So DJing is what you do, and you want to be known for it (if you aren’t well-known already). Beyond having your name on a billboard, a more down-to-earth priority should be getting a return on the investments that make your service what it is. So here’s a question: what is your DJ business worth to you? More importantly, what is it worth to your clients? Those questions will determine what you get paid for your services. Here are a few tips on how to set your DJ rates and prices that will work for you and your future clients.
Determine Your Base Fee
When you set your DJ rates and prices, there are two things you don’t want to do: overcharge your client and undercharge yourself. Finding the right fee balance will take some sincere consideration time. Consider these elements of what you offer when thinking about your base fee:
- Time – How much is your time worth? How much time do you spend practicing your craft so that others can have a good time? What other things are you sacrificing so that you can do this event?
- Equipment – How much have you invested in equipment? What do you need to recoup? How much would it cost to replace it, should something happen?
- Business expenses – What does it cost to maintain your business?
- Music – How much do you spend on the music library that you use for DJ events?
Take these things into account when you decide on your basic prices, and you’ll be sure to find a financial balance for yourself and your clients.
Set Minimum Event Hours
As mentioned above, your time is valuable, and that should be a priority when it comes to compensation for your services. If it takes you two hours to gas your car, load your vehicle with equipment and then travel to the event destination, a three-hour event may not be worth the effort if it will take you another two hours to get back to home base. You may actually lose money that way. It would be wise to figure out the least amount of time that would be worth you investing in an event, so that you maximize your opportunity and bottom line.
Set Your DJ Rates and Prices By Event Preferences
Every DJ has a niche when it comes to the style of event they prefer; you may want to consider that in setting your DJ prices. Is it more of a headache or hassle for you to do kid parties? What if large arena events require more manpower that you have to hire for setup? Do you spend more money buying more music for weddings? Will it cost you more to do events further away? Consider the elements that will require more effort, time, money or resources for various events, and plan your event rates accordingly.
Determine Overtime Rates
If you’re good at what you do, chances are the crowds may want you past your contracted time. That can be a great thing–if you’re compensated for it. This provision is mandatory to protect you from being taken advantage of. The key is to maintain a value for your services and not give your time (or money) away.
Some DJs (like Mixmasterbrown) will argue that you should charge additional time per hour for any time over the agreed upon, contracted hours. Others may say it’s enough to simply charge your normal rate for overtime fees. Whatever your decision, make sure it is stated in your contract and discussed in your client consultation.
Setting an accurate DJ rate is such a subjective topic, but these suggestions will help you solidify peace of mind when it comes to being fairly compensated for your services. Take these ideas into consideration, and talk with other trusted DJs who may be able to give you thoughts on how they finalized their service rates.