You know that interviews are one of the fastest, easiest ways to create content that your audience loves. They also build valuable marketing connections. Moreover, interviews with influential thought leaders in your space can help position you or your brand as an expert by association.

Some of the most popular podcasts follow an interview format—one of the big secrets of their success. Podcast downloads are on the rise, with as much as one-third of the US population having listened to at least one episode.

Though we can't all interview Barack Obama, as Marc Maron did earlier this year, interviewing a high-profile thought leader in your industry is possible, and it could be truly beneficial for your brand.

So how exactly do you secure an interview with an influencer for your blog, podcast, or other content needs? Here are five simple steps.

1. Get incredibly clear on your audience and the topic for your interview

The more focused you can be with the topic of your interview, the more relevant you can make your pitches and requests. More relevant requests are more likely to get accepted. And if you can create your interview questions at this stage, you'll have an even bigger advantage.

2. Determine your audience reach

Reach is the No. 1 metric that interviewees and thought leaders will look at—after having determined that your pitch is courteous and relevant. To estimate reach, first consider your email list, existing blog readership or podcast audience, and social media followers and fans. Add in the audience size of any other promotions, including sponsors and other speakers you have secured who will be promoting the event, podcast, blog post, etc. Add up the total size of the audience you can offer to the interviewee.

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Cheryl Woodhouse is a co-founder at, where you can take the free #selfmade challenge and design your ideal life.

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Twitter: @cherylwoodhouse