The thing is, people will always ask “what’s in it for me?”. So if you want them to listen to your mix, you need to ask yourself what you could do for them in return.
If the reason you want people to listen to your mix is:
- Because you think it’s good and believe people will like it – So does every DJ! Whether it’s good or not is ultimately up to the audience, not you. That’s not a good enough reason to expect people to listen. They will listen if they want to – but as you know, it’s VERY hard to get people to do this. Close friends, family, people you share musical taste with offline – they are all people who may do this. People you’re DMing? Sadly, usually no…
- Because you want to be heard by people – Again, so does every DJ. What you want isn’t front of mind for them – they’re thinking about what they want! What are you going to do that’s different, to “cut through the noise”, to make them WANT to listen to your mix?
Really, this question is no different to that of getting people to come to your DJ event, or buy your tracks. As a DJ or DJ/producer, you’re basically a creative entrepreneur, and as such you need to earn your audience’s attention – you can’t command it.
A different approach…
So how are you going to do it? How are you going to cut through the noise? Here are just a few ideas to get you thinking:
- Start a “mix advice club” with other DJs – You all share a mix once a month, and give each other constructive criticism. (Principle: If you want someone to do something for you, a good start is to do something for them FIRST.) You could do this in the Global DJ Network
- Burn your mix onto real CDs, put them in waterproof plastic sleeves, and put under the windscreen wipers of cars of people you want to hear your mix – Attach sleeve notes along the lines of “to keep you occupied in traffic jams”. Why might this work? Because you’re doing something for them! You’re giving them an alternative to listening to rubbish radio on their commutes (and chances are they have a CD slot in their car, and ZERO other CDs = captive audience)
- Get something going on social media where your audience suggests tracks, and you try and mix them all, each month – Now your followers are invested in the outcome, and they know there wil be at least one song on the mix they like (plus you get to show off your DJ skills)
Now, these maybe aren’t the best ideas in the world, and I am sure you can come up with more, but the point is they show a process of thinking about your audience. You’re trying to solving a problem for them or at least engaging them in something they may find fun.
See the difference? DMing someone and expecting them to play your mix is solving precisely nothing – and if you then (as is tempting) follow up with “have you listened yet?” you’re edging into spam territory.
So instead, be inventive. Be playful. Work out ways of getting people’s attention because they want to give it to you, not because you think or wish they should.