Why do you charge what you do?

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MIXMASTERMACHOM

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 16, 2011
12,905
1,803
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This is a simple basic question. The reason for this topic is to keep the focus on you. I charge what I do because I believe I'm worth the price quote I give. Please no beating up on others for what they do and how they do things.
 

djtaso

DJ Extraordinaire
Apr 4, 2017
4,470
9,199
35
NJ
www.djtaso.com
This is a simple basic question. The reason for this topic is to keep the focus on you. I charge what I do because I believe I'm worth the price quote I give. Please no beating up on others for what they do and how they do things.
I don’t wanna beat you up for it... but you realize what you charge is less than most roadies make. So if that’s the case then what does it say about your worth.

As for me, I don’t charge what I think I’m worth, I charge what my clients say I’m worth through their continued booking of my services. I also need the numbers to work from a business perspective, so it’s always a fine balance. I’ve always had a general formula for when I raise prices. This will actually be the first time I won’t raise prices, even though my formula says I can... and the reason for that is I made a big jump from $2150 to $2500. My next jump would be $2750... but to go up $600 in about a year is a bit much.
 

DJ Ricky B

DJ Extraordinaire
Mar 9, 2015
7,148
5,519
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I charge what I do because of a few reasons:

1. I don't want to work with the cheap budget clients. My Days of doing $300 to $600 gigs are long in the past.
2. I know that it is a solid price in comparison to many other experienced DJ services in the MD/DC/VA area. I am by no means the most expensive. I am by no means cheap
3. I am doing less events by design. I really don't want to pull 40+ events a year any more. I don't want to work more than 30 Saturdays a year moving forward, and I will probably be happy if I worked like 24 Saturdays a year. I don't plan to book Fridays at all. I could book myself at $700 to $1,000 level and probably get my numbers back up to 40+ weekends a year moving into 2022 after the Pandemic, but I don't want to go that route.
4. If I get into advertising again, I don't want my advertising to exceed 15% of my sales. In order for me to make a healthy profit if I do start advertising again, I pretty much need to be at my current price points.
5. If 2022 books completely or at least 90% of what I want to do then I will be basically moving into the $2,000 realm for my popular wedding package going into 2023. If I don't do that, then I am still okay at my current prices.

Finally, I am in my 22nd year of deejaying, and 21 years since I started doing weddings. It would look strange if I advertised myself at say $550/4 hours, and $795/6 hours for weddings. That was the going rate in Maryland in like 2005. I don't want to say I have been deejaying for 21 years, but am charging like I am a newbie in 2021 and dishing out a 2005 price point.
 

Proformance

DJ Extraordinaire
Nov 6, 2006
8,028
5,285
I charge what I do because of a few reasons:
My version works this way:

1. I don't want to work with the cheap budget clients unruly or problematic people. My Days of doing $300 to $600 gigs are long in the past. are typically a small but good opportunity to support an already good client or referral. I don't need every event I do to be of Olympic proportion. I measure the value of a client relationship rather than the specific event. If something being requested is properly priced at that level and that client or the client referring them has a history and/or future needs then I'm going to cement that relationship regardless of how it initially presents itself.

2. I don't make know that it is a solid price in comparison to many other experienced DJ services. I am known for the reliable results I produce at any and every price. by no means the most expensive. I am by no means cheap Price is generally not the deciding factor for my prospects,, I have already been recommended or referred and we are merely working out specific details. They may or may not even ask for the price before committing.

3. I am doing less events by design. I really don't want to pull 40+ 150 events events or more a year any more. I don't want to work more than 30 often on weekdays now than I do Saturdays a year moving forward, and I will probably be am happy if when I have worked I like doing 24 Saturdays a all year. I don't plan to slow down book Fridays at all. I could book myself at $700 to $1,000 level and probably get my numbers back up to 40+ weekends a year moving into 2022 after the Pandemic, but I don't want to go that route. or anytime soon.

4. If I get into advertising again, then the world has developed mass amnesia. I haven't paid for an advertisement since 1994. Most of my clients run a color space add in their program books for me at no cost. The rest just seem to remember me and tell others. I don't want my advertising to exceed 15% of my sales. In order for me to make a healthy profit if I do start advertising again, I pretty much need to be at my current price points.

5. If 2022 books completely or at least 90% of what I want to do then I will be basically moving into the $2,000 realm for my popular wedding package going into 2023. If I don't do that, then I am still okay at my current prices. then I will change nothing - because I don't f** with some thing that's working.

Finally, I am the voice speaking to my own welfare. What others "look" to is not what motivates me and I am in my 22nd year of deejaying, and 21 years since I started doing weddings. It would look strange if I advertised myself at say $550/4 hours, and $795/6 hours for weddings. That was the going rate in Maryland in like 2005. I don't want to say I have been deejaying for 21 years, but am charging like I am a newbie in 2021 and dishing out a 2005 price point am fine with looking strange if that is what you believe. If the bank should stop accepting my "strange" deposits I may then reconsider, but not before.

FYI: About 30 years ago I took on a semi-weekly series of $250-$300 local teen dances as a matter of community support. (They had trouble finding DJs because like Ricky, DJs wouln't do these modest gigs.) I considered each one of them to be a training exercise and approached them as if my livelihood depended on it. Anyone I sent to these gigs needed to be 120% on board with enthusiasm. On any date that I was available I did them personally, despite a full catalog of higher profile events. If I connect the dots originating from these teen centers an entire web of long standing clients with annual recurring event needs emerges with what amounts to roughly $1.2M - $1.6M in gross revenue received. That's what $300 could buy 30 years ago - and it is still true today.

I didn't succeed by being the best DJ available. I succeed by delivering reliable support to a community that in turn supported me and my business. I don't sell entertainment - I sell reputable, reliability and community engagement that just happens to come with a musical backing track.
 
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ProDJ Jose

DJ For Life!
Apr 19, 2016
73
166
Tampa Bay Area
I charge what I charge because I offer my clients an personalized "quality" service and not a "volume focused, cookie-cutter service" at a lower price.

I'm also a legit business with higher ethical standards than most. It's not something that I use as a punch line, I live it every day!

It has taken me 40 years to hone my skills as a DJ & MC. I do not strive to be good or excellent, but outstanding. You can stand out by being the cheapest or the most expensive in your market. I stand out because I made DJing my career and not a sideline job. Therefore, my price reflects what I am and what I can deliver.

Lastly Mix, there are no short cuts. You are either committed to your craft or your are not! Turn to your inner voice and don't worry so much about what others are doing or charging.
 
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Proformance

DJ Extraordinaire
Nov 6, 2006
8,028
5,285
Lastly Mix, there are no short cuts.
That's just patently false.
Some people are naturals, and their talent is apparent from the first day. Others pick things up with lightning speed, or collaborate in ways that function like a high-speed train. Others are simply in the right place at the right time with the right idea.

You said that it took you 40 years to perfect your DJ and MC skills. I think what you meant is that you have 40 years of prior experience to reflect on - because I don't know any business that would retain an employee who needs 40 years to grow into the position. Having been present for 40 years in any occupation is not by itself justification for higher earnings. The value of any experience is constantly moderated by socio-economic reality, public interest or convenience, technology, and a host of other realities.

A lot of former DJ skills are obsolete today and are simply described as "art." Even good emcees and talent are commonplace in a world where 1 out of every 10 people you meet is a former "American Idol" contestant or other talent show participant. There's always someone or something new trending online, and the notoriety is fleeting at best. When you adjust for inflation the price of a decent and committed mobile DJ really hasn't changed at all in the last 40 years. The packages may look larger - but, the economics of it remain the same.
 

Jeff Romard

Administrator
Staff member
ODJT Supporter
Sep 4, 2006
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Posts and quotes removed play nice and if you can't take the heat the kitchen is no place for you
 
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MIXMASTERMACHOM

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 16, 2011
12,905
1,803
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I came up with this topic because of the one that asked would you do a wedding for $550 in 2021? What difference does it make what somebody else would or wouldn't do. What would you do and keep it moving. What somebody else does unless they are connected to my business in some kind of way doesn't affect me. We argue who's doing things right and who isn't. Like I have said most times we don't the person personally. So we don't know how long they have been a DJ, their level of skills, what equipent they are using, how they are selling themselves or their financial situation. Focus on you and what you're doing and if you don't like the things you're doing only you can change things. One last thing. We all are not and can not be the same. Somethings are learned through mistakes. Sometimes from others mistakes.
 

Albatross

DJ Extraordinaire
ODJT Supporter
Sep 7, 2016
2,871
7,504
I came up with this topic because of the one that asked would you do a wedding for $550 in 2021? What difference does it make what somebody else would or wouldn't do. What would you do and keep it moving. What somebody else does unless they are connected to my business in some kind of way doesn't affect me. We argue who's doing things right and who isn't. Like I have said most times we don't the person personally. So we don't know how long they have been a DJ, their level of skills, what equipent they are using, how they are selling themselves or their financial situation. Focus on you and what you're doing and if you don't like the things you're doing only you can change things. One last thing. We all are not and can not be the same. Somethings are learned through mistakes. Sometimes from others mistakes.
I don't care what any single individual is doing, but I do care what the market is doing. If you don't have an understanding of what people around you are charging, it's hard to even set rates and have them make sense in your market. You ultimately need to consider the value of your time as well, and build a product that fits the budget of the customer that you're trying to attract.
 

Ausumm

Gold Plated Productions
Oct 21, 2008
11,867
14,470
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Bethlehem PA
When I started inn the biz at the multi op,
they were supplying the bookings, the music, and the equipment (which they also setup for me)
and I was making $325 a gig.

When I got my own stuff, and handled it myself....
I based my price on $325, and added a little for my efforts.

Where I am today is just natural progression of raising my rates over time.