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How much of you business do you get from agencies?

 

Do you pay the agencies to be on their books of do they get commision on your work?

Do you still get to quote your own prices or are they influenced by the agency?

 

Sorry to ask such stupid questions but I really don't know and have never looked at the idea of agencies.

Why don't we start making hellium filled bubble wrap?<P> It would help keep postage costs down.
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ask your self this...

 

what are the agent going to do for you that you cant do for your self ?

 

 

 

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Well I was thinking more from the point I have only recently moved into the area and most of my client base is back in Hertfordshire. So It may be beneficial to register with an agency for maybe a year until I build up another good reputation.

 

But I guess you have a valid point I could probably do it myself.

I'm about to send a mail out to schools in my area.

I leave business cards in most places.

I'm working more on the website.

 

Why don't we start making hellium filled bubble wrap?<P> It would help keep postage costs down.
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Marc makes a very good point.

 

If you are just starting out, you may see the agency as a way of getting several bookings a week and increasing your workload and earning a fortune!. However in reality many legitimate agencies will not consider any DJ's unless they have a few years of bookings and reputation behind them, and even then the work may be on a casual or 'as required' basis. Some agents may also require you to cover short notice bookings as well. So some argue that once you have built up the required word of mouth reputation in order to get an agent then you are already in a position to get the word of mouth bookings yourself!

 

It's my experience that there are far more fly by night agencies out there than legitimate ones, and I am sure that any legit agent will agree with me on that one!, so it is very important to make sure that the agent you approach is genuine.

 

NEVER PAY AN AGENT UPFRONT

 

There is no reason why an agent should require any payment upfront or a subscription fee or any initial agency membership fee's. A good agent, will be paid on the basis of commission from the work that he / she gets you. In other words if you don't get any bookings, then you pay the agent nothing. Any agent who demands a joining fee, or offers you all sorts of verbal promises for £xxx a year should be viewed with caution and in these cases you should do some serious vetting before sending any money.

 

A good agent, in the traditional and widely accepted sense will take a percentage of the fee as a commission, this usually runs to between 10 - 15%. The commission may be collected on 'trust' with you forwarding the fee from the payment made on the night, or it may be deducted by the agent or collected by agent from the customer in the form of the booking deposit. However, whichever way the agent operates, you pay nothing until the booking is yours.

 

I work on a casual basis for three agents, all of which are very professional and well run. However I also get a approached by around 3 or 4 new agents every few months who have seemed to have sprung up overnight and of whom after a bit of checking appear less than organised!. This is why it is important that you understand how to find a good agent and what to check for, and be aware of the pitfalls just in case you should be approached.

 

Probably the most important advice, is to make sure that whatever the agent is offering is put in writing, and that bookings are supplied with iron clad contracts. If the agent isn't willing to detail what they may offer you verbally, in written form then walk away quickly and don't look back.

 

Note:- Due to problems in the past, no agent is allowed to advertise for or recruit DJ's on this forum until I have carried out some background checks, and viewed a copy of the DJ - Agent contract.

 

But as Marc says, with a little time and effort, an agent won't do anything for you, that you couldn't do for yourself.

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Hmm maybe it's not such a good idea.

 

I think I shall stick to my mail out to all the local schools - That has prooved to be really worthwhile in the past.

Why don't we start making hellium filled bubble wrap?<P> It would help keep postage costs down.
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Hmmm! Dont start me on agencies!

 

I acknowledge that there are some good ones, however, my major gripe falls into two catagories.

 

Firstly, most agencies offer you work and include the old chestnut of " XX agency will not be responsible for non-fulfilment of contract by engager or artiste, however all safeguards are assured".

 

What does that mean to the dj? Well, basically, if you go to the gig and dont get paid, thats not the fault of the agent and they will not be liable. So what does the 15% of your hard earned cash get you, safeguard wise? Nothing!

 

My second gripe is that agencies offer credit to hotels and the like, get you to go and do the jobs ( allowing you to put all the expence and effort in) then pay the Dj only after they have been paid themselves. Then they charge you 15% for the privelidge! So just remind me what they do for their money. Why dont they pay you immediatley and wait for their cash?

 

Sorry guys, agencies, by and large, are not for me! http://www.dj-forum.co.uk/html/emoticons/thumbdown.gif

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We started our own here ,owned and run by working djs and comission goes to us equaly !

I will try anything,once!

 

The Cornish will arise again !

Manager of the Andy Harris Fan Club.

Keep pasties Cornish

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In a way the forum is doing the same job, DJ's here seem happy to pass on work they cant do them selfs ...... its chris who should be charging a few %

 

 

 

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I do regular work for an agent. The good points are I get quality work from him and had some really top nights and the money is always good http://www.dj-forum.co.uk/html/emoticons/rolleyes.gif . The down side is I dont get paid untill 28 days after the gig

www.thepartypeople.org.uk

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I have read a lot of horror stories about agencies over the past year and fellow Djs saying keep clear from them.

I can only give you advice from my own experience of dealing with an agent, the Forum is a massive help to anyone seeking work as you will get to meet and deal with fellow Djs who very happily pass on and accept gigs.

When I started January 2004, I advertised in all the usuall places and then after reading the Y-Pages contacted a few agencies, All were after experience and or a signing fee. The ones that wanted a signing fee, just said we will send out a form just fill it in and send it back with the fee and we will get you some gigs Even I knew this sounded like a waste of money so I left them alone.

After 6 months I had built up a good reputation and had descovered the Dj Forum were I gained a lot of knowledge I was approached by an agent and decided to meet them after I had done some checking on them, I done searchs on them and spoke to a few entertainers who had worked with them.

They asked if they could visit at a gig and we arranged this after I had asked my client if the agent could attend, the agent introduced themselfs and had a look at my gear, my cds and asked me for a look at my PLI and Pat certificates, they watched me perform for an hour or so and then left.

The next day they contacted me and invited me to there office, they then asked me what I wanted from them. I told them my price range for gigs , contracts for each gig, and no tie down clause.

I get a large amount of work through the agency and it works like this, They phone asking my availability for a gig If I decide I can do the gig they send out a contract signed by them and the client, it has all the info needed, date, location, times, event, clients, size, songs requested, fee, ccontacts ect. I sign and send one copy back.

The contract is very important and when/if you sign up to an agent this is what you need to read and discuss at your initial meeting. You can sort out all the disagreements at this stage so you get a contract to suit.

I for one have a great Agent and we work fantastic together, I am happy with the work they do in securing some very nice bookings and agree with there fees and terms they have.

So if you are going to deal with an agent dont forget to check them out, speak to people who deal with them, check over and come to an agreement on contracts before you sign and dont pay a sign on fee.

You can hear some really terrible stories about agents, but there really are some very good hard working and Fair agents about and you should take advantage of them. It doesnt actually cost you anything.

 

Jim

 

 

 

 

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QUOTE
DJ's here seem happy to pass on work they cant do them selfs ...... its chris who should be charging a few %

 

Something similar was discussed a week or so ago. But not for me.

 

I discussed the possibility of an 'honour system', where any DJ who got a booking from this forum could donate a percentage of the fee, or make a donation to the Tsunami fundraising appeal. This wouldn't be enforced, obviously, but would work more like a tip jar, and the contents of the 'Jar' would be forwarded to the relief aid. After all, if you managed to book a night which was presently free, then you have obtained work which you wouldn't normally have had.

 

Unfortunately, some of those with whom the idea was mentioned to, gave me several reasons as to why it perhaps wouldn't work, one of them being that members may have already donated to the appeal and may be reluctant to donate anything more, especially on a Pay-As-You-Earn basis http://www.dj-forum.co.uk/html/emoticons/smile.gif .

 

However, if you do get a booking through DJU, then perhaps it may be a worthwhile thing for you to personally donate a small amount from the fee, to Tsunami, or your own favourite charity.

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I currently work for 5 various agents and I must admit I have not had a problem with one of them. They all supply contracts and I get paid with in 28 days of the event. This may sound like a nightmare but after the 1st month its ok. Its just like getting paid a month in loo.

 

I have had 1 agent in the past that i had a problem with but he does have a bad rep in the area. I find it best to ask around and get some feed back on the agent before working for them.

 

Gav

 

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I get a large proportion of my work from one agent and work occasionally for 3 others. I like to leave them to do the selling which I am not particularly good at, although I get a fair amount of my own work by selling myself successfully http://www.dj-forum.co.uk/html/emoticons/huh.gif . I guess I am very lucky to have a very good relationship with my agent, they give me excellent gigs in return which are a pleasure to do, and they pay the next working day into my account electronically http://www.dj-forum.co.uk/html/emoticons/notworthy.gif and I don't care how much they make on top of my fee either - they are worth it.

 

In the past, I have worked with diabolical agents, and I am sure they still exist. Some of the things they have been guilty of:

 

cr@p gigs

low fees

non payment

disappearance

telling cust 1 thing, me another

trying to cancel and not paying cancellation fee because "it's one of our best customers"

change timing agreed to include lunchtime setup at no extra "you won't mind will you?" http://www.dj-forum.co.uk/html/emoticons/188.gif

etc, etc, etc.....

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QUOTE
What does that mean to the dj? Well, basically, if you go to the gig and dont get paid, thats not the fault of the agent and they will not be liable. So what does the 15% of your hard earned cash get you, safeguard wise? Nothing!

My second gripe is that agencies offer credit to hotels and the like, get you to go and do the jobs ( allowing you to put all the expence and effort in) then pay the Dj only after they have been paid themselves. Then they charge you 15% for the privelidge! So just remind me what they do for their money. Why dont they pay you immediatley and wait for their cash?

 

what need to be considered is that the contract that an agent issues is a contract between the management (booker) & the act (DJ) so they have no contractural juristiction to make legal claims for any money. Also remember that you know the terms of the contract when you accept the work, if you are not happy, don't take the work.

 

Their 15% covers the advertising for the work, the issuing of the contracts on you behalf, remember what other business operates on 1 15% gross profit

 

also there are good agents & bad agents, just like there are good & bad DJ's

Mobile Party DJ For Weddings Parties Corporate Events Covering London Essex Kent Sussex Surrey Bucckinghamshire Hertfordshire & Essex

 

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I'm a nice agent - honest.

BTW from the 1st July 2004, an agent has to pay you within seven working days. There a major re-write of the Employment Agencies Act / Employment Bill.

 

Yes I have it on my computer - No I haven't read it yet.

..playing all the hits for you...

....whether you may be....

 

Why can't I see what i going on???

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My biggest gripe with agents is this:

Years ago agents were known as "Mister Ten Percent". That`s because they took 10% of your fee as Agent`s Commission. (Unlike management where they take anything from 20% to 50%).

This was great from the 1950s through the 60s and into the 70s when Working Men`s Clubs were flourishing, pubs were getting in on the act, and even bingo halls were hiring entertainers.

Then things cooled off. There was less money around, less clubs but more people were trying to break into entertainment . . . . and agencies.

Artists and agencies saw their income beginning to dwindle. So what did 90% of the agents do? Did they get off their bums and try and get their entertainer clients higher fees? Did they balls!! They increased their commission from 10% to 15%.

In my book, that stinks.

If I wasn`t so long in the tooth I`d have a go at setting up and Entertaiment Agency and I`d charge 10%, like they used to. That would raise a few eyebrows I`m sure http://www.dj-forum.co.uk/html/emoticons/biggrin.gif

----

Ahhhh another one of me soapboxes http://www.dj-forum.co.uk/html/emoticons/smile.gif

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Many people have said that there are good and bad agents.....

 

Any agent who asks for money upfront, or a membership fee, in the main is gonna rip you off, plus you have to ask how many other people have paid for membership as well?(there are plenty of so called agents who offer this "service"on the web!)

 

I have worked for many agencies in my time, in fact I worked for a well known disco agent in Switzerland, who was a pleasure to work with!

 

Each month I would get a contract in a nice nightclub or bar, I was even covered with insurance, for example if I fell ill during the period of the contract I would be covered for stuff like hospital bills etc.

 

Plus the agent I worked for, got his cut after I got paid at the end of the month!

 

The best way to find an agent is through personal recommendation, there are still some great agents around Europe and Worldwide.

 

Shifty just a quick note about getting paid, if you are self employed(which I am too!) when you invoice your agent or the client, put payable within 7 days, they usually pay within that time!

 

Ask around you will find a good one!

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Hi all,

 

I agree, that you can do anything an agent can do yourself.

 

We are not registered with any agents as we object to their demands, such as you have to give out their cards, youcant promote your own disco etc and they usually charge the client a shed load of dosh and try and pay the dj £100.

 

We did get a phone call from one agent once who was in need of KJ for a local pub, we agreed a price and when we got to the pub the landlord was trying to get the price down, basically we had a hard time etc but he did cough up, and he said that he would never use the agent again, it transpired that the agent and landord had fallen out or something.

 

The agent has called us a few times since, but we are always booked.....

 

Other agents do try and get us on their books, but we always say no. we much prefer to speak to clients etc direct, that way theres no misunderstandings, if any of you have dealt with estate agents you will know what I mean....any one with agent in their title seems to tell the various parties differing stories.

 

Thats not to say that there arent some good ones out there, but you can do it all yourself and take the whole fee.

 

A friend of ours uses agents and he gets into all sorts of trouble, non payment, changing fees etc and he gets sent to bookings that he wouldnt normally touch one night he got sent to a heavy rock night, the agent hadnt told him the type of function and he hadnt got sufficient music with him to do a whole night of that type of music.

 

But I do see that if you need the work using an agent could be a good stop gap.

 

 

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Ive only ever worked for one agent, but tbh the guy was spot on and still cover the odd gig for the company. If i didnt have a residency then I would have no objections about working for them. From what some have stated here about their bad experiences with agents most would tend to stay well clear....the company I worked for:

 

>command top money from the client and target their work at the hotels where you would actually want to be

 

>take 20% commission. This is the highest rate Ive known been taken but the full price of a gig is high and 80% of the fee is a good wage

 

>dont spring last minute suprises on you like late morning set ups, etc and negotiate a inflated fee to relect this if there is no alternative

 

>actually run the company like a company should be run!

 

Plenty of bad experiences mentioned but the odd good agent does exist

 

Steve!

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Hell, I ned to get this house sorted so that I can start writing again.

 

Briefly, An agent can not "charge" you upfront. An agent can work two types of business, "Employment Agency" or "Employment Business"

 

First the agency, the chap acts as a middle man and brings the client together with an "artiste" that best suits thier requirments - 15% (norm)

 

Business - Same as above, but the paperwork is between you and the agent, not the client. this is also know as buying and selling, it is not illegal, but you do need to know the system. A client rings the agent, blah blah, a price is agreed, say £350.00, the agent rings the disco, and says, I have a function on :cense:, between :cense:, etc, how much will you charge me, you go, Oh Oh, I have it - £200, OK you got it, Agent makes £150. This is not illegal, although it can seem unfair, but most other industries work the same way - look at the building industry.

 

Before you shout down agents, please, take time to understand how it comes together.

 

I know really top notch london DJ's that will only work through agents, why, No Ad's, No Printing, No big phone bills etc - remove these from your annual expenditure, how much are you saving?? Right, the agent is spending it instead.

 

OK, since deregulation of licencing in 1995, the world, his wife, son and daughter, have or want to be agents, which has turned the industry into a total crap heap.

 

Ask questions if an agent rings you, the one I like is, "do you operate within the Employment Agencies Act 1974", if the reply is "What", best hang up there.

 

I will read throu the re-write, when I get 5 mins, and bring you up to speed.

..playing all the hits for you...

....whether you may be....

 

Why can't I see what i going on???

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Good point Mike.

 

I've worked for several agencies in the past - and it was a good learning curve.

Yes, not all agents are bad, but one major 'let-down' I've noticed over the years is that they don't 'vet their DJs' as much as they reckon!

In fact, some agents have never seen their DJs work, even years after the DJ signed to the 'agency'!

A good agent will Endeavour to promote their DJs and ensure that the client contract and artiste contract is 'rock solid', unbiased and enforceable should a 'conflict' arise.

Some artiste contacts may state that if an artiste can not attend a function, the artiste will indemnify the agency (and cough up the penalty in cash to the client for a sum not exceeding the quoted fee).

Some agents insist on sole agency provision of the engaged artiste. (The artiste can not work for other agency's).

But an agent will not stump up any money if they can not provide a DJ work on a Friday or Saturday Night!

Some contracts are less informative to an artiste. Some are OTT.

With regard to payment, it really boils down to what the artiste is happy to accept.

Either on night, within 7 days after the worked function or even a month after.

But some, not all, pay even later. And by cheque.

Again, some agents keep a 'entertainer commission' back, be it 15%-25% or more, in other words the agent always owes the artiste money.

It can be construed as a way of 'holding on to DJs' but I personally believe it to be insulting.

 

Some agent portfolios are really impressive yet the DJs and entertainers supplied are presenting THEIR show performance on behalf of the agent.

The agents profile and reputation is of course enhanced but the supplied DJs reputation stays with the agent.

For example, when the DJ decides to 'leave' the agent, it is very unusual for the agent to pass on thank-you letters and client testimonials of praise for the said DJ as these are testimonials to the agency / company.

Thus, they remain with the agency.

That is why it is important for any artiste to collect as much material and info from venues worked, to build up their own portfolio. This will not conflict with an agents portfolio, and will come in handy for the 'DJs own clients' at a latter date, should he or she leave.

With respect to an agent who finances advertising, business cards, brochures and actual 'leg work', their 15% is not unreasonable. Neither is the 'business' or 'company broker' fee structure.

These fees tend to vary considerably!

 

BTW - It is not unheard of that agents sometimes 'pay commission' to venues, managers, etc for repeat bookings (sole agency supplied entertainment) booked via the agency service, and sometimes, a 'kick back' is incorporated into the overall fee.

 

All in all, well-established agents work hard to encourage their entertainers and bend-over-backwards to negotiate top rates with quality venues and with clients.

The closer the working relationship between an agent and their entertainer, the better. That's why it is again, not unreasonable, to distribute their business cards or brochures if they are looking after you.

 

For the up-and-coming or existing DJs who work for an agency but decide to 'card' the clients and venues with their own - a word of 'caution'.

Many agents / companies know fellow 'competitors'. It can be made very hard for an individual DJ to work for another agent if a 'reputation tag' is atttached to the said DJ!!!!!!!!!

Beware the 'black ball'!

 

 

 

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I love working for agencies, in the 30 years i have worked on and off for them i have had some great gigs and absolutely no hassle.

I will try anything,once!

 

The Cornish will arise again !

Manager of the Andy Harris Fan Club.

Keep pasties Cornish

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