Make the Most of Your Radio Interview to Boost Sales
Giving interviews helps to establish you as an expert in your area of interest. Authors and people in the book industry are wise to participate as often as possible.
As a radio talk show host, I have the opportunity to interview authors and business people who work in the publishing industry every week on CALLING ALL AUTHORS. Personalities appear with me on the show each week, and for each program, we have a routine that works well for us and for our guests. Here are some tips and details of etiquette that apply to any interview with the media, including newspapers, television interviews and radio interviews.
o Be prepared. Provide your host with six to ten talking points you’d like to discuss at least a week before the interview. Organize these points in a logical order and actually use them when you are on the air.
o Keep the appointment and be on time. There is nothing more impolite than to not show up, or to show up late for an interview. Unless you’ve had a serious calamity in your life, call in at the appointed time. Make it a priority to participate. If you can’t make the interview, call or email the host at least day ahead. Please, do not just “not show up.” You will not be invited back—ever.
o Speak clearly. Remember that you are talking to promote yourself, your book or your business. Slow down if you usually talk too fast, speed up if you usually talk too slowly, and speak loudly enough to be heard. It is amazing how often people mumble into the phone. And, don’t breathe heavily into the phone, the air muffles the conversation.
o No multi-tasking. Turn off your computer, or turn away from it so you are not tempted to multi-task. Close the door to the room and ask your family to stay away till you come out after your interview. Please, don’t do the dishes or tidy up your office while you are talking.
o Be polite and cheerful. It is okay to be happy on the program. Even if your topic is serious, an occasional, appropriately light-hearted comment is a good thing. Remember, you are showing who you are, so a cheerful demeanor goes a long way help listeners hear what you are saying.
o Give the host a chance to interact with you. Be complete in your answers to all questions, but don’t run on for several minutes without pausing. The host may have a question your listeners are thinking too, and if he/she can ask the question, your interview is even more valuable to you.
o Use an outline for your responses. All too often guests read from a written text. At the most, have your talking points list and a few short comments for each so you remember what you want to say about each item. But, do not write out a long answer. The temptation is to read it, as this kills the conversational style of an interview.
o Be sure to give your website URL. Your host will ask you to say what your website or email address is so listeners can contact you. Work it out ahead of time how to most easily give this information. Most people know you need the www. Ahead of the website, so you don’t really have to say that part anymore. Point out anything unusual about the address — perhaps a number or a strange spelling is part of your URL. Make sure to clarify that as you give the information.
After the interview is over, write a quick thank you email to your host. This goes a long way to getting yourself invited back on the show. Keep in touch with the show host for future events you’d like to publicize. Being on talk shows is a very valuable form of exposure, and the more of them you can do, the better. And, if there is a way to advertise on the show’s home page, for a reasonable cost, jump in. There are plenty of other people who come to the show’s archives, and will see your display ad. It may encourage them to listen to your interview as well, and if you are running a commercial, everyone who hears it will connect with you long after your show airs.