-written by David Pickett, owner of A 2 Z DJ Service in Memphis, Tenn.
I knew I couldn’t stop at only 3 rules on how to be a professional DJ. Being visible is more about building relationships than just advertising you’re ‘out there’ in front of customers. Being visible not only builds direct sales, but also word-of-mouth, which accounts for a small but loyal part of my business. Read on for helpful tips that will increase your visibility.
Volunteer your services at local schools, fundraisers, charity events and anywhere else you can get music going and pass out business cards or flyers. For example, I DJ my local Neighborhood Watch block party — the crowd loves it, I love it, it’s a win/win situation. Be sure and get a nice looking banner or sign to have on display and get some business cards (more on this in a moment).
Don’t use a free program on the web — do it right. If you want to stand out, you have to look less like the cookie-cutter DJ websites out there. Everyone, especially brides (who are the highest paying customers), loves a well-designed website. The website should match your image: clean, professional, and confident.
Business Cards and Flyers
If you want to save money, VistaPrint is the way to go. However, their style can look a bit “cookie cutter.” They are my business card provider, but I’m starting to see a lot of people with cards like mine so I will probably move to a local printer very shortly. Whatever you do, if you must do it yourself, please don’t use perforated inkjet cards because they look cheap and unprofessional.
Leave Information at Vendor Businesses
Don’t leave them without getting face time with the manager first. Try and build a relationship with them if you can because they’ll remember that. Leave about 10 or so and stay in touch with them every month.
Get a Google Ad
I could do a whole post on Google alone. If you have allotted money in your budget, consider taking out an ad on Google. It puts you in front of a lot potential customers. Sure, there are a lot of folks wanting a five-hour kid’s birthday party for $150, but there’s also savvy, well-paying clientele that will hire a true pro (and they use Google).
Free DJ Search Engines
WeddingWire is the bridal leader and WeDJ.com is the leader for every other kind of event, though I’ve gotten a lot of weddings from there too. If you can afford it, buy at least a bronze membership for wedj.com. It’s cheap and makes you even more visible, which is what this is all about, right? There’s a lot of other sites — try to get on them all. It’s free and you never know.
Get a table at a bridal show. The ROI on a bridal show is half luck and half chance. However, you’re getting your name out to a lot of potential customers packed into a small area. I’ll do a whole post on bridal shows later – but seriously consider investing the capital ($250-$1000) to do a show regularly if you can. Chances are you’ll book a bride (or two) to cover the investment. It’s good experience, helps you find how who your competition is, and helps you sharpen your people skills as well as dealing with customers face-to-face.
Join a Club
Not a fitness one. Find your local chapter of the ADJA (or other DJ group committed to professionalism) and join. It helps build relationships with other DJs (referrals!) and helps advertise to your customers that you are striving to be a competent professional. One of my buddies is an officer in his ADJA chapter and it’s a great feather in his cap when advertising his services. If DJ groups aren’t your thing, then get involved in a public group about anything that you’re passionate about.
Keep Your Business Facebook Page Regularly Updated
Yes, you need one. Keep the content coming on about a weekly basis – even if nobody is “liking” your page or single post. Facebook is starting to be a steady source of business for me so I feed that garden well with content about various things that I get geeky about as well as event photos and the occasional review. Have a look for yourself. The jury is still out on whether doing ads on Facebook is a good ROI. Personally, I haven’t got much luck with it — lots of “likes”, but no luck.
Now get out there and “expose” yourself!