I was watching Tamron Hall interview Whoopie Goldberg recently and Tamron asked Whoopie if she is happy with where she is. Whoopie paused for a moment and said she would have liked to have been Tyler Perry. Tamron asked her what she meant since she has made many movies. Whoppie said, “I never had the bread.” Tamron then said, ‘But you have done a lot of movies, do you think it was because you are a woman?’ Whoopie basically said ‘No, I made a lot of money. I just did make enough to start a studio.’
What Whoopie was REALLY saying is she didn’t own her own sh, unlike Tyler. So the one-time payment apparently didn’t result in any massive residual or passive payments. People have clowned Tyler Perry for playing Madea and while I would not see a Madea movie myself because it’s not for me, Tyler is an absolutely brilliant businessman. The black community has been giving our wealth, culture and potential businesses away for way too many decades and because of that, we have nothing to show for it. Had Whoopie had a greater business acumen and surrounded and educated herself on ownership … without question… she WOULD have her own studio by now.
Everybody can’t be an black entrepreneur. I know this and as we celebrate 25 years in business this year, I’ve been blessed to learn a LOT. A good black entrepreneur has his or her eye on the future so that they can embrace it and shift their business. I can tell you the industry is headed in an black entrepreneur and side gig direction that cannot be denied. Artists are capitalizing on branding in ways their predecessors couldn’t and technology plays the greatest role in order for them to do that. There are millionaires and billionaires in our industry who just a few years ago had NO connection to the music and radio industry. BUT they understood business, found the holes that many of the experienced people left and they filled them.
By looking at several radio corporate websites, I can tell you that several of them are not only leaving a ton of money on the table but too many of us are waiting in vain for recognition that may never come working for those corporations. It’s really not the corporation’s fault, they are promoting their brand more than the employees (unless you are a syndicated host) and many have rules about doing outside self-promotion and using the corporation’s name without their permission. I can understand that too but at the end of the day, they own their brand but who owns YOU? If the answer is YOU then you better find a strategy to promote and diversify your skills, not only so that you can have something to fall back on if you lose your current gig but also to make you more valuable to the industry as a whole. People who last for decades in this industry are the ones who can do many things. For example, do you have a unique idea on how to promote music because the record labels are ALWAYS looking for new ways to do it and to get it to consumers?
Here at RadioFacts, we gleefully embrace digital media and concepts. If you can’t be an black entrepreneur, and I can tell you from experience, it’s the most rewarding AND challenging gig you could ever have, if you know what you are doing … but it’s not for the faint of heart. If you can’t be an black entrepreneur, then at least have a side gig unrelated to your current corporate gig. Here are some ideas to help you “secure the bag” with residual income formulas and digital gig concepts You’re welcome (lol). Please like and share TF out of this info. Click NEXT above or below for the next idea
Content Creator/Article Writing
Radio stations across the nation in ALL formats are in DIRE need for more good quality localized content creators. Most radio websites duplicate celebrity content for higher SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and while this is easy to do, it can actually HURT their SEO per market because it’s duplicate content across the board. It is hard to find the right industry people who know how to write an article.
Some corporations hire people to write stories but they don’t know radio, they don’t know SEO and they are usually not from the radio culture or the format genre, especially on the urban side. Most important the stories are not unique, engaging or compelling. Many radio corporations have told me it’s almost impossible to find a website content creators that know radio … and I believe them.
How to Write an Article
If you are a good writer and you KNOW radio and the music industry, there are side gigs waiting for you in the industry. This will not score points for me with a few radio corporations but I would STRONGLY suggest that you not take the idea to your own corporation for they very well may add it to your current job duties gratis or with a future promise of “let’s see how it works” and I can tell you that usually doesn’t work out too well for many reasons, most importantly if you LOSE your gig there goes your side gig too. BUT on the other end of that spectrum, it could make you more valuable to the company. Nevertheless, I would not suggest it.
I would suggest creating a profile on Fiverr and Upwork to get started. I can tell you that I have looked for GOOD radio writers for YEARS and they are VERY hard, if not impossible, to locate which is why I believe it when corporations say they can’t find GOOD web content creators who are also of the radio ilk. So if you can write compelling and engaging radio content AND you know radio … and even MORE important, you know WordPress? I will even hire you for a project or two to get you started. (have samples ready to show prospective clients). Click NEXT above or below for the next side gig ideas.
Podcast Event Organizer
Yes, there are MANY super successful podcasts out there that have HUGE downloads and audiences who are leaving money on the table by not creating local events where they could have sponsorships and build their audience and brand.
It’s not JUST about commercial radio anymore. Podcasts and audiobooks are here to stay and they are only going to get bigger. Again, post a profile on Fiverr and Upwork in your market as a Podcast Event Organizer ESPECIALLY if you have connections to local car dealerships and the behemoth of added revenue for damn near any audio product … accident attorneys. Find out who your local rep is for liquor companies OR record labels OR connect with a radio salesperson at another local station who you could combine forces with.
Remember this is about YOU, not your current radio gig. Just make sure you NEVER use your stations call letters or branding to make money with your outside gigs.
There are various types of writing for industry gigs perse, but if you like to write, there may also be options outside of the industry but related. Every thought about grant writing? This may be a great side gig for you. There are umpteen grants that go unclaimed each year or they do not come to the community or people IN the community because nobody that looks like you applies for the money.
There are even grants for people starting small businesses or doing projects in the arts that YOU can take advantage of YOURSELF. The black community is earmarked for a plethora of grants especially in the arts and great grant writers are really hard to come by and in VERY high demand.
In order to write a grant for a black film project, for example, or a music program, having knowledge of the culture you are targeting is paramount to express the need accurately and to convey the passion for the project. Most good grant writers are ALWAYS busy. When I say “Good” grant writers, I’m speaking of those who can get projects funded. Who has time to waste paying someone who just writes a grant without conveying the need or the passion for the project? Again, narrowing down your specialty and posting a profile on Fiverr of Upwork should open some doors of opportunity for you. This is not an easy side gig but it can pay very well and carry you over between gigs or it can be the start of a new business venture.
Radio Studio/Produce Podcasts
There are still many people who want to do a podcast but they don’t have any idea or tech know-how to do one. Who better to complete a podcast project than a jock or radio person? Do you have access to a studio (not the station’s) in your market? If you live in a nice apartment complex you can use the meeting room if you have one, like someone else I know. Creating a studio space at a WeWork space is not that expensive in smaller to mid-sized markets either and your entire set up can be mobile. The goal is to get repeat clients and to charge an upfront fee that’s going to give you a good profit.
To create a radio studio it’s going to take an initial investment such as for a good quality mic like Blue Yeti pro and a good laptop with the software to produce the podcast but at the end of the day, if you get consistent clients, you could be making more money on a regular basis. You could also find clients who can do their own podcasts but need someone to produce the finished product. Place an ad on Fiverr or Upwork for your production services.
There are people out there who do it now but they can’t say they have experience like you do. Hint: you could specialize in certain areas like Entrepreneurs, black women, LGBT, work at home moms, etc. Niche is the keyword when it comes to doing anything online these days as there are millions of other resources otherwise.
Graphic Design Company
Lots of brands and black entrepreneurs are looking for logos, ads, and slogans. If you are good at doing this the first place to start is .. you guessed it, Fiverr or Upwork. Create a profile for it with some of your examples.
This is absolutely one of the hardest jobs to fill in the radio industry. I cannot tell you how many requests I get for this position each month. I have heard that producers on the radio side are not paid enough to get up that early in the morning and research content for morning shows repeatedly, but that doesn’t mean you can’t approach some of the major syndication companies about producing a national show. If you’re going to be in it go ALL the way. You never know what you can have until you ask and I’ve been approached several times by syndication companies looking for producers.
Social Media Consultant/Media agency
Programmers and record execs in our industry are incredibly busy and unable to post on social media as much as they would like to. Many don’t know how to promote compelling content as well. Everybody including programmers have to be involved with social media and perhaps you can help them create their marketing objectives. Are they interested in expanding their horizons or only promoting their work at the station? If you are able to secure great visibility or videos and content on the socials you may want to approach a couple of high profile PDs first or industry people about posting on their social media.
Don’t allow yourself to be “tested” before you make money. I can tell you that’s the oldest trick in the book. Know your value when you come to the table and once again, I would offer that you apply OUTSIDE of your company.
Write Press Releases
I can tell you that iHeart is, hands down, the BEST at sending out press releases for everything that they do. The other companies send out releases but they’re are often poorly formatted to duplicate or they are without images and they are rare. Black jocks RARELY get press for their promotions and if you are the go-to person or that that could be a great side gig income. Each radio corporation should be sending out a press release every time a person is promoted or hired and MOST don’t do it or RARELY do it.
If you can write press releases, I would approach outside companies as a freelancer and target urban brands in the industry. I know of several freelancers who do press releases for the major corporations who get a lot of work and none of them, that I know of, are black.