April is always an exciting time in the local radio space. Contract renewal season often means that stations announce their new line-ups – and it’s a time where new talent is often introduced to audiences.
It’s no secret that getting into the radio industry isn’t an easy feat. With only a handful of stations and slots available, the race to grab one of the few vacant spots is a difficult one. However, for many, being on radio is a dream. Jacaranda FM’s breakfast host Martin Bester shares some insight into what budding presenters should do to stand out, hone their skills and grab their radio dreams by the horns.
Know your industry
It is so important to know the ins and the outs of the industry you are wanting to pursue. If you are auditioning to be a part of a radio station’s line-up, do your research and familiarise yourself with the station, their talent and what the station stands for.
In a world where social media opens you up to a lot more information, use that to your advantage. Research trends about radio, see what brands like Jacaranda FM is doing and the direction they are taking within the industry, and adapt that into the talent that you bring.
Create, create, create!
I often get asked what is the fastest way for upcoming talent to get their start on radio – and the answer is, you need to put in the work. There is no such thing as overnight success. Have you been on a campus, community or even school station? Do you have a podcast that Programming or Station Managers can listen to?
Use what is available for free. Back in the day, you had to book a studio, record a demo and get a producer to cut the demo before sending it out to radio stations. These days, all you need is data and a phone. Don’t be afraid to start small. It doesn’t matter if you have an audience of one or one million, if you hone in your craft, you’ll go far. Just create!
Be fearless and command attention
Always put up your hand and showcase yourself. Success doesn’t come overnight and if you’re not afraid to chase your dreams by putting in the work, chances are you’ll go far.
I made sure I could not be ignored when I was doing the early morning shows, the 1-5am show, and the lunch-time show during my early days on radio. It’s important to make yourself visible and be seen and heard so that people take note of you.
Don’t be afraid to break the right rules
Sometimes what you need to do is break the rules to stand out. Always try to be a step ahead. Make sure you keep an eye on international trends, be abreast of local conversations, and never be afraid to take risks in order for you to stand out. Skills can be learnt. Attitude, willingness and eagerness to succeed and do your best is what sets you apart from the rest.
Learn from those who inspire you
When looking to get into a career in radio, you need to figure out what kind of presenter you want to be. Do your research and familiarise yourself with the stations and the talent that inspire you.
One of the biggest things that I learnt was always be a fan of someone – especially if you are going to ask them for advice. When you’re a fan of someone, you admire what they do and how they do it.
Follow your radio idols on social media so that you are aware of what they are doing and how they making waves in the space. Through that, you can learn and perfect your skills from experts in the industry.