(By Jeff Dauler) With all of the iHeart changes this week, and my recent experiences, I wanted to offer some thoughts to the dislocated air talent who are looking for “what’s next.” And, because I doubt this is the last of days like this, I would suggest anyone currently employed check this list as well. ESPECIALLY if you have longevity in a market. Your audience has value!
Do all of this ASAP.
#1 — Button up your social media. Whatever site you’re most active on, get more active and stay active there. And use any other social that you have to redirect to that one page. Don’t try to keep up with FB, IG, Tik Tok, Snapchat, whatever. Master and manage one, and the others should all easily point there.
#2 — Recruit your audience to give you their contact info. Use Google forms or Survey Monkey or Typeform to collect email addresses and mobile numbers. Ask people to tell their friends. Be relentless. It’s not expensive or difficult to use FB and IG ads that are targeted to your audience that say “do you want to know where Donnie Dislocated will end up next? Give me your email address and you’ll find out before anyone else.”
#3 — Get in the habit of daily updates to your audience that correlate to the time you were on the air. Post an IG story each afternoon at 4 p.m. if you were on during PM drive. Do a 10-minute FB live at 7:30 a.m. if you did mornings. If you were part of people’s routines, stay there in some form. Keep this up. BE CONSISTENT.
#4 — If you had good relationships with any local clients, reach out to them to say thank you. Tell them you appreciated their support and promise that you will let them know what’s next as soon as you know.
#5 — Lift up others. Band together and be a unit. In radio, you “won” if you beat the guy down the street. Everything depended on being number one. In podcasting, it’s not like that. Everyone can claim a piece of the pie. You don’t have to be number one. You don’t even have to be on a chart. If you have an audience, you can make money. And for that reason, your former competition is now your friend. You’re all in the ocean and the Titanic is sinking. Don’t be a Rose, let Jack share that board.
#6 — You do NOT have to launch a podcast/YouTube channel/whatever tomorrow. It’s actually better if you wait. Gather your audience. Take a few deep breaths; relax for a minute.
#7 — When you are ready to launch, do a countdown. Drive your audience to the day and time of show number one. Stay consistent with your output. Study and appreciate the differences between podcasting and radio and adapt your content.
Yes, there are close to a million pods available. But 99% of those are being created by people who have no experience in audio entertainment. You’re already in the top 1% in experience. Do not be afraid of a crowded field.
Getting fired is a shock and it sucks. I’m sorry you’re dealing with it. I’m happy to offer some pointers to you IF you’re looking at podcast-related options. I’m making a living at it less than a year after losing my job. A GOOD living. If I can help you, let me know.