Many online solo service professionals wonder how they will ever become known in their industry, or even their industry’s leading expert, given the easy access to the abundance of information found online. Almost everyone claims to be an expert, so it stands to reason that some percentage of that group are charlatans. How do you create trust and authenticity with your target market and be seen as a real, true expert rather than as a sham?
One of the easiest and quickest ways to do this is by interviewing experts in your industry. People pay big bucks to listen to or meet people like Mark Victor Hansen, Richard Branson, and Bill Gates. While these people may be considered celebrities in their fields, there are celebrity-caliber experts in every industry that members of that industry would be eager to hear speak and would gladly pay for that privilege.
What’s nice about this strategy is that the “celebrity factor” of interviewing experts rubs off on you, as you then become the person who knows “Miss Big Name” in your industry because you just interviewed that person. And, if you use the interviews as a lead generation strategy, your name is getting out to thousands in your target market in a big way.
Here are the 10 steps you can follow to help you become your industry’s leading expert in 30 days by conducting expert interviews:
1. Research your industry leaders and compelling topics. Off the top of your head, you can probably easily list 10-20 leading professionals in your industry. And, given your level of expertise, you can also probably list 3-5 of the most compelling topics or problems in your industry. Create a list of your experts and topical areas and note which are experts in what areas. Note their email addresses or phone numbers where they can be contacted.
2. Narrow your focus. Once you’ve taken a look at the experts and the current topical areas of interest in your industry, create a focus for your interviews. Perhaps you choose online marketing for chiropractors, lead generation strategies for real estate agents, publicity techniques for speakers or new retirement options for baby boomers. Whatever your focus, make sure that your grouping of interviews has an easily identifiable theme that will resonate with your target market.
3. Create your list of your top 5-10 favorites. Take your list and organize it from most favorite to least favorite speaker. Create a goal of 7 speakers to interview and begin working the list.
4 Create a web page featuring your speakers. Before you begin contacting your speakers, create a web page featuring your top 10 speakers and their speaking topic. This is something you can show to your invited speakers to give them a sense of who else is being invited and/or has accepted your interview invitation. To remain ethical, you need to note on that page which of the speakers are confirmed and which are still in negotiations.
5. Invite them to be interviewed. You can begin with an email invitation, but as many of those are easily overlooked or are simply not delivered, getting on the phone and calling the expert is probably your best bet. You’ll need to tell them whether or not the interview will be live or recorded, have them sign an agreement that both of you can do what you like with the interview (sell it or give it away), and set your interview date and time.
6. Create your list of questions or ask them for a program outline. Some of your speakers may have a prepared signature speech and a description of that speech. If so, ask them to add the 3-5 things that someone will take away as a result of listening to the interview. This will help you create copy for the interview web page. If they don’t have a signature speech, create a list of questions to send them on the topic on which they’re being interviewed.
7. Conduct and record the interview. Use a teleconference bridgeline or recording system to conduct and record the interview. Most interviews are 60 minutes, which is usually more than enough time for an expert to make several valuable points.
8. Transcribe the audio and edit the audio. Whether you’re selling or giving away the interviews, having the audio edited will make life easier on your listeners. Learn how to use audio editing software to balance out the speakers, edit out any hums or background noise, and to add introductory music and outgoing music to the beginning and ending of the audio. And, because some people prefer to read rather than to listen to audio, have the audios transcribed as well.
9. Create a package. Once the interviews are complete and are edited and transcribed, you need to make a decision about packaging and pricing. You can decide to offer the package of interviews in an electronic format only, as a physical CD/print product, or both, and you can sell the package or give it away. Whatever the way you decide to package them, you need to have a graphic designed to represent the package. If you choose to ship as a physical product, you’ll need to have a CD cover and label designed and determine how you’re going to duplicate and ship the physical product.
If you aren’t yet a published author, you can package the interviews into an authority-positioning book for yourself. Want to know how to do this? Ask me!
10. Interview the expert a second time and offer the package. In your original conversation with your speaker, mention that you want to conduct 2 interviews of that speaker — one as a part of the series you’re creating, and a second interview promoted exclusively to her list. In the interview for her list, your upsell becomes the package, and your speaker has been set up as an affiliate and earns a commission off of any of the packages sold in that promotion. You’ve created a win-win situation for both you and your speaker.
Interviewing experts in your industry is a quick way to become a well-known expert to your target market. And, if you choose to sell the package of interviews, you can earn some quick cash, as well. Begin to leverage your expertise by interviewing industry experts, and watch yourself become your industry’s leading expert!