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By Jimmy Lee.
So many DJs I know complain that they can’t raise their prices from where they were years or even decades ago. Even worse, some actually work for less now than they did back then!

I know it’s scary when your competition starts to alter their marketing to offer deals. But please, for the sake of your business, and your sanity, DON’T.

There are always posts on social media offering insane packages at quite simply unsustainable prices and I appreciate that’s entirely the prerogative of the business owner. However, you can’t differentiate yourself from the rest of the pack by simply being cheaper. And do you know why? Because they will all go cheaper too, pulling each of you down the same plughole of low earnings. It’s a speedy route to guaranteed oblivion and it destroys the consumer’s perception of what our services are worth.

That said, I totally understand why it happens. DJs are largely ego-driven individuals and with that comes a deep insecurity. I say this from personal experience. This ego often means we would rather be busy than profitable, since a lack of activity leads to greater emotional insecurity and the fear of irrelevance.

Be it intentional or inadvertent, there are many UK DJs who would be making a loss if they analysed their businesses forensically. Many more would be below minimum wage if they actually saw profit and then computed their hourly rate.

“Hold on a minute, another ‘pricing’ article!” I hear you cry. But what I want to explore is how pricing is absolutely essential to your marketing strategy and how getting it wrong has the potential to destroy your marketing, and indeed your business, altogether.

Marketing is not just shiny pictures of nice kit in the best possible light, or shots of a packed dance floor with arms in the air. Everything you do as a business can be a marketing opportunity or a marketing failure. Everything you do as a person equates to exactly the same potential marketing win or loss.

Let’s start with Black Friday Deals. I have said for many years that I find it incomprehensible that people in our industry market them. If you’re a retailer with stock to shift or new lines you need to make way for in a season change, I get the psychology behind a Black Friday sale. However, us mobile DJs are offering a service, so why should someone get a deal at that time of year specifically? Also, what’s the incentive for people to book at full price when they are assured to see a deal at certain times of the year? In the eyes of the consumer, your sale price becomes your actual worth. Consider how many times, as a consumer, you’ve bought an item only to see it on sale soon afterwards.
I bet you were you annoyed when that happened. If so, how do you think your customers would feel when the same happens to them?

You’ll also see loads of suppliers on social media claiming to offer a special rate if you book this month. What that says to me is, “We really need cashflow right now and are nervous about future bookings.” This may not actually be the case, but if that’s how I read it there’s a good chance that other people are reading it the same way too. This assumption can be devastating for a brand.

There is another problem with sale pricing: the harder someone has to stretch to fit your needs, the more they are likely to put demands on your service because they didn’t perceive your worth in the first place. Extra hours, more equipment, miscellaneous favours – they can all add up to a booking you would rather not have taken.

Fundamentally, when you offer sales in a...

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The full review can be found in Pro Mobile Issue 121, Pages 52-56.


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