When we think of speaking for marketing, most of us think of getting up on stage in front of dozens or even hundreds of eager listeners. Or we think of giving a webinar where we plan a talk and carry it out.
But one of the most powerful ways to reach your audience is by getting interviewed for a podcast, panel or telesummit. Unfortunately, even experienced savvy business owners often blow off these opportunities. They don’t take full advantage of this rare exposure to someone else’s audience.
Recently I was listening to a podcast on a topic that sounded pretty exciting. The host was interviewing a guest I’ll call Claudia. I’ve tried to disguise her program..
“To find success, use your own strengths. Do what’s right for you in your business, not what your mentor says you should do. Focus on what you want, not success on other people’s terms. It’s the ‘Inner Strength’ Program.”
The interviewer was puzzled. “That’s an interesting idea,” he said. “But how do you make it practical? And you’re talking about focusing inward but you refer to speaking to large groups and putting yourself out there.”
Claudia shifted gears. She began to talk about getting passionate on a clear idea, focusing on that idea and then finding a market that would respond to her passion.
Things went downhill from there. The interviewer gave up and just told us go download Claudia’s ebook. And Claudia missed an opportunity to present her program to a new, large, responsive audience.
One way to prepare for a big interview is to think of packing a portfolio of marketing stories. An interview gives you the chance to be a storytelling ninja! You’re not just writing stories –you get to tell them out loud.
Let’s think of what Claudia’s copy would look like if she were preparing this way for her interviews.
(1) Plan a story to tell at the very beginning of your interview — that moment when the host says, “Tell me something about yourself.”
Tip: Avoid beginning your story with, “Well, I …” You can use a version of your elevator story, perhaps with an example from a client.
(2) What problem is your market facing? What’s their backstory?
==> Does your audience want to be able to choose a marketing strategy that’s consistent with what they really want to do?
==> Or do they want to find a way to be more effective in their business, so they get more results for the time they put in?
==> Or if they’re floating all over the place, do they need help getting focused on two or three objectives? Or maybe one goal for six months?
(3) Plan 2 or 3 stories about clients who have succeeded with this program.
No clients yet? Present stories in the future. Make it clear they’re examples — not real clients.
“Suppose Ted has a dog who’s chewed up his sofa. After this program, Ted’s dog would confine his chewing strictly to rubber bones.”
“Suppose you’re a life coach who wants to pivot to a new market. This program will help you avoid these 3 common mistakes…”
Your stories should highlight symptoms of your clients’ problems — not the problems themselves.
(4) If your program seems a little confusing, tell a story to clarify the concept. Draw an analogy with what’s familiar. For instance, people are telling me they “get” my view of storytelling when I say, “Storytelling is the screwdriver in your marketing tool kit.”
(5) Plan a statement — not a story — for the “last chance” question. That’s the one where your host says, “Thank you so much for being here. Do you have any final words for our audience?”
Bonus Tip: Got a really hot story with interesting characters? Practice telling your story out loud. Go for the drama — accents, voices, characters. Don’t be afraid to exaggerate. You and your audience will share a memorable experience.
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Want to learn more about the types of stories you can use in a presentation? Download your free “Create A Standout Brand By Telling A Story: 4 Case Studies of Successful Business Owners.”