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Tim Sinclair

Mornings WBGL Champaign

The Fine Art of Ignoring People




Don’t tell anyone, but I’m about to share the secret to a successful radio station with you: start ignoring people. Don't go after the people in your community who aren’t already listening.  Don't market to people who haven't yet bought into what you’re doing.  Don't change your music or format to attract those who haven't tried you out yet.  Ignore them.

Is that counter-intuitive?  Yes.   Is it harsh?  Maybe.  But it works.  When organizations (including radio stations) spend too much time trying to attract new members, or trying to appease those who don't like what's currently being offered, they end up doing two things:

1.  Abandoning their original fan base

2.  Attracting the wrong "new people"

Our morning show fan page on Facebook is the perfect example.  On several occasions we have run contests in order to increase membership.  We've seen a noticeable bump in our numbers, but it's always been a temporary increase.  You might say that the giveaways have been successful, but they haven't been productive.

Most new people signed up for the "prize", and then either left or waited around (silently) for their next chance to win something.  We attracted takers, not participants.  We used our time, energy and resources to artificially inflate our numbers, when we could have been using them to create excitement amongst the 6,000 fans we already have.

On the flip side though...each time we post content (blogs, pictures, links, etc.) that our existing fans are excited about, our numbers automatically grow anyway.  And they grow with fans, not fakes.  They grow with people who come because they want to, not because they were bribed to.  (This concept has serious implications when it comes to Sharathon “premiums” as well.  We’re attracting people who want to take something, rather than give something to our ministries.)

If you’re a station manager, program director or show host, it's not your job to bring in new listeners.  It's your job to turn your current listeners into passionate listeners, and then let them do the rest.  People who are excited about a product or service or movement will tell others about it.  They'll share their passion with friends and family and co-workers and neighbors.  Your numbers will grow, and they'll grow with people who truly want to be a part of what you're doing.

 Excite the people you have.  Ignore the rest.  They'll come anyway.


Tim Sinclair co-hosts "Mornings with Tim and Pam" on WBGL and helps write and produce radio station imaging through a company he owns called Green Eye Creative.  Tim is currently working on his first book called Re-Marketing a Remarkable Jesus which will be released in April of 2011 through Kregel Publications.  You can catch up with him at