With the new year, it’s a great time to take stock of where you are as a DJ, and to set out goals for 2016. Take a moment to bask in some of your finest achievements of the past year and imagine new successes for the coming year. As DJs, we have an innate desire to improve in our craft. Few of us are content to rest on our laurels. Those DJs who stagnate eventually become obsolete in this highly competitive field.
Listed below are five of my top suggested New Years resolutions for DJs.
1. Resolve to Learn a New Skill
The more skills that you possess as a DJ / Emcee, the more marketable you are. Are there certain types of parties that you don’t perform at because you aren’t qualified? Do you know how to DJ / Emcee weddings, Sweet 16s, quinceaneras, Bar Mitzvahs, interactive kids parties and karaoke parties? Are you comfortable with international music and ethnic parties? Can you mix music videos or program intelligent lights? How are your dance skills? Can you mix and scratch on the turntables? Do you know how to create beats and produce music? There are various ways to learn a new skill. For example, ask an established DJ to “shadow” them to an event to see how they run a party. Read books and check out free video tutorials on YouTube. Join your local DJ association. Learn a technical skill at a DJ academy. Take an online course to learn a new skill.
2. Resolve to Harness the Power of Your Mind
The human brain and its subconscious are incredibly powerful. As humans get worn down by the vagaries of life, we protect ourselves with limiting assumptions such as “I can’t” or “I’ll never.” If subconsciously you believe these limits to be true, then they become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Replace the word “can’t” with the word “can” and let these ideas marinate in your mind. If you believe it, then you can achieve it!
Listed below are sample limiting assumptions that condemn us to failure. Again, replace the word “can’t” with “can” and your subconscious will help you to achieve that which you previously felt was unattainable:
- I’m too old to DJ Sweet 16s;
- I’m a terrible dancer;
- I don’t have the business skills to own a DJ company;
- I’ll never get on the Preferred Vendors list at a particular banquet hall;
- I’m a bad writer and can’t blog;
- I look terrible on camera and can’t create video blogs;
- I’m not Jewish and can’t DJ a Bar Mitzvah;
- I’m more of a DJ than an Emcee, and don’t feel comfortable on the microphone;
- I don’t have the money to expand my DJ company;
- I’ll never earn a full-time living being a DJ;
- I’m not a naturally charismatic person;
- I can’t afford to take a family vacation this year.
3. Resolve to Write Down Your Goals
Most DJs don’t write down their goals or prepare financial forecasts. Instead, they rely on a belief that referrals and repeat business will keep their phones ringing. As for profits, DJs have faith that by staying busy, money will be abundant. This philosophy is akin to a professional sports team who says “we want to play hard and win some games in 2016.” No, a professional sports team would say, “we strive to win our division in 2016 and here’s the specific action steps on how we’re going to do it.”
To step up your level of achievement, it is important to write down specific, measurable goals. For example, in 2016 “I want to perform at 100 weddings and earn $100,000 in profits from my DJ business.” Or “I want to become the resident DJ at a premier Las Vegas club by June 30, 2016.” Or, “I want to become New Jersey’s top Christian DJ service in 2016 as measured by sales.” With a specific, measurable goal in your sights, an invisible hand will guide you towards achievements. Setting out goals, your business will go farther than simply having some touchy-feely ambitions to do well.
For a detailed presentation about “Financial Forecasting for DJs” (including a free sample financial template), check out my instructional video on YouTube.
4. Resolve to Stay in Contact with Your Past Clients and Referral Sources
In most businesses - the DJ business included - 80% of business comes from 20% of your customers. Your past clients and networking partners already know and love you. Enlist them as cheerleaders to easily gain referrals and repeat business. If you are not keeping in close contact with them, realize that the door is open for a newer and hungrier DJ to start building a business relationship with your client. Marketing to existing clients is easy and inexpensive.
Techniques to keep in contact with former clients include phone calls, postcards, small gifts (gift cards, mix CDs), special offers, email greetings and client appreciation events.
In the famous Godfather movie, Michael Corleone said, “Keep your friends close, and your enemies even closer.” As DJs, modify this advice to, “Keep your friends close and your clients even closer.”
5. Resolve to Back Up Your Music, Business Files and Contact List
How many times in the past year did one of your friends ask you to resend your contact information because they lost their phone or their computer got wiped out by a virus? Don’t be unprepared and lose years of media critical to your DJ endeavors. Back up your music, business contacts and important business files on multiple hard drives. In case of fire or flood, keep one set of these drives at an alternate location. Take advantage of the inexpensive (or free options) to back up your data on the internet “Cloud” (e.g., DropBox, GoogleDrive, Amazon, Carbonite). Don’t be penny wise but pound foolish by ignoring the need to back up your business critical data!
A DJ’s music collection is particularly important to protect. Music is personal to a DJ and takes many years to amass. How tragic it would be to lose it all!
Gregg Hollmann, aka DJ Gregg Ambient, is an author, blogger and full-time mobile DJ with a specialty in weddings. Connect with him on Instagram at @AmbientDJs or on the web at www.ambientdj.com.