Category Archives: Business Streamlining

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.

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.

What Should You Charge? DJ Pricing Template For Weddings

DJ Pricing

Recently on a webinar in Phil Morse’s Mobile DJ Blueprint course the question of DJ pricing came up, as it does often. I mentioned theweddingreport.com as a source for researching prices in your area and using that as a baseline for setting your packages across the board, not just for weddings.

Here’s how I approached the situation when I first began doing weddings, YMMV.

Weddings

The average spend on DJs for weddings in my area was right around $1100. Location: Southwest Connecticut, USA

  • My first wedding I charged $800; I knew the couple through my corporate job I had at the time. I was transparent it was my first wedding, but they had seen me before and were comfortable with that.
  • My second wedding I charged $950; I’m good friends with the groom’s brother which is how I got the lead. They knew it was my second wedding, and I priced accordingly.
  • My third wedding I charged $1290 (my target full price); another contact through my corporate job.
  • My fourth wedding I charged $1740 (a premium as it was on NYE); this was a cold lead that came through Gigmasters.

I knew my services were better than the average DJ’s, so my target was $1250, just above the aforementioned ‘average’ rate of $1100.

I however charged less for my first two gigs because I’ve never done weddings before, I didn’t feel comfortable charging full price when there was a decent probability I’d be rough around the edges. I’ve never done it before, so the clients got a reduced rate for the risk they were taking on.

But I didn’t enter the foray of weddings until I had been Djing for YEARS. IMO weddings should be down the line for all the new DJs. Cut your teeth on less stressful gigs before having someone put their trust in you for such a big day.

Other Gigs

I did some more research and found that DJ pricing for basic corporate gigs float around $800 (70% the wedding rate), and basic Mom n Pop gigs around $550 (50% of the wedding rate). Those ratio’s might be a good place to start in your location once you find out what avg wedding DJs get, as I found that anyone charging less around me wasn’t really worth their salt.

DJ Pricing Calculator

I asked a few friends scattered around the country about their DJ pricing, then compared to the data on the website and ratios I came up with. Using that as a rough framework I created a  DJ pricing tool that will provide estimates on what rates might be in your area. Check it out and let me know how it works for your area!