Are you tired of coming up with ideas and writing those long blog posts? Do you want to create your own infoproduct but don't feel confident or knowledgeable enough to create the content yourself? Want to create a ‘wow factor' that increases your rankings, conversions, sales and credibility?
Then consider getting an ‘expert' to contribute content to your site or new product.
You'd be surprised at how easy it is to do — and best of all, it's content that you can get for free.
Since becoming a ‘household name' in the affiliate marketing industry back in 2003, I've literally done 100's of radio, magazine, podcast, newspaper and telephone interviews — and I am still tickled pink each and every time I receive a request for an interview.
The interview requests that come from ‘newbies' are by far my favorites.
I love the fact that they've taken action to create content for a new ebook or multimedia project.
In many cases, they tell me they were quite nervous about initiating contact with a ‘public figure' — but hopefully — after encountering my many foibles they've been cured of that angst forever. 🙂
Most of those interviews go well, i.e. I don't sound like too much of a dufus and the interviewer gets what they want. Some are absolutely terrific, while a very small minority are, well… maybe not so much. In one such case, it was the interviewer's very first ‘kick at the cat' (so to speak) and he was both very nervous and somewhat ill-prepared. No big deal, we just did the interview over again at a later date and it turned out excellent.
How do You Get an Interview with an Expert?
The following 8 points will increase the likelihood that your request for an interview with your chosen expert will be accepted.
- Don't be afraid to ask. Remember that ‘experts' are just people and in most cases they'll be honored by your request. The worst that can happen is that your request will be denied and you send out an interview request to the 2nd person on your list — but to avoid rejection…
- Contact the expert via their preferred means of contact, i.e. don't Tweet them or use their Facebook account when it's obvious that they have a Support Desk on their primary site. Look around the site to see if JV information is posted, as that might give you more specifics on the information they require to proceed.
- Include information about your project plans, a bit about yourself and your experience, as well as details about the planned length and format of the interview (recorded or written response). Recorded (telephone) interviews are generally preferred as it takes less time to answer the same number of questions.
- Include a list of general questions that you plan to ask. Keep your questions fairly general and limit them to a number that can be answered fully within the timeframe suggested, i.e. trying to answer 30 questions in an hour makes for rushed responses which are of limited value to your audience.
- Let your expert suggest an interview date and time that works best for them — and make sure you know in which time zone they are located. Imagine how embarrassing it would be to phone them at 3AM – not to mention how that would probably kill yourchances for an interview.
- If you plan to transcribe recorded interviews, be sure to use a transcriptionist whose first language is English and tell him or her to get rid of the ‘ums, ahs and ers'! Ugh! Take it from me, nothing is worse than reading an un-edited conversation in print… especially when it's your own.
- Offer your expert a copy of your completed project and mention whether you plan to have an affiliate program through which they can promote your product if they so choose.
- Lastly, keep your request brief. Very few folks have the time or inclination to read 1,000 words (article length) to discover the point of the message.
So, that's how you can improve your chances for getting that interview, but how do you conduct an interview to create the best possible product, especially if you've never done one before?
Conducting the Interview
Have an introduction prepared in advance to welcome listeners and introduce your expert speaker. Simply saying ‘and with us today is ____', isn't enough. You need to share information about the speaker's background and credentials for those in your audience who may not be familiar with your guest.
Welcome your guest onto the call and let them respond before launching into the meat of the matter – asking questions and getting well-formed answers that enlighten and entertain your audience.
Some folks are naturally great ‘talkers'. They can share in minute detail everything you and your audience wants to know (and then some) about a topic in response to the briefest, most general question.
I'm not one of those people.
For that I ask forgiveness and offer the following excuse… I used to be an air traffic controller and our M.O. was – in 2 words – ‘concise communications'.
So, when I'm being interviewed by someone who doesn't know how to dig deeper to elicit detail, we're both in big trouble and that doesn't make for great content for the audience. I've been totally mortified to have given a relatively short answer, only to discover that the interviewer is sitting in silence waiting for me to continue on — and I draw a complete blank.
However, when I come across an interviewer who can prompt me to extrapolate minute details from the depths of my puny brain, I definitely sit up and take notice.
It's not often that I gush gratitude at the end of an interview, but I certainly did that after my interview with Heather Vale.
Heather has a special knack for making her subjects feel comfortable, asking the right questions, and knowing how and when to dig deeper for more information without putting her subject on edge — even when the question posed might necessitate a response contradictory to an earlier statement… now THAT's a skill!
I don't say ‘talent' because I know that Heather has practiced and honed her interviewing skills to a fine art over the course of many years.
If you're a good conversationalist, you definitely have a leg up as an interview, but how do you get a great interview if you…
Think you're too shy to interview experts?
No fear! Through Heather, I've come to know that the best interviewers actually tend to be introverts.
I was as well, but it made sense when Heather explained that introverts are natural listeners.
If you're really shy to try interviewing or want to learn more about the art of interviewing, I suggest that you check out “this FREE presentation“.
In it, you'll discover the fastest, easiest, most leveraged way to create profitable online content. For more information about that training, read my review of Interviewing Unwrapped.)
To summarize, interviewing experts is a quick way to generate content for either your blog or a new product that you can sell. Just adding that expert's name to the post will naturally increase your traffic, conversions and sales — and the best part is that it is FREE content!