We continue our three part series on Podcasting: Dog Works Secrets. Read Part 1 and Part 2
Our numbers have increased steadily as time goes on. We have had over 100,000 downloads and over 400,000 profile views on just our Blogtalk page alone. Things increased multi-fold once we became a “featured” show on the platform.
A great show is just like the 1000s of others if your listeners can not find you. Did you know that there are millions of webpages that are never viewed by anyone?
Because they are not promoted. If you look at sites that have those little visitor widgets you will often see very low numbers (some times in the low 100s).
For example it took us almost two years before we made it to the first page of Google for our dog training school, Denver Dog Works. If a potential client searches: Dog Training Denver (the most popular keywords for the industry), our page will show up.
This promotion takes the most of my time for all of our endeavors. I spend at least 15 hours a week doing this. You could say that this is my primary job. Why do I spend this amount of time on this? Because if I don’t we will be out of business.
In December 2008 we were paying almost $1500.00 a month for a small yellow page ad in the Denver phone book. That is a lot of money. We had a decision to make. Either we continued to pay that or we did something different. We took a different route and it has paid off.
Now most of our marketing budget is spent on social media and the production of our radio shows not a little 4X4 ad in a phone book that is only reaching the population of metro Denver and that is only IF they use the phone book!
I could write a book on promotion of your shows (and your business) using social media and I am far from an expert but I do know what works for us.
If you want to make your radio show successful you must look at it as a business. I would suggest setting it up as such. Yes, this means a lot of hoops to jump through with the state, the IRS and every other Big Brother out there, but it will pay dividends in the long run.
If you just want to keep you radio show as just a hobby, you should have stopped reading this post a day or so ago.
One of the first things you should do before you even host your fist show is to secure the domain name for your show. If you don’t know by now, many of the best domains are already taken, so I would suggest you do this even before naming your show.
I use Godaddy.com for all of my domain management.
Example: http://www.YOURSHOWNAME.com. After you secure your domain name you can forward it to your show page on BlogTalkRadio or other platform and will make it easier to promote your show.
It is a lot easier to promote your show by saying: Billsradioshow.com instead of www.blogtalkradio.com/billsradioshow
Everybody is on Facebook these days. The new pharse is “Facebook me” instead of the old school, “call me”.
I can attest that Facebook and your radio show are instantly a great partnership. In the early days of our show I would often have 100+ friend requests after each show. I accpeted so many freiends that I am now close to the 5000 friend limit that Facebook has in place.
I suggest starting a Facebook fan page in the same name of your radio show page. You can see ours here: Dog Works Radio. This is a simple place to interact with your fans and listeners as well as post previous shows. I will admit that I dont work on my Dog Works Radio Facebook page as much as I should but I will get around to it.
The nice thing about BlogTalk Radio is it allows for integration with your Facebook page and will post new shows, announcements and more right to your Wall.
A recent statistic shows that only 0.6% of those online have a blog. Much fewer update it daily. I make sure I update my blog at least twice a day. I don’t just write about dogs but on a wide range of topics. I use my blog and my Facebook page to put a “face” to my shows and let my viewers/listeners know a little about who they are listening to.
I always write a post about a show as soon as it is aired with a synopsis of the show, a bio of the guests and quick link to the show itself.
On my blog you will often find me writing about: pop culture, the Iditarod, horror movies, sports, recipes, my travels, and of course dogs!
I am a twitter addict. I have updated my twitter account many times flying down the highway at 70 mph. I use twitter as my primary promotional tool for the radio shows on several different twitter accounts for maximum exposure. You can say a lot about your shows in 140 characters or less (and don’t forget to include the link to your show). If your guests have a twitter account make sure you list them in your post as well.
An example of a tweet for our show:
Listen to the Dog Works Radio Show Now: http://tinyurl.com/dogworksradio Today we interview @Micheleforto #dogs #pets
Follow us on Twitter:
I send out at least 10 tweets or updates for each show before and after it is aired. This is the nature of social media. On twitter it is a “right this second” mentality. If you post a show reminder or update at 30 minutes before air time, there is a good chance it is forgotten before your show actually airs. I spread my updates throughout a 24 hour cycle and at least one reminder to all of my followers to listen every day using a feature in Tweetdeck to schedule tweets in the future.
Comments are an important part of any social media campaign. Please remember that only a fraction of people comment on blogs, show, etc. It is like 1 in a 100. So don’t be discouraged if you don’t see a lot of comments.
A Typical Show
A lot of you have said: take me into the studio with you. Well it is not a studio per say. It is in my office space at my home in Alaska. I keep my equipment set up all the time. It is just too time consuming to unplug everything and hook it all up days later.
We usually record our shows on Sundays. We have found this is a good day for guests as well as Michele and I. The difference in time zones are sometimes an issue. We have recorded several shows with guests spanning four different time zones. A 2 PM time slot in Minnesota is 10 AM Alaska time.
With Michele co-hosting in Denver and me in Alaska with all the equipment she often calls in as a “guest” and she does the show over Skype.
At 30 minutes before air time I do a sound check, making sure nothing goofy is going on with any settings, the cords are in their right places and everything is loaded up right. I send a tweet announcing our show will be live in 30 minutes.
At 15 minutes to show time I call into the host queue and make sure the Skype and Internet connections are good to go. I test all of the sound bytes and go over any last minute questions I have for our guest. Also at this time Michele gives one final call to our guests to make sure everything is A-Okay and goes over any last minute instructions.
At 5 minutes to show time, the guest calls in and we test the connection. We ask that if at all possible to call in on a landline. We have had issues with dropped calls and background noise with cell phones.
I prepare one last tweet saying we are live now and set it in Tweetdeck for the top of the hour.
The show begins– the intro starts and Michele and all get each other up to speed about any news–we call it Bits and Bites. At about 5 after the hour we introduce our guest and they give a bio and we start the show.
The show is very laid back and we want to make our guests as comfortable as possible. We are a low key and laid back and let the show flow. We let the guests know that it is there show and they can talk about what they want.
At about 30 minutes past we take a short break and play messages from our sponsors.
We bring the show back in and do a re-cap of the first segment and continue with our guests.
The show ends (usually) after an hour and we close the show. Michele always does a follow up call to thank our guests and to get pertinent info for our show promotion such as websites, blogs, how to buy their book, etc.
If necessary I download the show into Garageband and edit.
I then have to re-air the show and erase the old “live” one from the playlist so that the new show will be “clean”
I write a blog post, tweet links and post the links to Facebook and other social media.
After about 3 to 4 hours our one hour show is in the books and then we start to work on the next one…
While we have a lot of exciting things in the works for our radio shows one of the most exciting is the offering of shows to other guests that we will produce under our brand. While people may wonder–why would I want to be under the Dog Works brand? It is simple, we have done 90% of the work for you and with that you can concentrate on hosting a great show!
The wave of the future is video. I am sure you know by now the popularity of YouTube has skyrocketed in recent years. Our plans include hosting the show live with a video feed so that people can watch us in the studio. I know this sounds a little corny to some but think about it– Howard Stern soared to popularity when his show aired on E! Television. While I don’t want to be Howard, I do want to take the show to the next level and that level is video!
With the adding of video we also plan to do more on-location events, expos, seminars etc. I have toyed with this idea for some time but just haven’t jumped in with both feet yet. What I envision is hosting the show live at an event with a big screen, a twitter feed and a panel discussion on the show. We can reach a world wide audience this way and it would be an interactive experience for all.
The only limitation for this is the cost of travel with all of the delicate equipment. Until we have the budget for a “road crew”, this idea is still in the works.
The Nuts and Bolts
As I have said over the last few days, we spend a lot of time, effort and money for our shows to be as successful as possible. Each show has an important place in our business and who we are.
Yes, you can cut corners and do it for less time and money but you know what they say about the cheap way out. When was the last time you bought a pair of running shoes from the big box department store and trained and ran an marathon? Exactly…
It costs us well over $300.00 a month to produce our shows and that does not including any of our time.
We have spent well over $3,0000 on equipment and that is a modest estimate.
I spend at least 25 hours just on the show. That includes promotion (of the show and our other businesses), preparing for the show itself, follow up, editing, and guests. This does not account for any of my co-host’s time. I also spend a lot of time reading future guests books. There is nothing worse than interviewing an author and never read their book.
400,000 page views, 100,000 downloads, 4737 Facebook friends, at least 7,000 followers on Twitter, 2 daily blog posts, at least 1 show a week, at least 400 tweets and 100 Facebook posts weekly.
I could be doing a lot more but hey, I am training to be a long distance musher too!
We welcome your comments and hope you will listen to our shows. Please me know if you have any questions.