Previously, Kurtus Nichols, owner of K-Sound Entertainment in Crooksville, Ohio, wrote about how to build rapport at weddings. This month, he tells us how he uses the free listings on Wedding Wire and The Knot to generate referrals.
The Knot/Wedding Wire call me every other week and say “your reviews are glowing, want to increase your business?”
Of course I do — but I don’t think the ROI is worth it. So I use the free listings to showcase my reviews and awards, then I share the reviews to social media and get referrals — without spending a dime.
Here’s how it’s done:
Getting the reviews to the free listings is what a lot of DJs struggle with.
If it’s done right, the client posts a review the very next day after an event — all with one hint you’ve dropped during the initial call for service. I’ll say something like: “I can discount (insert amount) simply because if you write a review afterwards, that means so much more to me than a few extra bucks.”
So I’m offering the client a discount to post a review the day after — but it’s not a real discount. I’m not losing any money. I’ll say, “Just because I’m discounting the fee, I’m not discounting my service.” The quoted fee is basically a MSRP — I have room to work.
I do not make my fee a selling point, my service is what I focus on to close the deal. If they’ve done their research, the client knows my price isn’t going to be “affordable” or cheap. (I’m at an average $2,000 for a wedding).
Many DJs will use their lower price as a selling point, causing the reviews to reference price and use terms like “affordable.” The result is a perceived value of lower quality.
Sometimes I’ll say to a prospect “I know a lot of brides stress about tipping their service providers at the end of the night, but don’t worry about that with me. If you do a review after, that’ll be gratitude worth way more than cash.”
You’re probably wondering how a client reacts when I ask for a review in advance.
7 out of 10 calls are from those who’ve already seen me in action, “You bet I will,” they say when I ask for the review, “you’re the best.”
Afterwards I don’t do a follow up, so to speak. The client usually follows up with a thank you either on social media, email or text. At that point they’ll ask “Do you have a link for me to write a review?”
I’ll send the link and get the email notification it’s been done.
Throughout the year I’ll showcase the reviews — I’ll put them as my FB cover photo or on my website landing page, then I’ll make a post that drives traffic to my site. Once in a while I’ll showcase the awards — 9 total from TK/WW combined.
It definitely sparks interest. Many times I’ll field inquiries like “I’ve found your listing on TK/WW…” Or a Facebook-user will tag a potential bride on a review post or award post with “this is the DJ I was telling you about.”
When I hear things during the booking like “we’ve read your reviews,” that tells me sharing the reviews is helping get the word out.
It means something to the brides that their DJ is affiliated with a major industry entity. Still, may DJs object to the WW/TK’s aggressive sales calls, they doubt the inquiries are even genuine.
But I don’t worry about any of that because I’m using The Knot/Wedding Wire’s lead-generator. I think their line is something like “Don’t you want your listing viewed first to the millions of potential brides, we have hundreds of brides signing up every day.”
Basically, the more money you give WW/TK, the more exposure you get to potential brides, which for me is usually brides who have no idea of the service I provide, they only know me from the reviews. So when they find out my price, their jaw drops.
But many, many DJs believe the Knot and Wire are overpriced. Some DJs find that they get more referrals from the Facebook pages that are managed by local wedding planners.
And many DJs believe The Knot/Wire’s “best of…” awards are a scam to get more DJs to sign up for the paid service.
There is a misconception though about the awards. DJs think they have to pay for a listing to be considered for one. You don’t — it’s the amount and content of reviews collected in a year’s span.
So a lot of DJs downplay the awards as a participation trophy. But to potential brides there is something to be said when they say “We have award winning DJ [enter your name] for our wedding!!”
So the goal is basically, do a damn good job, get the review, get the award, showcase that award to the masses — all without paying a dime.
Kurtus Nichols is a two-time reigning champion on Carnival Cruise Lines lip-sync competition (He won both times with Tina Turner’s “Proud Mary”).