Don't Do Gigs For Free

This is an age all piece of advice, for almost any industry. If someone asks you to perform for free, you had better have a damn good reason to say yes. This is a place many musicians are stuck in and it is a hard one to get out of.

One of the main reasons people think it's OK to play for free, is for exposure, you can't get a paid gig yet and so you need to prove yourself. Do NOT do it unless there is a guarantee of another paid gig lined up as a result.

People will remember your set. They will remember it was good. And, they will remember you did it for free.
"But you did it for free last time didn't you?"

It is the worst place to be put in, when you quote your price and people say something along the lines of above. It is an instant problem that is very hard to negotiate out of. Even if it is a different venue or organiser, word can get out that you did it for free, perhaps from a recommendation.

You need to show people how good you are and justify the money they spend. Look at wine, there is good cheap wine, and there is good expensive wine. People will always say they prefer the expensive one to justify their spending, even if it is no better than the cheap bottle.

People are not going to think about the cost of transport, kit, and insurance. They will be shocked, especially if they don't normally book DJs, at the running costs and probably decline.

It is up to to be able to justify the costs on the day. Prove that you are not scamming them or taking more than your worth.