How to Interview Like A Pro (and Get Clients)
Have you wondered how to interview so you can maximize the opportunity? If you haven’t been asked or asked for an interview, I’ll say this: you will and you should!
Let me define “interview” before we go to far. Anytime someone else is asking questions can be an interview opportunity. And that is, a chance to share expertise, answer questions based on your knowledge or experience – after all, there is a reason you’re being asked to do the presentation or interview – or people showed up to ask you questions.
So whether you:
- sit on a panel at an event
- make an appearance at a local media station or the Today Show – think big
- host an event and have a Q and A afterward
- guest on a podcast
Any of those, and many more qualify and you want to know how to interview so you get results and you get asked back!
Do you know there are people – lots of people – who appeared on Oprah, the holy grail of interviews and free publicity. Yet they weren’t ready to monetize the traffic that came afterward and no one has ever heard about them again.
When you know how to interview so you stay on track with your key points and make your host look good (so you have fun and get asked back) you’ll win the audience over and make the station love you.
How to prepare for your interview
- Identify your teachable points: a method or step process
- Know what sets you apart
- Know what your customers hate
- Create a pitch that’s news and that lets you feature your product or service
Example: Recently I did a segment about an upcoming event – a workshop for older adult fitness. I pulled the three key reasons I was doing the workshop and one demonstration for each.
I demonstrated how to do an important strength training exercise – that could be done at home – and how to make it effective if an adult wanted to use lighter weight. I cued it in detail pointing out where to feel it, put weight on feet, head position, etc. Then I did two more parts of the workshop.
I covered the three big areas I was going to discuss at the workshop – strength, balance, and interval training. I pulled one juicy tip from each to get the point across how important it was. I didn’t gloss over it I backed it up with research, how it would prevent falls (fear) and enhance aging (desire). I focused on mistakes most adults make (no one wants to be wasting time).
That kind of preparation should go into any presentation and you can make it fit yours no matter what it is.
Plan for different length interviews
- Do all the homework mentioned earlier
- Create an outline that includes the bullet points, a demonstration, and an expanded explanation or story
- Ask in advance how long the segment is (a 3 minute segment live segment, a 15 minute summit interview, a 30 minute podcast)
- Rehearse and time it!
Example: In the example I gave you earlier, I’ve delivered that content in a 90-minute workshop, on a 30-minute podcast, a 9-minute news segment, and the hardest by far a 2-minute segment. So be ready. Rehearse for shortest segments the most. You have to make every word and second count.
When you have a workshop (or a book for that matter) there’s a reason you created it. Those reasons are likely your bullet points. Hopefully, you created it based on demand not because you wanted to but because your customers tell you that’s why they come to you and that’s what they want most. The other things they’d tried and hate are a part of your talking about it. The outcomes they want are a part of talking about it.
If you know how to interview, you also know how to create marketing copy, and vice versa.
As painful as it might be, record your rehearsal and play it back. Whether its’ audio or it’s video, record and play it back. Do you have energy? Are you fun? The interviewer is going to be lively, strong and fun. Can you match that energy? If you’ve got passion about what you’re doing you can but in front of a microphone or camera if feels different so you’ve got to practice!
Always come right back to your notes, why this is so important, why you’re doing what you’re doing (event, service, product, workshop). Do not be taken off track if it doesn’t serve you. Again, rehearse!
How to interview so you make your host look good
When you get booked sometimes you work with a producer or an assistant. Sometimes that’s one and the same. You want to make THEM look good too. Their job is to make the host or anchor or reporter look good so that is also what you want to do. I’ve been asked back to do segments on the same show several times. That only happens if you are easy to work with and everyone loves you.
Give her/him all the details in advance – are you going to do exercise demos? Will she be in a dress and heels? Bring models if necessary.
Give her/him all the questions. You can list questions on your pitch or list the answers on the pitch. Often you’ll be asked to provide 3-5 questions you’d like to be asked. Make these good. Specifically, they should set you up to respond with your key talking points.
Just Because You Get the Interview Doesn’t Mean You’re Good
I’ve interviewed hundreds of people in the last 6 years for two podcasts. Some have been amazing and some have not in fact they’ve been uncomfortable. If a guest doesn’t have key points and a strong opinion it’s just like a limp handshake. They ramble with answers.
Don’t let that be you. You won’t get asked back. Unless it’s a live segment, you may not get published even after the recording. No one is going to release what they feel is a weak interview.
Get the Biggest Benefit
A big part of doing a killer interview – even if it’s two minutes long – is: know what you want to happen afterwards. That involves two parts:
First, what you do with the opportunity matters.
Use that video clip from the news. Share the segment from a podcast interview while you tag your host. Take a selfie of yourself in the front of the room with the audience behind you to share on social and email. But above all have a call to action while you’re in the interview. Because you will always, always be asked where someone can learn more about you.
Second, know what action you want the viewer or listener or reader to take! It’s key if you want to get clients or customers.
And you do… even if you don’t yet know what you’re going to sell them yet to support them. You want to start a conversation with them so when you do have a product or service you’ve got an audience just waiting for it.
You need to have a very clear next step for them to take when they go to your website. Are you giving away a free book or a cheat sheet with the exercises you’ve just demonstrated? Is there an invitation to your free event?
Are you really ready?
Do an audit of your website before you ever have an appearance. If you’re in front of a group of older women does your website look like some advertising for Monster energy drinks? If it’s black and neon with white font on a dark background… or has images of a sixpack of abs … that’s not going to build your business. Decide who you serve and dedicate time and energy to making sure your image clearly relays that.
Know that someone who gets to your website is interested enough to spend maybe a little more than 7 seconds that’s the typical attention span. But not much. Tell her exactly what to do when she gets there. Is there an immediate ask for her email address in exchange for a juicy freebie that she can’t say no to?
Be ready to capture emails and deliver that gift. Make it simple and clear. Don’t send them to a page on a website with 5 choices and 20 pages of rabbit holes they can fall down. Send them to a very specific page where there’s one action to take. That’s called a landing page to do the ONE relevant thing that is a logical next step for them.
If you don’t have or know what a landing page is, get your marketing team up to speed on why this is crucial, get a new marketing coach who can help you. Building a landing page takes less than five minutes if you do it right and you’re in charge of your own website. It’s not time consuming and it’s not expensive. But it will cost you if you don’t have it.
This is such a big part of learning how to interview so that you get clients and customers (or maybe interns and employees) from your public appearances – all of them!
All these steps are steps I’ve talked about many times in podcasts and blogs here at fitnessmarketingmastery.com.But if you want help with specific steps you need to take and the accountability to get them done you’ve got two options:
1.) Request a consultation about private business coaching
2.) If you serve women in midlife and becoming a Flipping 50 specialist is also a good fit for you, you can get the Advanced Specialist cert AND 4 months of a mastermind group for LESS than the cost of private coaching. You save over $500 on the combination.
Don’t Miss the Next Episode
Next episode as I teased earlier I’m going to talk about how to get booked for interviews. I did this how to interview episode first because you’ve got to be ready. You actually don’t want to get stuck in an interview and give a weak interview – you’ve got a message and you want to deliver it strong! (You also don’t want to wait until it’s perfect or you’d never do anything!)
But once you really do the homework and know how to interview you want to start getting those opportunities for free advertising.
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