Getting hired in Second Life has evolved as the world has grown. When it was a much smaller community, word of mouth was the only way to get hired for an event. As the world has grown and the tools improved it requires a more work, but the method is the same. As a DJ, you always want others telling their friends about your events. There’s plenty of opportunity to do this, a new club is built every week providing a lot of opportunity and practice. In a few weeks you may be searching for another venue to request your services. The best way to maintain a steady flow of events within Second Life is by generating word of mouth, even if your hired for an event through word of mouth.
Word of Mouth
The best way to be hired for an event is by word of mouth. There are plenty of non-club based events, such as weddings or private parties, that require the services of a DJ. This is how I am hired for a majority of my performances, even for large corporations. Nothing is better than a friend vouching for you as a quality DJ. The hard part is not making your friend look foolish.
The trick about word of mouth, is generating it. For unknown, beginning DJ’s this is the most important aspect in obtaining your next gig.
Offer A Free Gig
Becoming recognized is hard in Second Life, it seems everyone wants to be a DJ. Club owners have shared their frustrations concerning hiring quality DJ’s for their events. Often event owners overpay for a low quality result and restart the process for seeking a new DJ. In the past, I would frequent offer my services for free for an event, usually for an hour. This acted as my demo, and provided a way to generate word of mouth to event attendees, managers and hosts. If they liked me, they would tell their friends, tell other managers of clubs they worked, or were eager to join my event group. Additionally, if the club owner or manager was pleased with my hour performance, they were eager to hire me for a reoccurring event at their venue. Even if your not offered a slot, you’ve put your name out there for the world to hear.
Create Your Own Performance Area
The same way a clothing designer or pose maker requires store space, I believe a DJ requires their own performance space. While many can read this as “create your own lounge/club”, it’s not necessary. you can create a loft, a landfill, a stadium, but some place where you feel comfortable hosting your own. Doing this requires money for land rental or land-tier but it has some long term benefits. In your space, you are in charge, you can obtain sponsorships or sell advertisement for events, and you can perform at your own schedule. This is especially helpful when many events aren’t occurring in Second Life. Another benefit is your creating your own word of mouth, in your own space. Often times I find people hanging out in my performance space when not utilized. They knew who I was from the space alone and began to attend events. This methods takes some time to develop. In the long term, it provides a great avenue for future paying events. You can also invite potential clients to one of your own event.
Search the Classifieds and Places
While the classifieds search cannot search for the term “DJ” (too short of a word), searching for “DJ Club”, “DJ Wanted”, or “DJ Hire” provides enough hits to clubs and venues that you can approach with your services. I would also search classifieds for newly opened clubs, their attendance may be low, but they are always seeking new DJ’s. Performing the same search in places can provide the same results.
Create a Classified Ad
I’ve never had much success with classified advertisements, but they don’t hurt. There are not many classified for DJ’s, and most of them run between 50 – 250 $L (at the time of this writing the highest classified ad for DJ services was $L 1000.) The advantage of classifieds right now is regardless of the price, your advertisement will appear on the first page.
Post on the Forms
The Second Life forums has always been hit or miss, but a lot of eyes look at it. Having a forum post detailing your services does not hurt at all.
There are many Second Life specific social networking sites, advertisement programs and groups that can be used to help generate leads to gigs. Some are very effective, others not so much. The most important aspect is to get your name out in the open, among a group of people who would either attend your events or refer you to those seeking DJ’s.
If you have found success through a method not mentioned above, feel free to share!