Lessons from 200 episodes, with Joe Bunn

When Joe Bunn started ‎The PhDJ Podcast, he thought he would only make 10 episodes. Almost four years later, he and his cohost Mike Walter have made almost 200 episodes! Jason and Cee Cee talk with Joe about Bunn DJ Company, coming up with episode ideas and the celebrity wedding he’d like to DJ most.

Joe Bunn 200 episodes of the PhDJ Podcast

Jason Gillikin: You’re listening to the Earfluence podcast, which is a podcast about podcasting from a podcast production company. I’m your host, Jason Gillikin, CEO of Earfluence, and your cohost is Cee Cee Huffman, producer, social media expert, and just general doer of all things that your influence what’s happening, Cee Cee.

Cee Cee Huffman: Hello!

Jason Gillikin: Good to see you again.

Cee Cee Huffman: Yes, good to see you, too. Third time’s the charm.

Jason Gillikin: Yep. This is our third recording in this new fancy podcast studio from Jeb and Company.co, and I appreciate Jeb letting us use this space. So in the studio today, we’ve got the man himself, Joe Bunn. Now, Joe Bunn, if you don’t know who he is, he has been a DJ for over 25 years.

And graduated from Carolina was deejaying at UNC for frat parties, and he has built up his empire – and I’m not exaggerating when I say it empire. He has, and I’ll let Joe talk about it more, but I want to say five franchises of Joe Bunn – or Bunn DJ company in San Diego, in Montana, in Charlotte, in Charleston, and of course in Raleigh, maybe Richmond, too.

There you go. It’s six, yeah.

Six, yeah. And so, he’s also got the DJ’s vault where he’s got about 1,200 members who are wanting to know how to build up their businesses. And for this conversation, he’s got a podcast with almost 200 podcast episodes. What’s going on, Joe Bunn.

Joe Bunn: What’s up guys?

How are y’all? Thanks for having me, man.

Jason Gillikin: We’re good.

Joe Bunn: Yes, yes. Right downtown, easy little commute. Brand new, sweet podcast studio. I feel lucky right now.

Jason Gillikin: Yeah. I mean, when, when we booked the space, I was like, who can I get on boom, Joe Bunn, let’s do this.

Joe Bunn: Yes. Right around the corner, man. Couldn’t be any easier for me.

And we’re in person, which is super rare these days. I’ve been doing too  many podcasts on Zoom. I feel like we’re about six feet apart.

Cee Cee Huffman: Yeah, close enough.

Joe Bunn: She and I, you and I, and Jeb’s over there. Yeah, we’re good.

Jason Gillikin: Yeah. Yeah. I think so too,

Joe Bunn: Socially distant podcasts for those of you watching on video.

Jason Gillikin: So Joe, I did a brief intro of you, but was I right about all that? Do you have six franchises of Bunn DJ company?

Joe Bunn: I do. I do. So you had all the cities, right, and so it’s basically, we have six locations in five different states. And you know, those were DJs that had worked for me in the past – and this is why I think it works – they had worked for me in the past, they came to me as, you know, a DJ working here in the Raleigh office and said, I want to do what you do.

And I was like, well, not here. I’ll kill you. You need to, you know, open an office somewhere else. And then, like you said, it started in Charleston and then, you know, Richmond and Charlotte, I mean, it just kind of spread from there. The only exception being my sister who in a, you know, midlife crisis, decides she hates her job and wants to open a DJ company in Bozeman, Montana, which is, you know, this booming – you wouldn’t think it unless you go there and realize how beautiful it is, but the joke there that it’s where the millionaires are being run out of town by the billionaires. It’s crazy out there, right.

Jason Gillikin: OK, OK. So I want to get into podcasting, but I wanna, I want to dig into this Montana thing a little bit, ’cause I’m super curious.

Joe Bunn: Sure.

Jason Gillikin: Alright. So when your sister comes to you and says, I would like to start a DJ franchise, Joe Bunn DJ franchise in Montana, I mean, what were you, were you thinking like Montana? What in the world are you kidding?

Joe Bunn: Well, I mean let’s rewind and know that she’s been living there like two decades. So I’ve been out there, she got married there.

She’s married, has a child, you know, I go back and forth maybe once a year and she comes here a lot more than that. And so I’ve seen it and you know, I’ve also seen the celebrity migration from LA to like Wyoming, for example. So Kanye West lives in Wyoming now.

I was just

Cee Cee Huffman: about to mention that.

Joe Bunn: Yeah, all the Yeezy stuff is happening there, all the recording of his last five albums happened in Wyoming. Like I just was on Nikki Sixx from Molly Crue’s page today. he’s fly fishing in Wyoming. Montana, so my sister’s son and Justin Timberlake’s son go to preschool together.

Jason Gillikin: Oh wow.

Joe Bunn: And like, AD, my sister, knows Justin Timberlake, which is like my, like, I love I’m like, why do I not know Justin Timberlake? This isn’t nine degrees of separation, this is one degree of separation. And she’s like, “Oh yeah, like, you know, Fred and Silas hang out.” And I’m like, I can’t wrap my head around the fact that you and Timberlake are like friends. I shouldn’t even use air quotes. They like, they legit know each other.

Jason Gillikin: Wow.

Joe Bunn:  And like her, her best friend is a chef for Tom Brady and Giselle.

And like, it’s, it’s like. You know, Affleck and his crew rolled out there. It’s just a weird scene, but you know, there’s no paparazzi. Paparazzi won’t go out there. It’s too cold or too far from LA or whatever. So these people flee LA or New York, not for good, probably, but for a good portion of the year,

Jason Gillikin: I literally had no idea about this.

Joe Bunn: It’s happening.

And those are like the broke people. Like I’m not even getting into like the billionaire type scene. Yeah –

Jason Gillikin: Tom Brady and Giselle –

Joe Bunn: That’s like base level wealth.

Jason Gillikin: So how do you get Justin Timberlake on your podcast?

Joe Bunn: Yeah, right. I guess I call my sister and start begging or like, send him something to sign and just start the conversation.

Cee Cee Huffman: Say you’re going to babysit.

Joe Bunn: Yeah, I’ll do it. I’ll take care of your kid. I’m good with boys.

Jason Gillikin: Oh man. Just, yeah, just put on the Trolls album.

Joe Bunn: As long as he doesn’t have a daughter. I’m good.

Jason Gillikin: That’s awesome. Man, that is so interesting. Yeah. Thanks for, for sharing that.

Joe Bunn: As I talk to a guy that has three daughters. Right, it is three, right?

Jason Gillikin: Three daughters, yeah. Yeah, 8, 5 and 2. And my joke is in about nine, 10 years, I am taking up golf.

Joe Bunn: Shooting, yes. They’re very cute. And then they’re going to be hitting that high school age and you’re going to be like, no.

Jason Gillikin: I am tall right now, but I need to, I need to start weightlifting.

Joe Bunn: Bulk up.

Jason Gillikin: Really, really need to bulk up. I need to start into doing – whether, whether it’s loaded or not, I need to have a gun mounted on the wall, like when people walk in.

Yeah, yeah.

Joe Bunn: Bulk up.

Jason Gillikin: I need to be very strategic with it. Alright, so where were we? We digressed quite a bit, but let’s talk about podcasting. So your podcast is the PhDJ podcast with you –

Joe Bunn: Like the name? I think we stole it, not the podcast name but I’m sure somebody at some point had used this PhDJ thing and yeah, I mean it, so I’m trying to think of the lineage of it, but I think originally, it started as a workshop. And the workshop was here and we would host about 20 DJs from all over the country, I think it was once a year, maybe in the fall. And we would get about 20 people and they would come for about three days and we would stay right, you know, right down the street on Glenwood Avenue.

And basically just, Mike and I, who is my cohost Mike Walter up in central New Jersey who owns Elite Entertainment. And, you know, if we do 400 shows a year, they do 800 shows a year. Mike just crushes it. And he was really, I think, 20 years ago, I even flew him down here to do some consulting for me.

So, you know, for me to say he’s a mentor is, is, would be accurate. And so anyway, I reached out to him about doing this workshop. We did a here, we did it in Vegas a few times. and then it just kind of plateaued, or it became very difficult to get that people, that tier level of people that would pay, I don’t remember thousand dollars or something to come.

And we just pivoted into this podcast idea. And you know, like you said, here we are, we just this morning, ironically – we record every Wednesday morning and you know, did 191.


We just quit counting, but I just know that cause I’m the one that saves the files and that’s how I still label them. But, you know, we used to start every episode “All right, episode 100, 99.” Anyway, so 191 this morning.

Jason Gillikin: That’s amazing. So when you first started out, so it must have been 191 weeks ago. What is that? Almost four years, right?

Joe Bunn: I think the only time we’ve skipped is maybe right around Christmas and we would replay like a Christmas – our favorite Christmas songs. So let’s say 189 weeks have gone by, or yeah, 189 weeks.

Jason Gillikin:  That’s amazing.

Joe Bunn: Two and a half years.

Jason Gillikin: I think it’s more than that, right? Three years would be 160 weeks?

Joe Bunn: Yeah, you’re right? Dag, three years and something.

Jason Gillikin: Three and a half years or so. So you go, you go back to three and a half years ago, episode one. You know what, there’s no way you could have predicted that you’d be at a hundred – episode 191

Joe Bunn: I didn’t think we’d ever hit a hundred, you know? I mean, and we would have some arguments about something and I’d be like, “Man, I’m about done with this.” Or we would hit this, this phase of like, what else are we going to talk about?

Jason Gillikin: Yeah.

Joe Bunn: I mean, even now in, in, I don’t think I would recommend this for people that are starting a podcast, it’s just fly by the seat of your pants, man. Like I think two days ago, or three days ago he texted me. He was like , “Let’s watch the VMAs tonight and do a recap on Wednesday.” So that was on Sunday, three days ago. And I was like, “Yeah. OK.” You know, or I’m trying to think of who we had on last week. I think it was a DJ we knew that had COVID and had gotten over it. It’s just like this kind of last minute thing. And it’s almost like – it’s sorta like the DJ’s vault. Like you mentioned earlier, that membership community. Now, the content just comes to you from, from, from like the most odd place. You know, you might get this super fan that’ll send you a Facebook message, and he’ll give you 20 ideas in that one Facebook message.

Jason Gillikin: Right.

Joe Bunn: You’ll, kind of, scroll comments. Like we have a, a fan page or a discussion page. And you’ll scroll through comments, “Hey, have you guys ever thought about talking about this?” There is no shortage of content, it’s just a matter of curating it, like putting it on the to do list or your, you know, your, Asana or however you keep track of this stuff and just, just keep a running list, ’cause you’ll never run out of things to talk about.

Jason Gillikin: It’s so true. And you know, you, you talking about fly by the seat of your pants. There’s nothing wrong with that, especially when you’re first starting off with a podcast. Like, you will want to just press the record button and see what you have and see if you like it and to see if you’re getting used to it.

And you’re gonna just allow yourself to make mistakes and allow yourself to be crappy in the beginning of this podcast. If you want to throw it out, throw it all out, but you’ve got those reps and then you can just, you can just press the record button and be more strategic with it.

Joe Bunn: Just like deejaying. You have to practice to be good at it.

You know what I mean? We, you know, we’ve since really recently just made it like a multimedia thing, just like this is, I mean, you know, we are – so he’s in New Jersey, obviously we’re doing the podcast via Zoom, but we’re recording the Zoom, the video version. And today, you know, we’re on StreamYard sending it to three different Facebook groups that I own.

So we have eyes on first thing in the morning, you know what I mean? Just, it’s almost like a wake up good morning show. You know what I mean? And then I’ll, I’ll record that and then send Mike the audio. He’ll kind of chop off the beginning where we were waiting for people to populate on the Facebook sites, and then, you know, we’ll go right into the intro, welcome to the PhD Jay podcast, and then boom. Spit that out the next day. So –

Jason Gillikin: And that, that takes some gall right there too, to just go ahead and  –

Joe Bunn: Oh no, it’s straight-up live.

Jason Gillikin: Yeah, like it – that is not something that I would have – that, it’s not something that I could do right away.

Joe Bunn: It just started like maybe, you know, a month ago.

Jason Gillikin: Yeah.

Joe Bunn: So, maybe five or six that we just were straight live to Facebook.

Jason Gillikin: Amazing. And so you can repurpose that, just in so many different ways.

Joe Bunn: Yeah.

Jason Gillikin: Yeah. We’re just talking about content –

Joe Bunn: And you’re kind of, getting that realtime chater. You know, if you’re actually monitoring comments, you’re seeing that as well.

And you’re like, “Oh yeah. I mean, Greg -”

Cee Cee Huffman: Gives you some ideas.

Joe Bunn: Greg has mentioned that he had done this with a DJ light or something. So you kind of get like this guest in your ear. That’s not here.

Jason Gillikin: Yeah. But you’ve got those, those reps already, like you’ve got 191 episodes. And so you’re so comfortable with this and you know, same, same with us.

Like we’ve done a lot of episodes, not necessarily of this podcast, but, you know, produced so many different episodes. So, you know, I had to take some calls this morning and I said, “Cee Cee, I’ve had no time to prep for our podcast.” We just did one together, “And I’ve had no time to prep for it. You totally pick out a topic. You, you, you do it like I am not -” And we, we get to, to here, I was like, what are we talking about right now?

Joe Bunn: It’s going on.

Jason Gillikin: Right, and we just did it.

Joe Bunn: Those are the best episodes sometimes.

Cee Cee Huffman: Yeah. And I think, especially when it comes to like, the VMAs. If you plan out an episode for like three weeks, that’s not going to be nearly as interesting as the VMAs just happened three days ago, and this is what happened

Joe Bunn: I mean, if it wasn’t so damn long, you could have watched it in real time and really had a good podcast. You know what I mean? But the commercials and everything, you know, the chatter in between the actual receiving the what, just do the performances like, it’s like I wanted a truncated version.

And as long as we get like edited it down and watched it like, and then recorded it.

Cee Cee Huffman: Right.

Joe Bunn:  I probably would have been even a better episode then, you know, looking back at it on my phone.

Cee Cee Huffman: Yeah. The timeliness is good though, to just kind of see what happens.

Joe Bunn: Yeah, that’s what I told Mike. I’m like, we need to record this soon because I’ll forget that the show even existed because it wasn’t that memorable quite frankly.

Cee Cee Huffman: And so will everyone else!

Right. Exactly. Exactly.

Jason Gillikin: Yeah. So let’s go back to three and a half years ago. You know, what were your goals for this podcast? Yeah, I know you wanted to, you know, do something with Mike, right? And you, you wanted to build up this PhDJ brand also, but were there other goals besides that?

Joe Bunn: Man, honestly, no. I don’t, I don’t even think there was a monetary element to it. I mean, we do have some quote unquote sponsors that pay us a little bit of money a month.

Jason Gillikin: Yeah.

Joe Bunn: I mean, I think it’s the same reason that I used to speak it. You know, remember conferences, like, remember those when I used to go speak at, you know, at, at Mobile Beat or I go like that.

Cee Cee Huffman: It’s like real life Zoom.

Joe Bunn: Yeah. At these conferences –

Jason Gillikin: She just graduated from college. She doesn’t know any of this stuff. She’s living in this whole new world.

Joe Bunn: There used to be these things called conferences, and there used to be these things called concerts and it was a great, it was a great life. I didn’t get paid. You know, I would go in and sometimes at the end I would sell some sort of DVD or something I created, but it was really just like a truly, I don’t want to say selfless, but I was really trying to like, raise the industry, make DJs be better.

I mean, that’s the whole, if you watch that intro to the vault video that I made, it’s like, I want people to be better.

Jason Gillikin: Right.

Joe Bunn: Like, I don’t want that stigma of this cheesy, you know, wedding, DJ wearing a sparkle tugs and a bow tie. Like, I want people to know, like, this is, this is a one you can make it a career.

Like this is my job. This is all I’ve really ever done. And two that, you know, we, we can take over in terms of the entertainment for wedding industry, right? I mean, I asked her wife, who does she want to work with at a wedding? You know, she wants to work with a really good DJ.

Jason Gillikin: Oh, absolutely.

Joe Bunn: As, his wife’s a wedding planner. I don’t know if we’ve ever said that on this show, but.

Jason Gillikin: We have. Yes. But yes, she has. She has a podcast and everything.

But, yeah, I mean, I, I hear what you’re saying about the cheesy DJs and, you know, elevating the industry for sure.

Joe Bunn: It just, I mean, whether it’s customer service or the way you speak on the mic or, you know, the gift that you give a couple when they come in and sit down at a consultation with you, like, there’s just like, we.

One, we talked about it all on the podcast. And then again, you know, I’ve put a lot of that content into the vault as a membership community.

Jason Gillikin: But, you know, selfishly or smartly, you know, what that does is it just totally elevates your brand. So there’s more demand for Joe Bunn as a DJ. Then there’s more demand for Joe Bunn’s 20 DJs that are working for him in Raleigh. There’s more demand for education and eventually, and you didn’t know this at the time, but, you know, selling those, those, DVDs, but then eventually pivoting to this membership site, you know, the DJ’s Vault.

Joe Bunn: Yeah.

Jason Gillikin: So there’s just more demand for Joe Bunn as, as an entity, and it makes business sense. So, you know, you can talk about that as being selfish or just, you know, what we say is amplify your expertise.

Joe Bunn: Right, right. I mean, I’m out there. There’s no doubt. You can find me on some format, whether it’s social media or a podcast, or, you know, you pay the membership fee, you can unlock the vault and you got all – like I’m out there.

Like there’s no shortage of content, like that’s right. I mean during the pandemic, I literally built a studio in my office because that was –

Jason Gillikin: Wow.

Joe Bunn: I became more of an educator than I, than I did a DJ. I mean, like we just were like, let’s build a white room and you know, we have a desk similar to this and here’s the podcast set up over here and here’s the green screen behind us.

And the down there is where. And, you know, you’re talking about 500 square feet. Like if you lay it out right, you can do you – just movin cameras for different things and all day long. I mean, I was just telling Jeb, like I was, you know, I’ve already, we shot a video last night, Linus showed up this morning, you know, at nine o’clock. Edited it, you know, come in here, watch this cut, change this, change that. Boom, it’s already on the internet. You know, like –

Jason Gillikin: Awesome.

Joe Bunn: Moving speed of light, like, content wise.

Jason Gillikin: Yeah. And I mean, part of that is because that you’ve got built up this brand for the podcast and other things that you’ve done. But-

Joe Bunn: And you surround yourself with people like you. Sat down with you, I’ve got a whole list of notes in my pocket that I still need to do for my own podcasts from you and your wife.

You know, you sit down with guys like Jeb or whatever, like you start to surround your people with the people that know more about your whatever, more about social media. Okay. Well, let me be a sponge. Like I made my first TikTok last week because I got the information from a photographer I knew in New Jersey, she was like, you don’t have to do the dance.

Like how about this? Show me the three, craziest – do a TikTok with the three craziest things you’ve ever seen at a wedding. So I just kinda did this pointing thing, dun, dun, dun, put it to a song. You know what I mean? Like you just reach out to people that know more about your particular thing, and then you hire them. You know, you hire the people that can shoot and edit and cohost. You hire the people that can crank out videos fast or shoot great photography. Like-

Jason Gillikin: Yup. Yeah. And, and Megan and I, this is before COVID Megan, I had met with you about your, your podcast just to give some general advice and, you know, there’s probably 80% of the, that you had thought of before, right?

Joe Bunn: Sure. Yeah.

Jason Gillikin: But it’s just things that you don’t always have the time for. Like, you know, you don’t have the time to fully engaged in and try to get reviews. You don’t have time, you know, for all the, all the social media things that you can do, which is, you know, which again, why you outsource that thing.

Joe Bunn: Lengthy, no doubt about it. And we talked about it. I mean, that’s still, I’ve probably barely scratched the surface of the to do list from that day.

Jason Gillikin: Right. I want to go back to cheesy DJs, ’cause I’ve got a funny story. Well, Cee Cee, do you have any cheesy DJ stories at all?

Cee Cee Huffman: No, I think I’ve maybe been to like 5 weddings in my whole life.

Jason Gillikin: You’ll, you’ll get there.

Joe Bunn: Yeah, you’ll get, you’ll hit that like late twenties, early thirties phase every weekend. You’re in a wedding.

Cee Cee Huffman: Yeah, I had, well, I had a couple of friends who were getting married this summer, but obviously that didn’t end up as planned, so. I’ll report back in like, January.

Joe Bunn: That’s right. Get back to us.

Jason Gillikin: So, July 25th, 2009,  in Troy, Michigan, I think. In Michigan somewhere, my brothers –

Joe Bunn: I think I’ve heard this story before.

Jason Gillikin: Maybe. Megan’s probably told you this before. So, my brother’s getting married and DJ whoever calls the best man onto the stage. And so I go on the stage and also the bride and groom come on up. And so, I kid you not, you know, they do the, is it the garter?

Is that what? Okay, so the, the garter thing with me on all fours, the DJ asked me to get on all fours, and the bride sits on my back, you know, while my brother does the garter thing or whatever. That was –

Joe Bunn: And the scary thing is he’s been doing that same routine for twenty years. You know what I mean? Like he does that every Saturday.

He didn’t know any better. He thinks that’s why people hire him. And the question then is like, is the bride cringing like you are? Or is she like, Oh my God, this guy is the greatest thing ever.

Jason Gillikin: I think it’s one of those things where alcohol is involved you’re just having fun in the moment, and then you’re like, wait a minute. What?

Cee Cee Huffman: A bit odd.

Jason Gillikin: Yeah. Yeah.

Joe Bunn: And then it’s own video forever. Videographers captured this whole scene.

Jason Gillikin: Yeah. Megan’s got a picture of me on all fours with the bride on me, giving her a, like, save me, look.

Joe Bunn: Geez.

Jason Gillikin: Yes. So yes, with your, with your vault, with your podcast, you are elevating the industry.

Joe Bunn: I really do hope so.

Jason Gillikin: So talk about some lessons learned from your podcast, you’re 191 episodes in, you know, what has it meant to you and what kind of, what lessons do you have, from, from the podcast?

Joe Bunn: I think, you know, the first lesson is you have to want to do it unless you’re really good on the mic and can just flow, you really need to do it with somebody that you like or admire, or is they don’t even necessarily have to be aligned with you. You know, I’m sure that the best podcasts are probably ones and, and, and people love it when we disagree.

You know what I mean? And if you think about historically anything you’ve ever seen, the best interviews, you know, the best Stern shows, the best podcasts, the best Joe Rogan’s, you know, these big name guys, the best ones are when people are in a conflict.

Cee Cee Huffman: That’s the heart of every good story.

Joe Bunn: Right. And so we probably don’t have that.

I’m not a big, I’m not really drawn to conflict anyway, so I probably wouldn’t have done it for this long if it was that kind of vibe. I don’t want have to wake up on Wednesdays and start fighting with somebody. It’s ridiculous. I think, my, my only negative I would say about it, or my only wish is, I wish more people listened.

I think we’re probably, you know, sub 1000, maybe 700 to a thousand depending. And I wish I know there’s no, there’s a million mobile DJs in the world. Like, I wish we were falling on more ears.

Jason Gillikin: That’s very good, by the way. You think about it is super niche. Like I’m not listening to the PhDJ podcast. Cee Cee’s not listening to the PhDJ podcast.

Joe Bunn: No, that’s OK. I’m not mad.

Jason Gillikin: Right? Cause we’re not DJs. Like maybe we would pick up the VMA episode. Like that could be –

Joe Bunn: Sure, if it’s titled right. Yeah, OK.

Jason Gillikin: Right. But like that lane right there, that, that is just so niche and that is your exact audience for all the other things that you want to promote. So like 700 to 1,000 downloads per episode? That’s pretty darn good.

Joe Bunn: OK. All right. Well, I feel a little better.

And then, but the positives are, you know, when you do go out in public and you go to these DJ conferences or you go to these meetups, and people like pull you aside, like “Man, you and Mike, man. You changed my business. Like I’ve been listening, like I’ve heard every episode.” Or “I caught this late at episode hundred, 100. And I binged, I went back and listened to all 99 up to 100 over the last whatever month.” You know, it’s half hours, so it’s easily  digestable content. There’s not a lot of filler, you know, what’d you do last weekend. It’s like, you know, we kind of get it right to it. I mean, we’ll, we’ll shoot the breeze sometimes, but we really just kind of get into it.

And so I think that’s the most rewarding thing about it, you know? Cause I don’t make any money. I mean, it’s not enough to be excited about, but it is – and that’s through my own fault. I’m sure I could go and seek out more people that would probably sponsor it. It’s not a real crowded lane, you know what I mean?

In terms of, there’s not 30 DJ podcasts.

Jason Gillikin: True. But you and Mike, you talk about sponsors, but you and Mike promoting your own stuff,

Joe Bunn: That is 100% right. That’s one of the things you talked about, you and I talked about, you’re like, you just cut it, get Mike to cut an ad for the vault and stick it in the middle.

And I’m sure that’s led to sign-ups. But at the end of the day, man, people go, you know, we both are like the same, you know, we had that ego. Like you, you want people to come up and say, “I listen, I love it. You know, keep doing it. Don’t stop.” You know, we chatted about it on air before about like, you know, I don’t know.

I don’t know how much we got left and people went into it, you know? Like they’re just so programmed now for that Thursday morning drop.

Jason Gillikin: Yeah. That’s so cool, man. And if anybody is a DJ or just wants to listen to the PhDJ podcast,  just listen to it for the dynamic between Mike and Joe also. Mike, Mike has the Jersey accent for sure.

And Joe, you can hear the Southern drawl. Mike is fast , Joe is slower talking and that dynamic is great.

Joe Bunn: I have to send him the files as like a, as two. So it’s his, his, and then mine. And then he has either- he has to turn me up or turn himself down  the balance it. Even the volume, and like we have the exact same mics, we have the  exact sam e USB interface on the exact same setting. And it was just like, he’s just blowing it out. Just, I’m like, you’re so loud. So Jersey right now.

Jason Gillikin: Talk about, networking. Like, have you, have you had a chance to connect with people that you wouldn’t have a chance to connect with, you know, from, from this podcast?

Joe Bunn: Yeah. I mean, it’s difficult to say, you know what I mean. A lot of, a lot of the DJs that I’ve met over the years were from more from the conferences, and, and that’s really how I started, even – that’s how I knew Mike. You know, 20 years ago I saw him speak and I was like, this guy gets it.

You know what I mean? This guy, you know? Yeah. They’re a little bit different than we are up there, but like he’s running a huge multi-op DJ company with all these DJs working under him. This guy gets it, you know what I mean? And so most of the DJs I’ve met, I think through the years have started as, as a, you know, a conversation in the hall between speakers at a conference. And then, obviously, social media got bigger. Like if I look at any of my channels now, most of the people following me as much as I want it to be the bride with a million dollar budget, it’s DJ, DJ, DJ, DJ, DJ, DJ, you know.

Jason Gillikin: They want to be Joe Bunn!

Joe Bunn: And maybe it’s admirable, you know what I mean? Like they want to see what I’m posting and that’s cool, but so I’ve met a lot of people through that.

And of course, like I said, you know, we do have these like loyal listeners to the point of, you know, that they will submit topics or I mean documents and, you know, just, yeah. They’re, they’re super fans.

Jason Gillikin: That crowdsourcing works so well. I mean, like we did an episode on the Beyond the Obituary podcast recently, and it’s for a funeral home.

And I said on my Facebook, just personal Facebook, I said, I’m talking to a funeral director and crematory owner, what questions do you have that you’ve been too afraid to ask? And I got responses, and so I used those questions on that podcast. Now those people are going to listen to that podcast.


Yeah, man. It’s, it’s definitely something worth, you know, using your audience to help you. You know what I mean? So you don’t sit here and have to try and rack your brain for 200 weeks worth of content. Like, it’s crazy.

Cee Cee Huffman: And you also know that it’s something that they want to hear because they told you so.

Joe Bunn: Totally. And you also have to realize that the world changes every week. You know, we’ve recorded sometimes in advance. Like if I say I’m going to the beach for a couple of weeks, man, I’m not going to, I’m not going to show up on a Wednesday morning. It will literally say like, Hey, we’re prerecording this.

So if the world like shifts or like, don’t think we’re being tone deaf, because I mean, you know, let me look at it, the world looking at the front of this building. There’s boards on it because of racial injustice. And the things that happened in Wisconsin, like yeah. That happened like that, you know what I mean?

So if we had prerecorded, something during that week, people would be like, yo, they didn’t even mention like what’s going on in the world? Or, you know, so we’ve, we literally usually say, “Hey, it’s September 2nd, we’re prerecording, this it’ll drop on the 16th. So if something crazy -” or like, whatever, blah, blah, blah, artists dies.

And they’re like, yo, they didn’t mention it. This is a prerecord, you know, it’s it’s, it’s. Again, everything’s moving at the speed of light or super slow during the era of COVID However you want to look at it.

Jason Gillikin: It’s, it’s so fast to me, right?

Cee Cee Huffman: Both and neither.

Joe Bunn: Exactly.

Jason Gillikin: I can’t believe it’s been six months.

Joe Bunn: I can’t either. Get me out of it.

Jason Gillikin: Oh my gosh. Get you back to

Joe Bunn: doing some weddings.

Jason Gillikin: Yeah, man.

Joe Bunn: Big ones.

Jason Gillikin: Yeah. So, you mentioned some strategies, and I, I kind of wanted some more tips on getting to 200 episodes. Like, it sounds like you will batch your recordings and do it and have it set schedule, like whatever it is, nine o’clock on Wednesday morning, you know that for 30 minutes that you’re talking to Mike.

Joe Bunn: That’s right.

Jason Gillikin: Any other, any other tips for getting to 200?

I definitely

Joe Bunn: think that there is a, a, an advantage to keeping a set schedule. You know what I mean? Like knowing which day you’re going to record, even which day you’re going to edit, you know, and then which day it’s going to drop. And again, just like on YouTube, you know, there there’s, there’s value in that regularity and there’s value in your fans or your listeners knowing, “OK, every Thursday morning I can check iTunes,” or whatever they listen to podcasts on, and it’s going to be on there and you’re not letting them down.

You know what I mean? And even if you have to play a rerecording or a best of, or, you know, I mean, the highest paid radio jockey in the world does it half the year. I bet Stern not on air 180 days. There’s no way. And he’s worth hundreds of millions of dollars. So, you know, as long as you’re, you’re still putting out that content, you know, every, whatever Thursday like we do.

And I think that there’s, there’s value in that. And, and again, you know, it’s, it’s like, anything else, man, like a marriage, you gotta work at it. People that don’t think that, or do you think it’s all rainbows and unicorns? They’re they’re full of it. Like marriage is hard, having a podcast with another person is hard, having a podcast with yourself would be hard.

Jason Gillikin: Probably even harder.

Joe Bunn: I think it would be harder. Yeah. I mean, yeah. There’s a reason she’s sitting here. There’s a reason I’m sitting here.

Jason Gillikin: Yeah, that’s totally true. Like I said, listen, we haven’t done a podcast, Earfluence podcast in a long time. Come on the show, hold me accountable for getting this going.

So we recorded one last week, she put it out right away. And then we’re recording three today, and then we’ll just keep this flowing and it’s because now somebody is holding, holding me accountable for this.

Joe Bunn: Passion. You know, you gotta be passionate about what you’re talking about. I mean, you love this stuff.

I love music. I love deejaying. Mike loves it, he’s been doing it for as long as I have maybe even longer. You know, you’re not going to be able to come on and talk about farming if you don’t know anything about farming. Like, pick a topic and just be present, you know what I mean? Just be there and be able to talk about it every week.

Like know something about it. I mean, you don’t have to know everything about it, but, and I think that’s, what’s helped, you know, Mike and I just be able to keep it going. It’s just, we’re both passionate about deejaying and DJ business owners being better.

Jason Gillikin: That’s awesome.

Cee Cee Huffman: We talked about this last week too, by forcing yourself to have to talk about it every week for 30 minutes, you were thinking more critically about it than you might would have if, or wouldn’t have? You know what I mean.

If you didn’t have to do that, like you’re thinking, “Oh, this is the topic I’m going to need to look into this and think about it now,” where it could be so easy to just not do that and not learn yourself.

Joe Bunn: Agreed. I mean, and, you know, if you’re connecting with somebody on a, on a, you know, over the conference calls, Zoom, whatever, StreamYard, like that’s how he and I keep in touch.

Like I know every week, I’m gonna see Mike, you know what I mean? On Wednesday or Wednesday morning, I’m going to see Mike. So we, you know, we’re definitely closer friends than we ever were.

Jason Gillikin: Yeah.

Joe Bunn: Over the last three and a half years.

Jason Gillikin: Yeah. That’s great. So 200 episodes in and I, so Bill Simmons has a podcast, probably a thousand episodes, right? Joe Rogan has over a thousand episodes. You’ll see on Twitter every now and then, can you believe this stuff that Bill Simmons said back five years ago about this particular topic? And he said some, some bad things about, you know, let’s say Doris Burke, who’s an announcer in the NBA, and, or Joe Rogan just got 50 episodes censored on, on Spotify, right? They just took them all down. How do you not say something stupid when you’re just talking for 200 episodes?

Joe Bunn: Well, I think that, you know, you’ve got this whole cancel culture movement going on this year. It’s not this year, but it seems to be prevalent this year. And it’s, it’s more like, I never really heard the term until this year if I’m being Frank, maybe I’m old. But, you know, I think that one, we’re not really talking about politics or religion or anything dicey. So, it’s pretty easy. A guest did say something off the cuff the other day, and he didn’t mean anything by it, but I went and cleaned it before I put it out.

It was just, he didn’t mean anything by it, but it just was, it was the wrong terminology to use in a racially sensitive environment. Period. Meant nothing by it, but I was like – and Mike didn’t hear. And I called him right after, I was like, hit that 30 minute mark and cut that part out. Squeeze it back together.

He like, he wouldn’t want that out there and I didn’t want it out there cause I know somebody would’ve picked up on it. So, you know, I think that’s kind of the beauty of doing them one off, say it, put it to tape, edit it, drop it the next day. Like, so there is like a little bit of a filter, but you know, I think the worst thing that’s ever happened is that – I don’t even think it was on a podcast.

It was on a webinar. And the, the, the, I didn’t know that the rehearsal is being recorded and I was making fun of a guy. I think it’s like something about his accent, but it would have been pretty obvious. Like, I think my impersonation was good enough to where I was like, “Oh, like” and somebody like, the next morning, the episode came out and they were like, “You know, you know, you left the beginning of the webinar on there.”

It’s like, delete! You know? I think like I could see, you know, look at the analytics and I think like one or two people heard it. And so I’m like, oh no, two people have heard me make fun of this guy.

Jason Gillikin: Sarah was that you? No, okay, let me call the next person.

Joe Bunn: Anyway, you just, I mean, you don’t have, if you’re too careful, then you’re not genuine.

You’re not authentic. You know what I mean? And Mike is, you know, he’ll throw an F bomb out and for a long time, the video version was going to Disc Jockey News, which is run by the most wholesome man in the world. And I’d be like, hi, John is going to flip it, you know? And he doesn’t clean it up. So I’m like putting this on Disc Jockey News, you’re over there dropping F bombs at the maniac, like-

Jason Gillikin: He’s from Jersey, what are you going to do?

Joe Bunn: Exactly. And I was like, yeah, it’s authentic.

Jason Gillikin: Yeah. Yeah. That’s right. Yeah. I mean, I think number one, just be a good person, too.

But yeah –

Joe Bunn: I’m just not that kind of person. Like I just, you know, I never like, felt like I had to go back and scrub my social media or find tweets out I said when Twitter came out or like, I’m like, I’m not worried other than like, I’m really not worried about that content.

I’m not that kind of person. That’s just – one, I don’t get political or two, I just don’t talk about things like that,  that are going to incite this conflict ’cause I don’t need that. I don’t need that in my life. I don’t want to deal with it.

Jason Gillikin: Yup. Yup. And when you say you don’t get political, you know, from the guy who was just in the New York times for Black Lives Matter.

Joe Bunn: I was, I was, and that was was – and I even said in that post, I’m like, this is not normally my MO, but like, this is, this is – I felt, and I told the, the article writer for the New York Times, I felt pulled into this. Like, I actually felt this physical pull, like about 24 hours after the whole thing kind of was really starting to blow up the first time.

And anyway.

Jason Gillikin: Well, and in my opinion, I mean, it’s not any sort of politics argument at all. It’s like being a good person.

Joe Bunn: Yeah. That’s what I was trying to explain to her as well. I’m like, I don’t this isn’t political at all. You know, I don’t have to say which side I’m voting for or anything about it. It’s just like, this is just not right.

Jason Gillikin: Yup. That’s that’s exactly it. Well, man, I appreciate it. Let me give you some space to talk about whatever you want to talk about with your podcast or anything else that’s going on.

Joe Bunn: Well, I mean, you know, I guess we are, we are rapidly trending towards – we gotta make 200 at this point.

Don’t you think? We only do nine more, you got to hit 200, definitely think I’m gonna do like a rebrand of the logo, which I’ve always kind of thought was – I think we just did it like, you know, knowing that we were going to do 10 episodes, not 200. So it’s super corny, and I got a guy working on that and, you know, Mike and I are going to keep on, keep on doing our thing, you know, bringing on guests, mostly mobile DJs around the United States that are like us, you know, especially now struggling.

I mean, I just talked to way too many people that are losing everything over the last, you know, 20 years that they built over this past one year. Just, just absolute destruction of the industry, so. And then the vault just keeps on, keeps on going, keeps on growing. You know, we, we, as much as people don’t want to spend money on memberships and things right now, like this is exactly what they need to be spending money on right now. Listening to podcasts, reading books, educating yourself.

Being ready for when this, I mean, this will be a bad memory and let’s just say a year at the worst, hopefully.

Jason Gillikin: Are you gonna be ready for 2021?

Joe Bunn: Right. Get, get, get it together, man. Like get your marketing, right. Like get your sales presentation right. People are still booking there, there’s no shortage of leads coming in right now at my company.

Like, you know, and whatever element of business you’re in, you know, just right now is the time to, to get fired up and to listen and educate yourself and read and consume all the content you can because it’s going to be, it’s going to be gangbusters again soon.

Jason Gillikin: Yup. I agree. Well, let’s wrap with a couple of fun questions here. All right. So, actually what, what episode are you most proud of for PhDJ? And what – if somebody were to go back and listen to one episode, what should it be?

Joe Bunn: Man? That’s tough. There’s a couple, I think, that were emotional.

Recently a guy we knew, we had known from the DJ conferences, he had gotten COVID and passed, and I remember that being an emotional episode. The ones that are most liked are the songs, the music. And so Mike and I would say, I want your 50 top songs that are going to smash any wedding. Not, you know, we would not, there would be no corroboration.

Like you make a list, Mike, and I’m going to make a list and let’s start. OK. And I’ll name my first five. And he’d be like, man, dude, only two of those are all my whole list of 50. We thought that they were going to be like really aligned, like 40, 45 or 50 were going to be like, whatever Celebration, Kool & the Gang, Celebration.

And they were so, I bet it was, I think it was like 20, I think I had 22 or something on this list. It was, it was very, you know, and, and again, I don’t know if it was a regional thing, just the way we play, you know, we’re not that far apart in age, so I don’t think it was that, but it was, it was very shocking.

And I think that’s one of the, whenever we talk about music, give me your  top 20 ballads, like if you had to pull all ages out. Those episodes seem to be, the ones that people are most drawn to. And then, you know, in the comments, it’s like, here’s my top 50, here’s my top 10. Here’s my top 50.

And that went on for a week. Whereas the chatter usually is, is kind of.

Jason Gillikin: Gotcha. Well, I’m not going to ask you what your top song is. You’ll have to, if you want to hear that, you’ll have to go back and listen to that, that pocket podcast episode. Yeah. But dead or alive, whose wedding would you want to DJ?

Joe Bunn: Alive, Timberlake for sure.

Cee Cee Huffman: I was thinking that.

Joe Bunn: Yeah, no Timberlake’ s s the guy. Yeah, it would just have to be like a musical icon, Prince, Michael, somebody like that.

Jason Gillikin: Can you imagine being the DJ at Timberlake’s wedding? Oh my gosh.

Joe Bunn: I remember when Tiësto got married a couple years ago and like, nobody really knew this DJ and then I’m sure like overnight, like he just blew up cause he was in the pictures and I guess they didn’t make him sign an NDA.

Like he was allowed to say like I just rocked Tiësto’s wedding.

Jason Gillikin: Man, this has been awesome. I really appreciate you coming into the studio here. I had a lot of fun. Cee Cee, this has been great.

Cee Cee Huffman: Yeah, it was nice to meet you.

Joe Bunn: Nice to meet you too, for sure.

Jason Gillikin: All right. So we’ll wrap with a thank you. T hanks for everybody for tuning in. Contact information for this studio in downtown Raleigh, you can go to jebandcompany.co.  Thank you, Jeb, for letting us use a studio. And if you have a podcast that you’re thinking of making and you need some help, anything from consulting to full service production.

Contact at earfluence.com. And if we’re interested in sponsoring any of our podcasts, also visit eafluence dot com. That’s all for now. We’ll be back again next week with another episode of the Earfluence podcast.

Joe Bunn: Later.

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The Earfluence Podcast is a production of Earfluence Media and hosted by Jason Gillikin and Cee Cee Huffman.

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