It could be you—thinking of quitting your regular 9 to 5 and venturing out on your own as a solo radio act.
Or, you’re just embarking on your radio career and can’t find suitable placements. You may be thinking of putting together a solo act for the love of radio.
To the podcasters… This is for you too.
You may be looking to create a solo podcast and wondering how to succeed or where to start as a solo host.
This blog is a cumulation of observations made over 2 years now. They center around one man, one show, and how he successfully created a solo radio talk show/solo podcast.
Sorry, names are withheld.
But that’s all the better, so we can focus on the message.
We’ll look at 12 observations —real-life lessons you can use to build a captivating solo podcast/radio show.
#Lesson 1: Reinvent the self #YourBrand
Forget mics, forget scripts, and even forget your booming voice; the most important thing to build is your “self.” And you build it through everyday interactions, for instance:
what you represent as a person
what you say
what you’re known for.
#Lesson 2: Rock the boat
It’s no secret that many successful talk show personalities rock the boat. That is to say, they are a bit controversial, going against the prevailing perceptions. They confront everyday opinions, adopted as harmless and fine. They call out the government, expose lies, and confront opportunists.
People find the hosts refreshing and exciting because they don’t exactly see the world as we do. They are bold and fearless.
#Lesson 3: Build a grassroots following
Build a following at the basic level of society.
That is to say, people should know you and follow you before you launch your radio show.
Social media is a great place to spearhead your growth.
You can start with ordinary posts that share your opinions or commentary—Reshare material from other thought leaders.
Create and share short videos on various subjects, for instance, a 3-minute clip talking about “Rising costs of mortgages.” And this can be a future show.
Grow your following from 1,000 followers to 10,000. Keep growing to 100,000. The stronger your grassroots following, the easier it is to transform them into adherent supporters and fans.
If no one knows you, don’t expect listeners to flock to your radio show.
#Lesson 4: Go Big, Fail & Rebuild - You’re on a Hero's Journey
And that is a big observation in our undercover investigation.
And the failures may be too much.
Chasing the big dream may even leave you on your knees.
But if you’re strong enough to keep trying, things will shift.
You’re on a hero’s journey. And just like the main characters in classic action movies who get captured and make one last comeback that succeeds, you’ll make it.
#Lesson 5: Target a niche - Serve only one
There should be no doubt about your target niche, and you should clearly state it.
For instance, say that “Our podcast targets young men, going through the ups and downs of life, and offering them quality support along the way.”
“We reach out to people on the spiritual journey and help them achieve their ultimate self.”
It can even serve as a branding slogan of sorts.
#Lesson 6: Go Live and on multiple platforms
Be felt, be seen, and be heard. And that’s another reason to go Live.
It’s a highly interactive experience, as people tune in and contribute.
You can even invite guests to join the Live broadcast. Like on TV, the viewers will see a split screen with all the invited contributors.
Another clincher is that going live is a great way to monetize your content.
On Instagram, fans show support to creators with paid badges. On TikTok, they can send gifts. On YouTube, they can buy Super Chats and Super stickers.
Don’t expect your entire fanbase to show up.
If you have 1million followers on Instagram, only a couple of hundreds or thousands may tune in for the live sessions.
Another golden piece of advice is to go live on multiple platforms at once.
Be Live on your internet radio stream with audio. Go Live on Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and Twitter with video.
This adds to the total number of people tuning in.
#Lesson 7: Record your Live sessions, repost, and monetize
We're busy humans. So, few people may turn up for the Live streams.
That makes it paramount to record your live sessions.
You can start posting them for free on YouTube or sharing the live recordings on Instagram.
As excitement builds up and your show starts getting more attention, limit its availability. For instance, delete live streaming sessions after 3 days but make them available behind a paywall. You can sign up for platforms such as Patreon.
#Lesson 8: Make your shows addictive
Your content must be simply irresistible.
Irresistible content shares some common elements:
● It’s fascinating
● It’s creative
● It’s funny
● It fulfills a need
● It impacts lessons
● It’s shocking too
● It tugs at the heartstrings
Don’t expect to have an award-winning show on day one. You’ll need a lot of practice to get there.
#Lesson 9: Consistency and hard work
It’s not going to be easy.
But you need to show up every day, ready to do the uncomfortable work.
If you’re publishing one podcast every week, don’t miss a beat.
If your radio station has to run 24/7, don’t have a second of dead air.
If you go live every day, do so consistently without fail.
You can’t simply replace hard work and consistency. And even if you have 1 guest today instead of 100 as per usual, that’s no excuse not to go on.
#Lesson 10: Connect
You must have a fundamental connection with your audience, so much that they can go miles for you.
How do you build a strong connection?
Show that you care for their problems and are out to help them.
Don’t show people that you’re better than them.
Reveal that you have been in the same trenches before. You’ve made bad choices. Now, you’re better positioned to guide them into the light.
Do involve them, don’t isolate them. Give them merch to purchase, and so on.
#Lesson 11: Don’t back down
Haters are a matter of fact.
People will rise up against you. Shoot you down. Demean.
But don’t back down. Be prepared for the opposition, and continue doing your best.
#Lesson 12: Don’t dilute - Creating content to sell your advertisers
The problem with content creators is that they go out of their way to modify their content to sell products or services.
For instance, taking a detour from your wellness podcast to talk about cars just because you have a sponsorship from a dealership.
It seems clever, but it’s not.
Stay true to your content.
At most, give mentions but don’t create content just to sell products.
Go forth, Champion!
That is it for your masterclass. You can become a successful solo talk show host by implementing these tips.
But it won’t happen overnight. Give it sufficient time, and don’t give up.
P.S. Our platform hosts internet radio streams. If you’re creating an online radio station, you can try our hosting.