Being a successful DJ is more than just hitting play on a playlist of great tunes. You need to bring personality to the event, keep guests entertained, keep the event on its timetable, and really encourage people to have a good time.
If this sounds like you, you might be interested in starting a DJ business. In this article, we’ll talk about what a wedding DJ does and how to be a DJ, so you’ll know what it takes to get started and succeed.
Wedding DJs do more than just play music. Here are a few other things that you might need to be prepared to incorporate into your wedding gigs:
Becoming a wedding DJ is really starting your own business. However, there are a few steps you can take from the beginning to be successful.
The first thing you need to do is learn your craft. Good training and lots of practice will help you, especially if you don’t have any experience yet. You may want to shadow and apprentice with established DJs, take mixing and digital music classes, and practice! The more you can practice in front of people, the better. You may want to start small by providing some tunes for your family’s get-togethers and slowly branch out.
Get to know local DJs and ask them how they got started, what kind of equipment they use, and how they get clients. Be brave and ask if you can shadow someone to get the feel of what they do. You may offer to help them in exchange for knowledge and, even better, get a job as an assistant to a DJ so you can learn and make money. You may even get to substitute for local DJs as a way of getting some real experience.
Just like any business, you’re going to want to create a business plan. A business plan will help you consider your startup costs, such as your DJ equipment, how much you need to charge, and how often you need to work to recoup those costs and make an income. In addition, you may want to speak to an accountant about taxes and how to manage your finances. You may also want to file for an LLC and give your business a name. You’ll probably want to insure your equipment, as well.
As a DJ, one of the biggest challenges is figuring out how much to charge. There is a wide range of fees, from $600 to $3500 for a single wedding. When you’re starting out, you’ll probably charge near the lower end until you have the experience and the finesse to charge more. You might want to offer a flat fee, a per hour fee, or even a package fee. It’s important that your clients understand how much the actual cost will be and what they will receive for their money. You’ll probably want to draw up a simple contract to make this easy for both parties.
Of course, as a DJ, you will need some sound equipment. If you prefer the old-school method of physical scratching and mixing, you may want physical decks and hardware to control your mixes. So you’ll need a mixing board, sound equipment, and of course, crates full of CDs and vinyl. On the other hand, if you go with a DJ software package, you can do all your mixing virtually, so you’ll need less equipment to lug around.
Here's what you need:
For more information about what you need to DJ a wedding, check out this article.
A website will help people get to know you, help them find you, and be able to contact you. You’ll want to include a bio so they can know you, your education, and your experience. In addition, you may want to have a list of the different types of events and venues you can DJ and a list of packages you offer.
Make sure your website is professional, easy to read, and clear. It’s great if you could include some honest testimonials, too.
Videos and pictures can be very eye-catching and don’t forget to include what areas you will be willing to serve, as well. Lastly, make sure your contact information is easy to find.
Make sure to get some business cards and maybe even brochures made to hand out to potential clients and don’t forget the importance of Facebook and Instagram to get the word out.
You need to get started somewhere! If you don’t know anyone, ask your friends and family for referrals of people who might need a DJ. Hopefully, your friends and family will hire you to give you some experience! Also, have business cards available to hand out to guests so they can find you when they need a DJ.
You might also call up other local DJs and ask if you can have the business they can’t take on. Lastly, you might want to email schools, churches, synagogues, lodges, hotels, and restaurants near you that might be in need of a DJ. Introduce yourself and offer your services.
Always be professional, on time, and provide the services you said you would provide. Be present in the moment and focus on your clients and guests so they can have a great time at their wedding or event.
Final Thoughts on How to Be a Wedding DJ
Starting a business as a wedding DJ can be hard work. Building up your business so you can have a steady stream of gigs will take some dedication and commitment. However, it is worth the effort if you put it in:
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