Joining a DJ agency can be a good way of spreading the word about your skills. What role they play depends largely on how good and how famous a DJ you are.
You have your choice of several different types of DJ agencies:
Catering for famous, established, pro DJs who are in high demand rather than newbies trying to get a break or regular DJs at a small club. These agencies are less about hand-holding and advice, and are more about making sure nights go smoothly, clubs pay money on time and that the high profile DJs on their books are well publicised and booked solidly. As managers, these agencies deal with the publicity, bookings, travel, accommodation and so on, meaning the only thing that the DJ needs to worry about is the music.
Any booking fees payable to the DJ are paid to the management, who take a percentage cut (usually between 10 and 15 per cent) before passing the rest onto the DJ. The less bookings the DJ has, the less money the agency makes, so making sure that the DJs on their roster are reliable, booked solidly and getting paid is in the agency’s best interest.
Large towns and cities have DJ agencies that cater for the clubs, bars, function rooms, wedding parties and any reason someone may want a DJ. Although fame won’t be as large an issue, a strong track record of playing a lot of gigs is a necessity for these agencies to sign you up.
Local agencies take a similar percentage cut of the booking fee as the artist management agencies. Because the pool of available DJs on their books don’t have fame to sell themselves, these agencies work hard for their cut.
Internet DJ agencies help you with promoting yourself, rather than finding work for you. In most instances, they don’t actively seek out work on your behalf, but clubs and bars come to them requesting a DJ and the agency passes on your details to the club. Reputable Internet agencies have a large dossier of clubs who request DJs on their roster, and are able to prove a large hit-rate for their DJs working at clubs.
In many cases, you pay a yearly subscription to the Internet agency, rather than handing over a percentage of what you earn. This is an extremely controversial concept, and opinions are very strong on both sides as to whether you should pay upfront to try to find work.
Researching a DJ agency…
Before joining any agency (Internet, or otherwise), take a look at any testimonials that may be on their website, and if you get the chance, get in touch with the DJs and clubs to check that the agency is genuine. Some unscrupu- lous people out there do make up information to try to seem more profes- sional, so do as much research as you can and post some questions on DJ forums.
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How To Create A Trademark For Your DJ Name?
1. Decide what you want your DJ name to be and analyze how original it is. Preferably, you’ll do this before using the DJ name publicly. Research whether other DJs or companies have used the same brand name, or even a brand name that is similar. If another DJ or company used a similar mark, it may have acquired the right to prevent you from using your desired DJ name. Consequently, your DJ name should be original. You can do limited research on this issue without a lawyer by searching the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) database. While do-it-yourself searches may quickly rule out using certain DJ names, a trademark attorney can do a thorough search that will provide you with far more certainty about whether you can use your preferred DJ name without potentially getting into a trademark dispute. If your DJ name is similar to another DJ or brand, the USPTO may reject your registration application, wasting money and time.
2. If you discover that there is a potentially competing DJ name already in use, then you have two choices: You can either change your DJ name to something truly original, or if you have already invested substantial resources in establishing the DJ name, you can hire an attorney to help you figure out whether and how you can use your preferred DJ name anyway.
3. If you’re already confident that your DJ name is not similar to an existing brand name, then start using it to identify yourself in more than one state. In order to serve as a federal trademark, your DJ name must identify the source of goods or services for sale in “interstate commerce.” That means that if you’re gigging in only one state in the country, you need to get some paid gigs across state lines and advertise those gigs under your DJ name. In the U.S., rights in trademarks are acquired by usage. This is different from how one acquires ownership in copyright. With copyrights, creators have incentive to register their works with the U.S. Copyright Office before making the copyrighted works public. But the USPTO will not grant a registration in a trademark until that trademark has already been used in interstate commerce to identify your DJ name.
4. Keep copies of advertisements, flyers and posters for live performances as evidence of your using your DJ name “in interstate commerce.” The USPTO will ask for such evidence if you file a registration application. While a DJ can apply for registration in more than one class of services or goods (e.g., live performances, recorded music and merchandise are three separate classes), most DJs register their trademark for live performances first, since that’s arguably the most important category.
5. Once you’re using the DJ name, register multiple Internet domains associated with your artistic name. Doing so won’t secure trademark rights for your band, but locking down these domain names before applying for a USPTO registration is wise, because when you file a trademark registration application, it’s a matter of public record. Evil “cybersquatters” sometimes comb through such records and then register related domains in an attempt to extort payments out of unsuspecting trademark owners. A DJ that files a trademark registration application for its DJ name before registering related domains may soon find that the domains it wanted have been suddenly “taken” and is “available for sale” by the cybersquatter at exorbitant rates. It’s often much cheaper to secure all related Internet domains before filing a USPTO application.
6. Apply for registration of your DJ name as a trademark with the USPTO. If you have both a DJ name in words and a logo, and can’t afford to register both, then try to register the name and worry about the logo later. Trademark registration applications are more complicated than copyright registrations. Trademark applications have a higher success rate when filed by an attorney, but if you can’t afford attorneys’ fees, then it is better to try to file a trademark registration application on a DIY basis than foregoing the process altogether. You can review and start the USPTO’s online registration process (here).
Once you have filed a registration application, the USPTO will assign an “Examining Attorney” who will oversee your case. That Examining Attorney is usually available to take questions via phone calls and emails. On the other hand, if the Examining Attorney finds potential problems with your application and sends you an official “Office Action” requiring a response, then you may need to hire an attorney to help you draft and file a written response.
16 LinkedIn Tips For DJs
For the DJ industry, Facebook and Twitter are the preferred social media channels, at least until someone figures out that brides are on Snapchat. But many DJs have been using LinkedIn especially now that its targeted paid advertising component can return specific inquiries, by location, title and position. It’s more expensive than Facebook ads, but it’s also more targeted, and it’s a great way to meet event planners at corporations, as well as catering executives, most of whom are always looking on the network very often for their next job.
Tactics on LinkedIn vary in sophistication. Many people just blast requests without knowing who it is they’re making the request with. In a services industry like DJing, it’s important that the connection knows precisely who you are, what you do, and what your values are. Here are some LinkedIn tactics, from the simple to the sublime that can help you make those connections less elusive:
#1. Before attending conferences say, for catering execs use LinkedIn to search people involved with the conference and check out their profile. LinkedIn will send them an email notification that you’ve seen their profile; this makes a connecting at a show more familiar.
#2. Cross promote on LinkedIn from your company blog. This is a great way to connect with people outside of your network. As long as you follow tips #3 thru #5.
#3. Publish articles that are educational, not promotional. Use a strong headline, with a compelling, clear picture.
#4. Post the article, which first appears as a status update so your 1st-degree connections see it.
#5. Over the next few days, post the article in various LinkedIn groups you’re in. To capture that specific audience’s attention, give your post an introduction that relates specifically to the subject matter of interest to the group. By posting in groups, people beyond your 1st-degree connections will see it and learn about you and your services. Many people who use LinkedIn have had people “follow” them and reach out to them about their services as a result of articles they’ve posted.
#6. Join groups that your customers (or prospective customers) are members of. Then, make it a point to share content that is helpful and educational, not sales or self-promotional. Place a link to your website, as you’ll want to drive traffic there and convert your LinkedIn contacts into leads for your business.
#7. Don’t make the mistake so many people make: joining groups that are comprised of your peers. While this is useful for professional growth and career development, it’s less helpful when it comes to marketing your business because these audiences are often competitors and not prospective customers.
#8. If a LinkedIn paid, targeted campaign is too pricey, search terms that are relevant — ”corporate events,” for example. When you find a director-level connection that would benefit from knowing about your DJ service, personalize a link request explaining your service and the value to them.
#9. Personalize a request to connect. Most people just connect without really knowing who they’re connecting with. But it’s much more effective to remind that potential connection who you are, why you want to connect and how you add value. At the very least, remind them who you are so they know you’re not just adding contacts en masse. That way, they’re not left wondering who you are or, worse, questioning your motives.
#10. People who are successful with LinkedIn always know something about a potential connection before they make the request. Read their content, check out their website, listen to their podcast. Use some of the poignant facts you learn in the initial contact message or InMail. The recipient is usually more open to connecting with someone who has done their research.
#11. When people “like” or comment on your posts, visit their profile and explore who within their network would be good to network with. If the mutual relationship is strong, request a virtual introduction they work well.
#12. Become familiar with the LinkedIn InMail feature. It allows you to send a message to anyone, even if you are not connected to them. For a fee you get a certain amount of InMails and if you don’t get a response you receive a credit.
#13. The day after any networking event, input the names from all business cards you’ve collected into LinkedIn. Don’t send a generic connection request. Rather, thank them for attending the event and make the suggestion that you stay connected.
#14. Use LinkedIn’s mobile app Connected to alert you of birthdays, job changes, and work anniversaries. Do requisite congratulations to keep yourself top of mind.
#15. Develop targeted keyword phrases that reflect your brand, business goals, and target audience. Tag your profile with keyword phrases (“corporate event coordinator,” for example). When a new prospect inquires about your services, and they tell you they found you on LinkedIn, it is often because their search returned your profile.
#16. As far as connections, more is definitely not mer- rier.What’s the point of having 500-plus connections if you don’t truly connect with them? You should have business relationships with all of them.At every event, you should personally LinkedIn with the bride and groom, stay top of mind in a professional networking setting, to help your chances of repeat business.
Hey DJ! Sleep Deeply Tonight
1. Clean Your Room Disarray can interfere with a good night’s sleep, according to research in the journal sleep. Too much visual stimulation overwhelms your nervous system and makes you restless.
2. Skip the Sauce Booze may help put you out, but it also increases your brain’s alpha wave patterns, activating areas that make restorative REM sleep hard to achieve. If you’ve had a few too many, chug water before bed to help dilute your blood alcohol concentration— and your regrets the next morning.
3. Sleep Naked Sound sleep requires an internal temp that drops as you drift off and rises as dawn approaches. So try this: First, take a warm shower—or have a quick romp—to boost body heat. Then sleep in the buff under a sheet and blanket you can easily throw off.
CASE CLOSED! Tired DJs generally sleep better. University of Pennsylvania researchers reached this astonishing conclusion after assessing the daily activities of 5,000 DJs and music producers. In the study, those who exercised regularly were more likely to average 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night. But you knew that, right?