For Carolina DJ, Beats Are Good Business

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Raleigh, N.C.—Since the last time we spoke to Joe Bunn, owner of Joe Bunn DJ Company in Raleigh, N.C., 10 years have passed. Since then, he says, it’s all been about change—and growth.

“In the last five years, we were up 10-percent in the first two years,” says the 40-year-old North Carolinian, “and in the last three we’ve been steady, which in this economy is good.”

Bunn says weddings have been up—last year they booked 400—because bands have been taking a beating. “People are saying, ‘I can get a DJ for $1,500 instead of paying $5,000 for a band. And with that $3,500, I can buy flowers.’ That’s been something we’ve been seeing a lot of and I don’t expect that to change.”

Of course, the biggest change to Bunn’s business—he has 15 DJs—has been in the way he generates it.

“Over the years, I’ve done every type of marketing that there is—Yellow Pages, wedding magazines, radio, and the web,” he says. “I’ve spent a lot of money on a custom website because everything about it relates to the client: the wedding demographic is female, they’re 25-40, and they are so net-savvy. In fact, very few times a day does my phone ring. If it does, it’s a parent.”

Bunn has had success with Facebook and Twitter, too. “One of my most veteran DJs handles the Facebook page, he’ll post a couple times a day. I spent a month in training with a social media guy, two days a week, five hours a day, and I learned everything from how to set up the page properly to come up in the search engines properly, and adding calls to action.”

With his Twitter feed, Bunn initially had no clue how to navigate. “And now, as I talk to you, I’m sitting here with two 27-inch monitors, one of them I have my emails, and the other I have Hoot Suite on the screen all day long. I’m looking at my local feeds, ‘wedding Raleigh,’ for example, seeing what they’re talking about. And if I see something that I’m knowledgeable about, I’ll jump in there. In this market, Twitter has not gained me business, per se, but it’s developed my relationships with other vendors, by re-Tweeting them, responding to their posts, so it’s become a great tool for vendor relationships.”

The biggest boost his business has received is from a presence on YouTube. “We’ve gotten a ton of activity from there,” he says. “It’s the second-most powerful search engine in the world. So on our channel, we’ll talk about our favorite records, recorded with a flip cam, but tagged properly. We’ll record a Memorial Day playlist, and we’ll tag it ‘Memorial day playlist’ and we’ll get a ton of hits. It works really great on St. Patrick’s Day.”

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