Just The Tip

June 12, 2017 by Joe Bunn

Recently, Mike Walter and I talked about tips at events. Not tips for doing a better event, literally tips, like money! I thought it would make a good blog post for Mobile Beat, so let’s talk about tips! Also, please admit that the title of this blog post is amazing. Thank you. Moving on.

First things first, As a multi-op DJ company owner, please give your employees or subs 100% of their tips if they earn one. Yes, I get it. You did some of the work on the show, maybe sent the contract, procured the lead, paid the rent on the office space where they met, but I don’t really care…give them their tip. I can assure you that tip was for the night of and how awesome that DJ performed. Give it up! They will love you for that, and they won’t harbor resentment and eventually leave you to start their own thing.

Do you lobby for tips? I don’t mean literally walking up to a freshly married bride and groom with your palm out. There are other more subtle ways. For example, at the bottom of my contract is this exact verbiage, “*GRATUITY IS NOT INCLUDED IN THIS CONTRACT, HOWEVER, 10%-20% IS CUSTOMARY IF YOUR DJ DOES A GREAT JOB. DJs ARE EQUIPPED WITH CREDIT CARD “SWIPERS” IN CASE YOU WOULD LIKE TO GO OVERTIME OR TIP THEM.” Honestly, I think this helps some. Granted they usually get this contract way in advance of the actual show, but at least it plants the seed. We do a lot of pre-scheduling emails here. I feel like you could also send out a PDF of something like “Perfect Party Tips” or something like that and maybe mention tipping the DJ in that email or another pre-show email you send out. Finally, if you collect at the event (we don’t, we get paid the final balance 2 weeks in advance), you should make up a sheet that you hand the payer at the end of the night. Make it line items like 4 hour reception, uplighting, ceremony audio. Show each price, then show the amount of their deposit and finally their balance and even have a space where they can write in a tip. You could even go as far as restaurants do these days and literally spell out the amount under that line for a 15%, 20%, 25% tip! It works! Try it!

And finally, instead of branding your laptop with your DJ name or company name, write “Tipping is NOT a City in China” on the back…I’m joking, don’t do that. Good luck DJs!

Joe Bunn Joe Bunn (52 Posts)

Joe Bunn started his DJ career at the age of 14 in his hometown of Wilson, NC. He did shows all throughout high school, college at UNC-Chapel Hill, and eventually moved to Raleigh, NC in the late 90s where he started Bunn DJ Company. The company grew from a couple of DJs to 15 of the area’s best mobile DJs. Over the past few years, Bunn DJ Company has expanded to Charleston, SC, Charlotte, NC and Richmond, VA. The company performs at over 800 weddings a year and another 400 private, corporate and charity events. Joe has been on the board of both ILEA (International Live Events Assocation) and NACE (National Association of Catering & Events). In addition, he is a writer for many national DJ publications such as Disc Jockey News, Mobile Beat Magazine and DJ Times. Joe still DJs almost every weekend, but in recent years has been helping other DJs across the country grow their businesses. He has given seminars at Mobile Beat Las Vegas, Wedding MBA, DJ Times Expo, local/regional organizations, NC State and UNC-Chapel Hill. He has also been hired by DJs all over the world to help their businesses in every aspect from branding to sales.

Filed Under: Mobile DJ Business