I have been promoting authors and their businesses for many years now, and it never gets old. It’s always new and different because authors have fascinating new topics, each writer is in a different place in terms of marketing and publicity, and I just feel so lucky to be in a business that allows me to meet so many wonderful people.
In addition to all of that, my own book is out and published, so I get to do what I send my clients out to do: Interviews, social media, content generation, events, etc., etc.
Lately, it’s all about podcasts because more and more people are incorporating them into their everyday lives – listening at work, listening during their daily jogs, listening while making dinner, and so forth. And, if you target the right shows, i.e., you match your subject matter with what the podcast focuses on, then they are pretty easy to land.
This week I had the honor and pleasure of talking with Jan Carroza, founder of the Center for Direct Marketing. Here is a link to the interview if you’re curious about our conversation.
Jan is a great interviewer. She is an expert in her field and has extensive knowledge in marketing. She is a good listener, asks great questions, and she knows how to bring out the best in her guests allowing for an easy, smooth-flowing conversation. If you are able to give a listen to the Center for Direct Marketing podcast, I think you can tell that the two of us had a pretty good time together.
She asked me the attributes of a Media Darling, which is one of my favorite things to talk about. Really. If you put your energy into doing what is recommended, you may get to the point where the media calls you! So much easier than having to go out and pitch every time.
Some of the tips we covered
Don’t be late to an interview
This should go without saying, but we’ll say it anyway. If an interview is live and you’re late, chances are good the show will simply move on without you. But remember, a number of people will panic first that you’re not there, including the producer. Best not to do that to the people who can help you promote your book and business. And, even if the interview is being recorded, it’s just good manners to be there when you say you will be.
Watch your energy
If you think you’re over the top, you’re just about right. I learned this back when I did my daily radio show. When I started doing interviews, I remember thinking my energy level felt too high and too strong, yet when I would listen back to my aircheck files, or the recording, it sounded just right. And that’s the key message here. Internally, you may feel like your energy is way too powerful, but when you listen to it again, it will be just about right. This is no place for sounding too cool and laid back.
Be sure you have the exact information for the interview, including date and time (remember to check time zones, especially if you’ll be traveling), name of the show and of the host, emergency backup info, and the length of the interview. If a link is required, make sure you have it on your calendar so you’re good to go.
Listen to the show before you go on. There is no excuse not to listen to other interviews the host has done to learn their tone and attitude.
Prior to the interview
Shortly before the interview, read the initial pitch or press release that landed you the show. If you are writing your next book, be certain to review the book for which you are doing the interview. You do not want to share key messages from the wrong book! (Sounds crazy, but I’ve seen it happen.)
Know what you want to get out of the interview. Do you want listeners to go to an online store to buy your book? Do you want them to go to an opt-in page to get on your list? Enter a program you are offering? Attend one of your events? What do you want?
What is your overall big idea and message?
It’s imperative to know your most important key messages that you will always deliver in an interview. The length of the interview will determine how many key messages you have for each of them. A minimum of 3 key messages is essential, which should carry you through a four-minute segment. Knowing where you are going makes it much easier to get there.
Practice. Practice. Practice.
You can “wing it” only when you have burned your key messages into your soul. Do mock interviews and time your answers. You can do this with a partner or a friend.
Create a distraction-free environment before an interview. Close any windows or doors, and be sure to quiet all your devices. Be sure anyone nearby knows you cannot be interrupted.
Put a sign on the door
“Live interview in progress. Do not disturb.” Putting a sign on the door reminds others that you’re busy and not to be disturbed. Telling them is not enough because some may forget. A sign will help. In my book, Media Darling, I wanted to say, “Live interview in progress. Only knock if blood is involved,” but my editor said no to that. She said it would cause people to wonder what in the world kind of problems I was envisioning. I thought it made for a stronger point. My editor won, but I’m sharing my real sense of humor here with you.
Ask the producer or host what equipment they want you to use. For some, using a cell phone is out of the question. Others will not tolerate earbuds with a microphone. Hold your tongue and don’t say, “But no other podcasters have complained. They all said it was fine,” unless you want to create a rocky relationship with the individual you’re working with. Again, this is common sense stuff, but I have seen many who simply are not very good at that.
Warm up your vocal chords before you go on. Sing. Drink warm water. You do not want to mumble or stumble right off the bat. Start the interview strong by being completely warmed up.
Podcasts are fun to do, and you can be really good at it. It simply takes some practice. If you need any help with that, be sure and reach out. That is what I am here for.
To your success!
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