you are single system operator, or have 15 DJs, your company image
is crucial to your success. But, what is image? Image is
how the public views your business, from your performance to your
general business practices. Image exists on many levels, from
your marketing literature to your performance on stage. How you
choose to present yourself speaks volumes on the type of entertainer
you are, the type of business you run, and the success of your
company. As a mobile DJ, a portion of our bookings are a result
of referrals, some of which are from people who watch us perform at
events, and like what they see, hear and participate in. Image
plays a role in such referrals, due to the fact that your image
during performance will add to the success of an event.
Take a minute to
think about how image can be presented to the public. The
effort and success of your image will help position your business in
your market area. How you present your company can happen
on many different levels, whether it's through your slogan, your
marketing materials, your performance, or the customer service you
provide. Image works hand in hand with marketing, and these two
aspects of your business support each other. You may have
invested a great amount of time and money on your literature, however
if you show up to perform at a wedding wearing ripped jeans and a
t-shirt, then you're money is not well spent on your literature.
Step One: Don't
dress like a waiter.
How many times has
this happened to you;you are performing at a wedding reception.
As you walk through the crowd of tables, a guest leans back and asks
you for another fork for their main entrée, or for more rolls,
or for another drink. You have obviously been confused with the
What can you
do? Well compare what you are wearing to the staff at the
facility you are working. Most function halls require their
wait staff to wear a uniform of a tuxedo shirt, black pants and other
tuxedo accessories;which is more than likely the same thing you are
wearing. Talk with a tuxedo shop about changing the vest or bow
tie to something that is a little different that allows you to be
noticed as the DJ. Use your discretion however; wearing a
bright neon yellow vest and bow tie will help you stick out at your
events, but can also be overkill.
Another nice touch
is a name badge, which you can have made at almost any office supply
retailer. It allows guests who approach you at an event to feel
a little more comfortable with you when making a request, or when the
banquet manager forgets your name.
How about during
the load in? Most of the DJs I have come in contact with wear
street clothes to load in and set up, then change into their
performance clothes before their event starts. Do those street
clothes consist of a shirt with your company name on it? They
are great to wear during set up because it creates an impression of
professionalism with the facility you are working at. Most
specialty advertising businesses have catalogs with different styles
for business apparel. However, do your homework when shopping
for business apparel. Ask about set up charges, quantity limitations
and do not be afraid of price shopping for a great deal.
Step 2: Anybody
have a pen;
Since we're on the
subject of specialty advertising, pens are another great
investment;they do not cost much and have dozens of uses when it
comes to your marketing and image efforts. Always have a few
with you when you are at an event, as you are bound to encounter
someone wanting to borrow a pen. Let him or her take it.
Who knows where it may end up?
If you work with
Karaoke, then you definitely know the need for a pen. Leave a
bunch near your song listing and request slips. They may not
remain there all night, but they are better than using broken pencils
or even crayons, and who knows where they will end up.
Step 3: Do a
gig, get some publicity.
Charities are a
great way to present and improve your image with a whole pool of
potential customers;your community. Involvement with local or
national charities is a great way to promote yourself and your
company, and possibly get future business. With local charities, the
chance for publicity is even greater, provided you work to ensure
your company can get in on it.
non-profit charities and organizations are usually looking for you to
provide your service for FREE, which is often looked upon by DJs as a
turn off. But take a moment to think about how much you are
investing in advertising. There is a way to get the best of
both worlds: Trade your service for a sponsorship in the event.
With a sponsorship, your company name will be included in any
publicity or advertising for the event;posters, t-shirts, newspaper
ads and articles, even the local access cable TV coverage!
Obviously, you want to get it all in writing, including the
organization's plans for advertising and publicity, and make sure
that the arrangement you make with the organization is included in
On the day of the
event, be sure to be prepared. Bring some brochures, pens, and
a big stack of business cards to hand out. Remember, "you
can never put a price tag on future goodwill."
Step 4: Say
"thank you" as many ways as you know how.
Show your clients
you value their business. After each event, you should be
sending out a "Thank You Card". You don't have to be
fancy, just a sentence or two to thank your client for allowing you
to perform at their event. Include a few business cards too;
one for them, and two for them to pass to possible referrals.
But is that
enough? Think about the last 5 events you worked , and how many
people other than your client you dealt with: the function
facility, the photographer, the caterer, and even the Elvis
impersonator. Why not send them a "Thank You" note
too. These people can be the source of future referrals, and
you never know when or where you will work with them again.
Step 5: Do some
construction;.Build a mailing list.
This step works in
conjunction with Step 4. As you come into contact with clients,
vendors, and other event professionals, you trade business cards and
eventually you have a whole list of names and addresses of
people;..people who may need or know of someone who need your service
in the future. Put those computer skills to work and build a
database with this information and use it. Maybe create a
newsletter, send out a birthday card to a function coordinator, or
announce that you have added a new service to your existing business.
I know a DJ
colleague in my area who when he goes to a DJ convention, he brings
his mailing labels and database with him and sends postcards from the
convention to keep his presence fresh, even when he is out of
town. I met another DJ recently who sends each of his
function facility contacts a Thanksgiving greeting card.
As you continue to
work with these people, you will pick up on certain things, like
their birthday or anniversary or other personal information.
Feel free to use this information to keep your company's presence
fresh in their minds.
At a recent DJ
Convention, Chuck Lehnhard of Spectrum Mobile DJs made an excellent
point: " If you act and present yourself like a professional,
you will be treated like one, and paid like one." This
quote is perfect when discussing the image of your business.
Defining the perfect image is entirely up to you. It is
important to note, however, that your image will be perceived by the
public with mixed reaction. What may appeal to one bride and
groom may not appeal to the Human Resource Director planning their
company picnic. Everyone's perception will always be
different. If your image standards portray a professional
representation, then you and your company will become well known.
Operations Manager, The Event Connection; Stoughton, MA