Using radio to brand youArticle added by Joe Bayliss on December 20, 2011
Shell Beach, CA
Joined: February 09, 2012
Ranked: #110 (368 pts)
You don’t need to have a voice like Wolfman Jack to be effective on the radio. You need to know your business. You need to be relatable. And you need to have good content. That’s what matters most.
I have to confess, I love radio. But it’s for good reason. First and foremost, I know it works. I can point to example after example of top-producing advisors all across the country who use a radio show as the marketing engine that drives their business. And it drives it in a big way.
It’s hard to argue with that kind of success. A radio show also gives you instant credibility — after all, you’re the expert and that’s why you have your own radio show. And finally, I love it because a radio show is content. It’s not 30- or 60-second commercials that are shouting at me — that’s just advertising. A show is content, and content is king.
The bottom line is this: Radio can be a game-changer for building your own personal brand. But over the past several months, dozens of advisors have asked what I think about running a syndicated radio show in their market. This is where someone else does the radio show instead of you in your local city or town. You either pay “x” amount per lead or are guaranteed so many leads per week in exchange for writing your business through a particular IMO.
I can just hear someone touting this concept as the greatest thing since sliced bread. At first glance, the benefits seem great. A professional radio voice talking about retirement in your market. You don’t have to take the time to prepare for a show and every week, leads magically show up in your inbox.
I’ll tell you what I think. I think this is a really bad idea. And here’s why.
You’re selling an intangible. You aren’t selling me a house. You aren’t selling me a car. You aren’t selling me the latest version of the iPhone. You are selling you. Yes, you. If I don’t like you, but I want to buy that iPhone, it doesn’t matter because in the end I get my new iPhone. Thanks for the iPhone. Have a nice life.
But in the case of selling me insurance, an annuity, a retirement plan or whatever it is you’re selling, it’s an intangible. And if I don’t like you then I’m not going to buy anything from you. I certainly don’t want you to manage my finances or deal with you in the future.
But if I like you; if I think you’re smart; if I think you put my interests first; if I trust you; etc., then I’m probably going to buy something from you. In the end, know and believe that I’m buying you.
So when you pay to put someone else on the radio on your behalf, and then all of a sudden you call me out of the blue, well, there’s a disconnect. Who are you? You’re not the guy I listen to every week on the radio. You’re not the guy who I think is smart and makes a lot of sense about retirement.
You’re just some random guy following up on a lead. And by the way, you just paid a lot of money to build someone else’s brand in your own back yard. If something should go awry with that, you’re SOL because those leads will simply be turned over to some other advisor.
This doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. You aren’t building your own brand.
“But Joe, I don’t have a good radio voice!”
“But Joe, I don’t have the time to do my own radio show.”
“But Joe, I don’t think I would be very good on the radio.”
I’ve heard all of these excuses. First, you don’t need to have a voice like Wolfman Jack to be effective on the radio. You need to know your business. You need to be relatable. And you need to have good content. That’s what matters most.
Yes, I understand some people may not have the chops to do their own show. You may not have the time to do your own show. I get this. But it may not be as difficult as you think.
With a little coaching and a few tricks of the trade, you might be surprised how easily a show can come together. Plus, there’s more than one way to skin a cat. There are other ways to use the medium of radio and build your own personal brand without buying a 60-minute show. And no, it’s not by buying 30- or 60-second commercials, either.
Because you’re selling an intangible, building your own brand is everything. And building your own brand extends far beyond what you do or don’t do with a radio marketing platform. It could mean taking an active role in your local community. Volunteering for a non-profit organization. Going to church. Coaching youth sports. Being a big brother or big sister.
It’s being a productive member of your community. This is what builds your brand (and your practice) for the long haul.
So if I’m in your shoes, the choice is quite simple. I choose to invest in building my own brand. I’m not going to waste my hard-earned marketing dollars building someone else’s brand in my own backyard. Why would I do that?
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