"If you have never done an interview before" with an expert or a guru you're probably going to be nervous and a little intimidated. Many of the experts were once students in their field of study or business and can probably relate to your passion and overlook your self-awkward image. Don't let fear get in the way and steal a golden opportunity to get YOUR first interview. Your first “base hit" depends on it!
1. Make a plan. Reach your goal of getting at least one hour-long interview. Make a list of possible experts and places to meet with him or her, whether offline or online. If the interview opportunity is offline introduce yourself, hand him or her a business card (make sure it has a good phone number and an active email address). If the interview is online respond to a personal email address on a website and ask for an interview. Indicate that you are writing a blog on their subject of expertise and you would like to make a CD recording available to your blog readers. Offer to send him or her a free copy when it is ready to publish. Give them the assurance that you are credible and are interested in furthering their goals.
2. Find the experts. Attend local chamber of commerce meetings especially when a nationally known speaker will be talking on a subject that has widespread appeal. Check in your local business newspapers for upcoming speaking events. Listen intently to their presentation and take notes. During a break introduce yourself as a blog writer and invite him/her for an interview opportunity. Make sure you pronounce his or her name correctly. Look for the experts that a have strong, influential message. Make sure the expert is really an expert and not a fraud. If you doubt his or her credibility hold off on asking for an interview and check them out. Look for published books he/she has written, white papers, a blog, a website and even check with the Better Business Bureau if there are any complaints about your expert. That may raise a red flag warning if there are any. You don't want to waste your time interviewing someone that has a criminal record. If you are sure you want an interview and can depend that the information they share with you will be valuable, then you are ready to ask.
3. Get the Interview. In case he or she cannot give you an immediate interview ask for their permission to meet for a cocktail or lunch at a place with an area that is quiet enough for recording such as a hotel courtyard. Some background noise could even add to the authenticity so don't worry about a noise free location. If you find one, that's a plus.
4. Check your equipment. What good is a killer interview with a sought after expert that you worked hard to get and your audio equipment fails. Picture yourself sitting in front of your expert ready to give you your content and your battery goes dead or the recorder has a glitch. Invest in a good quality recorder. A Sony ICD PS20 is an affordable easy-to-use voice recorder available at most Radio Shack stores that makes good quality voice recordings. You can make several recordings and later upload the files to your PC for burning to a CD or to email to an outsourced transcriber for your ebook. Make sure you take extra fresh batteries. Test the recorder before beginning the interview. Play it back and make sure it is ready to record.
5. Ask good questions. Do your homework and think out questions that will draw out the best information that your expert has to offer. Write them down on a yellow pad. Narrow your questions down to the top ten questions that will address problems that people in your researched market place are hoping to solve. Before you press record tell your expert approximately how long the interview will last and the number of questions you have on your list. When you are recording don't shuffle your notepad paper. It creates unnecessary background noise. Try not to interrupt your expert while he or she is speaking.
6. Record the Interview. If possible sit at a table for two. Place the recorder in between you, lay it flat on the table and do not move it around while it is recording. Press record and begin the interview. If there are interruptions like a phone call or a plane flying overhead press the pause button. After the interruption has passed continue recording until the interview is finished. Put your recorder in your coat pocket or your purse. Don't leave it behind!
7. Close with a purpose. After the interview thank your new friend and assure them that you will mail a burned CD or email your recording. He or she may want to share your recording with their own customers or associates. Do not feel threatened by this admission. He or she might sell it or give it away. Just remember your not going for a home run, just a base hit. Make sure you ask for a business card with a good mailing and email address. If your interview is a success and your expert likes you and is happy with your work he or she may refer other experts for you to interview.
Ken Armijo invites you to discover how to Interview an expert and create content for your first product, even if you can't write. http://www.terrydean.org/category/writing