I remember back 25 (ahem) years ago when I was training to be radio broadcaster, we were taught to always speak to ONE person…never say ‘all you out there!’ and when interviewing guests, we were taught the classic standard interview questions that all interviews are based on. They are of course the 5 ‘W’s …and a H…
Of course having worked in radio and TV as an interviewer for over 20 years and having interviewed thousands of people, I can honestly say that those words never come to mind and even if an interview was conducted using them as a framework, they wouldn’t be in that order. However, when teaching a ‘How to Market Yourself’ workshop recently I shared these words with the delegates to help them ensure that they are prepared to be a great interviewee.
There’s no doubt you need absolute clarity on:
Who you are (you are the brand!)
Why you do what you do – what’s the emotion behind your work?
What exactly do you do, what are your key messages?
Where is it happening? – geographical info if it’s an event, or online etc.
When? – if it’s a launch or date related event.
How do you work – how do you deliver your product / service?
So I’d urge you if you haven’t already, to do a practice run for if you’re asked those questions, prepare your answers and practice answering those questions (say it out loud, it’s muscle memory!) a few different ways so that you always sound spontaneous and not scripted.
Ask Yourself …
But here’s another use for these words, as I coached a client privately I realised that she was finding this preparation for being a great interviewee step tricky, not because she hadn’t quite honed her key messages or got her tongue around how best to describe her ‘USP’, that’s quite normal, but it was because her business had grown organically, she had almost fallen into it by accident because she had a real passion for helping other people and so retrained as a coach but hadn’t ever done the business plan or mapped out the strategy.
It’s true for so many ‘heart centred’ businesses, we just find ourselves with our own business often by accident, clients get recommended and suddenly we’re off! Sometimes it’s a while before we can take stock and recognise that we may have created something that wasn’t exactly what we wanted.
So I’d urge you in addition to having your answers ready for the media, to take a long hard look at those questions in relation to how you feel about your work and the way your business works.
Who am I? This can be a big one, in the case of my client she wasn’t altogether happy being visible as ‘the brand’, she was hoping to hide. Really be honest about whether you’re prepared to gain confidence and to put your head above the parapet and be seen. You can also ask the questions ‘Who are my ideal clients and what is it that I can assist them with? and ‘Who do my products or services best serve?’
Why do you do this work? This is sometimes referred to as the ‘Why that makes you cry’, if you do have a heart centered business really be honest with yourself about this one, it’s unlikely you are doing it purely for money, but make sure that you aren’t blocking yourself from being financially abundant (often the case!)
What exactly is your USP? What is your business in a sentence and what’s your point of difference?
Where do you usually work, and where are your clients or customers? This should be an easy one! Though if it’s currently one to one with clients, it might get you thinking how you could leverage your time and reach more people globally by offering Skype sessions, writing a book or creating an online programme.
In the words of the great Mark Zuckerberg – he apparently asked this before implementing any business idea – ‘Does this make us grow?’
When is it happening? This question could help give you clarity on what you hope to achieve and by when, if you’re planning to write a book, even if its self-published – set yourself a deadline, it ensures you get cracking! If you’re launching a new product or programme prepare your marketing schedule ahead of the launch date.
How does it all work together? Ask yourself how you will do it all? How do you access the help you need? Ask yourself ‘Is there something I still need to learn? Do I need more training, a partner or a joint venture?