The two words I’ve used time and time again to gain access to some of the brightest minds in my industry are simply these – “interview request.” That phrase makes up the subject line to every request I make of someone I would like to interview for my podcast and it’s probably one of the most effective tools I employ.
Hosting your very own radiolike show is probably one of fastest ways to increase your expert status and gain backstage passes to the biggest names in your industry.
Now, you may not think of yourself as the next Howard Stern or Rush Limbaugh. (either of whom may actually cause some nightmares for you, but you get the point) However, it’s never been easier or more useful to produce your very own Internet radio programming, or what some have long called a podcast, than it is today.
And in doing so you can instantly tap the pull of the interview that has served journalists from publications large and small business many years. The only difference is that now anyone can use this draw to get in front of authors, industry leaders and even prospects. (You’ll also automatically produce a library of valuable content to use in many ways.)
Some cynics might argue that you’re just wasting your time because not enough people are going to listen to your podcast to make it worthwhile. Like some many things in life, if you produce good content, people will eventually find it and pass it around, but I would argue that the access to your prospective guests alone is what makes it worth the time.
Who should you interview?
The answer to that question will depend greatly on your marketing objectives and industry of course, but stretch your thinking here.
Who are the thought leaders in your industry? What about in your town? What strategic partners could you convince to share their wisdom? What prospective big fish customer would like to tell their story? What famous, innovative, or creative person would impress your customers and prospects?
Are you starting to get the picture here? Can you see how possessing a library of interviews with smart folks in your industry could be a competitive advantage?
Here’s how to get started
The good news is that you don’t have to invest in all kind of studio equipment to produce a very passable quality interview series. You need several elements connected together to start creating your podcast. I’ll list each item and give some suggestions for tools and services to explore.
Record – to record you will need a decent microphone and computer recording software. If you are doing phone interviews (I recommend it for ease and convenience) then you can use SkypeIn, a free service that provides you with a phone number for your guest to call. I think use a low cost Skype add-on called Call Recorder so I can record the call directly to my computer.
I use a Blue Snowball USB microphone and Bose Headphones.
Edit – You may want to edit your interviews for length or to add music and sound effects. Garage Band, a program that comes on Macs is very adequate for this and many PC users like a free program called Audacity. Both programs also compress audio recordings into the preferred mp3 format.
Host – Even compressed mp3 recordings can be rather larger so it’s a good idea to use a media hosting service. This may not be an issue if you don’t receive many listens and downloads, but I like to use a service called Libsyn because it’s very inexpensive and streams thousands of plays effortlessly.
Promote– You’ll want to let the world know about your interviews and one of the easiest ways is to use blogging software such as WordPress to describe each show and provide a link to the recording (you can see how I host the Duct Tape Marketing podcast here) A further advantage to using blogging software is that it automatically produces an RSS feed that can be read and retrieved by podcast directories and, most importantly, iTunes. (this way people can get your shows in their iPods and iPhones.)
Once you get your recording and posting system set-up you will find that a podcast can return tremendously on the investment of you think guest access first and listenership second.
Image credit: euthman