If you define marketing as getting your message out, which is how I view marketing, then you can learn a lot from DJs.
A smart DJ is posting his sets on SoundCloud, is on Twitter or other social media engaging with people who link to him, is making loose online networks, and is otherwise promoting himself in a mostly unobtrusive way.
DJs also have multiple platforms to promote themselves. They are on YouTube, Twitter, SoundCloud, and Facebook getting their message out.
Often they play on XM Radio, a new listener likes their work, Googles them, and finds one of those pages.
DJs are masters are converting random listeners to dedicated super fans.
I first hear of Rony Seikaly on XM Radio. I had no idea who he was. When I searched him name to found more, I found his SoundCloud page.
If Seikaly had no web presence, I’d have forgotten about him. It’s a busy world and you hear a cool song and move on. There has to be an easy way for people to find you.
Be found or be forgotten.
One reason the Mike Cernovich Podcast took off was because I copied DJs. I didn’t know what I was doing. I don’t have a marketing team or consultant. I just realized that my favorite DJs were all on SoundCloud, so I put my podcast on SoundCloud.
Now it’s on iTunes (over 313 ratings in the U.S. alone). Anyone who finds the podcast on iTunes can search my name and find my other websites.
One year and over 500,000 downloads later, here we are.
When your content is good, self-promotion doesn’t annoy people.
Those we call “shameless self-promoters” simply tend to not have much of a message worth promoting.
Their message is I, me, me. LOOK AT ME!
It’s tiresome hearing a grown man or woman begging for attention.
If your message is good, people will spread and share if. If you’re the only person hyping your work, go back to the drawing board.
A DJ is an artist and a performer.
If no one enjoys a DJs art, then the DJ will falter. It’s not enough to create good art. You have to understand and empathize with your audience.
Here are some of my favorite DJs along with some of their best sets.
I’m also going to note how I heard about them, so that we can all learn their marketing tactics.
I was cruising along Pacific Coast Highway when Sugar Free Radio started playing on XM Radio. I Googled him, found his SoundCloud page, and have been a big fan since. I have linked to him and a lot of my Danger and Play guys are new fans.
Marketing is a long tail. A bunch of people find a person, promote that person, and suddenly that person is huge.
I’ve seen Seikaly play in Los Angeles, and that guy is living the life.
This is probably my favorite episode of Sugar Free Radio.
DJ Alex H (Alex Humberstone).
His Sunset Melodies is something that you have to listen to for yourself. It’s divine, especially with good head phones. (I prefer the Sennheiser HD280.)
I found him on YouTube while looking for deep house music sets. Own does a lot of interesting work and each set has a different feel to it. Check out his SoundCloud page and find your favorite.
This is the last set I heard:
DJ Main Event.
I met DJ Main Event through my main website, Danger & Play. I tried Googling DJ Main Event, and couldn’t find his page.
“Main Event” is a generic marketing term. It gets thrown around too much to be distinct or noticeable. My advice would be for him to rebrand.
Main Event’s music is feel, good, happy party music. This is a fun set to listen to before going out.
Did I slyly promote myself?
DJs are smart and are Googling themselves to see what people are saying about them online.
I will also @ Tweet their usernames in Twitter, to ensure they see this post.
Maybe they’ll retweet this article, since it’s saying nice things about them.
Maybe I’ll convert Rony Seikaly, Alex H, or Owen Royal to podcast subscribers.
Or maybe not.
Either way, you now have a bunch of great music to listen to.
See what I just did there?
I put YOU first. You have great music to listen to, so now my marketing doesn’t annoy you.
Everyone wins when you deliver value up front by putting the reader and listener first.