What’s Your Worth?
How to Determine the Right Fees for Your DJ Gigs
Whether you’re a DJ just starting out or you’re a seasoned pro, it can be tricky to know exactly how much to charge for each gig. On one hand, you don’t want to overcharge and push away a potential client. But on the other hand, your time is money and needs to be compensated for appropriately.
If this topic is all too familiar to you, keep reading. We’re going to discuss why it’s so important to gather all of the details of an event before you name your price, and look at the factors you should consider when calculating your fee.
Get the Details
So you received an offer and now it’s time to negotiate your fee. Don’t assume that a flat rate is the right way to go. Whether it’s a buddy’s wedding and he’s looking for a deal or a top-tier nightclub that has more money to spend, get all of the facts before you give a quote.
Start by getting a good idea of the client’s budget and if the event is going to be making a profit. Here are a few questions to help you gather the information you need to properly determine what your rate should be:
- Is there a “going rate” for your market?
- Is the gig in a small town or larger city?
- Is it a private event or public venue/nightclub?
- What is the event time and how many hours will you perform?
- Is the gig a support set or a headline set?
- What size event and how many guests are expected to attend?
- What is the venue’s capacity?
- Is the event free or is it a ticketed event/cover charge?
- Are you renting equipment or will your rider be filled?
- How much preparation will you put into the music/unique playlist requests?
Calculate your Fee
Now that you have all of the information, you should have a good idea of the budget for the event. Your fee should largely be based on your experience level, but also on the amount of hours that you spend preparing and performing. Here are a few things to take into consideration when determining your rate:
- Preparation (practice time, downloading music, research for equipment rental)
- Expenses (purchasing music, dress code/event attire, transportation to the event)
- Hours of DJ performance
An easy way to calculate your fee is to decide what you think you’re worth at an hourly rate. From there, you can add up the hours spent preparing and performing, as well as additional expenses. But keep in mind, it’s nearly impossible to set a flat rate and assume it will work in any situation. This is why gathering the event info is so important.
So What’s Your Worth?
If you’re just starting to build your DJ brand and business, you may want to be flexible with your rates, but be careful to not get taken advantage of. Be confident and know your worth! The goal is to learn how to calculate the hours and services you provide, and be confident that you’re not under or over charging for your time.
What suggestions do you have for determining the right DJ fee? Have you been in a situation where you performed for less than you think you deserved? Let us know in the comments section below!