I was recently featured in my city’s newspaper in the “Shop Talk” section, which is all about small businesses. The article traverses my career timeline (all the way back to the days when it was just a hobby) up until now. We talk about the challenges I’ve faced and what it took to get where I am. No worries if you didn’t get to check it in print, it’s online as well: learn a little about me through the eyes of a journalist. Read on here for my thoughts on everything
Look Mom, I Made It
It’s always a big deal when you make it into print, as it helps legitimize your brand and your efforts to yourself. More importantly, it validates your efforts to a few different audiences including your closest supporters as well as your biggest doubters. Personally, anything that makes my family more proud of me – those are the biggest validations for me. Needless to say, being in the paper for something I’ve pursued and sacrificed lots of things for – including time spent with family – is a big deal. So I admittedly got a little choked up when my mom told me “I’m proud of you kiddo.” Seriously, it’s the little things like that one line that really matter in the long run.
What This Means For Me
For me, being in the business section is a big deal. For the past few years I’ve been supremely interested in business and entrepreneurship, so to get my first business feature is incredibly satisfying on a personal development level. It also gives me a little hint that I may know what I’m doing business wise (which is great, because I have a new venture that I’ll let you know about in the future). To keep it short, I was super surprised to be contacted for this section, and not the entertainment section.
It also means I’ve done several things correctly in regard to my online presence. When I asked Virginia, the author of the column, why she decided on me as the subject of the article – she couldn’t really pinpoint the exact reason. However, as she thought about it, she realized it started with twitter. I’d shown up in her feed via a RT from someone else she follows. Since she already had a DJ article in the back of her mind, once I popped into the feed, she checked out my bio and timeline.
The first thing in my twitter bio is about me being the DJ for UNC athletics. She mentioned this being a big bullet point into what it took to legitimize me. So, if you haven’t taken a look at your twitter bio lately, you may want to. Your twitter bio is a great place to test how big of an impression you can make to a stranger in a very short amount of time / wording. Quick tip: list any major accomplishments and mention what you tweet about. In short, this is a great place to leverage instant social proof.
Now, Virginia actually contacted me via the contact form here. This indicates my website is at least on the right track and has all the right elements in place. I actually recently changed that form a few days prior to Virginia contacting me. I’ve realized over the years of having the same contact form that people only really contact me for two reasons: 1) a general question or 2) booking for an event. So I changed the form to reflect that and made it simple if people are just asking a general question. This is accomplished via Gravity Forms‘ conditional logic abilities. Since changing the form, I’ve seen an uptick in submissions – it’s too early to tell if it’s purely coincidental but I’ll take any increase in conversions I can get ;)
What This Means For My Fellow DJs In The Area
I’ve gotten great response from my peers in the area since the publication of this article – which is a huge validation in itself. My big hope is that the public at large takes a look at this article and realizes that DJs are more we seem on the surface.
It’s easy to look at us in a nightclub and write us off as hobbyists or, dare I say, “human jukeboxes.” We’re self-aware enough to know that nightclub DJing doesn’t carry the most positive perception a lot of times. But now? Now you can see us as business people. We’re there for a reason, it took us a lot of work to get there, and it’s taking us a lot to stay in there too. So if just one person walks away with a shifted perspective on what we do, I consider that a win for all of us. This isn’t to say I speak for everyone, but I hope my peers feel this way as well.
Hopefully this brings a little more attention to us in general, and at the end of the day that’s always a good thing.
Thanks to The N&O for the article, to Virginia Bridges for writing it, and to Spencer Herlong for the photo. Most importantly thanks to those who checked it out – and double thanks if you made it to the bottom of this post – you’re awesome!