Do You Market Your Business Like a Box of Screws?

We Americans are literally awash in commercial advertising. This is just one of the facts of life in our capitalistic society. Because of this brand saturation, most of us would take notice if an ad didn’t look quite right. For instance, you’ll never see, “Six hour music concert for just $100.00!” or “We’ll feed your whole family a meal for just $20!”

These odd ads leave out the most important information: Who is performing the concert? What kind of food is being served? Someone might think that a C-note is a great deal if that six hour concert is performed by Bruce Springsteen or Dave Matthew’s but not so much if it’s being performed by a no-name local bar band. Similarly, if that $20 meal consists of steaks at Outback™, people might see that as a great value compared to a sack of burgers from McFastfood’s.

Why? Because the marketing for the former is focused on the NAME rather than the product. Dave Matthew’s product is music and the steak house’s product is food but it’s their name or what marketers call “branding” that conveys to their customers what they can expect. The perception is that their products have a higher quality and are therefore more valuable.

With some products, it makes sense to market them on price alone. For example, there are few people who could think of a brand name box of nails or clothes pins, so we usually buy these items based on the lowest cost.

What is Your Business Model?

So why do the vast majority of mobile DJs market themselves like a box of screws? Is Wal-Mart® your business model or is Bruce Springsteen?

When my partner and I started our DJ service, we knew we’d been hired not so much for our music, but for the on-the-mic chemistry that we had. The most frequent comment from both clients and our audience members was, “You guys crack me up!” Our marketing reflected this in our name: “Gary & Stu DJs.”

When Gary left the partnership, I kept “Stu” as an integral part of the business name and to this day, referrals are my best source of new clients. Yes, I still lose sales when people are looking for “just music” and aren’t familiar with me. My best strategy to “plug the leak” is to use references.

We learn about new bands and artists from friends who are fans. Our clients are our fans, so be sure to send them plenty of your business cards after a gig. Ask them to fill out a satisfaction survey so that you can show it off to your prospective new customers. And don’t be shy about asking for a written or video testimonial to use on your website and in your marketing materials.

Make keeping in contact with past clients a priority because a happy client beats expensive advertising hands-down. And always, ALWAYS, make the focus of your marketing on the one thing your business has that nobody else does: YOU!

Stu Chisholm – “The Complete Disc Jockey”

Stu Chisholm of “Stu & His Crew Professional Disc Jockey Service” in Michigan, has has worked in several areas of the DJ Universe. He’s been a radio, mobile, club and roller skating rink DJ in the Detroit area since 1979, and done commercial voice-over work, as well. Stu has been a keynote and featured speaker at DJ trade shows in the U.S., Mexico and Canada. He is the author of the book, “The Complete Disc Jockey” and is a regular columnist with Mobile Beat Magazine. To contact him, email Stu’s book is available at