A giant mouse head fist pumped behind the biggest rubix cube ever and the crowd went wild.

When @Deadmau5 became the house DJ at the 2010 VMAs, electronic music gained mainstream recognition. Today, everyone has a pair of fluffies. And why not? EDM’s recognition in the music industry is long overdue.

So, what’s the difference between @Deadmau5 and every DJ that hasn’t had the opportunity to play the VMAs? Some produce using the same equipment and have loads of musical talent. Why is he successful when so many other talented DJs still go unrecognized? Well, for one, DM5 is a freaking musical genius and for two, he has those ears that light up.

But there’s more to it than a sweet pair of ears and a ginormous rubix cube. Deadmau5 has a distinguishable brand and continues to build support by marketing himself successfully. He’s everywhere and doing everything to connect with his followers and establishing his brand. From Facebook to Minecraft to Instagram and gaming – the Deadmau5 brand is in constant interaction with his audience. And, his brand is him. That simple.

From a marketers perspective, here are 6 things every aspiring DJ can do to keep the dream alive.

1. Be Professional.
In every interaction, be respectful, committed and reliable. It’s the foundation for every career. Music is no different. Bring your “A-Game” 110% of the time. If you have an audience of 2 or 2,000, play like you’re playing for your MOM, or someone else of equal awesomeness. You never know who is watching and what doors can open or close based on how you perform.

2. Build a following.
Anyway, if you’re professional, that’s half the battle. If your personable, that’s the other half. There’s something mysterious about musicians that makes people wonder about what makes them tick. Establish portals (not the game) for people to connect with you. A website is a must-have and can serve as a central hub for your musical marketing efforts. And push your music out to the world wide web – it loves great stuff. YouTube, Vimeo, Twitter, Facebook…and pretty much all things social media.

Music and dancing are personable and social – so make your music available on those venues and watch as the support grows. I don’t know about you, but I follow all my favs. People want to know their favs and see how they exist in the world. How many people know that Meowingtons has a seriously cush life? I’ll tell you how many…ALOT.

Social media is amazing for building awareness for your music. And, not just about your music, but about what’s going on in your world so your audience can relate to you as a person — your brand. Trust me, it’s a good thing, even though it can be time consuming. If you don’t have a ton of time and do NO other social media, I recommend;

– Facebook Page
– Twitter
– Instagram
– Soundcloud

Post at least once a day, except on Soundcloud. Soundcloud, just stay active and upload new music as you complete it.

3. Make your music accessible.
Seriously, you might end up in the right place at the right time…and if someone says, “Where can I go to listen to your music” you should be able to hand them a jump drive or direct them to your Soundcloud. And have a business card that shows you’re taking your music serious. Again, be professional. Make it look like you and gave it the same amount of professionalism that you put into your music.

4. Make media connections to distribute media kits to
Uh, the big part of getting your name out there is getting your name out THERE. Get active in the local music scene. Connect with local newspapers, magazines, venues, radio stations, etc. When something newsworthy comes your way, let your list of connections know. But remember, they’re busy doing news-y stuff so be relevant and succinct. Don’t fire off an email to your connections because you’re going to be playing at the same venue you always do. As much as your following wants to know those things, your media connections are looking for stories that will get both you and them noticed. So…wait till epic happens and grab the nearest megaphone to share the news.

5. Create marketing materials…aka GEAR.
Design a website and some tshirts. Burn some CDs. There’s so much…MUCH.

6. Be YOU.
This is the most important thing I’m going to write. Be yourself. You are your own story. Tell it. What are your ears? What’s unique about you that comes out in your music that no one else has. Know what it is about your music that makes people stop and listen and want to share. If you don’t know, ask. Music is a very personal expression so in order for your listeners to get invested in your music they need to understand and relate. We’re all humans with the same range of emotions. Share the emotions behind what drives your music and people will know it’s genuine and react. Be yourself. Know who you are, why you play, and what’s inspiring you.

If you happen to rule at Destiny, drive an energy-efficient car, like Charlie the Unicorn, or just got the new iPhone6 Plus…share that. People like to know what makes you tick. And they’ll love you and your music for just being you. :)

So, if music is your dream/passion – be yourself and be professional and do everything you can to make the dream come true.

My favs:
Evan Alexander (Seriously, when it comes to Step 1, this dude is the epitome of professional. You’ll want to work with him.)

Oh, and…don’t stop believin. :) Hard work and perseverance will open doors.


PS: If you read this and want to get started but don’t know how/where – you can email me.
PSS: That is NOT the real Deadmau5 in the picture, nor do I do any of his marketing. Buuuuut, his brand is so recognizable, that I bet you saw it and thought it was. I’m telling you, he’s a marketing GENIUS!