There are a few obstacles when it comes to getting amazing interview content – no method of finding content is completely simple otherwise everyone would have a highly successful blog by now!
The main obstacle when it comes to interview content is simple: finding the interviewees and getting them to take part.
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Here are some strategies you can start using to get more successful at landing interesting interviewees that can attract a bigger audience.
One good option is to look for people who are currently trying to promote something.
One rather new option is to interview people from Kickstarter or other crowd funding sites.
These are sites that are designed to help people raise money from ‘backers’ in order to fund a project they are working on
The success of a Kickstarter campaign is entirely dependent on the ability of the project creator to drum up support.
If they don’t reach the initial ‘goal’ they set themselves, they don’t get to keep any of the money raised.
This means these entrepreneurs and start-up companies are forever on the look-out for even the tiniest bit of exposure.
What’s more, Kickstarter is an inherently interesting place where there are lots of exciting and unusual ideas being generated and promoted all the time.
You are almost certain to find someone related to your niche.
Do you see the potential for collaboration here?
You write about these projects and provide those companies with the exposure they need and in exchange, you get a great story on your blog.
What’s more, those companies will likely try and promote your interview in order to gain more exposure.
They’ll write about it to their backers (Kickstarter lets you message anyone who has backed you), they’ll post it to their social media and they may even link to it on their website or their project site.
That’s a lot of great exposure for just one link!
Who else might find themselves in this boat of needing the exposure and having a story to tell?
Well, how about checking out some press releases from a site like PR.com?
Here you can find press releases submitted by webmasters, marketers and small businesses.
The whole objective they have in mind is to get people like you to turn their news into a story for your website or blog.
This gives them exposure for whatever project it is that they were going to launch and it helps them to find a bigger audience.
If you contact these people then you know that:
- They have some kind of story to tell (at the very least they run a business in the industry you’re interested in) and
- They’re currently looking for exposure.
So browse these sites, look for press releases and they try getting in touch to get an interview!
Remember part of your content strategy is thinking about your goals and the purpose of what your planning to write. Click on the image below to grab a FREE Goal Setting Guide to help you!
Another strategy is to simply aim for the top – to look for big influencers who have a large audience and who people will want to hear from.
This is a little more difficult as you’re now going after the bigger fish.
Luckily though, there are a few smart strategies you can use in order to stack the deck in your favor.
The Smaller Influencer
One technique is to simply approach the big influencers who don’t know they’re big influencers.
For instance, this might mean a YouTuber who has 300,000 subscribers but doesn’t know that that’s good – perhaps they’re not doing anything with it.
Likewise, it might mean someone who has gradually built up a big following on Twitter just by being funny and witty.
To them this might just be a bit of fun – they may have no idea that there’s potentially a lot of money to be earned from such a large audience.
These people likely won’t be divas and they won’t be inundated with messages, but they will be valuable.
You’ll message them and ask for an interview and they’ll be excited that they’re getting noticed and hopefully eager to respond.
If you get someone just on the cusp of success you can hit a real ‘sweet spot’.
Another type of ‘small’ influencer and one that is particularly valuable is anyone who is big within their industry.
If you’re in a small niche like ‘stage lighting’ then you may be able to interview someone from this world more easily.
They’ll be ‘big’ as far as your audience is concerned but they won’t be so inundated with requests from every other marketer that you can’t get a hold of them.
Another strategy is to network and use your connections to arrange a meeting with someone influential.
When you meet someone in person or get in touch via a real-life acquaintance, you’ll often find that they are more likely to listen to what you have to say and to accept your requests.
So how might you network to reach a big blogger, author, expert or popular marketer?
Here, you will aim to find a mutual connection, which will give you the ability to message them directly through LinkedIn mail.
Add the Rapport app to your Gmail account and you’ll be able to add anyone who emails you to LinkedIn.
As a result, you’ll eventually build up a large network of associates and “friends”.
This in turn will give you a large number of mutual connections, potentially leading to a valuable connection that you can utilize to gain big exposure.
In other words, if you add enough people, eventually this will lead to some big influencers.
In fact, LinkedIn even makes it easy to see which of your connections are the key influencers.
2. Reach the Bigger Influencers
Do business with them, which might mean hiring their services, buying their product, or attending their live event.
At this point, you simply want to try and get an audience with them and this means doing anything you can to get their attention.
If you’re paying for their service, then you’ll get their attention and you’ll be able to start building a relationship.
What’s more, you’ll have done something for them, which means there will be a natural urge of reciprocity that will motivate them to want to answer your message.
3. Create More Opportunities to Meet People
Be on the constant lookout for people to interview!
Going to networking events is something that every marketer and blogger should be doing.
This can potentially lead to all kinds of amazing opportunities.
Likewise you can simply go into local businesses in person and ask if you can have an interview.
This is especially effective if the business is in your niche, or if you are doing any type of local marketing.
4. Pick up the phone!
A phone call gives you a captive audience and you’ll find that it makes a much bigger impression than an email.
Find the phone number of the individual you want to interview and try calling them.
You might be surprised to find they’re receptive to your request if you keep things brief – after all, this probably beats the kinds of marketing calls they’re used to getting.
On the complete other end of the spectrum, another option is to interview people who aren’t considered influencers at all and who aren’t even well known in their field.
Your job is then to make them interesting.
You could interview someone who worked on the soundtrack of an indie game, a personal trainer at your gym who has an unorthodox approach, or a doctor in order to get his or her opinion on a health issue.
The idea here is simply to offer a unique insight into an interesting subject and then to make this the calling card of your article.
This means you end up with a title like:
- “Doctor Weighs in on the X Diet”
- “The Art of Video Game Design: Level Design Explained by a Pro”
- “Fifteen Things You Need to Stop Doing to Your Pets According to Vets”
- “Top Mistakes of New Martial Artists: An Interview With a Karate Teacher”
Here you’re just trying to find an angle and you’re looking for stories that others might have missed.
This way, you can create something unique and therefore interesting and at the same time potentially help promote that individual’s business.
Build Your Way Up
Lastly, make sure you are thinking about the long game.
Don’t just go after a huge influencer for your first interview when you have never done an interview before.
This is a recipe for failure.
Instead, focus on someone smaller and less known to begin with and then build your way up to the larger names.
Look for someone ‘at your level’ and you’ll both have more to gain.
Once you’ve had a few successful interviews you’ll then have built a slightly bigger audience.
You’ll be able to point out to your interviewee that you’ve interviewed “this person” and your audience is “this big”.
Each time you will be able to aim slightly higher, resulting in even bigger returns.
Think of it as scaling up a business, for each success you have, you can go bigger.
Join me in the next post of this series to learn how to deliver the content you get from the interviews.
This post is part of a series – How To Create Compelling Content Using Interviews. You can find the other posts in this series below.
- How to Use Interviews to Create Compelling Content
- How To Deliver Interview Content
- Best Practices For Conducting Interviews
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