5 Benefits Of Interviewing Others

It’s my bet that most of you wish you had more visitors to your blogs or websites. It’s also my bet that you’re not taking advantage of things you might be able to possibly do to help get your name out to the masses. What am I talking about?

Thomas Shahan (and a Salticid) on NBC's The Today Show!
Thomas Shahan via Compfight

I like to add interviews to my blog, whether they’re written interviews or video interviews. The reason I like doing them is because I think it adds a new dimension to my websites in general, as well as helps expand my presence in social media.

Right now I have 4 requests out to people who said they’d do the interview for me. I sent them the questions and I’m waiting… and waiting… and waiting. I had two people actually follow through on this, one for my local blog (who I also interviewed here, the other by my buddy Brian Hawkins, who also came through with a video interview.

On the first one, the guy asked me to interview him, and since I know him pretty well I did, and he did a little promotion and that was it. Brian came to the page, addressed all the people who commented on it, and even held a contest on his own blog in trying to help promote it. That was kind of neat and it proved a point.

Too many people lament that no one knows who they are, but they don’t step forward to handle the easiest things to help them along. Things like responding to comments on their blogs, writing comments on other blogs, promoting their missives or interviews on Twitter or LinkedIn or Facebook… Just asking, but how many of you have the link to your websites or blogs in your email signature? Yeah, I thought so.

This isn’t an invitation for you to write me asking me to interview you; truthfully, if you do that I’m ignoring it. I’ll ask those who I want to interview if I can do it. However, I’m always available for an interview because I know I can use it for “my” greater good.

Back in June I wrote another post about lessons learned via an interview I did with Cairn Rodriguez and I also shared the video. I followed that up last October later by sharing my own interview with Meloney Hall in a post talking about blogging and social media marketing. Meloney also interviewed me and posted it to her blog, which I found pretty cool, and I keep sharing that interview of me and other interviews I’ve done with others multiple times because, after all, they’re all a great representation of me.

The thing is that you have to be willing to at least try to do something for yourself if you’re looking to get known or to make money. People aren’t just going to find you; well, maybe they will, but if they don’t know you then why would they buy from you? What better way to help promote yourself than to be found on someone else’s digital real estate?

However, this post isn’t about you yourself all that much; it’s about adding someone else’s interview to your digital real estate. You’re probably thinking “I don’t want to promote anyone else on my page”. Trust me, you’re missing the point. How? Five points below:

1. Interviewing someone who does what you do can help confirm that you know what you’re talking about.

Strange as it might seem, some people who read what you have to say might not fully trust you, especially if they’re unsure of what you’re talking about. However, if someone else comes along and says the same type of thing, you start looking smarter. If you don’t believe this one just tell your spouse something, then have them ask someone else the same question. lol

2. Interviewing someone about aspects of what you do that you don’t talk about often helps highlight just how comprehensive what you do can be.

I did a podcast interview with a guy who does some group leadership training in Florida. In that interview I brought up some things that he himself doesn’t do, but he got it and helped to enhance it with his own words. It makes him look strong because even if he didn’t know anything about what I was saying up front his comment helped to show others just how difficult leadership training can be.

3. Sometimes you can interview someone who was a client and have them tell others how you helped them.

Talk about a coup! All of us in business have some sort of testimonials but you want to know a truth? I know quite a few people who actually write the testimonials themselves and then have someone sign them, making them authentic. Frankly that’s dismaying, and yet I’ve had the opportunity to do the same thing; I just couldn’t do it. However, having someone like that do a video testimonial while it being in the form of an interview… can you think of anything better to help enhance your business?

4. Interviewing someone on the fringe of what you do or are interested in can show you have some depth, thus showing you can be flexible.

I have done some social media consulting here and there. What I find is that depending on who you talk to they always think you talk about only one thing, yet each person has their own thing they’re thinking about. So when I’ve done interviews with other people I’ve expanded the conversation by having them talk about social media platforms in general, and invariably they’ll always bring up something I don’t use or I’m not signed up on. I’ve also interviewed people who have blogs but don’t consider themselves as bloggers; for instance one lady is a lawyer, another a 3D digital artist for media outlets.

5. This is the biggie; you have a major marketing tool that you can use over and over in multiple places. I’ve used my interviews on my blogs. Obviously the video interviews are on YouTube, but then I can embed them in blog posts and share them on every social media platform I have. I can also send links to people via email and, if I so chose to do, I could send out a link in traditional marketing mail and post cards.

There you go; how many times do I have to initiate conversation about interviews, giving them or interviewing others, before you’re ready to take the plunge? Maybe this will help some:
 


 

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Pooling Needed Services With Another Business

Sometimes people balk at the rate someone wants to charge them for services. Often it’s because they’re not sure how certain types of services should be valued. Also, sometimes it’s because even though they don’t know how to do what others do, or don’t want to do what others do, they believe the services are too high and that they can find someone else to do it for less.

You talkin' to me?
Giacomo Carena via Compfight

Have you ever watched the movie Armageddon? Do you remember this line: “You know we’re sitting on four million pounds of fuel, one nuclear weapon and a thing that has 270,000 moving parts built by the lowest bidder. Makes you feel good, doesn’t it?

With most things in life, you get what you pay for. I provide writing services. So do a lot of other people. You could actually get 10 articles a month from someone in India who will only charge you $10; that’s the truth. There are some good writers in India; the majority charging that rate aren’t the good ones, though.

You can’t get 10 articles from me for that amount. But if you were evaluating your blog or your business, maybe you don’t need that many articles. Maybe you only need half that amount. The thing is, for someone like me, you pay a different rate per article than you would for a package deal. That’s how it is with many things in life. You can go to the store and buy one 16 oz bottle of soda for $1.50 or you can buy a 6-pack for $3.99; which one makes more sense?

In circumstances like this, obviously it costs less to get into a package deal. But what if the price for the package deal is still higher than what you can pay?

That’s when you should look into pooling services by hooking up with another business. In other words, you find someone else who you know could use some articles, then you split the cost of the articles between you based on either a 50-50 split or whatever the number ends up being.

Or maybe instead of articles, maybe you want some consulting on your social media prospects but don’t want to pay the full hourly rate on your own. You could do two things here. One, you could split the cost with another person or you could sponsor a seminar if you have a lot of people that you want to bring or invite. On that basis you’d get a special rate that covers a lot of people at once, and someone like me or others could market it and potentially get other people to the seminar for the normal price.

This is something to think about when you need either services like the type I provide, or other types of services that others might provide. It’s just another way to get what you need while saving on how much money might have to come out of your pocket. However, try to find someone who’s kind of like your business if it comes to articles. For seminars, as long as the topic is the same (like leadership or management training) business won’t have to be similar to have the same types of issues.

By the way, if you’re a business that can do this type of thing, I’ve just given you an interesting marketing tip to use. 🙂
 

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Blog Writing 101

I’ve written a lot of posts about blogging on my other blog, including some tutorial stuff, so if you want more than what I’m going to talk about in this post you can check those things out here. I find it incredible how many people I run into that, when I start talking about blogging, they start having palpitations. Did almost everyone really have that much trouble writing papers in school?

Catbert and the company blogger
Niall Kennedy
via Compfight

Writing is as easy or as hard as one decides it should be. Earlier this evening I was reading someone else’s blog post where the guy said he spends 6 to 8 hours writing each blog post. Most of mine takes between 10 & 15 minutes, depending on how much I write and how much internal linking or image adding I do. Most people I talk to say it takes them between 30 minutes to 2 hours to write blog posts.

Remember story writing when you were in school? The teacher told you that every story has to have a beginning, middle and end. Any time you start thinking about writing a blog post, the beginning and the end should write themselves for you most of the time. If you start with a certain point, that’s going to be one paragraph. Unless you write a list post your closing paragraph will be kind of a reiteration of what your opening premise for your post was, with a few things thrown in from the middle.

That should take care of anywhere from 50 to 100 words for you, maybe more. Since the recommendation is to try to write at least 250 words (300 or more is better) you’re already 20 – 40% of the way there.

What should your middle be? It can obviously be almost anything but what are you prepared to do? If you don’t consider yourself all that prolific then let me help you.

Let’s use baseball for this exercise. Let’s say you wanted to write something about the Boston Red Sox and their chances for winning their division in 2014. You don’t know everything about the team but you know enough to be dangerous.

In your opening paragraph you indicated you were going to talk about the Red Sox in 2014, so in your second paragraph you could start by mentioning how the team did in 2013, which included winning the World Series (yes, I’m a Red Sox fan). You could mention the immediate offseason hopes and dreams and how it all collapsed quickly (oh yeah, that’s how this season is ending; sigh…).

Then you could talk about players the team still has, how David Ortiz might fare in his final season, and so on. You could mention any new players coming into the fold and how good or bad they played the previous season.

Finally you could talk about whether you believe they improved, went backwards, or stayed the same. You could mention how you they didn’t so enough to catch the Yankees, or how management seemed to have given up on the team early by sending off its two best pitchers.

With your first paragraph pretty much done and your middle complete, your last paragraph could be a quick summary, something like “The 2014 Red Sox lost their momentum from last year’s World Series victories but looks like a contender heading into the next season. With unbridled enthusiasm and some great young players coming up it should be an exciting season next year.” That was 41 quick words, and I could have said more.

Blogging doesn’t have to be difficult. It’s not necessary to hit a home run, if you will, with every single post. Blogging isn’t meant to be a series of white papers; it’s meant to be a series of thoughts that not only help you show whatever expertise you have, but to help your main website, if your blog is attached to it, with its SEO properties. You can do this; trust me.
 

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10 Influential Books In My History

Because of a challenge from my long time online friend Sunny, I had to put together a list of 10 books that I feel were influential in my life and why. Unlike how some other folks might have done it, I chose books because of their significance, not necessarily because they were the best. In explaining that, on my list I have the first book that got me thinking a certain way or doing something specific without really naming the best book in a particular series.

Kit via Compfight

I think influence can be a different thing that “the best”, if you will. For instance, though many people say Michael Jordan was the greatest basketball player of all time, my favorite player, Wilt Chamberlain, made basketball change rules because of his dominance.

With that said, below are my top 10 influential books. The links… well, if you’re interested you can check the books out, and if you buy… I earn affiliate money. I think that’s fair! 🙂 Here we go:

1. Go Dog Go, Dr. Seuss. This wasn’t my first book but it’s the first book I actually remember reading on my own, which I still own, and loving it for not only its bright colors but because it taught me the words Constantinople and Timbuktu lol

2. The Autobiography of Frederick Douglass. In my preteens I was introduced to black history on a fluke and this was the first book I read on the subject. It changed the course of my life in realizing the legacy of black people in America.

3. Ender’s Game, Orson Scott Card. My introduction into sci-fi other than Star Trek books, well written that became a 4-part series (5 if you count one book that concentrated on a different character from the original). I was surprised I got into it because I hadn’t read much fiction at the time; I have now because of it. It has to be good if I’m mentioning it, especially since Card turned out to be a homophobe…

4. Secrets Of the Millionaire Mind, T. Harv Eker. Not only a business motivational book but one that helps break down the barriers to what keeps people from having money in their life, even if they get rich a couple of times only to lose it all. It’s what helps me keep my eyes on the prize.

5. Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Robert Kiyosaki. I was already working on my own when I came across it and in a story form it helped me to see wealth in future terms as opposed to having and wanting things now.

6. Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix, J. K. Rowlings. This is an odd choice because it’s actually the 5th book in the series. I didn’t know it was a series and I had no real idea what the entire story was about but after reading this one I went back and read the others in order, have read everyone by now, and continue reading them (actually listening to the recordings) over and over; I can’t think of any other books I’ve read more than three times. (the link here goes to a page to buy all 7 books)

7. Clemente!, Kal Wagenheim. Roberto Clemente is my favorite baseball player ever, but this was the first book I read on him. Since that time I not only have read every other book that’s come out about him, but it inspired me to start reading biographies of all sorts, athletes, musicians, presidents, scientists… whomever.

8. The Autobiography of Malcolm X. I actually read this twice, once as a kid and once as an adult, and I’m glad I read it as an adult because it’s a much deeper book with a lot more truth and understanding than I could have taken in when I was much younger. Strange enough, in his way he predicted some of what’s going on now in the states.

9. The 100; a Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History, Michael Hart. Very intriguing look at famous people (it’s about 20 years old now) and ranking them based on significance in historical consequences and not by popularity. Something that might intrigue some of you is that Muhammad is at #1, Jesus is at #3; try to figure out who’s at #2 (Neil deGrasse Tyson’s favorite person lol).

10. Feiffer’s Album, Jules Feiffer. This is the only other book I’ve read at least 3 times but it’s different than all the other books here. Feiffer was a political cartoonist for almost 50 years and his take on life, politics and presidents are both spot on and funny. Seeing Gerald Ford depicted with a little tin can cup on top of his head… classic! (unfortunately, this book’s out of print, so you might have to go to eBay to see if someone’s selling a copy)

There’s mine. As a meme, why not do the same thing on your blog and then let me know, or go ahead and share some of your favorite books here. As a blog topic, it’s one that will make you think, and it gets others thinking also. So, get ‘er done!
 

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September 11th, 2001; 13 Years Later…

Last year I didn’t write about this because I was traveling and tired and… well, it’s no excuse. Not that I have to write about it every year, because overall I’m getting more comfortable with its reality with every passing year, as I am with my dad’s passing, and of course we finally got Bin Laden didn’t we?

ph21564923

And yet, even though it feels like we’ve gotten some redemption, it also feels like something that will never go away because of the proliferation of new terrorist groups, all with the same intention of being stupid and thinking that they can change the entire world with their stupidity. All it does is make most of us angry and make us want to get vengeance. Hasn’t anyone learned from World War II when Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto reportedly said “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve“?

I’m not going to lie. I’m still angry about it all and it’s because of the exacerbation of these terrorist groups, and even some governments, who decide that they have the right to eradicate their own citizens under the guise of religious preference while calling out the United States and daring us to do anything about it. They even say they’re coming here to pull another 9/11 stunt; haven’t they realized what we’re capable of?

Goodness, for all the hate former President Bush got, I’m not mad at the guy for what our country, along with a coalition of other countries, did in Afghanistan. It’s just too bad their criminal element pretends to be upholding proper principles of leadership while other factions aren’t buying it and it looks like we’re never getting out of either Afghanistan or Iraq.

How do I really feel? Sometimes I feel like a real example needs to be made. In World War II President Harry Truman realized he could save multiple lives and end a war by dropping an atomic bomb on two cities. We have bombs capable of actually taking out total cities, probably millions with one shot. Every once in a while that’s just what I want to do, figure out where the majority of ISIS or Al Queda members are and just drop the big one and let the chips fall where they may. Would that be glorious?

No… unfortunately it wouldn’t be. True history teaches us that when something is done in the name of revenge that most of the time there’s nothing satisfying about it. Indeed, more often than not that type of thing comes back to hurt in more ways than one, and severely in fact. If you don’t believe that one just ask the Palestinians whether they still think attacking Israel in 1967 was one of their smarter moves; yes, I went there.

Sigh… I’m not big on forgiving and that’s one of my major faults; probably my only real personal fault. Sometimes, the only way I can get past a negative thought is to find something positive to feed my soul. I still can’t watch any documentaries on any of the September 11th events, but I can watch and feel proud of what occurred in the brief documentary video I’m sharing below, which I also shared on my blog post in 2012. Frankly, even now most people have no idea this even happened and what its significance was. Nope, I’m not telling you; just watch it and be amazed. This, after all, is what America is all about, and one of the reasons I’m proud to be a New Yorker and an American.
 


 

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