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We have a fantastic edition of Whiteboard Wednesday this month!

You’ll learn:

      • Programming trends from the great Chuck Finney
      • More lessons from Mr. Beast
      • Fundraising medieval style

Before we get to the content, I have a favor to ask. If you enjoy this newsletter, would you recommend it to someone you think could benefit from the content? It’s free and super-easy to sign up (and get access to back issues) here.

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I can’t believe it’s not better!

by Dave Kirby dave@vidarecreative.com

Who doesn’t want to raise more money? Who doesn’t NEED to raise more money? Especially in these days of inflation and higher prices, the need might be greater than ever.

The way I see it, there are only a few options if you want to raise more money:

  1. Get more listeners.
  2. Get more listeners to give.
  3. Get more listeners to give more.

Please put this on my tombstone: If you want to raise more money, you have to be worth more money. 

It’s that simple.

When a station tells me they want to raise more money, my first thought is, “What have you done to deserve it?” Not want it. Not need it. Deserve it. 

And you deserve it by being better. Better in your programming. Better in your marketing. Better in your communication. 

In a recent article, Marc Hustvedt, the president of MrBeast (currently the most subscribed-to individual page on YouTube), told Fast Company how it’s possible to reach a billion people monthly. I walked away with these three secrets to building a brand that rises above the rest (quotes from Hustvedt in italics):

Work ethic. There is “something about the obsession and work ethic of YouTubers—or at least the ones who had risen to the top—who worked incredibly hard. They [are] relentlessly obsessed with figuring out how to advance and get better. The YouTubers who were obsessed with building a subscriber base, that became really fascinating to me.”

I don’t want to point any fingers. I know how many hats we wear at our organization. But honestly ask yourself this question: “Are we really too busy, or are we just not willing to put in the effort?” In my experience, it’s easy to say I’m too busy. Those who rise above the pack deserve it because they work harder than the rest. 

(Another great question to ask is “what can I drop that’s not creating results, so I have more time to focus on what does?”)

Innovation. We’re still on a mission here. From a personal career standpoint, I don’t ever want to be in an industry where everybody knows everything, and it’s just super traditional. If this feels like network TV at a certain point, and you’re just defending the old way of doing it, then I’m probably in the wrong place. We’re going to keep playing around.”

We have the greatest message of all time. But we live in a media landscape where things are changing rapidly. Look at how the Manning brothers changed how we watch Monday Night Football. Something totally different. Let’s find new and innovative ways to communicate. 

Energy Management. Creators need to learn how to “deal with real serious issues like burnout, which is probably one of the most consistent issues that most creators have felt either individually or their teams have felt. One of the biggest challenges is how to modulate the gas pedal. Because it’s like a show that doesn’t ever go on hiatus.”

That sounds familiar. Radio is a beast that must be fed every day. Make sure your team is getting the support they need to keep their tank full. Maybe we’re not lazy, just burned out. Find a way to ignite the fire again in your team, your air talent, and yourself.

I think it was the late blues guitarist Albert King who said, “Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die.”

It’s easy to say, “I want to raise more money.” I hear that all day, every day. Instead, let’s take an inventory of what we’re doing now (and what we can do in the future) to deserve it.

Pop Quiz

(answer is at the bottom of the newsletter)

What percentage of workers now work from home at least once a week? 

      1. 29.8%
      2. 42.6%
      3. 64.5%
Links will direct to sites not affiliated with Vidare Creative

Fundraising is not new. I found this fascinating fundraising course from medieval times. The more things change, the more they stay the same!

uncertain emotion

We have covered these points in this newsletter, but it’s great to see them validated by the Chronicle of Philanthropy.

Fundraising during a time of uncertainty.

tiktok logo

TikTok provided this handy worksheet to help with planning out your social strategy for the year, with some helpful hints. Not everything applies, but there are some good ideas here.

Fundraising 23: check out our speakers at fundraising23.com!

What could you do with $100? Treat yourself to a night out? New clothes for the kids? Buy a dozen eggs?

That’s how much you save right now by registering for Fundraising 23 before the end of this month. A cool hundred bucks in your pocket.

Have you heard some of the speakers we have coming to this year’s conference? You’ll receive intensive fundraising training from the likes of Chuck Finney, Jon Hull, EMF President Bill Reeves, and more. It’s really going to be a great couple of days. Your WHOLE TEAM would benefit from spending these two days with us in Nashville.

And again, if you register while the calendar still says “February” you’ll beat the $100 price increase that kicks in March 1st. 

Click here to find out more and sign up now.


Three Trends Coming in 2023 

By Chuck Finney  chuck@finneymedia.com

My friend Amy Byrd Griffin, the morning host at Spirit 105.9 in Austin, had just heard the news: her station was sold. I called to see if she would be interested in taking on another morning show opportunity that, once again, would mean a move for her and her family. We agreed to pray about it and talk in a couple of weeks. And, then something unexpected happened. See the rest of the story at end of this article. 

Amy’s story illustrates the first of three trends we see coming in 2023:

A. Talent from distance. This year, we’ll see more talent elsewhere who sound like they’re in the local community. Also, more on-air fundraising with folks from a distance. Two reasons for this increased focus on talent from a distance are: 

        1. The pandemic changed thinking among leadership, and 
        2. The increasing challenges with finding local talent.  

B. Transparent Digital Media Measurement. And a focus on goals related to it. There will be more debate about and increasing agreement around what to count to help determine reach and success for digital media. For example, we’re now seeing more focus on downloads/streams as a standard for podcasts. This is driven by podcast novelty drying up and the reality that these endeavors must gain listenership/viewership, and therefore financial sustainability, to survive.

What does this mean? Like radio, those digital entities that sounded like a good idea, but just aren’t performing will increasingly stop investing the time and money in continuing. Those that are growing and focused on growing, will continue to change to adjust to a new digital reality that content is king, the listener decides, and ultimately, if it’s gaining listeners and sustainability, it gets fed and grows. 

C. Christian audio media continues growing. Terrestrial and digital. Music and spoken word. Particularly listener-supported. Three reasons for this:

        1. Commercial-supported audio (particularly radio) will continue to degrade its content. From a friend at a commercial radio station, “I survived the year-end budget cuts.” It’s the reality that it will be tougher for them to sound terrific in this leaner environment.
        2. Continued improvement in Christian media content. One positive here is that our shows are increasingly the ones with longevity. Longevity matters. 
        3. Hope matters. Our message of hope, uplift, and encouragement is increasingly what people want. This means more growth for Christian media. We’re the fastest-growing format in the past 20 years. That will continue!

Back to our story: As promised I called Amy back and, to my surprise, she’d already accepted a job. Mornings on House FM in Oklahoma – from her home in Texas! House FM got an amazing talent. Amy and her family got to stay in Texas. The lesson here: The right answer might be someone amazing who lives in another part of the world.

Pop Quiz Answer

According to a study done by research firm Attest, 42.6% of Americans now work from home at least one day a week. And it’s not going away any time soon. 

Have you confronted this “new reality?” What are we doing to engage people who are not listening on the same schedule they used to? Something to definitely think about!

Thanks for reading this Whiteboard Wednesday and, as always, mash the reply button and drop us a note to let us know know what you thought. 👍


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