How Jocks Can Make More Money
April 23, 2013
There is nothing like being an air personality -- the adulation from listeners, free stuff, and opportunities to make easy money. One of my many lessons in Chicago was how to make money independent of paid station appearances and remotes. If you offer your services to non-profit organizations you can network with all sorts of people. These contacts can lead to paying gigs. I made money hosting celebrity auctions, doing emcee work for civic groups, and performing a godawful comedic magic act at kid's birthday parties. My entrepreneurial efforts got to the point it almost matched my station paycheck. Because of my experiences, I love questions from personalities wanting to learn how to leverage their status.
Question: I do not get many remotes and the PD told me I would get a couple a month when he hired me. I thought I could count on that cash, but I need to figure something else out. A friend asked me to help him with his podcasts. It got me to thinking ... could I make money doing something like this?
Coach: I always laugh when I hear the word podcast as, we all know, it's just a word for recording with a new label. People in and out of radio are podcasting on a variety of subjects and topics. The same skill set we take for granted in radio is a brave new world for those not in our business. I definitely believe you could make money helping others or actually doing podcasts for businesses promoting themselves. Many beginners think anyone can turn on a mic, plug into a computer, and create a podcast. It doesn't take long for them to get frustrated -- and that is where you could come in.
Here are some areas you could help Podcasters:
- Microphone technique and what kind to purchase
- How to get guests
- How to work with time constraints
- Interview techniques
- How to promote podcasts
- How to write copy
- How to edit
- Where to find software programs
Not Using the Station Van?
The station van can be a very valuable marketing tool, a way to stay at a top-of-mind awareness level with active and passive listeners. It even works better if it is treated like a person, SO give it a name. I remember in Detroit we called our van The Money Machine, but we had to change the name to the Q Van because people began forcing it off the road; they thought we were driving around with piles of cash. These days' street hits are popular, but success depends on street teams. Unfortunately, economics have put a dent in how the station van is used; here is recent e-mail.
Question: My station's street presence sucks; why won't my OM pay for someone to drive our van so we can stay out like we useD to?
Coach: Are you in a cluster of stations or an independent, and who drives the van to remotes?
Answer: I'll tell you, but you have to promise not to print the name, but it is a big company and I don't want any flack at work. The jocks at all our stations drive to paid appearances and everything else is handled by Interns, when we have some on hand.
Coach: It really is not the OM; it's probably a financial matter leading back to corporate and what they deem as unnecessary spending. Our business, like our country, is sensitive to news of economic woes; plant closings, spending cuts, layoffs, new health care laws, a down housing market, and fluctuations in the value of a dollar. Although your OM won't say it, I bet he or she is just as upset as you are with the van situation. But the bottom line is the bottom line and interns are not paid. To quote a friend of mine, "These days radio works down to a price and not up to a standard." A possible solution would be for you to get with the other jocks that share your feelings and go to the OM. Present your collective thoughts in a non-confrontational way and maybe it's possible to work around the van issues to increase station visibility. You will never know until you try.