Steve Sievers of Showcase DJ in Southern California has performed at over 800 weddings during his 15 year career. He is a professional musician (guitar and vocalist–yeah!), an expert in song selection, beat mixing, MC duties, and wedding planning.
He’s also super smart when it comes to getting into action and sharing what he’s learned. That’s why I had to introduce you to this Superhero.
Superpower: Rocking the Music & Earning Trust
Music has always been in me. My parents said as a toddler I was clicking along to the beat of the song in perfect time. I play guitar, bass, drums and sing. I’m learning piano right now.
Not to toot my own horn, but I’m really good at DJing. I am a very musically inclined person, and DJing weddings is easy for me. It’s almost like I go on autopilot and then just rock the party.
I’m also really good once I get to meet with the couple. They can see my authenticity and passion for providing them with the wedding music experience of their dreams. I find I have a much larger success rate in person than over the phone.
Biggest Challenge: Organization
The biggest challenge that I have to overcome is getting things organized so I have enough time to do everything for my business. From marketing, to getting leads, to replying to leads, networking events, blogging, vendor relationships, email lists, phone calls, meetings, analytics, etc…
It’s a lot to do and sometimes some categories get ignored when I’m focusing on something else.
These tools keep me more organized so I back to people a lot quicker and follow up multiple times.
- 17 Hats – CRM (customer relationship management) for contracts, invoices and quotes.
- Acuity Scheduling – My goal is to make it easier for people to schedule a meeting so I can get more of them.
I just booked a wedding today and I met with the couple last year! I followed up a bunch of times. Keep following up because you never know — it’s like found money.
I also got a little office that I share with a photographer and a planner so I can have meetings there. There are wedding photos and planning stuff around, which helps portray more professional image. No more driving to meet at Starbucks!
Success Secret: Quality Leads From Multiple Sources
The specific strategy is LISTEN TO STEPHANIE AND JEFF! Seriously, they touch on so many things that help to grow a wedding business.
Diversify because when one lead source goes cold, another will pick up.
Sometimes I get people on my website from my blog. They can look at past weddings I’ve done and vendors I’ve had interviews with.
I get leads from venues, planners, past customers or guests. I did The Knot advertising and am actually getting quite a few leads. I’m running a few tests using DJ Staci’s initial response to The Knot leads to get more info out of them. I’ve booked 3 or 4 weddings, so I’ve made my money back so far.
The Oprah Blog Strategy is gold when it comes to having planners or other vendors recommend you. It’s a much better method than just putting a name with a link on a page of your website.
The Oprah Strategy also works well with a photographer who blogs a lot. They share your post, people see it and visit your website. If it’s good enough, they’ll contact you, click link and set up an appointment.
After I rock a wedding, I contact the planner I worked with for an interview because I’m fresh in their minds. They know what it’s like to work with me. I got on 3 planners’ preferred lists that way. Planners are where it’s at!
Client Referral Program
Most of my business comes from referrals, so a client referral program makes sense for me.
I posted this flyer on Facebook and got 5 referrals. I ended up booking 3 of them.
Biggest Mistake: I stopped marketing.
In the past I’d let leads come to me, so I didn’t actively pursue them. I got lazy and stopped marketing.
I wasn’t using social media or blogging. I wasn’t paying for advertising on Facebook or The Knot and WeddingWire. I wasn’t following up with clients after the first email. I wasn’t following up with other vendors or venues that I worked with to have them recommend me in the future.
Looks like I made a lot of mistakes!
Sometimes you just gotta get off your ass and DO IT. Don’t just think, “I should do this, then I would have more business…”
Learn what you need to do and then go do it.
I thought, “Hey, I have a cool looking website. People are going to see it and just book me.”
That doesn’t happen!
You have to get them to your website, have good content and show what you’re all about. Now that I take a more proactive approach, it’s working.
Steve’s Advice: Diversify your lead sources.
Diversify your lead sources and use online tools to be more organized. If you concentrate too much in one area, you are missing out on the other 5 or 6 ways you could be getting leads.
Is it SEO? Blogging? Advertising? Referrals? Email lists? Vendor Relationships? Bridal Shows?
Yes, it is!
All of them come into play. And then, of course, be awesome at what you do!
Charity of Choice: Hope For Paws
Well, I love our furry friends! So Hope for Paws, non-profit animal rescue organization based in Los Angeles, California.