Why Radio Personalities Need to Brand Themselves and Why Station Managers Should Encourage It.
If you want your voice to break through the noise, and into people’s souls (and support your family) you need to be about something that is unique to you. You need to build a personal brand that will draw in listeners and keep them engaged. It’s not just about what you say, but WHY you say it. It’s up to you to create an image of yourself that will set you apart from the competition and make sure that your audience is invested in not just your show, but your brand.
Unfortunately, in our genre this makes some program directors and general managers worry. It should not. In fact, it should be a requirement. In every other radio genre being your own brand is required. You are asked:
-What is your social following?
-How big is your email list?
-How many hits do you get on your website?
-How many downloads a month do you get on your podcast?
Smart GM’s and PD’s know all of these numbers translates to listeners for their radio station! For the profit minded folks, a radio personality with a brand is an unstoppable monetizing machine.
Three reasons why radio personalities need to become their own brand—and why their boss should let them do it.
The Power of Authenticity
Radio personalities who are passionate and authentic can easily draw in listeners with their enthusiasm and expertise. This authenticity is often lost when stations attempt to micromanage every aspect of their employees’ on-air behavior, which can lead to a loss of listener engagement and interest. It also destroys the personality. By allowing radio personalities to develop their own brands, stations can help ensure that audiences remain interested in the show by giving hosts more freedom and control over who they are as a personality on-air.
Smart station management knows that a personality that has their own brand is a gold mine! When that personality is a social media influencer regularly posing on Instagram Reels and Tik Tok with engaging content (that they produce themselves) translates to more listeners at no cost to them.
Building Listener Loyalty
A strong personal brand helps create loyalty between a host and his or her audience. Listeners come back every day because they know what kind of content they can expect from the host, which makes them feel like part of an exclusive club or family. As people become more loyal fans, they will share content from shows with friends and family members via social media or word-of-mouth marketing—which means more eyes on the station’s website or app!
Smart station leadership empowers a personality to podcast and freely allows them to promote it on their show because they know that is a long form extension of their brand. A listener bonds with a personality’s long form podcast deeply, compared to a :60 second break. They develop an emotional bond. An emotional bond on another platform translates to MORE LISTENERS for your radio station.
Humans don’t bond and follow a frequency. Humans follow and bond with another human. Hot AC listeners don’t listen to Kiss FM, they listen to “Ryan Seacrest.” Country listeners don’t listen to iHeart, they listen to “Bobby Bones”.
Reaching a Wider Audience
As more people turn away from traditional media outlets like television or radio broadcasts, having a strong online presence that reaches beyond those boundaries can be beneficial for both the personality and the station.
A personality that has 25,000 views on a tik tok, and 35k on an instagram reel create an online following and are engaging with potential new fans or customers. By creating content on these platforms, radio personalities can showcase their skills and talents while increasing visibility around what they do best! And general managers can save their money on buying billboards and tv commercials for their station with a personality with that kind of reach! Who watches tv commercials now anyway unless it’s on during the Super Bowl?!
Do you think iHeart prevents Bobby and Ryan from appearing on TV shows? Nope. Why would they do that??? Each viewer is a potential listener. Most of us didn’t even know who Bobby Bones was until he filled in for Ryan Seacrest on American Idol. Brilliant.
Becoming your own brand is an essential component of any successful radio personality. It can mean increased earning potential from sponsorships/promotional appearances as well as reaching new audiences, and have what we all want a greater impact on the kingdom.
Allowing your talent to become their own brand is extremely beneficial for employers who want long-term relationships with their employees. When you allow talent to pursue personal projects outside work, it fosters loyalty towards the company itself which benefits both parties involved.
If you’re a radio personality that is ready to take control of your career, and become your own brand I would love to help! Shoot me an email and we’ll hop on a zoom! I have 4 slots left! email@example.com
If you are a forward thinking program director or general manager with a growth mindset and ready to empower your on air personalities beyond just a “talent coach”, reach out, I would love to help all of you build a synergistic brand that benefits all parties. firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a great show!
Amanda Carroll spent the past three years hosting the “The Amanda Carroll Show” syndicated nationally through Salem Media, and hosting mornings on 103.9 The Fish Sacramento. She was previously the midday host on the K-LOVE Radio Network, afternoons at KSBJ in Houston, and mornings at WGTS in Washington D.C. Amanda is the founder of the “Get Your Brave On” online platform and podcast inspiring women to live a strong and courageous life.
Carroll is also a coaching talent on personal branding and podcasting by launching the “Brave Podcast Network”. If you would like your podcast to be considered for the Brave Podcast Network, or you have a burning desire to launch your own podcast, reach out to Amanda, she would love to come alongside you in your journey. Email her at email@example.com