7 Tips To Be A Better DJ
Regardless of the type of event you DJ, following these tips will surely step up your game. They will assist in the following:
- Making you more professional
- Show you take DJ’ing seriously
- Show you care more about the client and the event instead of just there to play music or collect a payment
- Receiving more referrals, and repeat bookings, where applicable
So what are the 7 Tips to be a better DJ?
1. Play requested music, not just what you want to hear. This seems obvious however many DJs will play their music and not necessarily what the client wants. This starts back in the initial meetings, have open communication on details of the music, including must plays and do not plays. Getting this sorted early, will set you up for success when it comes showtime.
2. Read the crowd. This goes hand in hand with number 1 above. You want to play what the client wants, but you also want to play for the crowd. The happy median in between is the sweet spot. Sometimes these will be on opposite ends. Client wants specifics the crowd may not like, and vise versa. Knowing this in advance and communicating this to the client will show you know your stuff, but are still confident to execute it. I have a perfect, detailed example here.
3. Be Proactive. This means constantly being situational aware of whats going on, in which pertains to you, the music, and the event. If you are the MC being steps ahead of what is actually taking place will have you ready for whats next. Having backup songs ready, a second mic, or simply the confidence to act quickly should a change occur, sets you apart from the rest. I’ll touch on this more in the days to come.
4. You’re there for the client, not yourself. Yes of course your doing this as an income generator, however the one thing that will crush your public image and brand fastest is trying to be the star of every event. This starts change and consciousness within with ones self. Nightclub DJs, Festival DJs, and similar sure, this is the time and place. Corporate Events, Weddings, Private Parties, Mixers and similar, not so much. Approach these events as you are here to provide a service and “prescribe the crowd” the right songs. Doing so, you’ll show confidence but not arrogance.
5. Maintain Professionalism, this reaches further than just at the event. Starting with the first contact through past the followup after the event has concluded, in person, via email, on the phone or through text messages – maintaining consistency and professionalism in how you conduct yourself and the conversations is crucial. With written communication, knowing how to address each type of communication (Text Message vs Email vs Social Media) with respect to when to use emojis, shortened words (text vs txt), and punctuation. In person, knowing how to handle each situation and communicate with the client, vendors, venues, and planners. Think of it this way, your in the spotlight all the time, so never let your guard down or cut corners. The smallest altercations could potentially speak volumes about how your services will be. Especially with a wedding, everyone wants this day to be perfect for them. Any doubt about this from the client about any of the vendors, they will move onto the next.
6. Communicate, there are plenty of times when a situation “could have” been handled better. Of these times, ~90% of them is due to poor communication. The more you communicate with the couple, the vendors, the planner, the venue, the smoother the event or wedding will go. Now, this doesn’t mean talk to everyone about everything as this would just be overboard. Think of the situation as a “Need to Know” basis. When speaking to the venue, what do they need to know that pertains to them and the wedding, that you are in control of? Champaign pouring, silverware available for cake cutting, exact times dinner will be served, etc. The venue would not need to know when the garter toss is or the money dance, that would be a “need to know” for the Photographer/Videographer.
7. Follow-Up & Feedback. There are many times when DJ’s get busy and are already on to the next event or wedding, focused on making that event special. Do not forget to follow up with clients. It may seem simple, however it is your last impression to really impress the client. Whether email or physical card, make it something that is special, unique, and not just thrown together. Recap a special moment from the wedding and include this. Maybe it was a joke or something you connected with the client during the venue walk through or consultations, include it. This small action shows you care enough to remember and that the particular client isn’t just another client. One change that has almost tripled my referrals, while also leaving a great last impression AND gotten me much more, and better feedback, is using something called SOC. This allows me to send a personalized card, with pictures or text in it, along with a gift if I so choose along with the card…all from my phone. Believe it or not, I’ve made some of these cards on my phone while at the wedding (during a waiting period or cocktail hour) and then reviewed them afterwards, and hit send. Cards made in a warehouse, packaged, and shipped directly to client within 5 days. This allows me to continue moving forward while not forgetting the small details of the followup.