What do you think people look for in a radio show?

The answer is not very different than what people look for in a relationship. A radio show is a relationship between the host and the listener.  The listener wants predictability, and consistency.

They want to know that each time they tune into a show, the host’s views will be similar, and the topics and themes consistent. If it is a sports show they want (and have tuned into), then the topics better be sports.  The host will discuss last week’s game, the team starters, or what trade the team will make.

Communication experts have indicated a person typically decides if they like someone else within the first 7 seconds of meeting them. The same is likely to be true for listeners tuning into your show (though probably will give you 5 minutes). Based on this, your audience will decide very quickly if they wish to keep listening, or change the station.

The structure of the show and the main theme need to be consistent – consistent to who you want to listen. Your show cannot be about everything, because then it will be very tough to attract ongoing listeners. You pick a theme (sports, politics, finance, etc.), and then every show, every week covers topics in that genre. If the audience cannot identify and size up your show quickly, they tune out.

The guests, topics, event stories all should relate to the same topics. A finance show does not have an actor as a guest. A sports show does not discuss the political elections. A host makes a promise in the start of the show of what the show will deliver - the topics, guests, or education. All of these relate to the theme.

The introduction to your show should be brief and the theme of the show clearly stated. For example, if the title of your show is the ‘Stock Power Hour’, the show open could state - “Welcome to the Stock Power Hour, giving listeners the best advice on how to pick stocks every week. Here’s your host Chuck Smith.”

As soon as listeners here the show open, they know what they are getting. The host’s monologue repeats the theme, and discusses the particular show’s topics. The show outline should be structured to be predictable from week to week with similar topics.  The guests who appear on your show should be similar to your show’s theme. A finance talk show would have an advisor as a guest.

What topics does the audience expect to hear? What are their relevant questions? You can go to Google Trends and search topics / stories that are popular for ideas and topics. If your topic is health – go to Google Trends and look up health topics in the news or what people are searching for. Create segments within a show i.e. providing a trading tip of the week.

Now that the premise of the show is established, you can make minor adjustments to the show. If the theme is finance and money, you can discuss political topics that relate to your theme. This could be taxes, or tariffs.

It is also helpful to create a character within your niche topic. That does not mean you have to actually create a character, or be a character (does not hurt sometimes). Just that you understand you are playing a radio host or a health radio host, and understand the expectations the listening audience will have.

A good call to action (CTA) is needed in your show.  People want to join a cause they care about it (be a part of the tribe). Ever notice that fitness people are way into fitness? They buy certain food, exercise equipment, and even adjust their lifestyle to their passion. This is an opportunity to gain a particular following if you actually understand a niche and can talk their language.

Now, do not forget to thank your audience after every show, and let them know you appreciate their support. Give out your contact information, website, and social media if they have further questions or want to reach out to you. Even better if you have a way to stay in contact, like an email list, newsletter, social media, etc. that they can subscribe and learn more.  

There are links within this blog for more helpful tips. Good luck with your show.

We write this blog to help small business owners with their dilemmas, because that is what who we are, and those are our clients.


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