How to Form Personal Connections with Radio

When you buy a block of time (usually 30 minutes or an hour) on a radio station, that’s technically an infomercial. And that’s okay, because there are people who enjoy infomercials for what they are: paid programming that’s designed to present a product in a positive light.

But you can reach a much larger audience by going beyond the typical infomercial format.

To do this, you need to create an informative and entertaining talk show that blends in as much as possible with the regular programming that’s featured on your local station. The reason being that when listeners tune in to your show, they’re judging you on many different factors, and two of those factors are important in establishing yourself as a trusted authority: credibility and personality.

  1. Credibility. Do you know what you’re talking about? Are you an authority on financial matters? Do you seem like someone they can trust with their life savings? Do you sound like someone who could answer all their questions and give them the guidance they’re looking for to retire successfully?
  1. Personality. Are you likeable? Would you rather come across as someone who uses his knowledge to “lecture” others, or as a “regular” person who enjoys helping others by sharing what he knows? Do you speak over their heads, or can you present complicated financial issues in everyday language that we can all understand? Do you provide real-life examples that listeners can relate to their own lives?

These are some of the questions that typically run through a listener’s mind as he or she tries to decide whether to keep listening and whether to tune in again next week.

Since our Impact Radio producers – without exception – have enjoyed successful careers in major market radio, they’ve seen the effectiveness of lifestyle conversations over and over again, which is why they constantly coach advisors to include the human element in their shows. It’s vital.

Everyone enjoys sharing memories of a favorite movie or TV character. And we all have that one special song that still makes us smile, even after all these years. The more someone enjoys listening to you, the more receptive they’ll be to your calls-to-action. Trust me — no one wants to listen to a non-stop, 30-minute sales pitch! Break your sales message up by playing short TV and movie clips, or the occasional song from the 60s and 70s. It makes your show more listenable and keeps people tuned in for longer periods of time.

Don’t be afraid to get personal. Tell stories about your home life, your spouse, your children, even your dog or cat! People will trust you more when they see you as an actual human being who has the same hopes and dreams (and problems) as them.

Don’t assume that every on-air conversation needs to be a sales pitch. Never think of your show as a commercial. You’re the host of a radio show that just happens to be about finance. Your goal is to relate, to inform, and even to entertain. When you do those things, you’re selling yourself to the listener in the most natural and effective way possible.

People are always on the lookout for good, basic information. Offer them tips for improving their day-to-day financial lives, even when you know it won’t necessarily lead to a sale. If you routinely provide them with information they can use, and if you do it in a positive and friendly way, they’ll eventually come to think of you as their “go to” guy or gal for the final word on everything financial.

And they’ll remember that when they decide they’re ready to make a move.
Are you making that personal connection with your listeners? How could you be more personable? Ask your producer for feedback and suggestions, then listen to what they’re telling you. It’ll benefit you and – more importantly – it’ll benefit your practice!