Each medium is fascinating in how you can use it, and who it reaches. And radio is a wonderful medium.
Let me quickly summarize here what you get with the radio program.
** I have an archive of roughly 1,100 scripts that I’ve written. You get access to all of those scripts. Which means you can run a different ad every week (see Rule #4 below), and you won’t run out of spots for years. The advantage of constantly new spots is huge. It’s what very few advertisers do. They can’t. They don’t have time to write the scripts, or the skill. And so they run spots for weeks at a time. And a spot loses its effectiveness fairly quickly.
** I continue to write scripts. I write a few dozen each year, and keep adding them to the collection that you can use.
** I write a one-page newsletter with the scripts when I send them out. Reminders. Stories jewelers have shared with me. Different things to consider for your radio advertising.
** You have the exclusive use of the scripts in your market while you’re with the program.
I have written radio copy for 18 years. I don’t know how many hundreds of scripts I’ve written. And as the years go by, there aren’t fewer to write. I always see more. It’s just a matter of time on task.
I have a magic formula for radio. I’ll summarize it later in this note. For now, let me take a few points and talk about them.
If there’s a single ‘rule’ for radio, at least in my book, it’s this: be the voice on your spots.
I’ve had hundreds of conversations about radio. When I’m talking with a jeweler for the first time about it, I usually say, ‘Whether you and I work together, if you do nothing different but be the voice on your spots, you’ll find that they’re more effective.’
Are you the voice on your spots? If not, you should be. If you’re not the voice all the time, you should be.
I don’t care about the quality of your voice. Why? Because really, it’s not important. It’s not more, and no less, important than the quality of your voice when you talk face-to-face with customers. Do you worry about the quality of your voice when you do? How about when you answer the phone? Do you worry if your voice sounds good enough?
No. You don’t give those things a second thought. You are who you are. Your voice has served you well your entire life. And it will serve you well on the radio.
Being the voice on your spots is huge because of this: familiarity.
If you’ve had your store for awhile, you know hundreds, more likely thousands, of people in your community. Some of you have been in your community for decades. You really do know thousands of people. You’ve waited on thousands of people. Been involved in all kinds of civic groups. Fundraisers. Charity organizations.
Think of all the people who know you. Who know ... your voice.
So now your radio spot comes on.
Is it the voice of a DJ or a professional that all these men and women don’t know, and never will know?
Or is it the voice of you?
If it’s you, then people who know you, who are listening to the radio at that time, will stop – because it’s the voice of someone they know.
This is a huge advantage over having your spots voiced by a stranger. Over the years, you have built up this familiarity. It’s taken awhile. And now, on the radio, you get to capitalize on it. You get to benefit from it.
These people who know you – they’ll stop and listen because they know you. “Hey, I know that guy, I know that woman!” And they’ll listen to every word you say.
Now, that doesn’t give you license to say boring stuff. Boring stuff reflects on YOU. And interesting stuff reflects on you, too. But when they recognize your voice, a lot of folks who otherwise wouldn’t pay attention ... now do.
So be the voice on your spots. Rule #1.
What if you’re not in the store much? What if you own the joint, but you have other people run it for you? Two things. You could still be the voice. Think of Tom Shane, of The Shane Company. I don’t think anybody has ever seen the man in real life. But his voice is quite famous around the country.
But you may not want to involve yourself in that. If not, have someone in the store – preferably family, preferably someone who is in it for the long haul; perhaps has an ownership interest – be the voice. Someone who knows all these men and women out there.
But you can figure that part out. The thing, you want someone who is associated with the store, to be the voice on your spots. If you work in the store, if you have a presence in the store – be the voice.
I’ve pestered many a jeweler about being the voice on his or her spots. Sometimes this pestering – are you the voice on your spots yet? – has gone on for several years. And if and when that jeweler finally does it, he or she has never come back and said, “That was a mistake.”
To the contrary, I hear over and over and over, “that is one of the best things I’ve done for my advertising.”
Let’s go on to Rule #2.
Say interesting stuff.
Easy to say that: say interesting stuff. A bit harder to put into practice.
Radio is all about the words you say. Say interesting things, and people pay attention. Say boring things, and people tune out.
But there’s more to it that. A lot more.
When you say interesting things, something predictable, but not appreciated enough, happens. People pay attention when you talk.
Now, you say, ‘of course.’ And you’re right: if we say interesting things, people of course pay attention. The thing is, on radio, many messages simply aren’t interesting, for a variety of reasons. And so the approach is to say it a bunch of times, and hope that you ‘break through the clutter.’ Right? It’s what radio stations bank on. Say it a bunch of times, every week. And see what happens.
But if you run interesting spots – and you change them often – people will actually listen to what you say when you come on the air. And they’ll look forward to what you’re going to say next – if you give them something to look forward to next.
If you say interesting things, there’s a huge financial benefit that comes your way: you can advertise fewer spots, and get greater results than you ever used to.
I’ve had jewelers tell me about customers who come into the store to talk to them about the things they said on the radio. Customers have told jewelers that when they come on the radio, and they’re in the car with kids, they tell the kids to be quiet because “Judy is on!” Customers have told jewelers that they pull over when they come on the air, because they want to hear what that jeweler has to say.
Unusual, isn’t it?
When you run interesting spots, interesting things happen.
You can advertise less, and see greater results.
Let’s move to Rule 3: run 3 to 5 spots a week on a station.
Yes, you read that right. You can run just 3 to 5 spots a week.
But that goes against all conventional thinking when it comes to radio advertising. How can it work with just 3 to 5 spots a week?
I was turned on to this in January of 2006.
Andrew and Judy Cameron own Cameron’s Fine Jewellers in Swan, Australia. In the summer of ‘05, they had joined the print and radio programs that I have.
A few days after Christmas ‘05, I called them to see how they were doing, and how things were working.
Oh, Judy said, the print is going well. People love the ads.
And the radio, she said – we have people come in and repeat back to us what we said on the radio! They love the spots!
Well, that was good to hear. So I asked her what I often ask jewelers: how many spots a week do you run?
Well, she said, we took your advice. We switched from 30-second spots to 60-second spots. The people at the station said they couldn’t do it, that they could only do 30-second spots. But I kept persisting. I said this guy over in the States said it would be better for them. And finally, the station agreed: Judy could record 60-second scripts.
And, she said, we also paid a premium (I think it was 20%) to have the spots run at the same time every morning.
Great, I said. And as for the number of spots you run, I asked her?
Well, she said, we run a spot on Monday and Wednesday morning on one station, just before 9 o’clock. And we run a spot on a second station, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, in the morning drive time.
I listened. I stopped. I did some quick figuring. You mean, I said, that you run just four spots a week? And you have people come in talking to you about what you said on the radio?
Yes, she said. That’s it.
Four spots a week. Total. On two stations.
Well, I’ve thought about that for a long, long time. And there are a lot of things I’ve figured out from that, and shared with jewelers through the years. I won’t go into it more here, because we’re covering plenty already. But if we talk on the phone, we can get into it more.
But consider: if you could run just 2 to 4 to 5 spots a week, could you afford to be on the radio?
Because what happens is that many jewelers don’t do radio at all, because they think they need to advertise 10 to 25 times a week. And they can’t afford it. Or they can’t sustain it over the long haul. And if you can’t sustain it over the long haul – a year, two years, or forever – then don’t even begin.
So I tell jewelers today, advertise 3 to 5 times a week. Morning drive time.
And that brings me to ...
Change your message often.
What do I mean by often? Change your message at least every 2 weeks. Better still, change it every week.
All messages have what I call a short shelf life. Once I’ve heard or seen something, the second time doesn’t have the same impact. And by the time I’ve heard or seen it 3 or 4 times, I don’t see it any more.
But I do hear a NEW spot. A different spot. If you change your message every week, you will immediately be different than probably every other advertiser on the radio who repeats his or her message for weeks at a time.
More on this when you and I talk.
THE RULES TO ABIDE BY
1. Be the voice.
2. Say interesting stuff (that’s my job for you)
3. Run 3 to 5 spots a week
4. Change your message weekly, or every other week at the least
60s vs. 30s
I strongly encourage 60-second scripts rather than 30s. If 60s are available in your market, negotiate for those.
Why? 60-second spots give you more time to sell. That’s all. That’s everything.
If someone walks in your store and says, “I’ll give you 60 seconds to give me a reason to consider doing business with you, or I’ll give you 30 seconds” – which would you pick? A salesperson will always take the longer time. And you should do the same on the radio.
60-second scripts give you more time for pacing. To breathe. To relax into it. To have fun with it. More time to flesh out the story, or whatever your message is about.
A lot of businesses opt for 30-second scripts for one reason: they write their own scripts. And it’s easier to write 80 to 90 words, than it is to write 170 to 180 words. It’s not that they believe 30-second scripts are better. They just can’t think up what to say for 60 seconds.
Let that job be mine. Your job is to get on the air, have fun with this stuff, and get back to work while the spots play on the radio waves.
Another rule I should put in there: STAY ON THE AIR.
Advertising is not a game for the faint of heart. You need to commit to whatever medium you’re in. If you’re going to be on the radio, BE ON THE RADIO. Don’t disappear for weeks and months at a time. Don’t get in just ‘when the fish are biting.’ ‘Fish’ are biting, people are buying, all year long. It’s why you have your store open all year long. Be smart about your advertising. Get in a medium, and STAY in it.
** You don’t need music in the background. I think music in the background is a distraction that you don’t need. Do you need or want music playing in the background – loud enough that customers can hear it clearly – while you’re working with them at the diamond counter? No. Why, then, do you want it playing while you’re talking on the radio?
** You don’t need a jingle. I think jingles are a waste of selling time. If you have 60 seconds to talk to someone, do you want to use 20 of those 60 seconds to play a jingle? Do you ever play a jingle to a customer before you start to work with her, and then play it as you wrap up? No. You sell. Do the same on the radio.
Ask yourself: can I afford to be on the radio 3 times a week? Every week?
If you can do that, and you’re not on the radio right now, then we need to talk.
If you’ve been on the radio, and you haven’t felt it’s worked for you, we need to talk. Strong messages change everything. Running 3 to 5 spots a week, and changing your message every week, can dramatically change what happens with the radio.
The cost of the program? $200 a month. That gives you access to the library of spots that I’ve written, and what I write every month.
Your agreement is simple: use the materials so long as you’re with the program. And if you choose to not be with the program at some point? Just stop using everything.
Sound interesting? Let’s talk more.