One of the tools in the marketing arsenal that I try to teach people in my coaching and my classes, is about getting interviewed. Now, getting interviewed doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to have a book, or you have to have something special. A lot of times, you can get interviewed just because you have a unique way of explaining something that an audience wants to hear.

Now, I get a lot of people sending me emails and requests to get interviewed. A lot of these requests come from PR people and they say, “Hey, I’ve got a great guest for you.” Okay, cool. Here’s the thing that they have to realize: I don’t have time to research their guests. Somebody did something recently which was kind of cool; they went in and immediately gave me a review on iTunes and said, “Hey, I’ve got this great guest.” So, I gave them a little bit more of the benefit of the doubt.

They finally sent me a link to an interview with this guy who wrote a book on leadership. Well, I listened to the interview and it was just boring drab. There was nothing in there that was actionable, there was nothing in there that was of value to the audience. I don’t think you guys would like it. So guess what? I said no. And of course, anybody who’s ever written a book has a form that they send out to every podcaster in the world: “Hey, interview this person.” Well, there’s a handful of things you have to think about before you get interviewed.

Know Your Host

First and foremost, you have to know the host, in some way, shape or form. That’s the only way to go. I’m going to talk about my podcast and how I do things. Other people may do it a little differently.

First of all, I tend to work with people that I’ve met. I’ve had a chance to sit down and have a conversation with them. I already know, like, and trust them. I can also help them pinpoint exactly what we’re going to talk about, which I think is uber important.

Now if I haven’t met them in person, then the next thing that I look at is, was somebody on my show who could recommend somebody that maybe they’ve interviewed? A lot of people start a podcast because they’ve been interviewed on my show, and they’ve had some great guests and I’ve got some incredible guests from people who have been on my show. One example is David Garfinkel, who is the world’s greatest copy writing coach — or so he calls himself — and I would tend to agree with that. He’s great. But he was recommended by Mark [Essay 00:02:33] Smith; I had listened to his show, and there was David and I said, “Oh, I want to get David on my show because the guy is great.”

That’s another way if you want to get on a show — see if you know somebody that’s already been interviewed and ask if they can do an introduction for you. Here’s an example of what NOT to do. I’ve had a couple guys say, “Hey, I was just interviewed on this Neil show and he suggested that I contact you to be interviewed on your show.” Okay, well again, I don’t know Neil, and if I do know Neil, if Neil would have recommended them, there’s a better chance that I might have maybe spent a little time investigating them.

But what these guys are asking me to do is go listen to their interview on somebody else’s show. That’s not how it works. I’m not going to sit here and invest a half hour to listen to somebody else, in order to have them on my show. It’s their obligation to prove to me that they’ve got some great content. I always try to avoid those random PR services, those random emails, and things like that. Now, there are some great people out there who will do recommendations and these are people that I know, like and trust. One is Jane Jackson; she happens to be a very, very close friend to Mark Mawhinney, who is with the Natural Born Coaches. I’ve been on his show, he’s been on my show. If she recommends somebody, I know that she’s going to put the time in to listen to my show and recommend somebody who’s going to be good.

The other one is Nicole Holland; she’s been on my show a couple of different times. Now, she’s an interview coach and she actually helps people learn how to do really great interviews. If you need help with that, that’s something I can help you with as well because I’ve been in the recording business for about 30+ years. I’ve had an opportunity to interview a whole bunch of different people – — all the way from Louis Farrakhan to Leon Spinks, to, The Loveables, Mike Singletary, and a whole bunch of other sports and celebrities and people like that. I’ve had a chance to work through those things and I know how to get the most out of people. I’m really good at interviewing and I’m really good at teaching people how to get interviewed. Think about that if you need some help.

Know The Audience

The second piece of this puzzle is get to know the audience. Before you ask to be on a show, wouldn’t it make sense that you invest a little bit of time and listen to some episodes? Find out what the guests are saying. How are they saying it? How are they being interviewed? What questions are being asked? Now, some shows are very formulaic. An example is Entrepreneur on Fire with John Lee Dumas; he has a specific set of questions. He asks the same thing to everybody that he interviews. You can listen to the show, and you can jot down your basic answer ahead of time because he wants it to move quickly.

On my show it’s very different. I don’t ask the same questions and I don’t let people prepare because I don’t want people to be reading from a script. So, listen to the show. The other thing that you can do to get to know the audience better is read the reviews and the comments. You can go to iTunes and read the reviews; I’ve got 30+ there. Go to my podcast website, and look at the comments. See what people are saying about the episodes. See what’s engaging the audience. Find out what they want; that’s super, uber important.

Keep in mind, this is not about you. It’s also not about the person interviewing you. I was interviewed on a show one time and this one lady kept going, “Oh, I do the exact same thing for my clients and this is how I do it.” Every time I’d answer a question, it’s like she was so interested in talking about herself; she barely listened to what I had to say. I was there to prompt her about how great she was. The end result is, the audience loses out. This is about the audience. If they’re going to invest 10, 20, 30 minutes, 60 minutes into a show, they need some actionable takeaways.

Know Your Topic

That brings us to our third point and that is, know your topic. Okay, back to that guy whose show I listened to that I talked about earlier after I had the iTunes review. He was talking about leadership, and frankly, there are a million leadership experts out there. There are a million business coaches out there. The bottom line is, when I interview someone, it’s usually about a specific topic that is unique to them. For example, in my interview with Marla Tabaka, she talked about EFT tapping, which is something I don’t think a lot people know about. She could have talked about mindset or other things like that, and she did a little bit, but she had something unique. If I’m going to talk about leadership, it’s going to be something very specific and to the point.

management concept of balance between invested time, money, skill and cost, speed, quality

So, I’m looking for things like, do you have a special Facebook ads technique? Or something special you can do on Instagram? Or something that’s going to be actionable that people are going to want to work on? Pick a lane, pick a single topic that you can become the expert in, and explain it in a very short period of time. Like I said, deliver actionable tips. Make sure you’re putting things in your comments or in your answers that people can go and try. It could be a link to a website. It could be something they could try on their own and measure, but the bottom line is give some good takeaways. Remember, it’s about the audience and what kind of action they can get from your interview.

Finally, don’t script out what you’re going to say. Don’t write it all out and try to do it that way. Put up some bullet points, some main things that you want to get across. That’s okay, but don’t be so rigid that you have to answer them in the order as received. What you want to do is you want to be fun, personable, flexible. You want to make sure that your personality comes out as you’re being interviewed. You come across knowing the beginning, the middle and the end of what you want to say. Make sure you get out all of the key points that your audience wants.

Take Action…

The absolute bottom line is, know your host, know the audience and know the topic. By doing those three things you’re going to have a better chance of using interviews as another tool in your marketing arsenal.

I would love to hear your stories, thoughts, and comments on this subject. Comment below and share ways that you have can use interviews to build your sphere of influence and grow your business!

Read more: How to Find Interview Subjects and Conduct an Expert Interview for Your Blog