Small Business Talk

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“Fighting for Truth, Justice, and the American Small Biz Owner, Mark Montgomery, the Small Biz super hero, is shaking up Sacramento’s morning commute with The Mark Montgomery Show. As a business owner/entrepreneur, founder of the California Small Business Coalition and now, Small Biz Talk Radio, he’s fighting to empower the small business owner!”

get the word outThe quote above is from the About page on the California Small Business Talk Radio website. It goes on to say that “The Mark Montgomery Show is the newest style political variety talk show where Mark shares the mice with everyone from small biz owners, to big unions, to consumers, and a host of comical characters from the left, the right and everywhere in between.”

It’s always great for small business owners to find a resource where they can get news from a wide variety of perspectives – but the reason we’ve pointed out The Mark Montgomery Show is that it is a local talk radio show – which can be one an incredibly powerful means to market your small business.

There’s More to Talk About than Politics
Of course, not all local talk radio shows are specifically geared to small business or politics. And that’s actually a good thing because if offers more opportunities for small business owners to get on the air speaking to an audience that includes consumers who meet your small businesses’ customer profile. For instance, there are local talk radio shows that deal with topics all across the board. Everything from personal finance, the state of education, humane treatment of animals, community events, parenting, sports…the list really is endless.

Many small business owners may not have considered pitching themselves to a local talk radio show for a guest appearance because they think the show doesn’t lend itself to topics related to their business. However, let’s say small business owner who volunteers and/or financially supports their local human society or animal rescue facility. This is a perfect topic for that small business owner who feels their business isn’t all that “hot” of a topic to create some serious buzz about their business.

You see, in a sense, local radio talk shows are a lot like online social media where the focus is on providing information that is useful and meaningful to your customers – as any small business owner who has made the mistake of using social media to “sell, sell, sell” has likely learned the hard way, using social media to “sell, sell, sell” almost always backfires. Instead, savvy small business owners use social media to create a relationship of trust between themselves and their current and prospective customers and clients.

Make Your Pitch
Back to our small business animal lover. She (or he) contacts a local talk radio show and pitches being brought on as a guest to talk about how important it is for local businesses and the community-at-large to support their local human society and/or animal rescue facilities. Obviously the small business is going to get quite a “mention” and a sincere interest in animal welfare can go a long way when it comes to building trust in their business – even if their business happens to be a local chain of dry cleaners.

Of course, there also many local radio talk shows where your small business type would, in fact, be “hot.” For example, if you happen to be a financial planner who has written an eBook consumers can download for free on your website (with you collecting the contact data of course) on a “hot” financial subject, pitching yourself to a local radio talk show to come on as a guest to answer listener questions regarding that subject can both create trust in your business as well as establish subject matter expert status with prospective clients (as well as re-affirm that status with your current clients out there listening.)

Leveraging Your Gig
Getting a guesting gig on a local radio talk show is HUGE when it comes to marketing your small business – but getting the go ahead from the host also signals a go ahead to start promoting your “spot.” We’ve already pointed out the similarities between a guest opportunity and social media and now we want to remind you (if your head isn’t already spinning with ideas) to promote your gig throughout your social media networks and platforms.

You’ll remember our small business owner/animal welfare volunteer and supporter. They’re super excited because the opportunity to come on as guest can be leveraged to both promote animal welfare as well as their small business online.

  • The first order of the day is to send an announcement with the dates and details via online social networking as well as customers and prospects who’ve opted in to receive emails.
  • Second, our small business owner invites people to post pictures and stories about well-loved pets they found at the local animal shelter or rescue facility.
  • Customers and prospects are also invited to post links to the website of their favorite animal welfare facility, along with any pictures they may have of themselves volunteering at said favorite facility.
  • The owner also promotes a pet food (as well as other supplies) drive online and via email asking people to bring their donations to their place of business where pictures are taken of people making donations and then posted on social media.
  • Once our business owner completes their guest spot, our business owner rents or borrows a truck and makes a video of donations being loaded and brought to a local shelter (which is then, of course, post online.)

The most important piece of advice is not to wait to be invited as a guest on a local radio talk show. Definitely don’t be shy about pitching your idea yourself – if you don’t that invitation may never come and you will have missed out on a very powerful way to create some fantastic buzz about your small business.

Last modified: May 28, 2013
Annie Kile

This story is part of our Small Business Corner, a peek into the life and trials of small business owners.

Category: Insider's perspective, MPR Authored, Politics, Small Business, Small Business Corner, small business owners