Part of being a professional means making sure your systems are organized in relatively tight fashion, ready to work at a moment’s notice. Podcasting is no different!
Even something as simple as having and keeping to a checklist (especially when starting out) before interviewing someone can help things run tenfold smoother.
So, here is a basic checklist to print out and keep handy on your desk studio desk. Each step is broken down into reminders that will help you stay on track when things get hectic and make sure you’re not unprepared when you guest show up for their interview. Sound good?
Step 1: Prepare Your Guest
First thing’s first: make sure that your guests know what will be expected of their time well in advance before the interview.
We already have a few articles on the subject of reaching out to guest, so this is what you’ll need to do once you’re ready to schedule the interview.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Email your guest a brief summary of why you’d like to interview them. Recent articles, book releases, and past interviews can be used as bait to hook your guest into accepting an offer.
- Keep your message short and include a link for them to schedule a time that works best for their schedule. Use tools like Acuity, ScheduleOnce or Calandly to cut down on back and forth emails.
- State the approximate amount of time you’ll need for the interview and ask if there’s a hard stop.
- Let your guest know how the interview will be conducted (i.e Skype, Google Hangouts, Ringr, etc.) and make sure that they have the same program/app that you’ll be using.
- Make sure you’ve done some basic research on your guest and have an idea about the questions you’ll be asking. We’ve talked about the importance of this before.
Step 2: Set Yourself Up For Success
Next comes the most important part: making sure you and your tech are prepped for the session.
The last thing you want is to interrupt your recording due to some stray noise in the background that you can’t edit out, or that renders your recording totally unusable in post production.
Here are a few things to have squared away before recording:
- Make sure you, and more importantly your guest, have a solid Internet connection.
- Have a GAME PLAN – Know the direction you want to take the interview.
- Make sure your space is appropriate for recording. Avoid areas that you know will be normally noisy, but also try to stick to well furnished, carpeted areas that won’t echo.
- Check your microphone levels on the mixer by doing a quick test run. Remember red is bad. Aim to keep your levels in the yellow and green. Have a solid pair of headphones to monitor the audio.
Step 3: Establish a Follow Up Process
The interview is done and now you have a new contact that can be beneficial to both of your network an business. Only thing is, you have to do your part to keep the conversation going!
Here are a few tips on some long-term networking success:
- Thank your guest for their time on the show. Remember, time is our most valuable asset and these days we have very little of it. Don’t take the opportunity to have a great guest lightly.
- Email guest when the episode goes live with shareable links. Take advantage of tools like Click To Tweet and Canned Responses to make sharing frictionless
- Ask for referrals! Birds of a feather flock together. You should always be asking the question, “Who else do you know that would be a great guest?”
- Follow up from time to time to see how things are going. Make note of important events in their lives (birthdays, weddings, etc.), and find ways to add value to what they’re doing.
We’d love to hear about your own checklist and what you guys think we may have left out! Talk about it in the comments!