Experts....

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Randy Bartlett

Senior Member
However, Mark DID say that every DJ in every market should charge at least $1200. Not only did he say it, he asked every DJ in the room to sign a pledge document that said "I promise to charge at least $1200 for my services." He also spent a portion of his time explaining why DJs in small markets shouldn't feel exempted from signing the pledge. I was in the room and heard him say it with my own ears, and I still have my Certificate of Ferrellization in a filing cabinet in my garage :)
At the risk of derailing this...

Your memory is a common one, but I think some context is in order.

I won't go into the whole thing here, though I'd be happy to in a separate thread if you like, but the key word you're missing is "professional." The pledge went something like, "I am a professional mobile DJ..." And the pledge was for entertainment and to make a point, but he went on, REPEATEDLY, to say, "do your own research," "check out your own market," etc.

His point was that he wanted the consumer to think of $1200 as AVERAGE. He must have used the word average 50 times in his talk, and still does. Average means some will be below and some will be above.

There's a lot more to be said on this subject, but for the sake of THIS thread, here's the problem with what you wrote. He did 3 90 minute seminars, for a total of 4.5 hours of information. There was a lot more to it than, "$1200." For a lot of people who weren't there, as you reported it, they would ignore the whole thing because "it can't be done here."

But again, going back to our common goals, I also know there were a lot of DJs who were charging $500 when they heard him, who were able to earn substantially more per year AFTER implementing his ideas. That's a goal that most of us have.

So rather than fixating on the one area where you heard it differently than me, why don't we concentrate on the goal, which is to be able to earn a decent living providing a valuable service to our clients?
 

Tim English

Active Member
Randy,
As previously stated, I personally benefited from what Mark had to say, "I'm worth more than a veggie platter" and all that. Almost immediately, I went home and itemized the time I spend on a wedding, put that information on a Word document and started showing it during my sales presentations. I made more bookings at a higher price. Thank you, Mark.

I admit, he said all those things you mentioned. Overall, his message was to know your worth, and charge for it. However, he ALSO said no DJ should charge less than $1200. I understand those are conflicting messages, but he did deliver them both. He chose to drive his message home with a pledge that said "I promise to charge at least $1200," not a pledge that said "I promise to charge what I am worth." So to say that Mark never said DJs should charge at least $1200 is false.
 

Cerebro

New Member
Experts built the Titanic.

Amateurs built Google.
I love this comment. If anyone has ever read any books by Robert Kiyosaki he talks about the importance of mentors and seeking out a kickass team.

It take's someone that knows their limitations to really grow their idea. If it hasn't happened yet with ______ (fill it in with whatever you want), then it will. These individuals have enough drive and passion to really create something beyond it's own control. This takes 3 things:

1.) Time
2.) Money
3.) Networking

For larger business models an expert isn't an expert but relies off of their own team of qualified people. A large ego doesn't make you money, it is passion to succeed and help others. Just read Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, it is the underlining message in his book.

You can only know so much, before you are considered a jack-of-all trades. That is the last place you want to be.
 

djstevieray

Somewhere On Hoth
You can only know so much, before you are considered a jack-of-all trades. That is the last place you want to be.
Says the Man, who knows about Events, Michigan, DJing, Weddings, Photobooths, Lighting, Mackinac (whatever that is), Cancun, and apparently Web design, and how to corner the market on domain names.... lol
Encore Event Group
Michigan DJ
Wedding DJ in Michigan
Photo Booths in Michigan
Light Up My Event
Mackinac Wedding Co.
Wedding DJs in Cancun

Seriously That is an awesome collection of Domains.
 
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Randy Bartlett

Senior Member
However, he ALSO said no DJ should charge less than $1200... So to say that Mark never said DJs should charge at least $1200 is false.
Tim,

This is not that big of a deal to me (nor to you, I suspect), but we'll remain in disagreement on this. I've gone through this before. I have the tapes and I've seen the transcript. I have no doubt you heard what you said, but I know it wasn't those words spoken.

But this is a great example of what I'm talking about. You're not a liar, scumbag, moron, idiot, blah, blah, blah, and neither am I. Although I disagree with you, I even understand how you came to that opinion. While I think it's wrong, I don't think it's an unreasonable thought process and Mark could/should have done a better job in making himself clear so this wouldn't happen down the road. But if I had a dollar for everything I've ever said that could have been said better, I wouldn't still be working for a living. :D

We're simply peers who have a difference of opinion on one very small area. It's not necessary, or even desirable, to agree on every issue, but this is where I'd like to see DJs with a virtual handshake and then move forward.

Thanks for the civility.
 

DJ Jose

Account Closed
At the risk of derailing this...

Your memory is a common one, but I think some context is in order.

I won't go into the whole thing here, though I'd be happy to in a separate thread if you like, but the key word you're missing is "professional." The pledge went something like, "I am a professional mobile DJ..." And the pledge was for entertainment and to make a point, but he went on, REPEATEDLY, to say, "do your own research," "check out your own market," etc.

His point was that he wanted the consumer to think of $1200 as AVERAGE. He must have used the word average 50 times in his talk, and still does. Average means some will be below and some will be above.

There's a lot more to be said on this subject, but for the sake of THIS thread, here's the problem with what you wrote. He did 3 90 minute seminars, for a total of 4.5 hours of information. There was a lot more to it than, "$1200." For a lot of people who weren't there, as you reported it, they would ignore the whole thing because "it can't be done here."

But again, going back to our common goals, I also know there were a lot of DJs who were charging $500 when they heard him, who were able to earn substantially more per year AFTER implementing his ideas. That's a goal that most of us have.

So rather than fixating on the one area where you heard it differently than me, why don't we concentrate on the goal, which is to be able to earn a decent living providing a valuable service to our clients?
I was a member of the audience when Mark gave that speech in Vegas.

It was inspiring. But, deep down inside I knew that most people in the audience would not really understand what Mark was hoping to accomplish.

It didn't influence me because I was living in NYC at the time and pricing for a DJ Entertainment Service was more than $1200.
 

Randy Bartlett

Senior Member
I was a member of the audience when Mark gave that speech in Vegas.

It was inspiring. But, deep down inside I knew that most people in the audience would not really understand what Mark was hoping to accomplish.

It didn't influence me because I was living in NYC at the time and pricing for a DJ Entertainment Service was more than $1200.
I was also there. In fact, I was schedule to give a seminar in San Francisco for DJTimes just a few weeks later called, "How to Raise Your Prices And Lower Your Guilt." It was a reprise of a seminar I did with Mad Joe Martin and a panel of four others the previous summer. It was, to my knowledge, the first time that anyone had suggested that we should charge more for what we do. Not add-ons and upsells, but just that what we provided was worth much more than the $300-$500 that seemed to be prevalent in most areas of the country.

But it never occured to me that most wouldn't get it, and I'd argue that most DID get it. I think Mark's seminar had a huge influence on a lot of people and their willingness to go back and begin charging a more reasonable fee allowed others to follow. There were a few negative people from the beginning who, amazingly, thought this was a bad idea, but MOST of the people "got it."

My rates were also over $1200 at the time, but I took the pledge, not for an instant thinking that I was supposed to go home and lower my rates. Maybe we can get Mark to give us the text of that pledge and to offer some content, but that should probably be a new thread.
 

DJ Jose

Account Closed
I was also there. In fact, I was schedule to give a seminar in San Francisco for DJTimes just a few weeks later called, "How to Raise Your Prices And Lower Your Guilt." It was a reprise of a seminar I did with Mad Joe Martin and a panel of four others the previous summer. It was, to my knowledge, the first time that anyone had suggested that we should charge more for what we do. Not add-ons and upsells, but just that what we provided was worth much more than the $300-$500 that seemed to be prevalent in most areas of the country.

But it never occured to me that most wouldn't get it, and I'd argue that most DID get it. I think Mark's seminar had a huge influence on a lot of people and their willingness to go back and begin charging a more reasonable fee allowed others to follow. There were a few negative people from the beginning who, amazingly, thought this was a bad idea, but MOST of the people "got it."

My rates were also over $1200 at the time, but I took the pledge, not for an instant thinking that I was supposed to go home and lower my rates. Maybe we can get Mark to give us the text of that pledge and to offer some content, but that should probably be a new thread.
If most people would have "go it" there would be more role models or experts contributing to the growth of our industry.
 

Randy Bartlett

Senior Member
If most people would have "go it" there would be more role models or experts contributing to the growth of our industry.
Not necessarily. There were maybe 1000 people in that room. There is something like 80,000 DJs out there. It will never get to everyone, for a variety of reasons.

But think about this: When he said $1200, people ridiculed that number as unrealistic and unacheivable. Now, $1200 is an accepted norm. If you go back and read the posts from the snipers after his seminars, they were all taking shots at the $1200 DJs. Later that became $2,000, then $3,000.

$500 DJs have always existed and always will. There are $50 magicians and $500 magicians and $25,000 magicians. That will never change. Anything that people "love to do" and think is fun will always have a low end. The goal was never to do away with low end DJs, but simply to raise awareness among them that the value of what they do is probably higher than what they thought.

But now we've really strayed off course. No more from me on this topic in this thread. I'll be happy to discuss it at length in its own thread if anyone wishes.
 

DJ Jose

Account Closed
Randy,

This conversation is certainly a lot more important than most of the topics that come on this forum. Plus, it has a great deal to do with what we perceive as "experts" in this field.

I agree that there will always be a low end DJ service and "most" are earning bellow poverty. Most DJs don't even consider their expenses. They have no clue on how to run a legitimate business. When someone decides to ignore the cost of doing business, they are doomed to failure.

With the rapid dissemination of information, books, and the internet, it's really hard for me to understand why most DJs did not see the value in Mark's message. DJs read or heard the message and did not believe it was true or possible. Some, in an attempt to sabotage the growth of our industry, simply went in the opposite direction.

What we have today is multi-op DJ companies who have to work within customer's budget, because there are so many weekend warriors undercutting each other. Those same companies are the one on PVLs controlling the markets.

What we need is "more experts" and "role models" to step up and lead the way. Plus, we need DJs who have some "pride" and who really "love" this profession. It's just one way to turn things around.
 
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