Steps & Sounds - listening to music in coffee shop - DJ LifeNeed to hire a DJ?

The big event is coming soon. Time to look for your entertainment. You have decided on hiring a DJ, so what next?

You fire up your favorite browser, or just speak into your phone "I need a DJ". You now have a list of the best DJ's - right?

Unfortunately you have a list of the DJ's who are GREAT at marketing. This does not translate into a DJ that fits with your needs.

Another option is go on a "budget site" and do a look up for DJ's. These sites charge the DJ company a fee to connect with leads. Unfortunately, much information on these sites is misleading. The "going rate" is WAY too low for a DJ company that is running as a company. I have had a few people come back with me "I need a DJ for 4 hours and I have a $200 budget".

Just to let you know, this ain't going to happen - and get a quality, reputable person to perform at your event. I used to charge $200 for a 4 hour gig back in 1985! Believe me, times have changed... and the cost of doing business has risen. That rate is not sustainable for a company to stay in business.

Hobby or Business?

Steps & Sounds - Mobile DJ Service - Mirror ball and lightsYou need to find out if the person is doing this as a hobby or a business? I am not saying that a "hobbyist" will not do a good job, you need to realize that a person running as a business will have costs that need to be recouped, and are included in the cost of performing at an event.

  • Music, legally obtained
  • Licenses (where needed)
  • Insurance
  • Professional Website - not an XYZ.freeweb.biz
  • Professional Email
  • Professional grade equipment, with backups

Al of these add cost, the cost of doing business. These costs must be recouped and a profit made if the business is to remain viable.

If someone if going to DJ your event for $200 - you are probably dealing with a hobbyist. Many times these low cost operators have illegal music libraries. How about backups in case something goes wrong? It is becoming more common for a cheap DJ to cancel at the last minute or not show up at all… having found a gig that pays $50 more.

Buyer Beware!

If you want a professional event than hire a pro!

Questions to ask your potential DJ:

  • How many years have you been in the business?
  • Are you insured?
  • How often do you DJ? Do you DJ different types of events?
  • Do you take playlists? Requests? How about a "do not play" list?
  • Will you also be the MC?
  • Are you prepared to handle issues - do you have backups?
  • How do you get your music for your library? Do you have "clean" edits?
  • Do you have a backup DJ in case of emergency?
  • Will you handle the event coordination?
  • How often do you meet with your clients?
  • Do you do site visits of a venue?
  • Will you provide a written contract of services?

You can see my answers here:

Questions and Answers
- How many years have you been in the business?
○ Started to DJ in 1982, working in a radio station in 1983.

- Are you insured?
○ Yes, Have a million dollar liability policy.

- How often do you DJ? Do you DJ different types of events?
○ I DJ at least 3 - 4 times a month. Working in clubs and private events. Have done wedding ceremony / receptions, anniversaries, birthday parties, holiday events, Bar mitzvah, Sweet 16 and country themed parties.

- Do you take playlists? Requests? How about a "do not play" list?
○ YES! We love to customize the event for our customer.

- Will you also be the MC? Most definitely.
○ All introductions professionally announced. No "cheesy" DJ voice necessary.

- Are you prepared to handle issues - do you have backups?
○ Yes - all equipment is active (self-powered) and have multiples of everything. Carry 2 computers and drives as well as as a media player.

- How do you get your music for your library? Do you have "clean" edits?
○ We have multiple subscriptions to music services. Radio edits and clean edits for all the popular songs.

- Do you have a backup DJ in case of emergency?
○ Yes, partner with other local DJ's. If something were to happen, all necessary steps would be taken to find a replacement.

- Will you handle the event coordination?
○ Yes. We have scripts for every type of situation. Will coordinate with the venue / facility, photographer, planner and of course you our client.

- How often do you meet with your clients?
○ As many times as is necessary. We typically don't need more than 2 or 3 meetings (can be don via Skype / Face-time).

- Do you do site visits of a venue?
○ Always unless a remote destination. Even if we have performed in the venue previously, we like to visit and make sure things will run smoothly. Many times we will make the site visit a client visit as well.

- Will you provide a written contract of services?
○ Yes, a contract will be provided with all services outlined.

Good luck in your search to find a DJ! Wishing you a successful event...

Peace,
-Dennis

Steps & Sounds - Music - Dance - Life

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