The old saying “It’s who you know, not what you know,” will always be true. Who you know will determine your level of success in business. There will always be people who aren’t as smart as you, or don’t know as much as you who excel ahead of you. But the reverse is also true. You can do much better than someone who is better educated or even in the inudstry longer that you have been if you know the right people.
The key is who you know. If you are a business owner then getting to know as many of the leaders in and around your industry should be your #1 goal. Becoming part of the community and becoming one of the go to people who is recognised by others will enable you to get more sales opportunities.
You can become part of the industry and start ntowrking with the leaders by:
- Attending networking events
- Speaking at conferences
- Joining the your industry association or chamber of commerce
These can all take time to develop and so the benefits can take years to achieve. The benefits are great and well worth the wait though as being well connected in your industry will help your business in the following ways:
- iron sharpens iron
- A source of new client
- speaking opportunities
- Learn from their
- Make introductions
I have found the best way to meet the most amount of thoought leaders and authorities in your industry is to start a podcast. Each episode you dedicate to interviewing one industry leader for 30-60 minutes.
A podcast of interviews is so powerful because:
- You don’t have to create the content, your guest provides it
- Preparation doesn’t take long. You just have to create a list of 10 questions to ask your guest
- Once you interview an expert once you will be an associate, so you can start to develop a deeper relationship
- Each episode you will meet another leader in your industry. This is better than networking because you get to choose the person you interview
But there is a much faster way to embed yourself in an industry and not just get to know the leaders, thought leaders and experts but to actaully become one in record time. The way to do it is through podcasting.
Create a podast and interview the leaders in your industry. Other industry people and even potential clients will see these interviews as valuable as these experts probably don’t get interviewed very often. You will be helping them get their message out and many will find the message useful.
Remember these industry leaders have often spent 10-30 years in an indusrty and they have forgotten about an industry is often more than most clients know.
I have started a few of these types of podcasts over the years and listened to countless more. Below I have outlined some of my tips and experiences after performing many podcast interviews to help me network my way up in an industry:
Hold a Pre-Interview
Always hold a 30 mintue pre interview to determine the list of questions to ask the expert. There is two puproses for the pre-interview.
- To ensure you are properly prepared so the conversation is smooth and you and the expert know what the agenda will be
- The more important reason is to get to know the expert more. It is better to have a meeting before the actual interview to help develop the relationship.
Promote the Experts business
It is important to give the interviewee time at the end of the interview to promote their business. They have given of their time to educate your audience, so the audience will be keen to know more about their business. It is a great gift you can igve the interviewee and they will appreciate the gesture.
You should promote the interview on all your platforms to get the word out about the interview and ask the interviewee to do the same.
This promotion of the interviewees business builds an important part of building the relationship.
Stay in Contact After the Interview
Once the interview is over ensure that you stay in contact on a regular basis. There is no shortcut here you need to get good at developing relationships over time. If you never call them back again then all of your effort it wasted.
You will be amazed at how easy it is to develop that relationship after the interview. It really breaks the ice and in fact most of the time the expert will feel like they owe you one. It isn’t every day that a stranger puts that much effort into promoting their business and expertise. your effort will probably be more than most of their colleagues have done for them in a long time.
It is truly a win-win situation.
People Always Say Yes to be interviewed
I have found that most people jump at the opportunty to be interviewed. I have never had someone say no to an interview on a podcast I have run. I find most leaders/experts in an industry spend their lives mastering a topic. Unfortunately most of their family and friends just aren’t that interested in the level of depth of their expertise that will understand. So if asked to do an interview they see it as an opportunity to share their knowledge with a greater audience and most feel excited and honoured to be interviewed.
An open door to a relationship
The interview opens a door where the leader now sees you on their level. After the interview you should have no issue contacting them whenever you like for a chat or to ask question.
I find many people don’t approach leaders in their industry because of internal fears. Fears that they are not on the same level, or they won’t know what to say or they are not qualified. The reality is these are just fears and are often misplaced.
All you need is an in, a reason for making contact and often you are able to start a business relationship. The podcast interview is a great reason to make the initial call.
Interviewing an Expert Makes You an Expert
When you interview an expert, peole automatically see you as an expert. Most peope think that to interview a big shot you have to be a big shot. Now you and I know that is not the case, but we are in the minority.
Podcast interviews are a great way to lift your profile in the industry, not just because you are associated with people of high callibre but because you get to learn from the best.
A great way to learn
Interviewing experts in your industry is the fastest way to learn the industry. It is far easier to ask an expert all your questions over an hour than to learn from trial and error.
I remeber starting a podcast about Office 365 about 6 years ago when the tecnology was just announed by Micorsoft. The product was not released yet and I knew nothing about it. So I emailed the experts in the industry who had been working with it while in Beta. Some were experts from outside of Micrsoft and others were Microsoft employees.
I remember how little I knew about the new technology, but after about ten interviews I had learned so much I was becoming a go to person on Office 365.
I then started to run webinars on Office 365 and attract a large audience. If I couldn’t answer a question I would tell the audience I would find the answer from one the experts I knew. They loved it and thought it was great I was so well connected. I would then contact the expert over skype and have the answer within hours.
One Interview will lead to another
I remember how many interviewees would recommend me to interview other leaders within Microsoft community. All of these leaders were well connected and were happy to make introductions. Within a few weeks of launching the podcast I was on skype with Head of Microsoft Partners Worldwide. Quite a big jump for just a few podcasts under my belt.
It was truly remarkable the doors that opened for me because I hosted a podcast that intervewed leaders in the industry.
Remember the level of your success in business is determined by the people that you know in the industry. You can’t build a business fast without knowing others in the industry. THey will teach you, connect you, assist you and tell you when you are wrong. These friends, mentors and coleagues will champion you and your business forward. Podcasting is one of the quickest ways to meet the leaders in your industry you can go on the journey with.