This post was republished from Success and Then Some from 2008

This morning I was thinking about all the great opportunities for self-promotion that have come my way in the past few months. Especially with regards to being on radio.

In fact, nearly every month since May I have been interviewed by some well-known radio talk show host. 
 

It all started with Beverly Mahone when she interviewed me for her show PASSIONS at Blog Talk Radio – The topic started out as Using Blogging to promote your business and it shifted to other areas.  Unfortunately we had technical difficulties and the recording was lost. However, the live interview was great and lots of fun.  People called in to say HI, ask questions and comment. Beverly is a wonderful, experienced hostess and I so enjoyed being on her show.

After that, I was on Michelle Waters Product Sellers Radio show talking about promoting products.

And then Dr. Sally Witt asked to interview me on the Dr. Sally Show ~ Here’s the link to that interview: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/drsallywitt/va/2008/06/26/heidi-richards-founder-of-wecai-womens-ecommerce-association

And Michelle again asked me back to participate in the Product Sellers Seminar where we talked about Promoting Your Products In a Down Economy.In addition, Michelle had some excellent guests participate in the Product Sellers Seminar, which I recommend you check out at: http://www.productsellersseminar.com/

Tomorrow Elizabeth Gordon is interviewing me about Marketing, Self promotion, the Internet and more on her Chic Perspectives Radio ~ http://www.thechicentrepreneur.com/perspectives2.html.  I will post the link when the interview has taken place.

And on October 7th Carol Deckert and Charli Latham have invited me to be their guest on Ladies in Business Radio Show.  We will be talking about what it’s like to be a woman in business today, marketing and more.

The wonderful thing is that these women sought me out. And of course, I said YES! After all, it is a great way to spread the word about what I am doing to an audience that previously was not on my radar.

What are you doing to proactively promote your products and services to a new market?  Radio is a great way to do this without spending a lot of time or treasure. 

Here are 8 tips to keep in mind when you do get asked to be a guest.

Be prepared. One of the things I like is when the host asks me to supply questions to her. This is especially important because it helps me focus on my real message AND it also helps me be more prepared. While I do like off-the-cuff interviews I have found that there are things I could have shared that didn’t’ get mentioned because I was not as focused or prepared.  Things like resources and websites and people that could really help the audience. Those things that after the fact, are not as meaningful.  Even when the host doesn’t ask for questions, I will offer to send some questions to her or him and it is amazing how many of these questions get asked during the interview.

Learn about the audience. This will help you really hone in on a message that is relevant to them and showcase your expertise at the same time.

Listen to past shows.  You can get to know a little bit about the hostess this way, her interview style and how she interacts with her guests. Does she let her guests do all the talking, does she interject her own experiences, does she ask good follow-up questions? These are all important aspects of a successful interview process.

Help the Host stay focused. One of the things I have noticed on some of the interviews I have participated in and hosted myself, is how easy it is to take a different direction with the topic. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that if the audience knows that is commonplace. However, if you are invited to be a guest talking about a specific area of expertise and the conversation doesn’t get there, then you may wish to help move the interview in the direction that would not only benefit the audience and it would also help really showcase what you came to speak about.  As a listener I find this to be a very important reason I tune into a program in the first place. If I came to learn about marketing my business and the discussion is mostly about other things I might not listen in the future. This tip is as important for the host as the guest to understand.

Omit distractions. One of the things I have learned the hard way is that distractions can be deadly when you are the guest. Believe me it has happened to me. I have booked interviews at peak times in my business and have had interruptions that have made the interview less than perfect.  And it’s not fair to the host. Be sure to isolate yourself prior to the call. Take a few minutes to focus on the key points you need to make to best get your message out there. Know your message, your mission, your ultimate goals.

Have a backup plan. If the host is experiencing technical problems, find out if it’s okay to also record the interview so there is an archive of the program which can be used to promote the show and you. I generally ask ahead of time.

Be yourself.  When you are genuine it come through loud and clear on the air. And it creates a bond between you and the listener.  Be helpful, entertaining, resourceful and authentic.  I know it sounds like a tall order, but when you are being yourself, all these other things tend to fall into place. I know because I have been someone I thought the host wanted and not myself on more than one occasion.  This does not give you the reputation you seek nor does it help your career.  when you are trying to be someone else, it is much more difficult to truly express your message in a meaningful or live-affirming way. If your only goal is self-promotion, it will backfire and noone will bother to find out more about you. When you are authentic the word gets out and more people want to help you promote what you do.

Share real-life examples. One of the things I value most listening to other talk show interviews are when the guests share real life examples.  Not theory. Not only the WHAT, but the HOW. You will find when you do these types of interviews, the more real-life application your conversations share, the more inclined the host is to refer you to others as a guest. After all, their audience is not only there to listen and be entertained, they are also there to learn. Provide real take-away value and you will find you get more invitations than you can accept.

Being a guest on radio is one of the best ways to promote your small business. Even when it’s not highly targetted, it can help you get known on a large scale, can brand your company and you and can elevate your reputation in your industry. follow these tips and you too could become a RADIO STAR!