Business Review Pt 2: 200% Client Reviews

When you’re in the nascent stages of building a Mobile DJ business, you need to prove to your market that you’re the real deal. With sites likes Wix and WordPress anyone in their mother’s basement it’s no longer enough to have a decent looking site. That is, if you want to make more than  a couple hundred bucks a month. I’m talking triple digit annual growth here.
 
A tenet remember is this: What got you here will not get you there. 
 
What helped you grow from a four figure business to a five figure business won’t get you to six figures. 
 
Five figure income might require a tasteful website, a handful of professional event photos, and a couple of words from past clients
 
Six figures requires a change in your game. Six figures requires your clients to go to bat for YOU. You need to blow them away so they want to help you. Double digit testimonials at this point is a MUST. 
 
One of the ways I did that is by gifting custom soundtrack mementos.
I ordered a hundred custom vinyl CDs I could burn music onto. For each couple I then ordered a wooden engraved CD case with their initials and wedding date. I burn their special songs (Ceremony music, first dances, wedding party introduction music) and recorded toasts onto the CD. It only costs me about $30 and 30 minutes per couple, and it blows their minds.
 
Here is the end result:
Not only are they clamoring to write you a review, they’re raving to all their friends and relatives what their DJ got them. Word of Mouth on steroids.
 
Then it might sit on a mantlepiece in their home for future visitors to ask what that box is. It’s some of the best marketing dollars you could ever spend.
 
Only about 30-40% of clients give their vendors testimonials. By going the extra mile, I’ve been able to get testimonials from about 90% of my clients.
 
And I picked up a ninja tactic to double your testimonial rate:
Ask your clients to write a few words on why they decided to book you after they sign that contract!
 
No longer do you have to wait 6-12 months before getting a review!
 
It’s not enough to throw money at paid advertising and wait for clients to come to you. You need to have the assets consumers are looking for these days to get them to click BUY. You wouldn’t buy anything on Amazon without reading great reviews would you? Booking DJs is no different.

Business Review Pt 1: How I Doubled Revenue Six Years Straight (and counting)

We’re just crossing mid-year and I hit a major milestone: I have as much on the books halfway through this year compared to ALL of last year!

I’m keeping up with my targetted revenue growth of doubling each and every year. I hit $25k last year so basic math would tell us that I’m looking at $50k for 2018.

It’s also looking like I’ll be able to keep expenses flat despite the massive uptick in revenue.

Gross Rev Expenses Total Gigs Private Gigs Private Rev Bars/Clubs Bar Rev
2012 $100 $234 3 3 $100 0 $0
2013 $1,510 $625 5 5 $1,510 0 $0
2014 $1,841 $2,022 7 7 $1,841 0 $0
2015 $5,128 $3,399 15 13 $4,478 2 $650
2016 $12,840 $11,010 24 16 $10,790 8 $2,050
2017 $25,175 $13,916 67 14 $11,975 53 $14,250
2018 $25,945 $7,168 46 21 $19,795 25 $6,150

Weddings, Weddings, Weddings

So what can we glean from all these fancy numbers? The big thing sticking out is the explosion in Private Gig Revenue. Weddings have accounted for the big growth here.

I had five weddings in 2016 and unfortunately followed that up with absolutely zero in 2017. That changed in a big way this year, as I played five weddings over a four week period in May ALONE. So far I have 11 on the year with another already booked for 2019.

Bar revenue has fallen off a bit but that was to be expected. I stopped spending any and all energy working into the bar scene to focus exclusively on weddings and clearly it’s been paying off. I even began turning away bar gigs to double down on growing the most valuable part of my business.

As you can see below, I’ve done fewer gigs and my revenue has grown. Bar gigs pull in $200-250 not including tax or expenses. My average weddings have been priced at $1500 depending on the package. This is exactly what I planned on.

From Whence They Came

Below I break down percentages of where my revenue has been coming from.

Since a large portion of my income last year were bar gigs, Industry Connects & Multi-ops contributed to half of my revenue. Now that I’m turning away from bar gigs they’ve contributed to only a quarter of my revenue with Paid sources picking up the slack.

Paid sources include sites like Gigmasters and WeddingWire. A big reason why they’ve spiked up is because of the testimonials I’ve gathered.

Sources 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Word of Mouth 100% 100% 100% 70% 41% 31% 33%
Multi-ops 0% 0% 0% 18% 10% 30% 15%
Paid 0% 0% 0% 0% 26% 19% 39%
Industry Connects 0% 0% 0% 0% 2% 20% 7%
Barter 0% 0% 0% 13% 21% 0% 5%

Revenue by Source YoY

More Reviews = More Leads (& Gigs)

In August of 2017 I signed up for a Wedding Wire Pro account and through January 2018 I only had two reviews. By June I got that up to TWELVE, with every single wedding client writing me a testimonial.

Industry average is 20%, 30% at best if you follow-up four times. Once you break double digit testimonials Wedding Wire’s traffic DOUBLES. Anyone can tell you that doubling your ROI is huge, because now you’ve got twice the bang for buck. And Wedding Wire is not cheap.

I’m getting more and more qualified cold leads from clients who are willing and able to pay for quality service. If you don’t have the reviews or marketing assets (like a great website and professional photos), you’re just not going to make the sale outside of budget shoppers.

How Did I Get Reviews from 100% Of My Clients?

It all boils down to doing the unexpected. Spending just 2% of my gig revenue  on a gift, my clients were jumping up and down to write me a glowing review!

Look out for the next the article or sign up for my newsletter to be the first to know when it’s posted!

Wedding Trends for 2018

2018 Wedding Trends by Wedding Wire

The following are my notes from Wedding Wire’s most recent webinar focusing on wedding trends of note for DJs & Bands as useful tidbits to pass along to prospective clients. By staying on top of the industry and conveying to your clients where weddings are headed, they’re more likely to view you as an expert in the field and thus more likely to entrust you with their big day. Enjoy!

Timing:

  • 1/3 weddings taking place Sept thru Nov
  • 15% weddings in October

Logistics:

  • 22% guests ask guests for an unplugged ceremony
  • Assigned tables, free choice seating

Ceremonies:

  • 50% couples writing their own vows
  • Less aisle markers, more focus on backdrop

Rising trends:

  • More personalized experiences/elements
  • More unique food to the wedding location
  • More themed wedding décor – Ex. Wood theme, less décor by color palette
  • More low-flower centerpieces so table can see each other and talk
  • Food trucks are in after the reception
  • Top-tier cake, then small desserts for later
  • 50% serve a buffet style dinner
  • Photo Booths still in however with different props: less boas, more signage

 Declining trends:

  • Less Father/Daughter and Mother/Son dances
  • Less couples changing last names
  • Less Honeymoons right after wedding; more mini-moons
  • Less wedding party members divided by gender
  • Less sparkler exits
  • Less traditional Save-The-Date invites in the mail
  • Less menu cards sent in the mail

First dances

  • God only knows – John Legend
  • Perfect – Ed Sheeran
  • How Would You Feel – Ed Sheeran
  • Helium – Sia
  • I’ll name the dogs – Blake Shelton
  • Greatest love story – lanco
  • Love – Lana del rey
  • Best party – Daniel Chester
  • My forever – Tamar Braxton

Narrowing down everything into your budget:

  • Pick your top 3 or 5
  • Focus on things guests will notice & remember
  • Guests most comment on Food & Experiences (Band, DJ, juggler, etc)

For an in-depth view on the most recent wedding I did including each and every song I played, check out my article here: My New Year’s Eve Wedding Playlist

Behind the decks view of getting more gigs.