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I had to make sure that never happened to another guest of mine ever again…
Back when I was producing an online game show, a scheduled contestant was *gasp* a no-show.
The format called for two guests and me (your friendly host), and the action was streamed live.
One contestant was right on time. That left just the two of us waiting around. Plus my scrambling to find a fill-in (which I wasn’t able to on such short notice).
This experience taught me several things. One lesson was that I had been only pseudo-batching by booking 1 to 3 shows each week, seeking to build a backlog of episodes.
It was time to Super Batch this thing!
Here’s how it happened…
I would book 20 guests for 10 eposodes over four days.*
These four days were called the Live-A-Thon.
1. TO THE AUDIENCE, THE FOUR DAYS ARE A TREAT
The Live-A-Thon was presented to my audience as a Big Deal, an EVENT. Those ‘in the know’ could catch the episodes live. This was made even more valuable by unpublishing the episodes at the end of each day ( to be re-published: one episode per week beginning the following week).
2. TO THE GUESTS, IT’S AN EVENT
Framing the Live-A-thon as a once-a-quarter, four-day event was genius (if I say so myself).
First, a limited time-frame event creates excitement, something guests look forward to and are a part of, rather than just another date on a calendar.
Second, I didn’t book the guests! They booked themselves AND my recording schedule was filled with 24 guests in just six hours!
10 days prior to the first live show, I opened up round one of the self-booking process. Spots were available on my online calendar: If a guest wanted first choice for dates and times (for the four days), they had to act fast!
I had email reminders, similar to a live-only webinar (“Booking opens in 3 days”, “… Tomorrow”, “…in one hour”, “…NOW!”). This event-style booking creates an urgency… miss out this week and you’ll have to wait at least 6 weeks to get on the show (if you can even get booked in the future.
Those first spots went fast, which gave me reason to contact guests again for the second and final round of booking.
3. FOR MY BUSINESS, IT’S A RELIEF
I increased focus on GetResultsClub (my main business). I didn’t have to stop to set up the studio, etc. (which was in a small space, and I couldn’t keep set up full time).
The show kept going while I worked on my main biz: I got up 12 episodes recorded during the Live-A-Thon. I unpublished them after the live show, then re-published them according to a regular schedule over several weeks.
The episodes were better quality since they were done within days of one another (I wasn’t having to get back into the rythm every week or two; I could rehearse to get into the groove, then keep on rolling for several days in a row).
I also had an event I could use for promotional content, a reason to reach out to people and keep my business in front of them, while bringing awareness to the show.
TO MAKE THIS POSSIBLE:
I needed to create a longer list of possible guests (hint: not everyone who said YES will book).
But not TOO big of a list. You don’t want people trying to book time and time again but never having success. Of course, you could come back to those who missed and have a day set aside just for them.
Having a bigger list of potential guests (rather than the book ’em as I find ’em method) gave me more options (for example, I don’t want make-up dates for no-shows, and — if live — I want to fill that space, if possible. If I have a few potential guests who tried to book but didn’t get there in time, I then have folks I can call on when someone drops out).
I hope you can take all or some of my experience to make your bookings run smooth, like a nice slice of cheesecake.
If you do, please write to me and let me know any ups and downs of your experience.
–Dave Charbonneau, Your Accountability Partner
Online Accountability Groups for Solo Entrepreneurs