I consistently hear industry vets who are having a hard time finding their way complain about the “new” industry and a desire to go back to the industry from 20 years ago. I rarely say anything until now. I just don’t agree. While radio vets talk about a desire to return to the old industry I never hear record label people express those same sentiments. Everything is and has always been about progression in the industry. To date, I’ve been working in the industry for three decades and while the industry, mostly radio, has had it’s ups and downs… working in the industry is STILL great. As a matter of fact I love it even MORE now. I not only embrace chance I encourage it and don’t have a problem learning something new. I think this is what keeps the industry exciting. What’s so great about the new industry? Many things but here are just a few. Let me know if you agree or agree (no typo there). Click “NEXT” above or below for next segment
Social Networking is not just a great opportunity for established artists, it’s an even better concept for emerging artists and industry pros. Not many industry pros use it because many, especially in radio, don’t see the advantage yet. BUT I have talked to many programmers who want a greater presence on social networking platforms. As they should. Running a picture of yourself with a celebrity is just not enough to garner new fans and NEW likes, people want to know WHO you are WHAT you do and they want to see the human side of you. Most industry pros don’t quite get it or have to produce it. Thus, there is an opportunity to create a great small business for the savvy social networking entrepreneur that comes from the industry here. The best social net pro for industry pros needs to BE an industry pro. Whenever there are opportunities for industry entrepreneurship I get very excited. EVERYTHING is about promotion today.
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My favorite word in business. When you have it USE IT! It’s just like a bank account. When you have a zero balance you have zero leverage. Newer jocks and industry people are wise enough to use their leverage WHILE they are working. When they post on social networks like Instagram they post an explanation with the picture. For example, they post something you didn’t know about themselves or the celebrity when they post the picture instead of just posting the picture and their names. If there is one thing I have learned you NEVER know who is watching but someone is ALWAYS watching. Not to sound paranoid but it’s the simple truth. So you might as well put your best foot forward. I have seen MANY and I mean MANY vets miss the opportunity by thinking their job would last forever and they were just too good to post to the networks. They got caught off guard when they got fired. It is worth your while to take a piece of your salary and INVEST in YOURSELF, that means investing a small amount for a larger return. Get someone to help you promote your (quality) brand. EVERYTHING is about branding in today’s industry. I’m seeing many jocks on local and national TV, some are hosting their Wednesday night Empire parties in various markets and many are using social networking platforms to promote everything they are doing. You’d better find the best way to promote YOURSELF WITH the station instead of JUST the station and if you can promote YOURSELF first. You may need that gig if (I mean) WHEN the station dumps you to move on. Click “NEXT” above or below for next segment
Who would have thought 20 years ago artists didn’t have to go broke producing and marketing their own product? Using dirty promoters who took their money and ran and ending up with nothing? Now they can do it practically for FREE by generating a buzz for their product. The iPhone and iPad have become superpowers in the tech world as complete albums, Voiceover projects, Soundtracks, Online TV shows and Movies are being done on iPhones and iPads today and the quality is superb. You can literally take your studio with you wherever you go and spend a LOT less money on it. Technology continues to be impressive and quite amazing. Click “NEXT” above or below for next segment
Radio No Longer has the Final Say
Commercial radio may still be the behemoth for now but corporations like iHeartMedia and CBS are no fools, they SEE the future and they are embracing the changes by rebranding their companies to compete. Streaming companies, independent labels and artists and even future jocks are generating their own audience online “creating their own LEVERAGE” to be picked up by the majors. I know several major market PDs who are looking, as you read this, for fresh jock talent online. I’m talking those with NO on air experience. The key to any business success is to bring the audience because leverage is not always about money. It will be interesting to see if the current concept of radio will continue to lead the in the industry in the near future. If streaming continues to grow, there are two things commercial corporations are going to have to consider eliminating: commercial or jocks. Which do you think will go first? Certainly NOT the money. Jocks need to be utilizing every opportunity to expand their brand not just in the market they work in but beyond. Click “NEXT” above or below for next segment
Fat and/or Average Looking Singers No Longer Shunned
20 years ago if a female singer was fat, her album cover was relegated to a head shot and the ability to market her was nil. That should have never been the case. Unfortunately many of these women ended up suffering from low self-worth as they had never been heard first. One has to wonder if the audience ever really gave a damn as shows like American Idol and America’s Got Talent have had some of the most unorthodox singers place in the history of music. Susan Boyle would have been escorted out by security if she had come up to audition for a label 20 years ago but today’s technology and audience-driven opportunities have all but shut those previous concepts down. Click “NEXT” above or below for next segment.
The Middleman is Dying
I have never been a fan of individual marketing companies or middlemen. As another entrepreneur stated to me the other day, they pimp your business out and kill opportunities by overpricing your product so they can get a bigger cut. Whenever I have worked with them they either are usually not equipped to market to certain audiences, they always cry broke and/or they lock corporations into agreements that give them carte blanche as to how they spend the corporation’s money. They are going to spend less with each company because they have their favorites and they want to stretch the now limited budget to impress the client when out of 20 companies only 3 actually deserve the account. In addition, marketing companies get a huge chunk of the pie for work they often fail to do… reach the target! What major marketing company or talent agency for example, would have EVER hired James Wright (pictured) to promote Patti LaBelle pies? I cannot think of one but look what happened sans the middleman. The rest is history. Now watch how many other black celebs come out with a food line and promote it online WITHOUT a marketing company. (Promotions is different, I have no thing against promotions companies) Click “NEXT” above or below for next segment
A Successful Industry is a Progressive One
I’m a middle-aged man but I LOVE technology, growth and opportunity most important I LOVE to embrace change. We have an amazing run in the industry over the 30 years that I have been in it (I cannot believe I have been in the industry that long) but the vets used to tell me when I was a young’en… the industry is just like a record it goes round and round. While they may mean to some that what goes around comes around, it also means the record plays going forward and it is progressive in the process. Click “NEXT” above or below for next segment
I was on this for the last five years. I kept warning jocks that it was going to explode and to stop begging radio corporations for a part time gig and create their own Podcast. I even tried to put one together myself with a team of industry pros but it’s damn near impossible to get a team of podcasters on the same page but I still love them all to death. I started doing it myself per the advice of an industry friend and one of the shows I did myself generated over 140,000 plays which was the best ratings out of all of them. Now I get a lot of request for guests to be on the show and my friend was right. In all over 500,000 plays of the RFFocus Podcast. That is literally a small to mid market radio station. It’s still difficult to get advertisers to see the benefit but I see now that other radio corporations and industry sites have now jumped on board. It pains me to see that people who actually had the experience and communication skills allowed complete amateurs to take over the trend. I am currently working on selling my successful podcast to an advertiser.
Notice that I used all 6 of the segments I explained in this story to promote my own Podcast?
- Social Networking – This post will go out in an email blast and forward to several social networking sites all day Monday.
- Self Promotion – “The RFFocus Podcast” and “…over 500 Plays.” There is a good chance someone reading this will see the value of advertising. There is a link to the podcast in the story, in this segment and on the image.
- Digital Technology – Podcasting is a form of digital technology.
- Ahead of the Curve – Podcasting is going to get even bigger in the near future. Currently one of the most successful Podcasts is NPR and Adam Corolla who ironically was fired from a radio station in LA and converted his garage into a studio. He has been supremely dedicated to hosting his show and is now one of the top earners in the game.
- Leverage and Marketing without the Middleman – Who is best suited to sell YOU than YOU?
- Progressive – I’m not selling 45s, even thought I have recycled a couple of record players from the 60s and made a great profit.