We have written at length here about Professionalism; what it is, and what it isn’t.
And much advice is floating around the Interwebs, much of it conflicting, about DJ professionalism and prices. By definition, a “professional” does it for a living, not a hobby or a sideline to their Real Job. And just like a professional photographer, or a professional anything for that matter, he or she must charge enough to earn a living wage. True professionals are worth it, and their clients all say so and send them more customers.
But 95% of them are hobbyists. And while some of them have talent, and may be “professional” in their demeanor, appearance, or their business practices, they don’t have to kill to eat. Professionals live off of referrals, and thus will do whatever it takes to make your event successful. Amateurs don’t need to.
Here are the Top 5:
1. They Play TOO LOUD!
This comes from two mistakes amateur hobby DJs make: A.) small cheap system with just two little speakers on sticks – their only option is to “turn the volume up to 11,” and B.) a youthful DJ who intentionally shows off how loud the absurdly HUGE sound system can get. That sort of unprofessional practice is simply immaturity. Neither is equipped nor qualified to play for a wedding.
A professional uses the appropriate system design and DSP (Digital Signal Processing) to get good coverage and sound quality at lower volume.
2. They Dress Inappropriately.
This one is just stupid. The DJ/MC is highly visible, and needs to look professional. For a wedding this means a tuxedo or a suit. Too many inexperienced DJs want to look “badass,” and many have a thing about dressing in all black, and an aversion to wearing a tie.
3. They Get Drunk And Hit On Bridesmaids and Guests.
Really? Do I really need to explain this? Bad, unprofessional, and potentially criminal.
4. They Play The Wrong Music.
Perhaps the most bothersome aspect is that this is ranked fourth! A professional will meet with the Bride and Groom as much as needed to select music that is just right. No two are alike, nor should they be. The music should be what the client wants, not the DJ. This is why it’s not a great idea to ask the Club DJ you like to play for your wedding. Totally different skill set.
5. The DJ is “Cheesy” or Says Inappropriate Things
This one belongs in the same category as getting drunk. Totally wrong and unprofessional. Horror stories abound, all because people planning weddings fail to check references or choose the lowest bidder – sure ways to end up with an amateur. Sadly, this often happens with a FOAF (Friend Of A Friend) who thinks such comments are funny, that no true professional would ever say.
PM Celebrations has many Blogs archived about Professionalism. In the Dallas-Fort Worth market, there are fewer than three dozen experienced professional DJs who do weddings full time. A Google search will turn up 4,000 amateurs. Ask your planner or your photographer who the real Pros are, and CALL their references! Call and speak to them on the phone (NO texting.) Why? Since this will be the voice that represents your family, don’t you want to know if he stutters? Talk with him, or her!
Good, professional DJs are out there. If we are booked for a date, these are the people I will refer too, because I can count on them to be professional. Someone told me that to find a good Doctor, you should ask a malpractice lawyer who he sees. To find a professional DJ, ask one who he would trust enough to refer for one of his best clients.