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PAGE 8 • Disc Jockey News • APRIL 2017

Re-Branding By Jake Palmer

You have probably seen the TV commercial for an investment firm that poses a “DJ” as a financial investment manager. If you have not seen it, imagine the typical DJ stereotype with dreads and fist pumping to EDM. Needless to say, the commercial doesn’t exactly paint the best picture of a DJ. The inference is that you can’t trust a DJ with anything important. Look at your business card. Does it say “DJ”? It seems that most people we work with every day feel the same way about DJs. As a DJ it sometimes feels like a struggle to get vendors, clients, or even general people in public, to listen to what we say the same way they listen to other vendors, other clients or the general public. I’m constantly puzzled when I see someone take poor advice to heart because it came from a blog or from another vendor. I mean, what could possibly be the mindset of someone who would disregard professional advice for the person they hired to insure the suc-

cess of the event? I don’t call my dentist for car repair tips, so why would I expect my decorator or caterer to be the expert on where the DJ set-up and dance floor should be located? I think it is because we are DJs, and the DJ and the dance have become almost an afterthought. This is something we are responsible for. We the DJs have managed to allow this to become the industry standard for two reasons: Attitude and image. We have created an image for ourselves that is less than flattering. No one looks to the DJ to be in charge or control of anything — we can’t even be trusted to control the volume of the music properly. We barely take ourselves seriously and then act surprised when no one else will take us seriously. We have bad attitudes and we are un-engaged in what is happening around us, or worse yet, we are “experienced” enough that we can do an almost adequate job with little or no effort. And dammit, no one is stroking my ego, so screw them, “almost adequate” is what they get. Wow, right? This is the reality we have fostered for too many years. Last year in a room full of DJs at Midwest DJs Live in Milwaukee when I asked,

“How many of you would trust a DJ with responsibility of running your wedding reception?” almost every hand in the room went down. We don’t even trust ourselves. So . . . now what? What do we do? What can we do? Better yet, what can we do right now to make a difference? Well, as I’m sure you can imagine, I have a few ideas. First, we need to find a way to stop being DJs. Unless you spin turntables in a dance club or work for a radio station, the “DJ” part of what we do is the last three hours of the night. As a Wedding Professional, I wear many hats on the day of, as well as leading up to the wedding. I am a Wedding and Reception Planner, I am a Musical Director, I am a Master of Ceremonies, I am a Comedian and Actor — sometimes even a bartender and a therapist. What we do is way more than play music. We can make or break an event, but somewhere at some time, people started just taking all the other stuff for granted and started looking at us as the music people. How do we change this? We change our image. We need to start by changing us. Show people something different. Check your attitude. Not anyone else’s attitude — yours. You and you alone are responsible for your attitude, your emotions and the public image you carry around, so make sure it’s a good one. Be the fun professional, and tell people you

are the “Fun Professional.” Have you met with your local venue managers or other vendors and explained what you do and how you do it? Have you done it with the right image and attitude? Remember, many of these people are used to hearing empty promises for DJs, so be prepared to prove it at your next event. You are the expert, and it’s OK to act like it. We all know a wedding vendor in our market that is “OK” at what they do, but they have an over-the-top attitude and personality that makes them almost impossible to work with, yet brides think they are amazing. It’s because they act like the expert, they take control and they don’t let rookies mess up their thing. Meanwhile, DJs all over the country are setting up across the room from the dance floor because we didn’t take control of the situation and act like the expert. As Entertainers and Wedding Professionals, it is up to us to control our industry and our standards. But let’s start by getting control of ourselves. Rebrand yourself if you need to, but, more important, have a brand. “DJ” is not a brand — it’s a job title. I don’t think you should expect to have control of the event if you have branded yourself as the person in control of the music. Jake Palmer can be reached at

Your Sales Voice. What Is It Saying To You? What Is It Saying To Others? By Jeffrey Gitomer

I was recently at Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas, giving a seminar sponsored by Sales and Marketing Executives International. I had an informal logistics meeting with some of the association members before the event when Jamie, the young woman who directed me to my preparation room, talked to me about her career. I asked her what she was seeking to become. Her response startled me. She said, “I’m still trying to find my voice.” I was taken aback because I expected some alternate career choice, or something along the lines of “make a lot of money,” or “get a job in event planning.” But no, she was seeking something much higher. Jamie was seeking to gain control of her self and her power first, and find her career path second. We talked about “voice” for a while, and I began to type to capture the thoughts. What came out of the brief conversation will benefit you and your career, and help you understand who you are and who you seek to become. Jamie was looking for her voice to come from something she believed in that would make her voice stronger, more resonant, more powerful, and more believable. How do you speak? Not the just words, the voice that you project. Your voice is a statement and picture of your character, your poise, and your persona. It’s a statement of belief, confidence, and personal power. Where does your voice come from? How do you “find” it? And once you do, how do you master it? BE AWARE: Your voice has nothing to do with your selling skills or your product knowledge. Your voice is way beyond that.

GOOD NEWS: You don’t have to look far. Most of your voice is right at the tip of your tongue. The rest of it is mental and emotional. ANSWER: It STARTS with your inner voice. It’s the language you speak to yourself BEFORE you say a word. Your voice becomes yours, and authentically yours, when you… • do what you believe in. • do what you’re passionate about. • work in your chosen field. • find your calling. • discover something you feel you were made or born to do. • do something you love. EASY WAY TO START THE DISCOVERY: Write down the hobby or sport you love best, or the sporting event you go to because you love to see yourteam play and cheer them on. My friend, Hall of Fame baseball player Dave Winfield, said it as simply and as completely as I have ever heard it, “I loved baseball and baseball loved me back.” Here are the elements of voice: You have decided to pursue your chosen path. You have belief in who you are. You have belief in what you do. You have a desire to succeed. You’re personally prepared – attitude, enthusiasm, friendliness, and ideas. You maintain self-confidence that comes from your heart, not from your head. Your enthusiasm is real. Your sincerity is evident. You’re eager to master every aspect of what you do. Your passion is contagious. Your moxie engages others. Your desire to improve is never ending. You love what you do. NOTE WELL: Your voice is not about how to make sales faster – your voice is how to make sales forever. For your voice to appear, you must possess ALL of these elements. Most people have a “weak” voice because they don’t love what they do, or lack sincerity, or they don’t fully believe in themselves, their company, or their product.

SUCCESS ACTION: Go back to this list and rate yourself on a 1-10 basis. Ten being the best, your highest possible score is 130. My bet is you’re 90 or below. SUCCESS ACTION: Record your spoken voice ONCE A WEEK, and listen to it actively – which means take notes. By listening to yourself – arguably one of the toughest things on the planet to do – you will gain a true picture of where you are right now. Your jumping off point. And for those of you living in the dark ages still trying to “find the pain” in your sales presentation, just record and listen to yourself – THAT’S the pain. The real pain of selling is listening to your voice trying to make a sale – it’s also funny as hell. You’ll know your voice when you hear it.

It will speak to you before you ever say a word. Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible, CustomerSatisfaction is Worthless Customer Loyalty is Priceless, The Little Red Book of Selling, The Little Red Book of Sales Answers, The Little Black Book of Connections, The Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude, The Little Green Book of Getting Your Way, The Little Platinum Book of Cha-Ching, The Little Teal Book of Trust, The Little Book of Leadership, and Social BOOM! His website,, will lead you to more information about training and seminars, or email himpersonally at


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