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How To Land A Key Interview (Even In The Beginning)

Discussion in 'Technical Help' started by Sean Fay, Sep 19, 2015.

  1. Sean Fay

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    Location:
    Westfield, Massachusetts, USA
    Hi there! If you haven’t heard of me, my name is Sean Fay, I’m 17 years old, and I host my own podcast series here on the AM Podcast Network call The Full Circle that has been in existence for just over a month. Yes, one month. My show is located on seven different sources; SoundCloud, iTunes, Stitcher, Spreaker, Tunein, Blubrry, and of course here on AMPN. Also, The Full Circle has only seven episodes under its belt, and has 850+ total plays on its SoundCloud account.

    Now, you may read the title of this article, How To Land A Key Interview (Even In The Beginning), and wonder, “Why in the hell would you, hosting a podcast that only has seven episodes released, think that you know the expertise towards scoring that big interview that’ll hopefully boost my viewership?” Well, I don’t know if I have the expertise to share that with you, that would be too pretentious of me to do; however, I do have a story to share with you that will hopefully show you how the power of social media, as well as a little bit of luck, can ultimately lead you towards the consistent boost of listeners that you may be seeking. Especially if you are a little impatient when it comes to show growth like I am (I admit to that).

    Now I get to my story. As I came off of my sixth episode, I noticed that the plays on SoundCloud were lower on Episode #6, than the previous episodes before it. I wasn’t sure why that was, so I decided to chat with Adam Mulholland, the head of AMPN in case you are not a part of the network and don’t know who he is, and get some advice from him about what I could do to keep the viewership at a consistent and successful level. After I discussed it with him, I tried to think of ways to produce content that can attract new customers that will hopefully listen to my show and keep coming back for more.

    Remember, I admit that I’m impatient when it comes to gaining viewers and seeing my show grow. Call me what you want, but I do want to make sure that my show is succeeding, and succeeding at a rate that satisfies me. That is what keeps me coming back and doing my show every Saturday morning; knowing that I am giving new listeners something to enjoy, as well as progressing the show with every new episode. I honestly think every podcaster should be at least a little impatient in that sense and care about constant growth with every new episode.

    Anyways, while I was thinking of ways to improve the content I am producing on my show, something hit my head.

    A while back, like six months ago or something like that, I had officially supported a petition on Change.org that was created by a guy by the name of Jason Long who was asking the National Football League to ask Metallica, the most popular heavy metal band out there, to be the halftime performer at Super Bowl 50 in February of this coming year, 2016. His petition currently has over 60,000 supporters and is continuing to grow by the hour. I’ve wanted this to happen so bad for a while now because Metallica has meant a lot to me, and I’m sure you can agree that the Super Bowl halftime shows of the past decade or so have become to be a laughing-stock and, at times, an embarrassment (ie. Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson with “Nipplegate”).

    Also, a couple days after Episode 6 released to the public, I shared on the show’s Twitter account (@TheFullCircle_) the petition asking for followers to go share their support for Jason’s petition. In response, Jason Long himself followed @TheFullCircle_ and responded to the tweet saying “Thank you!!!!” That itself spoke volumes to me because I didn’t even think that this guy would have been that generous and whole-hearted and kind enough to acknowledge my support for him given how small my podcast is.

    After thinking over those two things, my mission became clear to me; try to land an interview with Jason in hopes of helping him gain more supporters for his petition, and I could hopefully receive some new listeners in return. I felt like that was a great opportunity to try to grow my show as much as I can. So I reached out to Jason via Twitter DMs and asked him for his email and if I could ask him a question. He said “fire away”, and I sent him a decent sized email extending my support for his petition and asked if he would be willing to do an interview on The Full Circle to hopefully get a chance to talk about the premise of his petition and why Metallica needs to be the halftime act, in exchange for some simple link shares and his full support for The Full Circle. He responded with great pleasure and said that he would be more than happy to share my show with his supporters.

    Currently, you’re probably thinking, “Well okay, you’ve landed an interview with a guy that’s got a petition with over 60,000 supporters. Seems decent.” That’s exactly what I thought too my friend, but eventually, I found out that my interview with Jason was much more than “decent”. In the days before the interview was recorded, we were planning it all out. He seemed excited for it, just as much as I was. Then eventually, recording day came. As the hours waned down, I was nervous, only because this was my first big interview I have ever done on the show, and ever for that matter. So I had some small jitters pre-interview. Thought I must note: going into this interview, I thought this was going to be a simple interview that would be a win-win for the both of us. But after I recorded the interview, I found out that this was more than a win-win.

    We talked a bit before the recording, in that I found that he was literally like a kid on Christmas morning. He was looking forward to this interview all day, just as I was. He even said to me that he was so excited because he never could have figured that someone out there would have the audacity to offer him a chance like this. Right then and there I began to think that this could be something more that just an interview, and I could be in store for something much bigger. We recorded the interview, which landed just over thirty minutes in length, and then I talked to him about what I was going to do with the interview, and I asked him what he was planning to do for his end of the deal; promoting my show.

    Here is where my brain exploded. He first told me that he planned to release an update on the petition sharing the interview with the 60,000+ supporters of the petition. At that point, I was pretty much told that I would essentially be auditioning for 60,000 people. WHAT!? Then, he told me that he would create a thread on the MetClub forums (MetClub being Metallica’s official fan club) where he said he has met a TON of his friends, some of which are actual MetClub staff members. What came out of his mouth after that sounded like something that almost seemed too good to be true, but he seemed so confident that it was very hard to not believe him. He claimed that, most likely, at least one of the webmasters would catch wind of the interview and take a listen to it. Then, that person could send it off to another higher-ranked person on the MetClub staff, who he said works with Metallica themselves, and if he feels compelled enough, he may actually share it with the band. When I heard Jason say that, my mouth dropped.

    Again, although it almost sounded too good to be true, Jason sounded like a man of his word. I mean, I know that all of what he told me was a possibility and might not necessarily become a reality, but due to the confidence in his voice when he said all of that to me, I couldn’t be anymore excited at the fact that this could be the big calling that I was looking for. In this exploration for growing my show, I felt like I rolled the die and landed on the snake eyes. I have potentially hit the goldmine for myself and nailed down the best opportunity for growth that I could possibly get at such an early time for the podcast; and let me remind you, this interview will make it my seventh episode of The Full Circle.

    What I’m trying to say to you, whether you have just started a podcast and are just working on your first episode or you have a podcast with 20 episodes or more under your belt, the one thing that will allow you to hit a podcasting goldmine as I did is if you keep a strong awareness towards things that support the community within the theme of your podcast. If you have a podcast that deals with pop-culture, then peek around Change.org or other petition sites that may have petitions related to pop-culture. Share it on you podcast’s social media (Twitter being my personal choice but it’s up to you), and see what kind of reaction you get. If you’re lucky enough, the person that started the petition might even react to you and thank you for your support. If the person is clearly thankful for you sharing their petition with your listeners, then don’t be afraid to grab their email and ask if they would be interested in coming on your show and get the chance to speak about their passion and what they want changed. Don’t worry so much about the size of your podcast. Doing that will leave you underestimating your potential for bringing something bigger to your podcast.

    Whatever the case may be, don’t be afraid to reach out to someone who reaches out to you. Take it from my story, I shared Jason’s petition on Twitter and he responded by thanking me for my support. I didn’t stop after that! I captured his thankfulness and allowed him to speak about his passion for heavy metal and Metallica, and share with his own supporters how thankful he is for their support. Remember, he said to me that he never imagined that anyone would actually contact him and give him such an opportunity to do something like an interview.

    The key is to be strong and never doubt your own abilities as a podcaster, and as a content publisher. If you have such a desire for someone to be on your show, go for it! The things that will determine the realism of the interviewing opportunity is how you present yourself and how organized you are with your ideas for the interview. Preparation, with a dose of luck, is all that you need to succeed at scoring the big interview you seek for. Pick out who you want, Know what you want to do, and most importantly support the community your podcast supports. Those things will show your listeners that you are truly the king at interviews.

    Even though I am seven episodes (and counting) into The Full Circle, I never doubted myself for a minute that I could pull off an interview like this regardless of where my podcast is. I was able to seize an opportunity like that because that petition was related to hard rock and heavy metal music, and it supported the hard rock and heavy metal community. I’m not trying to blow smoke up your ass, but I now can say that I have experienced what it feels like to hit the jackpot big and turn something that could have been a simple win-win affair for both Jason and I, into a huge gain on my part (and hopefully on his part too). If you trust your gut instincts and plan your angle of attack extensively, you will score a perfect interview and hopefully grow your show into a powerhouse like I did.

    Again, I’m 17, and this is the stuff that I thought of to get Jason Long on my show. If you do what I did, as well as roll your die, you might just land on the snake eyes and score big with your podcast; and if you are still reading this, then you really want to score big interviews and watch your listeners pour in and listen to your show. Now go out there and score big by following your podcast theme’s community, keeping a sharp eye on opportunities that can boost both your show and the interviewee’s well-being, and have plans for what you want to do. If you do that, you’ll easily succeed with scoring interviews like I did and you’ll sit back in your office chair on a random Saturday morning and sip your coffee thinking to yourself, “I am a badass at what I do!” I wish you the best of luck!

    #help #howto #interviews #podcast #thefullcircle
     

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