Once upon a time (circa 2013), I bought the domain name CountryWeddingDJ.com. Go ahead….google “country wedding DJ” and see what happens. I’ll wait.
So CountryWeddingDJ.com now forwards to CountryDJStaci.com…but you saw me at the top of Google. Ahead of people like professional Nashville country DJs like Dee Jay Silver and Hish.
I know, sickening, isn’t it? It gets worse, so brace yourself.
When I bought this domain, I saw it as a fringe deal, an experiment, just something fun on the side to “see what happens.”
This $15 domain name has brought me an insane amount of return.
In fact, I’m almost ashamed to tell you. OK, deep breath…
So I live in San Diego. Every year the world’s largest country music festival, Stagecoach, takes place after Coachella (StageCOACH…COACHella…get it?) about 3 hours away from my house.
The buzz on the country radio station starts months in advance. Tickets for the cheap seats are several hundred dollars. Attendance was almost 200,000 last year (up 18% from the previous year).
“Yes, is this DJ Staci? I’m calling from the Stagecoach Festival…”
That $15 domain name bought me:
- Free VIP passes to the main stage…I was close enough to smell Tim McGraw…Miranda Lambert made eye contact with me.
- My name and headshot on the line-up next to people like Crystal Gayle.
- Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis’ trailer was one row over from mine in the VIP RV lot…I saw Ashton playing ping pong with some buddies and Mila carrying their baby near the porta potties.
- Attendees pointing at me and whispering to their friends, “That’s DJ Staci. Look!”
- I was on TV, the radio, and interviewed by the local newspaper.
- I had 1,800 people dancing on my 30,000 square foot dance floor.
Now, let me preface this by saying, there are country DJs signed to Nashville labels who pretty much make a full-time career out of DJing country music festivals…There are resident DJs at local honky tonks who started DJing when I was in 2nd grade. But Stagecoach called (and hired) me. Thank you Google!
I just spent the last 2 weekends DJing at the SLS Casino on the Vegas strip for the National Finals Rodeo fans. You know…free hotel room, free room service, and a big fat paycheck just in time for Christmas.
Some of my country DJ friends (the guys who make re-drums and remixes professionally for CountryDJPool.com…people I look up to) were messaging me, “How do I get a gig like that in Vegas?”
Yesterday I got an email from a corporate event planner who needs a country DJ for a 4 day event in…wait for it…Hawaii. As far as country weddings go, yes, I do DJ tons of those too. I get contacts for country weddings from New York to Texas.
When did I finally have the courage to advertise on my Knot profile that I specialize in country music? Not until last year.
I hesitated because people don’t just not like country music…they need to leave the room because they fervently hate it. It makes them sick. I once denied a guy a second date over him not liking country music.
There’s no middle ground—people either love it (and listen to it almost exclusively) or they hate it and never listen to it at all. No other genre of music divides people like country does.
It was a risk, and I was terrified.
Below is a screenshot of my traffic on my Knot profile (solid line is me, dotted line is the average for vendors in my category). And a la Dorothy in the “Wizard of Oz,” let me say, “I’m not in Kansas.” I’m advertising being a country DJ in southern California…where my area has only one country radio station.
The moral of this story, boys and girls, is to find a niche.
Flaunt it. Specialize in something. If you already have a niche, market the heck out of it (I mean, unless you too are a country DJ, of course!)
Blending in and running with the rest of the herd is comfortable…but I think of what I would have missed out on without having a niche, and I almost cry.
Seriously, there is a market, a niche, a specialty out there with your name on it. It’s your job to find it…then fearlessly embrace it and live happily ever after!