As a DJ, you have a few paths to choose. You can focus on private events, focus on bar/club events, focus on music production and remixes, or a combination of all these! The most money is in music production, of course. Who wouldn’t love to join the ranks of Calvin Harris or DJ Tiesto? Calvin Harris made $63 million in 2016, playing at events and of course working with superstars like Rihanna. DJ Tiesto made $38 million! Here is the Forbes list of highest paid DJs.
The next highest paid gigs go to private event DJs and bar DJs with a larger following. Many bar DJs are convinced that the steady money is in the bar events, because they need DJs, weekly. I can’t argue that this isn’t true, but with time and effort, you can also build your mobile DJ business to have steady, weekly events, too! Building a following (when you DJ for bars) and building your mobile business is actually similar in many ways. It all starts with marketing and research.
Marketing and Research
In order to build a following or build your mobile business, people have to know who you are and how much you charge. This means marketing and doing research. If you’re a bar DJ, research to find out how much the average rate of pay is for DJs who are already doing these gigs. If you agree to do the gigs for the average pay, you’ll get booked. Of course bars want results (money), so you’ll need to market to bring in your audience and build a following. People want to go where people are! You can be an amazing DJ, but if only 20 people show up to see you, bars won’t keep you around.
For bar DJs, marketing means creating ads and flyers that look great and catch people’s attention. If you have to hire a graphic designer to create a flyer or ad for your events, do so. Every ad represents you as a DJ, so it needs to look great. Place your ads on social media and anywhere else your target audience may be. Facebook ads are cheap and very effective! I built up a regular bar gig that went from 30 people to over 700 people per night, in just a few months with Facebook and relationship marketing, which I will discuss next week.
For mobile DJs, it’s the same. Do your research and find out what others are charging for their services. Set your rates similarly and start collecting reviews! Make a great website, and NOT a free website! Take the time to invest a little in a good website and hire a pro, if needed. Put lots of great, professional pictures on your site, showing people having a great time with your business. Hint: people don’t care to see your DJ setup. To the average person, they all look the same. They want to see other brides, grooms and people having a great time with your service. They will picture themselves as that person. Pictures count, a lot!
Next, make quality ads and place them where your target audience may be. This may also mean having accounts on wedding websites in addition to social media. People can’t book you if they don’t know about you! With private events, you need social proof with reviews and social media. People want to book with those who have a great reputation of doing their job well. The better your reputation, the more you can charge!
This is part 1 of my series. Stay tuned for part 2, coming next week!