Service Review: Docusign Digital Contracts

For the first few years of my business I had been printing out contract and sending them out snail mail.

I’d be lucky if the entire process took a week, not to mention having to get to the post office to send out my licked envelopes and still send them a scanned copy once I got it back.

Then I discovered Docusign and swore off physical contracts forever.

What is Docusign?

For $120 per year you can send 5 digital envelopes (read, contracts) per month.

But are digital signatures binding? Here you go.

You can upload either a Word Doc or PDF, then add input fields, initial blocks, signature fields, and auto-populated dates.

For the amount of business I was doing at the time this was a godsend.

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Relatively cheap ($120/yr)
  • Stores contacts for use between recipient fields
  • Can send a copy of your contract to as many emails you need
  • Has a solid app to access contracts at any time
  • Clients don’t need an account
  • You get notified when clients are viewing your contract

Cons:

  • Limited to 5 contracts per month
  • Unable to edit errors within input fields (which wastes envelopes)
  • Unable to bulk download contracts (must be done individually)
  • Setting up templates suck; fields don’t line up sometimes
  • No consistent dashboard showing # of used contracts that month

Verdict

It works, it’s cheap, but it can be very annoying when you have a busy month and have to wait to send out a contract to nail down that client.

There are CRM’s that include digital contracts in their cost with no monthly limitations (Ex. 17hats) so my advice is to shop around and find a more holistic solution. If you just need a few contracts a month right now in your business it will work, but realize you’re going to have to migrate to another service after you grow which can be a pain.

When To Turn Down A Client (And How)

You’ve been talking with a client, they want to move forward with the booking and give you their deposit. Great! But, something just doesn’t feel right. Deep down something feels off.

Here are a few reasons you should follow your gut and turn down the gig, and how to do it with tact.

Why Turn Down A Client:

1) Tastes & Specialty

You simply don’t have the music or acumen for what the client wants. Most times I’d advocate taking the gig and figuring it out, but you need to tread lightly. NEVER commit to something you can’t follow through on. There’s a difference between pushing your comfort zone and being stupid. I’ve done a number of gigs where the client wanted international music for a portion of the event. I’d be honest and tell them I didn’t have experience working with Bollywood for example, but if they were willing to work with me and provide some examples I’d be more than happy to help. If however a client wanted 100% alternative indie for their wedding I’d have to decline (and have). I had no basis of confidence for how I’d pull that off and make everyone happy.

2) Style (on the mic)

They want someone on the mic… All, night, long. But that’s not you. Maybe you’re not even comfortable on the mic. Hard pass here, unless you outsource that job and bring someone else in while you DJ. Over the years I’ve become more comfortable on the mic and can belt out energetic, cheese-free introductions no problem. But aside from coordination and standard wedding engagement, I’m no hype man. I make this very clear to my clients. I go one step further and provide a live recording of a wedding introduction so they know exactly who they’re getting. If you’ve been hiding behind your MC abilities or style and sense they want something else, pass.

3) Client connection

Perhaps you just don’t click with the client. Do they want to control every aspect of the playlist, providing a minute by minute screen-play of what songs to play when? I don’t work so well under micro-management. If that gels with your personality and how you operate, great! Or maybe you’re having an extremely difficult time getting a sense of the type of music they want. They change their mind every other email. Your communication styles might be getting in the way, aside from the simple fact they could be indecisive.

If a flag like these come up, act on them. Otherwise everyone will be miserable.

Ultimately it boils down to:

  • Can you deliver the expected product?
  • Can you collaborate effectively to prepare?

Declining

Ok you’ve decided you don’t want to work with a client. How do I turn them down!?

Be honest (as much as possible)

  1. If it’s as simple as musical misalignment, this is easy:
    • “I don’t think I’m the best fit for the music you’re looking for”

  2. Same for your MC offerings
    • “I don’t think I’m the best fit for the atmosphere you’d like to set”

  3. But if it’s them, being 100% transparent may not work out so well (but still be honest)
    • “I don’t think we really click on how we operate”

If they don’t sound crazy, you can try and forward the hot lead to someone in your network that would be a better fit. You win in both eyes because you were helpful to the client and the other DJ appreciated the passed business and will want to reciprocate in the future.

Win-win.

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.

Behind the decks view of getting more gigs.