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Quick tip: Do your own interviews

Quick tip: Do your own interviews

What’s the very best way to get great insights and quotes from experts?

Interview them yourself.

When you speak first-hand to a source, you often get great “sound bites.” And those can add an engaging human touch to your content.

Plus, you get a chance to ask questions on anything you don’t quite understand.

And you can get a comment that’s directly on-topic.

Most interviews today are done by Zoom, so you can watch your subject’s face for any subtext.

And that can pay off in great insights from a real, engaged conversation with another person.

That’s something AI can’t do. So that’s one more way to make your writing AI-proof.

How do you find experts and get them to talk?

In an earlier Quick Tip, I suggested that you build your own set of experts who will make time for you.

One starting point I didn’t list in that tip: LinkedIn. That’s an ideal place to find experts in your space.

Anyone active on social media is clearly trying to build their platform. Being interviewed and quoted is an excellent way to do so.

So if you link to someone, follow them for some time, react to their posts, and then ask for an interview, the odds of them saying “Yes” go way up.

Direct quotes are far more persuasive

Speaking directly to a source gets you a far better quote, and provides far more context than a snippet from social media.

So plan on doing live interviews with sources outside your company for your next white paper. It will add life and sparkle to your piece.

If you haven’t done many interviews before, you can learn.

See my tips on interviewing executives and how to avoid asking dumb questions.

And remember: Don’t take shortcuts. Go right to the source.


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About Gordon Graham

Worked on 320+ white papers for clients from Silicon Valley to Switzerland, on everything from choosing enterprise software to designing virtual worlds for kids, for clients from tiny startups to 3M, Google, and Verizon. Wrote White Papers for Dummies which earned 60+ 5-star ratings on Amazon. Won 16 awards from the Society for Technical Communication. Named AWAI 2019 Copywriter of the Year.

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