Artist of the day: DJ Short-e
Erik Mishiyev, a.k.a. DJ Short-e, has been an aspiring mogul since high school, when he got his first turntable. Since then, he’s DJ’ed at clubs around the world, interviewed celebrities like Trina, Pharell Williams and David Blaine, developed a network of nightlife websites and created a local-access TV program, The Short-e Show, that aired in the mid-2000s.
Building such a resume requires Mishiyev to maintain huge scrolls of business contacts, e-mail addresses, music mixes, VIP guest lists and more.
Mishiyev, 32, now splits his time between Tampa, New York and Miami, where he’s working on an updated version of The Short-e Show. We recently chatted about the technology he uses to build his brand — and perhaps someday an empire.
Step 1: Get connected: Networking is all about connections, and Mishiyev began making them at an early age. “Before there was the Internet, I was actually a computer nerd. I had my own Bulletin Board System, a BBS — I used to run a BBS as a high school kid with like three phone lines in my basement.” His website went up in 1996. “They’d see a section where they could put their e-mail address and click submit, and be part of my newsletter list. I’d build my list that way.” Today he estimates he has about 25,000 contacts, including e-mail addresses, cell numbers and social media. He uses an e-mail marketing service called Mad Mimi to keep his database intact.
Go direct with text: In New York, Miami and Tampa, Mishiyev has a collection of cell phone numbers that he can utilize for direct text-message alerts. When he’s in town for a gig, he can let hundreds of his friends know with a few simple thumbstrokes. “But you don’t want to be too annoying with it,” he says. “I don’t have 10,000 cell phone numbers — I just don’t talk to that many people. But you can pay for that stuff. I know promoters who pay for that stuff and do that. But I’m more personal when it comes to the cell phone thing.”
Watch and learn: These days, Mishiyev’s endgame is getting people to check out his YouTube channel, which is a source of revenue that enhances his brand. “I like to use the e-mail list to get my videos to go viral,” he says. “An event is great, but if you want to get a video out, it’s all basically by people clicking on the link, checking out the video, interacting, commenting, rating the video, sharing the video.” Over the years, he has calculated that for his videos to get optimal attention, the best time to send out a link is late in the week, around 7 p.m., so people on both coasts can check it out during prime surfing hours. His strategy seems to be working — Mishiyev’s YouTube videos get 5,000 hits a day, and have drawn more than 10 million views since 2006.
Creating playlists: “To this day I still would like to represent on the radio, or be syndicated nationally,” Mishiyev says. “That’s the goal.” To help him get there, he creates monthly Top 40 playlists for AOL Radio. When he’s in a club, though, his strategy is based on that night’s vibe. “A lot of times I’ll do what’s called open format — I’ll read the crowd, and based on my experience and keen eye and unique tastes for music, I’ll play something that’ll make everybody happy. But I tend to like to keep the ladies happy, primarily. As long as the girls are dancing, everybody’s happy.”
Managing it all: So how does Mishiyev manage his personal to-do list? Simple: A virtual assistant. “She’s in New York,” he says. “She has a spreadsheet where she keeps my booking log, my contacts, my promoter list, the different people we want to touch this coming year, some of our goals.” When he’s in a city for an extended period of time, he sometimes hires a temporary assistant who knows the scene. But it’s usually just someone young who wants experience. “I’m not P. Diddy yet,” he laughs. “I just can’t put people on a salary.”
-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*. Photo: Lucky-Star Photo.