Why I Am Still A Top Wedding DJ Without DJing Full Time
Attention modern brides and grooms. Someone sent me an excerpt of a blog post that had been put together by a DJ company outside my market. I got to thinking how I've been able to be very successful as a wedding DJ, while having a full-time job. You read that correctly. I am not a full-time wedding DJ. But you know what? It's ok. This post had insinuated that not hiring a full-time wedding DJ could be a mistake. You don't need to click past my website, which I have spent thousands of dollars on over the years to try to find YOU. In 2023, I don't know anyone who has not diversified their income in some way. Perhaps someone has a side hustle that may include a part-time position as an Uber driver, a bartender, or a waitress to generate additional income in this world of constant high inflation. Ever since I began my journey in this crazy, oversaturated wedding industry, I've poured my heart and soul into making sure each client of mine is treated the exact same way. Let me make myself crystal clear. Your wedding day is very important to me. I never look at anyone's wedding as a "gig", but instead look at it as the most memorable day of your life filled with the music you know and love.
What exactly does full-time mean? For the purpose of this post, "full-time" will be defined as having only one stream of income, which is all received from wedding DJing. What full-time does not mean is DJing at weddings for 40 hours per week like you would do for your typical desk job. You know I really hate it when someone says my side hustle is wedding DJing. As a matter of fact, hearing someone tell me that is the equivalent of fingers on a chalkboard. These people are looking at the amount of time I spent in my day job versus how much time I would spend at a wedding on any given Saturday or Sunday. The truth of the matter is being a professional wedding DJ is a full-time job without the 40 hour per week paycheck. When someone contracts me to be their wedding DJ, their wedding day occupies space in my mind until it passes. As their wedding day draws closer, the pressure builds to prepare for their day and make sure that the music is perfect. I spend hours gathering music and testing my equipment, in the days and weeks leading up to a client's wedding. This is a huge undertaking for each one of my clients and it's something I take very seriously. So, you might be asking why I have made the decision to not become a full-time business owner (entrepreneur). You might be on the fence on whether or not to hire someone like me. Before you click on the other guy's website, or get pressured into a referral from someone, hear me out. I have never let anything get in the way of being DJing a wedding, ever. I have endured a death in the family to be there for my clients. In the world of social media, I have seen it all. The wedding DJ did not show up because his dog died. The wedding DJ did not show because his girlfriend broke up with him. The wedding DJ did not show up because his equipment was stolen. Really? How did you get lured in to signing a contract with a wedding DJ who would be irresponsible enough to get their equipment stolen?
Wedding Market Saturation Continues
When you've been in business as long as me and have taken care of your finances like I have, you are free to walk away from any day job. Back in the summer of 2018, I did just that. I resigned from a position I had grown to hate. After I began my mini retirement, I began to think about focusing all of my time on my website and begin to "possibly" become a full-time DJ. I still remember some of the conversations I had late that summer with my web developer. Web searches for anything related to Charleston were becoming less and less. I began to see reports that visits to the SC aquarium were decreasing by 30%. What exactly was happening? We were not in a recession. I began to hear things were slowing down in Charleston as it pertains to weddings. It began to become the elephant in the room. After 3 months of this mini retirement, I realized I was worth more in a full-time job than I was as a potential full-time wedding DJ. While I had been investing in a professionally-designed website, the searches and conversions simply were not there in the late summer and fall of 2018. I can sit here and speculate why things were slowing down, but that was 5 years ago and we have even more wedding vendors in Charleston now. When you combine the increase of wedding vendors with an increase in prices across the board for everything in Charleston, I don't blame the young millenial or Gen Z couple for passing on the Holy City.
Shortly before COVID, I began to grow weary of the wedding saturation in the Holy City so I decided to put together the post here based on research I had been doing. Let me explain to you the frustration I had been begun in the year before COVID. There were people who were trying to steal business from me with ridiculously cheap looking websites. These wanna-be's that were popping up had no reviews and were charging the same price as me. For more information about Why The Wedding Market in Charleston Became Saturated <-------CLICK HERE - No matter what amount of money I was putting toward digital marketing, I had a gut feeling that these "fly-by-night" wedding DJs were taking money out of my pocket. I am not going to struggle financially because I am having to compete with low hanging fruit. I am not going to sit back and compete with wedding DJs who put together terrible Google ads (to undercut me) to link over to equally cheesy websites. Since I had forged a reputation as a top wedding DJ "with" a full-time job, I was not about to deplete my bank account trying to fight off that low hanging fruit. Even if that "perceived slowdown" had not occurred in the late summer or early fall of 2018, I am too good to compete with amateurs and refuse to be taken down to their level. So, by October 2018, I went back to another day job and no one ever asked a question, because they don't care.
One more thing about the crowded wedding market. I've dropped in my amount of networking (probably since COVID). While I know that it certainly helps to get out and start shaking hands with wedding industry people, I have always been very selective as to who I want to meet. I will go into greater detail down below but in a saturated wedding market, you may never convert 100% of your leads. Why is this? Because no matter how great a talent you are, a wedding planner may offer other options on their preferred vendors list. If the planner has been working with 4 or 5 other DJs, and you become Number 6, odds are not in your favor that you will have a chance to work with that planner frequently. I don't have any heartburn with this, because this is just one of the cons about working in a saturated wedding market, and another reason why I am not a full time wedding DJ. I'm not the only great wedding DJ in my market, and I am OK with that, but I am not interested in reducing my chances of booking the client to 20% because I am one of 5 DJs on their preferred vendors list. Hard pass. As I've mentioned in previous posts, my best clients have done their homework about me. They've reviewed my website, my blog, and reviews and made their determination that they would like me to be their wedding DJ. My best clients have discovered me "organically".
I Specialize In Weddings
Aside from an occasional, select private party or event, I am fully focused on a specializing in weddings. The very people who are saying not to hire a wedding DJ unless they do it full-time are the ones who are still doing bar gigs. Do you really want a DJ who is not fresh at your wedding? I don't have time or patience to speak with bar / club owners who don't care about my success and want to pay me the least amount of money possible. I've been there, done that and will never do it again. Since 99.5% of my business are weddings, you can make the case that I AM a full-time wedding DJ. When you hire me to be your wedding DJ, I will be arriving to your wedding "ready" to serve you. I won't be tired because of a cheap bar gig the night before. For more information about Reasons I Focus Exclusively On Weddings <----CLICK HERE - I truly believe that my desire to focus exclusively on weddings sets me apart from my competition and is one of the biggest reasons that brides and grooms have hired me over the years. Since my focus is 99.5% on weddings, I don't need to be a "full-time" wedding DJ and can still give my clients the focus they deserve.
I Am An Owner-Operated Wedding DJ Service
One of the biggest selling points that brides and grooms get a huge kick out of when they hire me is the fact that no other wedding DJ will be showing up to their wedding when the day arrives. There are plenty of horror stories to go around as it pertains to a booking agency or other large wedding DJ company taking a deposit from you and then NO wedding DJ shows up on your wedding day. It's sad but true and it angers me to no end. I do everything for my clients. I am the owner of this company. I am in charge of marketing. Would you believe I even load in my own gear? Yes, I do, even on hot days, but then again I am in excellent physical shape :) For the wedding DJ who is "owner-operated", not being a "full-time" wedding DJ is the best option. I don't care how popular you are, there are some people who simply are not going to hire you. I don't care how popular you are with wedding planners, there are still going to be instances where other wedding DJs on that planner's preferred list get to that client first. It happens all the time. Because there is not a 100% chance of booking every single wedding lead that comes your way, I am not a full-time wedding DJ. While there are times that I do find myself getting into booking 100% of clients, it does not happen enough for me to give up my day job. For more information about Why You You'll Never See Any Other DJs On My Website <----CLICK HERE
I Don't Book Every Single Wedding That Comes My Way
Because I take this industry seriously, I do not book every single wedding that comes my way. Why is this? Because all clients are not created equal. Every single client is not going to look at me the same way. There are some clients who are going to look at me as a line-item on their budget, not the incredible asset that a top wedding DJ truly is on your wedding day. I am not interested in working with those types of clients. When you've got an online business and have spent close to 13 years developing your craft and niche, you know who your ideal client is and will easily turn down someone who does not fit that mold. Once again, since the chances of booking every wedding is not 100%, I choose to not become a full-time wedding DJ. Also, since I am an owner-operated wedding DJ service, I don't want to over-extend myself to the point where I get sick of being a wedding DJ. I want to always walk into each and every wedding, fresh and ready to rock the biggest day of your life.
You might be asking why I decided to put this post together. Well, like I mentioned up above, I got inspired when I read this article on a DJ blog that sounded like wedding DJs who weren't full-time were not any good. Also, in recent months, I seem to have gotten a string of spam leads to my website. Since I meet my clients before their wedding day, most of them find out that I do have a full-time job. Do you think that once they find out I have a full-time job they want their money back? No, I have never been asked to void a contract because someone found out I had a full-time job. I don't let my weddings affect my full-time job and I don't let me full-time job affect my weddings. These are two parts of my life that I will never allow to affect one another. I'm not going to even ask that DJ why they feel that full-time wedding DJs are the only way to go. Perhaps they wrote the article because they are intimidated by some of the competition (who arenot full-time, like me) are growing in their market. Perhaps that DJ is finding out that things are not that easy in the wedding market after you've cheapened yourself with silly bar gigs. I am here to tell you that you can have a full-time job and also be a very successful wedding DJ. I'm shaking my head right now just thinking about how I've managed to make it this far. I've made it this far because I truly care about the success of your wedding day. Working 40 hours per week at a job does not dilute the passion I have for being a wedding DJ, nor does it mean that I will not take your wedding day seriously. Those wedding DJs who are making the case to prospective clients NOT to hire a wedding DJ unless they are full-time are the ones who think it's a waste of time to meet you, and they are the ones who won't communicate with you through the process up until your wedding day. They are the ones who don't have a process in place on how they treat their clients. They do, however sit back and create negative content used to sway your decision in hiring the best wedding DJ for your big day. They might also be the ones who double or triple book your day just to grab a deposit, and then NOT even show up! As I mentioned up above, I have spent thousands of dollars and thousands of hours to try to find YOU, my perfect client. I've lost count at the amount of hours I've put into this blog. One of the luxuries of not being a full-time wedding DJ is I've been able to invest in and design a world class website that is the heart and soul of my business. At the end of the day, my style as a wedding DJ is classy and elegant, and that is exactly the image I've portrayed since my website went live. In an era where I have only about 15 seconds to grab your attention, I felt it was the only way to go.
If you are interested in setting up a time to speak with me about contracting me to be your wedding DJ, please click the link up above to be taken over to my contact form. There, you'll be asked for some basic details and a time / method for me to reach to you. Thank you again for making it all the way to the end of this post. Click below on some other great posts put together over the years about me.