Muse: The Blog

9 Interview Tips From My First Time

Photo by niseag03 /CC BY-ND 2.0

Photo by niseag03 /CC BY-ND 2.0

I knew this day would come, as an online entrepreneur.  I fantasized about it.  I dreaded it.  I journaled and doodled and dreamt up names for it.

My First Interview.  Even as a writer, I couldn’t hide behind my pen (or Google Docs) forever.  (And why would I want to?!)

Here it is, friends!  In all its imperfect, heartfelt, sexy, savvy glory: my first interview!

Bridging Authenticity and Persuasion.  Click here to hear the interview.  Hear, hear! 

Listen to the full interview to hear me discuss copywriting for soulful ‘preneurs with my dear friend (and go-to expert on all things entrepreneurial, techno-babble, and Tibetan), Ryan Oelke.

We get serious, smart, and a tad silly about stuff very close to my heart.  Namely: the importance of keeping your web copy authentic. 

I’m convinced that being 100% you is the only way to write truly persuasive web copy.  Hear my professional whys and practical hows — all clarified and guided by the entrepreneurial epicure himself, Mr. Ryan Oelke.

And like salmon with Oregon pinot noir … like Chopin with a rose-petaled bubble bath … a perfect pairing to accompany my interview debut …

9 Interview Tips from My First Time.

1. Do it with someone you love.  I wouldn’t have my first time with anyone else. Ryan and I go way back, and I think the world of him: as an entrepreneur, a friend, and an all-around swell geek.  We’re immensely at-ease with each other, which made the nerve-wracking interview process wrack my nerves far, far less.  (When his lovely assistant heard the interview, she giggled to me, “You and Ryan are a couple of squirrels!”  I’m not entirely sure what that means, but I’m taking it as a compliment.

2. It will not be perfect. Repeat: It will not be perfect.  Even if YOU, bright shining star that you are, are.  You will flub things up.  Even your most beloved, predictable host will throw you curveballs.  You will hem and you will haw.  You will say things not-quite-right.  And when it’s done, you will suffer the coulda-shoulda-woulda pangs when The Perfect Metaphor hits you.  This is to be expected.  Oh, la douleur exquise!

3. Let your hair down.  True story: I had bullet points prepared for this interview.  (I love bullet points.  Sometimes too much.)  And we did not use them.  At least, not in the order I’d predicted.  Ryan took a far more flowing, conversational approach than I’d anticipated.  Because he’s done a bajillion interviews and knows this works better.  So I had to relax, release the bullet points, and ride the wave.  Like everything else in this entrepreneurial adventure: it’s all about being present when the unexpected hits!

4. Use good audio gear.  How many times have you cringed while listening to a fuzzy audio recording?  Or stopped partway through because it was so hard on your ears?  Be kind to your listeners — and your audio engineer.  Here’s the headset I use every time the audio matters.  (That includes Skype and Google Hangout seshes with clients and friends, alike.)

5. Begin by setting your intention.  Before you get on the call (or the stage), take a moment just for yourself.  Deep breath.  Happy place.  Light a candle or grab your fountain pen (or soul-soothing dark chocolate).  Decide: what do you want the experience to feel like?  For your listeners, for yourself, and for your host?  My 3 intentions?  Helpful.  Hopeful.  Fun.

6. Don’t be scared to give it all away.  I hear a lot of fear and scarcity from entrepreneurs these days.  “I can’t possibly give that away in my free opt-in gift!”  Or, “that information is too valuable to share in a free interview.”  Is it?  Is it, really?  OK: maybe it is.  But remember: nothing replaces the experience of working with you, one-on-one.  Seriously.  So go ahead.  Give away the farm.  You’ll soon realize: that’s impossible.

7. Trust.  When you come from love, people will feel it.  When it matters, people will hear it (the right people, at least).  Yes, this is vulnerable stuff.  Take a risk, open your heart, and share your truth.

8. Optimize your physiology.  Finding that Goldilocks-just-right level of caffeine is tricky.  But worth it!  Go for a walk outside before your gig.  Deep breathing and cross-parallel movement FTW!

9. … and most importantly: Remember to have fun!  Easier said than done — and such a cliché, it’s tempting to gloss over.  We entrepreneurs can be a sadly serious bunch.  I know, I know: this adventurous life we’ve chosen is scary.  The time management!  The budgeting!  The not-knowing!  The placing your whole heart and life on the line!  Feel the fear.  Have the guts to transmute it into excitement.  Pinch yourself and exclaim, “How cool is this??”

Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t so you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.

Now.  Go forth and give great interview.  But before you do, click-click just below to hear My First Time.  It’s full of concrete tips and highfalutin’ wisdom, alike — all with the intention of helping you demystify writing your own authentic, persuasive copy.  Enjoy!

Click here to hear the interview on Ryan’s awesome site.

Didja listen?  Did it strike a chord?  Are you SO ready for authentic, persuasive prose on your site — and you’d love some help? Click here to read more about working with me.  And heads up: I’ve only got 2 spots left for 2013, so click fast if your heart’s set!

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About Angela Raines

I’ve got sassy-strong opinions on words, integrity, and most beverages. I help soulful entrepreneurs get clear on their vision and unique gifts. Wordsmithing all this into witty, wakeful web copy is my favorite kind of tango.

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