Re-thinking my pricing

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rickryan.com

DJ Extraordinaire
Dec 9, 2009
14,891
10,914
115
54
Hendersonville, TN
www.RickRyan.com
#1
I'm re-thinking and tweaking my pricing, beginning with DJ. As many of you know, I've been a fan of packages. I'm thinking to change that. I changed my base DJ price to $850 (was $1150) and have included a list of add-ons. All prices are on the contact form. For whatever reason, I got the feeling that people were seeing my price list (standard text section) then somehow failing to carry thru to fill out the form. I'm hoping this will streamline the process and make it more natural. My guess is that I'll get uplighting on half the DJ-only gigs landed so I'm still getting $1400 for DJ+Uplighting.This also gets me out of the bundled discount approach that I've been doing. I'm also breaking ceremony sound back out as an add-on. Your thoughts?

DJ Weddings
 

steve149

Urbane Legend
Sep 26, 2011
20,442
28,979
115
Prospect, CT
#3
I might trim out some of the photos .. I think by the time they make it to the bottom, they may forget why they were looking.
 

Proformance

DJ Extraordinaire
Nov 6, 2006
5,579
3,036
115
#4
I'm re-thinking and tweaking my pricing, beginning with DJ. As many of you know, I've been a fan of packages. I'm thinking to change that. I changed my base DJ price to $850 (was $1150) and have included a list of add-ons. All prices are on the contact form. For whatever reason, I got the feeling that people were seeing my price list (standard text section) then somehow failing to carry thru to fill out the form. I'm hoping this will streamline the process and make it more natural. My guess is that I'll get uplighting on half the DJ-only gigs landed so I'm still getting $1400 for DJ+Uplighting.This also gets me out of the bundled discount approach that I've been doing. I'm also breaking ceremony sound back out as an add-on. Your thoughts?
I didn't follow the link - I'm simply commenting on what seems like a mismatch between your premise and the presumed problem.

Why would you presume a lack of forms being filled out to be a problem with your pricing? Doesn't that first demonstrate that prospects don't share your preference to communicate via online forms?

Committing to a DJ at any of those prices is still a significant purchase. I think most people who are ready to buy would prefer to speak to someone in person, not through online forms. Online forms are for people who are in the research phase. There is a patent lack of urgency associated with online forms.

I think your perception of people's communication preferences is skewed by your work in IT which has a different culture with respect to forms.
 

djtaso

DJ Extraordinaire
Apr 4, 2017
1,638
3,450
115
31
NJ
www.djtaso.com
#5
I don't think the issue is your pricing... the issue has kinda always been your site and converting into actual leads. Yes, there is a major improvement from where it was, but I've said this numerous times before and will repeat it again. There are too many unnecessary photos and not enough info about the dj service itself on the actual dj section. Considering that most site visits tend to come from mobile, and the text shows at the bottom after all the pics, steve may have a point. The flow of your site isn't attractive enough to get people to want to contact... I don't think it's the price. You could probably even put $500 as your price and nothing would change.

In my view, your dj page and lighting page should be merged. It will make navigation simpler to get info, and the dj section would have more life to it. I'd also really really really try and find a way to get some video on there. In 2018, video should be easily available when researching. You should also provide photos and more in depth descriptions of your other add-ons that you offer rather than just listing them to the side. It adds more value by showing you're capable of productions and also creates more interest in a specific service that you offer. When I work with couples, I never ever talk about the addons a couple doesn't have interest in, yet I average $1000 in add-ons because of all the information available to the couple to spark interest and get them to ask me, rather than me looking like I am trying to sell them.

Once you get under $1000 the perception of your services is completely changed. This affects your photography aspect to... you now seem cheaper and therefore your company overall has a cheaper feel to it.
 

djtaso

DJ Extraordinaire
Apr 4, 2017
1,638
3,450
115
31
NJ
www.djtaso.com
#6
I didn't follow the link - I'm simply commenting on what seems like a mismatch between your premise and the presumed problem.

Why would you presume a lack of forms being filled out to be a problem with your pricing? Doesn't that first demonstrate that prospects don't share your preference to communicate via online forms?

Committing to a DJ at any of those prices is still a significant purchase. I think most people who are ready to buy would prefer to speak to someone in person, not through online forms. Online forms are for people who are in the research phase. There is a patent lack of urgency associated with online forms.

I think your perception of people's communication preferences is skewed by your work in IT which has a different culture with respect to forms.
Not speaking for rick and his reasons, but I have to say nowadays many single op vendors are preferring inquiries come in via websites. I know a number of dj's, photographers, make up artists, etc that are saying on their social media, in their voicemails, etc to use the online contact forms, otherwise they may not get a response in a timely manner or at all if its overlooked. If they get them on the phone by chance then that's a different story. However, people want all inquiries to come in from the same source, and from there they can respond properly and schedule phone consultations if needed. I'm not going to lie, it gets difficult keeping track of inquiries coming in via text message, facebook msg, instagram message, snapchat, personal email, business facebook messenger, voicemails, etc. At least by emails I can respond to all of them as I receive them and get them the info they want, and set up an actual appointment to discuss further.
 

wifedj

DJ Extraordinaire
Mar 20, 2008
567
502
95
#7
Rethinking pricing, yet again...Rick, put down yoru keyboard and go directly to the closest CDC as I believe you are infected with a serious case of Dramacholism (Rhymes w botulism).
 
Likes: Jeff Romard

DJ Ricky B

DJ Extraordinaire
Mar 9, 2015
4,513
3,363
115
36
#8
I get a handful of prospects a year due to being on a preferred vendor list at a Mansion Venue.

When I get those inquiries, they inquire via my website contact form...And Sometimes, they find me on Gig Masters, and contact me through there. The last booking contacted me through gig masters, and also received some other quotes from other DJs on there, BUT did book with me.

The other DJ who booked me on a few events this year received his inquiries as referrals from wedding planners. The bride/groom actually went to his Wedding Wire page to fill out a contact form though there on 2 of them to initiate contact. That other 2 they went to his direct page.

I rarely get phone calls from people looking to book a DJ as initial point of contact. People don't want to use the phone these days unless they have a scheduled time to use it for a pre scheduled phone call generally speaking.


As far as pricing goes I think it all depends on how hungry you are to book more events. Less people are getting married as time marches on which means less events to go around for everyone. If all you want to book are 15 - 20 DJ events for the year realistically then I think $1,150 is a safe starting point. If you want to fill your calendar more, and pull 25 - 30 or more weddings/events with a DJ, then it's probably in your best interest to be more competitive and lower your price to $850. You can always upsell the Up Lights to get over $1,200 easily.

...I think in most markets the days of a solo op DJ being able to book 50+ private events a year for a DJ is over or coming to an end. There's too many DJs looking to book events, and less weddings and parties occurring as well.
 

rickryan.com

DJ Extraordinaire
Dec 9, 2009
14,891
10,914
115
54
Hendersonville, TN
www.RickRyan.com
#9
I don't think the issue is your pricing... the issue has kinda always been your site and converting into actual leads. Yes, there is a major improvement from where it was, but I've said this numerous times before and will repeat it again. There are too many unnecessary photos and not enough info about the dj service itself on the actual dj section. Considering that most site visits tend to come from mobile, and the text shows at the bottom after all the pics, steve may have a point. The flow of your site isn't attractive enough to get people to want to contact... I don't think it's the price. You could probably even put $500 as your price and nothing would change.

In my view, your dj page and lighting page should be merged. It will make navigation simpler to get info, and the dj section would have more life to it. I'd also really really really try and find a way to get some video on there. In 2018, video should be easily available when researching. You should also provide photos and more in depth descriptions of your other add-ons that you offer rather than just listing them to the side. It adds more value by showing you're capable of productions and also creates more interest in a specific service that you offer. When I work with couples, I never ever talk about the addons a couple doesn't have interest in, yet I average $1000 in add-ons because of all the information available to the couple to spark interest and get them to ask me, rather than me looking like I am trying to sell them.

Once you get under $1000 the perception of your services is completely changed. This affects your photography aspect to... you now seem cheaper and therefore your company overall has a cheaper feel to it.
Thanks for your feedback. I've already begun making the changes and think I'm "getting it" a bit more. I've pulled in the uplighting info and will finish fleshing out the rest of the add-on services as well. I'm still searching for that magic sauce that compels a user to fill out the inquiry form. You've got that down cold but mine still feels like a laundry list. I'm thinking I may have to personalize the DJ page more and have my wife do a better photo. This is the part where I wish I was younger and better looking like you.

As for the pricing, I've been waffling on that magic $1k mark. I think what it boils down to is that for the past few months I'm getting a much higher percentage of folks who shut me off when they hear the price. I obviously haven't found the sweet spot yet but I'm going to experiment with re-tooling to see if I can get some "yes" answers coming in.
 

rickryan.com

DJ Extraordinaire
Dec 9, 2009
14,891
10,914
115
54
Hendersonville, TN
www.RickRyan.com
#10
As far as pricing goes I think it all depends on how hungry you are to book more events. Less people are getting married as time marches on which means less events to go around for everyone. If all you want to book are 15 - 20 DJ events for the year realistically then I think $1,150 is a safe starting point. If you want to fill your calendar more, and pull 25 - 30 or more weddings/events with a DJ, then it's probably in your best interest to be more competitive and lower your price to $850. You can always upsell the Up Lights to get over $1,200 easily.

...I think in most markets the days of a solo op DJ being able to book 50+ private events a year for a DJ is over or coming to an end. There's too many DJs looking to book events, and less weddings and parties occurring as well.
Looking back, I think I jumped the gun too quickly and too much on my price increase. I jumped from $750, straight to $1150, which is more than a 50% increase. It caused my bookings to go dark and I've only had a handful of overflow gigs that I get to assign out to other DJs. My list of gigs that are booked is getting small and after October is over it goes dark until next June. There's only a pitiful handful after that. I gotta do some hustling in the short term to get things shored up for next year.
 

Ausumm

Day Late and a Dollar Short
Oct 21, 2008
9,798
9,080
115
54
Bethlehem PA
www.mikefoxx.com
#11
I think you are right about chasing customers away with the higher numbers.
Some will see $1150 and move on, without looking into it.
At least now, they can see $850, and it's not as scary.
And you can easily make up the difference with a la carte items.
Putting everything together in a "kitchen sink" package is fine for some.
but now you can attract those clients who don't want (or need) some of the add-ons that were in it.
 

steve149

Urbane Legend
Sep 26, 2011
20,442
28,979
115
Prospect, CT
#13
Quick spelling check .. "Uplighting, also known as Perimiter Lighting, " should be "Uplighting, also known as Perimeter Lighting, "
 

rickryan.com

DJ Extraordinaire
Dec 9, 2009
14,891
10,914
115
54
Hendersonville, TN
www.RickRyan.com
#14
Quick spelling check .. "Uplighting, also known as Perimiter Lighting, " should be "Uplighting, also known as Perimeter Lighting, "
Thanks Steve. Dammitall, just went over to Taso's site...................I give up. Holy crapola, Batman......................
 

djtaso

DJ Extraordinaire
Apr 4, 2017
1,638
3,450
115
31
NJ
www.djtaso.com
#15
I'm going to address two parts in this thread... where leads come from and pricing.

Pricing:
Again Rick, your pricing won't change things... you are booking $1150+ gigs, and as far as we know, it seems like you're getting positive feedback from them (if you're not stop right here and definitely adjust your pricing). Reducing your pricing is dangerous now, especially to the clients who already have u booked at an upcoming event, or have booked you at the price and now want to refer you and notice they overpaid by 25%. Again your site only says the starting price, and while after add ons the pricing is eventually the same, the initial reaction isn't such. The issue simply is your portrayal of your brand online (I understand changes are already being made).

As many have said, your photos have always seemed to showcase your photography, and the essentials for a high end dj such as setup pictures (didn't you get a new facade), demo videos, a more thorough description of your dj services, your philosophy, and approach. The colors on the site also lack energy and excitement. Look at the most exciting sites. They're mostly along the black/white/grey tones, and the color comes from large-scale photos and videos. They're fonts are distinct, and have been used in a way to draw attention to certain things. I really really really think you should ask a web designer for input. While you took some of my comments and applied them, the flow is still awful. I don't know what photos associated with what, and in what order I should be reading things.

But it also goes beyond the website. How's your social media presence. That plays a big role in it. Another key thing is, what are you doing marketing wise that no one else is doing in your area. My key thing is the videos... while I'm not the only one that does videos... I'm one of the few that actually uses live audio and one of the very few that does it for just about every event. I also use the highest quality equipment, I also showcase that I guarantee myself on the event and provide consistant quality and results... as opposed to others that the talent is inconsistent and while one person had a good experience, it might be different for the next person that calls the company.

Another focus should be on how well are you connecting with your couples and staying connected. Are you following each other on social media, are you sharing highlights from their wedding and tagging them in it, are you posting that you're booking people so people get a sense of your demand and pushes them to call you sooner rather than later. The more you post the busier you appear. A good social media presence is just as important as a quality website.

All of these things play a role in people's perception of your price. Keep in mind many inquiring are going based on what they see visually and excites them. 90% of the time you can't even speak a word to them if you haven't excited them with your online storefront, both your website and/or your social media.

Another thing with pricing is not letting fear get to you. Just because there's a period of no interest, don't automatically assume its your pricing. Sometimes its other changes like the ones above that need to be made. Personally, I went from not having a single legit inquiry from July 4th till the 24th. That's 20 days without a single inquiry. Since then I actually sent out 5 contracts averaging over $3000. The funny thing is during that time, I actually raised my pricing and hit that infamous $2000 mark which for my area a very select few hold. It will require me to work even harder to maintain my online presence and improve my social media. I'm also purchasing some new items to change my setup's appearance and add new offerings to prevent things from going stale.

Where are your inquiries coming from:
Despite what people say, you can in fact control where your clients go to get your information. Designers like chanel and hermes sell many of their items in store only... why because they want you to have that customer experience, feel the materials, etc. Stores like tjmaxx sell in store only. Tesla has done away with traditional dealerships, and therefore gone away with price negotiations when buying a car. If you want people to go to your site, you can create that concept with the right approach. Rather than spread yourself amongst a million listing services and methods for clients to contact you... promote just a few. I bring everyone to my website... even after they sometimes call... why? Because I want them to experience my site. If they haven't experienced me in person, I want them to experience something so I can stand out from any potential competitors. I look at this as quality control. I want everyone's experience to be consistent. I can't recall the last time I got a weddingwire lead because I don't do anything to promote myself on there. I never even ask for reviews there, but rather promote them on my social media. All my social media says for bookings go to my site, my voicemail says that using my website is the best way to inquire, the people that ask for cards get told to visit my site to inquire as opposed to calling, my business facebook messenger has an automated message pop up saying to use my site to inquire. If you want your clients to call then do that instead. Whatever it is that you think works best for you, do it. A dj friend I know, hates his website and lacks social media, so he doesn't promote them at all, and jsut tells everyone to call him. It works for him, but knows he's losing out from people that don't like to call, and the people that naturally research online and are not impressed with his site. He wanted to stay in his comfort zone as he got older, and that was the sacrifice he made to do that. The point is you have much more control in the way clients see and connect with you than you think.
 
Likes: Jeff Romard

DJ Ricky B

DJ Extraordinaire
Mar 9, 2015
4,513
3,363
115
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#16
Rick, with your pricing have you considered having a couple of set prices. For instance...Wedding DJ is $850 generally speaking, but the price is $1,150 for very in demand Saturdays next year.

Or, do what Taso does for in demand dates...Require a add on service on those dates. ...Just a thought.

I always book certain Saturdays for good money. Yet, I do need to advertise a lower rate in hopes of booking a date in January or February, or a Sunday date out of no where. ...A price of $1,150 would scare away a February bride more than likely, but the $1,150 price might keep a bride who is getting married 2nd Saturday in May, or first/second Saturday in October next year interested. Some weekends always have more demand, and can help you easily charge more for those particular Saturdays.
 

Proformance

DJ Extraordinaire
Nov 6, 2006
5,579
3,036
115
#17
Not speaking for rick and his reasons, but I have to say nowadays many single op vendors are preferring inquiries come in via websites. I know a number of dj's, photographers, make up artists, etc that are saying on their social media, in their voicemails, etc to use the online contact forms, otherwise they may not get a response in a timely manner or at all if its overlooked. If they get them on the phone by chance then that's a different story. However, people want all inquiries to come in from the same source, and from there they can respond properly and schedule phone consultations if needed. I'm not going to lie, it gets difficult keeping track of inquiries coming in via text message, facebook msg, instagram message, snapchat, personal email, business facebook messenger, voicemails, etc. At least by emails I can respond to all of them as I receive them and get them the info they want, and set up an actual appointment to discuss further.
Won't agree with you there.
Your reasoning is a bit like dropping a hook in the lake and concluding that the bulk of the seafood market is fresh water fish.
 

djtaso

DJ Extraordinaire
Apr 4, 2017
1,638
3,450
115
31
NJ
www.djtaso.com
#18
Won't agree with you there.
Your reasoning is a bit like dropping a hook in the lake and concluding that the bulk of the seafood market is fresh water fish.
I get what you're implying, and I agree that any particular strategy does not apply to all. I am just implying that you can in a sense guide prospective clients to a location of your choosing... should you want to... and should it actually be beneficial to your business.

Personally the only reason I ever started to push for people to get to my site for inquiries was because it became extremely hard to manage all my initial communications from so many different sources (text, instagram, snapchat, twitter, facebook personal and business messenger, phone call voicemails, personal email, random in person conversations requesting a bunch of info).... I would tell em all something along the lines of just do me a favor and shoot me an inquiry on my website so I have the basic info I need and your correct email address to get the process started from there. No one ever had an issue with it, and it made my life easier having all my inquiries sourced in the same location and could respond to them efficiently as they come in and not worry about having to check every source of communication I have to make sure nothing was overlooked. Keep in mind, while I do about 70-75 events a year, I get about 300 inquiries over the year... and being that they don't all come in at a rate of 1 a day, there are some days that I'm responding to 8 inquiries in between meetings and planning and personal life. Having it organized is helpful.
 
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djtaso

DJ Extraordinaire
Apr 4, 2017
1,638
3,450
115
31
NJ
www.djtaso.com
#20
Rick, with your pricing have you considered having a couple of set prices. For instance...Wedding DJ is $850 generally speaking, but the price is $1,150 for very in demand Saturdays next year.

Or, do what Taso does for in demand dates...Require a add on service on those dates. ...Just a thought.

I always book certain Saturdays for good money. Yet, I do need to advertise a lower rate in hopes of booking a date in January or February, or a Sunday date out of no where. ...A price of $1,150 would scare away a February bride more than likely, but the $1,150 price might keep a bride who is getting married 2nd Saturday in May, or first/second Saturday in October next year interested. Some weekends always have more demand, and can help you easily charge more for those particular Saturdays.
That's super easy to do, off-season discounts are very popular. However, as with everything else, it should be listed on the site so that those off-season events realize they are entitled to special discounts. People looking at peak season dates know theres a lot of demand for such dates or a particular service and therefore won't be shocked to see they have to pay more than a winter wedding hypothetically. Again, I put this on my site so people are aware.

A friend of mine that's a dj is upgrading their site, and asked friends that have looked for dj's in the past what did they wish websites had, or were often missing... one girl said that while researching for dj's "the only thing I always see missing is pricing. This was a big issue for multiple vendors. It doesn’t matter how great you are or how much word of mouth you have if someone can’t afford it they just can’t afford it. It’s less stressful and time consuming if you can go to a website and say yes or no to someone being an option rather than spending days waiting on an email or a consultation to discus pricing only to find out they can afford it. It waste their time and yours."
 
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