Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Does Your Online Marketing Presence Fall Apart When You Get Interviewed?

Recently I listened to a Blog Talk Radio interview with a professional business owner. Let's call her "Cheryl" and let's say her expertise is in health and wellness.

Cheryl has many advantages. She holds advanced degrees from prestigious universities. She's knowledgeable. Visually, she makes a striking appearance that's very much appropriate to her target market. Why, I wondered, do I get the sense that Cheryl isn't hitting her stride?

As usual, the interview host presented a brief bio, "Cheryl combines 20 years in health care with expertise as a fitness trainer and life coach." Very impressive! I hoped she would connect the dots to show how her awesome background will benefit her clients.

But as I listened, I realized Cheryl made three mistakes.

First, as she talked, she employed a number of vocal tics: "um," "okay," and the ubiquitous "you know." These speech challenges actually detracted from Cheryl's message, which was built on her image as an educated professional.

Since Cheryl gets invited to speak quite often, she can listen to recordings. She can critique herself lovingly but accurately. She can ask her business coach to listen to at least a portion of the call. She will find that as her speaking style improves, she will get stronger results.

Second, Cheryl hadn't scripted her interview. She was all over the map. She talked about energy, weight loss, dealing with illness...and more. She talked about people who were really healthy and how to have a healthy mindset. As I listened, I didn't get a sense of what I should take away from the call.

Although Cheryl was being interviewed, she could guide the interview by offering the interviewer a list of 10 questions. She can guide the interview to create three to five takeaways for her audience. Once you get more than three, you start to lose your audience.

Third, Cheryl worked with the emotion of fear. No problem if she works with fears people experience today. For instance, she could talk about fear of gaining weight when going on vacation or fear of dealing with a specific illness. If she targets boomers, she could talk about fears of diabetes and heart disease.

But Cheryl talked about huge fears: fear of getting incurable illnesses or letting your health get out of control. Her whole speech was about avoiding the negatives, not embracing the positive. I am a healthy person but as I listened, I felt frustrated and helpless. I can only imagine what a person with health challenges would be thinking.

By : Cathy_Goodwin

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