R-E-S-P-E-C-T BY: Paul Kida

January 1, 2012 by Paul Kida


The disc jockey profession is one that requires much of us. This is due to one simple fact: We are constantly in the public eye. We deal with people, not only on an individual basis, but also in an exposed environment at our events. Because we operate in such a ?fish bowl? it is imperative that we are always on our best behavior. There are many different qualities that we should display throughout an entire event, from load-in to load-out; but one of the most important things we should demonstrate at all times is respect. Showing proper respect entails treating others with consideration, holding them in high regard, giving due honor and esteem, as well as showing common courtesy to those that we deal with, both in business and during our performances. CLIENTS The first people that we deal with directly are our clients. After you have booked someone?s event, do you show them the proper respect? Specifically, you might ask yourself: Am I as prompt in returning phone calls and emails after I book the event as I was while I was in the process of booking?

147-138 Do I respond just as quickly and politely when I have a client who is very demanding or one who seems to be asking a lot advice on trivial matters way in advance of the date? These may seem like insignificant details, but the answers to these questions tell us if we are truly being respectful or not. We have all dealt with so-called “Bridezillas” and other clients who are a difficult to work with, at one time or another. Obviously it is more difficult to show the proper respect to this kind of client. You may not agree with certain decisions that are being made at all. However, remember that it is the client’s event, NOT yours. In dealing with such clients, be tactful in offering your professional opinion and let them know how you have seen certain situations work, as well as some that did not work…but never let yourself get pushy or arrogant! Never let yourself project that “I know better” attitude, no matter how crazy the request may seem to be. By holding the client’s ideas in proper esteem, you will keep them happy, as well as show respect. You may even get them to change their mind about something that you know will not work well by keeping this attitude. VENDORS How about our dealings with other vendors that we work with? Do we show them respect by holding their part of the event in high regard? Each and every vendor that we work with views their part in any particular event as being highly significant to the success of the evening. When it comes to what makes the event, the caterers think it is the food, the decorator thinks it is the atmosphere, the florist thinks it is the beautiful flower arrangements, and so on. It is easy for us all to minimize the importance of the other vendors. It’s also easy for us to develop the attitude that we are the most important component of any party and just dismiss the contribution of the other vendors. After all, it definitely is the DJ, the music and the packed dance floor that is the most important, right? While it is true that our performance is vital to the success of any event, the absolute truth is that it takes the combined effort of each type of vendor to make a complete success of the event. The client has chosen each vendor because they have a certain idea of how they want the event to look, taste, flow, etc., so it takes all of us to make this vision Paul Kida, The DJ Coach, is a founding member of the Colorado Disc Jockey Association. He owns JAMMCATTS DJ Entertainment (www.jammcattsdj. com), and is a regular speaker at Mobile Beat DJ Shows. come true. Therefore, you would never want it to get back to your client that you were condescending, rude or uncooperative with any other vendor at any function. This kind of attitude is not showing respect at all for others. It doesn?t really matter if the other vendors show us this kind of respect or not, we will feel better about ourselves if we do this, and other people working there will notice it also. OTHER ENTERTAINERS How about our fellow DJs? Do we demonstrate respect and courtesy to our bothers/sisters in music? You may ask, “Why in the world should I show them respect when they are competing with me for business?” Well, there is one very important reason. Many people still view the disc jockey business as a fragmented commodity rather than a group of solid businessmen and businesswomen. We can do a lot to help correct this notion by giving due respect to our fellow DJs. Never bad mouth or degrade another DJ. We all know that there are fine, upstanding disc jockeys, as well as those whose ethics and performances leave something to be desired. However, instead of dishonoring and belittling those who we know to be inferior as performers, simply say nothing at all. If asked for your opinion of a certain company, just tactfully say that you have certain standards and/or ways of conducting your business that they may not meet up to. This is much better than just coming out and saying that their company is terrible and does a lousy job! By respectfully viewing other DJs as assets to the community instead of just looking at them as competitors, we help bridge the gap and build stronger relationships with one another, as well as strengthen our industry. I will give you an example of a situation that happened to me. Years ago, when I moved to Colorado from Connecticut, I settled into a small town, joined the local Chamber of Commerce and started building my company again. I was the only DJ in the chamber and was actually doing quite well. Then another DJ moved into town, got a huge write-up in the local paper, and I was left thinking, “Great! This is all I need! Now I have to deal with competition!” However, I quickly recovered and instead said to myself, “That’s stupid thinking. There is plenty of work for us both!” I now consider that DJ one of my closest friends! We have referred jobs back and forth when we were booked up and helped each other out on numerous occasions, both for work and personally. If I hadn?t changed my thinking back then, what a friendship I would have missed out on! (Thanks, Ray!) All in all, showing the proper respect to all people that we deal with will go a long way in creating an image of true professionalism. When clients, fellow vendors, and our DJ comrades sense that we respect them, it will most certainly help us stand out as the true professionals that we are. MB Please send any comments on this article or suggestions for future articles or questions to djcoach@mobilebeat.com.

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