Q: Who or what is NOVA Advice Givers®?
Northern VA Advice Givers® is a budding full scale media company. Consisting of a magazine, podcast, full-scale social media, online and offline content.
Our mission is to help spread the message of other purpose-driven entrepreneurs (and local thought-leaders) in Northern Virginia area.
One of the ways we achieve this is through interviews (take the Humans of New York concept and smush it with Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe). We believe getting to know the people behind the businesses we love and enjoy (or don’t yet have a clue about) is important to building up the community we are a part of.
Here is a link to our about page which talks a little more about the origins of Advice Givers and why we do what we do.
Q: Who is our Audience?
Currently, we don’t have any exact data on the demographics of our subscribers because iTunes and our other hosting platforms don’t release any. Most of the data provided is limited to views, visits, listens, or downloads.
However, outside of our own distribution to about 5,000 residents, we’ve found that the total number of people exposed to our media is largely dependent upon how the guest decides to promote their own content.
Further, we’ve found businesses that are actively engaged with their client-base, and understand how to leverage social media, request additional copies of magazines and see better overall engagement as a result.
For instance, one of our most recent guests, Lisa G. Rigoni with The Organizing Mentors, organically (non-paid) reached over 2,000 people on just one Facebook post. This isn’t surprising given her online presence, and connections to Loudoun Clear Marketing and the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce.
That said, our ambition to reach every Northern VA business owner and consumer at large comes down to the few core beliefs Ryan discovered as he was setting out on his own entrepreneurial journey.
In fact, many guests become regular listeners just for B2B referrals because they know everyone we’ve interviewed is someone they can trust.
Q: Who are our Guests?
Generally speaking, we don’t look for specific individuals or companies, however, we do look for individuals and businesses with a powerful message, mission, or unique story in their respective industry. We’ve found that young businesses, or entrepreneurs starting out, don’t make great candidates for sharing wisdom, or lessons learned, as they typically are looking for advice as opposed to being in a position to give it.
For this reason, we do our best to set expectations up front to determine if a full-scale interview and media spotlight makes sense for us and for potential guests as early on as possible!
Q: What happens DURING a phone interview?
We aim to keep our phone interviews as simple and as fun as possible! If we don’t reach a guest on the first try, we make only 1 re-call attempt. If we still aren’t able to reach them, we assume they’re busy and follow up via email with a link to reschedule.
Otherwise, a guest can expect the following:
• 20-35 MINUTES of Q&A once the interview gets rollin. Our interviewer will call within 5 minutes of the start time and give a minute or two intro–then it’s off to the races!
• 5-8 QUESTIONS each is asked and born out of genuine curiosity! For this reason, we don’t send out a script–all we’re after is to understand more about the origins of the mission and business.
• CONSENT TO RECORD THE INTERVIEW because:
– We’re not about “gotcha journalism”
– Quotes are 100% accurate
– Our interviewers can focus exclusively on the conversation and story
– Wasted time and awkward pauses while note-taking are eliminated
AN IMPORTANT NOTE:
Phone interview audio recordings are for internal use only and are not released publicly.
Q: What happens AFTER a phone interview? / How do I get on the Podcast?
Our standard interview process for Northern VA Advice Givers® is as follows:
1. Everyone starts with a phone interview!
2. These interviews get drafted into articles, which are sent for review by the Editorial Team.
3. The Editorial Team then makes all final content and publishing decisions (where, what, when, how etc.) as well as whether or not a podcast interview would be a good fit (for us and our audience, as well as the guest).
4. Once the Editorial Team’s decision is made, we invite the guest to the podcast (after a quick homework assignment) to determine if they think it’s a good fit for them.
5. Once the guest confirms, then the setup process gets underway. This is where we’ll determine location, time, and other logistics.
6. During the podcast, we record both video and audio (there is no fee to be on the podcast).
7. After the podcast, the recordings are sent to the Editorial Team for review. If in print, occasionally and upon request, previous interviewees have asked to subscribe and/or purchase copies in bulk, which we provide at cost, to distribute to their clients.
While most podcast audio-recordings are published, not all podcast videos are released, and do not necessarily correspond to published articles. Likewise, the interviews our journalists conduct over the phone, do not always become articles.
Invited to the Podcast? Congrats! Click here for Podcast Specific FAQs.
Q: Why is there a 7 Step Process?
Short answer: Quality Control.
While there are some podcasts that host phone-interviews as their primary content, we’ve found a little more preparation goes a long way. It produces better results for us, our audience, our guests, and their audience.
First and foremost, when we go to record your interview for distribution purposes, we want it to be something you can leverage for years to come. The end-user listening experience should not be a painful one. Straining to hear the speaker, or worse, not listening altogether.
For this reason, every podcast gets professionally recorded and edited to make you sound your absolute best. Clear audio is key, and phones are not reliable audio sources.
Second, we want to determine if a full-scale interview and media spotlight makes sense for us and for potential guests as early on as possible!
As one can imagine, the time, effort, and energy that goes into coordinating a podcast is a team-effort and cannot be done successfully without equal commitment and contribution from every person involved. Including the commitment and follow-through of our guests.
By hosting and recording phone interviews, our editorial team can more accurately assess whether someone would make a good podcast guest, and benefit from it.
For instance, we’ve found that young businesses, or entrepreneurs starting out, don’t usually make great candidates for sharing wisdom, or lessons learned, as they typically are looking for advice as opposed to being in a position to give it.
As such, we do our best to set expectations up front and NOT promise any material. The last thing we want to do is ruin the reputation of our guests and our mission by incidentally highlighting an illegitimate or undeserving business.
It’s one of the many reasons we structure our interview process the way we do, not just because of man-hours or production costs. But more importantly, the opportunity-cost for another guest who is equally deserving of scheduling said time.
It all comes down to our beliefs. Which is why we open strong before people book with us.
Q: Can I see an article before it’s released?
Unfortunately, we can’t send you a preview of any material.
The final version comes straight from our copy editor the day it goes to print. So logistically, it’s not possible to send articles to each spotlight guest prior to release.
That said, we do send out links for articles that are published.
Q: What’s Basecamp and Why we (always) use it?
Without getting too technical, Basecamp’s a tool we use at Northern VA Advice Givers® to keep our projects organized and on track. We use it to manage all the projects going on to ensure positive outcomes.
Without it, and we know because we tested it, things get very ugly.
Details get missed.
Things fall through the cracks. And outcomes go from positive to negative. Which, obviously, we don’t want. And would be unacceptable – not just for us – but in the eyes of our guests.
What does this mean for our guests?
Anytime you see an email from us, make sure to star it in your inbox — from time to time we’ll send you messages, questions, project updates, or documents (such as this one).
You’ll get everything via email – and that’s it!
All you need to do is read them and reply as needed. Your replies go straight back into Basecamp, and then we take over from there.
The Tasks (in these emails) are time sensitive.
When you receive an email with instructions for an item(s) we need in order to move forward, please respond by the specified deadline. This guarantees we deliver the best experience possible!
Which is our 100% main focus – positive outcomes!
Q: Can I schedule an interview outside of the available times?
Short answer: No.
Unfortunately at this time, our teams do not have the resources to schedule other times outside of the posted schedule.
Q: Can I reschedule?
Short answer: Yes.
That said, our production team is hesitant to extend second invitations for rescheduling.
Please keep in mind that if you do decide to reschedule:
We schedule multiple phone interviews and podcast productions in one day. As such, the time, effort, and energy that goes into coordinating these interviews is a team-effort and cannot be done successfully without equal commitment and contribution from every person involved. Much like building a bridge, if one joist fails, the whole bridge may be at risk for collapse. We ask that you make the decision carefully, not just because of man-hours or production costs, but more importantly, the opportunity-cost for another guest equally deserving of scheduling a time.
In the case of emergencies:
Emergencies are never fun to deal with and we hope that the reason for cancelling is more positive than negative.
That said, we follow 3 basic guidelines to ensure we deliver the best/most efficient podcast production day possible!
1. Guests are allowed ONE rescheduling opportunity, due to emergency ONLY. We cannot condone negligence with our time or our guests’ time.
2. By rescheduling with us, you acknowledge that it is the final opportunity to do so. If you are unsure, or have any hesitations, please don’t reschedule.
3. When you receive an email containing instructions for items we need in order to setup your podcast, we need these items within the specified deadline.
We want to help spread your message, but please don’t make it difficult to do so, through delays or non-response 🙂