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?
How Can You Sync LED Lights With Music?
If you have ever seen a house at Christmas time that has its lights synced with a popular Christmas song then you know what a neat experience it is. It is impressive and fun. You do not have to be a professional to do this. You can make it as simple or as professional as you like. Syncing a large set of Christmas lights with music is a little bit more difficult than syncing music with a set of LED lights.
For example, for a small house party where you might want to hang up a few strands of LED lights that change colors to the beat of music, it is a pretty easy process. You will need to buy some sound-responsible LED lights (find some here). These are so easy that all you have to do is plug them in and change the settings so that they are sound-activated. For this project, you do not need anything else. No controller, no cable, no software or programming. This is as simple as you can get.
For the larger projects, you will need a controller, software, lights and possibly some help. Below is the entire process for syncing a large scale LED display with music.
Now for your bigger projects, such as setting up Christmas lights that sync with music you will need to get a controller. There are various versions of controllers available from a pre-built system, to more hands-on and those that you build yourself. As a beginner, I would suggest the built system because you do not need any electrical knowledge.
Next, you will need to get software that will program and run your lights. The software helps break the song down into sections so that you can select what lights should turn on, off, etc. The programming software helps you build the program that will be run for each song.
Now, you need to make your lighting decisions. What type of LED lights will you use: mini lights, net lights, landscaping lights, icicles, trees, decorative LED wireframes, etc. What do you want to be displayed and what colors do you want to use? Designing the light setup is one of the hardest parts of the process because you want it to look amazing.
Once you have the overall scheme completed, you can begin work on programming the actual music. This is the most crucial part and the most time-consuming part. First, choose your music and then start working on your timing. This is a lengthy process, so get started will before the holidays. Determining when you want your lights to do something and what you want them to do in complete synchronization with the music will take some serious thinking and brainpower.
Once you finished your program it will be time to test it. If it functions as you wish, you will want to broadcast your music over an FM radio frequency so that as onlookers come by, they can flip to the radio station and hear the song as they drive by. This is a much better approach than playing music over and over again via speakers in your front yard. This is actually very common and happens quite a bit in various neighborhoods. It is becoming even more popular and is widely accepted.
Syncing LED lights with music is not as hard as you think it might be. It may be something that will take three or four months of preparation if it is your first time setting up a display of such magnitude, but it is not overly complicated and something most can handle.
Three Ways To Create The Next Viral Video
Not surprisingly, the TED talk “Why Videos Go Viral” went viral. Created by Kevin Allocca, YouTube’s expert on Web video trends, it has 1.8 million views. “Think of your video as a conversation starter with you, your viewers, and their friends,” Allocca says. Here’s Electro WOW guide to video fame. (The fortune is up to you)
1. – THINK ABOUT YOUR GLOBAL AUDIENCE
More than 80 percent of YouTube views happen outside the United States. So remember that your video could be seen by anyone, anywhere, as long as they have Internet access. So jettison the Obama jokes, okay?
2. – STICK WITH IT (AND STOP TRYING SO HARD)
Don’t expect to break the Internet with one of your first posts; it’s not often that people gain fame from a one- off video. Most creators mess up early on, so feel free to experiment publicly. The best way to build a loyal audience is slowly – that is, by sharing tips, tricks, and tutorials over time.
3. – NARROW YOUR FOCUS TO WIDEN SHARING
People often think they should make something that will appeal to everybody, but usually micro-specific topics – one-genre DJ sets, steps to produce a song or a remixing guide – are what attract passionate (sharing) audiences. The fans will find you. Thanks, Google.
Basic DJ Advice For Beginners
Protect Your Music
Never forget that your music is one of the most important assets you have in your DJ career. Without music, there’s not a lot of actual DJ-ing you can do, is there? That’s why it’s vital to keep your music safe with thorough backups. All of your music needs to be saved to multiple devices. If at all possible, you should carry redundant copies of your music with you when you’re on the road, just in case one device fails. Keeping duplicates of your music library (and any other essential files) on a reserve hard drive can save you from losing a gig in case your main files are rendered inaccessible.
Keep Your Equipment Safe
For most DJs, the ordinary course of work involves a lot of travel. That means subjecting your equipment to a high level of wear and tear. Take all the steps you can to protect your delicate electronics from potential damage. You can buy cases designed to protect DJ equipment from all sorts of threats, and these make an excellent investment. With the proper protection, you should be able to keep everything you take with you to a gig — computers, sound cards, controllers, etc. — as safe as possible. Don’t neglect security, either; your gear may be a tempting target for thieves.
Carrying your equipment around without any protect whatsoever is simply asking for trouble. It doesn’t matter how short the trip is; traveling with unguarded electronics is simply asking for trouble. It can be a hassle to pack and unpack your gear constantly, but it certainly beats the expense and delay involved in replacing a piece of equipment that was ruined by damage you could have prevented.
DJ Public Liability Insurance
Of course, ensuring that you keep yourself safe and those around you when hosting an event is important too. Having DJ public liability insurance can be a great help here and many venues will require you to do so. Make sure you have it.
Here are some basic guidelines for keeping your vital DJ equipment safe and sound:
* Keep your backups (music and other files) well separated from the rest of your equipment. They should always be packed in a separate bag. This reduces the chance of losing everything to damage or theft in a single stroke.
* Make sure your equipment is always in a safe place when you have to leave it unattended for any length of time.
* When you’re on the road, be wary of the temperature extremes your equipment might be subjected to if you leave it in your car. It’s a good idea to unload your equipment during overnight stopovers.
* When you pack multiple pieces of equipment into a single bag, they should all be protected by their own cases. It’s entirely possible for loose electronics to damage themselves simply by colliding with each other during rough handling.
* Label all of your equipment. This not only makes it easier to keep your gear organized but also prevents mix-ups (innocent or otherwise) at larger events where you might not be the only sound specialist present. Shipping labels and luggage tags are good ways to mark your larger bags. You can use masking tape and a marker to make cheap labels for virtually every piece of equipment you use.
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