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By Gregg Hollmann

The DJ Expo is always a boon for my DJ business, and this year I attended nine seminars over three days. At the end, I was as exhausted as I was enlightened. From this past DJ Expo—Aug. 8-11 at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, N.J.—here are some takeaways:


Steve Moody’s All-Star MC Secrets Revealed

The 2009 “DJ of the Year” Steve Moody hosted a panel of all-star MCs, including Mike Wieder, Jay Thomson, Shani Barnett and Marz Lawhorn.

Marz recommended DJs to adopt a human approach to selling, to “step outside yourself, be more yourself, and sell more.” This personal touch has served Marz well—when his twin daughters were born, he received 75 gifts from clients.

Moody and Wieder spoke about the importance of laying the groundwork for a successful party by getting to know your clients and guests in advance. While I have traditionally preferred to pack dancefloors organically, several of the panelists advised staging a packed dancefloor. For example, use an opening routine to get all guests on the floor, then riding the momentum of this opening routine for the rest of the evening.


Jerry Bazata’s Business in a Down Economy

Finance guru and DJ business owner Jerry Bazata provided a powerful blend of big-picture economic insight and specific sales/marketing strategies. On the big-picture side, Bazata explained how the Section 179 deduction is set to expire at the end of 2011 and business owners would be wise to accelerate their equipment purchases to guarantee a tax deduction. He also advised attendees not to be afraid of applying for an SBA loan, and said that local community banks might provide a better chance for loan approval.

On specific sales/marketing strategies, Bazata is fond of email marketing. Not relying on canned responses, Bazata personalizes his emails and runs multi-touch campaigns. For email subject lines, he recommended avoiding “salesy” overtures, and instead offered subject lines such as “Establishing a Budget for Your Wedding,” “Music Selection for Your Event,” “Avoid Embarrassing Songs at Your Event,” and “Is Your Do Not Playlist Really a Do Not Playlist?”

Finally, Bazata said that social media (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, blogging) is a supplement to a corporate website, but never a replacement.

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