Readers’ lives: Agent turns DJ to cue up new business

Here’s a question for homeworkers: when bookings dry up, have you ever thought to yourself ‘why don’t I become a radio DJ and host my own live show about travel to drum up business’?

Probably not.

But Hays Travel homeworker Sarah Williams did, and she thinks you should too.

“There’s no point waiting for the bookings to come to you and you certainly can’t rely on Teletext any more.

“I was talking to radio stations about getting a mention at first, but it was costly. Then I came across Preston FM community radio who wanted volunteers to do shows.

“I did a three-day course on how to produce a show and I’ve pre-recorded a couple about Gran Canaria and Ibiza.”

Williams is planning on having a regular slot on the radio station, which has 35,000 listeners, to talk about various destinations.

She said: “I want to involve the listeners, get them emailing, texting, calling in and ask them which destinations they want to hear about and what travel tips they would like.

Williams could have her eye on following in the footsteps of Craig Doyle. “Since BBC’s Holiday programme ended there’s not much for holidaymakers to learn about destinations, so hopefully I can fill that hole – at least in my part of the country.

“I have to be careful not to promote myself all the time, but I can give my contact details, so that raises my profile,” she said.

Sarah’s tips


Talking on radio

  • Sound enthusiastic – a monotone voice will be a turn-off for listeners
  • Avoid potentially confusing terms such as ‘Atol regulations’ and ‘principals’ – use everyday terms such as ‘holiday companies’ and ‘protecting your money’
  • Listeners will love any insider tips on where or when to get the best deals

Drumming up business

  • Contact your local community radio stations. They are all over the country and always want volunteers who can put together decent shows. Everyone is interested in travel and for you to become a known expert for potentially thousands of listeners will be beneficial.
  • Use the web to find local networking events. There are lots taking place all over the country and they provide a great opportunity to meet new contacts. Some may have a small cost involved but the people you meet could become customers, have great ideas for your business or be useful contacts.
  • Wedding fairs are another excellent way to find new customers. Again, there is a small outlay, but in my experience they pay for themselves very quickly – the key is to get yourself out there, trusted and well known.

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