-written by Jeremy Ruffner,
owner of DJ Sonic Sounds, an entertainment business in Clearfield, Pa.
After 12-plus years in the mobile DJ business I’ve learned a few tricks when it comes to working as part-time DJ. Let’s talk a little about the newbie DJ, because we all have to start somewhere – right? My business focuses on weddings. All DJs know weddings pay best! Trust me, if you’re new to the business you’ve got to pay your dues and play at bars and clubs. One of the worst mistakes made by new DJs is to try to skip the bar scene. After 12 years I still play them.
Playing the bars and clubs is great practice for new DJs. Chances are if you are new to the mobile DJ business you have an array of equipment. You’ve probably hooked it up in your basement or garage a couple of times and maybe played a friend’s birthday party. You’ve discovered you don’t have nearly the amount of music you need, and it takes you an hour to set it all up. I was there! But, this practice will either make you, or break you! Take this opportunity also to work some deals with bar owners. Find out what DJs in your market are charging for a night. Pick an off night, when a bar may not have entertainment. Offer to play at a discounted rate. Keep in mind however not to undercut your competition. Believe it or not, these guys will help you out, but not if you throw them under the bus. Besides the practice, playing at bars and clubs is also a great way to advertise your new business. Remember that the best form of advertising is word of mouth. Best part – it’s free!
Lastly, chances are you’ve already invested a pile of money into equipment. You have speakers, amps, processing and wireless microphones. But don’t forget a great mobile DJ entertains both audibly and visually. What does this mean? This means you could be a great DJ; you could eventually be the best in your market. But image is everything! Don’t forget to light it up! CHAUVET® offers a huge line of affordable solutions for the mobile DJ. Lights like the Mega Moon are among my favorites. This light not only is easy to set up, its lightweight design, wide coverage and awesome output makes it perfect for the mobile DJ. I combine two Mega Moon lights with the 4BAR light system for a compact, yet ultra effective and inexpensive light show. It’s not going to happen overnight, but with a little hard work, patience and mostly practice you can make it in the mobile DJ business.