Top-of-the-Line Interviewing and Personalized Marketing - The Secret Sauce to Y.A.P's Success
Several months ago I was introduced to the concept of being an artist. Never have I thought my work was something creative. But the more I thought about it, the more I recognized the benefit of looking at my work as art. Artists are notorious for their creative freedom, yes - but they are also known for pursuing and perfecting their craft. And I wanted to work to perfect my craft - interviewing. In episode 44 of MentorZ, I interview Hala Taha, the host of the Young And Profiting podcast to see how she has contentiously perfected her craft, and how she was able to successfully show it to the world.
Research Is Key
To be a good interviewer, you need to know the person you are talking to. Some podcasters and journalists would like to take a more "go with the flow" approach to their interview. But Hala finds incredible value in understanding what she will be talking about.
"I also love to do research. So even though I have a team we are basically doubling down on research cause I'm listing to like 10 episodes per guest of their past interviews. I spend 10 to 20 hours of research myself - I'm reading their books. I'm usually the one whos dives deep and my team does surface-level research. I'm obsessed with research! "
The Flow of Her Podcasts
" I definitely have a flow of my show. I always open up with an intro to get a background of the guest ... I like to get there career journey and to ask specific questions about their past and who they are as a person ... and then I like to dive deep into one or two really big topics. So I like to figure out what their expertise is and then study everything about it. "
Her dedication to understanding her guest's field of study or expertise allows her to cover a vast range of topics in-depth, this is so that Hala can genuinely help inform her guests. Hala prides herself on her in-depth research tactics, and she usually can even know where her conversations will go next.
" ...I like to dig deep on those topics, and kinda keep it topical. I know a lot of podcasters kinda just go with the flow, jump all around. I know exactly what I want to ask and what I want to get out of them and I usually even know how they are going to respond because I've listened to their conversations so many times so I even know what my follow up question will be. If they say something back that I remember or a story I'm familiar with... and then I end my show with you know what's your secret to profiting in life and where can they find you."
What are your base-line standards for research?
" I like to know all their big accomplishments ... I like to be in an expert and become studied about what their an expert on. And then I also like to see who's not agreeing with their perspective. "
The Other Perspective
Something I have not seen frequently amongst interviewers is for them to show their audience an opposing opinion and then asking a guest about those ideas. Hala was introduced to this idea and has been able to elegantly sow it into her interviews with a purpose.
"So one of the things I learned - and that's from Jordan Harbinger who's another podcaster that I've interviewed before, and he's huge - He told me to look at book reviews and not only the good ones! Go look at the bad ones because sometimes you'll find people who are in their that disagree with what they are saying and so I'll also try to like, you know, see what the other perspectives are and see how I can bring out those other perspectives."
Something that many people would be nervous about is making the guest feel uncomfortable, how have you been able to avoid this problem?
" I never wanna make a guest feel uncomfortable, that's the last thing I wanna do because then the conversation will go south. So I'll be like: "What would you say if somebody said x.y.z?" and then I'll say the negative opinion or: "What do you say to the naysayers who say x.y.z?" and make it more like "What do you say to other people who come at you with this opinion". And usually, they have a prepared answer because they've heard that negative feedback about their perspective before ... I just say it in a way where it's not going to be offensive but it still lets my listeners know that there are other opinions out there on the topic."
Note: She also will ask if she can talk about these other perspectives before-hand so that they feel well informed and comfortable with potentially tougher or more personal questions.
Out In The World - Marketing
In the beginning, Hala took to both Instagram and LinkedIn for her marketing strategy. She quickly discovered that Instagram was not as affective has LinkedIn, so she steered all of her efforts towards it. But at the start, she was only getting 20 or 30 likes on her LinkedIn posts, and this was even when she was interviewing big-name guests. But that didn't discourage her. She decided to be more proactive, here is a small clip of her discussing her strategy:
Hala also makes a point to talk about consistent content that stands out. Her audiograms look very different then what many other people produce. They are bold and bright colorful patterns with cartoon drawings of her guests. These comic book style audiograms had a huge impact on her standing out on the platform. Then her influence on LinkedIn increased further when she introduced personalized video to her audience because people wanted to hear what she had to say and wanted to see her face more often.