Negotiating your DJ rate can be difficult and uncomfortable, but it doesn’t have to be. Below are five tips that can help you get paid what you deserve without the stress. The list was written by Beatsource and DJcity’s MISS DJ BLISS. The Brazil native regularly performs at some of Los Angeles’ hottest clubs and has been hired by some of the world’s biggest brands, such as Disney and Nike.
1. Set your minimum acceptable rate
Determine the lowest rate you are willing or able to charge a client. Figure out overhead costs and your desired profit margin. Your minimum rate doesn’t necessarily need to be the number you provide to clients, but it gives you an idea of what you will not dip below during negotiations.
2. Know your position
DJ rates can differ from each type of gig, client, and location. For instance, DJs working corporate events or weddings can ask for higher rates as they are often required to set up and break down equipment, follow specific music instructions, and be available to communicate about their clients’ needs for weeks or months ahead of the event.
3. Know your value as a DJ
Never compromise your standards or integrity for the sake of getting a gig. If an opportunity doesn’t feel right based on your market rate research, self-analysis, and conversations along the way, don’t be afraid to turn it down. On the other hand, if there’s a specific skill you’re lacking for a gig, don’t be afraid to refer it to another DJ who might be a better fit.
4. Find out what other DJs are charging
Networking and sharing information with other DJs in your area is a great way to find the market rate. Talk to other DJs in your circle to research the rate they charge.
5. Manage your emotions
One key to successful negotiations is to remain professional, flexible, and calm at all times. Accept that not every negotiation will work out. Instead, think of it as a way to build relationships with your clients. Happy clients will most likely contact you for future gigs and refer you to their network for more opportunities.
Written by MISS DJ BLISS