Howell, N.J. – Every DJ can remember the time in the life of their business when things changed. The first time they realized that the business was scalable, that clients were happy with the service and word was spreading, and when it became apparent that a living could be made from making people happy.
For Anthony LoBosco, that moment occurred in 2012, a year or so after he started Royal Entertainment DJs, when he needed to lease two trucks to transport equipment to gigs. The bookings were growing to the point where his SUV and small trailer could no longer accommodate the burden.
“Over time as business demand grew, I didn’t have the cargo space to transport my equipment,” he says.
A good problem to have, especially for a DJ with ambitions to Go Big—and with a strategy to get there, which can be summed up in one phrase: Sweet 16s.
“During my teen years, I attended many Sweet 16 events in New Jersey and I have a great understanding for what teens are looking for,” says LoBosco. “I would say about 40-percent of my revenue for 2014 was from Sweet 16s, and I see that revenue doubling for 2015.”
What started as an offering that provided basic sound and lighting has grown to what LoBosco calls “Super Sweet 16-type events”—with photo booths, entertainers, CO2 cannons, lighting technicians, live social media feeds and more. He even recently booked an event with a Snoop Dogg impersonator and a New York Theme with the Naked Cowboy. “I was recently asked how much it would cost to have Kim Kardashian at the event,” he says.
The real strategy behind the effort in marketing to Sweet 16s is in its recognition of his clients’ life-event timeline. “As I grow and mature, I will become a player in the wedding industry,” he says. “I keep in touch with all my Sweet-16 clients and there will be a natural progression into engagements, weddings, baptisms and communions.”
Well done. LoBosco, in his early 20s, is close enough in age to his Sweet 16 audience to grow with them. But even more importantly, he knows where to find the audience and how to talk to them.
“I’ve always had many friends and my social-media presence has grown organically,” he says. “It’s friends telling friends. I like to publish photos and videos of my events on social media and make it compelling for people to click on. One post might read: ‘Did you see what happened in Gina’s photo booth at her Sweet 16?’ Or ‘Stay tuned for Brianna’s Sweet-16 video’ and then direct traffic to my websites with these postings.”
Of course, there’s always the old-order staple of word of mouth. “Competition motivates me to be better and smarter about what I do,” he says. “And the result is a happy client that will recommend me. One way to get that recommendation is to always be looking for unique services to offer clients at reasonable rates.”
To that end, Royal offers a free mobile charging station with photo-booth packages, a value-added service that he says delights his clients. He’s also seen benefit to attending a local Business Expo that has allowed him to grow his network of other local business professionals. “Anything to get my name out there,” he says. “I am interested mainly in branding Royal Entertainment as the top New Jersey entertainment company. And we are well on our way.”
The Royal Entertainment story started when LoBosco was doing a few weekend gigs for a Jersey company that’s no longer in business. He began as a party entertainer and quickly became an expert operating the DJ gear. “I always had a vision of running my own company,” he says. “I started out doing small school events, and school events turned into proms, and proms turned into Sweet 16s, engagement parties and wedding events, and people started calling me for other events like communions and mitzvahs.”
He started Royal Entertainment DJs in 2011, and soon realized he could use his social-media presence to direct people to his website. He hired someone to drive his Google ranking up and he now holds positions on the first page of Google for his main website and a sub-site. “I get on average 15 inquiries for services per week, which has grown the business tremendously,” he says. “Google and social media are my friends as are my social media followers.”
Currently, Royal employs four DJs, and its bookings break down as follows: 40-percent Sweet 16s, 20-percent mitvzahs, 20-percent weddings, and 20-percent other. Royal’s basic DJ set-up includes: MacBook Pro laptop running Serato DJ software; Pioneer DDJ-SX controller; JBL Pro PRX715 tops and PRX718XLF subs; Shure microphones; AKG K267 Tiësto headphones; Global Truss trussing; and a variety of Chauvet Lighting gear like ShowXpress control software.
When we ask LoBosco where he sees the company in three years, his answer displays little hesitation. “In three years, I see Royal Entertainment growing into the top choice for weddings, mitzvahs and Sweet 16s in New Jersey. I am looking into growing business relationships with local venues and perhaps acquiring or working jointly with some of the competition—2015 is nearly fully booked for weekend events with some dates double- and triple-booked. I am always looking for good, reliable talent to train and, and, additionally, I am in the process of inventing a unique service offering and perhaps patenting and licensing it. Stay tuned.”