Crossing the “Mid-Priced Threshold”

October 31, 2018 by Jordan Nelson

When I first moved to Salt Lake City from my small hometown 3 years ago, I wasn’t charging very much as a DJ. In fact, I was trying so hard to fill my calendar that I was taking every event I could at whatever price I could negotiate for. As you can imagine, I was underpaid and overworked. I was also determined to improve my company (and my meager income), and so I began a year and a half long experiment in raising my prices. The strangest thing happened, however – an unexpected trend in the amount of success I had closing my sales that I now call the “Mid-Priced Threshold.”

You see, I was booking weddings in the $300-$500 range when I first arrived in this new city. I raised my prices incrementally, by about $100 or $200 every couple of months. As expected, I experienced an initial dip in my sales as my prices increased. When I reached the $700-$900 dollar range, I was having a much harder time closing my sales. More and more clients were going back and forth between my company and others, and it felt like whether or not they chose me was completely random at times. I continued upward, and that’s when I first noticed a change in the trend. Once I reached about $1,200-$1,500 for a wedding, my number of closed sales stabilized. Fewer people sat down for a sales call that would end up dragging their feet or disappearing at the last second. I had crossed what I now consider the Mid-Priced Threshold.

You see, the people who look for a low priced DJ normally understand what their getting; usually someone new, less experienced, or someone who for one reason or another doesn’t understand their worth. Those who are booking higher-end DJs also have an understanding of what their getting; professionalism, polished presentation, and enthusiasm for their work. The middle-priced DJ, however, is a gray area. A wild-west type scenario where it becomes much more difficult to differentiate between the level of service offered by various DJs. When people hear that your wedding services are significantly above your market average, say $2,000, they stop and go “Wow, he must be doing something different. How can he be so much money? This is definitely catching my interest.” But when the majority of DJs are charging in the $700-$1000 range, it’s easier to blend into the crowd. Even if you’re going above and beyond and promising the world, does it really mean that much to them if they’re getting the same quote from you that they are from every other DJ? Choosing to make the leap from “average” pricing to “high-end” pricing is a scary jump to make, but it’s one that is worth it.

You know better than I what the “average” DJ charges in your area. Find out what that range is and become determined to exceed it. Push yourself to develop the talents and skills (and acquire the equipment) necessary to elevate your business above theirs, and then set your prices to a level far enough above theirs that it makes people stop and think “I wonder why he charges that?” Be someone that stands out!

Jordan Nelson Jordan Nelson (75 Posts)

Jordan Nelson is the owner of SLC Mobile DJ in Salt Lake City, UT. A native of the tiny southern Utah town of St. George, Jordan began his mobile DJ journey as a junior in high school. After traveling to Salt Lake to attend the University of Utah, Jordan completely revamped his business and invested heavily in sales and master of ceremonies training, turning his $400/event company into a $1,500/event company in under a year at 22 years old. Jordan developed a strong passion for lighting and lighting programming during his early DJ years and has written 2 books for mobile DJs on the subjects. When he is not spending his weekends at weddings and events, you can find him at the local gun range or hiking with his beautiful wife.


Filed Under: Mobile DJ Business, Mobile DJ Career Development