Every business or service professional I know (whether it a lawyer, accountant, financial planner or other type of consultant) all has the same question. How can I use Social Media to “start a conversation” with some new prospect or customer? What do I say to get my foot in the door?
Many people post endless amounts of information on their blogs hoping that someone will notice and answer. But this is nore like putting your message in a bottle and throwing it out to sea. What are the odds anyone will see it and respond? Still others offer “free information” (like whitepapers, and ebooks) as a way to bribe people into capturing their email address and (hopefully) opening a conversation. But everyone overlooks the easiest and most effective way I’ve ever seen to start a conversation with anyone you want to meet: Host Your Own Internet Radio Show!
Think about it. Is there someone out there you’d like to meet or some prospect you’d die to speak with? Try calling them up and say you’d like to interview them on your radio show. Who could refuse an offer like that?
The truth is, the moment you tell people that you have a “radio show” (forget where it’s located) people will take your calls! No one ever gets enough “free publicity” and most business owners are just dying to tell the world about their company. Few of them have ever been interviewed at all!
Once they say “yes”, you set up a time to conduct a “pre-interview” at their office and something magical happens. The owner doesn’t look at his watch every five minutes to see when you’re leaving! He tells his secretary to “hold all my calls” as he proceeds to show you around the place and tell you everything you want to know about his company! Talk about gathering “good business intelligence” and qualifying your leads!
Along the way you slip in something about what you really do for a living and why it led you to host this show (“to share valuable information with others”). And you know what? Your prospect will be HAPPY to hear it and instantly think of you as some sort of “expert” on the subject. After all, who else does he know in your field that hosts their own radio show? You MUST be “the guy” to know!
If it all goes as planned, you’ve not only opened a door to a new prospect and learned everything you wanted to know about their business, you’ve given them something of value they can’t get anywhere else (free publicity on your show). It doesn’t matter if your show only reaches five people in Fresno. It’s broadcast live, each week on the Internet! People all over the globe have the opportunity to tune in and hear it!
Suddenly you’ve fulfilled all the promises of Social Marketing. You’ve met someone you never knew before and given them something of value that opened the door for you to starting an ongoing coversation with them. You also instantly established your credibility in their eyes and your importance and “expertise” in some area. And you did it all in a way that actually left your prospect excited they met you and happy to take your next call!
Maybe you invite them out to lunch after the show “to thank them for the valuable insights and information they shared on your program”. Or invite them to your next free seminar. Whatever you do, just realize that the radio show just creates the opportunity. It’s what you do with it that counts. Maybe you send your guest a copy of their interview to post on THEIR website and forward to THEIR LIST of clients and prospects, extending your “viral message” even further (to others who might also want to be on your show!) Whatever you do, you’ve opened the door to an ongoing dialog and added another voice to your network of people that might remember or recommend you some day. And you’ve created a “window of opportunity” to make your pitch while they are still “flying high” from their interview and happy to speak with on whatever subject you want.
It’s the most powerful networking, prospecting and marketing tool imaginable. And anyone can do it. The cost? Around $ 500/month for a one hour, professionally produced, weekly show (with copies kept as “podcasts” on your “show page” which you can “link to” on your own website to attract even more attention and earn extra points with Google by increasing your “rich media offerings” and thereby your Search Engine rankings). It works on many levels.
All I can add is, I’ve tried it and it works. It opens doors you wouldn’t believe, creates instant credibility in the eyes of your customers and takes your message to places you’d never imagine. My weekly show and my weekly guests also give me something new and interesting to talk about on all my other social media sites. It’s what I blog about, twitter about and list on my “what are you working on right now” section of LinkedIN. In short, it’s become the center piece of my whole Social Media campaign.
Check out some of the biggest Internet Radio Stations like Voice America (out of Phoenix) or WS (out of San Diego). Or visit the newest (and least expensive of these new stations) www.OCTalkRadio.net. It’s the one that I and several of my marketing clients are starting here in Orange County, Ca.
Why? Because we discovered that there aren’t many Internet “Talk Radio” Radio Stations out there, and most of them are filled with the type of “crazy psychics”, “bad comedienes” and fringe shows that we didn’t want to be associated with. So we started our own station focused on business professionals and community groups. Check us out at www.OCTalkRadio.net. But whatever you do, don’t let this opportunity pass you by! Be the first in your field to host your own Internet Radio show (before everyone else catches on to to how powerful and productive they can be!) And report back what you’re doing! We’d love to carry on a conversation with you!