By Gregg Hollmann, “Party Professional”–
Let’s face it – the mobile DJ industry is saturated. One marketing technique to stand out in a crowded field is that of the online DJ mix or physical mix CD. The power of this concept is that you can have a listener to get to know your work at a deeper level over the course of a one hour music mix session. Compare this intimate one hour experience with the typical cursory glance at your website before the prospective client clicks off to a competitor’s website.
The concept of showcasing for mobile DJs is generally associated with bridal shows or video logs. However, many prospective clients also enjoy previewing the musical ideas and creativity of a DJ through online mixes. For that reason, our company encourages our DJs to record and post online mixes. These mixes are then linked to their bios on the company website.
The results have been powerful. Our company routinely books weddings and other events primarily on the basis of a listener bonding with a particular mix. A good mix is a powerful sales tool that can quickly dissolve any objections and result in an easy sale.
Getting Started – most popular DJ software programs like Serato and Virtual DJ have a ‘record’ feature. Plot out a creative concept and plan for a 45 minute to 60 minute mix. Try to identify a concept that will appeal to your target market. Seasonal, holiday and genre-specific themes are good starting points. Over time, I recommend recording mixes in a variety of styles – including some that might surprise your listeners and open up new markets for you. For example, while my personal DJ style is often associated with electronic dance music and the Eighties, my most popular online mix is a reggae mix!
Clean mixing is important; however, more important is savvy musical programming – picking songs that maintain listener interest. It’s also imperative to have a strong opening to draw listeners in and compensate for the fact that some will not listen to the entire mix. A professionally done DJ “drop” can enhance the credibility of your mix (e.g., “You’re in the mix with DJ Skribble!” These DJ drops don’t necessarily have to cost a fortune. In fact, on website www.fiverr.com you can have a drop recorded for just $5.
Consider joining free or subscription-based record pools that occasionally offer the opportunity for celebrity musical artists to record you a professionally-done DJ drop for free or nominal charge.
Don’t have time to record a full hour mix? Then consider recording a custom mash-up or exciting mini-mix of 20 minutes.
Where to Distribute – after recording your mix, you’ll want to share your creation with the world. The two sites that I recommend posting your mixes are: 1) www.soundclound.com , and 2) www.mixcloud.com. Both offer free accounts as well as professional fee-based accounts that allow you to upload unlimited mixes.
An important word about Soundcloud – while this site offers robust website traffic, the site has recently become quick to remove online submissions on the grounds of copyright infringement. The problem became so pronounced that DJ/producer Kaskade publicly lambasted Soundcloud for removing some of his proprietary remixes.
Mixcloud does not remove online mixes on legal grounds. However, listeners may not download the recording or rewind it while listening to the stream. Mixcloud’s audience is more limited, but increasing due to the current issues at Soundcloud.
Both Soundcloud and Mixcloud offer users the ability to embed a music player containing the mix. Copying an HTML code, these players can be embedded onto web pages, blogs and Facebook pages so that readers can easily listen to them.
The Appeal of a Physical Mix CD – Online mixes are convenient, but passing a physical mix CD is a lot more personal. In this variation, your continuous DJ mix is burned onto a CD and branded with your company logo. You then pass this CD to a friend or prospective client. Ideally, the recipient listens to your mix in the car and gets to know you on a deeper personal level through your music. When executed well with an awesome mix, you can get deep inside a listener’s head and gain their business.
Presentation is important, so you are recommended to engage a graphic designer to design branded artwork to be printed onto the CD itself (be sure it has your contact information). Assuming that you will be recording multiple mixes and don’t need a custom design for each concept, have the graphic designer incorporate a blank box on the CD where you can hand-write in the name of the mix. For printing custom-branded CDs, I recommend www.weprintdiscs.com.
Besides being an important piece in your sales kit, mix CDs make great holiday gifts or anytime gifts for clients and networking partners. Realizing the importance of mix CDs, my personal goal in 2014 is to pass a mix CD each and every day!
Rewarding a Great Client – Call me sentimental, but I have always enjoyed receiving home made gifts. This past year, I have been selectively recording post-event mixes that capture the spirit and some of the actual song combinations from the party. Such mixes make a perfect gift for valued clients. Your personalized mix CD is bound to surprise and delight them! For an example of one such commemorative mix, see http://www.mixcloud.com/gregg-hollmann/kris-wesleys-wedding-mix