There are five key steps to interviewing like a pro. Here they are, in the order you will more than likely move through the steps.
- Know your goal.
- Pick gigs based on your goal.
- Prep the call.
- Answer questions briefly but strategically.
- Follow up diligently.
If you follow each step, you'll find yourself quickly and easily handing interviews and benefitting from them in more ways than one. Each step helps ensure that your interview will be of benefit to the person interviewing you and to your business. Any time a solo professional can take an action with a double benefit, it's sure to be a winner!
Step One – Know Your Goal
Just as with anything else you do in business, being interviewed takes your time away from other things you could be doing. You won't be getting paid, but you still do want a return on your investment of time and sharing of your expertise. Setting a goal for each interview you decide to give will help you get a return.
Ask yourself why you want to do this particular interview, and what you would like to get out of it. There are at least five ways to benefit, and you can probably hit two of them with each interview. The first goal is to build visibility for your business. Think about where and how much the interview will be publicized, the likely size of the listeners or audience, and how much introduction you are likely to receive.
Gaining credibility is a second goal. No one is going to ask you to be interviewed if they think you have nothing of value to offer their listeners or audience. Just by doing the interview, you gain credibility. It's a good idea to keep a list of all the places you've done interviews, and add this to your media page. Reporters and others who are always looking for guests will be impressed that you've interviews and will be grateful to find someone who knows the ropes. Just like many other things in the business world, doing interviews can create its own energy. Word spreads that you are both interesting and willing, and you will get more opportunities once you break the ice.
A third goal for doing interviews is to build your list of prospects. Especially if you are an Internet-based business (or have an Internet-based component to your business) constantly building your list is a key concern for you. For Internet businesses, a list of potential customers is the goose that lays the golden egg. For businesses that are not Internet-based, their database of contacts and prospects is also important.
How does interviewing help you build your list? Many times, the person interviewing you will require people who want to listen in on the call or radio show to register ahead of time, even if the call is free. The interviewer may be building his own list using this strategy. He may need to know roughly how many people to expect on a telephone interview so that he can reserve enough phone lines through his conference call provider. He may want to collect information about the industry his listeners are coming from. Whatever the reason, there is often an opportunity to share this information and build your own list, too. If you do this, make sure that when a prospect registers for the event she is told that registering means she will receive the call-in access information and that she will receive a free subscription to your own electronic newsletter (e-zine). Make sure that you operate within the Federal laws regarding e-mails and SPAM.
Even if the person interviewing you doesn't require a registration to listen in on the event, you can still build your list right on the call. Make sure that your bio includes information about your website's URL. Include a statement something like, “Be sure to go to my website and subscribe to my e-zine, for you'll receive valuable marketing tips several times a month.”
Product development is the fourth goal you can meet by doing interviews. Once the interview is done, there will likely be a recording of it. Viola! You have a product, a half-hour or hour-long interview about a particular topic that you can give away as an MP3 file, burn to a CD and sell, or have transcribed and make part of a product bundle. Interviewing is a quick and easy way to build up a library of low-cost products that can create a passive income stream for you. Make sure that you agree ahead of time that you will get to share the audio file of the interview with the person who interviews you. The majority of times, this is understood at the outset – that both of you can use that resource in any way you want. Having the file is useful, for you can create audio clips from it to use in advertising or presentations along with using it as a product to give away or sell.
Finally, you may have a goal to make a special offer to the audience during an interview. Most hosts will be more than willing to take a brief time during the interview to let you offer something special to their listeners. This helps the host become known as someone who offers special deals or surprises, which in turn builds their audience. For you, it can be a way to test out a new product or service with an audience, or to raise some quick cash by offering one of your services with a special add-on for the same price. To make special offers effective, limit the time it is available (usually that day or 24 hours only) and/or the quantity offered. Build a special link in your website for this special offer, and announce it on the call, leading the audience to browse to your website, purchase the offer, and perhaps browse the rest of your website, too.
Stay tuned for Part Three of this article, coming your way soon!
(c) Sue Painter