How Much Do DJ’s Make
DJs can make a lot of money, but they can also make nothing or just make a decent living like any other job. It all depends on your abilities, marketing, and how much time and effort you’re willing to put into DJing.
DJs can generate income from a variety of sources and specialize in a variety of markets. So you may need to consider where you will live. Are you able to travel? How much time do you have available? How are your technological abilities? What is your long-term goal?
If you’re looking for a starting point, consider a standard 4-hour club DJ gig in a larger city, which could pay you $120 – $400 for the night, not including any expenses.
What Kind of DJ Are You Going to Be?
While you don’t have to label yourself, you should have some expectations or goals for your DJ career. Not everyone is going to be a superstar DJ traveling the world, and not everyone wants to be.
You can also mix and match what you want to be; perhaps you’ll be a Wedding DJ or Corporate Events DJ while trying to establish yourself in clubs, or maybe being a Corporate Events DJ will pay all of your bills for you and your family.
DJ in the house
If you just want to have some fun and practice your DJ skills, you can DJ at house parties, parks, and anywhere else your friends or associates might want some good music and DJing.
Expect these to be low-paying or free gigs that may not come up very often unless you make a name for yourself in a larger city or area. You will also most likely require your own equipment.
Pay Rate: $0 – $200 per event
DJ for a wedding
Wedding DJs may be in high demand in your area, but the music played may not be to your liking, so it will be more about what the clients want and typical wedding-style playlists.
You’ll be expected to play for at least 4 hours and possibly longer, and depending on the venue, you’ll be required to supply at least some of your own equipment.
Pay Rate: $900 – $2,000 per event
DJ for Corporate Events
Companies frequently hire DJs for corporate events, whether it’s a Christmas party, a yearly sales meeting, or a training session. In any case, you may be required to perform online or in-person for several hours over the course of a day or even a week.
What you play should be tailored to the style of the company you’re performing for, but it must always be vetted to be corporate friendly, so many songs or playlists may not make the cut.
Your actual rate will be determined by how long you work, what the company is willing to pay, and your experience.
Pay Rate: $2,000+ per event
How Much Do Radio DJs Make?
DJing for radio stations in your area or even on streaming platforms such as Sirius Radio is possible. However, because of the competition in your local market, becoming a DJ at a local station can be difficult. How much you make can vary depending on how frequently you DJ, the size of the station, and even the timeframes you’re given.
Full-time radio DJs in the United States earn an average of $40,000 per year.
DJ at a nightclub
Club DJs may have a club where they work frequently, perhaps twice a week, or they may travel around their city, country, or even internationally to find work. Your pay will be determined by your experience, reputation, and the size of your audience.
If you intend to travel or make a lot of money, you’ll need a booking agent who can connect you to clubs and festivals in multiple locations. If you’re willing to work 200+ days a year, you can earn a good living that will grow with your experience and fanbase.
How Much: $50,000 / year
Club DJ: $120 – $400+ per night
Festival DJ: $2,500+ per event
Increase Your Earnings as a DJ
As a DJ, you are not limited to any particular type of DJing or gig, so you can do whatever is necessary to maximize your income using your DJ skills. But, aside from attending as many events and clubs as possible, what else can you do to increase your income?
Develop Your Social Media
Social media may not generate a lot of money on its own, but it does have the potential for product endorsements and selling your own music and products to fans.
The most significant benefit you will receive is the development of an online presence, which will allow people to get to know you better and increase your exposure to the world. The more people who know you, the more gigs you may get, which will be your main source of income in most cases.
You want to be on some of the more popular platforms, such as Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok, and you should be producing and sending high-quality content as frequently as possible.
You can use sites like YouTube to play your music, give reviews, demonstrate skills that others can learn, or do anything else. It could lead to contributions to the creator fund, product endorsements, or simply increased exposure to new fans.
Show Others How To DJ
There are many people who want to learn how to become a DJ, what equipment they need, how to book gigs, build sets, and even create original music. You have skills that are in demand by the general public, so why not sell them? This can often be prerecorded sessions that other companies, such as Udemy, sell for you.
Make Merchandise for Your Audience
Create your own brand that you can sell to fans at shows or online via social media, such as hats, t-shirts, or hoodies. If you provide the design, a variety of companies will produce all of these for you. The more people you reach through live events or social media, the more you can sell.
Consider starting with a company like Printful, which has affordable options.
Make Use of Streaming Services
Streaming services allow you to earn money while also increasing the exposure of your music. Unfortunately, DJing is all about how well-known and talented you are. Another advantage of streaming services is that you are not limited by location; you can upload your music all over the world and see how well it does; perhaps you will become famous in Japan.
Soundcloud and Bandcamp are well-known names in self-released music. Otherwise, services like tunecore can take your music and upload it to a variety of streaming services for you, saving you the time and effort.
Often, your gigs will be your biggest moneymakers, but you should use all avenues to promote yourself and make some extra money, because you never know where you’ll end up or who will enjoy your music; it’s a global world now, and music doesn’t have a language barrier.
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