Best DJ Black Friday Deals 2017 – A Compilation

An aggregation of the best DJ Black Friday deals for 2017.

This will be updated as I find more deals. The primary focus will be on site-wide coupons and particularly good deals on popular items/brands. If you’re trying to gear up on a budget you can look at my tips here.

If you’ve found an awesome deal shoot me an email!

 

DJ Tech Tools – Deals to come

Digital DJ Tips – All courses 35% off

ProAudioStar – RCF Clearance models 35% off

AGIProDJ – 15% off orders of $250+

idjnow – 12% off order $250+, more to come

PSSL – $50 off $300 w/ Free Shipping

GuitarCenter – Countdown sale: 15-25% off eligible items. 15% off new purchases after trade-in.

Sweetwater – Nothing yet

SamAsh – Nothing yet

Turntable Lab – Nothing yet

123dj – Nothing yet

Grum – $25 for lifetime access; schedule Instagram posts from desktop

25 Takeaways Shadowing A Multi Six-Figure Wedding DJ

A friend of mine runs a wedding DJ business. He charges north of $3k for his services. He doesn’t offer photo-booths, lighting, TVs, or any other upsells, just audio provisions with DJ & MC services. The basics.

From May through October he averages about two events a week, I’ll let you do the math. With his success I just had to shadow his operation and learn everything I could. Last weekend I finally went down and was his unpaid intern for the weekend, absorbing all I could.

So, how does he charge so much and stay as busy as he is?

Turns out, it’s business skills. And everything outside of actual DJing.

  1. He’s a ninja networker.
  2. His customer service is impeccable.
  3. MC skills polished and refined.
  4. Has a properly done Website and Facebook page.

Don’t get me wrong, he wasn’t too bad behind the decks. His track selection and programming were on point, most of what matters in a good DJ. His mixing was unpolished in addition to poor volume and EQ management.

But, no one cared.

His business success is a result of his business skills. Not his DJ skills.

Everyone still had a great time despite the rough edges. When I give him my feedback he says it was an off night. Whether it was or not the takeaway is clear.

Business skills overshadow DJ skills to have a successful wedding DJ business.

Below are some specific observations and tactics I picked up over the weekend ordered chronologically in the client process:

  1. Have a chat box on your web page that can message directly to your phone.
  2. Utilize LinkTree on Instagram to better route folks to your pages.
  3. Contact other DJs to research bridal expos before signing up.
  4. When at bridal expos you will need to be proactive, folks will aimlessly walk by you unless they’re engaged with.
  5. Check out HoneyBook.com and find a Tuesdays Together meet up group near you. Chances are there are event planners and photographers to network with for bookings! (I joined the one in Westchester, NY)
  6. Shoot a short unedited mixing video to showcase talent and quell client concerns about how good you are.
  7. Setup Gmail message templates for boilerplate followups (vendors, couple).
  8. Get full vendor list w/ contact info when client is filling out questionnaire.
    • He reaches out after the wedding to network in an effort to generate additional referrals if they appreciated his work.
  9. Before the event he does one last meeting/call to review details
  10. He uses a 50% deposit, calls it a retainer for legal reasons.
    • This is primarily to enforce the up front fee as non-refundable as ‘deposit’ opens yourself up to risk having to refund your non-refundable down payment.
    • Friends of mine in CT have called it a ‘Hold the date fee’… I like retainer better.
  11. More on contracts:
    • Include note about sound liability; you are not responsible for some bloke standing in front of your speakers and blowing out their ear drums!
    • Explicitly request food provisions for food (up to two ppl)
    • Require an outlet within 50 feet of setup
    • Also require shelter/pop-up tent
    • The Client is responsible if anything is broken, by anyone
      • This is especially important as venue staff might break stuff; this can result in finger-pointing
  12. Mini-van w/ back seats taken out offers TONS of cheap room!
  13. Custom made business shirts for set up is a nice touch, he changes into his suit in the bathroom.
  14. Having a helper is huge for monitoring volume.
  15. Helper is also big with simple coordination and basic loading/setup.
  16. For satellite setups (such as for ceremony, cocktail hour), he uses Shure wireless mic’s w/ mixers in flight case on keyboard stands.
  17. He addresses the crowd to direct attention to specific location of the person he’s talking about and states their name.
    • Example: “Alright ladies and gentlemen at the front of the room we have Carrie…”
  18. Prints out itinerary to bring with him; he provides directives only two steps ahead so helpers don’t get confused.
    • He shares the itinerary only with the planner ahead of time, no one else.
  19. For ceremony procession, cocktail hour, and dinner he has multiple tracks queued up just playing in iTunes.
    • He doesn’t hang around to monitor the situation, he leaves and either relaxes elsewhere or sets up a different room if there’s still work to do.
    • No one seems to care he’s not around in these situations, though I’d be too concerned about something going wrong.
  20. Be strong and commanding during coordination of wedding party lineup. Folks really respond to that, especially military vets.
  21. Have at least two speakers in most rooms for speeches.
    • While it may be enough to have only one, folks will struggle hearing speeches unless you crank it. Those sitting right next to the speaker will complain it’s too loud, thus angry guests.
  22. Advice he gives folks who need to use the mic (best man, etc):
    • “Hold mic at 45 degree angle towards floor, like you’re rapping”
  23. When he did the Anniversary dance, he cleared the dance-floor as soon as he got it going. He agreed he doesn’t like doing it, you’re killing a dance floor (terrible!).
    • I’ll now push folks away from doing this, or at least push them to do it at a time I’m purposely trying to kill a dancefloor. Such as prior to cake-cutting.
  24. He gives a burnt CD of cocktail hour/dinner/special dances at end of the night, couples really appreciate this.
  25. Friend & tag your client after gig on Facebook.
    • Not only will they appreciate the shoutout but now every single one of their friends knows who DJed their wedding!

I’ll be implementing these strategies over the coming weeks which will surely have a positive impact on my bottom line.

Interested to see what else I learn in the process? Subscribe for my email newsletter! I’m constantly learning new things from my thriving confidant, and you don’t want to miss out on the best strategies to becoming a successful wedding DJ.

I Get Hired… Three Years Later

The call went well, or so I thought.

We went over my experience as well as the gear I had to my disposal. She even requested a media kit and relevant assets to kick off the process for me to get hired and put on the books.

But weeks later, nothing.

Despite following up, radio silence persisted.

I had been referred to Scratch Music Group, the events consortium branch of Scratch.com. This was a very large, reputable company. Managing events all across the Greater NY area. At the time of my DJ career I would have killed for a spot on their roster. My friend knew someone who knew someone, hence the call.

I later realize they only wanted DJs who used turntables and ‘scratch’, as the name would have it. I offered neither.

This was a little defeating, but I put it past me and carried on.

In through the side door

A few years pass, now I’m DJing full time. I am orders of magnitude busier with gigs, but my need remains high since DJing is now my only source of income.

A lead comes through on my Gigmasters app for a Saturday afternoon at a retail store. Their budget is $300 which is right in line what I would charge for such an event, it’s within the going rate around here. Below is my quote:

Hi Julia, love to know what store the gig is at.

I have all my own gear for a full setup if need be.

My current residencies include Bartaco and Barcelona wine bars across Fairfield county so I’m not a random DJ off Craigslist.

I also have liability insurance of the gig calls for it.

Thanks,
Dan Moran

I knew what she’d be looking for so I kept it short, easy to read. It worked.

She reached out to confirm my availability and that it would be at a Dressbarn. I give the thumbs up and in turn I receive an email to create an account on Scratch.com’s vendor portal for DJs!

No concern over my equipment. No concern if I could scratch or had turntables. I was able to signal my experience in my quote by answering questions I knew she’d have as a corporation. Between that and my polished Gigmasters profile I was able to get my foot in the door.

The work wasn’t over though. To rise up the ranks of any organization like this I had to really kickass on my first shot. If I didn’t I likely wouldn’t receive another.

Kicking Ass, Despite stumbling

The gig required clean upbeat pop music. A decent portion of my library is tagged as such but many unofficial remixes are not. Unfortunately a mashup’s rap verse dropped a few F & N-bombs… This happened just as a mother and her 9 year old were at a display in front of my table, just while the event coordinator was standing nearby to witness it.

I thought I was toast. Every time she walked by I expected her to come up and comment… but it never happened. The rest of my set was clean as could be.

Once it’s over we shake hands, thank each other for a great event and say our Good-byes.

The Long Route To Get Hired

Two weeks later I get an email from Scratch Music Group. Dressbarn loved my event and want to bring me back for another that upcoming weekend. As fate would have it I’m already committed to a family event, but they let me know I’m on their roster for any future events in the area.

Boom.

Sometimes timing just isn’t right despite being given an opportunity. I had an in the first time around, a friend knew someone there and made an introduction. Typically that’s the best way into a organization, that’s how I landed a big festival gig.

This time I was simply at the right place at the right time. If you’re thirsty enough you need to be tapping all possible sources of gigs, no matter how weak the source.

Behind the decks view of getting more gigs.