By Dave Ternier, Guest Writer
Your willingness to be an amazing team player plays a bigger role in the success and longevity of your DJ career than you might realize. Part of what defines some of the most successful and sought after mobile DJs is their willingness to be an amazing team player (even if at times, it might feel like they’re the only “team” player). In fact not only are they team players, they are very proactive team players.
The reasons for becoming a proactive team player are endless. You will enjoy more successful events, things will run smoother, your clients will experience less stress and if you do everything right, you will also get more referrals. And as a bonus, you might even discover new friendships in the process.
Being a team player is relatively easy. Be nice, get along well with each other at the event, don’t upset each other (DJs vs. Photographers… be nice!), etc. But becoming a proactive team player is the real game changer. How “proactive” you push yourself to be is entirely up to you.
When it comes to every wedding that I am involved in, 4 – 6 months before the event, I send a file to my bride and groom requesting that they fill in the blanks with contact info (phone AND email) for everyone listed within it. Listed in that file are their parents, wedding party members, all hired vendors (venue, photographer, cake maker, decor, etc.) as well as the names of siblings not in the wedding party, grandparents, ring bearer and flower girl. With this information, I am able to contact each vendor or individual so that we have been introduced before the wedding and are both on the same page when the big day arrives.
My personal definition of being proactive begins with a simple e-mail to other key vendors. The following is a sample email I might send to a videographer that I have not worked with before:
“Hi Sean, I just wanted to drop you a quick note to say “Hello!” My name is Dave Ternier and I am a Wedding Entertainment Director who will be filling the role of Master of Ceremonies and Disc Jockey for Matthew and Jillian’s upcoming wedding. Matthew, Jillian and I met last week, and it looks like it is going to be a really great day and evening — complete with a few really fun, unexpected surprises!
I don’t think that we’ve ever met or had the pleasure of working together, but I look forward to meeting you in person and hopefully exchanging some great conversation with you.
Something that I neglected to ask Matthew and Jillian earlier was, how long you are going to be with them for that day? Are you going to be at the reception as well and until what time? I want to ensure that we’ve got all of the moments they want you to capture completed by the time you have to head out.
And by the way, do you have a Facebook page for your videography business that I can connect with?
Thanks so much, talk to you soon!”
In order to get a conversation going with this videographer, there are some key elements in this email that I’ve strategically placed to generate a response from him. My goal is to create dialogue. For each and every event I am involved with, this is how I define becoming a proactive team player.
In the email, I’ve asked him what time he’ll be with the couple that day. I likely already know (from the wedding couple, but it’s always good to confirm) but it’s probably an easy question for him and it provides him an opportunity to respond. Then there is the mention of his Facebook page. Most of the time I would have already searched out his Facebook page, but the reason for this question is still important. Again, it is a very easy question to answer and one that he WANTS to answer because I’ve basically offered to “like” his page and work.
Why? Why all of this dialogue? Because I want to create conversation. Without a conversation, there is no “team.”
After his reply to me, I’ll also mention that I have an auxiliary audio cord pre-connected to my mixer for the purpose of providing videographers with sound from my system. I’ll also mention that he should expect an agenda outline the week of the wedding so that he has an idea what will be happening when. I also provide the opportunity to discuss any specific time requirements he might need in order to do his job most effectively.
You should see the responses I get from wedding vendors that have never heard from “the DJ” before an event with such detail and willingness to be a team player. It is so great to see them positively respond in a way you know they never have before.
Be a proactive team player. Step outside the box of what you’re “supposed to do” and start doing (often simple) things that will blow people away. Not only will the event likely run smoother and achieve a higher level of success, you might just get another wedding vendor referring your services because of how great you were. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?
Based in Manitoba, Canada, Wedding Entertainment Director® Dave Ternier is a single operator mobile DJ & MC for his company, Special Request Weddings. He is also the host and primary author of aDJthought.com, an industry blog focused exclusively on mobile wedding DJs.