Jane is bubbling over with excitement today! A very good blogger friend, and writer, Rosa Say of Talking Story, turned the tables on Jane and conducted an interview with us-- which is posted on her blog today!
(We would like to note that our website, WMEBooks.com is not yet live-- though it should be later today, or, at the very latest, tomorrow. We hope you will check back and send us notes to tell us what's right and what's not-- so we may improve it while it's still in development stages.)
This got us to thinking-- about connecting through the interview process. Rosa is one of our favorite people-- ever since we read her excellent book, Managing with Aloha (not only a delightful read, but an educated one, dear readers), so when she asked to interview us, we were very flattered. Of course, we said, Yes! Our interview was an eye-opener! It's hard being on the other side!
That is what today's post will cover-- Five Ways to Use an Interview to Market Your Business. One needs to remember that the interviewer generally controls the interview-- although, at Lip-sticking, and with Rosa, the interviewee has a great deal of leeway-- our goal is not to 'expose' secrets, or uncover inconsistencies in blogging, nor to find negative traits to reveal-- our purpose, both Rosa's and Jane's, is to highlight the excellence of our interviewees, and to give our readers valuable information to use in their workday, or in their homelife-- little bits of useful, thoughtful nuggets to make their day a little easier. For everyone's benefit.
Therefore, let's look at Five Ways YOU, dear reader, could use interviewing to your benefit. But, before we begin, Jane would like to direct you to another great blogger, Wayne Hurlburt, who recently did a post on interviewing at Blog Business World . Wayne always shares a wealth of insight with his readers, and we think his post on interiewing is a nice follow-up to this post, today.
1. Jane would like you to explore the 'everyday' when you think of interviewing. If you have specific products and services that you offer on the web, why not ask your clients and customers if they would grant you an interview-- for which you will reward them with a small gift. This would work well as a series-- focusing on areas you would like to gather information on-- products or services you offer which you would like to hear commented on by actual users.
This benefits YOU by giving you insider information that won't get you thrown in jail! And, it benefits your other customers by giving them a chance to hear what others think--and perhaps, offer their own take in a reply or comment, if you're using a blog. Remember that people trust other people just like them. Celebrites are nice for an occasional focus, if you know one or two, but everyday, regular folk are more powerful messengers.
2. Prepare your questions ahead of time. Be specific and let the interviewee know what's off limits, if anything. ASK the interviewee if he or she has any preferences on how the interview should go. Give the interviewee some say in the process. It will reward you with more thoughtful, honest answers.
3. Get a little personal. Ask questions outside of the norm-- ask what kind of car he drives; what her favorite TV show is; where he or she likes to shop for ice cream. Don't be rude, but be friendly. These kinds of questions reveal things about people that they aren't aware they are giving away. Write your personal questions with a focus on your product or service-- and tell the interviewee that she or he can decline to answer, if they choose.
4. Check and recheck your facts! Often people rely on memory to quote something, or comment on something...and only later, when the world beats a fast path to your door to prove you wrong, do you find out the fact you were quoting wasn't quite right. If you discover something inconsistent in your interview...bring it to light right away. Ask the subject to comment on your findings and make sure the world knows you made a mistake-- but that it was unintentional! Being responsible will get you kudos and handshakes. Trying to defend yourself by saying, "I didn't know," will only get you raspberries.
5. Have a little fun once in awhile. There is plenty of unhappiness in the world. If people want to learn about crime, or disaster, or child abuse-- they will go to the NY Times, or their local paper, or the poliblogs. If you're in business to do business, MAKING YOUR CUSTOMERS FEEL GOOD is half the battle. A fun, uplifting, chatty interview now and then will leave folks cheerful and smiling. Cheerful, smiling people are more likely to spend, spend, spend.
What's not to like about that?