What is your niche when it comes to being a DJ?

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IceBurghDJ

DJ Extraordinaire
Apr 17, 2015
3,040
1,801
58
Western Pennsylvania
iceburghdj.com
They can ask "do you know XXX" but no, they DO NOT ASK..or rarely.
I've gotten school dances and NOBODY asks about what I'm gonna play. Did a photobooth at a prom, NOBODY danced..when i asked the chaperone she said they kids don't know the music..I said ask for cupid shuffle, they'll dance..she said she did, DJ never heard of it...

What promo material do you have out there?
Wedding videos, school dances..it's tough to get youtube/fb to allow music at all...and you're not likely to show 10 minutes with 20 songs ... so a highlite of wedding won't likley say much about what you pl;ay, and certainly won't make a bar owner or HS or car cruise all excited to hire you...

If you want to specialize then show 90-100% of ONE thing - be the expert - and when the client sees 100 videos all showing house music they'll know that's what you do..maybe ALL you do.

My experience as been the public assumes all DJs are the same...maybe 10% are more educated.
Like tires - 'gimme some tires for my car'...enthusiasts may have a preference, but 90% of buyers don't care/know. Try calling around "i need tires for my car" and see how you're treated - "what car/what size"...brand? model withing a brand? what kind of driving do you do? What tires do you have now, what did you like or not like about them? etc - CAN be asked but RARELY is.

Same for DJ inquiries...price is first, or date then price - never "what do YOU do a DJ that makes you the one I want to hire for my event?"

Really? You don't think a client can tell if you're not familiar with music other than house music? You don't think the parents of a 13 year old can tell if you know the music a 13 year old listens to? You don't think a client can tell if you know the music for a 50 year old?

I'm certain there is someone somewhere that does specialize in movie music. If this is what they specialize in .. and nothing else, do you think they are constantly booked? Why or why not?
 

ittigger

Hundred Acre Industry Icon
Staff member
ODJT Supporter
Feb 1, 2011
18,133
16,242
Hundred Acre Wood
They can ask "do you know XXX" but no, they DO NOT ASK..or rarely.
I've gotten school dances and NOBODY asks about what I'm gonna play. Did a photobooth at a prom, NOBODY danced..when i asked the chaperone she said they kids don't know the music..I said ask for cupid shuffle, they'll dance..she said she did, DJ never heard of it...
They may not ask before .. but they'll know at the event - and then it'll spread like wildfire. I guarantee you that DJ will never be back.

What promo material do you have out there?
Wedding videos, school dances..it's tough to get youtube/fb to allow music at all...and you're not likely to show 10 minutes with 20 songs ... so a highlite of wedding won't likley say much about what you pl;ay, and certainly won't make a bar owner or HS or car cruise all excited to hire you...
Depending on the event, I go over the list with the client. I've had schools tell me they will not hire you unless they approve the song list (an immediate give away). Weddings .. hopefully you are talking to the couple prior to booking - depending on the depth of conversation, they should know if you know or not - either way, it will come out at the event.

If you want to specialize then show 90-100% of ONE thing - be the expert - and when the client sees 100 videos all showing house music they'll know that's what you do..maybe ALL you do.
They'll know it when that's all you play at their event .. because you have no knowledge of anything else.

My experience as been the public assumes all DJs are the same...maybe 10% are more educated.
Like tires - 'gimme some tires for my car'...enthusiasts may have a preference, but 90% of buyers don't care/know. Try calling around "i need tires for my car" and see how you're treated - "what car/what size"...brand? model withing a brand? what kind of driving do you do? What tires do you have now, what did you like or not like about them? etc - CAN be asked but RARELY is.
By the term DJ, yes. By performance, no. My vehicles go to specific shops - because they've demonstrated value to me. I have dealt with other shops - and similarly, it's not hard to figure out who knows what they're doing.

Same for DJ inquiries...price is first, or date then price - never "what do YOU do a DJ that makes you the one I want to hire for my event?"
Clients do often go into more details - what type of music do you play. If you tell them you cover it all (but you don't know it), you're lying to them and to yourself. If someone asks for a specific genre, the rules change a little. You're hiring a DJ for a 10 year old birthday party - would you not know based on the performance if this person knows the music or not? As a result of the performance, would you recommend this person for other events? If you had the foresight to ask a few questions, don't you think you could figure this out ahead of booking the DJ?
 

Albatross

DJ Extraordinaire
ODJT Supporter
Sep 7, 2016
2,362
5,826
Same for DJ inquiries...price is first, or date then price - never "what do YOU do a DJ that makes you the one I want to hire for my event?"
I think this is a direct link to where your leads come from.

For example... everyone on WeddingWire and The Knot generally has good ratings. Everyone has a few pro photos. Everyone says they bring professional equipment, have a large library, have done lots of gigs, know what to do.

If you're hunting in the same pool as everyone else, and look the same... then you're a commodity and it comes down to price.

And there is no shame in starting there. I think that's how you get a business built up.

But assuming you've been doing gigs. If you're making a good impression, you start developing a network. Planners, venues, photographers... They notice if you're different. They notice if you take care of them in your process, easy to work with, keep them in the loop. If you can do that well - you develop a referral network and rely less on the WW/TK leads.

Moving into a referral based system means that each lead is primed to already know why you're different. They're probably looking at 2-3 DJs, not 50.

Those are the leads that want to know how you'll help them have a great event, not just the price.