I gave my staff 12 months to transform our 100% outbound marketing to 100% inbound marketing.
We did it in 6 months.
The stress of constantly hunting or farming for clients took a dramatic shift. We went from a monthly outlook on our sales numbers to a media focus on how many people were attending our seminars, listening to our radio program and referring their friends.
As the stress of outbound marketing disappeared, our revenues increased. Our classed filled to capacity. We began enrolling students 2 and 3 semesters into the future. Instead of the stress of not knowing where the next client would come from, we migrated to focusing on providing great content to our fans, screening our students and creating a waiting list.
This occured because I had established authority status as a radio show host. Being 100% transparent, I did it backwards! A book is actually the first step an expert should take. Putting your content, story and message in print establishes you as an expert. Getting on stages, speaking on the radio and being profiled in other media normally occurs BECAUSE you have the book.
You can enjoy the status of being the “go to” person in the media and become the guy at the trade show who doesn’t pay to have a booth, but GETS paid to speak, share and solidify his brand.
My VP of marketing came from the world of radio. When our fledging company got started, we had a budget of perhaps $500…total.
Her suggestion of using radio advertising was about as realistic as going to the moon. How on earth could we afford to advertise on the radio?
When my operations manager and her looked at our numbers, they worked backwards from a revenue perspective assuming the ads had already been run.
This method of FUTURE revenue projections based on CURRENT ad spending (on money we did not have) may seem risky.
The exact opposite was the case.
When we went to meet with the 2nd tier talk radio station in Chicago, there was plenty of advertising inventory we could purchase.
Drive time, news sponsorships, 2 AM slots…the works.
But we were there to push ourselves even further.
We were there to get dozens and dozens of weekly advertising minutes for free. We took our first meeting with the intention not to simply buy radio ads, but to do the unthinkable.
We wanted to host our own radio program.
In the world of radio there are shows were a host is paid to be on the air and there are “brokered” shows where the host pays to be on the radio.
Not wanting a career in radio or being a DJ in a small town for 4 years, we elected to investigate “buying” our way on the air.
You’ve heard these shows.
Primarily they are weekend shows and are specific to a market, product or industry. Rarely do brokered shows discuss politics or current events. They may be about mortgages, health issues, legal or relationships.
Most of them sound like 1 hour commercials.
If you elect to host your own program, do yourself (and your audience) a favor and study the professionals who are on the air Monday through Friday. They understand pacing, questions, drawing the audience in and holdling them there.
When we took our meeting, our VP instantly opened the door for a brokered show. This would mean larger dollars for the station and more consistent revenue.
By leading with the big dollars first (even though we didn’t have them) we were able to not only get their attention, but we were able to negotiate much better rates on commercials we had to buy to promote our show.
In the world of radio there is inventory (air time) and lots of it. Every single second before, during and after a regular program is a sellable minute. Commercials pay the salaries of the local radio station’s staff, FCC licenses and syndication fees to national radio personalities.
It’s a multi-million dollar business.
And you are their customer.
One of the benefits of leading with a high dollar ad buy through a brokered show is you are essentially buying not a few minutes here and there, but a full 50-60 minutes every week.
As a radio host, you are committing to a program of at least a year as a show that comes and goes looks bad for both of you.
The best part is that your show is NOT technically a commercial. If done right, it becomes a content piece that serves the audience. This bears repeating.
Your radio show should be a show and not a commercial. The more valuable content you deliver, the more likely you’ll develop raving fans and loyal customers.
In order to support your show, you’ll need to advertise it (and not your product or service). This is marketing to support marketing and without a strategic plan and great negotiations, can be quite costly.
You’ll need to run ads to promote your new show.
RADIO MARKETING SECRET #4:
All radio stations have unsold inventory on a daily basis. This is called ‘remnant’ inventory. Since 100% of all airtime must be filled, any unsold airtime is given to public service announcements and “friends” of the station.
Become a friend by committing to a contract.
When you lead with buying a show, before you sign, ask for a specific amount of all their remmnant advertising. Additionally, ask for a minimum number of drive time slots and as much scheduled advertising slots as you can get.
In our “21 Best Practices” section of this book, we outline key elements of excellence in broadcasting regardless if you are a host or a guest on the radio. These 21 best practices are essential factors to make you look professional and elevate your brand.