Category Archives: DJing Tips

C’mon, Man!

By Glen Ervin:

 Assumptions: We all make them all the time. It’s how our brains function, the result of millions of years of evolution (one would assume) during which pretty much everything was trying to kill you. Good times. Problems arise, however, when we confuse our assumptions with reality despite clear evidence to the contrary.

The pipe and tweed crowd refers to the habit of hoarding preconceived notions as cognitive bias, and have come up with some pretty catchy titles to describe its symptoms.

Some you may recognize: the Bandwagon Effect, Confirmation Bias, Cheerleader Effect, the Dunning-Kruger Effect, aka all the other kids are doing it, I’m just here for opinions that agree with mine, five girls in skimpy skirts are better than one girl in a skimpy skirt, and way too many idiots have an inflated opinion of themselves, respectively.

Others less well known have no doubt spread your way.

Maybe you’ve caught an earful of the Sharing Music Doesn’t Hurt Anyone Bias. That’s the shell game some DJs play where they convince themselves that taking caviar off the table of rich recording artists is no big deal while conveniently ignoring the fact that everyone from secretaries to songwriters to how much DJs can charge for their events is negatively impacted by music piracy.

Or maybe it’s the Music Is Free Effect, Real DJs Don’t Use Sync Bias, Real DJs Beatmatch Effect and, my personal favorite, the I Have More Songs On My Hard Drive Than You Do Bias that make you back away from the keyboard and voice the only reasonable response available…

C’mon man!

If you’re in a place where you think you’re entitled to earn a living by ripping off artists and driving down prices for other DJs. Or need to build yourself up by tearing other DJs down, that’s… a choice.

Just know those of us who strive every day to make our best better and value the music that makes doing what we love for a living possible are rolling their eyes.

And while we may not always say it out loud, we’re thinking it…

C’mon man!

After being turned out to pasture following a 16-year club residency, Glen Ervin finds himself gainfully employed as Promo Only sales manager, media consultant and staff writer.

To mix or not to mix (hint: mix)

By Tony Fernandez:

Its 2018 right? Which means that since the late 1960s DJs have been segueing from record to record, song to song, to maintain a vibe and the consistency of that vibe, roughly some 50 years. So why is it in the technologically advanced world that we currently live in that some DJs still chose not to mix?

Before I continue on my diatribe, let me step off the soapbox for a moment…

I do realize its America. As such, I know I have no right to dictate how one should DJ. I’m sure there are plenty of DJs that don’t mix and make a lot more money than me.

Back to my soapbox…
I’m not saying that all DJs need to be qualifiers for the DMC battle for World Supremacy or finalists for Red Bull Thre3Style. Just asking how is it possible that some DJs put no thought or effort into mastering a fundamental skill that all DJs should have in their arsenal.

Let’s put it this way: If you don’t mix, you’re pretty much a bag of bones that pushes buttons.
You’re just navigating a playlist. And yes, for those who don’t know, I am NOT a fan of playlists.

Let’s frame it another way: On some level we’re all pretty much playing the same songs. We all subscribe to the same record pools (shameless plug for Promo Only here). We all have the potential to have the same content. So… how are you as a DJ going to distinguish yourself from everyone else?

Come on kids, you have to do better. You have to maintain a certain set of fundamental skills. Know your music. Know how to read a crowd. Know your gear. Know how to say no to that seventh cocktail. And know how to mix.

While I’m pontificating, let me add: If you don’t mix (for whatever justification you hang your headphones on) don’t post up and comment on how ‘I haven’t needed to mix in the two centuries I’ve been a DJ and I’m still getting work…’ Honestly, to me, that’s a cop-out and a mitigation of a rudimentary skill you should possess. Besides, stating that you don’t know how to mix isn’t really painting yourself in the best light.

Mixing isn’t neurological surgery. I’m truly not trying to make mixing more important that what it is. But there is a method to the madness, as it were. Mixing is more than just finding songs with the same BPM. Mixing is more than just blending two (or more) songs together. You have to pick the CORRECT song to mix with. You have to know when to START the mix. You have to know when to END the mix. And you have to be consistent from song to song to song, usually for 4 hours or more.

I truly do not understand how someone can find solace in not mixing, ergo, not being a complete DJ. Mixing music is what a DJ does. It’s part of the essence of being a DJ. Dare I say (if I haven’t said enough already) that mixing is a requisite skill that every DJ should have in their toolbox.

Till next time DJs. Keep ‘em spinning.

And mix those spins.

 

 Based out of Richmond, VA, DJ Tony Fernandez has been a DJ, Remixer, Producer, Musical Soothsayer and Audio Gear Oracle since 1980. Find him on facebook. Email djtonytf@gmail.com

 

A DJ’s role

By Tony Fernandez:

Let me say right off the bat… I am NOT a fan of Cardi B’s music. To me, “Bodak Yellow” is unlistenable. Recently, however, I found myself, mostly out of curiosity, watching Cardi B co-host the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. I will admit I was thoroughly entertained. She was funny, engaging and genuinely herself. She was hilarious. Then she performed “Money Bag…” which brings us to the dynamic of music in general and to the DJ’s role in that music specifically.

As I have stated, I am not a fan of Cardi B’s music. However, I totally respect her as an artist. She has the right to create any music she desires and to work her shtick any way she sees fit. I don’t find fault with that whatsoever.

On the flip side, I believe any artist that puts themself in the public forum, any artist that is trying to monetize their craft, opens themselves up to admiration in conjunction with disregard: I can acknowledge and respect Cardi B as an artist…

I don’t have to purchase or play her music.

As DJs, we’re hired to be professional music soothsayers. We play songs in accordance to the client’s wishes or the crowd’s feedback. We all, myself included, play music that we don’t personally like. We’re there to do a job, not play for our personal entertainment.

BUT…. (there’s always a but) while we are DJs, we are human as well. We all have our personal proclivities. We have our biases. We have our likes and dislikes. And on some level, consciously or subconsciously, our dispositions are reflected in the way we program.

As a DJ, I have both the right and responsibility to pass judgement through my own personal filter. As a DJ who acts as an ambassador of music and is a tastemaker, I have the right to exercise my disposition at my discretion.

I play songs I personally don’t care for all the time. There are also songs I will not play. Period. I have garnered through experience and reputation the right to be in that position. I work with clients and venues that understand that I have PLENTY of other options, songs, and artists to play/program.

Not playing an artist doesn’t pass my personal filter is not going to kill my floors.

I don’t let what’s popular dictate how I program. I do take requests. But those requests have to be tempered with what works best at the event I’m working. Taste, appropriateness, content, and personal experience all come into play before a song is played.

I feel it’s incumbent on DJs to be able to exercise their judgement and mollify music that has questionable content. Granted that “questionable content” is often subjective, but the fact remains that DJs should feel compelled to be gatekeepers of “good” music.

Keep ‘em spinning.

Based out of Richmond, VA, DJ Tony Fernandez has been a DJ, Remixer, Producer, Musical Soothsayer and Audio Gear Oracle since 1980. Find him on facebook. Email

Are you ready for the bits to hit the fan?

By Brian Buonassissi:

This may seem a bit of a morbid scenario, but if your company’s data was destroyed in a fire or some other unforeseen incident and you had to pick up the next day right where you left off, would you be able to do so? After all, lose your event data, leads in the pipeline, contact information, contracts, playlists, music, etc. and you’ll lose business.

Here are a few tips on how you can ensure your data doesn’t take a dump on your bottom line…

Create videos or manuals Some of your repetitive procedures and tasks should be documented either with videos, manuals or both. For one, this takes the liability out of having everything being in one person’s head. It also saves you time if you bring on somebody to take on that task and it keeps things consistent. Of course, I recommend going through all of those things regularly and updating them as need be, but at least you have a baseline.

Have an online cloud-based storage mechanisms We utilize Dropbox for most of our items (including those videos or manuals mentioned above) but Google drive, iCloud, etc. all make for great places to store training documents, music, etc. For our sales leads and event tracking, we use an online CRM and event planning software. We don’t want all the planning forms in one guy’s bag. Should a DJ of ours get in a car accident on the way to an event or something catastrophic happens, we need to immediately be able to have someone step in and be up to speed with the least amount of disruption possible.

One Password! We utilize one password to store key log-ins and other valuable data. This allows you to give access to certain people based on a hierarchy system. Things like our wi-fi codes, accountant contact, company credit card information, EIN#, banking info, etc. is all stored and given to the appropriate personnel.

Have a succession plan in place Similar to having a will that gives your family/loved ones direction should something happen, we want a clear and concise protocol in place as to how the company moves forward. With our company, this is not only talked about regularly with key staff personnel but is documented so no one is left wondering what is next.

In our industry, we are dealing with events that are generally big moments in a person’s life. Sure, there may be a certain amount of grace someone will give you should your data disappear but it’s important that your business can pick up and not only limit the stress put on your clients but also save your staff and/or yourself some headaches as well. Assume you want to sell your business one day, how nice would it be knowing that you don’t have to spend a ton of time creating these things at the moment you need them but instead it is already built into your company’s DNA?

This all comes back to seeing your data as important and preserving it as best you can. Should you need some help in this arena, feel free to reach out. I’d be glad help you get started and find something that fits your business perfectly.

Based out of NYC, DJ Brian Buonassissi is a successful internationally traveling DJ/MC specializing in luxury destination private events. He runs a multi-city mobile DJ/event business with offices in Southern California, Destin, FL and New York City. You can connect with him at brian@djbrianbofficial.com.

“I Turned Down My First Client”

By Brian Buonassissi:

 

Here’s a statement I never thought I would make: After some 22 years of business I turned down my first client. Last year, I was listening to one of the PHDJ podcast episodes hosted by Mike Walter and Joe Bunn (if you’re not subscribed to it, you need to be) and the question came up if either of them had ever turned down a client? Like me, up to that point, neither of them had. However, the question gave me serious pause to think about clients that were “questionable.”

I can think of a handful of clients our company has taken on where, when we went to contract, I had a feeling they were going to be trouble clients. In the end, they all ended up to be exactly that – every single one of them. In some cases, we had to give a partial or full refund. Listening to the podcast, I began to ask myself, “Why did we take these clients on?”

The reasons varied. Part of me didn’t want to feel defeated. I wanted us to take on the challenge of making these clients have the party of their life. Another part of me may have wanted to make sure our DJs were working and there was fear that another booking may not come. And then there was another part of me that wanted to bring in the revenue.

As my DJ profile and demand has grown over the years, I’ve had the luxury of being able to pick and choose which clients are “the right fit” for me. If a client wasn’t a good fit, I’d send it down the chain to one of our other guys. That type of client didn’t really affect me as our other DJs had to deal with it and I masked it by saying, “It was good training” for them.

It hit in me in the face that I was being rather selfish. That started a process over the last few months of 2017 in identifying just who our ideal client was. I’ll share some of that with you.

Our ideal client:
*is between the age of 22-35
*is kind and generous
*is creative – loves uniqueness
*is cutting edge – enjoys social media and mobile apps, open to incorporating the latest and greatest
*Loves a variety of different music or at least has an appreciation for many different genres
*has an awareness that a DJ can make/break their event
*easily recognizes and appreciates value over low quality
*is willing to collaborate with us (there’s a mutual trust between us)
*has a crowd that loves to dance any chance they get
*communicates well and appreciates timely responses and reciprocates

That’s our Top 10 list. Once I identified our ideal client, it really put me (and our sales staff) in the driver’s seat and we found ourselves interviewing our clients just as much as they were interviewing us before taking on a job. There is still nervousness that I may lose out on revenue but the negatives of taking on a client that isn’t a fit completely outweigh any positives.

Back to the client I turned down…in a nutshell, they didn’t pass muster on 5 of the 10 on our list. It was enough of a warning sign for me that I knew this wasn’t the right client for us. I sent the client a contract anyway. However, when they came back with changes they wanted to see to the contract, it was like a little nudge from the heavens telling me to abort.

I spent some time thinking through how to communicate that I was going to rescind the contract offer; the last thing I wanted to do was for the planner to stop sending referrals (some of our best parties came from her). I talked to the planner first (over the phone) and she totally understood and even said she wished she had done the same. I tried calling the client twice but got v/m both times, so I drafted a nice email and sent it off. I never heard back. Again, more confirmation that I made the right call.

Have you ever had a trouble client? What have you done? It’s not a matter of if you’ll ever have one but when. If you take one thing away from post today, I would encourage you to identify your ideal client with no more than 10 bullet points. The process challenges you to real drill down. I think it will do wonders for your business. It has for mine.

Based out of NYC, DJ Brian Buonassissi is a successful internationally traveling DJ/MC specializing in luxury destination private events. He runs a multi-city mobile DJ/event business with offices in Southern California, Destin, FL and New York City. You can connect with him at brian@djbrianbofficial.com

New Pioneer’s DJM-REC recording app enables DJs to easily record mixes

Pioneer announced the DJM-REC today, a new app for iPhone and iPad which enables the easy recording and sharing of high-quality DJ mixes.

All types of DJs like to record their mixes in order to review performances and raise their profile via online sharing. However, it can be a stressful process. Connecting a recording device to the back of the mixer can be complicated work in a dark DJ booth, and adjusting the recording level to avoid clipping is also a troublesome task. Once the set is over, making a track list and uploading it to different online platforms along with the audio is a time-consuming chore.

DJM-REC solves all these problems, taking advantage of our experience in designing DJ Mixers including the club-standard DJM-900NXS2. The app offers simple connection, high-quality audio recording plus easy online sharing and streaming.

DJM-REC is available in the App Store at the price of $9.99 from 23rd January 2018.

You can try DJM-REC free for 30 days to get to know all of its features. Mixes recorded during the trial period will remain available for listening and sharing after the trial has ended. To continue recording and using all the app’s features after the trial period has ended, you can upgrade to the paid version.

DJM-REC compatible mixers are as follows: DJM-TOUR1, DJM-900NXS2, DJM-750MK2 and DJM-450

To use DJM-REC, update the mixer’s firmware to the latest version.

Find out more about DJM-REC.

KEY FEATURES OF DJM-REC

  • Simple connection to DJM series mixers

Install DJM-REC on your iPhone or iPad, then simply plug into any DJM mixer which has the digital send/return feature using a single USB cable. The port is on the top of the mixer rather than the back, so connecting is a breeze even in a dark DJ booth.

  • High-quality recording which minimizes clipping and distortion

DJM-REC can control the peak limiter in the DJM Mixer. Tap the button to enable this feature and alleviate digital clipping. Audio from a digital mixer can be recorded directly in digital format without the need for analogue conversion.

  • Easily share your mixes with the world

Effortlessly live stream your mix through YouTube, Facebook Live, Periscope, Instagram and Snapchat via DJM-REC. Easily upload your recorded mixes, digital recordings of your analogue tracks, and remixed tracks created using features and FX on DJM mixers to cloud services such as Mixcloud and Dropbox.

  • Auto time-stamp for effortless track list creation

Time-stamps for tracks are automatically created thanks to the information transmitted from the DJM mixer, such as the fader positions, to the app. The time-stamps are editable and making track lists is easy, as you can edit track information per time-stamp within the app.

  • Powerful club-standard sound, remastered easily

Swipe the Loudness slider on DJM-REC to easily increase audio pressure. Punchy, heavier, vibrant bass sound that can’t be obtained by simply raising the signal level of the low range is created when you swipe the Sub Bass slider, as this creates new signals based on the track’s input signals. Old tracks can be refreshed with a powerful club sound, just like the latest releases.

  • Other features
  • Recorded sound on your iPhone/iPad can be input into DJM series mixers using the digital send/return feature.
  • Analogue recording in the app is possible using the microphone function on an iPhone/iPad with an external microphone when your device isn’t connected to a DJM mixer.

DJM-REC Specifications

OS(iOS) iOS 8 or later
iPhone iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6 Plus,

iPhone 7, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6,

iPhone 5s, iPhone SE

iPad 12.9-inch iPad Pro, 10.5-inch iPad Pro,

9.7-inch iPad Pro, iPad Air 2, iPad Air,

iPad mini 4, iPad mini 3, iPad mini 2,

iPad (5th generation)

Display Resolution Retina
Playable Files WAV(Sampling rate: 44.1/48 kHz, Bit depth: 24bit)

AAC (bit rate 64kbps, 128kbps, 192kbps, 256kbps, 320kbps)

 

New rekordbox lyric Plus Pack brings world’s first lyric visualization in sync with DJs’ tracks

Pioneer is releasing rekordbox ver 5.1, a new version of their music management software. The update enables a brand-new optional Plus Pack, rekordbox lyric, for displaying animated lyric visualizations when using the rekordbox dj Plus Pack.

Since we released rekordbox video in 2016, we’ve continued to develop the video functionality within our performance software and, now, rekordbox lyric offers a brand-new form of expression. Its lyric visualization feature, co-developed with COTODAMA, enables you to display visualizations of track lyrics on the fly via monitors or projectors when using the rekordbox dj Plus Pack. Animations are created automatically by the software and you can customise them to create your preferred look. rekordbox lyric is the first DJ tool in the world to visualize the lyrics of songs being played.*1

How to use rekordbox lyric

Subscribe to one of the following plans available from 18th January 2018:

  1. Lyric Plan ($6.90 per month)

If you already own a rekordbox dj license, you can subscribe to this plan to use rekordbox lyric.

  1. Premium Plan ($14.90 per month)

In addition to rekordbox lyric, you’ll get unlimited access to all the features and functions of rekordbox dj, rekordbox dvs, rekordbox video and RMX Effects.

30 day free trial of rekordbox dj

If you use the rekordbox dj trial version, you can try all Plus Packs including rekordbox lyric for 30 days. During the trial period, you can try rekordbox lyric’s features using sample songs that can be downloaded through rekordbox.

Find out more about the rekordbox Plus Packs and watch our rekordbox lyric introduction video.

*1 First application service in the DJ application market (according to research conducted by Pioneer DJ Corporation, 11th January 2018).

* Lyric Plan and Premium Plan are available in limited countries only. Find out more.

* In some cases, lyric data may not be acquired from tracks.

* If you already subscribe to the current rekordbox plan (now known as Base Plan) and would like to subscribe to Premium Plan, you’ll need to cancel your current subscription and take out a new subscription for Premium Plan.

KEY FEATURES OF REKORDBOX LYRIC

  1. Lyric visualization in sync with tracks

Thanks to COTODAMA’s Lyric Sync Technology, the lyrics of the tracks you play are sent via your laptop’s video output (HDMI, etc.) to a connected screen or projector. Just play music that’s been pre-analysed by rekordbox and smooth, dynamic motion graphics based on the track’s mood and structure will appear when rekordbox lyric is enabled. You can perform with your tracks normally (for example, adding FX) and the visualized lyrics will appear automatically.

  1. Customizable visualized lyrics

You can change the tone and type of motion graphics generated by rekordbox lyric. And, with the flexibility to customize font colour and transparency of the background individually, you can create visuals on the fly to match the crowd’s vibe.

  1. Compatible with rekordbox video

Use rekordbox video with rekordbox lyric to apply its Transition FX to visualized lyrics and to layer lyrics over videos and images. By combining various elements using both Plus Packs, you can create unique visual performances to accompany your DJ sets.

About Lyric Sync Technology
rekordbox lyric utilizes Lyric Sync Technology that automatically visualizes lyrics beautifully. Lyric data is acquired from the database of over 2.59 million songs provided by Sync Power Corporation. The music analysis technology of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) automatically analyses the lyric data to determine the atmosphere and composition of the music, and its Expression Engine generates motion graphics for each song using the Morisawa font.

rekordbox lyric Specifications

Compatible OS Mac macOS High Sierra 10.13 (updated to the latest version)

macOS Sierra 10.12 (updated to the latest version)

OS X 10.11, 10.10 (updated to the latest version)

Windows Windows® 10, 8.1, 7 (the latest service pack)
CPU Intel® processor Core™ i7, i5, i3
Memory 4 GB or more of RAM

 

* Disclaimer: specifications and price are subject to change.

* rekordbox is a registered trademark of Pioneer DJ Corporation.

* rekordbox lyric displays lyric information based on the license of LyricFind.

* Mac, OS X or macOS are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the US and other countries.

* Windows is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the US and other countries.

* Intel and Intel Core are registered trademarks of Intel Corporation in the US and other countries.

* The names of companies, product names and technology names mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.

 

The Triangle: Conferences, Workshops, & Coaching/Mentoring

By Brian Buonassisi:

As we embark on a new year, I think it’s important to assess where you are at and where you want to go in 2018. I’m not talking about fickle New Year’s Resolutions but more to steering your business in the right direction. For some, no major course correction is needed. For others, you many need to completely change directions due to where the wind in your market is taking you. Over the years, I’ve found that there’s a pattern to growth and it’s not a linear thing. It’s like a triangle – you keep going through it. You’re either in need of conferences, workshops or coaching/mentoring. All of them have their place but I thought as you start thinking through your 2018 budget, this is a perfectly timed topic to talk through each one.

Conferences
There’s really 3 “national” DJ conferences out there: Mobile Beat, Marquee, and the DJ Expo. While you can definitely pick up some things to help your business at any of them, these conferences are mainly inspiration and network heavy. To encourage attendance, the show producers have to cast a wide net and cover as broad material as possible. You have the beginners all the way through to the industry veterans. It’s a great way to re-charge with your DJ brothers and sisters as well as take in a ton of information over a couple days. However, the reality is that it could take weeks if not months to go through all your notes and implement a strategy to employ some of it.

Workshops
Typically, workshops are more narrowed in scope. You are drilling down on a specific subject matter (or two) rather than a large range of categories. For example, you may want to improve with mic etiquette or scratching or sales, etc. If there’s an area that you feel you could use some development in, finding a workshop to address that area could be the solution. The other advantage to workshops is that you interact with those who are looking to learn the same type of subject matter. That can bond you together with a person you may never have had a chance to meet otherwise.

Coaching/Mentoring
So far it may appear like each one of these options is a step up from the other. While coaching/mentoring could feel that way, I honestly think it could be a great first step. Rather than undoing bad habits or mistakes, you are able to deal with issues in real time. Finding a coach or a mentor isn’t cheap (not for the good ones at least) but it saves you a lot of money in in the long run. These sessions are either in one on one settings or in a small group (10-20 people) whereas a conference may have thousands and a workshop could have up to a hundred or so. The constant touches (at minimum you’re meeting a few times a year but most meet weekly or monthly) and accountability with coaching/mentoring makes a ton of difference in not only getting started with a plan but staying the course.

For myself, I’m in the coaching/mentoring category this year. Not only am I being coached in 2018 but I’m also coaching others. I’m only a few days in and it’s already been rewarding. What are your needs? What category do you fall in? It could be you need a little of all three. The reality is that doing any of these three things is going to put you ahead of 90% of your competition and give you a leg up. I hope to see you in one of these settings in 2018 and if I can help you at all, don’t hesitate to reach out.

Based out of NYC, DJ Brian Buonassissi is a successful internationally traveling DJ/MC specializing in luxury destination private events. He runs a multi-city mobile DJ/event business with offices in Southern California, Destin, FL and New York City. You can connect with him at brian@djbrianbofficial.com.

The Ins & Outs of Eating for Success

By Mike Walter:

Almost every nutritionist and dietician will tell you that counting calories is not the smartest way to go about losing weight or trying to stay in shape. So why would I recommend it? Read on.

So much of our weight is determined by two simple factors: how much we take in and how much we burn. I often compare it to the definition of wealth (wealth isn’t what you earn, it’s what you keep). As an extreme example, a number of years ago there were reports that Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps was eating 12,000 calories a day. He was scarfing down fried egg sandwiches with cheese, pizzas, and two pounds of pasta. Every day! He was consuming close to six times his recommended number of calories yet he was not only not fat and out of shape, he was an insanely successful athlete. Why? Because he was swimming for hours and hours a day, thus burning ten times the number of calories as most people. Not only was his diet not holding him back, it was essential to his success. Without that many calories, he wouldn’t have had the energy to train and compete.

Like I said, Phelps’ diet while he was training is an extreme example. But it points out the math involved in weight loss or gain.

Do you know how many calories you burn every day? Do you know how many calories you take in? Do you know how many calories it takes to gain or lose a pound?

I think these numbers are important. And while I don’t count every single calorie, I do have a general sense of when I’ve taken in more than I’ve burned (not good) and when I’ve burned more than I’ve taken in (good). And it’s those general numbers that help me maintain my weight.

First, let’s start with a quick calculation. If you want to know approximately how many calories you burn per day multiply your weight by 14. So I’m currently at 190 pounds which means with normal daily activity I’m burning about 2,600 calories per day. Now, if I go for a four mile run that day I’ll burn about four to five hundred extra calories. Same goes if I spend an hour on my stationary bike (pedaling of course, I can’t just sit there). So that would put me about 3,100 calories burned for the day.

That’s why it’s important for me to know the approximate calorie count in the foods I eat. My typical breakfast of cereal and a banana is about 250 calories.   If I want two slices of pizza for lunch, that’s about 500 calories. If I have an eight ounce steak for dinner, that’ll be about 600 calories. The two beers I have to wash it down with are about 300 calories. As all this food and drink adds up I try to keep it below my daily burn. I’m successful more days than not which is why I pretty much maintain my weight.

And that’s where the other important number comes in: 3,500. It takes approximately 3,500 calories to gain or lose a pound of weight. So if I consume 3,500 more calories than I burn, I’m going to gain a pound. Conversely if I burn 3,500 more calories than I consume, I’ll lose a pound. There are other factors involved, for sure, but the basic math sends us a clear message: burn more than you eat.

Finally, one of the calculations I like to do is to figure out how much activity food costs. I’m not a fast food guy but I’ll use the generic Big Mac, fries and a coke as an example. That’s about 1,100 calories, which may or may not sound like a lot. But I tell myself something different: that meal will cost me 10 miles of running. Or 11 hours biking. Which is maybe why I’m not a fast food guy!

Please notice how many times I’ve used the words “generally” or “about” or “approximately” in this blog. I don’t obsess over calories and I don’t think you should either. But having a general sense of how much you’re consuming versus how much you are burning is extremely important in my opinion. If you don’t, I think you should give it a try. Google can be your friend (simply type “calories in ____” and you’ll get your answer) as can a Fit Bit or Apple watch that can measure your daily activity. Armed with this knowledge, you may begin to start seeing why your weight is what it is, and more importantly, what you can do about it.

Mike Walter is the proud owner of Elite Entertainment, a Multi-System DJ Company in New Jersey that was recently selected by TheKnot.com and WeddingWire.com as a top Entertainment company in the country.

Social, Mobile and You (Second in a Series)

By Mitch Taylor:

Last month we talked about how the vast majority of people have their smartphone within three feet of them at all times and the three important items you need to be sure you have on your mobile website to capture their attention.
This month, we’ll be highlighting the social side of social media (Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Pinterest, etc.). For this article’s purposes, we’ll be focusing on the biggest of the social media platforms, Facebook.

The best way to navigate Facebook is to hire a professional to handle your contests or at minimum consult with one to find the best contest app for your desired outcome. Why? You must be careful with the methods you use to generate “likes.” Facebook has rules, especially regarding contents, and failure to adhere to those rules can get your page taken down, requiring you to build your entire Facebook presence again.

Taylored Weddings has recently consulted with Caryn Terradas of SpeakEasy and has had great success with her abilities to increase our exposure and outreach on our Facebook page. That said, do your due diligence in consulting an expert; there are many fly by night companies trying to get into the game of social media management.

Okay. You’ve consulted with an expert and determined what you want to achieve with your page. Now what do you say? My good friend Brian Kelm, Master of I Do, has a great approach and one that I have adapted to my business with great success.

1) Be sure to friend your clients on Facebook. This will allow their friends to see your postings when you tag them in one.

2) Every 30 days leading up to your client’s event date, go to their profile and find a picture that best represents them, then click “share, along with a comment about couple and their upcoming event; i.e. “@YourCompanyName is looking forward to celebrating with @Heather Smith and @John Johnson in just four weeks from today. Surprises galore in store with fun and smiles all day! So glad they chose @YourFavoritePhotographer to capture their moments!”

By including the venue and other vendors you actively promote them as well. It’s a win-win for everyone! You may also want to try a Vendor Of The Week Bridal Tip Tuesday, Wedding Wish Wednesday, Tradition Thursday, or Friday Fun Facts. I know one company that does well having a trivia contest and others who put up YouTube videos on their wall and have their fans post their favorite clips as well.

The bottom line with any social media is that you must be GENUINE and interactive. Today’s clientele can spot a phony and a sales pitch from a mile away. Provide value first, cultivate the relationship and the referrals will come!

About: Mitch Taylor owns and operates Taylored Weddings and can be reached via email at mitch@mitchtaylor.net. For more info about his Creating Connections books and workshops visit creatingconnections.biz