The biggest difference between hourly DJ’s and DJ’s who charge a professional fee is as simple as thinking about your local Mc Donald’s. I want you think of simple words that denote the mentalities of fast food employees. One might say, part time, un-motivated, just a job for now, only thinking about when they get off work, anyone can do it. These words can express the mentality or talent of the average DJ who charge an hourly rate. DJ’s who charge an hourly rate are usually entire level DJs. If they have been in the industry for a while, and still charge an hourly fee, then usually they are stuck in their ways thinking most events are the same. “I set up, I play music, I leave. If one of their first questions to you is, “what time does your event start and when does it end?” or “how long is your event?”, then you should take that as a red flag. Look at it this way: They just asked you, “how much time is this going to take me?”. Most business owners would call this an employee mind set.
A professional will ask get to know you questions first because they are more interested in knowing you. A professional knows that every event is different, and that you and your guests are unique. A professional does not assume you’re like everyone else. Just like a great waiter at a restaurant who asks, “how do you like your hamburger cooked?” Mc Donald’s has never asked me that and they never will.
Now take a moment to think of a few words that express the service or product you get from fast food companies. What words come to mind for you? For me I think of quick service, simple products, no customization, not healthy. Did you come up with similar answers as me? Let’s talk about “not healthy.”
We all know that fast food is not the healthy option for us, but if you’re like me you find yourself using them from time to time. For me it’s when I find myself in a time crunch and I need “something” to eat. So I swing by a fast food joint and eat on the way. My fiancé who is a health food expert gets disappointed in me when she hears that I stopped at a fast food place a quick bite. I don’t blame her. She was done the research and she knows that fast food is not a healthy option for me. I know she is right because my body feels uneasy trying to digest the fast food by-product.
That’s how I feel about most “hourly DJ’s.” It’s hard for me to digest their limited services because I have done the research and I know there are better options. Your best option is don’t just hire a DJ but also hire an Entertainment Director. (see article on “What is an Entertainment Director”). This would mean you would have two professionals at your show.
When I was a child McDonald’s was the best food in town. As I have matured in life so has my pallet.
Ryan Johnson is the president of Motion Music Entertainment, LLC, a professional DJ and entertainment services , wedding DJ and corporate events serving Tucson, Phoenix and all of Arizona.