Create Your Image by Jake Palmer


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FLASHBACK ARTICLE FROM JANUARY 2010
Most of us have just come off the bridal show circuit or are getting ready to do some late winter or early spring bridal shows. I am a big fan of bridal shows and wedding expos, they can be a great tool for any mobile DJ or wedding entertainer. Lots of potential clients gather in one place with one purpose in mind, planning their wedding. Where else can you set up shop and let the business come to you? You get to meet other vendors, network with other entertainment companies, and best of all, when the show is over the coordinators supply you with a list of contacts you can follow up with. The thing I have noticed more and more lately at these shows is that all of the people look the same. What I mean is the cake booths all look the same, the photography booths all look the same and the DJs all look the same… or do they?
One of the hardest things to master in a small business is identity. How do you identify yourself and your company? What is your image like? What sets you apart from all the other DJs and Wedding Entertainers? These are tough questions to answer, marketing and consulting companies have been trying to answer these questions for years. The tricky part is that there is no right or wrong answer, no magic formula that you can follow. So how do we do it?
There are several things we can do to promote or market ourselves and our business, but I think the number one priority has to be identity or image. Who are you? What is your company all about? We can’t all be two thousand dollar wedding entertainers, but does that mean we all have to $500 DJs. People in a group tend to follow trends and the path of least resistance. So when Brides see that all the DJ booths at a show look pretty much the same, they start to wonder why one company charges $2500 and another guy has his handwritten sign that says “Wedding Show Special $500 unlimited time”. Suddenly it becomes about price, and why wouldn’t it? If you have a Bridal Show display that looks pretty much like every other DJ company at the show, it becomes very hard to convince a Bride & Groom that you are worth more or better than the “McDJ” down the aisle. This is where our identity and image come into play. If we don’t find a way to “identify” ourselves as a better value if we don’t create an “image” of our own we will never stand out in the crowd. The Wedding industry is a huge business, there is plenty of room for everyone. So why can’t we all have our own image and be ourselves? No two people are the same, just like no two weddings are exactly the same. To create the image that is best for you, and find your identity. This is not easy, but it’s important to learn to recognize your strengths and weaknesses. Focus on your strengths, do what you’re good at, then stand out in the crowd. If you don’t want to get caught up in a Wedding Show price war, don’t look, or act, like the guy only charging $500. Think about what you can do to look and feel differently at a show. Bridal Shows are an assault on a Brides senses and emotions, from little kids in tuxedos to chocolate cake, make-up, and hair artists making them feel like a princess, the biggest day of your life… how do you and your display make the Brides and/or room feel? What emotional impact do two speakers and a truss of lights have? How well can you connect with people while sitting behind a table with some stacks of brochures? At the last bridal show I was at, I saw these exact DJ booths, I also saw one of the best marketing ideas in a long time. Mike Anderson from Crystal Entertainment, actually had past clients in his area with him. Past brides who talked to potential brides about their own experience with Mike and his company, how pleased they were with his service, and why they thought he was the best choice. How much emotional impact do you think that had? Do you think those brides will remember Mike and his company?
Create an identity and an image for you and your company, then stay true to it and it will pay off.
To quote author, entertainer, and all-around good guy Brian Dodge, “
“You didn’t choose this career, it chose you”
Jake Palmer can be reached at jakepalmer@discjockeynews.com.


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