“When is it time to hire other DJs to work under me?”
Every in demand DJ has to make the decision sooner or later. It typically starts organically, your calendar fills up, you start to turn away events, maybe you’ll refer the prospective client to a homie. Maybe you’ll simply say “I’m sorry, I’m already booked.” and watch them book someone of subpar quality.
Sometimes the answer is simple. Sometimes it’s complex.
First, let’s discuss the pros and cons of building a team, or a legitimate multi-talent DJ roster:
1. Money. By using your established reputation as a DJ you’re able to help younger, like-minded DJs get their foot in the door to the events industry and both of you will make money doing so. Quite simply, it’s a win-win.
2. Days off. Typically hiring other DJs happens when you’re booked, meaning you’ll either employ or subcontract other talent on days you’re already working. Eventually though, with enough work and hiring the right people you’ll be able to price yourself higher and actually take some precious Saturdays off. Trust me, it feels great to have a team that you trust out rocking while you’re enjoying a night off.
3. The feels. Frankly, sometimes it just feels great to be a leader and to build a team that is self sufficient. If you hire enough awesome people you’ll have a mini-empire representing your brand and enthusiastically building that brand.
1. It takes a LOT of work. A lot of times already-established DJs are already booked and making decent money, this means you’ve either got to be a sales master in getting them more money – or more likely hire younger talent that requires training and refinement to iron out the areas where they’re rough around the edges.
2. Money. In a lot of cases you’re going to have to invest in extra equipment. A lot of DJs will have their own turntables, CDJs or controllers – but few have a quality sound system and lights. Depending on how many people you’re looking to bring on board will determine your costs. Don’t skimp. Having quality gear that’s uniform across the team will build consistency for your new brand.
3. Stress. Let’s face it. When you’re running solo it’s pretty easy. You know all of your event details and you rely on your own motivation and drive to put together a successful, professionally run event. Hiring can be a challenge. Is the talent you’ve entrusted his event with capable of taking direction, showing up on time and exceeding the clients expectations? As an owner of a multi-talent DJ company I feel as though I hire extremely good people, but there are always variables (including technical issues) and since this is your company you will ultimately be responsible.
Overall for me, I absolutely feel the pros outweigh the cons. The satisfaction I get from developing talent, getting young talent out in the field and being able to pay them far outweighs the negatives. It’s also pretty amazing at this stage in my career to be able to take a night off, whether it’s to spend some time with my daughter, for a date night or even a night out with the boys. I wouldn’t have that luxury if I didn’t have a team of amazing DJs working for me.
However, having a roster of DJs or a full-on production company isn’t for everyone. It’s a ton of work and I’ve seen the stresses of running a company eat away at other DJs passion for the industry and doing what they love. Whether it’s from being burnt by hiring the wrong guys, or just stress and burnout in general. If you are in high demand and you want to keep it simple and stay solo, make sure you’re charging a rate that justifies your demand.
As always, I love to answer questions. Feel free to DM me on Instagram @DJAlexNepa
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