Pa. DJ’s Fast Track to Local Dominance
Harrisburg, Pa.—When Jason Klock was in junior high school, he was enlisted to help spin a dance because the DJ had cancelled. From that early experience, the mold had been set. As he got more time behind the console he was able to DJ a wedding while in high school. Other paid events followed.
“My father, uncles, and grandfather played in bands so I knew there was money in the entertainment industry,” says Klock, who now owns Harrisburg’s biggest DJ company. “It was just a matter of creating a way to make it. Throughout some college and then while working full-time, I slowly increased my pricing and worked extremely hard to create a positive name for my company. In recent years, as this is my full-time journey, I seem to have found a strong formula that has been financially stable for me and my staff.”
“I networked, attended every bridal show I could afford, and made sure everyone I came in contact with knew that I DJed and knew what my goals were.”
It all started in 2008, after taking some college courses and diving into a B-to-B sales job. The goal? To eventually run his own business, of course.
“I stepped away from college to work full-time in sales because it allowed for a flexible schedule,” he says. “I could do certain things and take certain calls that I may not have been able to do with any other career.”
To get events, back then, Klock “worked extremely hard at networking, attending every bridal show I could afford, and making sure everyone I came in contact with knew that I DJed and knew what my goals were. This last piece of the puzzle helped tremendously. I encourage everyone to always share their vision and elevator pitch with literally everyone they can.”
The challenges were formidable, of course. “The biggest challenge in the beginning was establishing legitimacy, experience, and value,” he says. “All three of these I feel go hand-in-hand. This is where the elevator pitch and networking helped dramatically. There were times when I couldn’t show credibility with my DJ service. However, I could show credibility with myself as a person and as a professional. This, in return, allowed me to get the experience and to create value to my DJ service. As I would get more events I’d make sure to always get a review, footage, and even a referral or two along the way. All of this together and working extremely hard allowed me to build my business quickly.”
How quickly? After three years of outside sales and networking, in October of 2011 Klock was finally able to make the full-time leap. Since then, he’s outgrown his first office and currently has on staff four full-time employees.
Klock, however, will be the first to admit there were speed bumps on the road to his quick trajectory.
“I’m far from perfect and still learning so much, so I have definitely made a couple of mistakes,” he says. “Fortunately, they haven’t hurt the longevity of my company, just headache and stress-type mistakes.”
He points to lessons learned in the hiring process. “I highly recommend taking the time to create a proper hiring process,” he says. “I did a lot of hiring of friends at the beginning because I needed the help, and, really, what is more exciting than hiring a friend? Almost all of the friends I’ve hired have been amazing and are still with me today. In fact, our friendships have gotten stronger. However, there were definitely one or two that have parted ways and just didn’t have the passion and dedication we needed. I guess this can happen with anyone, not just a friend, but with a hiring process in place you’ll eliminate 99-percent of this. It’s a whole lot easier to find this stuff out at the beginning, when you make sure the proper expectation is set with your staff immediately upon hiring or before even hiring.”