What is your best way of getting more bookings?

MIXMASTERMACHOM

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 16, 2011
9,272
1,291
61
I'm asking this question because we need more gigs plain and simple. My friend who DJs does remind me that I'm coming off of a major surgery. I had my left hip replacement surgery in January. Now I'm much better. I need more work to make more money of course. Which will lead to more bookings. That's about it. We have a ton of gear. So no big issues there. I do know one thing for sure. We need better social media presence.
 

djcrazychris

DJ Extraordinaire
Jun 12, 2018
3,383
5,843
46
Social media is an excellent start!

Also customer care...forming a relationship through good business practices and treatment above and beyond what is asked...pleasing a client to the extent that they WANT to refer you...they trust you enough to put their own reputation on the line for you... thats honestly such a compliment when you think about it...

Truly studying music of all genres... moving away from your comfort zone... being prepared to dj at various types of events...not just a niche

Personality... overlooked by many.... but this business isnt for the wallflower who's just into the art form...or the music... some of the best dj's i know are failures at mobile dj'ing... and im not just talking about what you do when performing.... you need to be a likeable person from the first moment of contact.... at meetings... and even years after the event... you have to become someone they consider "their" dj... the same way people have a barbor or a doctor.... that they recommend to everyone who will listen. The average person will have a dozen or more events in their life where they need a dj.... and each person they tell about you will also have 12 or more events... why anyone would lose contact...or treat a client poorly is beyond me... nurture that relationship... send them a kind word now and then if you see they are celebrating an anniversary on social media... YOU were part of it...YOU were there from the beginning ... why wouldnt you be a friend..and a huge part of their memory from that day.... BE A GOOD MEMORY!

cc
 

ittigger

Hundred Acre Industry Icon
Staff member
Feb 1, 2011
16,791
14,527
Western Maryland
I'm asking this question because we need more gigs plain and simple. My friend who DJs does remind me that I'm coming off of a major surgery. I had my left hip replacement surgery in January. Now I'm much better. I need more work to make more money of course. Which will lead to more bookings. That's about it. We have a ton of gear. So no big issues there. I do know one thing for sure. We need better social media presence.
If I were you, I would review the YEARS of free information and advice given to you to accomplish this very task - and actually apply it. There's no point in re-asking what you've been asking for years - with no intention of applying it.
 

IceBurghDJ

DJ Extraordinaire
Apr 17, 2015
2,836
1,718
57
Western Pennsylvania
iceburghdj.com
get online - that's where the clients are.
Your website, google listings, wedj, etc, etc. It's only a start though.

Now you're listed with 1000 other DJs...many have 100 reviews/ratings...so how do you stand out so the prospect calls you over all others?

Ahh, the age old question, huh?

What works for me, today, isn't likely to work for you, today or maybe it will work tomorrow...who the hell can say? Just when I think I have a handle on it, it changes.

I had crap luck with thumbtack. Doing well with bark. I"m trying to get more into video making/sharing. Check out Bonjoro - Create great first impressions - (https://www.bonjoro.com/)

also while hearing about 'funnels' i'm now understanding them and trying to work on that, more CRM websites exist that seem promising - but much time is needed to figure it out, test and compare then make it work.

I also got 'mysms' this week - lets me send texts from my computer that appear to come from my phone - and when I get a text it comes to the computer as well. Since I am much more computer-centered than phone-centric, I think I'm gonnan like this.

When I get a lead I reply through the website (wedj, bark, knot, yelp, etc) and via email and now via text. Studies show folks open texts 99% of the time vs 20% for email, and more than twice as often click on a text link to a website/video than in an email. We'll see how this work.

I've made up a multi page pdf about how to have a great wedding reception and send it- now I can send it via text, will put it online to link to it next.
 

IceBurghDJ

DJ Extraordinaire
Apr 17, 2015
2,836
1,718
57
Western Pennsylvania
iceburghdj.com
Well...
It's never ending.
Go look at 'sales' books for sale...thousands. if it was a one word or even paragraph answer it would be simple..but alas, it is not.
I get hit up weekly, if not daily "Advertise with us - double your business!!"...well, if it truly worked they'd probably not have to work too hard to sell their advertising product, huh?

What to charge...MANY variables on that, few if any concrete like if you sold pizza or gasoline or used cars. And what is the industry 'norm'? Most all industries have that info - DJ's..well, not really.

I can tell you if you spend 2% of sales or 40% of sales in marketing a restaurant you're likely to fail (too few customers, to little profit left over). What's right for a DJ business?
Does it vary by what you're marketing (school, party, wedding, bar?), if you've been around 5 months or 5 years? If you're aiming at $3000 weddings or $500 weddings?
What about online? Much can be done for 'free' (cash wise) but is very costly in time. So..how much TIME should one spend on marketing? Websites, social media (and which one/s?)

What's a good closing rate? And how do you measure it? Leads...leads that replied..meeting..phone calls..emails...texts? From which source? Does time of year, or price point, or type of gig make a difference? Is most your leads cold, warm, repeat or referral? More importantly what does a lead cost you (by type maybe..by souce...) and what does a booked gig cost you? (in time, per gig, annually maybe...)

What makes the 'phone' ring? I'd say this year (as it changes) 80+ or more of my gigs, cold or referral or repeat, are email/fb/text...NOT on the phone or face to face.

So if you never get to 'talk ' to your prospects...how do you stand out, get your personality across? (is this a repeat or a new question?)

Same thing work for you today as 5 years ago? Will you make changes over the next 5 years? Of course...so it's ALWAYS changing.

And most folks that choose to be a DJ don't choose to be a marketing manager, business manager, cost accountant, etc. So yes, the questions keep coming...over and over again.

 

PhaseIIPro

DJ Extraordinaire
Apr 19, 2015
574
821
50
Mix,

You have asked this same question here several times. People have given you advice on things that would make your business better, and you just ignore the advice.

You are really a one trick pony, and that really limits who would actually hire you. I think that you need to open your mind a little and not be so quick to trash anything that is considered newer, popular music. The clients that want the current stuff are the ones spending the money.

Also, not trying to be a dickhead here but if people are always telling you how good you are, why aren’t those same people calling to book you for party’s?

I also think that with the things you’ve done over the years, you’ve gotten labeled as a free/cheap DJ.
 
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djtaso

DJ Extraordinaire
Apr 4, 2017
2,709
5,575
32
NJ
www.djtaso.com
the best advertisement for me has been 100% free. 90% of my events have been booked by people that have seen me at events (word of mouth), people that have heard about me from past clients or venue (referral-client/venue), or are past clients booking me for their second kids sweet 16/wedding or prom, etc. I even included a chart below of my breakdown for bookings for 2019 and 2020 and their lead sources. I get about 250-300 inquiries a year... book around 70-75 events... which may not seem like a great closing rate, but the reality is many of those are turned down because of lack of availability. My closing rate is closer to 80-90% if I am available.

Yes I have a strong youtube presence, but that doesn't necessarily get bookings, it just helps establish myself and more importantly helps make the decision to book me easier as well as booking add-ons.

How do you get to 90% word of mouth... simple. WOW them! Do what few do! Get people talking about you! But be careful... people ONLY talk about two types of things. First off... NO ONE talks about average. YOU CANNOT BE AVERAGE! People only talk about Really BAD experiences and experiences that are truly unique and amazing! You NEED to STAND OUT for people to talk about you! To do that it can't be just one thing that you're good at, you gotta impress all around as you don't know what will stand out in particular for a future client. Will it be your amazing setup that is noticed from when the guests walk in, the high energy intros, the seamless mixing or spot on song selection, the amazing enhancements like sparklers that few have ever seen. This is how you get people talking... and it builds from there.

As Phasell has said... don't pay attention to what people are saying to your face... the results are in the calls.

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adj2ent

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 20, 2006
834
1,603
59
Long Island NY
First, you have understand your market. The way you have to navigate getting bookings is going to be different and you can’t just grab what someone else is doing thinking it’s going to work for you. Second, you have to change your logic. Thinking the amount of equipment has anything to do with get more bookings shows you just aren’t listening to what people have been trying to tell you. If you are basically doing the same things, the same way, you’re always been, then expect the same. But just reading your past few posts, you seem to have a major issue constantly purchasing equipment which you may want to address first.
 

DJ Ricky B

DJ Extraordinaire
Mar 9, 2015
5,659
4,276
37
Mix, I told you to get a Gig Masters account a while back. Throw some pictures and videos up. Wait for leads to come in. quickly bid on them. Follow up on your quote the next day. You will need to be willing to take all sorts of gigs. Not just local house music events. ...you could even list yourself as a HOUSE DJ on there.

An account with Gig Masters will get you going. But you have to respond quickly to leads, and since you will have no reviews you will need to have low prices. Throw some videos and pictures on there...Write up a nice PUNCTUAL bio about yourself. Start bidding on events.

Here is a DJ that is from Montclair, NJ pretty close to where you live. He has only been a member on there for 2 years, and he has 85 bookings! ...Gig Masters is likely VERY BUSY in your local area with leads, and people looking for a DJ. You could easily get $300 to $400 gigs on there. Probably book yourself 20 times in 6 months in that market at that low of a price. Especially if you can follow up with people on the website, through email, and get them on the phone

 

ittigger

Hundred Acre Industry Icon
Staff member
Feb 1, 2011
16,791
14,527
Western Maryland
I'm kinda thinkin' if the partner goes, so does his gf. Considering most of their events seem to come from her, any fundage at that point may be cut completely. That said, I am in full agreeance - cut the partner and his gf, get your own shows, income tripled.
 

Albatross

DJ Extraordinaire
Sep 7, 2016
1,990
4,773
Mix - in a perfect world, what kind of gigs do you want to do? From the way you talk about your work... it's a pretty niche market. You don't seem to want to do modern music. That alone would disqualify you from all 60 of the gigs I did personally last year.

You can improve on literally everything. From your appearance, your gear appearance, web presence, grammar in your e-mails... I can't think of a single thing that any business does that you can't improve on.

But even before you start trying to improve... figure out the goal. Where do you want to DJ? Do those gigs exist today? Who is doing them now? What kind of money are those DJs making? Who are the bookers, and how do you meet them?
 

Scott Hanna

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 25, 2006
6,492
7,250
53
Cleveland, OH
www.djincleveland.com
In my opinion, an important part of success in this business ... And others....is being able to read people. By not only listening to what they say, but their body language. I had a Dj that worked for is in the past. Some clients loved him, but every once in a while, we'd get complaints. I went with him on a few shows. First few shows everything was great. But then I saw it. I saw the bride react to something he said, and asked him about it, and he didn't even realize it. He was oblivious to her reaction because she didn't actually say anything. I could just tell by her eyes she didn't like what she heard. I think those things snow ball for some vendors and it ends up turning little things into big things.

He was a very outgoing guy that didn't know when to turn it off when it was needed. He didn't know when certain humor was ok and when it wasn't. And it got him into trouble. He believed that his mixing ability was the only thing people cared about.
For him the bride's that complained were bridezillas. I couldn't help him understand, so we parted ways.

I have another guy Fred, he's never mixed 2 songs in his life. Yet he is the most requested Dj we have. Customers love him. He can be very fun, but he knows when to be subtle as well. I do believe he'd be even better if he mixed, but he didn't want to and it's hard to argue with his track record.
 

steve149

Veni, Vidi, Lusi
Staff member
Sep 26, 2011
24,555
37,830
Prospect, CT
In my opinion, an important part of success in this business ... And others....is being able to read people. By not only listening to what they say, but their body language. I had a Dj that worked for is in the past. Some clients loved him, but every once in a while, we'd get complaints. I went with him on a few shows. First few shows everything was great. But then I saw it. I saw the bride react to something he said, and asked him about it, and he didn't even realize it. He was oblivious to her reaction because she didn't actually say anything. I could just tell by her eyes she didn't like what she heard. I think those things snow ball for some vendors and it ends up turning little things into big things.

He was a very outgoing guy that didn't know when to turn it off when it was needed. He didn't know when certain humor was ok and when it wasn't. And it got him into trouble. He believed that his mixing ability was the only thing people cared about.
For him the bride's that complained were bridezillas. I couldn't help him understand, so we parted ways.

I have another guy Fred, he's never mixed 2 songs in his life. Yet he is the most requested Dj we have. Customers love him. He can be very fun, but he knows when to be subtle as well. I do believe he'd be even better if he mixed, but he didn't want to and it's hard to argue with his track record.
Moral of the story .. Be Like Fred !