Build an audience with no budget

With the proliferation of new sports stations across our country, the same problem is playing out: how to build an audience when no one knows you exist, and you have no budget.




As you may or may not know, Chadd Scott and I host a Twitter sports-radio chat on Tuesdays at 5p PT, 8p ET.  Jason Wolfe, the man behind the years off success WEEI, one of the biggest brands in sports-talk radio joined us and that’s exactly where we started…

Q2: What are things you advise for new sports stations, with zero promotional $, and no pxp properties, that will help them grow audience quickly?

Some say you should take advantage of your competition’s weaknesses…

Reverend Josh Innes ‏@JoshInnesRadio3 Sep

@SportsRadioGuru Go after the big dog. Attack them. Convince their listeners that they are stale and outdated. #srchat


@SportsRadioGuru #srchat A2. Take advantage of what you aren’t. If others have the games, position as fan’s voice not beholden to the team.

Others, like my chat partner Chadd Scott, a sports radio programmer in Jacksonville, Florida and the former lead producer on The Herd w/ Colin Cowherd advise having a longterm plan…

Q2: I would caution against “quick fixes” or expectations of instant success, it takes time to build a devoted radio audience #srchat

Chadd Scott ‏@ChaddScott3 Sep

Q2: Social media obviously a game changer here, but don’t undersell hitting the streets w/ promotional stops, live shows #srchat

Jason Wolfe ran uber-brand WEEI for years, and he says…

Jason Wolfe ‏@jasonlwolfe3 Sep

Be aggressive on the street. Talent/producers/promotions staff. Get out there and be where the people are. Engage #srchat


Jason Wolfe ‏@jasonlwolfe3 Sep

You can win by creating a buzz for yourself. You sell yourself better than anyone. Strong street presence works #srchat


Jason Wolfe ‏@jasonlwolfe3 Sep As for social media, remember that it’s social. Answer those who engage you, good or bad. Listeners want the response. Be “social.” Hosts answering listeners on social media is the new form of signing an autograph for them. #srchat


Social media, like Twitter, has serious attributes that make it a great value…

Chadd Scott ‏@ChaddScott3 Sep A2: Social media allows you to put your “brand/product” in front of people, lots of people, targeted listeners, at no cost, 24/7 #srchat


But you had better have your business right…

Amanda Gifford ‏@AmandaLGifford3 Sep Q2. Have good content. Have good content. Oh, and have good content. #srchat


Jason Wolfe ‏@jasonlwolfe3 Sep @AmandaLGifford It always starts there doesn’t it? #srchat

@jasonlwolfe @AmandaLGifford if you’re going to invite folks to the party, it better be, as “the kids” say, “off the hook.” #srchat


There’s no question that having popular play-by-play properties, like baseball’s 162 games, will give you instant audience, but if your product isn’t (say it with me) “entertaining and insightful with great sports conversations delivered with a sense of urgency,” you’ll get listeners to sample, but they won’t stay for long.

So to recap…

  • Build a plan
  • Enact the plan
  • Get out there
  • Engage via social-media
  • Make sure your content is right (bleeping) on.
One more thing, you’ve got a great plan, so be patient and trust the plan.