Create a radio demo that gets noticed

How to make a demo tape for today’s radio

Is there any longer a need to send out a radio demo CD you burned in a jiffy bag with some custom artwork on it if you’re looking for a radio presenting job in this age? Mike Russell looks at the radio demos of the future in this podcast episode.

Adam Wood sent in an email asking if I could put together a podcast about creating the perfect radio demo. It got me to thinking, “what exactly is a radio demo supposed to be today”? Tapes are long gone! When did you last send a C90 cassette tape into a radio station looking for a gig?

How To Market Yourself As A Radio Host

Start your own radio show, it’s so easy to do it, there’s no need to apply to one of the big radio networks. Start building your own online community from the ground level. Talk about interesting topics and publish your content online. If you do this enough, market yourself well and get listeners radio station bosses will eventually pick up on your talent and you’ll get noticed! Start a podcast and talk about your passion it’ll serve as a continuous online radio demo tape.

Get On Internet Radio

There are internet radio stations that offer paid on air gigs but why not get started and gain experience by volunteering yourself as a radio presenter to any online radio station that will take you? You can record your shows and start building up a portfolio for your future demo tape.

Show Off Your Best Audio

Use audio editing software to edit together your best bits like Adobe Audition or Audacity (free). I make Adobe Audition tutorials here. Edit out any silences, don’t go over the top with sound effects (it’s not a production demo tape) and remember to include your contact details at the end of the audio.

5 Most Important Radio Demo Elements

  1. Your first bit should be your best bit!
  2. News – show of your serious presenting side.
  3. Promotion – every radio station likes to promote things.
  4. Personality – show that you’re a real human being.
  5. Chat to a listener – get a friend on the phone.

Sending Out Your Radio Demo Tape

There’s no need to send out a letter, CV or demo on CD any more. I give my best tips on how to send an online demo and keeping your social media profiles (like Facebook and LinkedIn) looking professional so that a potential boss will hire you. LinkedIn endorsements are great social proof!

LinkedIn Endorsements

LinkedIn Endorsements

Connect with me on LinkedIn here!

Marketing techniques like sending a tea bag and chocolate bar with your demo no longer work. This advice about sending money with your demo is also interesting but hard to do in the online world of emailing audio.

Sending mp3 Files Makes Us Lazy

It’s too easy to spam hundreds of radio station bosses with your mp3 or a link to your demo. You need to really focus your energy on the radio stations you’d like to work for. When you send an email out keep it as short as possible if you want to increase the chances of it getting seen.

Derek Halpern of Social Triggers talks about leaving an information gap in your first email to a new contact. I give an example of how I’d use this tactic to get a response to my email in this podcast episode. I also give more tips on capturing the attention of influential radio people in the podcast.

Don’t stalk and don’t pester but find a reason to keep popping up on the radar of influential radio characters.

Start Your Own Radio Show At Spreaker

Spreaker is a great platform to start practicing doing a radio show or podcast. You can even use a DJ mixing desk on the online and iPad versions. I publish my shows on Spreaker here.