Get your unique knowledge out of your brain and into a book.
Time Invested — 2 Hours
1) Find your voice.
2) Record your book’s content (write like you speak).
3) Transcribe your interview into text.
In this step you will get your book’s content out of your brain and into a book. You will do this by having someone interview you (using the questions you created in Step 1) and recording the audio of your session. This can be your assistant, a business partner, or a peer, preferably this should be someone who’s got some biz know-how and can keep your interview flowing and on track.
This step is simple. You’re going to answer the questions (from your outline) that you already prepared and draw out your expertise, through your VOICE.
The very best way to communicate your message (your unique perspective) is through your voice.
By recording yourself, you will be writing your book just like you speak.
Although the title of this section sounds a bit daunting, the process is quite simple. That is IF you have done the work in the last section to get super clear on your topics and outline.
If you still have some doubt, then it’s important that you spend a few more minutes polishing the topics you’ll be talking about in this section. If you spend a little more time in Step 1, no worries, you may have a chance to make up time later in this process.
You gotta make sure your outline is perfect (not bloated) and that it’s focused around ONE main message that you can talk “intelligently” about. This means that you focus on getting your ideal client to believe or understand just ONE thing. That’s it!
BUT before we get into creating your content, let’s spend a few minutes finding your voice (your unique perspective).
Find Your Voice
Once you know WHAT you’re going to talk about, HOW do you get your unique knowledge out of your brain and into a book?
This is where we ALL get tripped up, so here’s a tip to get you started (and make sure you’re sharing your best stuff)…
I recommend that you take a few minutes to think through HOW you are going to talk about your idea and lock in your perspective.
Your ideal clients pay you for only ONE thing, and that’s your perspective.
Yep, they want to know your unique perspective MORE than anything else…
But why is your perspective so important? It’s my belief that there are really NO new ideas. Every idea is just a combination of other ideas.
So don’t get hung up because someone else already thought of your idea, or on wondering if your idea is the best… you need to focus only on WHY your perspective is the best.
Once we turn the corner with this way of thinking, the message becomes clear and more clients will come knocking.
Let’s get started creating your content (write the way you speak)
It really is this simple: you’re going to be answering the questions you’ve already prepared that are related to the outline you’ve just created.
Your interviewer will help you draw out your book’s content by asking you about the topics/questions you prepared in Step 1. They will also keep you on track by managing the interview steps. This way you don’t have to stress about what’s next on the outline or dwell on any of the minutiae. All you have to do is show up and TALK. The right interviewer will elegantly guide you through your interview—resulting in a book draft that can easily be molded into a masterpiece.
As mentioned in Step 1, the suggested interview length is 2 hours. If you prefer, break it up into 1-hour sessions. Remember, your interview should only be as long as it takes to cover the topics you have thoroughly outlined. I just found the sweet spot to be around 2 hours of interview time.
When doing this interview, imagine yourself sitting one-on-one with your ideal client; or if you prefer, imagine you’re with a close friend—do whichever makes you feel more comfortable. Don’t imagine that you’re speaking to a large crowd; this is just an intimate conversation.
No excuses—you’ve already prepared the topics, and now you just have to be yourself and share all your best stuff. All you have to do is TALK. If you mess up or—more appropriately—when you mess up, stumble, or say “UM,” don’t sweat it; this will all get transformed in Step 3 when you get this into the hands of a professional writer.
When you get into a groove, you’ll be surprised (and proud) of what comes out of your subconscious mind. I like to relate this to being a top improv actor. Think about it—they don’t prepare at all, they can’t. They just show up and it’s amazing to see what stories they create and weave together. In this case, you’re already well prepared and you’re the best at what you do. You just have to get your story out.
The key to jumping on the same creative super-highway that the top improv actors use is to say YES to your own voice. Often the logical lies we put in place hold us back from our more creative selves. When you know your stuff and you get into the flow, it’s truly amazing what goodies will come out through your voice.
Of course, you are going to record the interview. There are several tools you can use and several different ways you can get interviewed. My go-to tool is Rev’s Voice Recorder or Call Recorder (available at www.Rev.com).
I use the Rev Call Recorder app for all interviews that are not in-person. It captures your calls and allows you to easily transcribe your conversations right from the app. At the time I’m writing this, the app is limited to iOS and the US iTunes store, but the international and Android versions of the app are in the works.
Both apps are free. Rev transcribes your recordings from the apps for about a $1 / minute.
Here’s a tip to help map out your interview:
Make a bulleted list below each of your interview questions/topics with any reminders and/or subtopics that you want to discuss (any stuff that you don’t want to forget). Make sure they’re in sequential order. Think of these bullets as tiny breadcrumbs that help you stay on track during your interview.
One of the ways I make sure my outline is perfect is that I play a virtual tennis match with my ideal client (these days I prefer a Pickleball match). I think of the questions that my client is asking me about the problem they want to solve or an opportunity that I feel it’s my duty to share with them. The tennis match is simply a way for me to visualize the back-and-forth “volley” that I am trying to achieve. It helps me get clear on what I will say (and do) and then how my ideal client would respond back to me. That response would lead to the next question on my outline. I use this way of thinking until I have succeeded in helping my ideal client believe or understand the ONE thing that either they need a solution to OR an opportunity that they shouldn’t miss out on.
Another great way to tackle the interview process is to split your topics and subtopics into separate bite-sized interviews. This is really easy to do because you can “pause” the recording anytime, then pick up where you left off. The point is that you can get as granular as you wish. And regardless of which tool that you use, any delays in the recording will be removed once the interview is transcribed into text.
Humanize your message: It’s a little weird that I have to bring this up, but some people (me included) have a tendency to go into ‘expert mode’ during this type of interview. Now that’s not necessarily a bad thing; it just means you get so focused on delivering value that you can temporarily forget to be the chummy human being that you are. But when you throttle back the prescriptive mindset and humanize your message, you bring your book to life and ultimately create a deeper bond with your readers, who are already hardwired to tune in to personal accounts…
This is a great example of something that you should embed into your outline, where you want to interject a story, cite an example, share a case study, or highlight a personal account or a testimonial of some sort. Something is valuable to share if it’s timely, relevant and moves your book forward. Don’t overthink this; keep your personalizations to the point and follow this simple formula to easily become more interesting. It’s from the Nobel Prize-winning poet Rudyard Kipling: “I keep six faithful serving men who teach me well and true. Their names are What and Where and When and How and Why and Who.”
Marketers and journalists refer to this as the “5W1H” formula for investigating any topic. It’s quite useful for telling stories, creating outlines and the like.
Below are some of my other suggested tools to record your interview on the computer or over the phone. As I mentioned above my favorite tool is Rev Call Recorder, but for redundancy, I also like to pair it with a conference call solution so I can have two sources of the recording. This is particularly helpful ‘insurance’ for longer interviews so in the unlikely chance of a technical issue you may have a backup recording.
- Uber Conference
- Skype Call Recorder for Mac
- FaceTime Call Recorder for Mac
- Google Hangouts
- Free Conference Call
Of course, several phone systems have the ability to record your phone calls. I prefer to use systems built on Twilio www.twilio.com — which also offers SMS messaging, Facebook Messenger and other multichannel communication services.
Dictation: Dictation will not work for this type of creative exercise. Unfortunately, dictation software and apps won’t allow you to speak freely and capture everything that you say with 99.9% accuracy. Sure, dictation is great and has its purpose. But to make it work you have to change how you speak to cater to the dictation software. You’ll find yourself starting and stopping often; that alone will kick you out of any creative flow that you’re trying to achieve. When you record the audio, you can speak freely, fast or slow, start and stop whenever you want to, and capture everything you say.
Now it’s time to take the first step to convert the spoken word to the written word and get your interview transcribed into text. If you used Rev.com for the audio recording, then all you need to do is submit the recording to be transcribed, directly from the app or on their website.
I use the Rev app to record other content as well—very handy…
More About REV //
Rev is the trusted source for all your audio (and video) transcriptions and language translations. I recommend their service because it’s easy (and super convenient) to use from their mobile app (and to record your voice while on the go) or from any computer. And with the click of a button, you can have the Rev team transcribe your voice into text—usually within a few hours…
Plus, they translate over 30 different languages, so you can rely on their network of tested and rated professional translators with your books, special reports, white papers, resource guides, instruction manuals, brochures, courses, blog posts, articles, speeches and presentations.
The quality of their work is excellent, and they’ll complete your request fast and at a good price. And another big reason to use them is their service is secure so that you can trust them with your important business information. Find out more at www.rev.com