From One Broadcaster to Another......
Lately I've had the opportunity to give advice to upcoming Broadcasters at Illinois Center for Broadcasting; although we've had many speaker throughout my time there I wish I would have known some of the things that I know now. Here are my Top 5 Tips that I would give (or have given) to upcoming broadcasters.
1. You are Your Brand--Start Creating it! Start early with branding yourself on social media. Create a web site, business cards, Facebook page and twitter designated to YOU as a broadcaster. No photos of you drinking on the weekends or photos of you smoking ganja. Try to keep it professional and everything geared towards your brand. No one else can represent you like you, so make sure you represent yourself in the best light so you can get hired. That's the goal right?
2. Stay Focused! Climbing the ladder in broadcasting is a lonnnnngggg haul. If you're not ready for the ride then it's best that you not even stand in line. If you remain focused and continue working 100% you will receive that back eventually. My days consist of working, finding more opportunities, working some more and then coming home to a nice episode of Golden Girls before I go to bed (yes, Golden Girls-- don't judge me). I'm over the need to go out to the club, chase after boys or wasting time. I'm focused on my goal and how I'm going to get there!
3. Be Humble! No one knows who you are yet (and even if they do) there's no need for the diva or divo attitude. You're more likely to get calls to work when people know that you're easy and pleasant to work with. Others have put their time in but when you're a newbie on the scene it's best that you remain sweet as pie.
4. Be jack of all trades. There's a fine line with this because there's a saying that goes "You're a jack of all trades and a master at none". In this business it is important to be talented in MANY different things. Since things change so quickly you might need to fall back on something BUT there's a trick to this-- YOU HAVE TO BE GOOD AT IT! Be realistic about your skills that you can provide to others and get paid for. If you don't know just how good you're at something, then try to garner the opinions of other people who have more experience than you. Warning: Do not ask grandma who might be bias and still thinks those paintings that you did as an infant are as good as Picasso.
5. Be nice to everyone! The business of broadcasting is a very incestuous business. Someone that was the receptionist a WKRP can be the Programming Director at WIZZ! YIKES! Although there are times you may come up against someone that is making you're work environment a living hell try to find a happy medium to salvage your reputation. People tend to remember the bad before the good --which can cost you your job or reputation.
I can go on with this list but I wanted to give you my top 5-- if you want to hear more try and catch me when ICB asks me to come out and speak or follow me on Facebook & Twitter. In the meantime, good luck in your new or continued broadcasting career.