To stream or not to stream…                      

…That is the question for DJs and performers in today’s pandemic world. Our industry has screeched to a halt with no real end in sight. Many professionals have resorted to on-line streaming for a multitude of reasons.  While many are familiar with streaming, not everyone is doing it as well as they could be. Some have enhanced their professional status through streaming while earning on-line events and future clients. Others have made streaming mistakes and in-turn affected their brands negatively.  As a 15 year veteran in the event industry, there were many big reasons to get my stream on once I realized we would be off-site for a while.

Right now if you haven’t yet “gone live” and done your thing in front of the internet, you may be asking yourself “What are the things I should consider when deciding to stream live or not?  Our friend Nicolas Colletto from NIC ENTERTAINMENT gave us his reasons for investing in his stream and doing it consistently and it’s brought him great results.  Here are the things he considered:

I Love DJing

Let’s be honest, some of us burn out as we keep gigging week after week. But the love for our craft burns deep.  Streaming from home allows me to skip all the travel, set up, break down, and stressful client demands while still getting to do the fun part; DJ’ing. Playing for a few hours every week, often to repeat listeners, helps me refine my skills and forces me to keep my sets fresh.  

Promote my skills

Many DJs offer the same services at similar price points. Many prospective clients will ask, “can we check you out at one of your events?”.  Advertising to prospects at someone else’s wedding is a bad look, plain and simple.  My stream gives me the perfect opportunity to show off my skills for those interested clients who like what we have to offer service and price-wise, but really want to see how I roll in action.

Show clients how I look

Along with showcasing my skill set, prospective clients can get a sense of who I am, how I carry myself while DJing, and how I look.  We are in an image-based profession, like it or not. Our self-presentation is definitely something our clients are gauging when they are deciding who will be greeting their crowds. My stream lets me promote my style and personality for free to many people simultaneously.

Spread love

I can’t tell you how many people from around the world have reached out to express how much fun they have tuning in to our virtual parties.  My stream gives people something to do when they are stuck home on a quarantined Saturday night. They will remember all the fun they had when and if the time comes for them to book a DJ either online or in the 3D world.  What can I do to help out during these tough times? Help folks have some fun!

Grow my audience

Our events are typically considered small to medium-sized. We max out in Atlantic City halls with a couple of thousand people tops. With a few likes and shares, our first Saturday night four-hour stream in March peaked at over 6,000 listeners. We have an unlimited amount of reach online. People from all over the world can hear me play with a simple click.  

Practice interacting

For many DJs, the hardest part is talking on the mic. Interacting on my streams is much easier than interacting with a live crowd. I don’t feel the pressure of everyone’s eyes on me all the time. If I make a mistake, I never know if anyone hears it to be honest. It won’t be a big deal because no one is paying me to be on point. Interacting on my streams will drastically enhance my emcee skills and keep me sharp for when we get back to partying in person.

There are, of course, downsides to streaming as well, although in my opinion only a few.  When can streaming be a bad idea?

You need practice

Know your technical limits and stay within them while streaming. Do not try to out-perform your skillset, and practice your weaker techniques in private. If your scratches are sub-par, do not scratch on your streams.  If you aren’t sure how you sound, record a set for yourself and your close friends to critique.  Showcase the skills you are good at, and practice the rest on your own time.  If you aren’t ready, do not go live.

You don’t have your set up right

I’ve tuned into many streams that were promoted for a few weeks, just to find no audio and a video of a frantic DJ trying to figure out why.  Needless to say, I didn’t tune back in.  Do test sessions before you go public and make sure you have your technology right.  Check your internet, PC streaming power, audio levels, and mic output, and make sure your setup is able to function for the duration of your planned stream. You can post a stream viewable for only you or a select few friends to test it all out before going public.

Final Word from Justin: The pros outweigh the cons 100%

First off, what else are you doing?  2nd off, it’s fun and it’s like prepping for a club gig which was always the most fun for me.  You make sure you have your music right, look good, promote and then GO LIVE in front of people and although it’s “Virtual” they’re still going to hear if you mess up.  That pressure is always what attracted me to DJ’ing in general and the few times that I’ve gone live on Twitch it has been a lot of FUN.  Also, it was great interacting with old friends and some new ones as well!  If you need any help setting up your stream, I can get you set up in a “Single sesh” – Click here to learn more about coaching services.

Thanks for this great article to Nicolas Colletto, make sure you check out his website for his DJ company Nic Entertainment.