Christmas and New Year have been and gone and mobile DJs are left staring into an empty bank account and are hoping and praying that their mate who passed on some work, or their “agent” will come up with some cash sooner rather than later. Others will have submitted their invoices to venues and companies and they are hoping payment will be made by the due date, although many organisations often ignore these and pay when they want to [often thirty or sixty days later]Meanwhile household bills have to be paid and food provided. Running cars, vans and heating premises is a financial drain especially when a “business” is experiencing negative cash flow.
Gear For Sale
No surprise therefore that this is the time of the great DJ equipment clear-out sale. Facebook groups, Ebay and local sales sites are filling with items previously deemed to be essential, impressive, unique, the best, must have, fantastic, this that or the other. But now it has to go. They have to go. Why? The irony is that almost all other mobile DJs are in the same boat so there will be no takers or sales will be negotiated down to ridiculously low price.
What went wrong
Negative cash flow and the realisation that equipment is surplus to requirements is very much a reality check. Its a slap in the face, a wake up call. Where has all the money gone. how come there is nothing left in the kitty? If you are waking up to this reality it is time to make changes to your “business” now. I place business in inverted commas because this situation proves that your DJ activity is not being run as a business. Hobbyists are deluding themselves. Hobbyists are beginning to realise one of two things. Either they are not charging sustainable fees for their work or they are spending the profits without regard for the consequences.
What individual DJs charge is none of my business however DJs need to learn that their fee is intended to cover many different costs required to provide a sustainable service to their clients. Providing a cheap disco to a client last year may have appeared to be a good idea but not if you’re forced out of business this year.
Account for every penny.
My good friend across the pond, Jason Spencer, presented a seminar at last year’s Mobile Beat Convention. It was called Profit First. In the seminar Jasen explained how to break down every pound earned into constituent costs as a percentage of the whole. This exercise will result in you being aware of what needs to be done with the money earned. A big realisation was finding out just how much of each pound is actually your salary. How much goes on advertising, maintenance, fuel and vehicle costs, music purchasing, upgrading equipment, taxation and accounting fees? In reality many DJs do not pay themselves a salary. Theses are the DJs who see their earnings swallowed up by the costs because they are not in control and have no idea how their spending is exceeding their income. So when the income dries up, in January and February, they find themselves broke or bust.
Jason advises, “Pay yourself First!
Do the maths, allocate a percentage that is paid frequently into a separate bank account and create Paydays when you draw your wage. Do the same for Taxes. likewise for expenses, training and reinvestment. You will end up with four or five accounts. Make sure one of them is labeled PROFIT. The profit account will more than likely only represent five or ten percent of your income but keeping it protected and ring fenced will allow you to draw on that profit and use it for non business related reward. The profits are yours to enjoy. They should be used for treats like holidays, gadgets, cars, watches, quality time pursuing hobbies and other interests, the list is endless. You have worked hard and you deserve reward for what you do.
Take action now
Don’t find yourself in the January doldrums. Next year make sure you have a financial cushion to relax on. Take time off and enjoy some winter sun. Take advantage and snap up a bargain or two as others unload their equipment for a fraction of what it cost. Or better still book yourself on a training course. [not mine – i’ll be retired this time next year]. I wish you well. Happy New Year. May it prove to be a prosperous one for you.
more details about Jason and his Profithood Academy can be found here https://www.facebook.com/profithoodacademy/
Its that time of year again
Time to claim your Free Gift
Mobile Djs are often looking for ideas to kick-start a Christmas party, corporate event or even get a wedding reception animated and engaged from the start. Well now my good friend Neal Howard has come up with all the answers. I have known Neal since 2002; he recently suffered a near fatal heart attack and is now using his enforced recovery time to create tools that help his fellow DJs get more bookings.
He has been a DJ since 1995 and he’s learned a thing or two during all this time.
He put together a great little FREE report that I think you’ll really like. It’s just some very simple tips that you can start using immediately to improve your performances.
It’s amazing how these simple little things are often missed by not just those new to the industry, but even those of us who have been around for a while.
The report is free, The Games list is $49.95 and the How to Use Games at weddings / up sell card formats is $14.95
Includes 116 games to play at parties, 12 specific wedding related interaction routines
Get all three items before Sunday December 18th for only $39.90 [approximately £32]
I got my copies this morning and I can thoroughly recommend the extensive insight and instructions provided by Neal. Some of the content is by its nature intended for American consumption so you will need to modify a few of the ideas / questions to reflect British tastes.
Here is how it works
The link below takes you first to the free report and video introduction..
That is emailed to you automatically after you enter your email.
In the thank you email there is a link to purchase the UDJG list for $29.95, it will take you to an upgrade offer page.
If you purchase the UDJG list the tahnk you email will include the download link and another bonus offer for card templates for use with the games and the additional 12 games specific to weddings for $9.95
If you DO buy the upgrade
It will take you to a thank you page with a download link for everything.
Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy [prosperous] New Year
On November 13 and 14 a group of specialist wedding djs met to further explore common issues that affect them in their business and the way they entertain their clients.
On Sunday we covered subjects including How good are your marketing materials, The Shoe Game – why and how?, what is an average wedding?, “Weddings – A Day in the Life, mk2!!, 20 Reasons why other DJ’s are stealing your clients, Music programing hints and tips, Testimonials” .the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
On Monday topics included – Email responders – how to reply to an enquiry, How to 10x your income, What makes the perfect host?, Connect & Convert Through Meetings., S.E.O, current trends, How do we create and then communicate “Special”, experience and expertise” an insight into establishing yourself
This was an opportunity to not only listen to and observe successful wedding djs share their knowledge and expertise, but also an ideal environment to question the experts and dig deeply into their reasoning and methods.
This is the feedback received from delegates.
Well Derek, what can I say, you did it again!
You not only managed to get a group of like minded wedding Dj’s to commit to a ‘Think Tank’ but, also managed to fill it with some amazing UK based talented presenters who managed to fill the two days with an amazing array of information, tips and tricks.
Probable the best investment I have made in my business this year. If I only managed to implement a small part of what I gleaned from the last two days then I will still be streaks ahead of any perceived competition and will lead the way in my region.
Thank you, thank you , thank you!
Can’t wait for your next innovative idea to help Wedding Dj’s ‘up their game’
Mike Hackett wrote
Think Tank Reading and Derek Pengelly
WOW I had a sleepless night last night due to the fact my mind was racing with all the new stuff and fantastic Ideas I picked up in a room with some of my biggest idols and that was Sunday!
THEN cue Monday… OMG now I sat for most of the day speechless as gem after gem of fantastic ideas were shared and passed around WITHOUT any of the DJ’s in the room letting the well known DJ egos [we all can have from time to time] get in the way, every DJ/HOST was willing to:
share, advise, instruct, help, mentor, listen, cheer, sing, the only things I can say were missing were 1: Dancing and 2: YOU yes YOU !!!
If you’re reading this and thought huh another money generating idea from the mind of Derek Pengelly… oh how wrong you were!
This was simply a perfect place to get priceless info for what in relation was a very small amount. I bet some of you are kicking yourselves now as new friendships have been forged, new contacts made and most of all every one taking some great ideas away with them.
I will not name all the people that took the time to prepare presentations and content that they gave to the room but each one was GOLD yes GOLD. I will spend most of this week just getting my head around this weekends info exchange.
I will however give special mention though to one guy,,,, and that was Terry Lewis You managed the impossible: almost one whole hour in a room of DJ’s in which NONE were making a sound, no not asleep, but soaking up your very informative talk.
I will finish by saying I have no idea what the Scottish version of this will be like but do try to get on it I am sure you will get some great stuff from it.
To all a SPEAK SOON 🙂
Darren Latimer wrote;
PROBABLY THE MOST POWERFUL two days of self investment and giving experience I have had the honour of being apart of!
THANK YOU Derek Pengelly, Alan Marshall
An amazing day – The knowledge I picked up from Alan Marshall, Alan Granville, Mike Hackett, Roger Knight, The brilliantly mad Irish star named Martin, Chris, Paul O’Reilly, Ian Forest and others today was Fumping Brilliant
Djs who don’t attend these sorts of things are mad!
Paul O’Reilly wrote
Day 2 of think tank. What has it in stall for us today? Yesterday s think tank was excellent with explosive ideas and work ethics for djs in the wedding industry .
Paul Holmes wrote;
Fantastic couple of days spent in a room with so much talent and passion for what we do so many great new ideas to incorporate into my work.
Thanks to all of you for your advice, ideas, and friendship.
Alan Granville wrote:
Thanks you everyone for today, I have learnt a lot and have a sore head from the information overload.
Ian Forest wrote – An awesome couple of days Derek to be honest very well planned and organised with some great discussion points.
Gavin Harris wrote
What an amazing two days at the Think Tank.
Never did I imagine so many wedding specialists at the top of their game would open up and reveal so much information. It was so good to be part of a group that was happy to share information so that we could all help each other, in a way that a seminar style session wouldn’t have achieved.
It was a massive benefit to my business to be in a room full of success and positive thinking, and I’ve come away with lots of actionable advice to use that will make a significant impact to my business.
I hope this can become a regular event!
So if you missed this event all I can say is that you missed a truely special event, one which sadly can never be repeated. We may put together other similar events in the future but this was very much a one off.
We will be bringing Think Tank Scotland to Glasgow on Monday January 30th. This will be a one-day event and will feature presentations by Ian Forrest, Fabio Capozzi, Martin Keogh and an incredibly talented, award winning specialist wedding dj Mystery Guest, and myself.
There are only 25 places available and 15 have already been taken. You can reserve your place with a £50 deposit. Local DJs and specialists from the north of England will be in the room – will you?
More details can be found here
Have you reached the crossroads?
Ever since 2002 I have been reaching out to, and connecting with, fellow mobile DJs who are passionate about weddings. Along the way I met with, and worked with, one way or another, over three hundred people who wanted to change something about what they did or how they did it in their DJ business.
Some of those DJs started out being very enthusiastic and were like a sponge eager to soak up nuggets of information gleamed from seminars, articles, books and workshops. Many stayed in touch and continued to evolve and transform their businesses by implementing changes, taking risks and networking with fellow professionals via social media, DJ associations and commercial events like BPM, Pro-Mobile Conference and Mobilebeat Show Las Vegas.
Unfortunately not everyone continued on the journey. Some decided that they had arrived at their destination and no longer needed to pursue continued education, training and support. They were happy with their lot and didn’t see a need to update, refresh or review developments in current thinking. They have missed out substantially because the wedding industry is constantly changing. Brides and Bridegrooms are becoming more and more educated regarding the services they require and how to control the process of hiring suppliers on their terms.
Getting in front of potential clients has become more difficult and communicating what you do and how you do it has become far more of a technical challenge as much as an exercise in social media marketing.
I believe now is the time to regroup and take a fresh look at the current market place. The time is right for a bringing together of the best brains we have to take stock, evaluate and share solutions to current issues. Therefore I am currently organising an event that will take place over a couple of days in November that will focus exclusively on wedding specialist DJs. This will be like no other event ever staged in the United Kingdom.
This event will be;
A] A wedding DJ Masterclass
B] A Think Tank were not only ideas are shared but debated openly by delegates.
C] An opportunity for you to nominate topics for debate and explore potential.
D] A unique experience allowing you to question successful DJs regarding their journey, their decisions, their business models and their investment in self-development.
My objective for the Wedding DJ Think Tank is to re-connect and re-enthuse specialist wedding DJs to get back on track, push on, and address those things that have been pushed to the back burner.
We are assembling a great team of presenters for both days. More topics and presenters will be added shortly. I urge you to make the mind-shift decision to join us on one, if not both days. Only like-minded people will be in the room. Only people who have already supported education content based events will be allowed to attend.
The clock is ticking. I have limited time available. My fellow presenters also have busy schedules and are rarely to be found in one place at the same time. Please grab this opportunity and let’s see if we can kick start a new round of positivity going forward into 2017.
On a personal note I would love to see some of my original workshop colleagues attend and share their experiences. Many of them have moved on to bigger and better things. Some have benefited from training offered by some fantastic mentors and coaches. It would be great to hear them share their journey and inspire others to follow in their footsteps.
I look forward to seeing you there.
Reading Holiday Inn
Sunday November 13 and / or Monday November 14
Client Play-lists for Mobile DJs – are they a good idea or not?
I can remember a time long before the Internet, Digital Music and Smart Phones when a mobile DJ was hired to play current chart music and classic dance hits from the “Hit Parade” or “Pop Music” from yesteryear or “Golden Oldies” as the radio Disc Jockeys called them.
Music had longevity back then. A “single” would be released and slowly climb the chart week by week. A tune would often stay in the Top 40 for months on end meaning that mobile DJs only had to buy a handful of records each week to stay up to date.
Building a record collection was a slow process and costly. Very few members of the public had extensive record collections. They simply relied on the radio to hear music and had an extremely limited choice of programs to tune into.
Back then Mobile DJs where expected to have the most popular tunes and the classic dance tracks and people were happy to leave the selection to the DJ with only a minimum mention of a more general indication to their favourite Groups, Bands or preferred genre before the party..
These days music is instantly available, often not even purchased, and spends only a few weeks in a diverse and specialised “Chart” with only a small proportion ever attaining popularity across the broader spectrum of the population.
For some reason instant access and bulging music libraries appears to have given licence to everyone and their son to think they know what music should be played at a party. They think their selections will be liked by their guests and more worryingly some party organisers believe they know when their tracks should be played and in what order. Why?
No professional DJ would ever pre-select and program an evening’s music for a live event where he did not know his audience. He might have certain “sets” of music prepared to cover brief segments of the evening but would rely on reading the audience and selecting appropriate tunes to transition between genres based specifically on activity before him at any time. Spontaneity and the ability to switch between genres is a bench mark by which DJs are measured and more importantly valued. So why would someone hire a DJ and then tell him what music to play?
Would they hire a comedian and tell him what jokes to tell. Would they give him a script and say tell the jokes in this order? I think not. The idea is absurd and so too is the idea of giving extensive lists to your DJ.
If a person is organising a party and they wish to influence the type or style of music they should TALK to their DJ before hiring him or her. They shouldn’t hire blindly via an email or website. They shouldn’t hire based on cheapest price. Hiring a DJ in this way and then relying on supplying a play-list is a disaster waiting to happen. [As is the often suggested brainwave of using an i-pod until the realisation that everyone wants to repeat play the same half a dozen tunes all night!]
A better solution is to share musical tastes with the chosen DJ. Many DJs will welcome a short list of specific tunes to be featured on the night. Ideally such lists should be no more than twenty tracks. This is enough to give a flavour as to the music taste but leaves plenty of room for interpretation and innovation based on the reaction of guests on the night.
Personally I prefer to spend the first hour of a party mixing informally with guests asking them specifically what they would like to dance to this evening. While the background music is on auto-pilot I take the opportunity to get to know their musical tastes and connect with their ideas of what will go down well with them and their friends. This method guarantees we get to play the right music for everyone in the room. The music selection is no longer based on theory or wishful thinking. It is based on real people’s wishes on the night and in the moment. Their selections will reflect their feelings there and then and will be somewhat influenced by their surroundings and the people they are partying with.
Thankfully modern technology by way of the World Wide Web and on-line music providers means almost all requests can be sourced and played subject to a suitable wifi connection. If need be the DJ can purchase legally sourced music instantly and keep everyone happy.
So forget long lists; relax and enjoy the evening. Hire a confident and competent DJ who has testimonials that confirm he knows his music and is happy to play what his audience likes. Leave the crystal ball in the cupboard and trust him or her to deliver a busy dancefloor built with talent, expertise and experience. That, at the end of the day, is why quality DJs can, and do, charge more than their local average disco operators.
Award-winning Wedding DJs – what’s all the fuss about?
It saddens me to read some of the negative comments coming from so-called fellow professional DJs regarding the validity, purpose, sincerity and how gullible they believe Brides to be when it comes to The Wedding Industry Awards. [Other, similar competitions are available] For the record, I have no connection with this or any other award organisation.
Paying to enter a competition
The biggest bone of contention appears to be concerned with the entry fee. I have seen comments relating this fee to “buying awards”, “Give me £50 and I’ll create an award for you” etc. This is a ridiculous assumption. The entry fee does not guarantee an award. The fee covers promotion of the business that generates the publicity and administrates the voting process. You can’t buy an award. The awards will be distributed based on a process of Brides’ testimonials and a panel of Judges which includes past winning DJs.
It’s just a marketing scam, a licence to make money!
Err no, it’s a commercial entity – a business. All businesses have to cover their costs and make a PROFIT. What’s wrong with that? It’s no different from handing over your money to an advertising agency and getting them to produce advertisements for you. At the end of the day there is no guarantee that the advertisement will generate business. It might, but it might not. Advertising is a gamble and so too is entering an awards competition.
Entering a competition is a marketing ploy.
Subjecting your business to scrutiny by third parties, inviting feedback from clients and then exposing yourself to an assessment process by other industry professionals is not for the feint-hearted. Your business needs to be robust. Your practices need to transparent and reputable. Standards will need to be well above the industry average for your area if you are to succeed at regional level and go on to National recognition.
Reluctance to encourage feedback
I really don’t understand why any wedding DJ would be reluctant to ask for a referral or a testimonial. Not doing so goes against just about every piece of acumen required to run a business. Successful businesses rely on recommendation. Satisfied clients are the most likely people to want to help you find more clients and share what they experienced. When I saw yesterday a comment from a mobile DJ saying “once the event is over I want to forget about it and move on to the next one”, I despair, I really do.
Being short-listed is great public relations and perceived credibility.
Being able to use the award company’s logo and mention your participation in the competition puts you one step ahead of the crowd. Perception is reality. To me, seeing such a logo would encourage me to think this company is proactive and striving to be different or recognised for what they do and how they do it.
Nay-saying DJs provoke me to think that they are jealous and know deep down that they are unable to take part because their business would not stand-up to scrutiny and they would fail in the assessment process. Their clients would not deliver the quality of testimonials required. “Better to stand back and criticise than to admit some competitors actually do have higher standards valued by clients”
Taking part is great marketing. Winning is the bonus.
So by now you will be getting my message. Taking part and putting your business through the voting process will at least be therapeutic and insightful. At best the results will be a wake-up call and will focus your activity to improve how you are perceived by clients and how you measure up to their expectations.
Winning a regional or national award will generate interest in your business. How you handle that interest and convert it into new business is another challenge. Winning can also bring traps and potential downfalls because potential clients now have greater expectations. So winning can be a burden if you do not live up to your new-found status. The challenge just became a lot more difficult. It’s not easy making your way up the ladder to the top in any walk of life. Staying at the top is infinitely harder, not least because the pack is clawing at your heals wanting to pull you back down.
Please, give credit to Brides, they are not gullible.
I see so many DJs putting words, or rather thoughts, into Brides’ mouths. The general public are far more savvy than the DJs are trying to make out. They are well aware of what is going on here. They have a choice and will without doubt question the validity of awards and the accreditation process. The fact that other DJs may be sceptical is understandable. Brides will be sceptical too but that will not deter them from making an informed judgement after due diligence. Not all wedding DJ awards are the same. Buyer beware etc, etc. It is what it is. Overall Awards are good for the industry.
Well done, I say, to all DJ companies who enter award competitions. Good luck. Thank you for helping to raise the profile of our profession. May you businesses live long and prosper. May your clients enjoy service and satisfaction that far exceeds the average in your market? Above all, congratulations for having the guts, business acumen and foresight to grasp a marketing opportunity and to expose your business to the real world. To the organisers of such award competitions I also offer thanks. Thanks for offering a platform that will spotlight our DJ industry along-side the photographers, florists and venue dressers. Thanks for investing in websites and social media and reaching out to our potential clients [Brides] in places often not available to humble DJs. Thanks for your knowledge of the marketplace, advertising and award ceremony organisation.
I’ve been buy adding more audio presentations and a brand new DVD “workshop” to my range of educational Tools for Mobile DJs.
In this, my first DVD, I concentrate on the words used when making an introduction. Not only are the words important, the way you say them is vital to the success of delivering the right meaning and emotion to your audience.
This one hour forty minute video demonstrates the methods, techniques and structure required to make outstanding Introductions whatever the occasion.
You can order a physical disc for £39 plus £3.20 shipping worldwide or you can get a download version in .wmv or .mp4 for only £30
Over 30 copies have been ordered in the first two weeks since launch and feedback has been most encouraging.
The content of the video is based on my very successful full day workshop of the same name which was very well received and enjoyed by the delegates who attended.
I have also updated all of the audio seminar presentations and rolled every one of them into a bundle offer for only £29. You even get a copy of my audio book for brides, worth £10, thrown in for FREE!
All of the audio presentations are provided in mp3 audio file format for download to your personal device. Please allow up to 24 hours after payment to receive your download links to the files.
For your convenience I have also added instant payment buttons to this website / Blogg which can be found on the Seminar, Audio Downloads and DVD page.