New Jersey is EXTREMELY competitive and is home to some of the best DJ companies in the entire country.
As a single op competing in an area saturated with multi-ops, I quickly realized that I would never be able to compete through direct advertising, especially with companies spending 10’s and 100’s of thousands on bridal shows, billboards, etc.
To stand out I focused on 3 key elements, which I believe have allowed my business to grow and create more demand than I’ve ever expected, especially with my prices starting at just under $3000 for sound only.
- Word of mouth: First, to succeed I realized my bookings needed to come primarily from word-of-mouth referrals. They produce the fewest price shoppers and are the ones that value your services most.
From as far back as I can remember, my advertising expenses have been virtually zero, and about 80% of my events come from some sort of word-of-mouth referral. While it sounds simple, a successful word of mouth business only works under one condition, and that’s to stand out. To stand out effectively, that often requires creating amazing experiences that are remembered and talked about, as few ever talk about something that is just average.
Someone once told me about the “Purple Cow Theory” (Seth Godin wrote a great book on this concept), which essentially discusses how a successful business needs to be built on something that gets noticed. I could talk about how I do this for hours on every aspect of the business, but the overall point is that EVERY detail matters. If you’re doing what everyone else is doing or providing the same routine approach and performance at event after event, it won’t stand out as well and be seen as average at best.
- Marketing: The second area I focused on was marketing. This includes my website, photos, videos, social media, etc. Once you stand out enough to get noticed, it’s common that the couples who are interested in you will do some research first before contacting you. Your website and social media content must be just as appealing as your performance was.
I target a high-end market and want to appeal to those discerning clients. Aside from my performance, they want to make sure they’re investing in a true professional that they know will provide the results they seek.
On my website I try to be informative (yes, that means including my pricing) and captivating by showcasing lots of exciting photos and videos. Being active on social media is also crucial to staying relevant to your followers and being top of mind when it comes time for them to hire or refer someone.
Video Recaps have been by far the most successful thing I’ve done. Every wedding I’ve done since 2014 has a recap video for with actual audio from the event available for all to see. This is something VERY few DJ’s can claim they do or have available to differentiate themselves with. It shows that I’m consistently working and creating amazing experiences, further reinforcing my status as a top tier dj in my market. I also post all my videos on YouTube (almost have 400 recaps up currently) and would say the remaining 20% of my bookings come from couple who search for DJ’s on there. The power of the recap videos is unreal.
- Branding: One thing I took note of in my area was that a lot of the emphasis was always on the DJ Company and never the individual DJ. This was often evident on Facebook when people would ask for DJ recommendations and all you would see was the company name, and rarely mention of the individual DJ.
When I went on my own (I was part of a multi-op until 2016), I wanted to go a different route when naming my company and simply called it “DJ Taso” (trademarked it too). Rather than coming up with some fancy name or combination of letters for my Entertainment company, as is common in my area, I took this simple and more personal approach to stand out to couples in the high-end markets who were truly seeking a personalized DJ experience.
Another benefit of this branding and approach is that my couples know who their DJ is from day one, a sharp contrast from most multi-ops where couples often wonder if they hired the top guy, the new guy, a subcontractor who does this on the side, or in some cases, are stuck waiting until a month before to be assigned a DJ.
I also only take on a certain number of events a year to ensure my clients receive the highest level of dedication possible, as opposed to larger multi-ops who need volume and often can’t contribute the same amount of time as I can to any one couple. In the high-end market, couples appreciate this dedication, and nothing shows that more than them knowing their DJ is with them right from the start and is 100% involved in the planning and performance of their event.
Taso Dakas is a single-op in Marlboro, NJ
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