Marketing/Marketing my business
I have recently started building my self-employed mobile DJ business, and am trying to plan out how I can separate myself from the "other guys" that saturate this market. I hate to be pessimistic, but I have a feeling that a good portion of other DJs do it part time, and haven't spent the time to get their business license, tax ID, etc. like I have. I'm also working on publishing my business in a local newspaper so I will be covering all ends of my business. My question is: Is there an ideal way to say "I have a tax ID, and legit business, rather than the other guys" kind of marketing plan? I don't want to disparage other DJs, but at the same time I think it may help other customers to rely on my business knowing that I am working not only for myself, but have a legitimate business. It seems like a tricky thing where I could easily step on toes, but want to make sure I market myself well. Your ideas are always appreciated.
Running your own mobile DJ company is an ideal job for anyone who loves music and has a personality which is outgoing and full of energy. Although fun and exciting, DJing is also a demanding job, and if you do not treat it as a professional and serious business, you run the risk of not being able to maintain high standards. However, with the right business strategy, running a mobile DJ company can be more than a fun sideline – it could be a successful career.
Gain experience by working as an assistant or roadie for an established mobile DJ. You can also gain experience by throwing parties for your friends at which you DJ, or by volunteering to DJ at friends' parties, or at school parties.
Write a business plan for your company. This will help you to focus your marketing and finances. In your plan, describe what types of marketing you will use, how much money you will spend on equipment and promotional materials, how you will finance your company and your plans for growth. Set out where the greatest demand is in your area – for example, weddings, festivals, clubs and bars, karaoke nights.
Collect music. You should have a comprehensive collection of music, on vinyl or as digital files. Collect music in many different styles, such as drum and bass, house, disco, trance and soul. All your music must be legally obtained.
Buy or lease your equipment. This is the most expensive part of the DJ business. The amount and type of equipment you will need will depend on the type of DJing that you want your company to focus on. For example, for working in clubs or at weddings, you will need turntables, amplifier, mixer, headphones, speakers and lighting effects. While for karaoke, you will need a karaoke machine, monitors, CD-Gs (music for karaoke machines that includes the lyrics), several microphones, speakers and a written song list. You may also chose to use a laptop computer for storing music and mixing, in which case you will also need mixing software and cables to connect your computer to the speakers.
Register yourself as a business. Check your state's business and tax laws and make sure that you are complying with all the relevant rules. Register your business name. Many states require DJs to carry liability insurance, and you may also want to insure your equipment against damage and theft. You will also need to have contracts for you and your clients to sign. A contract can prevent disputes over issues such as cancellation or performance length. You can buy standard contract forms online or at a legal office supplies.
Promote yourself. Pass out fliers or leaflets at clubs and on campus at local colleges. Make a demo CD or video to give to potential clients. Talk to other DJs and try to gain a network of colleagues who may help you find gigs. You may also want to join the American Disc Jockey Association. They can provide advice and contacts in the industry. They also have a professional code of practice for DJs that you can sign up to. This demonstrates to clients that you are a professional.
Using the right advertising can increase your popularity and profits.
No matter how good a DJ you might be, you may be missing potential income opportunities if you are not promoting your services. Without advertising, potential customers may not know that you exist and contact your competitors instead. By using a few advertising ideas, you can increase your visibility and profits while promoting your mobile DJ company.
American Disc Jockey Association
Becoming a member of the American Disc Jockey Association is a good way to advertise your business. This demonstrates to potential clients that your business is professional. Your business also gains instant credibility along with member benefits such as discounts on music, insurance and other items to help grow and promote your business. You can also list your business in the association's online directory so you can be discovered by potential customers searching for DJ services.
Bridal shows are another way to advertise your business. In 2012, the average total wedding cost was $28,082, of which $1,300 was spent on entertainment, according to statisticbrain.com. Advertising at bridal shows gives you instant access to potential customers who will soon be in the market for DJ services. You can also distribute your marketing materials to future brides and schedule free consultations.
Social media should not be overlooked when advertising your business. According to CNNMoney.com, in October 2012, Facebook exceeded 1 billion users, so why not use it to advertise your business? Creating a Facebook Fan Page that highlights some of your DJ events will help increase your visibility while gaining fans. The more likes your page receives, the more people view them as positive endorsements for your business.
Volunteering your services at a community event is another way to advertise your business. Consider volunteering as a live audition of your skills to the people in attendance at the event. The event organizer will promote your company along with the event details. At the event, attendees may ask for additional information about your services. Always have your marketing materials ready so that you don't miss an opportunity to promote your business.
Advertising doesn't have to be expensive if a business owner is creative.
Advertising is often one of a company's largest expenses, but it's necessary for attracting new customers. However, advertising does not need to be expensive. There are many creative ideas for outside-the-box inexpensive--and even free--advertising initiatives. These can be adopted by both large and small businesses and molded to a company's particular business model.
Set Up a Facebook Page
Facebook is one of the most important free social media tools. Individuals can have accounts. Businesses can have groups or pages. The benefit of a page over a group is the page will index on Google. This means potential customers can find your Facebook page when they search the Internet. You can include information about your business and can post updates that will be sent to the news feeds of each fan of your page.
Start a Business Blog
Blogging tools have become easy to use in the past few years. You can set up a blog on free sites like Blogger and Wordpress in a hour or less. Customers can subscribe to your blog, and you can quickly send out news, updates or information on special sales and events.
Speak at Local Events
Many local business events constantly seek out speakers for their programs. You can speak on any topic related to your business and show the attendees you are an expert in your field. Your business name will also go out in all the marketing materials sent out by the event coordinators.
Ask Customers to Promote Your Business
Happy customers are likely to recommend you to their friends. Your best customers--those who buy lots, pay quickly and don't complain--are most likely to recommend you to their friends and to associates who are most like them. Ask each of your customers to consider handing out two brochures to potential new clients. This is a great way to get high-quality new business.
Writing articles is another free way to show your customers you are an expert in your field. You can post the articles on your website, blog, or Facebook page or on a number of online article directories.
Make a YouTube Video
Think of a YouTube video as a visual article. With some simple video equipment, you can make a video showing people how to do things related to the products or services you sell. When people look for that information online, they will come across your video and be introduced to your company.
Become a Columnist
Newspapers favor local exclusive content, and your local paper may offer you an opportunity to become a regular weekly or monthly columnist. You can focus your column on reader questions about your industry; columns can also explore different aspects of buying, selling or caring for your products or otherwise using your products and services.
Place Local Online Classified Ads
There are several websites that offer localized classified ads for free. Sites like Craigslist and Kijiji have sections where you can advertise your product or service or even sell off old inventory.
How to Get Free Advertising for a Business
The phrase "free advertising" is like music to the ears of a small business person already bogged down with overhead and employee costs. You have a number of ways of getting free advertising for your own small business. Use the creativity and motivation that inspired you to start your own business to brainstorm as many ideas for free advertising opportunities as possible.
Navigate online forums for your industry to see if there is a "free advertising" section for business owners. Some forum moderators do not mind promotion from related businesses in certain areas of the message board.
Post your ads on Craigslist for free in an appropriate section. For instance, if you have a lawn equipment repair service, you can post an advertisement in the "For Sale" section under "farm and garden" and provide a phone number and email address where people can contact your company. You have to sign up for an account and voice verify with the service before posting.
Tap your friends and family for free advertising help. Hand them a set of flyers or business cards, and ask them to distribute them to people they know who are in need of your products or services. Give each customer a few extra business cards or flyers to pass onto his friends if he enjoyed his experience with your company.
Hang your flyers on bulletin boards throughout your community where allowed, including supermarkets, coffee shops, town meeting halls, churches and college buildings.
Give products or services away at charity auctions or community events. In exchange for your donation, ask the promoter to add an advertisement to the program, mention your business during presentations or post a banner at the event. When the presenter gives the item away as a gift or prize publicly that also helps to make it more desired and noticed by the group in attendance.
Email business website owners who sell products and services in the same category as yours and ask to trade advertisements. Agree to exchange advertisements, such as banner ads, for display on each of your websites. Make sure it's a company that you don't compete with, but attracts the type of customer you're looking to reach. For instance, if you have a real estate agency website, you can offer to trade ads with a mortgage loan officer.
Start a free blog and post informative articles about your industry as an expert. Post links to useful products on your website throughout the text or a banner advertisement promoting your business around the text. Promote your blog using social networking websites, such as Twitter and Digg.