How to Network When You Are Being Interviewed
The book is published. You’ve done primary marketing. Now it is time for the interviews. Whether it is a blog, video log, or print media, there are a few things to consider.
Do Your Homework:
Keep track of your scheduling. You don’t want to double book interviews. Make sure that when one is approaching, you publicize it.
Find out what your host wants. Some will expect you to appear on camera; others will expect you to just be online. Some will send you a list of questions so you are prepared and may even create the print ‘interview’ from the answers you return.
Provide promo information. Don’t hold back here. Send the whole press package so that the interviewer has current and complete info on you and your book. (Not sure what goes into a press package? Check out Andy Peloquin’s Your Media Kit: Five Minutes of Work can Make Bloggers Love You)
Have current stats. Yes, check your sales stats so that, if you have any milestones to celebrate, they are in there.
Research your interviewer and their style. Most are pretty straight forward but if one is known for throwing curve balls, you know.
Dress for Success
No jammies…at least from the waist up. We all know how authors tend to have a ‘relaxed’ way of dressing when creating our masterpieces. Now is not the time for uber casual. Settle on a simple yet professional outfit, comb your hair, and, if you like, slather on a bit of makeup. A little bit of paint and spackle never hurt. Here are some great tips from Business Insider on What not to Wear During a Video Interview.
Remove distractions…cats, dogs, kids. We’ve seen the viral video of the man giving an interview and his kid comes in and climbs the desk. Our animals are just kids with four legs and are great at photo-bombing. Doors have locks for a reason.
Rehearse in mirror or with a friend…or both. Stage fright isn’t just for actors. If this is a full interview with video, it’s a good thing to practice so you don’t end up with that pained smile you make when Aunt Jenny wants to know how you liked her casserole.
Be aware that the interviewer may not have read your book. Hopefully, they read the press package.
The interviewer is the star; you are the guest. Like any good guest, let the host/ess take the lead.
Be genuine. I learned early in life that if you tell a lie then you have to remember that lie so that next time you tell the same lie. It is so much easier to just be yourself than to try to create a false persona.
Be concise. Viewers have a limited attention span so the interviewer will want to keep things moving. Skip the anecdotes. Stay on target. Plan several sound bites. Not sure what a sound bite is? Check out this great explanation of Sound Bite preparation from Cision
Promote the book, not yourself. Like I said…Stay on target. You are trying to increase your readership and boost sales. Yes, you can mention your other books if time allows. And make sure to slip in your website address. An interview should be a mixture of information, entertainment, and selling your book. Emphasis on the selling.
I am a BIG fan of post-it notes. In fact, the viewer has no idea that my computer monitor is encircled with post-its containing bits of information and reminders like SMILE. I’m sure my eyes are darting around like a sixteen year old at her first driving test. (Remember to adjust your mirrors.)
After The Interview
Last, but by no means least, be sure that after the interview is finished, you share and promote it on social media, add it to your website, comment on the host’s post to engage with their fans (make sure that you click the “notify me of follow up comments” that most blog sites have. After that, solidify your networking with the host by sending a personal thank you letting them know that you added it to your site and offering them something in return. Even if all you can say is “If you ever need anything, let me know.” tangible offers are better, but this is better than nothing. Why? Because you might want to contact them again in the future, and you want them to remember you and want to provide that to you. You are building a relationship with them.
So there it is. Amongst all the many tips, these are the biggies. I hope all of you succeed and get to experience being interviewed.
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