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Radio Days

Armed with just a modem, an online connection, and a free downloadable player (such as RealAudio) for streaming audio, anyone can tune into tens of thousands of online radio stations on the Net. And that can include one of yours. Think of the uses. Your company can broadcast a live or recorded radio show covering topics that meet your market niche. Instead of having live chat with experts or manufacturers on your web site, or boring discussion boards, you can stream a live or recorded radio show to customers and prospects, with lectures, news, training, or educational information. If your show is live, you can take questions about your product and service over your toll-free number and answer them, just like Rush Limbaugh or Howard Stern.

One of the most popular do-it-yourself Internet radio services (and the most user-friendly) is Live365. Live365 offers a low-cost Internet radio service with simple tools to manage your station. Two types of packages are available: the Professional and the Personal. The Professional Broadcasting package, designed for companies, starts at $75 a month with a setup fee as low as $200. This package provides a commercial-free service that's intended to help companies and organizations get their message out, share perspectives and points of view, attract new customers or members, and build a community. They even offer a personalized message board for you and your listeners to use. You can use your message board to discuss current issues, announce events and news, and receive feedback from your listeners.

Here's how you do it. First, go to the Live365 site. Choose the Broadcast option in the navigation bar. Read the instructions and decide whether you want to do a live broadcast from your computers or a recorded one. At Live365 you don't even have to download an encoder. They'll broadcast live for you after you download their "live input plug-in," or you can download an encoder from RealAudio. An encoder will take your voice input and record it as an audio file that you can upload to Live365 for broadcast whenever you want.

If all this seems too complicated or time-consuming, you can still reach out in a very personal way to clients and prospects by using a blog.

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