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RADIO INTERVIEW 101 Radio Referrals to Press, Speaking Engagements, and Retail

After your interviews are underway, there are some very useful things that you can use the stations for while you are still promoting yourself to them. Amazingly, these techniques sometimes actually work better with smaller stations, especially non-commercial public and college stations, than with the large commercial stations that everyone always wants. These techniques can also work quite well with stations that have not even interviewed you yet, just so long as they are familiar with your topic/angle.

Besides radio, there are three other main parts to marketing yourself... press, speaking and retail... which can be quite difficult for a new author, expert, or website owner to get started. But fortunately, radio can be used to get these areas going, by using radio referrals. Here's how it works; we'll start with radio referrals to press...

After the stations have been contacted for several weeks, and thus they are aware of (and hopefully considering interviewing) you, they can be asked what local magazines, newspapers or websites they would recommend that you should be reviewed in. Since the people at the station reside in the station's local area, and since these folks are involved heavily in their locals happenings, they are the perfect people to tell you where to try to get reviewed. And of course, these station people are going to be looking forward to reading these reviews that they helped set you up with.

Then there is speaking. Same process: After the stations are aware of (or are interviewing) you, the stations are asked what venues or businesses you could be booked at in the stations' local areas. With non-commercial college stations, some of the places might even be on campus; this is an advantage for the right kind of speaker since college venues sometimes pay more than venues off campus. Another plus for referrals to college venues is that sometimes the college stations can participate in promoting the engagement for free.

Lastly, there is retail. Not recommended unless you already have the speaking and the press working, because retail is the most difficult to do. But for those that do want to get radio referrals to retail... the process is the same, except that the stations are asked for mom-and-pop retail stores that are friendly to consignment. (It's above the level of this article to talk about getting real product distribution.)

College and community station people are unpaid, and thus they work jobs in their communities. So not only do these folks provide much knowledge of what's available in their town, sometimes they are the same people that you need to talk to at the stores, companies, or venues in the first place. Same goes for smaller commercial stations in smaller markets... they are more connected with their community, and thus their referrals are more powerful.

What do you do with the referrals once you get them? Try this: If Bob at WXYZ says he recommends that you speak at the Rotary, then you call up the Rotary and say, "You know the radio station WXYZ there in your town?... Well Bob over there has been considering interviewing me, and he said that I should call you up since you might be interested in booking me to speak. Would you like a kit to review?" It works great.

For press, it's "you might be interested in reviewing our book/site/topic." For retail, it's "you might be interested in consigning our type of product."

Either way, one thing is very important: Once you have the referrals, you have to use them right away. One of the reasons the referrals are being given to you is because the station people want to feel they are making something happen for you. If nothing happens, they feel let down.

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