It’s a subject which often raises healthy debate among DJs….how much should we be charging?
It’s also a post I’ve wanted to write for a very long time. Bride Magazine sort of beat me to it last week with their own take on the subject (admittedly skewed towards weddings) which you can read about here.
So, how much should a DJ cost?
As with all services, there are a wide range of varying levels of service and expertise to choose from. There are some in this industry who will happily work for beer money (and if you’re very lucky…actually turn up). They unfortunately give us ALL a bad name. I won’t dwell on those types of operators because they come and go all the time, normally disappearing when they realise just how hard the job is at times for very little return.
Then there are the rest of us.
A lot of us rely on running our DJ services as a professional business to earn a living. It’s what keeps the roof over our heads and puts food on the table for our families. Whilst a lot of people will try to compare “hourly rates” with what they earn, it doesn’t quite work like that….
- As a business, we have multiple overheads to pay before we earn any money. This can be anything from equipment replacement and maintenance, music costs, insurance costs, storage costs, transport costs….the list goes on.
- It’s rare for a DJ to work on an hourly rate. As already mentioned, we rely on our bookings to pay a wage. Unlike regular 9-5 jobs, we’re fairly limited in when we can work (it’s normally weekend nights out performing and the rest of the week on things like preparing playlists, maintenance and admin). Therefore, we have to make in a couple of nights what for instance, an office worker would make in a week.
- Likewise, we can’t guarantee to be out every week. There are natural lulls during the year (for instance, January is normally very quiet).
As you can hopefully see from above, the price we charge doesn’t all go straight into our pocket (and what does come our way goes via the Inland Revenue first), and is by no means guaranteed.
Now, let’s put the entertainment into the perspective of your party…
As is already mentioned in the Bride Magazine article, you’ll probably be feeding your guests at some stage during the evening. Their estimated cost of £5 per head for an evening buffet isn’t too far from the sort of prices I see whilst I’m working. In fact in a lot of cases, that’s very reasonable.
So why not break the entertainment down in the same way, i.e. at a cost of £5 per person that’s there based on a party with 100 guests? You’d certainly struggle to get into any sort of entertainment venue for that price (cinema’s, night-clubs etc.), and with a mobile DJ the entertainment can be tailored to exactly what YOU want as opposed to entertaining a mass of other people that may or may not know each other.
So whilst hiring a mobile DJ may seem like a lot of money for an evening’s work, please remember that for the assurance that you’re going to get the entertainment you and your guests want from a professional provider, it’s incredibly good value for money.