By Mike Melice
For many DJs looking to make the leap to full-time DJing, there exists a reluctance to make that commitment — excuses, really, that prevent us from doing it.
The biggest excuse that I see on Facebook and the biggest one that I hear when I talk to a lot of DJs is that there isn’t room in your geographic location for either a specific service or a specific price point.
So, for example, when I was switching from being a club DJ to being a mobile DJ, I met with a few different DJs just to see what they were charging. They asked me what they thought I was going to charge, and I told them I want to charge $3,000 and the reason why is because I wanted to do 35 weddings a year — I wanted to make $100,000.
The biggest excuse I hear is that there isn’t room in your market for either a specific service or a specific price point.
They told that will never happen, because they knew the market very well. So the market excuse is one I hear a lot, because DJs think that in their market, they know what the price is going for — and that’s what they’re charging, which is a huge mistake.
But there are things you can do to get over this. If things are not doing that well in your market, then you can approach a different market.
By that I mean this: if you think the average you want to do is $3,000 a gig but you’re getting the sense that the market can support only $1,500 to $2,000 — then advertise three hours away in a bigger city or in a more successful city.
I know a lot of guys who have done that, like my best friend Mick Uranko. He’s charging now $4,000 on average, and he lives in one of the softest counties in Pennsylvania, which is labeled the second most “redneck county” in the country.
Advertise three hours away in a bigger city or in a more successful city.
So instead of advertising locally, he advertised within three or four hours away, and began getting gigs in Philly, Pittsburgh, and Scranton. And then once he built his reputation, and he had the reviews to back that up, he had some amazing pictures a great website, then he was able to utilize all those things to his advantage and then say to his market, Hey, this is what I charge and I have 100 reviews on my website and not one of them says that clients regret spending that much. He had to expand first and cover a much bigger area, and then he was able to come back home and get what he was getting in the bigger areas.
There are many ways that you can do this. For example, with Google Ads you can advertise in multiple counties. So instead of selecting the town and then expanding up to 50 miles from there, you can actually select all the counties that you want to advertise in — skip the counties that have a low income and only advertise in the high-income towns.
You can also do it with Facebook by targeting more highly educated people, or whose relationship status is engaged, or whose job is a doctor. You can drop pins on the map, and you can expand that pin up to 50 miles and drop multiple pins in different counties.
Mike Melice is the owner of DJ Mike Melice in Ithaca New York. He’ll be speaking more about the “5 Things That Prevent DJs From Making the Leap to Full Time” at the 2020 DJ Expo.
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