Savvy Schmidt, Owner of Helps Entrepreneurs Succeed in Radio Advertising & Positioning

Ken:     That’s a common misconception that people have about having a radio advertising agency; that you’re phone is going to start ringing off the hook and it’s going to happen overnight, right?  

Savvy:     You would be amazed how many people were sold that bill of sale, and it’s really sad and unfortunate.  The salesperson who told them that, is the kind of salesperson that gives all salespeople a bad name, and obscures how people see sales people. They don’t want to go through that again, which is understandable.  Like I said, nobody wants to throw their money out the window so it’s understandable that people would be apprehensive the next time a salesperson approaches them.  It’s really unfortunate, like I said, but I’m patient. I show them Radio Luv genuinely cares about their campaign. I work with them and once they know that I’m here with them …  It’s not the money, it’s about the relationship.  It’s about success together.  It’s not about just turning over a quick buck.  If it’s about that, the salespeople that do that, they’re in it for the wrong reasons.  

Ken:     I know a lot of people think that radio advertising or just advertising in general is something they can really just tackle on their own.  Do you find that being a good strategy for most people?  

Savvy:     No, because there are so many things that you should know and that things like a good agency like me will tell you, you need to know how far your message is going to get.  A good campaign strategy, you want to have that.  If you just go blindly buying commercial time from radio stations, it’s just luck of the draw and you don’t really know what you’re going to get.  I would say don’t go into it blindly, and again, that’s what my company Radio Luv hopes to achieve is keep people informed every step of the way.  Let them know exactly what they should be getting with their advertising money whereas they might not have seen that before with other places and agencies that didn’t have their best interest at heart.  Like I said, we just try to educate everybody.  To answer your question, no, I would not recommend going into it blindly.  

Ken:     There’s a lot to learn and a lot to know, and that takes time and expertise.  Let’s shift the focus to your business strategy and talk a little bit about your expertise.  What’s the growth of your business been like in the last few years?  

Savvy:     Oh, it has grown exponentially.  I first ventured off on my own almost 2 years ago to take the company full time. I actually launched back in 2005, during the time I was working in radio and TV and it wasn’t until almost 2 years ago that I went full time with it after I had my second child.  It evolved like this, I started out by making commercials.  I got home studio equipment that’s top of the line, industry-grade, so I started making commercials and selling them like that and then I expanded into airtime. I had already been working in radio, handling production orders, putting the commercials into the system for airing, so I already knew how that whole process works, and how it’s supposed to work in order to contain every element necessary for a successful campaign.

Campaigns are at the forefront of importance in my schedule, even if that means my radio show has to take a backseat. Recently, we have expanded. Now we have 5 affiliates in the U.S.  That have different stations across the U.S and millions of listeners.  That just means I have more outlets to expand our client’s advertising into, to sell people airtime with my new affiliates.  We work together, so that’s great.  We’ve seen huge growth, even during these last few months.  

Ken:     Savvy, what do you think  is the most common obstacle that might prevent a new business owner in your industry from really achieving the level of success that you’ve achieved, especially in the last couple of years?  

Savvy:     I would say tenacity and keeping at it.  There’s a lot of putting the business first.  The kids come first, then the business comes after that.  You have to put those things first, before yourself.  That means that I work all night long so I can be there for my kids during the day.  I’m available at all hours if somebody rings me or they need help with their campaign, I’m available.  You have to be willing to make those sacrifices.  

You also have to be willing to reach out because business isn’t just going to come to you.  After a while, when you have good word of mouth, business does start coming to you, but you have to be willing to reach out there.  You have to also be willing to completely take a total interest in your clients and their campaigns, what they want.  You have to listen.  

You can’t go into it arrogant whatsoever.  You’re never above your client, ever.  As soon as you start getting that attitude, you might as well just throw your business out the window.  Again, it’s not what the business is about.  It’s every bit of being involved 110%.  Like I said, you come last.  Maybe this is just at the beginning when you’re climbing that ladder because I know at some point, a CEO might get to a point where they have people helping to run the business, but when I first took this on to spend more time with my kids.  Yes I have more time as far as being physically near them, but it is around the clock, super full time running a business by yourself and pushing that extra mile to get it where it needs to be.  It’s every bit of blood, sweat, tears, and 110% commitment and not giving up when things are a little slow, you have to keep going.  

Ken Sherman

Ken Sherman is a multi Best Selling Author, host of the Business Innovators Radio show and contributing writer for various media sites covering business innovators and successful entrepreneurs in Business, Health, Finance, Legal, and Personal Development.