A great way to boost your coaching business is to gain media coverage. When magazine or newspaper articles cite you as their expert source, or when you appear on a podcast or television program, you are positioning yourself as a coaching expert and industry thought leader. In doing so, you are increasing the credibility of your coaching business and reaching out to an audience that may hold potential coaching clients.
But how do you conduct your interview to get your message across and provide audiences with valuable insight? To make sure your media appearance is effective in building your brand and raising awareness around coaching, follow the below guidelines.
Do Your Research
Whether the reporter sought you out on their own or you approached a publication with an original pitch, always do your research before you confirm anything. Do a quick Google search to find the media outlet’s website, then explore what topics have recently been covered and view their target audience and reach on social media.
Also, do a website search to see if the publication or journalist has covered coaching before and how it has been covered. This way, you can prepare relative material and provide a unique angle that adds value to your interview, as well as check for any implicit bias you may not want to be affiliated with before committing.
Find the articles written by the journalist who will interview you on the outlet’s website or via their online portfolio. Often, journalists write for various publications, so it’s important to take an in-depth look at their published content to get an idea of their personal style, interests and covered topics.
Now that you’ve done your research, here are a few things to keep in mind when preparing for the interview.
Keep it Simple
The first step is to understand what the journalist wants to discuss. Sometimes, if you simply ask the reporter, they will share their planned questions beforehand. If the journalist isn’t willing or able to provide questions in advance, you can ask what topics they want to discuss, to help you prepare the message you want to communicate to audiences.
With this foundation in mind, prepare to offer responses that are short and concise, then practice saying them in a clear way—remember, audiences need to understand the important points of your message within a sentence or two. Avoid industry jargon and make sure your message is something the public will understand without having to Google the terms you use.
Practice Active Listening
It’s also important to be plugged in and actively listening to the interviewer. Expect follow-up questions to your answers or new questions and listen carefully to what the journalist is saying to follow the flow of conversation. Pause before answering a question to gather your thoughts and answer clearly.
Turn Off Distractions
Whether the interview is via phone, computer or in person, make sure you remove any kind of distraction. It’s also wise to come to the interview early and do a test run to understand how any tech being used works, ensuring there are no technical difficulties.
Audiences today are looking for authenticity, so be yourself. Make sure to be transparent and, if the journalist shared their questions, communicate your points with the journalist ahead of time so they know which direction you will go. This will also help you prepare and make you feel more comfortable with your subject matter now that the participating parties are on the same page.
Be genuine and positive, no matter which direction the interview takes you. Audiences want to hear that you are invested in coaching that produces positive results. To show that, avoid using hypotheticals and offer real, relatable examples and testimonials from clients who have agreed in advance for you to share their story. This can offer the audience proof that your practice is effective in changing lives, giving your interview value.
Monitor for Coverage
After the interview is complete, send a thank you note to the journalist to show your appreciation and foster a positive relationship that can lead to additional opportunities. Publication dates fluctuate, but you can ask when the resulting coverage will be available to the public and keep an eye out on the media outlet’s website and social media. Set Google and Twitter alerts to stay on top of things. Once the coverage is released, make sure to reach out to the journalist to thank them again and keep the lines of communication open.
Getting an interview opportunity is half the battle. To boost your business in a positive way, you need to prepare, practice and be yourself. If all goes well, you are increasing the likelihood of being the go-to source for journalists creating content relevant to your field of expertise. You are also increasing your credibility as a coach, making you and your business more accessible to target coaching clients.
Autor: Sonia Abdulbaki