How Much for a DJ?

By Elisabeth Scott Daley, WED®, ABC™, “A Passion for Performance”

This is the first question we are all asked when a potential client reaches out to us. The answer isn’t easy. Why? Because, simply put, we are dealing with intangibles. Yes, we all have music. Yes, we all have speakers. Yes, we all make announcements…but the results are very different depending upon who brings the music, the gear and makes the announcements.

The talent level between DJ entertainers is quite diverse, and therefore the different pricing structures is enough to make any bride’s head spin.

This article isn’t about price fixing. It’s about charging what you are worth. If you are just having fun and want free beer, have at it! If you just love music and enjoy helping out friends and family for a few hundred bucks, have at it. I’m not addressing you.

My message here is to those who either promise that they can deliver everything the expensive companies do at a fraction of the price, and then absolutely FAIL to deliver and those who have the talent to deliver, but practically give their service and their gear away for free! Both are wrong and both are really hurting the DJ industry.

The Great Pretenders

Just because you play song requests does not mean you have customized a wedding. Having an online planning form, or worse – a printed planning form with illegible writing does not constitute a comprehensive agenda. Pulling prose from a couple’s wedding website about how they met and reading

it at the wedding IS NOT delivering a “Love Story”! And finally, spouting a family tree dissection or giving biographical information about the wedding party IS NOT a personalized Grand Entrance.

If you are promising deliverables with catchy titles just because the expensive companies use these same words, you are doing your clients a disservice. Stop selling a service that you are not delivering!

Diamonds in the Rough

You’re talented. You love music. You give great customer service. You deliver a great product and your clients love you. Why wouldn’t they?

You give them your talent, your time and tons of free upgrades. Stop it! Your time is worth more and you are worth more! Stop giving things away! If you have close to a perfect score on Wedding Wire, and if you close practically every sales meeting, you are giving away the store and leaving money on the table. Charge what you are worth, and it’s probably more than you think.

The Real Deal

You know who you are. You have talent. You have skill, and your clients absolutely love you and they happily paid you what you are worth…some of them even changed their wedding date to make sure that YOU were their DJ.

You are creative, you offer personalized service and you are committed to excellence. Why? Because this is your job and you love it – and it shows at every wedding. You are the true leaders in our industry. You are the ones who keep redefining what a fun wedding reception could be, and should be! Thank You!

In Closing: Be honest with yourselves and with your customers and make sure that what you are selling is what you are delivering and make sure the price you charge represents accordingly!

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