Wedding-Gig Tips from the Expo Future

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Mick Uranko is the owner of Uranko Productions, a mobile-entertainment company in Pottsville, Pa. At the upcoming DJ Expo this Aug. 14-17 in Atlantic City, N.J., he’ll helm a seminar, “Increase Your Current rates—and Get Paid More for the Services You Offer.” Here are some of the highlights:

Magazines like The Knot are filled with amazing ideas on how to pick out the perfect dress, honeymoon location, flowers, and lots of money-saving ideas for your wedding. The one thing lacking is information on how to book the perfect wedding DJ, which as we all know is one of the most important vendors on a wedding day.


In order to demonstrate our value as DJs, we should come up with a campaign on educating our clients. I do include my prices with my first response to their inquiry. This is important because I want to pre-qualify my clients before just throwing out a number. My current client education campaign includes an email that details everything that’s included in my price quote.

My first reply back to potential brides includes a statement where I define who my perfect bride is—so not only am I prequalifying my client financially, I am also prequalifying them socially and making sure they have a personality that fits my brand. Doing something similar will allow you to work with the best brides.

I encourage you to develop an education campaign/program for your new inquiries. Do not just send out your prices and hope for the best. If you take my approach you will come across to the bride as the expert since you are sending her more information than a typical “yes, your date is available, this is how much I charge, would you like to reserve the date.”

The next step that I typically follow is setting up a time to discuss details about their wedding reception. I ask them in the first email about setting this up and to make sure that we are the perfect fit for each other. My best advice I have for you when having this first conversation is listening to what their idea of a perfect wedding reception is. Ask them what would they would like to happen to consider their wedding a huge success. They are basically telling you how can you win them over.
I sell a lot of my services because I can relate them back to the bride’s idea of a perfect wedding. Providing your brides and grooms with different options and new ideas on how you can make their wedding the best will make you stand out.

Here is a real-world example on how I sell my services: The bride tells me that she is the last of her friends to be married and that she wants her wedding to be memorable and romantic. I replied with, “So what you’re telling me is you want to beat all of your friends.” She laughed. I said, “OK, let’s take a look at the first five minutes of your wedding reception to set the tone for the day.

What if we had all the lights off prior to your entrance and, as I announce you to come into the room, the uplights are turned to your colors as you pass by? During your first dance, we stage a cloud to appear as a surprise from your fiancé to you that your guests will think was actually a surprise. As you all are dancing in the clouds on the TVs, I am going to have a slideshow of your photos and during the second verse, instead of hearing your song, it is going to be a recording of personal messages to each other.

“Since you are going with TVs, I can actually set up a time to video-record your messages, so not only will everyone hear them, they will see you all on TV. So, what do you think—does that just beat all of your friend’s wedding receptions? That was just the first five minutes of your wedding – think about what I can do for the other four hours!”

I just sold $2,500 in additional services for the first five minutes of her wedding. The average bride has no idea that we can provide this experience for them unless you paint the picture and sell the experience.

Your Current State & Tracking Progress: In order to determine where your company stands, you need to understand your current state. In other words, why are brides booking your services? Every time you book a bride you should be sending them an email, which includes three simple questions:

  1. Why did you book our company compared to others?
  2. How did we compare price-wise to other companies?
  3. Is there anything we can do to improve your experience with us so far?

Answers to these questions will provide you with excellent insight on your current state. Even though we all like to think we win bookings because we can mix better than the other DJ, my clients book me because of all the info I send to them. They trust me that I will be able to give them an amazing experience; probably the most eye-opening reason I found they booked me was because I returned their emails in a timely manner.

This process will also help you define your brand and also change the direction. When Brides say to me, “Thank you for all of your info – we will take it into consideration and compare your price to others,” I politely reply with, “I don’t want you to book me based on my price.” I want to be booked by the bride that is so excited she found my company that she shares my name and what experience I can provide to all of her friends.

On the other hand, I do take a similar approach to the brides that don’t book my services. I ask if they wouldn’t mind filling out a survey; using this style of tracking progress will allow you to improve your brand. I was recently told I was not booked because the other company was more familiar with the venue. I made the mistake of not reaching out to the venue when the inquiry came in to introduce my services and at least make the first connection with the venue. Since I “lost” this client after I have sent all of my info and we had a conversation about how I can improve everything, I should have reached out to the venue prior to our conversation so at the very least I could connect.

We all, including myself, like to think that if a bride books someone else, her wedding will be ruined! That may or may not be the case, but what you can do to reconnect is send her a congratulations card or email a week after her wedding. You would be surprised the amount of work she will send your way if her experience was less than spectacular.