How to Cut the Costs of Starting a DJ Career

Updated

Putting together the DJ equipment you need to go pro can be a costly exercise. Exactly how pricey is open to debate. Some will tell you it is necessary to spend at least £5k or so, while others say you can make it as a DJ for less than £500. 

In reality, it is entirely up to you. DJ equipment prices vary from the sublime to the ridiculous. Indeed, you could set yourself up with a basic back-bedroom rig and start making music for less than £100. But if you want to be taken seriously as a professional, you need to set your sights on professional-quality gear. 

Thankfully, there are various ways and means by which the costs of starting a DJ business can be kept under control. Whatever your budget happens to be, here are five tips for spending less while still bagging the gear you need to make it happen:

  1. Consider DJ Finance 

    First up, one of the quickest and easiest ways of getting hold of the equipment you need is to consider DJ finance. With an affordable DJ finance package, you can take home what you need right now for a low deposit and repay the balance gradually. If your savings won’t stretch too much right now, you could opt for a 0% DJ finance package and spread the costs accordingly. 
  1. Buy Used Gear 

    The rate at which cutting edge DJ technology is evolving is mind-blowing. For some, the only decks, mixers, and monitors on the market are those that have only just hit the shelves. The good news is that for the savvy spender, this fuels an enormous DJ equipment resale market online. Simply by opting for something that is not quite the latest release, you could save a small fortune, often as much as 50%, on hardware that is only been around for a year or so. 
  1. Do Your Own Marketing

    An important point to remember - DJ equipment isn’t the only cost to consider. You will also need to market your business quite aggressively to get noticed.  You could pay for high-profile ads, or you could take advantage of the various free (or cheaper) marketing channels available. The most effective of which is social media - build a following online and the rest takes care of itself. Also, if you’re able to handle your own admin and accounts, doing so could save you a fortune. Compare the market to get the best DJ finance deals by trusted lenders. 
  1. Keep it Simple 

    Just because you’re ‘going pro’ doesn’t mean you immediately need the most expensive and prestigious DJ equipment on the market. For the time being, you will probably get away with a relatively modest rig. Not only this, but the venues you play as an up-and-comer will no doubt have their own equipment, lighting and so on for you to use. It is tempting to get carried away with just buying the whole thing. It’s also completely unnecessary and expensive. Unless it is something you absolutely need, save it for a later date.
  1. Limit Your Lifestyle 

    Last but not least, going into business as a pro DJ brings about a pretty big lifestyle change. On one hand, you have got things like transport expenses, accommodation and general living costs to cover. On the other, there is the temptation to dive headfirst into the party scene and spend money like it is a competition. In both instances, you could find yourself eating into your business budget pretty quickly. Until things really hit their stride, you will need to carefully question and consider every expense that isn’t 100% necessary. Even if it means not exactly living the ‘DJ lifestyle’ for now, it is all part of the transition to pro status.
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