Interviewing people is a common practice these days. The question is: “How much value is there for your content marketing efforts?”
If you can book an interview with Seth Godin or Steve Wozniak, by all means, you should. But often they are not that easily available. So we can interview someone else, right? Hold on. If you interview wrong people, you end up wasting your time, their time, and some poor soul’s [who ended up reading your material] time as well.
How do you make sure that you are interviewing the right people?
Go back to the basics: value, relevance, scope.
Value: make sure the interviews give something to your readers. This approach will influence not only which questions you should ask, but also who will be answering them.
Relevance: interview someone relevant for the topic you’re covering. There’s nothing worse than outdated information from a wrong person.
Scope: it’s great when you quote prominent experts from your industry with their own following base. Often it plays a pivotal role during the content promotion phase.
But what do you do when you don’t have access to experts with a huge following and presense? Interview several people with a smaller one. Some time ago I did a series of articles for my client, covering the struggles of designers: clients, inspiration, self-marketing, and so on.
The total following of all the professionals interviewed was around 300,000 people. Both articles were featured by popular design publications, including CommArts, one of the oldest magazines about graphic design.
Actually, the second article got featured as well.
By the way, if you’re trying to interview some person who just doesn’t have time for you, take a quote from them. It’s a win-win situation – you’ll get an authority boost for your material and the person being quoted won’t feel bad about downplaying you.