How to Build Partnerships with Wedding DJs (Guest Post)

By DJ CoolHand Luke

As a kick-ass wedding photographer, you understand that your business isn’t just B2C, it’s also, B2B. When you market to a potential client, the cost of acquiring that one booking is wrapped up in the business costs of that one wedding. When you build partnerships with your fellow wedding vendors, you’re building a relationship that can yield infinite gigs and exponentially improves over time.


The core of your wedding inquiries are always going to come from testimonials (ie review sites and recommendations from past clients) and referrals from other wedding vendors. Assuming your Google, The Knot, WeddingWire, Yelp, and Instagram profiles are on-point for potential clients (B2C), you should be also engaging with other vendors that serve your ideal clients (B2B). This includes planners, venues, coordinators, florists, other photographers, videographers, officiants, and, of course, DJs.


Every wedding is an opportunity for you to build partnerships with these other pro wedding vendors. The idea of a vendor partnership is that it’s mutually beneficial and a win-win relationship.

Well here’s the twist... there’s a standard booking order for couples and the wedding photographer comes before the DJ. Yoooo... that’s not fair! What happened to win-win? Well therefore, it raises a question: why should I, a fantastic wedding photographer, even bother helping one of those good-for-nothing DJs. Hey hey hey… As a DJ, I’ve devised a step-by-step process that evens the playing field so that you can thank a DJ for your next booking. It’s as easy as 1-2-3:

1. Introduce yourself before and at the wedding

It’s hard, I know, but your future self will thank you for it. Ask your clients for the contact information for all the other vendors you’ll be working with on their wedding day. Then shoot them a quick email introducing yourself. You’ll get extra points if you find them on Instagram, follow them, and include a quick compliment in the email on their last post or a post that you like (don’t waste too much time scrolling if there’s nothing good. That actually could be a good thing, but that’s a lesson for another day…). After you reach out, you should receive a reply. If you don’t, don’t assume that the DJ is an arrogant prick who’s too high on molly to respond… maybe s/he just doesn’t know how big of a deal you are so excuse their ignorance.

On the day of the wedding, walk right up to that DJ and introduce yourself. Swap business cards (business cards are not outdated, it’s actually more convenient and easier than spelling out or swapping cell phones and typing or your information every time). Yes, you may already have their contact info, but you want to make sure you know errythang. Also, a business card is a physical representation of a brand so be prepared and judge them incessantly on their card (cue clip from American Psycho). Their card will also be a reminder for you to follow up with them after the wedding and then become a throwing star for your dog to fetch or to annoy your cat with.

2. Take photos with both dancefloor and the DJ in them

I know I know, you’ve got a shot list longer than Santa’s naughty list and you don’t have time for another angle… or do you? I’m pretty sure you’ve planned to get some candid dancing photos so hear me out.

As a DJ, I can tell you, it’s hard to get a good shot of a packed dance floor, and nearly impossible to get yourself (the wedding DJ) in the pic. It is uber valuable to a DJ to get a professional photo of him or herself rocking a packed dance floor. If you can snap a packed dance floor with decent lighting and recognizable DJ... You hold all the cards, my friend. Now play them wisely.

3. Exchange DJ photos use for credit, link and/or guest blog post

Sure, you could do like all the other awesome wedding photographer’s do and send an email to all the wedding vendors including all the photos that you sent the client… One gallery and done. I get it. But how about this...

Now that you’ve got gold on your hands, don’t just send it out willy-nilly hidden in the mountain of photos. Hit up your new bestie DJ and let em know. “Yooo kid, I like your style. You’ve got heart and I want to work with you again. How bout we squad up and do a cool lil blog thang. It’ll make both of us look dope and it’ll help with SEO (Super Emportant Online stuff). You write a nice blog post with a playlist about your top 10 songs for the night or a category and I’ll supply the photos which you can then use later if you sign in blood and link to my site while giving me credit next to each one.” (cue clip from from How High)

 

You did it. You not only made a friend, you just created a mutually beneficial, win-win partnership with a wedding DJ. Who said it couldn’t be done?

 

Cheers,

DJ CoolHand Luke

Luke Joachim aka DJ CoolHand, is a DJ with the Remixologists, the DJ crew known to ignite crazy dance parties. He started DJing weddings back in 2006 during the hyphy movement in the Bay Area. After making every wedding slap on the west coast, he went to school for music in New Orleans. In the big easy, he partnered up with G-Eazy and toured the country with Lil Wayne, as well as, performing at weddings, mitzvahs, and festivals like SXSW. Now he’s based in NYC and still rocks weddings and arenas alike. Follow him @djcoolhand or visit his website djcoolhand.com
Luke Joachim aka DJ CoolHand, is a DJ with the Remixologists, the DJ crew known to ignite crazy dance parties. He started DJing weddings back in 2006 during the hyphy movement in the Bay Area. After making every wedding slap on the west coast, he went to school for music in New Orleans. In the big easy, he partnered up with G-Eazy and toured the country with Lil Wayne, as well as, performing at weddings, mitzvahs, and festivals like SXSW. Now he’s based in NYC and still rocks weddings and arenas alike. Follow him @djcoolhand or visit his website djcoolhand.com

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