What is your typical process for working with a new customer?
I usually start with a Thumbtack email connection, I'll talk with the customer over the phone, send out a questionnaire, contract, and rider, and follow up with another phone call to answer any questions or concerns. I'll always touch base the week of the event just to confirm details and reassure customer everything's good to go!
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
I have a Master's degree in Recreation Administration from UNC-Chapel Hill , as well as a BS degree in Recreation Administration from Appalachian State. They both prepared me for my 10 year career as an assistant professor and Director of Student Activities at Greensboro College-where I started DJ'ing campus events and ultimately startED SOUNDBIZ DJ SERVICE!
Do you have a standard pricing system for your service? If so, please share the details here.
Every show is priced based on the customer's budget. If they've only got $250 to spend I have to decide if the time involved, type of event, travel, hiring of roadies, and schedule is worth it. And generally once a price is established it stays the same for subsequent events
How did you get started doing this type of work?
As I said earlier I was Director of Student Activities at Greensboro College where I hired DJ's for campus events. I'd go to clubs and showcases to see and meet DJ's, which led me to doing 1-2 nights a week at the club, as well as DJ'ing some shows on campus, when a DJ or band failed to show up. When I left GC in '89, I started SOUNDBIZ DJ SERVICE as a full time business.
What types of customers have you worked with?
Private, Corporate, and School customers pretty well cover it. Weddings and birthdays generally comprise the private clientele while holiday parties and year end events involve corporate customers. I've worked with teachers, PTA/Booster leaders, coaches, student activities and sororities on college campuses.
Describe a recent project you are fond of. How long did it take?
Camp Blue Sky at Camp Harrison in Lenoir, NC in October. 2 nights of karaoke and 2 nights a camp dance for mentally and physically challenged adults. Its 44 hours of travel, set up, and playing time, but it's worth every minute from the response I get from this group. This year will be my 4th year doing this group and I hope it continues as long as I'm dj'ing.
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
Don't go for the lowest price - you probably will get what you pay for. Read the reviews in Thumbtack and look over the provider's web site. Negotiate a price that's fair to both of you, and I guarantee you'll get a better show and more for your money!
What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?
How important is the DJ to their project? More important than say venue, food, decorations, other? Depending on how you rank them you should consider what you should expect to pay.