Small Business Trends Radio

How To Best Market Your Small Business

Marketing: Reach, Frequency and Awareness. The fastest venue to reach large numbers of ears and eyeballs is to mention your small business on radio and TV.

Everyone who pines to be on radio or TV wants to “be something” or “do something.” But usually if you want to do something for your company, you must be somebody. And shamelessly self-promote.

Just like Carly Fiorina from HP…

(…oh…nevermind…)

The large number of talk shows, pod-casts, radio and TV have created an exploding demand for on-air experts. Talented talking heads.

Tammy Haddad is the executive producer of MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews and was recently quoted in The Wall Street Journal about her work in picking talent.

A few months ago, Charmaine and I visited Tammy in her beautiful Georgetown home in Washington, D.C.. She put up a tent in her back yard and had a few of her closest A listers over for an off the record party. OTR. Which means I couldn’t talk about what Micheal Barone said about CNN nor who Chris Matthews was talking to. Contacts connected. Deals got done. (All I got done there was to get confused. Hint: When talking to Morgan Fairchild look at her eyes, gentlemen, her eyes.)

Tammy had advice for ‘talking head’ wanna be’s. (And who wouldn’t wanna be?)

Jeffery Zaslow wrote America’s Next Top Pundit, What does it take to be a talking head for The Wall Street Journal and explains,

Every morning, Tammy Haddad…hears from more than 100 aspiring commentators. They each explain why they’d be the perfect guest to spout off on the issues of the day. “We call them ‘street meat,’ ” says Ms. Haddad. “They’re always available, walking the streets, waiting for your call on their cellphones.”They are the minor-league pundits …using 21st-century stunts to troll for airtime. … And many are turning to media advisers … where they learn new rules of engagement, …The ploys can work, as networks like CNN regularly survey the field, looking for new contributors.

…A-list pundits make thousands of dollars per show. In lieu of payment B-listers receive coffee mugs with a show’s logo.

We have a shelf full of logo’ed coffee mugs…in the basement.

But you, the small business owner need to be on radio and TV to flog, to promote your product and service.

Here’s how to start:

1) Get under an umbrella. Join a group of recognized experts. Get yourself invited to serve on a board of directors or advisors of your local favorite non-profit and business association. Then volunteer to be the spokesman. Join and volunteer for your local chamber of commerce.

2) Write a article for your local business monthly magazine or newspaper. And interview key business leaders in town. You then might get asked to comment on-air. For instance, I recently did a series on Rotorary and its corporate governance.

3) Start with local and not so local radio talk shows on weekends. For example, go smooze Sue Tovey at Catapult Your Career.

4) Become a deep expert in a narrow field, then mission creep away from your expertise. What box do you fill, what do you wish your business to be known for? Like a hedgehog: know a lot about a single topic. Generalists don’t get called.

5) Write a blog and a book. Then your publicist will flog you and the book. So that your name will show up in a Google search. A lot. Your book won’t sell much and will soon go out of print. But your authorship and introduction is forever. Ladies and Gentlemen, Here’s Small business owner Mr. Big Ideas, author of Small Business Trends. (Book titles cannot be copywrite protected; apologies to Anita Campbell.)

6) Find a friend. Network. The WSJ speaks of “three dozen donuts” delivered to bookers to be remembered. Hokie, but memorable. Remember not all advertising must be good to be remembered. Just remembered.

(I wish someone would send me three dozen donuts.)

Professional Public Relations should be a component of your marketing department or outsourced. Kristi Hamrick, about the best in the business says, “To get on air, somebody has to bird dog the bookers.” You, the small business owner, better be too busy, and are far too important to be your own flack. Not unlike a representing your self in court. A lawyer with a fool for a client.

Have your secretary or marketing pro’s make the calls — they’re not busy anyway.

7) Keep your day job.

And finally, be sure to alert your company and others when your big show biz break breaks.

And let me know how it goes. I’ll be cheering for you.

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