Disc Jockey Services
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An Inside Look At DJ Prices
I'm going to break an advertising rule on this page. I'm going to try to inform you of how DJs look at their prices and how we justify our prices to clients. There are two main perspectives from which DJs think about their prices. We think about our needs and our clients' needs.
From the DJs perspective, we have costs associated with our business. We have costs associated with equipment maintenance, new music, advertising, insurance and general office stuff like paper, pens and notebooks. The DJs with the better equipment, newest music and greatest advertising have to charge more than DJs with crappy equipment, old or pirated music, no insurance, and well, you get the picture. If a DJ doesn't charge enough money to cover those costs, then they can't survive as a business. Even the IRS will call their DJing just a hobby.
DJs also have individual ideas about what their time and talent are worth. DJs who are only charging for their equipment are essentially telling you that their time and talent are worth nothing. However, some DJs invest in educational materials, training workshops, conventions and specialized performance evaluations. These additional costs not only increase the cost of DJing, but also increase the confidence and skill of the DJ. DJs who invest time and money in their craft will almost always charge more than those who don't and they will be worth it. So, we've got the line between a hobbyist and a semi-professional.
As DJs, We also have a limited time to provide our services to clients. The most talented DJs also tend to be popular and even become recognized leaders in the wedding industry. They are able to charge professional rates and still book events all year. Even as single system operators, which means that they don't have a bunch of other DJs working for them, they are able to become full time professional DJS who focus only on the events for which they are hired to provide service.
Most new DJ's think their clients just want music that they can dance. Once DJ's have gotten some experience, we realize that clients want a particular type of experience and that we DJs are almost always in the prime position to deliver that experience. We don't do the cooking, serve the food, or lead you through your vows, but we provide the soundtrack for all of these activities. That soundtrack affects everything from the moment guests begin to arrive to the moment the party is over. We spend more hours serving your guests face to face than any other vendor that you will hire. It's because of this that the DJ is the most important vendor choice for the enjoyment of your celebration.
One of the most frustrating things about searching for a DJ is their unwillingness to disclose prices over the internet or on the phone. A DJ who can effectively and efficiently communicate their value to a client will do better in business if they insist on speaking with potential clients about the value delivered before quoting a hard price. There is another advantage to leaving prices off of the websites. It allows DJs to more easily charge different rates for different events. Some clients don't realize the different amounts of work that go into providing quality service for a school dance versus a mitzvah or wedding. It's often simpler to only give them prices for the services that they are asking about instead of giving them a price list for services that they don't even need.
There is one question that naturally follows. Where do I fit in all this? I consider myself a semi-professional. Disc jockeying is not my main profession so I wouldn't call myself a professional. At the same time, I'm a local wedding industry leader on the board of the Arizona Chapter of the American Disc Jockey Association and I constantly invest time and money in improving my performance. I'm not one of those people who claim to do the same thing as the $1500-$2500 DJs for a much lower price. They usually incorporate some of the wedding/event planning services into their DJ service, and I leave that stuff to my clients. I don't even claim to be the best at what I do. I simply deliver three things: experience, conveniences, and sound.