One of the most over looked methods of marketing and branding is using the air waves to build an audience and share your views. Now, thanks to the open source opportunities of the Internet, you can actually make your dream come true and all for the amazing price of…..your time!
Blog Talk Radio is probably the most recognized free radio sites but there are others like Talk Shoe and LA Talk Radio. I am most familiar with Blog Talk so I’ll be referencing their site in this article.
Why Have a Radio Show?
I have shared a variety of ways to use social media to market yourself as an author and your written works within this blog. Having a radio show is just one more vehicle to reach your readers.
Online radio shows allow readers to listen to you live or download the show at a later time and listen at their leisure. The files are MP format so they can listen on their handheld device while walking or working around the house or in the car while they drive.
It is free, so why not?
How to Start Your Radio Show
There isn’t a right or wrong way to start but there are a few best practice tips to be aware of:
- Pick a time frame and day of week that works best with your schedule so that you can consistently host your show.
- If you are going to have guests on your show, select a time that will allow people in other time zones to join without it being a hardship.
SIDE NOTE: I was once asked to be a guest on an online radio show to talk about publishing and writing. I cheerfully said yes and knew that the 11 o’clock time frame would be perfect. However it wasn’t until the day before the show that I realized the show was at 11PM. Not a good fit for me.
- Have an audience in mind. Do you want to connect with other writers or readers? Are the readers stay-at-home moms or business executives or teenagers? Keep them in mind when determining the configuration of your show.
- Have an outline for your show. One way to help in planning is to create a format. Open with a news item of the day, then merge into your one primary topic for the show and end with a last tidbit, quote, joke or motivation statement. You might even want it to be an on-going reading of your book. One chapter per show. Select a format and an outline.
- Determine the length. Blog Talk allows you to select 15 or 30 minute shows for free.
- Script your opening and closing. The bulk of your show will be improv but you’ll want to have an opening script and closing statement written down to make sure you start and end on a solid note.
- If you have guests, send questions in advance so that they can be thinking of their answers.
- End with a call to action “you can find my latest book at ….” “join us next week when our guest will be…”
One Word of Caution
One of the ways you make this work, by that I mean, creating a show that doesn’t cost money or an inordinate amount of time, is by going LIVE.
You may have heard of people creating podcasts and often those are recorded in advance using sophisticated equipment, incorporating sponsored advertisements and heavily edited.
My recommendation…just go for it. If you don’t like it – just don’t tell anyone. But hosting a live show is the fastest way to create online content that showcases your voice, your opinions, your personality and also a way to connect with your books.
Risky? Yes. Fun. Oh yes!
Getting the Word Out About Your Radio Show
Blog Talk is automatically connected with most recognized social media platforms and allows you to quickly announce an upcoming show and also send out a link to the live show after you have completed it.
A simple way to get the word out is by having guests on your show. Start by asking friends, fellow writers, and faithful readers to join you. Part of the bargain for having them on the show is to ask them to help spread the word; let them tell their friends and network to join the show.
Invite other writers to talk about their latest book. Invite English teachers to talk about the writing process, editors to talk about the red pen process or wannabe writers who have questions about how you got started.
Bottom Line: When it comes to making a name for yourself, you should take advantage of every vehicle available to you. You just don’t know where you will find an audience. Consider having your own radio show as part of your marketing strategy
Want to learn more? Blog Talk offers a variety of articles to help you get started.
The Social Media Examiner offers a radio show about starting a radio show.
Finally, here is a short video offering tips on starting your radio show by Click for Clients.