We recently had a chance to talk with Liz Valles, the Lead Singer and Band Manager for the Deja Blu Band, one of the most popular wedding bands in Denver, Colorado.
[WBT]: Liz, thanks for taking the time to talk with Wedding Business Today. Tell us how long the Deja Blu Band has been together and how did you get started?
[LV]: I started the band back in September of 2001. It started in the living room of a dear friend of mine who would have his friends over every Thursday night to play music and hang out. We got really good and one day someone asked us to play their casual backyard wedding. I made $20.00 that night. Today, we’re one of the most popular wedding bands in Denver. We also play at many of the outdoor festivals and special events held annually throughout Colorado.
[WBT]: What’s your role and what do you do?
[LV]: I am the lead singer and Business Manager of the band. I also am the Wedding Reception Coordinator and Emcee. I work closely with the couples who hire us to work out a timeline that is exactly what they are looking for. I spend a lot of time working with couples. I help them select the perfect songs and then, working with the wedding planner and venue coordinators, I make sure the music part of the night goes off smoothly.
[WBT]: How’s business?
[LV]: Great! 2015 will be a record year for us. We had a lot of word of mouth referrals, which I really like! We also upgraded our website last year and we’re aggressively working on getting and keeping top ranked at Google. Just over a year ago I decided to really ramp up our marketing both online and offline, and it’s working.
[WBT]: Why do brides and grooms hire the Deja Blu Band?
[LV]: I think it’s because after talking with me they trust that the Deja Blu Band has the experience and talent to make sure they have a great wedding reception. If they visited our website, which they always do, the same message is communicated – trust, experience, talent, and a great time. We know how to pack the dance floor and make it a fun evening where EVERYONE is on the dance floor all night. The band also plays a variety of music, and that appeals to everyone in attendance, young and old.
[WBT]: The band doesn’t only work in the Denver area, or does it?
[LV]: We play anywhere and have performed extensively throughout Colorado, New Mexico, and Wyoming. We just got an inquiry from our website for a wedding in Wisconsin. I have a saying: “Have band, will travel.”
[WBT]: Where do you get most of your leads?
[LV]: I’d say that word-of-mouth is our best source of new business, we just booked two weddings for 2016 with couples who saw us at a wedding this year. After word-of-mouth, I’d have to say the Internet. Our new web site has worked very well and a lot of couples find us online at Google. We really try to make it easy for brides/grooms to find us online and then reach out to us through our online inquiry form – we have a very visible call-to-action on every page of our site. We also do paid advertising as a Featured Wedding Vendor on Wedding Wire, The Knot and Gig Master.
[WBT]: Your reviews at Wedding Wire are incredible! Congratulations. Well done!
[LV]: Yes, I am honored and very humbled. It says a lot that our previous couples have taken the time to give us 5-star reviews with glowing comments. Reviews from our past clients are so important to engaged couples thinking about hiring Deja Blu. Especially couples who are planning a destination wedding but don’t currently live in Colorado. One of our newer marketing targets is “destination wedding” brides and grooms who are not living in the area but coming to Colorado for their wedding reception. The Internet makes that all possible.
[WBT]: What else do you do as far as marketing and promotion?
[LV]: The Internet is huge for us, as it probably is for almost everyone in the wedding industry. We have an active Facebook presence and I use Constant Contact for email marketing. I’m have a pretty aggressive search engine optimization (SEO) strategy focused on getting and staying top ranked at Google. We also actively blog and use tons of GREAT pictures of the band performing at different venues throughout Denver and Colorado. Our online reviews are a huge part of our ongoing marketing and promotion. I also reach out to local wedding vendors throughout the year and stay in touch with them so that we’re always in their minds as a potential referral when they meet with brides and grooms. Networking and keeping our name out in front of other wedding service providers is big part of our overall marketing strategy.
[WBT]: What would you say are the top five reasons brides / grooms hire you?
[LV]: (1) Trust. Once I’ve talked with a bride and groom who is interested in hiring the band they know they can trust me (and the band). (2) Reviews. Reviews and testimonials by other couples who have hired Deja Blu are very powerful and we use them at our website and across our social media channels. We have 43 5-Star reviews on Wedding Wire which couples tell me is very important to them. Once they have read our reviews they KNOW that Deja Blu is the right choice. It’s almost a no-brainer! (3) Fun. We are FUN and we know how to pack the dance floor – just look at the pictures on our website, everyone is always having a great time. (4) Experience and Talent. The band is comprised of A-List musicians who have played together for years – all very talented and we ALL sing. (5) The pictures at our website. They say “A picture is worth a thousand words,” and I couldn’t agree more.
[WBT]: What would you say is the secret to your success, what would you tell other professionals in the wedding industry they should be doing?
[LV]: First, the success we’ve achieved has taken A LOT OF HARD WORK. I’d also suggest people find expert support. It’s virtually impossible to do everything yourself. Then, and equally important, I’d tell people to love what you do and it will show in the products or services you deliver to your clients. Be genuine and make couples feel like they are special – because they are on their wedding day! I had one review that recently came in that thanked me for “all the love” I put into their wedding. I get to know my brides/grooms AND their families and in many ways they become MY extended family! The last song at the end of the night can bring a tear to my eye as I see the happy couple on the dance floor surrounded by their friends and family. It’s a real honor to be a part of that, frankly. It is the best feeling in the world!
[WBT]: Thanks Liz for sharing with us!
[LV]: My pleasure!
You can find the Deja Blu Band online at http://dejabluband.com