Stephen J Clayton


Stephen J Clayton

Steve Clayton has been working with event professionals for over 16 years teaching, mentoring and consulting with them to help them get more out of their event business. Originally beginning his event career as a mobile entertainer, DJ, and manager, Steve has transformed his business into a full service event management and production company. His companies specialize in full service production, technology, consulting, and talent buying. Over the past 13 years, Steve’s companies have worked with clients such as the Rose Bowl, USC Football, The Holiday Bowl, Time Warner Cable, Hyatt Hotels, Chalice Festival, High Times, and The Neighborhood Awards. Steve and his team have been blessed to work and handle major talent artists. Steve has worked or purchased talent from Lo Cash and Frakie Ballard to Comedians Steve Harvey, and Wayans Brothers. And rappers from Dougie Fresh, B.O.B and Robin Thicke to Lil Wayne, Wu Tang Clan and Machine Gun Kelly. Steve has owned companies manufacturing and selling lighting products to companies to writing and teaching classes for University of San Diego. Steve’s current companies include Soundskilz and The Event Inventor. Steve currently teaches event management, marketing and technology classes at UC Riverside.




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Networking Beyond Mixers

August 21, 2017 by Stephen J Clayton
We’ve allllll been there; we want to make connections and create meaningful relationships within our industry, but we don’t know where to start. So we go to mixers and various networking events. If you’re new to business, you’re probably feeling a whole lot of anxiety and nervousness before walking into that mixer. If mixers aren’t your cup of tea, that’s ok! There are other ways to make long lasting meaningful connections that go beyond handing out your business card.
  1. Attend seminars: Seminars are a great alternative to mixers because not only are you going to be learning valuable inf... [read more]
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Show Off Your Brand Without “Selling”

August 16, 2017 by Stephen J Clayton
In 2016 big companies budgeted $570 million marketing to Instagram’s biggest social influencers. This includes ongoing ambassadorships, brand reviews, sponsored posts, mentions, event coverage, and more. The world of marketing and branding has done a complete 180 in the recent years, as “social media influencer” wouldn’t even have been a term or label for a person 10 years ago. Social platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, and Snapchat have been home to regular people that become famous showing their daily lives and develop cult like fan bases. These fan bases will seemingly buy anything these social influencers post o... [read more]
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Know When to Use Your Own Equipment or Subrent

August 11, 2017 by Stephen J Clayton
Your business is growing and you suddenly have more events than equipment! This is the best problem to have, because it might be a telling sign that it’s time to kick it up a notch in your business. Maybe it’s time to go full time if you already haven’t (check out earlier blogs to find out if it’s the right time for you), maybe you should invest in more inventory, or maybe you’re in the starting phases of your business and investing in more equipment wouldn’t be the smartest financial choice. That’s ok! Luckily, there are tons of companies that you can sub-rent equipment from. There are certain events that will... [read more]
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Why You Should Be Sub-Renting

June 12, 2017 by Stephen J Clayton
In my last blog, I discussed how to identify which equipment is smart for you invest in and how sub-renting that equipment can help supplement your income. But what exactly is sub-renting and why do we talk about it so much? Today I will be breaking down what sub-renting is and how it can be beneficial to everyone, from beginning DJ’s to fully staffed production companies. Sub-renting is when one company rents equipment from a colleague or competitor company to facilitate a client's request. Why is it smart to sub-rent our equipment? Sub-renting makes a smart decision when you don’t have the upfront capital to invest in the necessary equipment needed to facilitate a client’s request.  Or, maybe you don’t have enough confirmed events or rentals on the books to justify spending the upfront ... [read more]
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Investing In the Right Equipment

June 2, 2017 by Stephen J Clayton
At the start of any new business venture, there is going to be risk. Financially (and not to mention mentally). Especially when diving into the competitive entertainment industry.  There’s always pressure to be the most advanced, have the newest equipment, the coolest set up… Technology changes so fast and it’s overwhelming and discouraging to many new young entrepreneur's. In this blog I’m going to help you to identify what trends in equipment and branding are worth your investment. First, what does your existing customer base look like?  It’s safe to assume that the equipment you’re using for your existing customer base is in demand, since they already hired you once and understand what it is you read more]
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Staying On Top of Your Business After Transitioning to Full Time

May 5, 2017 by Stephen J Clayton
Congratulations! You just made the transition from part time DJ, to full time DJ! You have chosen to take on your business full throttle and invest in yourself. In this blog, we will discuss a few tips on how to make sure you're able to keep your full time status. These are just a few key ways to stay on top of your business!
  1. Make sure your website is ALWAYS up to date! Keep your site updated with your recent work. Include photos, videos, anything that shows your crowd having a good time! You can even incorporate blogs, thus eventually leading to another stream of income from ads if you stick to ... [read more]
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Should I Go Full Time? Pt. 3

April 13, 2017 by Stephen J Clayton
Welcome back to Part 3 of “Should I Go Full Time?” series. If you haven’t read Part 1 or 2, make sure you’re caught up before proceeding to Part 3! In Part 1, we asked ourselves the question “Is THIS the right time? How do I know if this is the right time?” and in Part 2 we went through 4 questions that should help you determine whether you have the necessary equipment and consistent gigs to help you make the decision to go full time. Now, we will talk about how to keep your full time status, and tips to prevent you from having to retreat back to part time to supplement your income.
  1. Staying visible. Be open to smaller jobs! Smaller jobs more often than not lead to bigger jobs. This will prove that you’re willing to go above and beyond to work with your client, and that it... [read more]
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Should I Go Full Time? Pt. 2

April 5, 2017 by Stephen J Clayton
Welcome back "Should I Go Full Time?" The series. Last week we talked about the "feeling" you get when you start to desire going full time. In this post we'll ask 5 questions that you will help you determine if it's "time" to go full time DJ. Obviously making the move from part time to full time DJ has a lot to do with your mindset, to begin. Are you mentally ready to take on full financial responsibility working for yourself? My basketball coach, John Masi at UC Riverside used to say, “you can’t be Mental Midgets”.  You have to be tough enough in your minds to overcome the obstacles in front of you. If you already have dou... [read more]
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Should I Go Full Time? Pt. 1

March 30, 2017 by Stephen J Clayton
Welcome to Part 1 of "Should I Go Full Time?" The Series. In this series, we'll ask the necessary questions to really know if you are ready to invest in your business full time! Making the leap from part timer to a full time profession as a DJ can be the scariest decision of your life. So when is the right “time”? So many people ask me this and ask when is it that you knew you could leave your full time job?  My answer was this……. I was always a full timer.  To be honest, I had 4 full time jobs.  Husband/Father, school to get my Master’s Degree, teacher and entrepreneur.  I say that all are full time because my... [read more]
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Your Reputation Is Everything Part 3

March 20, 2017 by Stephen J Clayton
Welcome to the 3rd and final part of “Your Reputation is Everything!” Series! So far we have covered some of the basics on why having a good reputation is important, and how to set the foundation for a long lasting client relationship from the very beginning. Now we will discuss out of the box ways to to maintain client relationships! Yes, an email follow up after the event you worked is always a good idea. But let’s go deeper! There are so many different kinds of activities and fun gestures you can do for your clients that will make sure you are always first in their mind when it comes to their next event.
  1. Open House BBQ! If you just got new equipment that you’re dying to show off, consider throwing a BBQ and inviting current and past clients. It will encourage networking and you’l... [read more]