Imagine getting a highly-paid expert to spend an hour with you on the phone to solve your biggest problems… for free. Then, imagine turning the results of that consultation into killer content for your own site that your readers devour and share like crazy.
Imagine that the expert not only does all of this for free, but that he or she also helps you promote the content you created from the interview.
Then, what if you could also give back to the expert, introducing them to a whole new audience? Imagine making friends with this “a-lister” and forming a mutually-beneficial relationship that helps make both of your businesses stronger over the coming months and years.
This isn’t fantasy or a lucky break. I’m talking about something you can easily do over-and-over again, improving your business or life and helping your audience and the expert at the same time.
I’m talking about interviews.
Entire sites have been created solely based on interviews. There’s no question interviews can be a powerful type of content. Check out Mixergy for example. Andrew Warner has built an amazing wealth of information from interviews into a very popular site over there.
An interview is an excellent way for you and your audience to get answers to tough questions that only an expert could answer.
In your interview, you can ask questions that you really want to know the answers to. People pay hundreds per hour for consulting with experts, so make the most of your “free” consulting time.
In addition to the consulting, great content, extra promotion and long-term relationships that can come out of interviews, they can also take a lot of pressure off of you.
If you’re trying to become a trusted authority at your site or blog, trying to constantly develop and share expertise can be challenging. By interviewing other experts, you can take some of the pressure off of yourself to constantly provide great information.
5 Steps to a Stellar Interview
Have you done any interviews before? Interviews can be as magical as I described, but there are some things you need to do to make the magic happen.
- Reach out to experts you really respect and want to learn from, not just people you think will attract new visitors.
- Ask questions that you genuinely want to know the answers to. Get “in the moment” and interact with your expert naturally. If you worry about what your readers will think you won’t get the really juicy details that matter.
- Be sure to find out what the expert might be currently promoting before the interview. Ask the expert about that book/product/service or whatever in your interview, naturally, in the context of your discussion. This will help you form a bond with the expert and make them happy for the promotion. Also make sure to link to the expert’s site and include a bio.
- Package the interview well. Don’t just slap up an audio file on your blog. Audio takes a ton of time to listen to and doesn’t lead the listener well. Take notes of your interview and create a list of highlights and times at which they occur. Have a transcript made as well for people who don’t want to listen.
- Promote the interview and thank the expert publicly (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) for doing the interview. Send the expert a quick email letting him know when the interview is published.
A Couple of Things to Watch Out For
If you put in the effort and do most of the things I suggested, your interviews will deliver lots of benefits. However, if you cut corners, you can end up wasting your time, the expert’s time and turning off your readers.
Here are a couple of things to watch out for:
- Beware of creating “fluff” interviews, just because the expert is a big name in your niche or field. Don’t be intimidated by someone’s status, and don’t expect that just because someone is well known your interview will attract a big audience. You need to shape the content of the interview, and the content is ultimately up to you and your questions.
- If your first interview isn’t a hit, don’t be discouraged. Experiment and learn from your trials. Try different formats, lengths, topics, etc. and give interviews at least a few tries to work.
Check Out My Interview with BlogCastFM (and win a one-on-one hour of consulting time with me)
Speaking of interviews, Srini interviewed me over at BlogcastFM on the topics of blogging and building traffic. To help Srini promote the interview, I’m giving away an hour of consulting time to one reader. Head over there and check out the interview for your chance to win.
Bonus tip: boost the promotion of your own interviews by asking your interviewee to provide a giveaway along with the interview.
What is your experience with interviews? Have any tips to share? Let us know in the comments! If you have any questions, just ask. I’m happy to answer them.
photo by prosto photos