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Thread: Business Advice Needed!

  1. #1
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    Business Advice Needed!

    There used to be a business forum on 1.0 I believe, but I don't seem to see a new one, so this goes here!

    I'm in desperate need of some business advice. Here's a little backstory:

    I currently work for 2 small booking agents, one of whom has been a friend for a few years. These guys mainly have contracts for bars and I very occasionally get gigs for small private parties or a casual wedding. These gigs currently make up about 60% of my income, but some recent events have made me want to start looking elsewhere.

    Booking Agent #1 (Friend): Recently lost a large account which means I'm not gigging for him for awhile. Currently working on his website to help prep for wedding season.

    Booking Agent #2: Owes me about $5,000...and the bars he has me at are lower paying than other places.

    For these reasons, I really need to find a new booking agent. I'm not trying to be the next biggest progressive house DJ but I'm also not really fit for doing all weddings. My style is based a lot on Open Format/Remixed Top40 with an Electro feel. I made a mixtape last week and am currently designing a one-sheet with all my info on it. Do I need anything else to approach agents? I've never worked for one other than the 2 guys listed above. I don't really have the marketing skills to book myself by the way.

  2. #2
    Truck Driver Dix's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear that you wont be gigging with your friend agent for a while.
    First, go get yourself an attorney & have him make a phone call & see if he cant scare the guy into paying you the $5000 he owes you. If not, sue him.
    Take the money & either buy your own equipment & do your own gigging for parties other than weddings until you feel your ready to do weddings. In the least, the $ you get form this guy will hold you over until you can find another agent if you prefer going that way.

    Hope this helps... good luck
    1) Contract, Contract, Contract!

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  3. #3
    Member DJMC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DutchApples View Post
    . I don't really have the marketing skills to book myself by the way.

    This means, essentially -- that you will make anywhere from 20% to 50% of the amount you would make as an independent.


    What marketing skills are needed? Just know how to perform SEO, have a rudimentary web site, and make sure its on top of EVERY search engine in your region.
    DJMC is a Northern CA DJ who provides non-cheesy emcees/DJs for Sacramento weddings

  4. #4
    Member Mystic's Avatar
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    I would just send him a notice to forward you the money he owes or you will be taking him to court. Give him a deadline to meet with the money and if he doesn't meet it, then file a lawsuit.

  5. #5
    Member jazzyj's Avatar
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    Marketing skills? Facebook. Website. Cell Phone. Gigmaster or other similar site for your area. Business cards. WORD OF MOUTH from client to new client. That's all you need. Especially doing weddings/etc. For clubs, maybe you need to be able to sell yourself in person to the club owner/manager but otherwise? Just keep talking a lot about your services, provide great customer service, and and talk about it in as many places as you can as cheaply as you can. you need no agent.

    I like what Dixie said - get your 5G's and do your own thing.

  6. #6
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    First... go see Agent #2 and tell him he owes you $5K and you want to know when he's going to pay you. Be nice, but firm. You need to walk away with cash, preferably $5K (or check). If he can't pay in full, get something in writing that he's going to pay you in installments or on a certain date. Be prepared for this and have terms in mind, 5% is a general starting point, make it accrue monthly, not annually, this way you get 5% per month on the outstanding balance instead of 5% per year, huge difference. What I would do is off him to pay you off in 3 payments, at 5% interest over the next 3 months. Figure out what the payments are ahead of time and have it written up to present him.

    If he won't take this, tell him you understand he is refusing the pay you for services rendered and your attorney will contact him. Walk away, don't get mad, don't get violent, keep it civil. You'll need this in case it goes to court. Now, bear in mind, an attorney will either charge you a % of what's recovered or a flat fee. So once they get involved, you're losing money. So if he'll pay you say 90%, take it.

    Secondly, marketing is easy, websites are simple, there are guys on here who can design you a professional one with flash intro's and all that stuff, or you can design your own pretty easily. If you own a Mac, iWeb is amazing, watch YouTube videos, Lynda.com and check out SEO Tool for iWeb. It's what I use, and I think my site is pretty not horrible. It can always be improved, but compared to most of my competitors, it's wonderful.

    Lastly, you don't need a booking agent if you are willing to put in the time. Go to those clubs/bars you've worked at, and others you haven't. Prepare a resume of sorts listing where you've played and how long you were there, etc to get yourself in the door. It's pretty easy once you get over the first owner and realize what it takes. Then you get to keep 100% of what they pay rather then getting a %.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by DJMC View Post
    What marketing skills are needed? Just know how to perform SEO, have a rudimentary web site, and make sure its on top of EVERY search engine in your region.
    ^^Not going to happen in Baltimore market with a rudimentary web site...

    Self promotion is still VERY possible... but he will be lucky to even make it to 3rd page without spending TONS of time and/or money on SEO...
    Last edited by Sween; 02-16-2012 at 11:11 AM.

  8. #8
    [OT]

    @DJ MC - You are always talking about how you rank so high in your area. I googled you. You do come up high but I have a theory that your Yelp reviews are helping you a lot.

    I have like 7 reviews on Yelp but they ALL got filtered. They are ALL legitimate reviews from previous clients. I despise Yelp for this reason. I feel like they are screwing me royally. HOW are you getting reviews that are not filtered? And why do you think mine are being filtered?

    Edit - You have one that you probably wish was filtered... Mr. Cheese? LOL.

    [/OT]

  9. #9
    Member DJMC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sween View Post
    [OT]

    @DJ MC - You are always talking about how you rank so high in your area. I googled you. You do come up high but I have a theory that your Yelp reviews are helping you a lot.

    I have like 7 reviews on Yelp but they ALL got filtered. They are ALL legitimate reviews from previous clients. I despise Yelp for this reason. I feel like they are screwing me royally. HOW are you getting reviews that are not filtered? And why do you think mine are being filtered?

    Edit - You have one that you probably wish was filtered... Mr. Cheese? LOL.

    [/OT]
    PM and give me the rep you promised --- and I will share my secrets about Yelp.
    DJMC is a Northern CA DJ who provides non-cheesy emcees/DJs for Sacramento weddings

  10. #10

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