How to promote events as a DJ
If you want more people at your DJ gigs then read on. This guide is packed with ways that you can promote events.
Pick the right date
Saturday is a popular night of the week, another popular one is Friday.
The time of year might play a role in how many people to your event. Summer is usually a popular month for people to party.
Ensure that no popular events are on at the same time as your event. You may schedule your event the same date as a popular event if you're doing an after party.
Ensure there's enough demand for the music
You probably wouldn't plan a dubstep gig in a small town that primarily consists of older people. It may be hard to get people to your events. Ensure that your location selection is sensible.
Create posters and put them around town. Obviously the venue hosting the event would be a good spot for starters.
If you don't have graphic design skills then you will have to pay someone to create posters for you.
You'd want to include the main acts in bold letters. Additional information that you'd want to include is the location, date, time, the ticket vendor and whether attendees must be a minimum age.
You may put QR codes on offline posters. This will allow people with smart phones (practically everyone) to scan the code to go to the web page that you select. The web page might be a page which allows them to buy tickets or your official website.
Learning graphic design might be worthwhile if you want to save money. Canva.com is a popular tool for creating graphics online. There's software that you can use too such as GIMP.
Alternatively perhaps a fan can make designs. Another option would be for you to pay someone for an initial design and you'd learn to edit the text, you just need to ensure the poster is in an editable format.
Posters can be put online as well as offline.
Post the event to Facebook
You can create a Facebook event for your gig. Invite people who usually go to your and post the event to your page/profile.
In the event description tell people to invite their friends and share the event on social media. Some people may do these things.
You or someone else can join Facebook groups that target the location and genre of your event and post it in them. From experience such groups may take up to a month to accept your membership request so try to join them two or three months out.
Facebook paid advertising options. You may want to take advantage of these. It's possible to target people who like certain artists and who live in specific cities.
Changing cover photos to your event poster is a popular practice.
You could post the event poster on Facebook and tell people to tag their friends in the comment section.
You could have a contest where people on Facebook share or invite people to your event and you select someone to win a prize. If you post a poster on Facebook/Instagram you could do a similar contest for people who tag their friends in the comments.
Prizes could be free tickets, merchandise or tracks.
Using other social media
Event posters can be posted on Instagram. TikTok may be good for doing quick shout outs for the event.
If you have a high percentage of local YouTube subscribers then you can plug your events on that website. Some people on YouTube will plug their events even if this isn't the case, so feel free to do this.
Get good acts
If you're new in the game then getting established acts to perform with you at your events could attract their audience.
Ideally the acts will promote the event. Feel free to remind them to do this.
Dealing with other acts can get problematic. Ideally you'd want low maintenance acts that will promote your event. High maintenance acts that bring people in might be worthwhile but you have to decide if you want to deal with them.
Negotiate with the venue
See if you can negotiate drink specials for your guests if you're holding regular events.
See if you can put flyers/posters in the venue.
They probably will put your event on their website/social media page if you just ask.
Do your research on venues
Sometimes people don't like specific venue managers. Some of them treat people badly. See what people are saying online about the venue.
Encourage people to promote it
Encourage your friends, groupies, business associates to share the event on social media if they're in the same location.
DJs usually support each other; maybe if you reach out to other DJs some will promote your event. You will probably want to do some promotion for them in return; you could try doing their promotion months before your event. Alternatively you could offer to shout out their event on social media after you had your gig.
Event listing websites and gig guides
There may be event listing websites that you can list your events on. Companies such as radio stations may maintain gig guides; ensure that your events are listed on them.
Some websites offer premium listings; you can pay to make your listings appear in more places.
Get a sponsor
Some companies will sponsor your events. Money generated can be utilized to partially pay for great acts or promotion. Sometimes drink companies will sponsor events.
Many promoters would have early bird tickets. These allow people to buy tickets at a discounted rate before a specific date. You don't have to do this but it could result in some cash flow.
Some events have early bird tickets with different dates and prices.
Early bird tickets can be mentioned on social media.
Bulk discounts can increase sales. For example you could have a pack of four.
People also love coupons. A 10% off coupon could be created and it can be promoted in certain places.
Coupons and discounts may reduce your profits but they can be considered if you're not getting the desired numbers.
Use urgency on your sales pages
Phrases like "Will be sold out fast" add a sense of urgency and this may make people buy tickets quicker.
Be mindful that many ecommerce sellers use fake urgency. For example they may say a deal ends today but say the same thing with the same price the next day. Fake urgency is a turn off for me but many people use it.
I don't endorse the practices in this section but I'm including it to give a complete run down. It's possible that younger people may not be receptive to these tactics. Putting the phrase "Will be sold out fast" or a similar one might be fine though.
Drip feed information
Some companies announce the event then announce the line up at a later date. This may not be appropriate for everyone though.
If it is an E.P. launch party then perhaps you can drip feed previews of tracks.
Plug it on the radio or podcasts
If you have a radio show then you can promote it there. If you don't then perhaps you have friends with a radio show who will help you out; offer them an interview if you need to.
If you have tracks out then encourage local radio stations to play your best one and get them to plug your event at the end of the track.
You could also do an interview or do a few guest spots.
If you have a podcast you can plug it there. If you know of podcasts by locals related to your music genre perhaps you can convince the hosts to shout out your event.
If you have a website then you may have SMS, Email or push notification lists. If you have a way of notifying only people in the event's area then these could be useful.
If you have a monthly newsletter then you may want to have a section for upcoming events.
See if any city based newsletters that other people run exist and see if your event can be included.
Put your events on your website
If you have a website put your events on it. Usually artists' websites have a separate events page.
Your website probably doesn't rank in the search engines for location based keywords; some may rank for their hometown and genre. If you have the budget for it you can pay Google to appear in their advertising section.
Bing has advertising which you can utilize similarly to Google. Bing may be cheaper but not many young people use it.
If you have door sales you may want to put up signs around the location with arrows to direct people to your event. You'd need to check if you can do this in accordance with local laws. If you can't perhaps you can ask managers of local buildings to display the signs for the night.
A sign outside of the venue might be good too.
Get on TV
You probably wouldn't be able to do this but under certain conditions this may work. If you can manufacturer a special angle perhaps you can get on a current affairs show.
Consider your concept
Does your event have a theme? I am not a huge fan of themes but a theme for the night may help draw people in.
You may adjust your advertising with the theme. For example if the night is based around Industrial Music you may want to target goths.
Less may be more
If you do regular events in a city and not many people are coming then try doing less of them. This tactic is good if you're not generating profit.
However if you regularly get new fans then maybe more is better. It depends if can sustain this financially.
Perform at other events
Some promoters would be happy to have you perform at their events. You may be able to add some of the attendees to your fan base and promote your event to them later.
Collect promotional material from previous events
If you collect video from previous events then you can post them on the event page on Facebook. You can also post them on ticket websites or your own sales page.
Hire another person to capture videos of you DJing and/or people dancing.
If you don't want to pay a photographer perhaps you can get video from fans.
An advantage to hiring a photographer is that you can collect many pictures. The pictures can be posted to Facebook and people can tag themselves.
Have a schedule and budget
Creating a schedule may make your promotion efforts more efficient. It's easy to forget to do things sometime. Ensure that your schedule is manageable.
It may be helpful to have a budget for your event promotion. This will help you see what paid advertising you can do.
Do you have to spend money to promote events?
Whether you spend money to promote your event is up to you. If you aren't known in the same location of the event then spending money could be worthwhile.
You may want to delegate some tasks to other people.
Ensure that you choose reliable people otherwise things may not get done. Paying people makes it more likely they will follow through on tasks.
Perhaps you can get by with some passionate fans instead of paying people. You could offer free merch, tickets and/or tracks if you want to give something to them.
Google Spreadsheets can be utilized to create a spreadsheet that multiple people can see. This could be useful for assigning tasks to different people; you just create/edit one spreadsheet and people can easily view it to see what they're doing.
You can use Google Drive to distribute videos, audio files, text files and images. You will need to ensure that the files are private if the information isn't meant for the public.
Alternatively you can Email spreadsheets, text files, audio files videos and images. I would probably do this option.
Thanks for reading
I hope that your event promotion efforts are a success.
This article was about promoting your events but you can also learn about promoting your DJ brand.