6 Tips To Conduct Great Interviews And Drive Traffic To Your Website
Social Media Week is a leading news platform and worldwide conference that curates and shares the best ideas and insights into social media and technology's impact on business, society, and culture.
Consumers love information, especially information that comes from trustworthy sources. Interviews are one of the most effective ways to deliver it to them.
Whether your interviews are in writing or recorded, their success depends on a number of steps. Ask the best podcasters or journalists out there, and they will tell you that improvisation is a matter of experience, preparation, and creativity.
In my career, I have interviewed hundreds of people in different fields — from artists to business owners, startup founders, and social media pros. Below is a short list of tips that I have used to ensure that my guests gave the most valuable answers while having a great time.
1. Do Your Research
Ask your guest to provide you with a biography and relevant links (website, social media profiles, etc.). This will allow you to understand how you can properly introduce that person to your audience.
My other recommendation would be to look for past interviews or articles on them to gauge their style and tone.
2. Ask Targeted Questions
Your research will also put you in a good frame of mind to think of the right questions to ask.
Remember that each guest is unique, just like their story. So, you want to highlight their achievements and expertise in a way that readers or listeners won’t be able to find anywhere else.
3. Think of Your Audience
This one may look a little cliché to you, but every time I prepare questions, I always ask myself the following: “What are the things that people would like to learn from this interview? How can I make it a win-win for them and my guest at the same time?”
Usually, I have an ideal visitor of my blog in mind. So, while reading the information on the guest, I tend to look for specific clues and keywords that I can use to build the conversation.
4. Prepare, Prepare, Prepare
This is especially important if your interview is recorded. Communicate with your guest:
- Answer all their questions and concerns;
- Make sure the date and time are confirmed well in advance;
- Explain what method of communication will be used: Skype, phone, Hangout on Air, etc.;
- Give them an approximate length of time for the interview;
- Send them a short list of questions to allow them to prepare; but
- Remain flexible to ensure that the conversation flows.
Of course, test your recording equipment ahead of time.
And, secure permission for any visual aid (infographics, photos…) you want to include in the published post or video.
The more comfortable you make your guest, the more compelling answers you will get from them. They will also remember their experience and recommend you to others. They may even promote the interview on their own website or blog!
5. Check Answers Before Publication
Interviewees do not always have time to edit their written answers. Or, you may be unsure of something they said in the recording.
Better safe than sorry! Before clicking the “publish” button, check for glaring typos and grammatical errors. Send the interviewee the recording or final draft as well. This will allow you to clarify any issue.
6. Keep the Conversation Going with Your Guest
Once you have published your podcast, video, or article, send the link to your guest. And contact them if people leave comments.
Watch SMW Live
SMW Insider is a premium video platform that streams more than 180+ hours of talks, presentations, and interviews from leading industry experts.
Write for Us
Interested in sharing your ideas and insights with the world? Become a SMW News contributor and reach 300k readers each month.