(By Loyd Ford) In today’s world, radio personalities have to consistently build their value, value the local politics of their cluster and they should still put significant effort into building their personality brand. After all, doing all of these things may keep you employed and propel your career forward.
How do you build your brand in today’s busy world? (Because you will be hard pressed to find a broadcast company that will be interested in helping you do this).
- Know your audience and the audience of the brand or platform or platforms where you perform. Know who matters and focus on giving them what they most want. Go to your program director and ask about the audience. Take an active interest in dialing in your audience and what they value. Knowing them will make your on-air work more interesting for them.
- Decide who you want to be on the radio. This is especially true if you work on a morning show, but crafting your role is critical no matter what personality role you fill. Please don’t think that you are just an on-air personality. That is the path to ‘generic city.’ Unique personalities are the ones that have real value. While you may not think people in leadership positions are paying attention, the smart ones are watching. A talented personality who knows how to craft a powerful role for themselves is important.
- Choose your voice. What do you value and how do you make sure that gets on the air? If you do this well, you may be able to very successfully extend your value beyond your primary role so that you grow additional opportunities on other platforms or have different vehicles beyond over the air radio made available to you. This will happen because you are seen as a player with more value. Some personalities are getting major traction in podcasting because they are sharing what they value, they are being real and they have a point of view that is shared by others.
- Have goals and know where you want to go. You’ve heard it: If you don’t know where you want to go, you can end up anywhere. You don’t want to be that personality. Set goals, be specific about what you want and work toward it every day. Other competitors will fall away and you can rise to get the prize.
- Work to control the narrative. This is important in everyone’s career today. People who control the narrative move along the path a career they want and through troubled times with higher survival rates than those who don’t. If you don’t know what controlling the narrative is, start researching it right now and learn all you can about it. Politicians do it. Great lawyers do it. And if you want to be a great personality on the radio or elsewhere you must learn to be excellent doing it, too.
- Be very consistent if you truly want to win. Being consistent seems to be a lost art today. A lot of personalities simply think performances just happen. The great ones know you have to be consistent and you have to prepare all the time to be great. The great ones are always consistent and always prepared. That only comes from doing the work. Prep, practice and bring real value to your product. Mediocrity just happens.
- Look for important feedback. A compliment is easy to give and you learn little from it. Value having people in your life who will tell you the truth. Get a mentor who will challenge you.
- Always focus on how you are perceived and make sure you are connecting to real constituencies in your market. The old saying was, “Do your four and hit the door.” Today, if you want to get ahead, you have to work to show your value all the time. Connect with real people, groups, movements in your market. Motivated people can help propel your brand into other spheres of influence. That’s where growth comes from today. Some would call it building your tribe. The truth is the more connected you are in the market, the more valuable you are.
- Look for ways to step in front of parades, get on TV, contribute to other media, work to grow your online presence or even contribute to print. To truly grow your brand, you should always be interested in and working on ways to increase your visibility. Doing this regularly and growing your skill at this will help you arrive to higher levels in your profession. Highly visible and valuable personalities do not languish. Their brand grows and they move forward.
Being a truly big personality makes you valuable. Managing that growth is essential if you want to get ahead in these challenging times. Building a great personality brand doesn’t happen overnight.
Use these guidelines and show the people you work for that you will always do more, become more visible and be more valuable than others because you will do the work no one else will today. If you want to truly grow your brand, it will take consistent ‘gardening.’ No one else will do the work for you and there are no short cuts. The reward is that if you build a big enough brand, there are no limits to where it can take you.
Loyd Ford consults radio stations, coaches personalities, and provides behavioral and strategic programming to radio with RPC. Reach him anytime. 864.448.4169 or [email protected]