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    Categories: Event DJ TipsLighting for Mobile DJsMobile DJ BusinessMobile DJ EquipmentMobile DJ Sales & Marketing

How important is your gear to your client?

A recent Facebook post in a busy DJ group prompted me to examine the question “How important is my gear to my client?” In said post, the DJ in question swore up and down that the new column array speakers (such as the EV Evolve 50s) make a DJ seem less professional; that by using this type of speaker enclosure they weren’t delivering a “big enough” product to their client and they would be perceived as less valuable.

How many times have you heard this on the web? Probably too many.

So let’s be real for a second; how much does the specific equipment you use matter to your client? In my opinion, not a whole lot. Let me explain.

For years I sold my services on the equipment I owned. “Awesome sound system!” and “Great light show!” were common phrases in my sales consultations. In those days, I booked maybe 1 out of every 5 calls or meetings that I had. As I’d describe my cool new gear to brides and grooms, their eyes would begin to gloss over and they would politely nod as I excitedly spilled my guts on just how epic my speakers and lights were. And then I’d ask for the sale and get denied.

Over the last year, I’ve changed course. After studying and learning from some of the greatest minds in the industry, I came to the realization that I was the best product I could sell. Not my speakers, not my lights, not my clean cables; ME. Not only me, but the experience that I delivered that was packaged with myself. The gear we use is simply a means to an end. It serves to supplement our professional talents, habits, and appearance.  The equipment we use are our tools, and no one hires a handyman for the brand or shape of his hammer. 

Our equipment is simply the tool we use to create our product.

Looking back over the hundreds of consultations I have been apart of, I can’t recall a single time a bride has asked for the model of my speakers, the peak wattage, or the projection angle of my gobos. Why? Because your clients are far more concerned about the end product you will provide than the means you will provide it with. I would rather my client testimonials read “Our night was absolutely unforgettable!” than “He had a cool setup!”

Coming to this realization was so freeing. Instead of constantly talking about my fog machines and lasers (which is what the majority of DJs are doing), I simply spoke about reducing the stress on their wedding day. I sold off gear I didn’t need that was overkill for the events I was doing. Don’t get me wrong; a DJ should still always have professional and reliable equipment. But maybe the bride for that small wedding would be just fine with a pair of speakers, a simple light show and a one of a kind experience (instead of the dual 18″ subs and 16′ of effect lights).

I’ve simplified and reduced my set up and preparation time. I’ve spent my money and time smartly on training and education, which are the things that have truly transformed my business. Since doing so, the number of events I do and the price I command for each one has increased many times over.

Jordan Nelson (46 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.


Jordan Nelson :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.

View Comments (5)

  • i think you’re right in that you can’t sell light and sound very well with words.
    you can make a night to remember with sound a d light even if people don’t realize that was such a key component of the evening.
    i do make the mistakes you mentioned which probably explains why most of my clients are grooms instead of brides.
    thanks for the rethink.

  • The equipment is very important to the client cause crappy equipment crappy sound and under par service . I don't own top of the line but I don't own junk either my equipment is very reliable and my sound above par I dj'd for 3 yrs and a sound engineer for over 13 yrs so I know what sounds good and I know how to achieve it also .

  • Completely correct that you should see yourself rather than your gear. However, it should be a given that your gear is professional and very smart looking. Just how professional and smart looking is up to you. My experience suggests the smarter the better. Despite what everyone might tell you, the clients DO notice. Particularly if it's very smart or very scruffy.

  • +1 here for "its the person, and not the equipment". For 32 years, I've been a DJ in the DFW area. And only a handful of times did any client ask specifically what type of equipment I use.

    I think maybe William is referring to "brand" more than "quality" of equipment. Its a prestige, a perception thing. In the end, it matters more to the DJ, than the client. I tend not to spend a fortune on gear, especially for mobile use. That stuff takes a beating.

    If anyone is interested in my setup at an event, its usually an off-duty DJ, more often than not. And lets face it, this industry is highly competitive, and breeds a ton of unnecessary envy and contempt.

    Me? I usually cover the logos on my equipment, anyway. Plus, in the dark, no one can tell what I use. Especially the client.

  • Grooms like to hear a little bit about gear but only to enhance the night and that everything works properly. Brides like to hear about a worry free night and want to know about everyone is having a great time.