, you know, when it comes to lights, if you’re doing these wedding gigs, [inaudible] wait until the conversation comes up. If you want to bring the conversation up, bring the conversation up and let them know you can do that. And the great upsell is just, I, I think that it is something that people know that they want it if they want it. So I don’t push it on people. But if I wanted to be aggressive with it, like you can very easily show people pictures of rooms with tons of up lights are like dance floor lighting and get them to say like, that’s amazing. I want that. Because
Speaker 4:
77:10
that’s kind of the whole point of it. Mmm. And I will mention in same with a microphone, like you can either, you could probably rent a microphone for a little while until you find what works. Maybe rent a couple, do some research, do some fucking reason like DJ or Google DJ, the best DJ microphone or you know, the best DJ microphone for a lower price, something like that. But when it comes to renting all this equipment, you can put this into the price. If you know what it’s going to cost to rent, you can put that in. So the rental stuff is paid for. None of that’s coming out of your pocket and none of these fucking people will know the difference at all. They’ll have no fucking idea. One, they’ll probably not know that you rented anything. And two, they won’t know that you included the price of the rental and this stuff.
Speaker 4:
77:56
And even if they do, if they, you don’t have to tell them it’s a reasonable thing to do. Somebody wouldn’t be mad at you for being like, all right, well I don’t know in this and you don’t own this, but we need it for the party. So like they pay for it because they’re the client. Like nobody would be mad. That’s a very logical conclusion that come through. Yeah. Yeah. So I think that pretty much covers all of the like gear talk for getting started. That’s really all you need, especially when you’re doing these kinds of wedding gigs. By the way, I wanted to mention something. Do you know who the artist Danek is? I don’t think I’m familiar with Danek name’s not familiar, but uh, it’s, uh, I feel like it might’ve been said in passing and I just didn’t take enough attention. He, so he’s a real, he’s a pretty big artist.
Speaker 4:
78:39
He’s like, he used him die. Rowan Hardwell. I don’t know if they still are really good friends, but they were really fucking good friends like right around 2013 when Hardwell was going to be the number one DJ was like those fucking work together. Mmm. He owns a record label called funk. It’s Fonk. So it’s like funk recordings. Um, and before he even ever listened to electronic music, he DJ-ed weddings, he, that he was a wedding DJ and he talks about an a, like he did a kind of like a behind the scenes story on one of his tracks. I, I’m gonna, I’ll find the video and post as a resource. Uh, it’s one, it’s the one thing that has stuck in my fucking mind ever since I saw that blew me away when I started to get into the wedding deejaying stuff. It was like the one thing that really made me want to do it and I realize like, it’s okay to do this kind of thing. He’s, I mean, he’s been on the top DJ mag 100 lists a few times. He said in that video he deejayed over like 950 weddings or something before even before he even opened up a.to produce. Wow. That’s crazy. I mean, think about that people, he deejayed over 950 fucking weddings before he started producing electronic music and he’s in the [inaudible] top DJ mag list
Speaker 3:
80:08
back when it was credible a few years ago. Not anymore. Like shots fired man down, but you do mag now. Like when DJ mag was credible,
Speaker 3:
80:21
he was on that fucking list and he DJ-ed those shit out of some fucking weddings. So, um, again, I, I know we’ve fucking drove this into the goddamn ground being a dead horse, but you’re absolutely right. The Beatles were a strip called band first. Anderson pack was a drummer for wedding band. Like all this is just the unsexy stuff that you have to figure out how to make it work financially while you’re doing it. Your other stuff. Yeah. And the real, you know, one of the reasons why I want I, we’ve been kind of focusing on the whole wedding stuff so much is just because I know that’s the first thing that people are going to assume and, and think about when they see the episode title. Um, and when they listened to it and a lot of them are probably going to be like, I don’t want to hear it.
Speaker 3:
81:04
Well, it’s important for you to fucking hear if this is what you’re wanting to do because you can try to do all local gigs, but I’ll tell you what, you’re going to run yourself into the ground. You’re going to have disdain for the local scene and you’re going to burn out if you’re doing like 150 fucking local gigs a year, if not more. Mmm. And your cause when you’re doing that much, that many local shows, um, that made bars and clubs, a lot of the time you’re going to be playing the same fucking music over and over and over and over again. You’re going to fucking hate it. There’s a joke, I’ve heard another DJ say this, but in like the open format circles that I run in most often, that a lot of the people will say like, my job when I’m at these clubs is to play bad music really good.
Speaker 3:
81:48
Yup, that’s exactly right. There’s 100% right. And if you’re doing that three days, three days a week, you’re going to be exhausted. Mentally. It’s, it’s a lot. It is. Even if you’re only there for a couple of hours and you don’t need to set things up, you’re going to start just not wanting, your probably getting to not want to listen to music altogether. Like you’re going to S you know, it gets exhausting. But the dope part about it is by being in that point when you’re like teetering on the edge of that, like mental exhaustion. Um, that’s really what kind of pulled me in when I was doing the clubs and getting to that like this is my Thursday now. This is what I do every Thursday. Then it was like, all right let’s try something new. And I, I was real big on disco house and it was like right when that song anyway by duck sauce came out and I was listening to a ton of Louis LA Roche and just a lot of that like weird blog housey stuff. And you could find ways to take those songs that you’ve listened to. And I mean not could, you can always take stuff that you like and make like a bootleg remakes, mashup, whatever you want to call it of a top 40 song. Cause that’s how a lot of people really like keep themselves sane when it comes to doing these like very commercial type gigs. People are happy if they hear the car TVs Cardi B’s voice.
Speaker 6:
83:07
But here’s a jam and I know that some of the Baltimore DJs are gonna hear this and be like, yeah, I do that too. You can put Bodak yellow acapella over top of some year’s theme, like the Baltimore club classic and it hits every single time. And I made a remix of that or redid some drums and that’s the one that I reach for. But like make your own edits, make your own remixes, you’ve got the production skills, it’s going to serve you as a DJ. Cause then nobody sounds like you. So like I can give you the song in the acapella but you’re not going to make it sound like the one that I did. So that’s why I’m willing to give that kind of stuff away.
Speaker 4:
83:37
That right there is a secret sauce to the goddamn local scene. That’s amazing. I didn’t even think of that, that that would be a necessary thing. That’s gene sanity thing. But it’s, it’s, it’s very real like that
Speaker 6:
83:51
does somehow, so like I know I’m going to need this song and this song and this song and they’re bore me. So like let me make it not boring. And then you’ve got something that’s exclusively you.
Speaker 4:
84:00
Yeah, I, I’ve, I’ve really loved that. That’s a, that’s a really good idea. And you guys like mashups too. Mashups are great to make. You can take some of your favorite EDM tunes that you normally wouldn’t hear at these places and you can make a mashup of some acappella that everyone fucking loves. And next thing you know, they love that track that you played because they had their foot favorite pop artists or wrapper on it. So there are ways you can mix it up. Let’s get into the last topic I’d like to talk about today. And this is one that after I talked to you on the phone about, I realized that you were just a goddamn wizard and this is a your marketing tactic. I will take your compliments. Thank you. Let’s talk a little bit about how to market yourself as [inaudible] these, each of these different categories we’ve talked about, which is corporate, local, and weddings. So let’s start with corporate. Um, how are you marketing yourself with these corporate events? And let’s tie into that kind of payment. So yeah, let’s start with corporate gigs. How do you decide what you’re going to get paid? Um, and how do you market yourself to be accessible to that, to that niche of opportunity?
Speaker 6:
85:11
Yeah. Um, so this is an interesting kind of circle back to my early beginnings, but there is a point that I didn’t really get into much then, but I’ll get into it now. When I first started going full time, uh, with deejaying mobile events, private events, then I was working with a booking agency at the time. And the thing about booking agencies is the agent’s job is to represent you to the client. So after kind of figuring out, Hey, I’m doing a lot of weddings and I’m also getting the occasional corporate thing, I started to realize what the price points were for these companies. But they also have their own processes. So corporate gigs typically end up being, let’s say like the holiday party, the company anniversary, maybe like a summertime thing that they do for everybody. That’s like the, like mid level employees, mid level managers or whatever and their families stuff.
Speaker 4:
86:04
Yeah.
Speaker 6:
86:05
So once you realize like it’s getting close to the end of the quarter, if I didn’t get a phone call for a corporate gig this season, then I need to start looking around and finding out where this year a particular company near me had their holiday party or had their summertime barbecue because they’re probably going to do the exact same thing in the next year. It just, it’s just easier for them to go off of what worked. Um, so once I stopped working with that particular agency, it just like, I learned a lot about how those those waves happen. And then I would say, all right, well it’s immoral for me to like go and pick and reach for the people that are previous clients of the agency. So I’m going to use these same tactics and approach local businesses that I know of. Like, um, for example, um, my sister is a lawyer and she works for a law firm and that law firm has a holiday party now said law firm unfortunately for me has not booked me for their holiday party but I know where it’s going to be, happens to be at a nightclub that I held a residency at and I know the price point of said nightclubs.
Speaker 6:
87:06
So like once you can kind of figure out what their budgets are roughly, then you know where the ceiling is. But you always want to go into those conversations with, Hey, I’ve got experience working these types of events or even if you don’t position yourself as somebody who doesn’t only do EDM festivals are only do warehouse parties. The reason that I I my website, it’s, it’s a representation of me and DJ Sean J. Dot com if you want to check it out and critique it or give me any feedback, whatever. But like I tried to keep my website very neutral and that’s because I am a person. So coming along with an alias that is like super focused on production or anything else that is like original work wouldn’t make those people feel like I’m the right fit. So it’s pictures of me in environments where they’re going to find like, Hey, this is something we might’ve considered for our company event. [inaudible]
Speaker 6:
87:59
here’s a form you can fill out to contact me. And then it gets emailed to me and my team and then we go through that stuff and say, all right, well let’s set up a call with them. Let’s see what they were planning on spending, let’s see if we can meet them somewhere. But the pricing point for me was I figured out what I was worth hourly in the nightclubs. And then when I started having to do events where I’m bringing speakers, I figured out a number that worked for me to say, alright, how much is it worth for me to leave my house, load up my car or load up a rental with tons of speakers, drive to a venue, set everything up, break it down and take it home without deejaying. And then I would add that onto the sticker price with the hourly rate. For me deejaying, this is going to be a different process for everybody, but once I figured out those two things, there’s a recurring cycle that every company does that there are certain price points that they’re expecting and what are you worth? What do you value your time at? You can figure out which companies you can reach for. So that’s the corporate side, specifically the wedding stuff. It’s just every market’s a little bit different on what people anticipate in the for what DJs
Speaker 3:
89:03
charged for mobile events is wild. The holiday party for example, that my sister’s law firm is doing [inaudible] it’s a, it’s at a club so I wouldn’t have had to bring speakers, but I know what they would play would typically pay for something like that. I would start somewhere in the middle. So it doesn’t seem like a low ball deal, but you also don’t want to like hit the floor with your pricing, which often happens in a lot of markets that if you go way too low ball, then not only is this company like really taking advantage of you, giving them a huge break, that’s kind of unnecessary, but then you’re lowering the ceiling for the rest of your market. So figure out what your base pricing is. Understanding your worth is very important. So if you’re low balling a number or people are trying to low ball you, you don’t want those clients.
Speaker 3:
89:46
Those are what we call nightmare clients. They are so hard to work with because they don’t value your time or your craft and they’re going to hover over you and not let you breathe and do your thing creatively to make the night better. So if they’re trying to low ball you and you know your price point, let’s say $500 and they go, now we’ll do $200 or two 50 say sorry, not the person for you. It’s not worth your time. Not worth it. Don’t even fucking touch that. Yeah, and I’m glad you said that because that also raises another point that’s really helpful with having a network of people because everybody can feed everybody. There’s enough events out there that nobody’s going to starve if they’re all working in the same market. If you are at a point where someone can’t afford you, it’s better to have more people say no than yes because they can’t afford.
Speaker 3:
90:31
You have some friends who are willing to charge a little bit less because they have a little less experience because having that network is another really big key. Yeah. I might be out of someone’s price range, but I got a couple people who might be available and they might cost a little bit less. That is so important. This is something I constantly do. If I have a client who is, who can’t or potential client who just can’t afford me, I don’t say, sorry, I’m not the person for you. See ya. I should have said this. I’m glad you brought it up. You want to, you don’t want to leave them hanging because they’re still a referral point. Like those people can still refer you to other PBS millions times. Yes. Yeah. If you, if you just leave them hanging, they’re going to be like, well okay fuck this guy.
Speaker 3:
91:14
But if you can still provide value to them that turns out good in here, I would recommend you refer them to someone that you know is going to take care of them. Not someone who’s going to fuck them over or be a pain in the ass. Cause then that looks bad on you. Refer them to someone in your, in their price point. Who’s going to take care of them because that comes off better on you. Uh, and they might be more willing to hire you next time if they do have more money because you helped them out. You provided them with value. I do the same thing with like I’ll have clients come to me who need mixing, mastering done, and they have a vocal and they think that I do vocal production, but I go, sorry, that’s I just, I don’t spend my time doing vocal production.
Speaker 3:
91:55
I’m not going to be able to get you the best product possible. But guess what? I have these vocal that will get you the best vocal you’ll ever hear and you’ll be hooked up. And they appreciate that so much more. It makes their life easier. It makes their tracks so much better. [inaudible] everyone is happy. I don’t have to spend my time trying to make a vocal sound good that I know is not going to sound as good as this guy next to me. Cool. We’ll make it sound 10 times better, do it 10 times faster and he’s happy. The client’s happy and I’m happy. And if you take that example a step further, the client on their end, they’re coming to you because you have a skill set that they lack and you’ve got knowledge that they don’t have. So if you say, Hey, I can’t help you, period, the end.
Speaker 3:
92:39
They’re just like, well one fuck this guy. But to now I don’t know who else to ask. So what I typically do is like, I’ve got a circle of people that I trust a lot of I, I’m part of a collective called sounds of Baltimore DJs where it’s basically like the top open format DJ’s in Baltimore and we all do a lot of gigs. All of like all the stuff we’re talking about here. Everybody’s got their niche, everybody’s got their specialty. But as a group we’re a lot more powerful. So I’ve got friends of mine from that collective as well as people that I’ve just met over the years that if I’m not available for somebody for that, for someone’s event, I will email them and CC whoever I’ve talked to out of like sending a text who’s available to stay. I will CC that person and make sure that like they get the direct handoff of the Baton because if I leave them hanging, then what if that person’s not available next year?
Speaker 3:
93:28
Hey, we still like Sean. So I could have just shot myself in the foot without even knowing it. By leaving them hanging. They don’t know anything. These are, these are really good in simple tactics to implement and focusing on that will just help you out so much. In the end they really will. Let’s talk about price point for local gigs because I think that’s going to be the lowest. I mean that’s probably why your local gig number is so high because you’re not going to get paid the same that you’d get paid at a wedding or a corporate event. So what’s your experience with that? How do you, how do you determine what a good price point is for doing a local gig? So I, I’ve, I’m again hesitant to give specific numbers but I can give pre a notion of [inaudible] price point. But like when you were first starting it, how can people determine what they, because I feel like with the local gig scene, promoters are going to try to low ball the shit out of you and that’s not because they want to or don’t see value in what you do. It’s more than likely because they don’t have the budget to hire you. If you are going way above their budget and then at that point they’re going to go no, because they have 20 other people that are waiting. They’re waiting for you to come up. So it needs to be equal amounts of you’re getting paid what you’re worth, but you’re also providing a value. You’re providing value to people. Yeah. So I’m glad you said it that way. The big takeaway is that if you’re coming in cold and in a market where there’s a lot
Speaker 6:
94:58
of competition, here’s the biggest thing you’re going to see. Everybody’s trying to bid for a spot at a venue that only has, let’s say like a $300 budget just for like around number of examples. Sake. Some market’s going to be higher, some market’s going to be lower. But like between three and 305 yeah, that’d be for like the night between three and five is like the small to medium club. Um, reasonable range for like a Friday, Saturday for a local DJ. So all of those qualifiers, small to medium plays, meaning they don’t have a lot of money. They are open three nights a week that probably make them a lot of money and they’re old. They’re only paying that amount for a local guy. So if you’re coming into the market knowing that there’s probably three or four other people that are playing, they’re rotating throughout, throughout the month or every week or whatever it may be.
Speaker 6:
95:44
If you’re just like the fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth guy, you’re going to have to go search whatever the lower end of the scale is that you can figure out from having those conversations with, with the bar manager, the booking manager, if they have a music director of the music director. But here’s where it gets fun. So once you’ve established some sort of rapport with them, come in and do a good job. Um, my rule for myself personally, I’m not putting moral compass on anybody else. I don’t drink when I’m at work and I have not done that since I started deejaying. Reason why is because the number one complaint you’ll get out of a bar manager or club owner is, yeah, that guy was really good, but he got too drunk, so I just said, I’m going to remove that variable and I’m going to show up on time and I’m not going to drink.
Speaker 6:
96:24
In fact, most places are going to give you a bar tab and this write this one down places will give you a bar tab and say, we can’t afford to pay you more than two 53 whatever at like a low point. That’s fine. Take that bar tab. Don’t use it for yourself. Invite some friends, tell him, Hey, drinks on me tonight and tonight. Only then it will entice them to come out and then, Hey, bar owner, now that I’ve done a good job, I showed up on time. You didn’t see me drunk and I brought some people into the place that were tipping real well because I told them what to do before they got there. That makes you look better. That makes you look a little bit more valuable. So it’s in the nightclub and the bar space. It’s way more about establishing what the norms are for your market and then just be reliable, reliable, reliable and consistent.
Speaker 6:
97:12
So after you do that for a bit, you got to go in every single year and say, all right, I’ve been around for a year, I’ve done a good job, I bring people, they spend money, no, no problems with me. Let’s go for a can I can you afford another $50 more than what you’re paying me at this point? And then gear every year. You work that up bit by bit by bit. And I’ve, I’ve seen people in different places say like, Oh yeah, this place only pays X. Well that means you didn’t negotiate because then you’re in a sweet spot. Once you have the ability to ask these questions and get even up maybe out of them. Cause once plate, once places starts saying, ah, I don’t know that that just means that the value that you’ve offered to them is not enough for them to think it’s a worth compensating you.
Speaker 6:
97:56
So here’s a little trick that I started picking up along the way. I have a logo. I am a brand entity DJ Sean J. So I’ve got logos that I can put on stickers and I’ve got shirts that I wear. But Hey, how about this, can you pay me another 50 bucks? Uh, I don’t know if it’s in the budget. All right, well no big thing. How about we do something non-monetary if you can’t afford to pay me the extra 50 bucks. How about you pass out these coasters while I’m playing that have my logo and website on it because you need coasters anyway. Right? Okay cool. So then you go on like sticker mule or whatever and you make 500 coasters for like 50 bucks or 100 bucks and then you just have those in your house. Then it’s like well why do I have 500 coasters?
Speaker 6:
98:38
Cause you got to give them out because that is the way that people are going to have a positive association with your name and subconsciously over time this starts to, their stuff starts to build up. All right, cool. Let’s try to get that 50 bucks another six months from now. All right, cool. You got the 50 bucks and more people know your name, so there’s more people specifically asking for you, so then you can use leverage like that from venue to venue in the nightclub and bar space along with the word of mouth stuff along with doing a good job along with like recording your sets and making YouTube videos or whatever it is, that thing that is specifically you, even if it’s just like making dope remixes that other DJs play, that’s the stuff that starts to build up when people start asking you, no, I’ll say it this way.
Speaker 6:
99:21
When people have conversations about you and you’re not in the room, that’s your marketing at work. You can try to push the message you want as much as you want, but it’s until you are not in the room and people are talking positively about you, that’s when it’s actually effective. So every time you show up to work, you’re clocking in. If you worked at the bank, couldn’t get drunk, so don’t get drunk if that’s your thing, but make sure you’re leaving behind a positive impression. If that means shaking everybody’s hand before you leave, do that. But in the bar space in nightclubs and I’m sure in studios it’s just those little things. It just like little karma points that stack up on people and it’s not being manipulative. It’s just so you’re trying to be a good human in an industry full of really, really shitty shady practices. It goes so much further than trying to like play some. I’m going to figure out the best Facebook pixel game
Speaker 4:
100:15
dude, that is so fucking spot on. And when you told me that I was blown away because I never, and here’s the thing that while you were talking about that that I was thinking because it started processing, when was the last time you went to a place that handed out a beer koozie and you didn’t take that beer koozie home? Pretty much. Nailed I right there. I don’t think I’ve ever left a beer coozie somewhere. If your fucking logo is on a beer koozie that they’re handing out at a clubs, they need to do it anyway. People are gonna throw their beer bottle, they’re going to take the beer bottle out of the koozie and they’re going to either a hold onto the koozie
Speaker 3:
100:53
and take it home, or they’re going to put it in their pocket or their purse. They’re going to take it home and they’re going to put it in their drawer full of koozies.
Speaker 3:
101:00
Dude, I’ve got a drawer, all of koozies here that are from a bunch of different businesses that I, I have never left a koozie anywhere behind. Your marketing is at play somewhere else. They’re going to go [inaudible] float a river somewhere or go to someone’s pool party or just hang out by their pool and they’re going to have those koozies. They’re going to grab them, put them on their drinks, and people are going to be like, who’s that? And they’re going to be like, Oh, we were at this club. This guy threw down, he was handing out koozies and then those people are gonna remember you and they’re gonna either look you up or they might even hire you for something. I had this, I’ll, I’ll say this real quick. I have this friend who’s in my market as well and I saw him do the most gangster thing in the world.
Speaker 3:
101:41
So we’re at a nightclub. It was a Tuesday night party. They do in D C actually and we’re just hanging out with some other DJs are playing. It’s just like a local industry spot at a very small small club. Um, anybody in the area probably knows what I’m talking about. But if you’re outside of the air you could figure it out pretty well too. It’s a Tuesday night party that’s been going on for years and it’s mostly DJ’s. So he’s introducing himself to the marketing manager of the club who has to sit down next to him next to him. I’m one seat away and he introduces himself and takes off one of those like live strong bracelets that everybody used to have for a long time. He had those made with his name and his logo and his website on it and he takes it off his arm and says, Hey, my name is DJ so and so, and he takes it off of his wrist and puts it on her wrist.
Speaker 3:
102:24
She’s like, Oh, that’s so cool. And I was like, one, that was the smoothest thing I’ve ever seen in my life. She’s going to remember that interaction. And two, then he went in his backpack and grabbed another one, put it back on his wrist where the one was before and I was like, yo, dad was amazing. It’s really little stuff like that. It just like, you’re gonna, you’re not gonna throw it away. But it was a moment in that those are the moments that sticky in people’s mind positively. I mean, if you’re not doing like a creeper thing and being real awkward about it and like don’t, don’t pass off the, the rapey vibes, we, nobody wants that. But yeah, no, it’s, it’s creating little marketing objects like those that you can negotiate with promoters and club owners. Two, okay. You can’t paint, you’re only getting pay me X amount, but I usually get paid this.
Speaker 3:
103:13
Well, what? I’m going to bring all this stuff, let me pass it out. Um, or have your bartenders pass it out and then we’ll call it good. Yeah. And yeah, it’s most of the time they’ll be like, eh, yeah, sure. Okay. Like they don’t have to do anything about it. The big arch overarching thing, I think that like kinda hits on a lot of the points that we’ve made is that if you do a lot of this preparation stuff first, if you’re like practiced and ready to use whatever gears in front of you, if you’re thinking about the non-monetary things you can get compensated by like brand awareness isn’t going to allow you to buy groceries. But if brand awareness is the thing that gets you the gigs you couldn’t get into before, it’s worth something. You just got to figure out how to kind of play the game and do all this stuff.
Speaker 3:
103:51
Cause at the end of the day, the conversation we’re having is like this is a way to make significant income on a regular basis that will allow you time to work on production, time to work on whatever time to hang out with your kids whenever you need more time to do. That’s the thing you can do if you figure out these structures and systems to make it work. There is a key component of this podcast is we all want more time, but we want to do what we love. This is what you need to do. To do that. You had to put in the fucking work if you want it stopped sitting around and just producing, thinking it’s going to get you everything. It’s not. You have to put in these kinds of kinds of things in order for them to work. Real quick, cause I know we’re short on time, let’s talk a little bit real.
Speaker 3:
104:34
We’ll kind of do some brief things in each. Try to be brief in each of these topics for getting gigs, so for like local ones, this is how I have approached and I understand how people should approach. It’s not best to just walk up to a promoter or reach out to a promoter on Facebook and say, Hey, I’m so and so, I play this music, hire me or I’m free these nights. That’s not the way to go about it. You have to provide value to these people so that they can provide you value. It’s a, it’s a, you Pat my back. I’ll Pat yours. So one of the things that I know is the best way to get local gigs or if you want to open up for an artist, is to connect with the people around the promoter first. Connect with the DJs that are playing there.
Speaker 3:
105:23
The people who are selling tickets, the people that work at the bar, the people who are waitresses at clubs, the bouncers talk to all of these people, get to know them, become friends with them so that when the promoter is going, Oh shit, we don’t have someone for this night. They go, Oh well do, do you know this guy? Cause we all know him and he’s really good. He sent stuff. So what about hitting him up or if you, you even hit up the promoter, the promoter’s going to ask the people around them. How about you? And if all of them say, Oh yeah, we know him, he’s really good, he’s a great guy. They’re going to be 10 times more likely to go with you than anyone else. It’s the spot. The manager’s spies. It’s what I’ve heard somebody say. A bartender told me that once, like they get asked by the owner because the owner leaves whatever time it feels like prime time’s about to hit cause they don’t want to be there to close time.
Speaker 3:
106:18
They don’t wipe the floors, but they’ve got like their top security guy or the head bartender who they’re going to ask how was the night? Okay. How was the DJ? All of that stuff they’re going to get from their people around them that they trust. So actually the, the way I approach it when it comes to getting new local gigs, go to the parties. Before you ask for anything, introduce yourself to the supporter. Introduce yourself to the people that are around them, promote them, but like, Hey, what’s up? My name’s Sean. Yeah, I’ve never met you in person, but I know we’re friends on Facebook or Instagram or whatever. I’m just here to hang out. I also DJ period. How are you? And then like have a real person conversation. Get to know these people but then you don’t want to immediately be asking for anything cause you provided no value.
Speaker 3:
107:02
Just like you said, you want to be there to support the scene because if it’s a part of you on a play, it’s probably going to be better to listen to how another DJ plays that night before you get your chance to do it anyway. Right. I’m sure some people probably be asking right now, well when do I ask? When’s a good time? I’d say a good time to ask is once you’ve gone to their shows a few times and you’ve talked to them in person at the shows a few times, reach out to them on Facebook. This is still not the time to ask. What you should ask is what can I do for you? What can I do to provide you value? Cause they’re getting hit up left, right and center from all the fucking kids that are coming up out of high school who want to be DJs and they’re saying, can I play this show?
Speaker 3:
107:48
Can I play that show? When can I play a show? I’m open these days, can I play? Can I play? But then when you come in as a DJ and you go, what can I do for you? How can I provide you value? They’re going to look at that and appreciate that so much more. And as soon as if you do that a couple of times, as soon as a gig comes up, as soon as someone falls through and they need someone to hit up, they’re coming to you because you’ve provided them value and you are stuck in their head. It’s all about being, it’s all about staying in their mind, being top of mind. And if you’re there helping them and they know you’re an artist and a DJ, you’re top of mind. So when they need someone, you’re going to be the one they go to.
Speaker 3:
108:28
And it’s [inaudible] a lot like the whole perception when you’re talking about at the beginning of people thinking a wedding DJ or a corporate event, DJ Liz looks like one thing. It’s just like, no, just be a good person and just be you. Cause like no one can be you but you, and knowing that you’re trying to get somewhere, that kind of, that tenacity and that hunger, that genuine nature comes through. So just like be yourself, but also make sure that if there’s a place for you can help other people that goes way further than anything else. Right, right. So let’s get into um, weddings and corporate events real quick cause I think these ones are kind of tied together. How do you go about getting, when you first started, how would you go about getting wedding events? Thousand percent referrals. Um, and with those early referrals it was just, I didn’t know any better.
Speaker 3:
109:14
Again, I was working with agents at first and people that were like my friends getting married, would you do the wedding kind of deal? But from there, um, the thing about private event space, especially where I am in the DC, Baltimore like this, this tri-state region, Northern Virginia included, um, there’s people that work in certain circles at certain venues. And then there’s also like venues who have like there their staff person that their preferred vendors are going to be. On a list somewhere in the office of every venue, so once you go someplace and you work with a few people, you start to realize all, well this guy’s name
Speaker 5:
109:48
was on the preferred vendor list of so-and-so venue and I’ve worked with them twice. All right, that guy is cool. I’m going to ask him how did they get onto the preferred vendor list or really just another big thing is if there’s events that you work with, uh, planners, like people who are professionally, like I will get all of the vendors together for your event. The DJ, the catering crew, the photographer, videographer. If you’re doing corporate events a lot, you’ll see that there are planners because there’s so many pieces at play whose job is just to connect the dots. If those planners like you and trust you, they will refer you so much. So I don’t do like, I don’t do like Facebook ads currently. That’s going to change. I don’t do a lot of like the traditional like put a picture in front of somebody.
Speaker 5:
110:32
They see it three times and then it makes an impact on them. I just literally try to be myself as much as I can because I know I’m bringing something unique to the table and I know if you sit me down in a room with somebody, we can probably find something to vibe with because my job is to play music and everybody likes that, so I’m just trying to be myself as much as possible and eventually those [inaudible] photographers and those videographers at the end of the night, I’m always going to ask for a business card. That’s just the thing that I do because if I had an interesting conversation with you, I’m going to remember to write that down on the card or at least take a picture of it and notate that on the picture because I may not remember your face immediately, but I’m going to look up your website.
Speaker 5:
111:08
I’m going to follow you on Instagram because I want to make sure those are the people that if I get to have a gig and hang out with people that I like, it’s going to be way more fun. Yeah, yeah. People, you know are a lot of, yeah, you’ll get connect with the, if there’s a bar service people are doing bar like a vendor for food or bar. Hey, shake hands with them, get to know them, ask their names. Photographers for sure. Videographers for sure. Event planners, coordinators, all those people get good tide. Get in with, sorry, what’s the word? Have good ties with those guys because all of them that will, they will leave if you’re nice to them. They will unleash and unbelievable amount of referrals and money your way. Now with weddings, are you on any of those like wedding event sites?
Speaker 5:
111:59
Where all, did you list yourself as a DJ that people can hire you from? So I am on one of them. Um, I’m specifically not gonna name the one I’m on because um, what I found out, and this is to each their own, this is just my approach. What I found out from kind of just years of playing this game is that if someone leaves reviews, like those sites are intended to be like, Hey put all your reviews here from clients and then you have all your clients, you say, Hey go to this website, click this link, leave a review for me. Um, the website actually owns the review. Oh. So once I found that out I was like, no, I need to keep these for myself. And then I just created my own system. There’s, there’s tools. One of them is DJ event planner, one of them is DJ intelligence. There’s just other that you can use
Speaker 6:
112:46
to like create these systems yourself internally and save the email review for an internal thing and then ask the person, Hey do you mind leaving a public facing review on this other site as well? Cause all it takes is for a website. Like I’m going to name them cause they’re the, like the top Duke at the top two that people know about the knot and wedding wire. So all it takes is for wedding wire or the not to like change their process. And then suddenly you might not be able to list certain reviews beyond a certain date. Like this is all like a hypothetical. But yeah, it really comes down to I would like to have more control over my, my brand identity and awareness. So I’d rather have those kinds of reviews in an email somewhere in my inbox and then also have the permission from the client to use that and posted somewhere else. Or if people say, Hey, can we, um, can we see like, we don’t see a lot of reviews on wedding wire. How about this? Here’s a list of 40 people that told me I can give you them, give them their email address to you talk to any of them.
Speaker 4:
113:45
Yeah. So do you have, do you have a Google business page set up? Like people can Google your name and your business comes up?
Speaker 6:
113:52
So I actually never did that manually. Um, I found out, my friends telling me that if you Google DJ Sean and into Google, DJ Sean and Baltimore, like anything Baltimore associated, I come up. Um, but I, I don’t truthfully, I don’t even know how a lot of the Google sites stuff works. I use Google for my like web hosting and I use a band Google for my website.
Speaker 4:
114:15
It is so simple to set up. If you just go into your, into Google and to your like into the tab, you can go to my business or whatever. It takes like two minutes to set up. Highly recommend that you do that and anyone listening, if you start doing start this stuff, I highly recommend doing that and what you can do is whenever you have a new client, once the project is or once the whole event is done, ask them to leave you a review on Google in Facebook too. If you have a Facebook business page, tell him, Hey, send them. Give them direct links. Here’s my Google business review page. Here’s my Facebook review page. Would you mind going to each of these links? Leave a review. You can literally just copy and paste the next one. And the reason why you want to do that, because if they look you up on Facebook and they see if they Google, if they Google a Baltimore DJ business and Sean comes up and then his two other competitors come up below him and they all have Googled, all three of them have Google pages, his two competitors only have three, five star reviews, but Sean has 102 five star reviews or are they going to go, wow, I didn’t know that they’re going to go with Sean.
Speaker 4:
115:25
Those that the count of five star reviews matters. If you have the most amount of five star reviews in your area, you’re getting picked every fucking time. The first thing I do when I’m looking up a new place, I go to Google, I Google them, I look at their reviews. How many reviews do they have? Or if I’m looking into, like recently I’m to um, schedule
Speaker 3:
115:45
a time to go do yoga and what do I do? I Google yoga studio near me. Five yoga studios come up. What do I look for? The one with the most amount of reviews and the most amount of stars and I fucking click on that one and I go to schedule and I schedule time. I do that with fucking everything and there’s a million other people that do the same exact thing. Nice Google business. Having a Facebook business where people can leave reviews for you and asking them, it’s important to ask, ask them to leave you a review. If they don’t follow up and they don’t leave a review, follow up again two weeks later and ask for a review. But you need to get that review and get them to put five stars in. If it went bad, don’t ask for a review. Obviously only ask for a review if you know they’re going to give you five stars and they, they, you know, they were happy.
Speaker 3:
116:32
I’m glad you said that. That’s one of those things that I learned early on. If anything weird happened, it doesn’t even have to be negative. Just like if somebody’s, like, I did a wedding years ago that uh, there’s a lot of traffic. There’s a Bay bridge that goes across the Chesapeake Bay and during the busy season when everybody’s going on vacation across the bridge to the Eastern shore, the traffic is like three hours just to get across the bridge on a, on an easy day, it’s 20 minutes. I did a wedding where everybody was three hours late because the traffic on the bridge and it was nothing to do with me. It was just that like everybody was not in a good mood cause the entire party got cut short and I was like, I can’t, I can’t be that guy asking them for a review even if it’s not my fault because the party overall wasn’t great and it wasn’t anything to do with me.
Speaker 3:
117:17
Just yeah, I don’t want to pee. I don’t want to bring a negative memory back to somebody so I didn’t ask her to be there. Right. Super important. Yeah, very, very important. Well dude, I think that’s it. This is a fucking long episode. I hope people making it, man. I’m sure they will. There’s this episode is so jam packed. I’m so glad that you were able to come on because you were my ideal guest for this episode and the amount of fucking knowledge you drop is dropped is insane. So I just want to thank you so much. There’s a lot of fun. I know I learned a shit ton so I’ve got some notes written down too. Man. Thank you so much for having me and I really appreciate the platform but my number one thing is that this kind of thing didn’t exist when I started and I’m still at a place where I’m figuring out the production side of that.
Speaker 3:
118:05
And next I’m going to be picking your brain, I’m sure. Trying to figure out how to do a lot of the mixing, mastering and like getting my songs please. So like to come through my door is always open. Do you have anything to plug? Go ahead and like plug your, your the collective and the network that you have if you want. Obviously your website, all that stuff, you and all that stuff. First and foremost home-based for me, DJ Sean, J, DJ S, E a. N Sean like Diddy, Jay like Johnson, all one word.com. That’s me on everything except for Twitter, but I don’t even remember all the links to things. So I literally put that at the first part of the website so you can all my socials,
Speaker 6:
118:42
my, the collective I’m a part of is called sounds of Baltimore DJs. There is 12 of us I believe, and it’s the top DJ’s in Baltimore where the best come from me if you believe otherwise. That’s what we do. But really this kind of group unity thing is about everybody helping each other because many hands make light work. I travel up and down the like New Jersey, like New Jersey, New York down to like Richmond, Virginia area. We’re very regularly, I’m trying to branch out some more into the West coast if anybody’s in Washington state or in Detroit and just got back from there, hit me up cause I’m trying to build up a network out there, but anything I can help people out with, let me know. I’m an open book and appreciate the time.
Speaker 1:
119:22
Hell yeah, dude. Well thank you so much again. And, uh, yeah. Dude, this is really great. Thanks again for having me. Yeah, take care of dude. Peace, peace. Thanks for tuning into this episode, guys. As always, head to envious, audio.com/episode 15 to check out all the show notes and the links that we talked about in today’s episode. Head to facebook.com and check out the Facebook community electronic dance money community. And I will see you guys next [inaudible].

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