More than the Sum of Your Parts – By Michael Edwards

April 25, 2012 by Dan Walsh

YOU, YOUR GEAR OR BOTH—A TRUE TRIPLE THREAT

You’ve worked hard to put together a great DJ system, an amazing music collection, an organized, computer-based, state-of-the-art office and you finally have a solid reputation as a reliable, professional DJ. But you still won’t get every job that comes your way, and some weeks are worse than others, as far as incoming revenue goes. You need to think “ahead of the curve” to generate some additional sources of income for those times when gigs are few and far between. There are plenty of opportunities for a smart DJ entrepreneur to earn extra money in a variety of DJ-related ways that don’t necessarily involve spinning music or packing a dance floor. Let’s consider a few.

“PROJECTING” YOUR VOICE

If we take away all their DJ gear, fog, laser lights and music, every DJ still possesses two priceless commodities that are uniquely their own: a voice and a personality.
Why not prepare a demo CD of sample “voice-over” commercials that you can use to showcase your MC talent? Breaking into the radio and TV advertising market as an unseen announcer is a natural transition for any DJ with years of experience behind a microphone, paired with years of experience at “selling” the client. You also already know how to work an audience to get them to dance and participate at live events—why not adapt that skill into a second career as a “voice-over” artist who can convince listeners to run out and buy whatever products you are paid to promote?

Perhaps you also have a knack at imitating celebrity voices or cartoon characters. This opens yet another door for voice-related income. You already have the ability to create and lay down a musical background track, so an impressive demo should not be a problem for you to produce. The rest depends on your level of creativity and how well you are able to market your new “character” vocal services.

If you’ve got an amazing speaking voice but selling is not your strong suit, you might be able to expand on your vocal abilities by teaching a public speaking course at a local adult education center. Once you’re involved in continuing education, it’s an easy progression to teaching classes on starting a small business, database creation or any other area where you’ve developed some expertise and have something to pass on to others.

GEARING UP FOR GREATER INCOME

An obvious way to put your PA to work for you on an off night is to lease it as a “sound system rental.” You can price it lower if they pick it up, increase the fee to include yourself as the “delivery and pick-up” person, or charge top dollar as the delivery/operator/technician for the entire event. Sort of like a DJ without music. Just make sure you have an iron-clad rental agreement and insurance that protects your investment, and be sure to collect positive forms of ID from all renters.

If you’re going to rent out your PA anyway, why not offer to add your skilled MC services to the PA rental at trade show promotions and demonstrations? Wearing your best headset microphone, I’ll bet that you can vacuum dirt from a demo carpet or operate a veggie cutter just as well as anyone else, but with more flair and personality pulled from your years behind the DJ table. There are tons of conventions, trade shows and fairs where sellers will need not only a PA system at their booth, but also someone reliable and professional to market their product, it’s a limited-time gig, but you might be able to lock in with a company to do it every year. Not so easy to find, but a perfect match for you…so name your price.

Malls often need a PA and technician for a celebrity or sports personality meet & greet, or during a multi-week seasonal promotion (Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, etc). Radio stations are always looking for “street teams” at sporting events and product promotions. They’ll arm you with prizes like t-shirts and free tickets and you simply have to plug the product or event and promote the station while playing the format they dictate.

There are a lot of situations out there where a smart DJ with a few connections can earn great extra income without even playing a note of music…. You just have to find them and make yourself the best person for the job! Just a few more ways of staying “Ahead of the Curve”!

Michael Edwards is the owner of AllStar Entertainment & UpLighting, located in Andover, MA. A member of the ADJA and the Mobile Beat Advisory Board, he can be contacted at 978-470-4700 or emailed at info@getadj.com. His company websites include: www.GetaDJ.com and www.GetUplights.com.

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Dan Walsh Dan Walsh (89 Posts)


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