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The Pursuit Of The Right Price



 I want more DJ work!!

 Dennis Hampson

As a consultant, one of the most frequent questions I am asked by professional disc jockeys at just about every DJ conference, cocktail party and trade show is "How can I get more DJ work?"   I tell them there is no simple answer for a complicated question but there are some very basic ideas you can adopt that will increase your booking prospects.

If you are a DJ service or agency, you certainly must adopt a short and long term "strategy" to keep functions coming in for you and your staff of DJs.  Most successful DJ services learned this very early in the business process but there are still a large number of DJ services barely "hanging on" and trying to survive on what they "get" rather than go after what they "need". There has been a number of articles published in magazines and trade show presentations and seminars on this topic, but still for a large number of DJ services it hasn't really "sunk in" yet.   You MUST have a plan.  I won't say you "should" have a plan... I say you MUST have a plan, especially if you are a "business" with employees and responsibilities to family et al.   Before you can figure out "how" to get somewhere, you have to know  "where" you are going.  The "plan" helps you to clarify what it is you actually "want" and "need" to achieve to survive as a business and succeed as a business owner. 

When Ron Finlay and I discussed the Matrix DJ home-study course recently, we agreed on many things and disagreed on others.  One thing we strongly agreed on was the necessity of a marketing and sales strategy for any business, and particularly a DJ service business.  We discussed how much money should be spent on such a plan, and how to measure "return" on investment.  How do you calculate how much money you will make and how many bookings you will need to reach the goal.  It's fairly simple actually but you do need to train and learn and more important "develop the discipline" of developing and following a "plan".  My advice is simple... attend the DJ shows, pick up every idea you can on how to improve your show.   Then learn how to market and sell what you have.  If you don't know how to "promote" and "sell" your show, you are just going to be a "warehouse" for your DJ equipment.  Take some courses and training on this.  Take a college course on marketing or sales.  Such training will all give you a tremendous return in both knowledge and experience, and yes... even money.

If you are an "individual" who is just looking for some extra "hobby" work you are likely prepared to spend money on promotion unless it's direct.   For those who only need one booking per week to fill your schedule, you must remember the three "I's".   These are Ideas, Initiative and Individuality.   As a professional DJ you are selling your "ideas" as much as your music.  How are you going to make this function "special" for the bride and groom?  What different  "ideas" do you have for fund raising, class reunions, anniversaries and other functions that will help make this type of function a success for the client. Sell your ideas.   Second, you have to use "initiative" in getting your name out there.  Tap into friends and acquaintances, include your business card in every "bill" you pay each month.  There are many different and varied ways to let people know you are actually a professional DJ.  Carry business cards with you all the time.  With only you to provide service as an individual DJ you really don't need to work too hard to get a booking per week!    Finally, when selling yourself, sell the "individuality" of your service.  In other words, sell the "differences" (i.e. benefits) in using you as opposed to the other person.  Emphasize your "experience" and personal service. Your approach to the function such as your pre-meeting, party plan schedule, confidence call and other policies are important if they put distance between you and your closest competitor.  Market the "differences" not the "similarities " between you and the other DJs. 

If you are becoming frustrated in finding more work, then start to learn more about the "hows" of successful marketing and promotion from those DJs you network with.  Make a point of attending the DJ shows and conferences, and pick the brains of those DJs who are successful.  I find most of the DJs who attend these shows are more than willing to share their ideas and methods of success with you.  Take a college course on marketing or join one of the local or national DJ associations and start working and learning "smart".   It will make a world of difference for you.

Dennis Hampson is the co-author of "Spinnin'2000, The Ultimate Guide to Fun and Profit as a Mobile DJ" and author of "How to Become a Mobile DJ Entertainer". He was a consulting member during the formation of all three National DJ associations in the U.S.A. (ADJA, NAME and USMEA) as well as a Past National President, Executive Director and currently an Honorary Life member of the CDJA.


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