Imagine for a second that you’re writing a blog posts or a book about how to build and launch social media platforms. First you see your self landing an interview with Mark Zuckerberg. Then you drop a few great quotes from the interview throughout the blog post or on your book cover. What will happen to your credibility as an authority?
The challenge is of course that many people don’t know any celebrities like Mark Zuckerberg.
Hi my name is Nick Brodd and not knowing many celebrities has never stopped me. In fact up until this point I’ve been surprised how easy it is to get in contact with big names. For instance when writing my latest book, I interviewed best-selling authors such as Jay Papasan (who has written several New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Business Week bestsellers). And on top of that the book opened the door to other authorities in the publishing industry.
Here is the 5 key step process I use in order to secure strategic interviews:
- Reciprocity. Give the interviewee a compelling reason to take the interview. Don’t assume that the person you contact will be honored to do the interview. Instead, help them see the value. Explain how you will create more publicity for them, or appeal to their ego by sharing how big of a fan you are (be honest, though!) or ask how much they would charge for the interview (most people will at this stage give in and do it for free). Once I’ve got the compelling reason down on paper I move on to step number 2.
- Cold eMail. I want rapid results and a limited amount of work. While many people have told me that this doesn’t work, I still normally start with using social media and emailing the person I want to interview. After all email is fast and it involves a limited amount of work. If I don’t get a response or get a rejection, which happens about 50% of the time, I move on to a more involved process.
- Letter. When social media and email doesn’t work, I write a letter. I use FedEx and their option that makes sure that the recipient is required to sign upon delivery. This way I can track if the person has received the letter yet. Few people get letters these days, and even fewer get those that you have to sign for. So now you should have their attention. But you must follow up with a phone call within the next 24 hours or the effect of the letter will start wearing off.
- Reduce fear. Some of your interviewees will be exceptionally protective of their image. I fully understand this because a brand can take years to build, but minutes to destroy. Those who are particularly protective will want to see your questions in advance. So to make everyone’s decision easier, I always attach my key interview questions early on in my communication with them.
- Flexibility. Minimize the burden your interviewees associate with the interview by doing it at any time suitable to them. If you can’t meet in person, do a video interview or even a phone interview via Skype. I personally actually prefer Skype. It enables me to easily record it all on top of that it minimizes my traveling time. Besides, if you legally structure your rights properly you will be able to use the recording to create an additional income stream or better marketing down the road.
Question: Who would you want to borrow credibility from and what’s stopping you?
Image courtesy of Naypong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net