Getting Started As a DJ: Where to Begin

February 14, 2017 by Stephen J Clayton

If you’re thinking about becoming a DJ, there are several things to consider before getting started. Make sure that you’re doing it for the right reasons, first of all. Like any facet of the entertainment business, you have to be in it because you love it. If you’re just in it for the money and fame- you’re going to experience a lot of disappointment! That’s not to say that money and fame won’t ever happen for you, but you have to look at yourself as your business. If you want to be able to support yourself financially while doing what you love, you have to put in the same amount of time and effort as you would launching a new business.

One of the first things you need to do is decide what equipment will be useful to you. Don’t feel like you have to spend an exuberant amount of money when first getting started- if you can only afford to work with what you have, that’s okay! A laptop will work just fine! There are plenty of beginner programs that you can utilize for a small price or even for free when first starting out.

If you do have some extra start up cash, consider investing in equipment that you can use, but could also work for you in the future. For example, photobooths! Photobooths are frequently requested for events so having one on hand could push a client to hire you over another DJ who doesn’t have one available. You get paid more, and you don’t have to do any extra work! You could also rent out the photobooth by itself to other DJ’s or clients! Eventually the photobooth will pay for itself and start becoming it’s own stream of revenue. This could essentially mean getting paid for multiple gigs in one night.

Start showcasing your content! Your immediate circle of connections is always who you want to reach out to first. But only do so when you’re ready. Send your friends, relatives, and acquaintances only your best work. Don’t rush into “getting yourself out there”. Be patient, professional, and prepared, that way you don’t sell yourself short or waste a contact that feels like you’re not ready.


Lastly, remember to be YOU. You will get noticed by being authentic, and bringing your own unique vibe and sound. Don’t try to be “another” version of a well known DJ. Make your own sound, and you will get noticed.


Stephen J Clayton Stephen J Clayton (22 Posts)

Steve Clayton has been working with event professionals for over 16 years teaching, mentoring and consulting with them to help them get more out of their event business. Originally beginning his event career as a mobile entertainer, DJ, and manager, Steve has transformed his business into a full service event management and production company. His companies specialize in full service production, technology, consulting, and talent buying. Over the past 13 years, Steve’s companies have worked with clients such as the Rose Bowl, USC Football, The Holiday Bowl, Time Warner Cable, Hyatt Hotels, Chalice Festival, High Times, and The Neighborhood Awards. Steve and his team have been blessed to work and handle major talent artists. Steve has worked or purchased talent from Lo Cash and Frakie Ballard to Comedians Steve Harvey, and Wayans Brothers. And rappers from Dougie Fresh, B.O.B and Robin Thicke to Lil Wayne, Wu Tang Clan and Machine Gun Kelly. Steve has owned companies manufacturing and selling lighting products to companies to writing and teaching classes for University of San Diego. Steve’s current companies include Soundskilz and The Event Inventor. Steve currently teaches event management, marketing and technology classes at UC Riverside.

Filed Under: Digital DJing, Event DJ Tips, Mobile DJ Business, Mobile DJ Career Development, Mobile DJ Misc, Mobile DJ Sales & Marketing, Photo Booth Tips