What can you learn from the people you interview and how can you use that information to grow your business, podcast, blog, and even grow as a person?
If You Want to Be the Best, Talk to the Best
As I’ve mentioned numerous times, I’ve been very lucky with the people I’ve had the opportunity to interview. Recently, I interviewed Gary Vaynerchuk on the current state of social media. If you spend even half a second on Twitter or any other social network, you know who Gary is and the presence he has online.
What I want this concluding post to the podcasting series to be is a way for me to share what I’ve learned with you so that you can implement these teachings, too.
Even though you can just listen to my interviews and gather your own takeaways, I’m going to provide you with takeaways that run through my brain while doing these podcast episodes.
Personally, I feel like I talk with the best entrepreneurs in the social media space. Why? It’s simple. They’ve all made a name for themselves, they’re self-employed, and ultimately they’ve made their own success through hard work.
Being Told That You’re Wrong
While talking to Gary, we discussed Facebook and its current status. With all the controversy surrounding Facebook’s IPO, I asked Gary if he thought Mark Zuckerberg had lost interest in the company.
I was given a flat-out “no” on that one, and Gary didn’t agree with my thoughts.
However, that’s probably the best way to grow as a podcaster and, better yet, understand the field in which you’re reporting. I’d rather be told by someone with a lot of experience and a loyal following that I’m wrong than get it from some writer on Mashable who has no pull at all. It’s not to say that those writers don’t know what they’re talking about, but my point is that established authorities build your awareness and can educate you with insight and experience in the way that a college professor, rather than a teaching assistant, can.
Let Yourself Fail — It Will Help You Grow
This one terrifies people. While many others doing an interview with someone well-known may be afraid to ask the challenging or outlandish questions, I choose to go right for it.
Why, you ask?
I’m not afraid to fail. If I’m wrong, I’m wrong. I want them to not only educate the audience listening to the podcast, but I want them to educate me and any lingering thoughts I may have. I know that interviewing well-known people is going to put me in a situation where, nine times out of 10, they’re probably not going to agree with my opinions because they know what works and what doesn’t.
I believe it’s better to put yourself in front of a difficult challenge — like talking with a successful entrepreneur (because they know you want to improve yourself and grow as a person) — than avoid such conversations at all.
Let me prove my point here.
When I thanked Gary for doing the interview with me and sharing how many listeners we received, he said the following:
Building that respect and relationship with someone can go a long way, and when they know you’re not only trying to help yourself, but help others, they’ll be glad to do what they can for you.
Building Your Courage and Skills
You would think that, after having an influential person disagree with you, you’d be too intimidated to keep your podcast going. Well, for me, it’s more fuel to keep going and find more great people to speak with. Hell, it gives me a perspective on how to improve the flow of the interview, the questions I ask, and the way the podcast is structured. While this all may seem obvious to some of you, the fact of the matter is that these are the types of scenarios that discourage people to the point of giving up.
Believe me, if you ever have the chance to talk to someone you look up to, they don’t want you to quit. Ever.
Success is Relative — but the Numbers Don’t Lie
I had to take a page out of Chris’ book and use “relative” to describe success.
However, it’s true. You need to determine your own success with the way your podcast is progressing. For me, the numbers give me an idea about how many people my guest and I are reaching.
You can’t do it on your own, though, when it comes to podcasting. I will always say that. And when you receive help, it’s very gratifying and makes you feel thankful. That’s the drive to keep you going because, down the road, you don’t know what your podcast might ultimately become.
The number of listens for the podcast mentioned above are well over 900 at this point. Motivated yet? I’m doing everything I can to help you in return!
At the end of the day, the biggest success to me is receiving a “yes” from an influential individual to be on my podcast, feedback from listeners, and then the numbers come last. It’s a rewarding feeling knowing you’ve helped others but, most important, that your guest helped you so that you can do the right thing and help out the greater community.