Video interviews with experts are a terrific way to create outstanding content that attracts a lot of links. The technology required is simple–what is important is a process that ensures the end-product is interesting for people to watch and want to share.
We’re all under pressure to create compelling content that is good enough to attract links. It can be time-consuming and expensive.
Yet Mixergy.com – a site that helps people learn from proven entrepreneurs – are able to create popular interviews at minimum cost – and are never at a loss to find great people to interview.
For this article, I interviewed Mixergy founder, Andrew Warner and asked him to explain how his site works and the process that he uses to create a regular stream of top-notch content.
1. First, let’s look at the links such interviews attract
Interviews with experts bring links in five major ways:
(i) Links from the entrepreneurs interviewed
Because the interviews are of good quality and the site has a large audience, each entrepreneur who is featured on the show wants to tell people about it – and naturally link to it from their own site. Like this link from David Ciccarelli of Voices.com to his interview on Mixergy:
(ii) Links from the interviewee’s tribe
Experts have their own large following or tribe – and members of that tribe will write about and link to content about their heroes. Like this one from Ruby Inside that links to an interview with their hero, David Heinemeier Hansson, creator of the popular Ruby on Rails web development framework.
(iii) Links from journalists writing about an entrepreneur
Journalists have to work quickly under pressure and they desperately want to include quotes from the people they’re writing about. But it’s not always possible to track entrepreneurs down at the right time.
So journalists will often do a search to find interviews that have already been published. It’s common for news sources to quote from interviews that Warner has conducted – like this article on Entrepreneur.com writing about Steven Boal of Coupons.com
(iv) Links from resource sites
Mixergy often turns up on lists of great resources for entrepreneurs – whether for the site itself or for one of the courses or interviews published. Like this one on 75 copywriting resources on Kissmetrics.com:
(v) Links from many different niche sites
Any business has links from a wdie variety of niches. Link analysis is one way to uncover these niches – like this one from the Walker Corporate Law Group:
These examples took me about 30 minutes to compile using Majestic.com’s link intelligence tools. In this screenshot, we can see the numerous niches that Mixergy gets links from:
2. How the Mixergy process works
Warner and his team actively seek out established and emerging entrepreneurs. He likes to find at least 10 new prospects every week and aims to move them through a funnel:
The process starts simply with suggestions from his team, his audience, other entrepreneurs or wherever. It’s then a on-going operation to move people through the 10 steps:
• Suggested guest
• Approved guest
• Found email
• Invited guest
• Reminded to book pre-interview
• Pre-interview booked
• Did pre-interview
• Reminder to book interview proper
• Booked interview
Following this strict process, Warner is able to complete 3-4 full interviews per week – usually of one hour each.
3. Andrew Warner’s Top Tips
(i) Keep the technology simple
Skype video is a terrific way of doing interviews and it’s easy to record the session for later editing. For example, Call Recorder for Mac is inexpensive software that gives great results – similar software is available for other operating systems.
The recording can then be edited using either Camtasia or Screenflow.
(ii) Don’t be afraid of being imperfect
This is one of the most important lessons that Warner has learned.
“I used to think I had to be perfect and so I could never get things finished. Then I found out that being perfect is not required.”
“Today I’ve just noticed a lot of pingbacks to my interview with Matt Mullenweg, the founder of WordPress and Chris Pearson who creates WordPress themes.
“It was the first interview I’d done with two guests and I couldn’t get the video to work. So I ended up using two static photographs for the whole interview.”
“And that interview was conducted back in 2010 and it’s still bringing me traffic and links.”
(iii) Keep editing to a minimum and concentrate on getting your stuff live
Warner advises not to edit mistakes out – or even be worried about them. “Any interview you see in TV looks perfect, but behind the scenes it’s never like that. They just edit all the mistakes out.”
“But all that editing soaks up time so Warner just doesn’t do it. He lets all the imperfections go out.
“Now, throughout my interviews I come back to being open and honest about what I know and what I don’t know. By being open, I’m inviting my guest to be open too and show they have a place to talk about what worked and what didn’t work for them.”
(iv) Build a process for managing interviews
“Process is so important and I’ll show you best by giving an example. This morning I was late into the office and I had just 15 minutes before I had to interview someone whom I’d never met.”
“But because of our process, I looked at my screen and I had detail on what his website used to look like, where he got his traffic, his whole entrepreneurial story, his revenue figures – even his phone number if something went wrong and I couldn’t connect by Skype.”
You can see sample interviews at Mixergy.com and if you want to explore them in detail, there is a small subscription charge involved.
My interview with Andrew Warner
And here’s the full video interview I did with Andrew Warner: