If being a great morning show was so easy, program directors would do it. Right? It’s tough to be excellent, but providing your morning show for your listeners isn’t just about excellence. It’s about being able to connect and grow fame within the morning show choices listeners have in your market today. It’s also about creating satisfaction and growing the appropriate audience based on market usage.
- Know Who You Are Talking To In The Morning
Think about how people choose your station and your show. Sometimes people miss this step and it is a big part of making sure you have a deeper opportunity to be more successful. There is a life group that loves your radio station and the music on your station. I would encourage you to zero in on content that is most interesting to the people most likely to identify with your radio brand at different times during the show.
- You Be You
No matter what you do, don’t just accept anything as a part of your show. You have a voice and a uniqueness. Be yourself. Be authentic. Try to communicate your values and don’t sacrifice them to try to get a temporary advantage. People have a strong ability to sense the non-authentic. Great music artists have an authentic voice and a vision. You should have those things, too. My mother has always said, “There can only be one you.” She was giving great advice: Be yourself.
- Always Elevate Presentation & Sound
The bar is so high across the much wider variety of competition we face today. This puts a premium on the presentation elements of how we produce a great morning show. We work in sound. Great morning shows present. They don’t just perform. It all starts with excellent planning. Consistently work on how you present your content and the sound elements required to make your show sound completely unique from anything else listeners could choose. Focus on creating opportunities that elevate your fame. Don’t be afraid to experiment with sound and new elements to elevate and keep things interesting for existing listeners and fast-capture new audience.
- Reduce, Edit, & Sharpen
While there is sometimes controversy over whether someone’s child has attention deficit disorder, trust me when I say in today’s American society EVERYONE has it. How many seconds do you have to grab someone’s attention? It’s probably less than you and I think today. Is it important to create “hooks” to your content? You bet it is. Songwriters do this all the time. The great storytellers do this, but they also consistently look for ways to edit and sharpen their material so they can connect faster. This is a big part of doing the job. It’s part of why great morning show talent is great. They know how to emote and connect more directly, often with fewer words. Frame what you are talking about rapidly. People are busy in the morning. Sharpen your skills daily to make your show more catchy, more hooky, and more salient to the audience you most want to attract.
- What Is Your Low Ride Out?
Think about the content you choose to put together your morning show and try to develop a system where you bring new things to the show so you can consistently eliminate the content you feel isn’t working as well. Disney used to call this the “low ride out” because they have always had a lot of real estate in Florida for Disney World, but they have also always been limited for Disneyland in California. When you have limited real estate (or time), developing a system where you consistently push the “low ride” out will make your show better, and I would encourage you to always work on content elements that could be added so you have fresh material to try out with your audience — regularly. After all, you want to connect and deliver a great morning show, but you also want to stay ahead of your competition by consistently freshening parts of your show.
- Have People You Admire & Use Them
Do you have a current morning show you admire? Do you watch TV morning shows and talk shows on demand? Can you learn something from how features are put together on shows on TV, Netflix, YouTube, and podcasts? Even the best morning shows continue to think about how their morning show should evolve. Time doesn’t stand still. Trends are important, but it’s also important — even when you are successful — to freshen your show’s elements to grow more audience opportunity for your show. Great ideas can come from anywhere.
- Know Usage In Your Market, Know Drive Times, Prepare To Manage Audience
We talked about this above, but it is truly important. Many talent think about their show as an entire show. Life rarely (or never) works like that. There is a real drive-time for your show’s fans each morning. There is a window for them at home (if you’re lucky), and there is a window for their time in the car or on the move. If you are really amazing at creating the right morning show for your market and your audience, you have a window to attach them to the station at work as well. You may want to do some informal research on top employers, shifts, and the flow of your market, if you haven’t already. You should think about these windows of time when people have access to radio, and make certain that you use multiple mentions for connecting people to your show’s elements and upcoming content, as well as major promotions and events important to your audience. Recycling should also be considered because of exchange of audience across time. We all want to win the whole show, but listeners should be able to grab on to what you are doing in any small segment of time.
It is a joy to work with talent focused on making what they do better, no matter what level of success they have achieved. If you coach a great morning show, the pressure is on you to serve them and help them elevate what will make them more famous, more connective, and a more special brand in your market. If you do a morning show today, you will be consistently judged by your contemporary environment. It’s always a good idea to value sharpening your show across time. Hopefully, thinking about these seven tips will help you and your morning show achieve more success (fame) and grow your show.
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.