Being a wedding DJ is a rewarding experience if you want to earn good money or start a new career. It's one of the most lucrative careers in the US you can venture into, provided you have an experience in Deejaying, have the right equipment, and know what your audience expects. According to Be a Wedding DJ, several factors can influence how much you can earn from deejaying, including your experience levels, and the chain of events at the wedding.
So, how much can you earn as a wedding DJ
Averagely, wedding DJs earn between $500 and $2,000 per wedding, but it can go higher than that. The range should be between $800 to $1,500. According to Zip Recruiter, a DJ's annual salary can go as high as $143,500 or as low as $39,000. However, the average annual pay in the US is $88,790.
1. Your level of experience
Everybody starts from somewhere and works their way up to become experienced; being a DJ isn't an exception. If you already have the experience and clients hold your company in the highest regard, more clients will be willing to reward you with top dollar. Clients are particularly skeptical about hiring newbie DJs, so don't expect them to pay you a lot of money the first time you strike a deal. They aren't sure if you'll deliver on your promise to entertain their guests. The only way is to start small, and depending on how you deliver; you will get good reviews from previous clients. You can increase your price afterward.
2. How you market your services
According to Wedding Wire, deejaying is a job like any other, making it necessary to craft a good sales pitch. Your clients need to know how skilled and experienced you are. Also, most couples don't want someone who is too uptight to read their audience's mood, hence knowing the music genre to play. A sales pitch is a marketing tool every DJ should embrace. Be wary if no one recommends your services to other potential clients. Chances are, you might have messed up with one of your previous clients, and they sent word out that you're not that good.
3. If you're independent or work for a company
While it's a good idea to work under a specific company if you're a beginner, you can never be sure if you'll earn more money. Most companies will give you a specific percentage and pocket the rest, depending on how much the client is willing to pay. Going independent is one of the best ways to earn, unlike working for a company. However, building your brand, investing in high-quality deejaying equipment, and getting bookings will take time. But if you keenly look at the earnings that independent DJs get versus the ones under a company, you'll realize that the former has the potential to earn six times more.
4. The wedding's chain of events
Many things happen at weddings, so you need to ask yourself; How far is it from where you live, or will you book a hotel? How long will the wedding reception take? Will it start in the afternoon and till through the night? What extras does the newly-wedded couple want? Do they also want you to provide music? Wedding venues can be anywhere within the US, so you need to know how much it'll cost to travel to the said location. If you're a top-level DJ, chances are your clients will pay for your travel and expenses and your main hustle. If you're a newbie, the best way to get a huge fan base is by playing many gigs. A wedding's chain of events influences how much you should be requesting. Depending on the initial offer, you can charge an extra or flat rate. To increase your chances of winning clients' hearts, introduce discounts for special groups like your family members or people involved in child/geriatric welfare.
5. Extra services you can render
The more flexible you are in rendering extra services, the higher your pay. Some clients already know you're good at delivering good music, but you also need to show that you can multitask. You can render extra services like live shows, lighting, MC, or video projectors and screens, depending on your flexibility. Remember, these extras can be overwhelming, so you'll need an extra pair of hands to ensure everything runs smoothly. That means you will also need to invest in extra equipment and find out if the person you intend to hire has the skills and experience to handle them. It will also help if you come to terms with your multitasking ability.
6. How good you are and if the client will tip afterward
Tipping is optional, so you don't have to worry about it. Some couples might offer up to $100 in tips. Others might not tip at all, but that doesn't mean they weren't satisfied with your services. Perhaps, they already assume that the tip is included in the price quote. If you charge around $1,000, there's no need to be mad if they don't tip you.
The top 10 highest paying cities for wedding DJ services
On a national level, the top ten highest paying cities include:
- Sunnyvale, CA: Annual salary- $110,182
- Santa Rosa, CA: Annual salary- $106,567
- Williston, ND: Annual salary- $104,848
- Cambridge, MA: Annual salary- $103,279
- Arlington, VA: Annual salary- $102,696
- Dickinson, ND: Annual salary- $102,068
- Ketchikan, AK: Annual salary- $101,688
- Vacaville, CA: Annual salary- $101,294
- New York City, NY: Annual salary- $100,493
Depending on the six factors mentioned, a wedding DJ can earn more or less than the average pay. Whether you're a newbie or top-level wedding DJ, the buck stops at your skills, experience, and other miscellaneous factors. The more you sharpen your mastery skills, the higher your chances of getting hired and getting good pay.
Written by Dana Hanson
Read more posts by Dana Hanson