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Question: I had my worst year ever. I’ll be 67 soon – do you think my age is killing my business?

Dear Stephanie and Jeff,

I live in a small town.  I used to DJ at several of the local radio stations and have been in the DJ business more than 25 years.  This was my worst year ever.  Not only did I not get new jobs I lost 5 I already had (not weddings).  I’ll be 67 years old this summer.  Do you think my age is killing my business?

Thanks,
Anonymous DJ

Answer: Age does have an impact, but you need to focus on what you want and how you present your business image.

Hi, Anonymous DJ.

Is your age killing your business?  It’s not KILLING it, but it definitely has an impact.

It becomes increasingly difficult to relate to young couples who are getting married as we age.  It’s a sad fact.  And since so much of the wedding is about image, the way you look does influence the couple’s decision to hire you.

Age also comes with advantages: experience, expertise, broad knowledge.  

A quick look at your website reveals some things that are hurting you more than your age.

•    Your website is generic looking.  It could belong to any DJ of any age, which makes you look exactly like everyone else.

•    If you specialize in weddings, there is nothing to indicate this.

•    There is no personality expressed in the site, no photos to makes you a real person and nothing that makes you stand out.

•    There are no reviews from happy clients.

Your experience in radio is a HUGE specialty that you can use to establish your expertise and stand out from the competition, but it’s barely noticeable on your website.  I never would have known if you hadn’t mentioned it in your email.

If you want to keep working as a DJ, you can do it, but not without making some big changes in your image, your marketing and what you’re doing right now to attract and book clients.

Don’t hide behind your age.  We all have to make changes when what we’re doing now isn’t giving us the results we want.

Decide what you REALLY want first.  Do you want to keep DJ’ing?  Are you open to booking younger DJs and taking over the management?  Would you like to sell your company and do something else?

Once you know what you want, make some changes to make that happen.  Anything you do is more likely to work than what ISN’T getting results for you right now.

We wish you much prosperity!

Stephanie

Do you think your age affects your wedding business?

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Stephanie Padovani

Stephanie is a Hudson Valley wedding insider, blogger, writer, and wedding business coach. Want to book more weddings at higher prices? Quit dealing with price shoppers? Transform your wedding business so that it supports the life you really want? Look her up! They don't call her the Wedding Business Cheerleader for nothing. :)

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7 thoughts on “Is Your Age Killing Your Wedding Business?”

  1. Age is an issue with anybody who provides a visible presence at a wedding or any event. So the DJ, the Photographer and to some degree the Videographer and even a Day Of coordinator could be affected. I have personally experienced this and have kept myself and my company relevant by having a good mix of both young and experienced talent. Stephanie suggested adding a young DJ to work with you. Thats a great idea, you be the voice and the facilitator while he does the music.

    More importantly though is how you present yourself. Do you have modern equipment? I mean really modern features like white spandex facades and white speaker stand wraps and LED up lights as your basic set-up. Don’t wear a Tuxedo anymore, wear a fashionable suit with a nice stylish shirt. Something with various textures and patterns in the cuffs and collars. Whats your personal appearance? It may be time for a new haircut or hair style. Go to a good salon and pay a little more to get a good cut/style and even consider getting rid of the grey. Think of it as a personal Tune-up. No really, it makes a difference. And if you are not in shape, I’d go on a diet and begin some working out (before the new wardrobe). Your health is part of your new attitude.
    Though we keep our staff busy, I lost 30 pounds and saw my personal bookings increase steadily once again. Now I’m doing red carpet events and I feel great and I’m told that I’m looking great and I look the part! What is that part? Well a DJ of course, and you know that DJ’s are the new Rock Stars!

  2. Janis Flagg says:

    I think anything can be turned into a positive. So many couples have multiple sets of parents such as step-parents, and as a result there are many more people in their lives as grandparents and beyond. You could emphasize subtly that you are the coolest grandpa because you know what every generation likes for music. I’d be sure to have pictures of all generations dancing. What’s more endearing than grandparents or great-grandparents out there dancing having the best time they’ve had in years. Those moments are going to be cherished forever. Showing up to a consultation with an i-Pad or laptop is going to impress them more than a yellow notepad.

  3. Sandra Weisner says:

    I can see where age may play into some roles in the wedding industry. However, in my case, as an officiant, I believe age is an advantage. While I look young for my age, I believe that my years assure the bride and groom of wisdom, experience and dependability.

  4. Great points, Rheo, Kenny & Jim!

    When I first started DJ’ing, I was same age (or younger!) than most of our clients. Over the years, that changed, obviously.

    A youthful attitude is SO much more important than the numbers on your birth certificate. If you project youth, health and vitality, you’ll book more clients, regardless of your age. The ones who don’t want to book you because you aren’t a 20-something aren’t your ideal clients anyway.

  5. This is unfortunately a relevant topic particularly in the DJ “world”. Stephanie’s article nailed it. I’m a 40 yr. old DJ so I’m always aware of my image because all these young bucks are well… young. Follow Stephanie’s advice and be very vigilant in keeping up your image. Is there a time when I won’t be able to physically DJ anymore sure but my Dr. will let me know when that time will be unless my clientele does first. My unsolicited advice:

    BE YOURSELF
    Live healthy
    Keep up with tech and pop culture
    Convey professionalism
    Take on a younger “Mini-Me” to mentor & pass the torch on to.

  6. Kenny Zail says:

    The age factor can’t be a plus for the wedding business. Who wants their “grandfather/grandmother” DJing their wedding. The first three bullet points that Stephanie sights are probably intentional, for good reason. I would focus on the last bullet point – no testimonials. Send out thank you notes to every client you have whether it’s a wedding or other event. Some may send you a thank you back and you can post those on your site.
    The mobile DJ wedding business took root in the 80’s, so many of the pioneers are reaching their 50’s and 60’s. This issue of working in a new era becomes more evident with the technologies of social media and DJ software.
    Just as an athlete can’t stay “in the pros” forever, same is true with DJs. A possible answer is to hire a younger MC to work with as the front person.
    DJing and management are two different passions – don’t settle, but I’m afraid weddings will continue to decline and you may have to look for other type of events less age conscious.

  7. Jim Gepperth says:

    I believe that young people forgive age because they know there is nothing you can do to stop aging but they don’t forgive people who don’t take care of themselves. I’m a 48 year old mobile DJ in northeast Ohio with 25 years experience. Eating a healthy diet, working out at the gym, getting enough rest, etc. is vital to scoring those bookings from the twenty-something brides and grooms. Have I lost gigs because some don’t want a DJ older than their parents? Sure. Thankfully, there are still enough people out their who value experience and maturity to make it work!

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