Whether you’re just starting out as a DJ or are looking to snag more exciting (or more lucrative) gigs, building a strong foundation for your business is essential. When it comes down to it, showing that you’ve got the goods is just the beginning: proper preparation and good, old-fashioned hustling go a long way in this competitive industry. Follow these tips to blast past common hurdles and book the DJ gig of your dreams.

The hurdle: You haven’t established your brand.

The fix: Get your website and social media accounts up to snuff.

You might be the best DJ in the city—but if you don’t have any proof of your talent, who’s going to believe you? It’s 2019, which means that curating your personal brand is paramount to success as a DJ. Start by building a simple but sleek website that features photos of past gigs, a link to your SoundCloud or Bandcamp, an event calendar, and an easy way to contact you. Next, get active on social media. Create profiles on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, and post updates regularly to promote upcoming gigs and share photos from past events. Be careful not to gain a reputation as a spammer, though—prioritize authentic engagement with your fans rather than using bots to grow your follower count.

The hurdle: The venue owner doesn’t know you from Adam (or Eve).

The fix: Establish rapport and get the inside scoop on the venue.

If you want to play in a new bar, lounge, or event space, the first thing you should do is simply show up. Sidle up to the bar, and take in your surroundings: what days and times (if at all) is there a DJ present? Introduce yourself to the regular DJ, and assess whether you will be a fit in terms of your music and brand.

If no DJ is present, get to know the bartenders. Order a drink, tip generously, and you might just get some vital information about how gigs are booked and what the venue owner is looking for. When you feel that you have a good sense of what you have to offer to this particular venue, approach the owner or manager with your pitch.

The hurdle: The event owner won’t work with you unless you’re insured.

The fix: Enroll in a General Liability insurance policy that protects against property damage and bodily injury.

You’ve put in all the groundwork—don’t let insurance be the thing that stands between you and your dream gig.

Imagine this: midway through a gig at a local bar, a guest trips over your microphone cable and injures himself, blaming you and the bar owner. While this type of scenario may be the furthest thing from your mind when you’re courting a new gig, your event partner will certainly be considering the risks of having you spin tables in their space.

To ease their minds (and protect both of you from financial risk), enroll in a General Liability insurance policy for DJs that covers you for the duration of the gig. Thimble offers on-demand General Liability coverage for as little as $5. You can enroll in a policy for a day or even a few hours, add your event partner as an Additional Insured, and send them a PDF of your Certificate of Insurance right from the app. It’s that easy.