Right off the bat you should know that prior to my first show on Blog Talk Radio “BTR” on March 26th, 2009 I had never hosted anything other than the occasional dinner party.
I tell you this as a means of illustrating the fact that under the right circumstances and within the context of one’s own knowledge and experience almost anyone can be a BTR host.
So began the intro to my book “Your Show Will Go Live in 5 Seconds (Confessions of a Blog Talk Radio Host).”
At the time of course the thought of hitting the 200 show mark wasn’t even a fathomable target, as the focus in those early days was more centered on trying to air a once a week, 30 minute program that would be interesting enough to have people tune in.
Nor I must admit did I plan to build a social media network that today includes my Blog Talk Radio Show, six blogs, an Internet TV Channel and a social networking reach that counts into the millions.
In fact, and similar to a Forrest Gump kind of unintended outcome, The PI Social Media Network seemed to take on a life of its own as insight, perseverance, opportunity, technology and market timing all converged at the tipping point of collective impact.
The premise behind what became the PI Social Media Network was simple as it was based on the observation that most organizations view social media and social networking through the lens of all eyes looking at a single stage – in essence to talk at people. Nothing will turn off a audience faster than a self-promotion with testimonials.
In the social realms however, which is a world of you-lookin-at me, and me-lookin-at-you (thank you Phil Collins) and cross pollination, being in tune to community interests and providing information to add value versus “SELLING” is essential to success. And so too are the mediums you leverage to make those virtual, yet personal connections count for something beyond merely a large number.
When I launched my first blog in May 2007, I did so as a convenience as I was at the time contending with many different deadlines and editors from the publications for which I was a regular contributor.
The thought was simple, post 3 to 4 articles in my blog each week, and like the proverbial literary buffet, publication editors could visit the site and pick and choose those articles that they felt would be of the most interest to their readership.
Enter Blog Talk Radio in March 2009.
At the time my initial objective with BTR was to bring to life the posts on my blog through interesting guest interviews on timely and even controversial topics. In essence, create an added venue through which the blog’s readers could tune in at their convenience to actually hear and through either the live chat room or call-in features of the platform connect with the guest expert.
On the other side of this new medium coin, I could also attract people who may not be familiar with the blog but, through live Internet Radio broadcasts would be introduced to the collective brand.
Well one thing led to another and by May 2009, the PI Window on Business became a featured program on BTR. The next logical step was to create a Show blog as a means of establishing a constant presence when we were not on the air by providing segment and guest information, related news articles and commentaries as well as upcoming show announcements.
In June of 2009, the blog was launched and we welcomed a grand total of 217 visitors to the site. As we expanded the format of the blog along with the addition of the PI Inquisitive Eye Internet TV Channel, site visitors increased to more than 6,000 for the month in December 2009.
By July 2010 we had hit the 16,000 visitor mark for the month, and just this past August we had more than 35,000 visitors to the site during the 31 day period.
With the addition of four additional branded blogs, our listener base, readership and now viewers have grown well beyond our expectations.
What is ironic is that in the time it took me to create and broadcast a single 30 minute weekly program when I first started, I can now produce four to five 60 minute programs each week. In terms of the six blogs, and leveraging content pollination (re between 30 to 40 percent of all blog posts can be simultaneously shared or posted to the other blogs), I find that it actually takes less time to manage these multiple venues than it did the single blog and radio program when I started.
Of course, platforms such as Blog Talk Radio are a big part of this increased ability to expand reach within the confines of even the tightest time constraints. A convenience that also extends to include BTR’s Cinch, an important tool that I often refer to as being the “audio Twitter.”
As a strong advocate for the expansive reach of a collective network which includes coordinated blogs, social networks, Internet TV and of course Blog Talk Radio, Cinch is a powerful communication tool that has enabled me to do many things. This includes the ability to create tantalizing sound bites on breaking news or upcoming segment related promos that serve as a personal invitation to my audience to tune in.
In this regard, Cinch is a key part of my overall social media strategy, as it maximizes my ability to expand my reach quickly and conveniently, while offering my audience yet another means of connecting with the PI Social Media Network.
As for my first 200 shows, all-in-all it has been what I can only refer to as the ride of my life. Of course, in more ways than one Blog Talk Radio and now Cinch, will continue to play a key role in the months and even years ahead in terms of developing the endless possibilities associated with the PI Social Media Brand.