The Extra 10%
April 24, 2012
The ability -- or better -- the willingness to go the extra mile is rare. Giving the extra 10% that makes the difference between ordinary and special. The first 90% of your effort may result in good. Certainly acceptable. But it's also common. Everyone is at that level. Going the extra mile is what sets you apart, because not many are willing to go there. You can hear the extra 10% in hundreds of small ways:
- The richness of content and detail when telling a story.
- Local references as simple as mentioning relevant landmarks as part of ordinary banter. In a weather forecast: "...and in (suburb) next to the AM/PM on Main Street, it's 47 degrees at 7:08."
- Using a listener's name in a phone call. "Laura says her five-year-old has a solution ... Laura, what did Jason do?"
- Sounding like you actually listened to -- and love -- the song you just played. Taking the time to find out what that artist is doing today (Twitter, Google) and relating something meaningful in a back-announce.
- Actually answering the phone. There's nothing worse than a fan calling their favorite station and having no response. Busy signals are better. When you call a restaurant for a reservation and nobody answers, do you call back?
- Responding to e-mail, Facebook, Tweets. Don't start a relationship with the listener if you're not going to maintain it.
- Topical comments. Virtually every topic can fit your show if you fit it to your personality and break structure properly. "Traffic is a mess on the 470 Freeway this morning. You think it has anything to do with the transit strike? More people on the roads because the buses aren't running for the 9th day in a row."
- Personalizing promos. "Thanks for listening this morning in (neighborhood) ... Pete called in from the tech lab at the hospital on Grand ... that's just a couple of blocks from where we'll be on Saturday ... we'll see you at Subway Sandwich Shop from noon-2..."
- Teases. Not just "Here's what's coming up," but treating each tease as content that contains and incentive to listen.
Adding detail, color and richness to content is a commitment. It's a lot of little things that together mean a lot. Make it a part of your show prep until it becomes a habit. This discipline will add great dimension to your personality and show.