Conducting Interviews Checklist
Before contacting anyone for an interview, run through this checklist so you’ll be as prepared as possible and are more likely to have a successful interview and create the beginning of a mutually beneficial relationship.
Finding Someone to Interview€ Listen to podcasts, join webinars and search audio recordings related to your niche subject area. € Look for someone who is a good fit for your audience and is very knowledgeable about a topic you want to discuss. € Don’t overthink it. Find someone and approach them with your interview idea.
Getting People to Say Yes to an Interview
Contact them with a very succinct message letting them know the details of your request. Include:€ How much time you need (15-30 minutes max. on first request)€ Who you are and why you decided to contact them€ The subject you want to talk about and why they are a good fit€ If you have high traffic numbers or a large subscriber list, mention it€ Tell them they’ll get full rights to the audio recording and the transcript, if possible
Once They’ve Said Yes€ Schedule It. Give them some times to choose from and let them know you are flexible with their schedule. Be sure to coordinate your time zones.€ Recording Details. Provide them with the details on how you’ll be recording, but be flexible. If they’re more comfortable with something else, consider adjusting to suit their needs. (See “Choosing the Right Technology” section of this checklist first)€ Provide Them with a List of Interview Questions. Many people like to be prepared, but some people like to do things off the cuff. You can always ask their preference before sending them questions. (See the “Preparing the Interview Questions” section of this checklist immediately below.)
Preparing the Interview Questions
Need help with this? Reach out to someone that can do research for you. € Research your guest. Make sure that you know all that there is to know about your guest. € Make a list of things you want to know. Your guest is an expert, so tap into their knowledge. Write down all your thoughts and questions and be sure to ask them, because your audience may have similar questions.€ Ask your audience. What do your customers and subscribers want to know? Consider asking them for their input before the interview. € Hunt for similar interviews. Chances are your expert has been interviewed before. Read or listen to those prior interviews. Look for opportunities to expand on good ideas. € Become an interview expert. Look at other interviews and note the thought-provoking questions. How can you apply those types of questions to your interview?€ Pay attention to industry news and trends. Staying informed is a wonderful way to help you identify great interview questions. € Ask your interviewee. It’s okay to ask your interviewee what they want to communicate to listeners. They may have some very good ideas about how to approach the interview.
Choosing the Right Technology
If it’s your first interview, just keep things simple for your first recording. Get on Skype and record it with Pamela or whatever you choose. It’s important to just get it done and not to overwhelm yourself with technology. Consider some of these options…€ Webinars: There are a ton of webinar platforms out there, but some of the more popular ones include Adobe Connect, GoToWebinar and Instant Teleseminar. € Video Interviews: Google+ has powerful video software and allows you to conduct live Hangouts, where you can invite your viewers to submit questions and more.. You can learn more about Google+ Hangouts here.€ Audio Interviews: A super easy way to record your audio conversations is to get on a Skypecall and record the interview with software called Pamela. You could also look into using Evaer to record the calls as well.
Marketing Your Interview€ Tell your mailing list. Warm them up before you even publish the interview. Tell them what you’re working on and who you’re working with, to get them excited. Let them know when the interview is ready and remind them with a follow up message.€ Post it to social media. It’s a no-brainer, right? Share the great content with your social media followers. € Buy ads on Facebook and Twitter. You can set up highly targeted ads with a specific budget to bring traffic to the interview. € Ask your affiliates to spread the word. If the interview is for sale, they can promote it as a product. If it’s a free interview, make sure there is product offer on the backend where they can earn commissions. € Put it on iTunes and other apps. There are plenty of places to post audio content. Get out there and share your content. € Link to It. Link to the interview from your relevant blog posts and other popular content. You can also have a promotional graphic created for the interview and add it to the sidebar of your website. € Repurpose the content. Just because you’ve posted an audio interview to your blog, doesn’t mean that’s all you can do with it. Here are some ideas:€ Take thought-provoking quotes from the interview and turn them into graphics, using software like Social Graphics Pro or your favorite graphics editor. € Have the content transcribed, so you can break it up into blog posts, create worksheets, checklists and other types of content for your readers. Note that transcriptions usually have to be edited quite a bit to make them into meaningful pieces of content.€ Create a slide show from some of the content and add it to SlideShare…or then put the audio together with the slide show and turn it into a video for YouTube. Include information on where they can get the full interview.
Expanding the Relationship€ Consider making this an interview series and invite your guest back, or perhaps they might interview you. € If your audience responds well to the interview, consider doing a Q&A session, so they can ask your guest questions. € Work together in other ways. Here’s a list of meaningful ideas.