If you’ve just landed your first interview, congratulations! Although it may be daunting at first, getting interviewed is one of the best opportunities to promote you and your book to new audiences.
What you say during an interview matters, and whether it’s your first interview or 100th interview, we all have room to improve. Here are 5 things to do before an interview to ensure that you make a lasting impression.
Before even thinking about what you want to say during the interview, you want to make sure that you are familiar with the interview format. It sounds obvious, but actually watch the show, listen to the podcast, listen to the radio show or read that publication.
Go online, find it and consume it.
You also need to get very familiar with who the interviewer is and what their style and format is like. If it’s a TV interview, get to know the host. Is it a sit down interview? Is there more than one host?
Get to know who they are. Do a little research. What are they like? Do they have kids? Knowing things like their hobbies and interests can help you engage with them during the interview. The more research, the better.
Once you are comfortable with the source, you need to think about their audience. Because ultimately, you want to be catering to their audience and keep them interested. You are there for them, not the other way around.
Identify your Audience
Next, you need to identify your target audience. It’s important to ask yourself, “Who is my target audience, and does it line up with the audience of the show, podcast or publication I am being interviewed for?”
Physically write out groups of people who would be included in either audience and find the overlap between the two. Whether it’s parents, educators, business people or teens, it’s vital to know who you are speaking to.
Once you figure out your target audience, you can tailor your message with that specific audience in mind. By crafting your message around an audience, what you say during your interview will leave a lasting impact.
Identify your What, Why and Where
To begin crafting your message, you first need to identify your “what.” Your “what” is usually a short soundbite. It clearly describes the product. In this case, the product is your book.
Next, you need to figure out your “why.” Your “why” will help you distinguish you and your book from other books. Why are you and your product different from anything else? Why should your audience care? Why does your book matter? Not to you, to the reader.
Finally, you need to be specific with your “where.” Where are people going to find your product? Do you want to send them to your website? Do you want to send them to Amazon? Do you want to send them to a retail store? You need to be very clear on this during your interview.
Practice your Soundbites
Now that you have your audience and your what, why and where identified, you can begin crafting your soundbites. Soundbites are concise, striking, quotable thoughts that can help make your message memorable.
Sit down and brainstorm all the soundbites that you can come up with that give a call to action. Maybe it’s an interesting statistic or a timely fact. Maybe it falls in with a timely news of the day. Whatever it is, you want to have it written out on paper.
Once you get all of them written out, I would highly recommend practicing it in the mirror when you’re getting ready in the mornings or talk about it in the car while you’re driving. Pretend like you have an interviewer sitting right there with you. It might feel awkward at first, but it’s going to pay off in the end.
Know What Makes a Great Interview
Knowing what makes a great interview is extremely important. I encourage you to consume as much media as you can. The more media you’re consuming, the more of a feel you will have for what really speaks to you.
What do you think makes a great interview? Do you notice things that don’t make a great interview? Think about where they are looking or if they are saying “um” or “uh” too much. Get very clear on what makes a great interview.
If you follow these 5 steps, you will go into the interview feeling well prepared and ready to deliver your message to the audience.
Remember that ultimately, you want to be engaging. What you say and how you act during the interview is what will pull people in and keep them captured.
If you want to learn more about being prepared for interviews, among a host of other topics related to building your platform and publicizing your book, check out Author to Infleuncer Accelerator, our DIY membership community for authors who want to take a hands-on approach to marketing their books.