A few weeks back, I managed to book an interview with Ryan Deiss from Digital Marketer. Currently, we’re in talks with other big names in the marketing, entrepreneur and business space.
I want to interview people who have really made a difference in the digital marketing space. Men and women who are helping people set up businesses, build marketing funnels, run companies and live a lifestyle they want.
Why do I want to even interview people? What am I getting out of this? I wrote a list of everyone I wanted to speak to. The top people in my field that would really help my audience.
I’m relatively new to the scene, I haven’t got a massive list and yet I managed to get Ryan Deiss, Founder and CEO of Digital Marketer on for a video interview. I want to tell you exactly how I did it.
I had a plan
I already have a podcast and didn’t want to create another one. But I did want to interview experts and treat it as a mastermind.
I started reaching out to people knowing exactly what I wanted from a) the masterminds in general and b) each individual guest.
I made the assumption that every person I emailed would say yes. Therefor I had to know what I wanted from each guest.
I’m 100% in favour of “just doing it”. Over-planning and waiting for the right time doesn’t help anyone. You’ll never get anything done.
But at the same time, it’s critical that I knew exactly what the point for each guest was.
I also knew that I had to have a barrier to entry. Everyone I want to interview needed to have either a book or a large course/coaching program.
Build a list of contact information
First, I had to do my research. I was hesitant to do this stage because it’s so easy to get dissuaded. But after I started I found it tough to stop.
There are so many email addresses, blogs, Twitter handles, Facebook pages, websites, YouTube channels and phone numbers available for every person I wanted to talk to. I was inundated with email addresses and contact information.
I thought this would be the hardest stage. In fact, getting in touch with people was relatively easy. The hard part was continuing the outreach to get a response.
I built a list of contacts inside Google sheets with their numbers, email addresses, Twitter handles, pages and everything else.
I also marked down how often I contacted them. I wanted to try a number of different avenues for each guest. LinkedIn InMail, email, Twitter, phone etc.
I knew what I wanted to ask
You can see my email outreach template here (no optin).
I started with the questions that I wanted to ask. What would my audience want to know?
What do my customers and audience want help with that I can’t provide? That was always the point of the Mastermind sessions.
If you read the email, you can see I say why I’m emailing as soon as I can. I don’t want to introduce anything, just explain the point of the email.
Every email I send is designed to either confirm a call, or sell the idea of an interview. I also wanted to show I was prepared by telling them the questions I wanted to ask.
My buddy Troy at WPElevation taught me the basic interview format I use.
- Who are they and what do they do?
- Why is this thing important?
- What’s the first step in accomplishing the thing?
- What can we do next?
- How can they reach you/find you?
You can see the questions are structured around this process. Also, very very importantly, each outreach email was customised for each guest. Sales coaches get sales questions, marketers get marketing questions.
I was persistent
The number 1 reason people don’t get the result they want, is because they give up to early. If you give up on your goal then obviously you’re never going to reach it.
I always make sure to say if people don’t want to hear from me let me know and I’ll stop. I believe that persistence is one of the easiest ways to show I’m serious about the call.
It’s more a sign of respect than not. That I’m happy to keep reaching out and nudging them for a call. I want to show that I’m committed to this and I believe it’s worth the effort.
I’ll email or use another channel about once a week. After 3 or 4 attempts, I’ll back off for a bit and come back to it another time.
I was polite and communicative
Whenever I hear back, I make sure to show that I’m as helpful and easy to work with as possible. Positioning is fine but the men and women I’m reaching out to don’t need me. I need them. So I make sure to show respect and patience with their process.
I assume that most people are good and want to help. But we’re all busy and people have to prioritise. The easier and smoother I can make the call the better.
I opened up my calendar, gave my Calendly link with no time blocks. Everything I can do, I’ll do. I want these calls and they’re important to me.
When the call is booked, I’ll confirm the time and date again. Even if it’s via email. Usually I’m also cc’d into a comms. manager or assistant and I’ll make sure to introduce myself to them too.
Before the call, I’ll send over the questions again and a timeline of what’s going to happen. Both for the day and overall, saying when I want to publish and what I’ll do when it’s live.
On the call, again I’ll go over the questions quickly and make sure they’re happy with the format. Reminding them again what will happen after the call is over.
Finally, I say thank you. I’ll thank them and show appreciation for taking them time. I’m surprised how many times my guests have told me that I’m the first person to thank them on the call. Mental.
I didn’t ask too much
Interestingly, I also make sure that I’m happy to back off and accommodate what I can. Nothing is worse than giving someone an inch and they take a mile.
The call is all I want. Then I’ll email when it’s live and ask them if they can share it. Don’t ask, don’t get. But the easiest way I’ve found to make sure everyone is happy, is to set expectations.
Before the call I’l check that they’re happy for me to email them again when it’s live.
I tried to do it
This might be the biggest thing on the list. I managed to book Ryan and other guests because I thought I could. I tried to execute the idea I had.
It’s easy to give up, easy to think “this is too big”. But honestly, I never knew I’d book the call for certain. But I was positive that I wouldn’t get anywhere if I didn’t try.
Most people I told were super positive that I could get the calls. I’m happy to show them they are right.
I’m a customer
Finally, it doesn’t hurt to be a customer of the person you want to call. Invest a little and get a dialogue going with your guest. It’ll do you wonders.
I’m not big enough to book the call
I’ve heard a few people tell me already that they could never do that.
I’ll let you in on a secret. I, Lord Michael Killen, am small small small microscopic nano fry compared to my guests. They’re big fish. I’m plankton.
But from small acorns grow mighty Forest Ents.
I know it’s intimidating, but be persistent (sorry) and I promise you that you can book guests way bigger than yourself.
Go out and smash it.