Remember the good ole days when all you had to do was bring an apple to the teacher to get a positive response and lots of attention? As part of your book marketing strategies, you may have to draw on that similar aspect of first “pleasing” others to gain what you want… especially if your goal is to get on Talk Radio!
We are all so connected to our laptops and iPads these days that the shift to Internet based Talk Radio is a natural; it is also a huge opportunity to deliver your message to a very wide audience – finding the best listener to match your message. The key is knowing how to get on the air! The following tips will head you in the right direction as you use proven book marketing strategies to gain powerful author’s publicity and PR.
- Clearly define your audience and your message. As an author, without this clarity you won’t know who you will be directing your message to, how you can plan to meet their expectations, or how to tie your message to some current event.
- Write a powerful “pitch.” Before you can sell yourself to an audience, you must first be able to get the attention of talk show hosts. They will expect this to focus on the issue about which you have developed your expert status – or the problem that you work to resolve. They will also want to know that you can inform and entertain their audience. Your credibility and mastery of your topic is vital, but it will always take second place to the topic. The trick… learn how to pitch the segment you wish to be on (rather than yourself) and your host will find you a worthy ally.
- Write to get some attention! The headline will always be your most powerful tool. If you don’t grab the reader in those first few seconds… if that headline is not enticing to the host – there isn’t much hope you will get an invitation. It has to be something the host knows will captivate their audience. Keep the pitch clearly focused on the subject matter and include 5-10 questions you would like to have the host ask you. Include a short but enticing bio, as well.
- Discover the hot topics. Once you have learned how to manage these first three tasks, the next critical step is to make sure you can tie your message to some current newsworthy news. Get into the habit of following the news – life is about current events; that are where you will find the buzz and learn to be creative about packaging your message to fit the news. Listen to network and able news channels, read newspapers and websites, and monitor what’s happening in talk radio – pay attention to what is getting all the attention! It is how you relate your product or service to current hot topics that will make the difference in your being attractive as a talk radio guest. Since there will always be a bit of “yellow journalism” to deal with – take advantage of it; controversial topics, big names, big money and relationships all offer that tantalizing spin that keeps the audience connected.
- Use the right contact information. Take a little extra time to try to get as close as you can in connecting directly to the show host. Each journalist or host normally has a particular topic area they tend to bring to the world; it is an area where over the course of time they have developed their own level of mastery and use their guests to reveal that fact. The closer you can get to a direct connection to the host, and appeal to their ego, the more likely you will be selected as a guest. Take a few extra minutes viewing the website for the right contact person, and, if possible do a quick search to find something personal about that host.
- Keep your contact personal and your pitch easy to find. The personal information you were able to glean about the host will serve you well if you can use it to acknowledge their current level of mastery and passion for the topic you hope to discuss. Once they discover that “like-mindedness” reading your pitch will be a natural for them. Two more key points: 1) Use this introduction to tell the producer why your topic is a perfect fit for the show and what you know the audience will be interested in – or gain from – your conversation on the show; 2) Make it easy for the contact to read your information by pasting it directly into the body of the email.
- Plan to spend some time on the phone. After the pitch has been emailed, schedule time to call the producer to confirm receipt of your email and to clarify any questions there may be. Keep a cool head during this conversation – focusing on expanding your pitch to sell the host on how you can help make it a great show and wow their audience!
I trust you will find this to be a great starting point to getting invited as a guest on many future Talk Radio shows. Keep in mind, however, that nothing happens until you take action! With that in mind, I would love your feedback about which, if any, of these tips will have inspired you to take action.