Tag Archives: Mobile DJ Tips

3 Tips for Wedding Show Success!

By Eric Wenning

Whether you’re a seasoned vet or a novice in this business, at one time or another you’ve probably advertised at a Wedding/Bridal Show (or thought about doing so). What a lot of people don’t understand is there is a lot of psychology required in advertising at these shows: reading people’s reactions, knowing what to say when breaking the ice, your appearance and the appearance of your booth, and so on. All equally important if you’re going to successfully generate leads or even a sale or two. Screw up one and it could turn into a snowball effect and, soon enough, you could be left with a lot of money out of your pocket and no sales to account for it.

Let’s dive into some tips that can help you turn that around…

  • Stop Sounding Like Everyone Else!
    Your opening line to an already anxious bride needs to be something other than, “Do you have a DJ picked out yet?” The majority of brides are going to say “yes” because even though they came to the show, they really just want to grab your brochure and deal with you later. So, the trick is to ask them a question they will say yes to without knowing they are doing it. Here is a question that has made my company tens of thousands of dollars… ready?

“Wanna Play a Game?”

Now I have you scratching your head while you are reading this, don’t I? I have actually hidden a photo of ‘Where’s Waldo’ in my brochures. So I tell them, “Find Waldo in 30 seconds or less and I’ll give you an extra discount off your wedding.” What happens next is amazing. The bride grabs a brochure, the mother grabs a brochure, the maid of honor grabs a brochure, heck even the dad grabs a brochure. Smiling. Laughing. Pointing. Now visualize this, another prospective bride is walking down the aisle and sees a herd of people intently looking at my brochure and seems genuinely interested in what we are offering. We made them curious! You are now creating a buzz around your booth and people want to get in on whatever you have to offer!

  • Give Out a “Yes Bag!”
    Have you ever noticed a bride carrying a bag and the mother or fiancé carrying another bag? Did you know most bride’s have a “Yes Bag” and a “No Bag?” Did I just blow your mind? They don’t want to be rude to your face, so they will politely say, “We’ll look it over and give you a call.” Now, if you give out a bag with your logo on it (you’ve just built rapport with that prospect!) you can then say, “Make this your Yes Bag moving forward (with a wink, of course) and you will get a smile and a giggle, and hopefully a new client too!
  • Brand Your Sweets n’ Treats
    Everyone always hands out candy and treats at their booth. What you need to do is, once again, be different! Brand your sweets n’ treats. Put your brand all over suckers, candy, mints. Anything that will stick out from the rest. Because when those brides get home they will dump their bag all over their table and start to narrow down the yes, maybe and no literature. The more they see your brand/logo everywhere, the better your chances are that they will remember you!

Now go make a Great First Impression!

In addition to his highly successful multi-op business in Pittsburgh, PA, Eric has degrees in Graphic Design and Marketing and also owns a full ad agency that specializes in Social Media Advertising for many different types of companies. For more info or to contact Eric visit www.wenningmethod.com

The Art of The Follow Up (Bridal Show Edition)

By Mitch Taylor

Before we begin, it’s worth mentioning that all bridal shows are not created equal.  It’s up to you to decide if that show is worthy of your investment or not.  How?  Ask around, starting with your fellow DJs and vendors.  What shows have been helpful to them?  What kind of business do they run from a size and service standpoint?  Find a like-minded business in your market.  Take the owner to lunch and ask why they choose the vehicles they choose to advertise in.  Their answers may surprise you.  Oh — and bring a referral or an idea they can use to help their business with you.  Givers gain.

Next, look at the size of the show. How many potential brides attend? This number will be significantly different from the total attendees so be sure you understand the difference before signing on the dotted line. If you are going for volume and willing to price your service accordingly, than a show with a killer marketing piece and several hundred brides may be for you.  If, however, you’re focused on high-end gigs and wanting to build quality relationships, then a smaller venue that allows more interaction with brides would be the best way to go.

OK… so you’ve picked a show.  How do you follow up?  Clue:  Ask them at the show.  Have brides sign up by typing their info into DJ Event Planner at your booth.  This eliminates misreading someone’s handwriting and ensures your message gets where it needs to go. Ask them when they got engaged and what other vendors they’ll be using and take good notes.  This can help you know where they are in the sales process and when it would be best to follow up with them. Brides with dates two or more years out best separated from brides who are looking for things within a year.

Now, based upon how the brides want you to follow up, set up schedule that works for them, not you.  Once a bride is ready to hear from you, put her in your cycle with unique touches designed to help her in the wedding planning process (apply different touches with your email, phone calls, snail mail and Facebook).  Use an email subject line that will make her want to read more.  Above all, your communication with her must be respectful of her time and conversational.

If you’d like a real life example of a follow ups I send my clients, send an email to mitch@tayloredweddings.com with the subject line “dj news bridal show FU” and I’ll get it out to you right away.

Lastly, be real. I often joke with the brides that stop by my booth that half of the information in their bags will end up being thrown out or forgotten in a corner somewhere.  People relate to real.  This is why if you are advertising at a high-volume show with dozens of vendors and hundreds of brides, you need a phenomenal marketing piece that really stands out from the crowd.  By striking up a conversation and genuinely seeking to help, you can cut through the hustle and bustle and get down to what really matters: helping a bride get the wedding she wants.

After all, that’s all sales truly is.  Find a need and fill it.

Mitch Taylor has worked in the Mobile Disc Jockey industry for over two decades, first cutting his teeth as an on-board club DJ for Carnival Cruise Lines. In addition to owning and operating Taylored Weddings in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, he is a sought-after speaker and Gitomer Certified Advisor whose sales training, books, coaching and workshops are in high demand all over the country. For more info about his Creating Connections books and workshops visit creatingconnections.biz

Stop Boosting and Start Funneling (Part One of a series)

By Eric Wenning

 I know many of you out there are struggling to advertise on social media with little to no success. Let me guess what you are doing. You have a picture of a packed dance floor in your ad that states something like “Book us because we are AWESOME and PROFESSIONAL” and are clicking on ‘Boost Post,’ thinking that will help bring more traffic to your site and you’ll get more sales…

Am I getting close?

As a successful multi-op who also owns a company that specializes in social media solutions for other companies, I’m here to help you with some of the marketing troubles you face on a day-to-day basis.

First, you have to understand there are many components in a successful ad.

  • Targeted Ad Copy
  • Targeted Audience
  • A Clear and Precise Irresistible Offer (to lure them in)
  • A Video to Grab Their Attention
  • A Clear Call to Action
  • Send your Leads through a Proper Sales Funnel
  • Installing a Facebook Pixel so you can track everyone

I know this might seem overwhelming, but you have to first know the ingredients to understand how something’s made, right? Almost all of you running ads are running them to COLD Traffic. Say what, Eric? WARM and HOT Traffic are leads from a friend, family or vendor referral. Cold Traffic are people that have NO IDEA who you are.

You have to target Cold Traffic differently than you would Warm and Hot Traffic.

What makes you stand out from your competition when it comes to Cold Traffic? Almost nothing until you get them on the phone, right? All they see are the same flashing lights and people having fun that appear in any DJ ad. But what can make your company look different in their eyes…

You have to understand that people price shop tangible products all the time. You and I both do it. We do it at the grocery store, Amazon, anywhere we can save a buck. Now put yourself in the bride and Groom’s shoes as they look at your company and your competition. The prices are almost the same, but what is going to give that Cold Traffic a push in your direction?

An offer they can’t refuse.

Without getting into the dreaded price conversation, you have to understand once that couple becomes a client they are more likely to spend more money because you have a trust factor with them. Prospects that are still on the fence are a harder sell to because you have not gotten them emotionally involved. The method to sell to Cold Traffic is to get them in at a cheaper price with an Irresistible Offer and then UP-SELL them once they are a client.

To accomplish this, make sure you have an Irresistible Offer. Make sure that offer is clear and precise. Make sure to have a clean landing page that CLEARLY states the offer you are making or your ad may get denied from Facebook.

Start with a broad audience, then narrow it down and retarget the people that saw your ad and did not convert. Create a video that has Stopping Power, meaning your video makes them stop and watch so you can explain your offer. Stop just using photos.

To recap, start CREATING COMPELLING ads instead of just boosting a post, and start to Funnel Your Clients!

In addition to his highly successful multi-op business in Pittsburgh, PA, Eric has degrees in Graphic Design and Marketing and also owns a full ad agency that specializes in Social Media Advertising for many different types of companies. For more info or to contact Eric visit www.wenningmethod.com

The Emotionally Intelligent DJ (Part 1)

By DJ Rachel Lynch

After years of trial and error I became frustrated with my stagnant business. Customers slipped through my fingertips, as my competitors seemed to book gigs with ease. I have always been a responsive, polite, and talented DJ.  So, why was it so hard to make that sale? What was I doing wrong? Something needed to change, and I realized it was me. My “a-ha moment” came from a casual conversation with a respected colleague. We challenged each other, with some humorous DJ related role-playing, to simulate a sales call. After a few chuckles and some painfully awkward dialogue on my end, I realized what the problem was: I was “corporatized.”

This exercise had highlighted the fact that I had carried over robotic habits from my day job into my DJ business. By being so laser-focused on professionalism and efficiency, I was treating customers like contracts and profits, rather than friends who I would be celebrating.  My communications were sterile, filled with information about services and pricing. There was no personality, humor or warmth in my messages. This was very hard to swallow, but I realized that I had adopted the tone of an office worker, not a caring DJ who people trusted with their once in a lifetime event.

The significant change I made, was to stop running my business like a business. Some of you may be rolling your eyes at this comment, but understand that I’m not dismissing the importance of basic economics and sensible business practices. However, I am suggesting developing a business plan around Emotional Intelligence.  Emotional Intelligence is the driving force behind connecting with customers, and earning their trust. It is a trait where most fall short, and it is often overlooked in most professional settings. In an industry that is highly competitive and sales driven, personal touch matters.

Understanding your motivation is key.

When a client front-loads you with questions about pricing, it’s easy to focus on the finances. However, to be persuasive, bookable and sought after, a DJ must focus less on the economics of DJing and strive to build meaningful relationships with their customers, the community, and DJ industry contacts.

Profits will come if people want to connect with you. It’s that simple.

The takeaway? If the foundation of your business model is to make more than you did last year, by crunching numbers and budgeting for the latest and greatest gear, clients will run in the other direction. I’m living proof.  I am energized, busier, and more connected than ever, due to the changes I made to become more emotionally intelligent with my business.

Next month: Rachel’s 10 Steps to be more emotionally intelligent with your business!

Happy mixing!

Fun, creative, and ambitions, DJ Rachel is making her mark as one of the top mobile DJs in the tri-state area. Her diversity as a DJ allows her to play at events that include MetLife Stadium (for the New York Jets) and serve as opening act for George Clinton Parliament Funkadelic and Gloria Gaynor. For more info visit https://www.facebook.com/DJRachelRLynch/

More than just a DJ

By Rachel Lynch

As a DJ who has reached a pinnacle in their career after 13 years, my view of ‘what a DJ is’ has shifted 180 degrees from when I started. Looking back, I had no idea about the extra skills and flexibility needed beyond the decks and turntables to make it in this business. Even though technology has eased some of the burdens of being a mobile, DJing in 2018 is a job that requires wearing more hats than ever.

The Salesman:

I’ve always thought of myself as a terrible salesperson. In fact, every job I have ever held growing up has avoided two things, sales and math (the kind of math I was told I would need growing up and never did). When I decided to become a DJ, I figured it would be a safe way to avoid both. To my surprise, years later I have realized I couldn’t be more wrong. Selling your services is one of the most essential skills to develop as a DJ. One of the most significant changes I made to my sales approach was to stop selling “equipment and years of experience” and start focusing on selling “me and my value as a DJ.” In the absence of value, everyone shops on price. The key is to show them why having YOU as their DJ will positively impact the total experience they are seeking. Personality, charm, wit, kindness, dependability, and approachability are more important than the number of watts on the back of your powered sub. I wish I had embraced this earlier on (and wasn’t so stubborn on doing what I thought DJs did). Sales are a part of what we do.

The Marketing Manager:

Before social media took the world by storm, DJs relied heavily on promoters, the Yellow Pages (I’m dating myself now), word of mouth, business cards, and other less interactive platforms to get their brand out there. While it can be epically overwhelming for those intimidated by technology, it is now the task of a DJ to be involved with selecting the appropriate social media channels for their customer base. I’m not here to tell you how to market but rather why you need to. Word of mouth will always be the best advertising, but unfortunately, DJs working in the current climate will need to do their own promotions, ads, flyers, videos, and social media management if they want to be recognized as a player in this arena. Luckily, there are a lot of great apps that make creating promotional content a breeze. Some of my favorites are Canva, Clips, iMovie, Spark Post, Spark Video, LiveCollage, Grammarly.

The R&D Department:

Music today is being pushed out at an astonishing rate from multiple sources (YouTube, curated Spotify lists, SoundCloud, and other music-related apps). Acquiring music is instantaneous and audiences are becoming more and more savvy about finding the music they love; it’s no longer about what local radio is pumping out. Add shows like X-Factor and The Voice, and music is now so tangled in pop culture that DJing is not just about music anymore; it’s about what’s going on around us, too. Do your homework (unlike you did in middle school) and dedicate some time each week to do some pop culture searches and news. It will keep you fresh and current. Trust me.

The IT Department:

While technology has made DJing much more portable, it has also required DJs to master the tech arena as well. From DMX programming, web design, correctly setting EQ values, to firmware updates and wireless technology, a DJ is also their own personal tech department. Mastering this means research, rolling up your sleeves and getting your hands dirty. Technology is only going to move forward, and we have to, too.

DJing in 2018 is much more complex than two turntables and a microphone. So for those who are just getting started, be prepared to grow and learn in ways you never thought you would.

We are more than “just a DJ.”

Happy Mixing!

Fun, creative, and ambitions, DJ Rachel is making her mark as one of the top mobile DJs in the tri-state area. Her diversity as a DJ allows her to play at events that include MetLife Stadium (for the New York Jets) and serve as opening act for George Clinton Parliament Funkadelic and Gloria Gaynor. For more info visit https://www.facebook.com/DJRachelRLynch/

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

Where Are You At Your Events?

By Mike Walter:

I gave a seminar at Mobile Beat’s Las Vegas show last month and one of the things I discussed was breaking the fourth wall and getting out on the dance floor at certain moments of your events.  That’s a style of DJing that has been engrained in me from my earliest days as an MC so it’s something I have always done, and something I have always taught my DJs to do.  If it’s not something you do, please allow me to make my point.

My very first MCing job was back in Queens, New York in the mid-eighties at a bowling alley.  I was an avid bowler at the time (used to carry a 170 average for what it’s worth) and I frequented this one place near my house and got to know the owner.  He came to me one day and said he was starting something called “Friday Night Madness” which I’ve seen in many other bowling alleys since, often under the name “Rock and Bowl” or something like that.  Friday Night Madness went from 10pm to 2am and featured a DJ, disco lights (which, looking back, were pretty lame) and one red pin in each set of pins.  The point of the red pin was that whenever it came up as the head pin, the bowler could win a prize if he or she threw a strike. I thought the idea sounded great and I figured he was just telling me because he was excited about the concept and wanted to share it with his regulars.  But then he made me an offer.  He’d hired a DJ to play music but that guy didn’t want to speak.  And they needed someone who could get on the microphone and make some announcements, mainly, spotlighting whenever a red pin landed as the head pin.  I jumped at the chance, especially when he offered me $25 for the night (and unlimited beer). As a nineteen year old, that was a pretty good offer!

The first few weeks I stood behind the counter (the one where you get your rental shoes and pay for your games) and made all my announcements from the microphone on the gooseneck stand.  I felt detached from everything and ineffectual.  After a few weeks, attendance was booming and the owner told me he was getting me a cordless microphone.  Once I had that I was free to roam.  If a red head pin came up on lane #38, I sprinted down to announce it and watch the bowler throw their ball. And if they hit a strike I was the able to congratulate them as I gave them a prize.  If a guy wanted to dedicate a song to his girl I walked over to their lane and made the announcement in front of them and then urged them to kiss. And late in the night if some of the ladies wanted to dance, I was right out there with them, bumping and grinding (I was nineteen!) and inviting others up.  I felt much more effective as an MC because I wasn’t tethered behind the counter.

When I started at Star DJs they had a similar approach to DJing.  They expected the MC to do bridal party introductions from the dance floor and to lead the crowd in dances as well.  This was the late eighties and every MC was equipped with a sequined jacket that we broke out at climatic moments of the night like “Shout” or “Mony Mony.”  And while times have changed, no doubt (I don’t even know where my sequined jacket is these days and I no longer jump up on my bass bin and lead the “Y.M.C.A”) the basic philosophy still holds true. We, as MCs, are more effective when we get out in front of our DJ system and utilize the wireless microphone technology God has given us to make our announcements and (from time to time) lead some dancing or prompt the crowd.  If you doubt that, I’d encourage you to think about any concert you’ve ever been to.  Has the lead singer ever hopped off the stage and gone up and down the aisles?  I’ve witnessed artists like Michael Buble and Mick Jagger and Michael Franti do this and it always brings the energy up.  Now, you could argue that we aren’t rock stars and that getting out on the dance floor can steal the show from the bride and groom, but I’d come back with the fact that, as DJs, we are the rock star at the event and that clients hire us to make the best possible party — so if penetrating the dance floor does that, then I’m just doing my job.

I know this topic can be divisive so if you vehemently disagree with me and think a DJ’s place should always be behind the system then I have to respect that and say, fortunately, there’s more than one way to be successful in this great industry. But if you normally hang back behind the gear and are willing to give it a try, I’d encourage you to get out front a bit. I believe you’ll be happy with the results and may start doing it more and more. And if you love it that much, let me know. I’ll try to find my old sequined jacket and lend it to you.

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.

Are DJs becoming obsolete?

By Tony Fernandez:

Why is it that whenever DJs comes across an article about how brides want to save money or how couples want to DIY their weddings and the suggestion of using an iPad , iPod (are those still a thing?), Spotify, Pandora, etc., are brought up DJs seem to loose their collective minds?

I’m going to put this out there: If you have to worry about iPads, iPods, etc., becoming a factor in how you do business or conduct yourself as a DJ do us all a favor and hang up your headphones, do not pass GO, you do not collect $200.00. Turn in your DJ card and relegate yourself to doing backyard soirees for your HOA or PTA events.

There is no question that as time has marched on technology has allowed for possibilities inconceivable even a few years ago. Today access to music is truly instantaneous and on demand. Think about it, it wasn’t too long ago that getting music was a pretty regimented process: you heard a song on the radio or in the club; you find out who it is; you went to Sam Goody or Tower Records and you bought your CD. Repeat for the next desired song/album.

The internet changed everything, how music was distributed, shared, and obtained. iPods changed how music was collected and played back. Computers changed how music was stored. Streaming has changed how music is accessed. With all of those dramatic changes and the power at the fingertips of everyone and anyone, the perception is that everyone and anyone can make and share playlists. If that isn’t enough, you can find other people’s playlists and use those. This action gives the perception that collecting, cultivating, disseminating, and presenting music is “easy”.

While I don’t profess that being a DJ is equivalent to neurological surgery, and not every DJ is an “artist”, the reality is being a DJ does require skill.   DJs are more than a person that strings together random songs or creates killer playlists. Our profession is based on the experience, knowledge, and proficiency to play the right song at the right time, every time. You can’t wing it. You can’t pre-plan it. You can’t create a playlist beforehand.   You live in the moment, make a decision and execute every 90 seconds or less.

Clients have every right to choose to have their wedding, birthday, corporate event, etc. fulfilled by a low cost / automated option. They get what they pay for. That client isn’t my client.

Our job is to become and continue to be the best DJ we can be. Do that and I promise you, you will have work. Clients who want a successful event will hire talented and experienced people to fulfill that expectation. You’re selling you, your experience and your skill set.

Bottom line: If you equate yourself to an iPod, expect to be treated like an iPod. I’ll be hanging out with the experienced professionals.

Keep ‘em spinning. Till next time.

 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