Admit it: You’ve been frustrated that the same folks keep getting great gigs over and over. Some are overrated but many are simply less qualified. How does that happen? Most jobs are awarded to someone a decision-maker already knows. That’s why a key part of the Get That Gig strategy is to network to get work.

This article is about how to Network to get a better gig. Including:

  • How to network at radio conventions.
  • Following up to leave a better impression.
  • How to ask for help…and be remembered!
  • The importance of building your own network.

Network To Get Work

Even if a candidate makes a strong impression, it’s common to finish second because of a powerful force: familiarity. That’s why Constantly Marketing should be part of a career strategy.

Impressing management is usually not that difficult for most personalities. With years of experience working with listeners, most excel in these situations.

But it’s hard for management to judge how well an unknown personality will fit a new culture. How will they get along with the existing staff? How will this person react to coaching and direction?

These are real concerns. It’s natural to place known candidates at the top of the list. Even if not the most important consideration, it’s a tiebreaker.

And with so much competition for great gigs, you need to win those ties to get that gig.

That’s why networking is critical.

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Radio Conventions

A good place to start is radio conventions like Morning Show Boot Camp, where personalities, programmers, talent coaches, and consultants gather.

And the best way to make an impact? Participate in sessions. Ask questions and don’t be shy to let people know you’re available.

Air Personality Krystina Ramey knows how to make an impression. In the weeks following Morning Show Boot Camp, three program directors asked me about her. One manager wasn’t even at Boot Camp but heard about her from others who were.

Krystina came prepared and participated in the sessions:

But being involved at conventions is just where it begins. That alone won’t get that gig. Now it’s time to network.

Follow Up

Out of sight is out of mind. Decision-makers have short attention spans, just like listeners. Follow up with each contact.

Start by distributing a business card that links to a personality website. Include a photo if possible. And make sure to get their card to remind you to get in touch later.

Each new connection is a lead to be nurtured. Send a personal thank you card via good old-fashioned snail mail. This will stand out as personal and thoughtful.

But don’t send a demo or resume yet.

Krystina recommends making a personal connection:

Conventions are terrific. But what if it’s still weeks or months before the next conference? There are other ways to network.

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Ask For Help

Expanding a personal network isn’t that hard, but can be frustrating. You certainly know a program director, former boss, or instructor that knows folks you don’t. Most will be flattered to spread the word.

Ask for a personal introduction via telephone, video conference, or email. This establishes a new contact and expands your network.

I met Krystina through KRBE/Houston’s Eric Rowe, one of America’s best producers (Roula and Ryan show). Eric introduced us and Krystina took it from there.

She talks about how she networks through her circle of influencers:

Stay in touch with contacts by reaching out regularly.

Set Up Your Network

Maybe you don’t have a personal contact that can open doors. That’s okay. Start knocking. Doors will open.

Media Talent Pool: Networking is why we started MediaTalentPool.com, a free resource for talent to be discovered and managers to find talent. Everyone should have a listing, if for no other reason to get on the radar of Tracy Johnson Media Group. When clients are looking for talent, this is our go-to resource.

Consultants & Talent Coaches: We’re always looking for exciting, fresh talent, and most consultants will respond to an inquiry. It’s easy to find an email address. Mine is [email protected] Make a contact. Start a relationship. Get recommended.

Professional Help: Want to get an advantage over the competition for a gig? Consider a private coaching session with one of the TJMG talent coaches. We can help build a demo package and even edit audio and video demos. Each coaching client receives a special designation in the Media Talent Pool listings for future recommendations. Get details and book a session at www.aircheckcoaching.com.

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Stay Positive and Confident

Look, radio is not exactly a growth industry.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 5% decline in radio and TV announcers in the next ten years. That’s discouraging.

But hold on. Nearly every manager I work with has said, “There’s nobody out there. It’s so hard to find good talent”. Clearly, they haven’t met you – yet.

Decision-makers are looking for confident, positive, and optimistic personalities. Many interviews start with a great first impression, but the candidate is eliminated because they don’t inspire confidence or aren’t fun to talk to.

We rarely recommend air talent that complains about lack of opportunities or makes excuses. Managers don’t want to hear talent say radio “isn’t as much fun as it used to be”. If that’s how you feel, keep it to yourself. Suppress negative thoughts.

Humble confidence with a positive outlook is contagious. Figure out how to project that attitude, even if you have to fake it.

Krystina has a pep talk for you:

Conclusion

There are still great opportunities in radio.

Gigs are out there. What will you do to network to get work?