When it comes to promotion and press relations, interviews are a must.
This is good because if you are passionate about music, then you shouldn’t have any problem communicating around it. Isn’t that right?
The problem is that it is not enough to tell what you want to tell. You need to adapt to your audience if you want to capture their attention.
Today, many media can interview you: music blogs, magazines, press, radio, TV, Youtube channels, etc.
So in this article, we will review the essential tips for successful interviews, regardless of angle and format, and gain even more visibility.
Because unless you have years of experience and a certain gift for improvisation, you will have to prepare yourself a minimum to maximize the before, during and after.
1. Before: Prepare the interview well
Preparing an interview is the key that many musicians forget when it comes to making your intervention worthwhile.
Evaluate the interview
Should we say yes to everyone? The fact is that not all interviews are good to take.
I am not saying that we should only target the media that have an audience of several thousand or million people.
Even a small media can help you increase the buzz, communicate your brand to your fans and reach more people. However, here I ask the question of the interest and timing of the interview.
- If you have nothing to promote at the moment and you don’t know what to communicate about, what’s the point of doing this interview?
- If you are on tour for X weeks and don’t have time to respond to new requests, should you sacrifice your mental health to please journalists?
If you have the time and the right angle, go ahead. But if the subject or the effort required puts you in an uncomfortable situation, do not hesitate to decline.
Don’t force yourself. Your interview must be worth it.
Do your research
Did you accept? Good. The next step is to take some time to find out about the media and the journalist who is contacting you.
Study the other content and interviews they have produced to get a better idea of the style, what interests them, their audience and their questions.
Do your research to identify what is expected of you and prepare yourself as well as possible.
By studying as much as possible the format, structure and framework of the interview, you will know where you stand, which will allow you to take full advantage of it.
Review your pitch
What is your story? Your catchphrase? Your branding? Why should we be interested in your musical project?
Define these elements clearly in order to be able to convince journalists, even if it means revising your pitch.
However, avoid telling everything in each interview.
Focus on one part, one angle of your story in each interview: the composition, recording, touring, your personal life, your inspirations, etc.
Simply list on an A4 sheet of paper the most important points of your career, a few anecdotes and some notable facts, which you should keep in mind.
In the same way as for a concert, you must repeat a minimum if you want to be ready on the day. Just because it’s about you doesn’t mean you’ll be comfortable. Far from it.
Whether it is a radio, TV, telephone or email interview, you must give it all.
So whenever you have the opportunity, practice spontaneously answering standard questions, for example about:
- Your influences
- Your beginnings
- Your story
- Your latest album
- Your concerts
- Your name, your words, your image
Indeed, we want a smooth conversation and a successful storytelling. To do that, you have to practice.
Ask yourself trick questions, answer them aloud and make sure you include all important information in a concise manner. Even ask relatives or members of your group to interview you.
However, do not make the mistake of memorizing your answers.
This could interfere with the interaction and spontaneity of the conversation. And anyway, you’ll never have time to say everything you want to say..
Therefore, you must be prepared to adapt, whether the interview lasts 2 minutes, 30 minutes or 2 hours.
By preparing yourself, you will be able to keep a coherent speech from one interview to another, but also actively feed your promotion.
2. During: Answer questions with ease
Answering the questions as you feel is not enough to make your interview a success.
Whether by phone, email or video, keeping the attention of your audience is an art.
Relax and relax
The secret of a good interview is that it should not be… an interview.
Your interview should become an exciting conversation about your music. Indeed, the goal is not to talk like a politician or a salesman.
No one is asking you to be politically correct and to censor yourself. You are more likely to talk about music as if you were talking to a friend.
This means that you must see each question from a new angle even if you have been asked dozens of times, that you must show respect for your interlocutor and that you must help to create a relaxed and conducive atmosphere for exchange.
Give complete answers
Journalists expect you to play along. They want your story, but you still have to give it to them in the right way.
And for good reason, you will have a hard time communicating your story if you only give a few snippets each time.
Admittedly, it is not necessary to say everything right away, but monosyllabic responses are to be avoided.
Start by including the question in your answer, then develop a minimum, even if it means explaining in detail some points of your career or profession as a musician.
It’s time to tell your story, so go for it. However, stay tuned and give your interlocutor the opportunity to answer, intervene and ask questions.
Be your story
A journalist does not question you for factual information. He can find it on your official website.
He wants to know more about your story, as does his audience. That’s what everyone remembers.
So take this into account and in your answers, try to include anecdotes from time to time or play on emotions and the five senses.
Change your tone, rhythm and share something funny, sad, inspiring, raging or even controversial.
This will strengthen your history and your world. And everyone prefers this to a bland and unsurprising interview where the artist recites his promotion.
Have confidence in yourself
A journalist is not there to judge you or validate what you say.
A journalist is there to listen to you and broadcast what might be of interest to his audience.
So don’t try to get the journalist’s validation or impress him. Don’t apologize for being yourself. His opinion doesn’t matter in the end.
Stay in control of the conversation, take your choices and remember that an interview is only a promotional tool. It doesn’t go any further than that.
If someone is interested enough to offer you an interview then take advantage of it and trust your pitch.
Everything is fine, as long as you don’t say things that could turn against you or that you wouldn’t want to read in the press (criticism of an employee, negative speech, lies, etc.).
Make your promotion
What do you hope to gain from this interview? More visibility? Do you have a promotion for your album or tour? No more fans?
It is up to you to realistically identify the main objective of the interview in order to guide your answers.
What is your priority? Bring more people to your concert? Sell more albums? Attract more traffic to your Youtube channel?
If you have a clear and precise objective, don’t be shy and promote yourself in a timely manner.
Mention what you are trying to promote over and over again with a powerful call to action for the public: download your album, come and see you on tour, like your pages on social networks, join your email list, etc.
If you don’t insist too much on the call to action and give your fans a good reason to listen to you, then you will multiply your results tenfold.
3. After: Maximize your interview
Is the interview over? Not the promotion! Now you can increase the scope of this one tenfold.
Thank the journalist
A simple thank you email to journalists and the media is essential to conclude your collaboration on a positive note.
You can even go further and send a letter, an invitation to one of your concerts or a small gift.
Sometimes, small actions like these can have a big impact.
Relay the interview
What does a media want? Reaching more and more people, a priori.
As a result, nothing will please journalists and the media more than to redirect your entire community to the interview in question.
Tell your fans to discover the interview and eventually share it with them.
By encouraging your audience to interact with the media and share en masse, you will boost your chances of appearing again on this medium.
The interview is out, so now we have to take care of it.
First try to recover it with the most appropriate method: screenshot, audio recording, video recording or scan.
Don’t forget to include it in your press kit by identifying quotes and interesting parts that you could reuse.
This will help you later reach out to other media and even programmers in your area.
If you are not sure you can freely reuse the exchange, ask the media in question if you can reuse the content on your site, social networks and email list.
This is particularly important for audio and video files. Can you get a copy and publish them on your behalf? Is this an exclusive interview? Ask.
Each interview must be carefully considered, prepared, conducted and promoted.
You must be proactive and not reactive to the way you present your musical project to journalists.
And for good reason, even a review on a small music blog can bring you traffic and contacts. But for that to happen, you must maximize the least opportunity available to you.