RADIO INTERVIEW 101 Why Smaller Stations Can Be Better
New for 2015: People who are trying to get interviews for the first time invariably want to start out on the "biggest" stations in the "biggest" cities. You can't blame these folks, because from the outside it does look as if that's the way to make the most things happen since these stations "reach the most people". But it's actually not the best way. Making things "happen", meaning sales, web hits, speaking engagements, etc., is not just a function of how many people you reach; it's also a function of how many TIMES you reach them, how LONG you are reaching them, and how much you SPEND reaching them. Take a look at the market (city) sizes here; the top 30 markets are considered "large"...
The situation can be compared to the opening of a new restaurant: The amount of profit you make is not just a function of how many people walk or drive by your location; it's also a function of how many TIMES they drive by (passing by just once would yield few customers,) how LONG they stay outside (such as at a traffic light), and how much you spend to put your restaurant there in the first place. So the idea of radio interviews is that you want to hit as many people as possible, several times, and do so for the least amount of money as possible. This leads us to smaller stations. Smaller stations/markets have advantages because:
o They are more likely to ask you back for additional interviews; most listeners need to hear something several times before they act... and this is how you make that happen.
o They are more likely to ask you to become a regular, i.e., every Tuesday at 2:00 pm. This sort of makes you a weekly guest, and many listeners will think you actually work at the station.
o They are more likely to have the receptionist give out your phone number to callers. Larger stations just have too much going on, and their receptionist (many times they are temps) are in constant change. Plus, large stations resist giving out "free" commercials to non-paying interview guests.
o They are more likely to put you on their website. Talk about a free plug! This would never happen at a big station.
o They are more likely to announce your website or phone number repeatedly during your interview. And more importantly, they are more likely to allow YOU to announce your site or phone number repeatedly (once you learn how to do it). This is crucial to getting traffic to your site, or getting phone calls for orders or price inquiries. Larger stations/shows (on average) will simply resist.
o They will more readily post their opinions of you in the radio discussion groups. Think radio people don't talk to each other?
o You'll stand out more as a pro speaker or expert, since larger stations in larger cities are already saturated with established speakers and experts. You want to be the biggest fish possible... that is, if you want to be hired.
o You'll reach a wider demographic of listeners, since smaller cities have fewer stations, and each station thus has a broader group of people listening.
o If you ever want to advertise, their advertising rates are less; bigger station ad rates are so high you probably would not be able to buy even a single commercial, much less the 20+ you would need every week to sell your offering properly.
o They may offer to keep doing give-aways of your product (i.e., free on-air promotion) for several days after your interview. This will NEVER happen on a large station.
o They are far more likely to take a syndicated show from you, should you ever promote one to them. You only stand a chance of starting syndication in smaller markets, anyway.
o Very important: They will allow your interview to be LONGER. This means the audience gets more involved, and you'll get to announce your contact info many more times. The MORE minutes you are on, the better, and once you've gotten past the 15 minute barrier, you know you are doing good. 30 minutes on a medium station will give you far, far more results that 3 minutes on a large station.
o Most important: They are FAR easier and quicker to book interviews with in the first place, because they get FAR fewer people trying to book them. So you (or the person/firm you hire for booking) is going to have a much easier and less costly time setting up your interview schedule.
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