Once they have a clear and established brand identity that clearly communicates who they are and what problem they can help their market with, one of the things we do for our clients, if they’re interested, is to get them media interviews, both in print and on television and radio. This is one strategy we use to help our clients drastically widen their reach.
But they soon realise that being on the radio is not enough. Because the radio station is not directly interested in promoting their business. The radio station have their own agenda – they want engaging content for their listeners so that their listeners will choose to listen, in order that the station can sell advertising.
So, for example, one of our clients is a personal trainer. And they now regularly get calls from a certain national radio station to take part in panel chats on various subjects. We can imagine that as if our client is addressing an enormous room of half a million people, who will hear what they are saying.
In amongst those 500,000 people, there are likely to be some who are looking to lose weight or get in shape: people who our client could help.
But when you’re listening to the radio, it’s like you’re hearing one half of a conversation and you do not have the power to take part. So unless our client speaks in a way that helps those interested people get in contact, going on the radio isn’t likely to benefit their business. Simply being regularly featured on a radio station isn’t enough.
We see it as part of our job, therefore, to teach our clients how to talk on the radio in way that will maximise the chances of it yielding new clients for them.
The rules of doing an interview that isn’t directly about you and your business is that you have to talk about whatever the subject of conversation is. You cannot hijack the conversation and make it about you.
Your objective is to make sure that the audience know who you are – your name – and what you do. With that information, or even just part of that information, they can go to Google. If we’ve done our job right, they’ll find you.
It is likely that at the beginning of the interview or discussion, you will be introduced to the audience by the presenter. But on live radio, if somebody isn’t really listening, they can’t rewind. They have to hope you mention it again. Your job is to mention your name and what you do as frequently as you reasonably can, without it sounding weird or forced.
There are several ways to do this.
Let’s suppose our client, the personal trainer – we’ll call him Josh – has been asked to take part in a discussion about Christmas.
Let’s suppose the question is “Josh, what’s your favourite thing about Christmas?”
Josh could answer, “I love the food – which, me being a personal trainer, might surprise you. But I just love Christmas food…” He can then elaborate on this from the heart and talk about his love of Christmas food.
Having mentioned that he’s a personal trainer may organically redirect the conversation to something like weight gain. That’s ideal for Josh to get air time. And Josh could then mention that he teaches his clients how to enjoy Christmas food without them gaining weight.
But even the conversation stays on its original track, our audience heard ‘Josh’ and ‘personal trainer’ and they know what radio station they’re listening to. That’s enough to go to Google with.
See how that works?
It’s probably worth saying at this point that we are not advising or recommending that our clients lie. Being genuine is the very foundation of being a personal brand. If you’re caught lying, it’s pretty much brand suicide. At worst, you’re not trustworthy, at best you’re fake. Neither is good. But, nonetheless, the above is an example of how to package a response to an apparently unrelated question to use it as a marketing strategy.