Ever since the dawn of mass communication, interviews have given the general public an easy way to get first hand insight into the life and times of an individual or business.
At first, interviews were mainly seen as a medium for discussing topics of common interest to large groups of people. However, soon enough, interviewers and interviewees alike began to realize the power that interviews have for promoting goods and services that relate to the general topic of the interview.
More often than not, interviews end up piquing an audience’s interest so much that they end up wanting more information about products and services offered by the interviewee, and it usually happens without the need for the business person to be salesy or pushy.
In recent times radio, podcast and online video interviews are some of the most popular channels being used by online entrepreneurs to spread awareness of their brands and product offers. These mediums have also turned out to be very effective for attracting the attention of members of a target audience that would be most interested in buying niche specific products and services.
Another big benefit of doing interviews to promote your products is that unlike other forms of promotion, interviews are generally booked without a cost to the interviewee. The only thing you would have to exchange in order to secure an interview is a few minutes of your time to talk about whatever it is that you have to offer.
If you are wondering how you can use interviews to promote more of your self-published books, here are some simple steps that will lead you to your ultimate goal of booking as many interviews as possible.
Do Thorough Research Upfront
While the idea of getting booked for a long list of interviews sounds like a good one, the truth is that securing a hand full of very high-quality interviews is always much better than finding yourself involved with many interviews where very few members of your target audience tune in.
With that said, one of the best ways to go about finding appropriate talk shows, blogs and vlogs to approach is to do thorough research on who members of your target audience spend most of their time listening to.
A few hours of in depth research online for radio shows, podcasts and vlogs that cover topics related to the types of books you write should reveal several potential candidates for further exploration.
Look out for channels that feature regular interviews with upcoming self-published authors so you have a good idea upfront about whether or not you even stand a fair chance of booking an interview.
Once you have a list of between three and five potential leads you can start thinking about crafting a short and simple pitch to send out with the goal of booking as many interviews as possible.
When coming up with your pitch, try to connect the topic of the interview with a current hot topic if possible. Having something to talk about that’s already generating a ton of interest in a niche makes it much more likely that you’ll be selected for an interview.
As an extra incentive, you could also offer to promote the show that will feature you on your author website and social platforms once you’ve confirmed a date and time for the interview.
Focus on a Powerful Central Idea
If you’ve been self-publishing for a while, chances are you’ve written and submitted an article to at least one blog outside of your own with the goal of getting more exposure and attracting more prospects to your author site.
Getting a foot in the door typically involves pitching your target blog with an idea for a new post and having them accept your proposal before they actually go ahead and welcome you to create and submit the piece of writing.
When you are approaching a channel owner to request an interview session the same principle applies.
It’s important to always remember that these individuals have audiences that they’ve worked hard to attract and grow into loyal followings. So, it only makes sense that they would want to expose their tribe to what they consider to be the best of the best of what’s out there.
Before you fire up your email to send an interview request, always come up with a compelling core idea that clearly communicates what your book is about while also being very likely to resonate with the audience listening in.
Feeling stumped for ideas?
Try going through some of the past interviews of guests on the radio show, vlog or podcast you’re interested in to see the types of topics that have been covered before.
Another source of inspiration could come from checking to see which interviews received the most views and comments. And if there is a comments section, it can be very helpful to read through each one to see which parts of the interview audience members were most interested in and to look for information gaps that you can try to fill with your own unique knowledge.
Tips for Showtime
Once you land an interview (hopefully several), the next thing to focus on is making sure that the time you spend with your interviewer is as productive as possible.
A great way to do this it to provide your host with a short, one-page biography about you and your book. This way they can get to know you a bit before the interview and can give the audience some solid background information before jumping into the juicy details of your book.
To make your on-air time even more effective you could refer to the research you did earlier into the comments section of previous interviews and outline questions you believe listeners may want answers to. Along with keeping the interview flowing naturally, this also helps to keep the topic focused on your central idea.
While a major goal is providing the audience with lots of compelling information about the topic of your book, another equally important goal should be letting them get to know more about you and your unique personality.
People love doing business with people they know and like. That means that it is important to always strive to connect with your audience on a deeper level as much as possible by exposing bits of your unique personality during every interview.
It helps to be as relaxed and friendly as possible while interacting with the interviewer in a casual but respectful way.
Will you be wasting time if you don’t focus exclusively on talking about your book?
The audience is listening in to hear more about your book and what it’s all about. However, if you only focus on talking about your book instead of trying to make connections and build relationships the interview can end up coming across as one long sales pitch.
When you focus on providing valuable content and having interesting conversation about the topic of your book it can have a powerful effect. Instead of shoving your books into the forefront of the conversation, view the interview as an opportunity to leave a tantalizing trail of bread crumbs that have your audience wanting to follow along to find out more about what waits on the other side.
Always use the “wrap up” of your interview as your first opportunity to pitch your book to your target audience. Try to close strong and give listeners who want to find out more about you and your self-published books a way to connect online (mention your blog and social media channels) or ask any additional questions they may have.
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