(By Loyd Ford) Chances are, if you do a morning show anywhere in 2019, you want to be the best you can be. That’s admirable. You want to be number one (or maybe you’re fortunate and you already are). I’m amazed that the thing you hear most often with morning shows at all levels, if they are not number one in a market but focused on getting there, is: “That show (a competitor) is awful. We are much better. We should be crushing them.” My response is always the same thing to statements like this. “Oh, you think it is about being great or being better than them? It isn’t.”
It’s about connecting with the “life group” that likes the radio station your show airs on and becoming famous for something. Music artists work with the same scalable problem. Before they are famous they want people to listen to their music and come see their shows. Well, you may be the best singer in the world and never become famous. The same is true for morning shows, so establishing that connection with audience is the real job. Here are five ideas to jumpstart your quest to become more famous and connected right where you are today.
- Pay special attention to emotion on your show and in your social media and be authentic. People crave authenticity and gravitate to it today more than ever. Believe it or not, people are often looking for a tribe to belong to and being emotionally connective and authentic is a great way to consistently pick up new listeners.
- Use social media to get visual and to create back and forth conversation with your fans. A lot of people think social media is all about them and their show. Uh, no. It’s about your listeners. We all know that visuals work. If you and your on-air tribe are fun or funny, start experimenting with video. If you are really good at emotion, experiment with video. If you are a good writer, use fewer words (today) and great visuals and get busy connecting. But in anything you do don’t forget that sharing in social media is about them. Keep an eye on your social and comment on them, connect with them, brag on them, thank them for sharing with you. Value them, make it clear and make it public.
- Develop skills and a system for going to speak in front of local groups and always include an invitation to join you tomorrow morning for a specific reason that relates to that group. There are always places where you can speak. Learn to tell stories that reflect your authenticity and go tell them to connective groups of all kinds in your market with regular consistency. And don’t forget to include that invitation to join you tomorrow morning and make that invitation about them.
- If your company allows, consider developing a podcast focused on something of value to your local audience. Please be careful to note I am not suggesting you just jump right into it. Do some research, think about the audience you most want to attract to your morning show and how that marries well with the overall radio brand where your show airs. Think about a sticky way to collect a large tribe of people interested in a specific subject and get rolling.
- Whatever you do, your number one goal should be to develop individual ideas and content that will make you famous in your home market. Are you working on making yourself famous? Is your programmer working to help you figure out how to become famous? Are you consistently thinking about your most unique qualities and working to develop content that will encourage fame? It takes time for people to discover new things, become comfortable with something new and develop new habits. They must have a really good reason to lean into your show.
We are in a business that is by its very nature public. The great news is this isn’t brain surgery. If you mess up or you don’t perfect it, next break, next hour, or tomorrow is a new opportunity. Practice makes perfect, right? Trust me, if you do a morning show or you are on the air anywhere, you are in the business of becoming famous, and doing that right will make you very successful in this business.
Loyd Ford has worked as a programmer in markets across the U.S. and spent over a decade working as a ratings strategist for Americalist Direct Marketing. He runs his own pure play digital platform and has a podcast. Reach him at Rainmaker Pathway; 864.448.4169 or Ford@RainmakerPathway.com.