What do taking 90 minutes to do a 60 minute load out, actively engaging with people requesting music, having lunch, and joining your local fire department have in common with each other? Word of mouth.
I hope that by now, after reading Part 1 & Part 2 in this Word of Mouth series, you have been convinced that word of mouth is something that isn’t working for you nearly as much as it should be. I hope you’ve started brainstorming ways that you can improve your current word of mouth traction. For the remainder of this post, I am simply going to list some of the things I do with purpose, in order to leverage word of mouth in my favour.
Keep in mind, much of what you will read here is done for other reasons as well. Even though they may not be done entirely for the purpose of word of mouth, I believe they influence it very heavily.
REQUESTS — I treat someone coming to my booth to request a favourite song as a unique opportunity to engage with them that will hopefully translate into an experience they have never had with a DJ before. See my interview on this DJNTV episode of “Mobile Music Thursdays” for further context.
LOADING OUT — I am notorious among my colleagues for taking forever to load my gear out at the end of a wedding. This is because I spend as much time as possible socializing with everyone from general wedding guests, parents, wedding party members and of course, the bride and groom. I’ll also spend time visiting with the staff of the venue and any other vendors that might still happen to be there (which at 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning isn’t often very many!).
VENDORS ON FACEBOOK — Friend wedding vendors that you’ve worked with or maybe want to work with one day and engage them in the occasional conversation, complimenting pieces of their work that you like, events you have in common, etc. Share from their business page to yours and write your reason for doing so.
FACEBOOK PERSONAL PROFILE — Keep your personal profile positive and uplifting. Be a person people want to be friends with. Do not air your dirty laundry here (even if you only keep “friends” on your Facebook profile).
COMMUNITY — My work as a board member for the local Chamber of Commerce has been incredible for spreading the word of what I do. I am also involved in our local Fire Department and have pioneered for them an annual fundraising banquet to become a $90,000+ event. This alone has put my face in front of countless people through the elaborate sponsorship program that fuels the event. My work with a local daycare and helping to organize completely new and fresh events for them has also added to my word of mouth presence. But don’t simply join a group for the sake of being a member, become an organizer in some capacity so that you have the opportunity to stand out and demonstrate your professional self.
VENDOR NETWORKING — If a wedding vendor networking group exists in your area, get involved! Offer to help plan future meetings, present on topics people tell you you’re good at, etc. If such a group doesn’t exist and you have enough positive relationships with a large enough group of wedding vendors, then start one! I have experience in building a wedding vendor networking group and would be glad to share my experience with anyone interested in starting one in their region.
STORIES — Share original and authentic personal stories through your personal and/or business Facebook page. Rather than sharing or reposting general content that anyone could share, tell real stories of your work, clients, and unique event moments. Write content people might actually care about, something that might make them smile. (Hint: people don’t care that you’re about to “rock” Mike & Tegan’s wedding unless you hint about what unique concept might be leading you to that end goal of “rocking” their party.)
PAST CLIENTS — After the wedding, after a few months, after a year… reach out to the wedding couples you’ve worked with. Particularly the ones you really enjoyed working with. Remind them of you. Be their friend (if you sincerely “clicked”). Meet them for coffee. Send them an anniversary note, not necessarily on Facebook, but through a private text message or email.
INQUIRIES — In situations where I am unavailable for an incoming inquiry, I will often speak with them in any case to determine what type of DJ colleague I might be able to recommend. I also believe that helping out even those I can’t work with (by suggesting to them Tom Haibeck or Peter Merry’s book) leaves them with a positive experience of having reached out to me. It is my hope that this will increase the likelihood that they will remember me for someone else in the future (I have been referred by people who’s weddings I was unavailable for).
WEDDING GIFT — Discreetly leave a small wedding gift on or near the gift/card table at the wedding reception. I would also insist on making it personal. Make the gift mean something to you and tie that in to why you’re giving it to them. Create another reason other than the fact that it is simply a gift – give it additional meaning. You’ll be remembered fondly at the gift opening with the bride, groom and any other family or friends that happen to be there. (To find out why the gift I use is a special bottle of unique wine and what the meaning behind it is, send me a note with your thoughts on the blog so far and that you’d like to know what I use for a gift. And of course, don’t forget to sign up for the free updates!)
VENDOR FOLLOWUP — Following each and every wedding, touch base with every vendor that you worked with on that wedding. Write to them from a “team” point of view. Be gracious for the opportunity you both had to work together. Be genuine. Stay in regular contact with those you’d like to work with again.
WEDDING PARTY & PARENTS — Prior to a wedding (weeks or months ahead), contact every wedding party member, person(s) presenting a speech/toast, and of course the bride’s and groom’s parents. Something as simple as an introduction of yourself and that you’re looking forward to the wedding is adequate enough. Then touch base with them after the wedding as well. Ask for any general commentary on the wedding and express that you’re looking forward to having your paths cross again.
LUNCH WITH VENDORS — I make a point of having coffee or lunch with at least 2 or 3 wedding vendors (not necessarily a DJ) every month. I hope this shouldn’t need any further explanation. This is very valuable networking time.
DJ COLLEAGUES — Reach out to other DJs in your community (particularly if you are a single system DJ company like myself). Connect with those that are like minded and those willing to be friendly colleagues as opposed to ruthless rivals (which of those are you?). Keep these connections alive and healthy with regular coffee, lunch and conversations. My business is successful today because of many client referrals between our group of friendly DJ colleagues (for which no referral fees where ever exchanged).
I’ve truly only scratched the surface with the many different ways you can influence word of mouth in your favour. In addition to the larger, more obvious things (your performance, success with events and clients, etc), I hope a few of the above ideas will move you to try something new.
What would YOU add to the above list and WHY? Please comment below or send me an email with your feedback.
~ Dave T.
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4 thoughts on “Word of Mouth — PART 3”
Excellent series Dave. Very insightful. I would also say networking with past venues is really important as well.
Glad you enjoyed Beni. And you’re absolutely correct, networking with past venues is very important. Stopping in for the occasional coffee can go a long ways.
I’ve really enjoyed this series. Simple, practical…and brilliant.
Thank you Vickie! Glad you enjoyed!