It’s a simple process yet people tend to skip right over to step 4 and wonder why step 5 rarely happens. What’s the definition of crazy? Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Yet there is clearly a reason why people are scared to ASK for that payment and I have a theory where that steps from (but I’ll leave that for another article.) Let’s start with the 5 easy steps to ensure you get paid.
1. Get the details!
Great! Someone has asked you to play a dj gig. You don’t know the date, the time slot or if they even have a working bathroom… what not to do? Accept the gig, yet. Why? Well in order for you to ask for a wage it’s pretty important to ask for the details FIRST rather than come off desperate for the job. Be grateful, of course. Thank them for the consideration, but make sure you know what you’re getting into FIRST!
2. Ask for or make an offer.
If they haven’t offered you a fee they may be awaiting your charge. Heck, you could even go as far to ask, “What sort of budget are you working with?” Or go the bold route and simple state, “This gig sounds right up my alley. I typically charge $ amount per hour. All I request is the industry standard turntables which you’ve mentioned will be supplied and of course a trusty dj monitor. If this works for you, I’d love to confirm the gig and send over my press-kit for any promotional needs.” Easy, right?
3. Confirm the details.
It may seem over kill by now but sometimes the best way to ensure your payment is to have a paper trail, one that is CLEAR! If the promoter has said YES to the fee, this is typically when a client might received an email (from you) with your press-kit (if they do not already have it.) The email would be confirming details with the invoice attached! How professional, right? It says a lot about the service you provide and how serious you take your craft. This also gives them the opportunity to CONFIRM all of the details. Maybe there is a specific time you need to be there for set up and backdoor to use. Be in the know, far before the show!
4. Confirm Booking / Play Gig!
You got the go ahead from the coordinator confirmed, so feel free to tell your friends! It’s 100% good, no wondering, stressing or feeling taken advantage of. You can rock out that DJ gig knowing you’ve done your best to ensure the right equipment will be there and that payment will be in hand.
5. Get Paid.
In your details you would have confirm how much, when and who is paying you to ENSURE you get paid. Whether by cheque, e-transfer or cash!
TIP 1: If you make the mistake of forgetting to confirm details don’t assume you’re not getting paid. Simply ask, “Whom will I collect my fee from?” Unless you’ve been told other wise, typically a promoter shouldn’t be putting you on a flyer or event page and then having you play just to say, “Sorry there is no payment…”
TIP 2: If you’ve made your message clear ahead of time and you are struggling to get a response but a flyer has gone up on your name, a quick post on the event page should get you a fast reply.
“Hey there, I notice my name on the flyer but I am awaiting important details and haven’t heard back from anyone. Please contact me so we can work things out a.s.a.p. Cheers!”
It’s calm, it’s professional but it says, “You don’t get to put my name out there BEFORE confirming these details.” This seems to work well since many people have not transferred over to facebook messenger as of late. Personally I’ve had this happen to me a couple of times and usually it’s just a miscommunication between the designer and organizers but you need to make sure to nip it in the bud, just in case you need to back out of the show. DJs tend to look like the unprofessional ones when it’s a back out day of, even when it’s the promoters bad. Protect yourself and stay on top of things!
And PLEASE let me know if these techniques have been working for you or any you might add to the list! One last exciting and easy tip: Secure your payments in advance using AGNT!