DJ Pricing Education
I want to give my customers an education on why a DJ's Pricing is structured the way it is. Like any other service, you are paying for their time, labor, equipment, skill, and experience.
Catering Halls can cost over $10,000+, Flowers can cost $1,500+, Photography can cost between $1,000-$5,000, but somehow people have a problem with paying a DJ $1,500 for a Wedding?
You might not realize this, but Mobile DJ's do a lot of work for each party/event and we have many expenses.
DJ's have to purchase and maintain equipment, marketing/sales, planning, pre-production, driving, and physical labor.
You will learn why DJ's can justify the pricing, after reading this.
A DJ's work is before, during, and after the Party/Event
DJ's first have to book job's: Marketing & Sales
This can require marketing materials, advertising, and job services, like Thumbtack, Bark, Yelp, etc. We have to make contact with the client, either via text, Social Media, messaging, phone, Zoom, webex, etc.
Once the DJ makes contact with the potential client, the DJ or DJ Company, needs to see what the date, time and location is, and see our availability. If we are available and you like us, then you can hire us.
DJ's have to plan according to what type of location, for ex: hall, restaurant, or backyard, inside or outside, if the location has stairs or an elevator, the size of the room/space, and how many people will attend, this way we can determine how much sound and lighting is required. It is important to know what type of music is needed. We consult with the client and figure out what type of music will be played during the party/event. We also need to know the names of the people involved in the party/event, for ex: Bride and Groom, relatives, and their wedding party. DJ's might have to download/purchase music that they do not have. DJ's will follow up closer to the day of the party/event to see if any changes need to be made. The DJ will practice for your party/event to insure all the music mixes and the flow of the party/event is good.
Day of Party/Event: Loading, Set-Up & Production
DJ's have to load all of their equipment into their vehicle drive to the location, unload the equipment, set it up, test it and make sure it all works. We have to aim lights and place speakers in the right place. We have to make sure all of the sound and lighting equipment is stable and taped down, so nobody gets hurt. During the party/event we will mix the music and MC the party, making announcements, etc. We will run the flow and guide your party/event. When finished we have to pack everything up load it back in our vehicle, then drive, unload, and store the equipment.
DJ Equipment costs: Expenses
DJ's have equipment that can be expensive. When you hire a DJ, you not only get their time, skill, experience, DJ and MC work, you are also renting their Equipment and Music. This can be expensive for the DJ.
Speakers, Subwoofers, Lights, Music, Laptops, Hard Drives/Thumb Drives, DJ Mixer/Controllers, Turntables, Lighting Controllers, Speaker Stands, Lighting Stands, Trusses, Tables, Equipment Cart, Hard Cases, Padded Bags, Audio Cables, Lighting Cables, Power Strips, AC Extension Cables, etc.
All of these items cost money, and sometimes you need multiples and backups.
Being a DJ takes a lot of time and effort
The Up Sell/Extra's: More profits, It's a business
Most DJ's offer Extra's, like Up-lighting, Photo Booths, Game Consoles, Dancers, MC's, Lighting Technicians/Lighting Directors, Stages, Video Screens, Projectors, Additional PA Speakers, Centerpieces, Giveaways- Hat's, Shirts, Blow up instruments, Glow sticks, Covid-Masks, etc.
Remember, nothing is for free, you have to Pay for all of the Extra's.
Some DJ/Production Companies are Full Time Businesses that have to pay for all the things I listed above, and they have a higher overhead because they also pay Rent/Expenses on their Office location, a staff of DJ's, MC's, Dancers, Office workers, etc. They have to pay health Insurance for their Full Time employees, Office Supplies, run a payroll, pay for multiple vehicles and repair expenses, stockpile DJ/Production equipment, etc.
The Big DJ/Production Companies can charge $4,000-$20,000+.
The sky is the limit...I am not against them, all power to them, it is a business, however most clients cannot afford these prices for a Party/Event.
I know when I was a client, I did not want to pay expensive DJ prices.
I just wanted the basics, DJ/MC, Music and Lighting. This is what most people can afford, and I also offer that. I offer Extra's, but my prices will be competitive.
I hope you have a better understanding why pricing for a Mobile DJ is the way it is.
As a Mobile DJ, we love what we do, but we also have to make money doing it.