There are many radio mistakes that you should do your best to avoid. For the most part, you likely know the rookie mistakes to avoid. However, there are many other mistakes to avoid that are discussed a bit less even though the best way to avoid mistakes is to learn about them. Basically, the more you know, the better off you are to steer clear of the mistakes. So, we decided to create a list of some of those less talked-about mistakes. Check them out below!
Dismissing Marketing and Promotion
After launching your station, it is essential that you spend time on marketing and promotion. After putting time and effort into creating and maintaining your station, it may seem like your work is completed and the listeners will come. Unfortunately, that is just not the reality of any content creation online. Creating content and not gaining listeners can be disappointing, but listeners can't know about your content unless you let them know about it. You know your station is awesome, so tell people! Utilize social media, your website, your email list, and anything else you can to spread the word.
To learn how to use social media to promote your station, see our article here.
Selecting an Obscure and Over-Sophisticated Name
You should aim to have a unique name to make your radio station stand out from the crowd and to ensure you aren't engaging in trademark infringement by using someone else's station name. However, having a unique name does not mean that you should have an over-complicated station name that is confusing, hard to say or understand, or vague. Having an over-complicated name will negatively impact your station's growth. If potential listeners can't understand your name, you might lose out on listeners.
Additionally, your station name is very closely related to your station's discoverability, so an over-complicated name means a station that is hard to discover. For example, consider if someone uses a voice assistant, like Amazon Alexa, to listen to your station and they can not get their chosen voice assistant to understand the name of your station. Or, perhaps a listener is telling a friend about your station and their friend does not understand the name. In both of these instances, you are unknowingly and unintentionally making it harder for people to listen to your station. With that being said, take some time to brainstorm unique station names, but evaluate how understandable any of your options are before making a decision. You might even consider asking for feedback from others to nail down exactly what name is unique, but comprehensible.
Using Amateur Grade Graphics
Aside from your name, the graphics that represent your station have a large impact on whether people tune in. When potential listeners take a look at your social media, website, or station profile page, they will see your name, graphics, potentially your "Now Playing" and "Recently Played," and maybe a short "About" description. That means that what your graphics look like are, in most cases, a determining factor in a person's decision to listen or not.
As a broadcaster, graphics might not seem all that important since your medium is all audio, but that's simply not the case. This is why it is important to ensure you are using high quality graphics to represent your brand. If you aren't great at graphic design yourself, then you should consider finding a freelancer or even a friend to help you out. Getting graphics made does not have to be incredibly expensive or complicated, but it is immensely important. Do yourself a favor and don't settle on graphics because they can truly be the difference between gaining a loyal listener and that potential listener never tuning in once.
Check out our article entitled The Importance of Appealing Images on Your Radio Station to learn more!
Failing to Have an Accompanying Website
A radio website is the centralized location for your station. This is where listeners can access updates, various station information, a content archive, repurposed content, and more. If you don't have an accompanying website, you are missing out on owning your content, monetization opportunities, increased discoverability, community building, and boosted brand reputation, to name a few. While it may seem like a website is unnecessary since your medium is radio, there is huge benefit that comes from having one. The growth and future business opportunity are just two of the biggest benefits. With that being said, what are you waiting for? Get started with your radio website now so that you can really make the most of the awesome station you have created.
For more information on why you should have a radio website, check out our article here.
Being a Generalist
Undoubtedly, you've heard it before, find your niche and stick with it. If you begin your station without specific programming and with a generalist aim, it will be much more difficult to find your target audience that will be consistently loyal to your station. Creating a station with too many unrelated genres results in inconsistent listening because who's to say a listener will be interested in the next song that is a completely different genre than the last. Similarly, if you talk about a really wide range of topics in your broadcasts, a listener may not be interested in even the next segment in your broadcast. If you have specific programming or a tight-knit group of genres, your listeners will know what they can expect from your station at all times. This then translates into loyal listeners. So, make sure that the programming that you choose is specific, and is something that you genuinely love and want to share with others.
To learn more about finding your niche, check out our Finding Your Niche as a Radio Broadcaster article.
Not Investing Money When Possible
While broadcasting can be incredibly inexpensive, investing money when possible will ultimately level up your station and make it that much more likely that you can create a real business from it. Not only that, but you will alleviate the stress of the amount of money that it costs to improve your station in the future. Or, it will alleviate the stress of the amount of time that you would put into figuring things out that could otherwise be quickly accomplished with a small investment.
Little investments over time will help you achieve a better quality station without having to dump thousands of dollars at once to level up your station down the road. And, small investments will help you learn more about your radio station quality and what exactly you need to make it better. At the end of the day, you may be able to start a station with equipment that you already have, but to grow it and achieve whatever goals you have, you need to invest some money to improve your station quality. And, quality plays into how engaging your station is, so help your future self and your bank account out by making little investments when possible.
Not Collecting Listener Emails
Having an email list is a huge asset as a broadcaster. Email is a valuable point of contact that you have with your listeners where you can give them updates, get feedback, and so forth. Right from the beginning, you should collect emails to begin building an email list. If you aren't collecting emails, you are missing out on an important marketing and general business resource. There is a lot of opportunity that comes with having an email list, so do yourself a favor now and set up an email collection that will change the game for you in the future.
Over-recording and Over-editing
If you create pre-recorded broadcasts, over-recording and over-editing can be a problem. When creating your broadcasts, you most likely have ideals for what you want your broadcasts to sound like. This can translate into recording audio over and over again and/or editing for hours on end. The problem with rerecording and spending a lot of time editing is that you most likely will never stop coming up with things to improve.
Not only can you get stuck in a cycle of rerecording and over-editing that will ultimately hold up the progress of your station, but rerecording and over-editing will take away from the authenticity of your broadcast. Authenticity is an incredibly important quality of an engaging station that is fostered by genuine moments with the host. Rerecording and over-editing is the production of moments, meaning the very nature of those processes automatically takes away from authenticity although that may not be your intention at all. So, if you need to limit your recording and editing processes, set time restrictions or any other constraint to make sure you never get carried away.
Not Having a Plan
Planning your station should be the first phase of launching it. The planning phase should be when you decide on all of the details of your station and develop them further from ideas to reality. If you don't have a plan going into your station, then it will lack consistency, be of lower quality, and won't be very engaging. Planning is integral for flushing out all of your thoughts related to your station. You might have awesome ideas, but the problem comes with the execution of the ideas when you forgo the planning phase. So, take a little bit of time to plan out your station before running with your ideas. Even just a small amount of time will transform your ideas into action steps that will result in a station that is engaging and that has growth potential.
Delaying Your Launch
While planning your station is important, you don't want to get caught delaying the launch of your station without good reason. It can be easy to get into the mindset of "it's not ready yet." Or, maybe you have anxiety, doubts, fear, or nerves about launching your station. However, once you get into those kinds of mindsets, it is hard to get out of them because you will never feel like your station is totally ready to launch for whatever reason.
Ultimately, delaying your launch can result in you never launching your station, meaning a lot of time, effort, passion, and potentially money will be wasted. It is best to launch it soon after you create your plan and prepare the absolutely necessary materials for your launch. You will face challenges in launching your station no matter how much you prepare and delay, so just do it! Launching sooner than later will be better in the end, you never know what could come of your station in the future!
So, there you have it- 10 of the lesser known radio mistakes that you should avoid no matter where you're at in your radio broadcasting journey. Most likely, you've heard about creating a website, creating an email list, marketing and promoting your station, etc., but often times we don't think of the absence of these things as a mistake. However, these are all incredibly important parts of having your own station. With all that being said, you should do your best to avoid these mistakes. Luckily, one of the best ways to avoid them is to learn about them, so you're already on your way! And just a reminder, being a broadcaster is all a learning process, so sometimes you will learn by trial and error, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
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