Regular readers will know that I am a big fan interviewing experts.
Whilst all of the interviews I have conducted for this blog have been published here for free, many other marketers have succeeded in making an awful lot of money by packaging up interviews that they have recorded and selling them as a product.
In my view this is probably the quickest and most effective way to make money online by creating your own product.
Now, in a recent discussion at my monthly meet-up group I was asked, “How exactly do you get experts to agree to be interviewed in the first place?”
It’s a great question and in this post I’m going to share with you my own strategy for this…
First things first…
The first thing to know is that it is much easier to get interviews than you might first imagine and you NEVER EVER need to pay your expert for their time!
This is borne out by my own personal experience together with other marketers and I really can’t stress these points enough.
To see why this is the case, imagine yourself as a (rather cynical) expert who has been approached with a request for an interview.
If you agree to the interview, here are your upsides and downsides:
- Ego: It’s nice to receive the complement of being asked to give an interview and like most people I like talking about ME!
- Status: My own audience/customers will see me with increased authority and respect
- Exposure: If the interview is heard by a wide audience I could get a bunch more leads for my own business
- Reputation: Giving my time to someone else (especially if less well known) makes me look generous (and makes me feel good too!)
- I waste 30-60 minutes of my time if the interview is poor or doesn’t get published to a large enough audience
Now, I don’t mean to come across as cold, hard and cynical with this reasoning!
After all, the vast majority of people are sincere, genuine and happy to help others. However, if you think about it in these purely analytical terms then basically, the only real major downside of agreeing is a potential waste of 60 minutes.
Big deal – so why not just agree and do the interview?
These are some of the essential reasons why relative unknown marketers have managed to secure interviews with top experts in many different niches.
And you can too…
The bottom line here is don’t underestimate your ability to get well known people to agree to your interview requests.
How To Do It!
Before You Ask
If the person you’d like to interview is extremely well known then the chances are that they will get a lot of requests for interviews and joint ventures and may even have a “gatekeeper” – such as a virtual assistant – who filters their emails.
So your first job is to make sure they actually see your interview request.
If your potential interviewee has a blog then a great thing to do is to make some comments on it a week or two before you approach them. Even the most famous and successful people still personally read their blog comments even if they do not personally read their emails.
This is a great way of getting on their radar so are likely to at least recall your name when you make your approach.
Making Your Approach
Send a short and concise email.
It is very tempting to write more and tell them all about your latest projects and what you are planning but in short you need to be polite, to the point and – most of all – spell out clearly what is in it for them.
I usually like to follow the following format:
1. Make a relevant (and genuine!) complement about their products, blog, latest activities
2. Talk briefly about your background
3. Make your interview request
4. Define the benefits for them
The last point is clearly the most important and I recommend that you explicitly outline the following as best as you can:
- Say that you’d like them to talk about their latest products and projects towards the end of the interview
- Inform them about how you are going to promote the interview and give them increased exposure
- Remind them that this is only 30-60 minutes of their time for which they stand to gain greatly
If you feel like you need an additional enticement to secure your interview then a great option is to offer joint ownership of the interview and/or audio transcript to use in any way they wish (perhaps as a bonus for one of their own products?).
One Final Tip
If you feel that your email might still get lost in the mountains of messages that they receive each day then you can consider using a tactic which has worked well for me.
This is to send a personal video message to make your request. Although I don’t use this all the time, I have done on occasion and it has never failed!
After all, it is not everyday that you receive a personal video message so who wouldn’t open that email?
By way of an example, this strategy is exactly what I did to secure the inaugural audio interview that I conducted for this blog:
How To Conduct And Record Your Interview
For this I am going to refer you to a previous post (here) in which I created a 6 minute video talking about all of the tools and software you need to actually create your interview product.
I was nervous before conducting my first interview.
This is natural and the chances are that you’ll feel the same if you’ve never done this before.
However, I’ll offer you a free $25 Amazon voucher if you conduct an interview yourself and come back and tell me (honestly, of course ;-)) that it wasn’t a lot of fun and much easier than you first thought!
I hope I don’t live to regret that offer!
Anyway, I guess I’m safe for a while at least so please let me know your thoughts and feedback in the comments section below…