DJ Pain Points — Tips for struggling event DJs

Never be afraid to look for help!

Hello! It’s us at UPlanIt again. This time we thought we’d delve into the pain points of a specific supplier — the DJ! Every wedding needs a good DJ — from making announcements, to playing music. Like any other good event vendor, you’ll have problems you need help solving, so the first lesson is:

Never be afraid to look for help!

Everyone’s been new at something and will have had a solution for a problem you’re thinking of; have a check on Quora, Reddit, Facebook groups, or even Google to find some of the answers you’re looking for, or resolve some of the problems you have. If you still can’t find it, here are a few tips to help you out with your DJ business.

Let’s kick things off with a portfolio. Now with your business being sound rather than visual, you’d think you wouldn’t need a portfolio. Maybe you think a contact in the yellow pages will do? Yes, the yellow pages still exists, albeit bigger on the internet than the one that used to get sent through your letterbox. Alternatively, you could have a social media page (Like Facebook) for easy contact, but free website builders may have caught your eye. Wix is starting to look more appealing day by day, a place to call your own, away from social media, a nice URL to put on your business cards — but even then, you need to have a portfolio. The human brain can process visual content like images and videos 60,000 times faster than text, making it more beneficial to your business overall to include a portfolio ( http://www.t-sciences.com/news/humans-process-visual-data-better). The more visually eye-catching, the more likely you are to increase your recognition.

“But where do I start?” I hear you ask. Well let’s start simple. Take a few photos of your equipment in an appropriate setting. Ask a local community centre if you can use their hall as a backdrop, it’ll look miles better than photos in your garage or living room (Unless your garage is kitted out to look like a DJ booth of course!). These days we can take amazing photos with our phones so you don’t even need an extravagant camera. Take a look at some free photo editing software to add some flair to your photos if you need to — maybe some dynamic black and white shots or some lens flare? Don’t go too overboard though, you want your potential customers to see that amazing gear you’ve got. After you’ve had a few bookings, you can add photos of the events you’ve worked at to go alongside reviews your customers will be leaving. It always helps to see a smile and someone dancing when you’re picking a DJ for your event. Alternatively, if you haven’t had any bookings yet, you can always find royalty free images on Google or Unsplash.com. Just remember to credit the user who uploaded the image to avoid any copyright issues and you’ll be grand.

Well, now that you’ve got that shiny new portfolio up and running, the customers will come rolling in to see your page and everything you offer! Before long you’ll be wondering how to manage your time around your bookings and work out how to sort your calendar. You’ll mostly be working in the afternoons or evenings until late, but don’t forget to include your set up time in your contract. Customers sometimes don’t realise how long it takes to set up the equipment, and this can lead to miscommunication later down the line. The first couple of bookings will be like baby steps along your journey to solidify your business, and you’ll learn a lot from your experiences in how to better manage your time in the future. Our advice is to keep a notebook or diary (or both!) and keep track of how things are going. It seems like obvious advice, but sometimes when you’re thinking of so many things, the obvious becomes elusive and you begin to wonder why you’re so overburdened. Keep a checklist of things to stay on top of, and if you’re freelancing while you grow your business, remember to prioritise yourself and your health first — you don’t want to exhaust yourself!

If you’re finding the work a little inconsistent, you could try branching out into more events. DJs are well sought after for weddings but also for engagement parties, birthday parties, kids parties and more. You’ll need to keep an eye on the playlists to make sure it’s all suitable for the target audience, but if it comes down to it, always go with what the customer says, rather than the customer’s guest. They aren’t the one paying you after all. Additionally, you could keep track of popular wedding times throughout the year, such as spring or autumn. Promote yourself through your page by adding posts about your work and relevant topics (e.g. ask your audience what they’re planning, research themed weddings and show your knowledge of music) and use the analytics of your page to see when people are responding. Is it the afternoon? The morning? See if you can find any pages or groups on social media having the same troubles and find out their solutions.

Finally, once you’ve got your website, your bookings, your kit sorted, you’ll need to work out a price. This one’s totally up to you — we recommend researching online to see what prices the competition has and what will cover your bases whilst also getting you a profit. Sometimes that can seem like a lot to your potential customers, so it may be worthwhile setting up a payment plan, and adding varied packages to cover what your customers can afford. You make set payment plans on your page/website for people to choose from, or otherwise make a quote judging from the information a customer has given you. It would be wise to take a deposit in case the payment plan falls through and you don’t get paid for your time, or if plans fall through and you’re no longer needed, you could refund the payments and keep the deposit, as a way to cover your expenses. It’s up to you to make the choice however — it’s your business after all.

That’s all the advice we have time for this week — we’ll see you next week with another post, full of energy and ready to tackle those pain points!

Good luck with your businesses all you DJs!

See you next week.

Facebook: UPlanIt / Twitter: @uplanit_online / Instagram: @uplanit_online

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