7 Ways To Win Gigs - Know Your Niche
With increased access to music and the continued sub-categorising of music genres, there is a growing trend of assumed expert music knowledge. Customers are looking for a ‘good fit’ when selecting the person responsible for deciding on the music that will be played at their event. Put simply, to know your niche has never been more important.
1 // NARROW YOUR MARKET
When speaking with DJs I often ask the question, “who is your audience?” If the response is, “anyone who is having a party”, I know we are about to have a sensitive conversation. Why sensitive? Because, in order to win more gigs, it’s essential to focus on a niche and that means reducing the marketplace for your service. Yikes! This can feel restrictive and therefore alarming. The typical response is, “I can’t book every gig now, how will I ever secure any bookings by marketing to fewer people?”
It is important to remember that a niche is not the field in which you work. For example, ‘Mobile DJ’ is a field and describes any type of DJ who travels to events with their equipment. More appropriate titles would be ‘Mobile Wedding DJ’ or ‘Mobile Party DJ’ denoting a clear niche market that will appeal to different specific seams of customers looking for an expert either in creating great weddings or great parties. However, to fully realise the potential of niche marketing, you need to go even deeper in identifying the exact type of events and group of potential customers to which your service is best suited. The saying you can’t be all things to all people is very relevant in today’s market. Modern buyers are citing more intimate customer care and a better personal experience as considerations of high importance when choosing service providers.
2 // PEOPLE BUY PEOPLE
When first starting to narrow your market to a more focused group, consider the sort of people you most like working with. Creating an ideal client profile – your ultimate customer, if you will – can be a useful benchmark for the type of customer you wish to attract. Consider the qualities you love in your best customers. Who do you have the best relationships with? Blue chip corporates, hotels, event venues, young couples, families, teens, millennials, older people? Consider what music your favourite clients like, what type of jobs they have, and what type of social backgrounds they come from. Then think about how you emotionally connect with your best customers, what do you think they like about you and which of your unique characteristics draws them back as repeat customers?
When you have a clear picture of your ideal clients, you can use it to inform how and where you advertise to reach them. Likewise, if you can identify what it is about you and/or your service that your ideal customers value, you can focus on these areas in your marketing materials and sales process.
3 // KNOW YOUR STRENGTHS
Successful leaders are able to concisely express what they’re good at and why that’s valuable to their company or organisation. When asked the question, “Why should I book you?”, your well-rehearsed and succinct answer may very well lead you into a selling situation. Prepare a signature speech for your newly identified audience and deliver this with confidence and from memory. It will demonstrate that you are very clear about who you are and what you are offering. Identify your passion by focusing on events that energised you rather than drained you. We have all had events where we were totally-in-the-zone against those where we felt somewhat detached. Develop your own style and continue to work on perfecting that style to support your strengths. Don’t try to please all the people all of the time or to be someone you’re not. Hone in on what you are good at and then work to develop skills that will enhance the customer experience for your target market. There are plenty of courses to attend or you may consider taking on a mentor or joining a DJ association to help you develop these skills.
4 // IDENTIFY THEIR DESIRES
Knowing your niche is part of a process that requires further ingredients to ensure success. Your ideal customer will have specific wants, needs, and desires which need to be identified. Good customer service is key here and it should always be your aim to make prospective clients feel important by genuinely seeking to find out exactly what they are looking for. Have a framework for asking questions which lead the customer to services you can deliver really well. Keep the customer on track by discussing your strongest services that help illustrate your strengths. Have images and examples ready in an organised presentation – visuals never fail to emphasise the benefits of what you are describing. Position yourself as the expert in a niche market and you will have better clarity of customer needs whilst being viewed not just as a go-to-person, but their go-to-person.
5 // GROW YOUR REFERRALS
Effective networking is a key element to creating a client base that is happy to make referrals. I was fortunate enough to be taught at one of the many business breakfast and networking clubs I attend an important trick to exchanging leads – be very, very specific. The importance of this is to make the job easier for people who want to refer you. Your business acquaintances, customers, family, and friends will be eager to pass leads to you because you are doing all of the work for them by pointing directly to the people they know who are ideal customers that fit your niche. Avoid saying, “anyone who…”, as this will cause their brain to shut down as they try to go through an entire mental catalogue of people to find one specific ‘anyone’. Instead give them a clear picture of the exact type of person and event you are targeting so that it is very easy for them to identify the few people in their social network who are the perfect fit for you.
6 // STORIES FOR WINNERS
Never underestimate the strength of a great story to help pique customers’ interest. These should describe real outcomes that previous clients have experienced with the help of your expertise and on-point services. The strength of a great story can deliver credibility allowing potential customers to understand the value you bring. The truth is that they are probably genuinely interesting to prospective customers because they actually want to hear about the people you have entertained, the challenges your other customers faced, and how you solved those problems. Just remember: stories need to be relevant to customers’ needs and they must have a happy ending.
7 // CLOSING THE DEAL
“I’m a DJ not a salesperson!” is a maxim that often rolls out when it comes to the subject of closing a sale. My answer is, OK be a DJ, but be their DJ and help them through the process of showing that you are the best fit for their event at the right price point for your services. In the end, confirming the booking is often simply a matter asking for it! Here are a few examples:
“Would you like to secure the date and go ahead with booking me?”
“We’ve discussed what sounds like a great party, shall we book the date?”
“I’m really excited for you, what a great day it will be – can I go ahead and book that for you?”
If they say yes the cardinal rule is to STOP SELLING and move on. Don’t talk yourself out of a sale! However, if the customer is still unsure find out what needs to happen for them to make a decision. Experience supports my three camps principle, either:
1. You DID NOT identify their desires
2. You DID NOT make an emotional connection
3. Price. You became a commodity
(the customer did not see your value).
Go back and revisit desires, needs, emotional connection, and your value by helping them map out the steps they need to take to make a decision. Hopefully, they’ll decide to book you, but don’t be disheartened if they don’t. It’s likely that, for whatever reason, you weren’t the right ‘fit’.
The more you practice targeting these key components, the more successful you will be at recognising your perfect customer and avoiding wasting time and energy on prospects that don’t fit in your niche and therefore are unlikely to book you.
An excellent DJ is not a commodity but a professional service provider who is skilled at consistently delivering great entertainment and value for their customers’ events. Asking questions about playlists, full dancefloors, up-lighting, and what sort of MC you are is the only way potential customers can evaluate what they are really buying... YOU.
The full article can be found in Pro Mobile Issue 83, Pages 42 - 44.