By Neil Smith – The Dandy DJ
If you’re a one person operation and selling different levels of service for different prices, stop it! Stop it now! You should be selling THE WHOLE ENCHILADA!
I see it all the time. DJs who are solo (not multi-ops) selling their event time in tiers (2 hours = $ / 4 hours = $$ / 6 hours = $$$) and / or their level of service in tiers ($ = DJ only. No lights. $$ = DJ with Dance Lights. $$$ = DJ with Dance Lights and Projected Monogram, etc.)
This leaves me in tears!
For the life of me, I can’t understand why solo people who provide these services by themselves do this! Why would a one-person operation allow themselves to be hired at less than the top amount they could be making?
Here’s what I’m talking about: If someone buys you at your cheapest level, ESPECIALLY if you still have several months remaining to get your date sold, what you have just allowed them to do is to park on your calendar and prevent you from considering offers from potential clients who may be interested in buying THE WHOLE ENCHILADA! YOU HAVE JUST SHOT YOURSELF IN THE FOOT!
Instead of selling numbers of hours or tiers of service, what solo operators should always be selling in my humble opinion is the DATES ON THEIR CALENDARS. What’s a Saturday in prime event season worth? What’s a Wednesday in the off-season worth? What’s the most money you believe you can make individually on those dates? THAT’S WHAT YOUR PRICE SHOULD BE! The various offerings and hours of service along with the value that you personally bring are simply the enticements to get people to purchase those dates on your calendar, but make no mistake…when you work as a solo, what you sell and the only thing you sell on your end of the equation is the calendar date, because once it’s gone, it’s gone and you can’t sell it twice!
So instead of telling a prospective client that this amount of service is this much, and this next level of service is this much, tell them that this Saturday in June is “THIS” much and here is everything it includes.
What if the date is getting close and has remained unsold?
There are varying opinions on this from knowledgeable professionals across the spectrum, but my opinion is that if the date is getting close (for me, I have this determined as being less than a month out) and is still available, at that point go ahead and offer it for a bit less. I feel you should try and make your life easy and remove some of the offerings as you feel comfortable with, without compromising the image you wish to project about your business.
It’s sort of like a big game of chicken where you are seeing who will budge first, you are the business you are trying to land. If you’re like me, over time you’ll get bolder about how long you’ll hold out before lowering your price and sometimes you simply won’t lower your price at all. You’ll end up landing something last minute and getting a good paid for your nerves of steel, or you’ll end up not working at all. If your year has gone well, this is called taking a much needed break and spending a rare Saturday with your loved ones. If your year has not gone very well, this is called washing your van and driving for Uber! (or maybe converting it into a taco truck).