Want to write online articles to help your practice, but lack confidence in certain health areas? There is an answer: Interview other health practitioners. There are many benefits to this approach – but also some pitfalls.
Why write articles at all? For the answer read: ‘Writing online articles to boost your health practice‘.
THE BENEFITS OF INTERVIEWING OTHER HEALTH PRACTITIONERS
If you feel out of your depth with certain topics, consider the opportunity to interview practitioners known for their expertise. The benefits may include:
- The other practitioner is likely to promote the article to their list and social media supporters.
- People searching on Google for the other practitioner’s name and/or the health condition discussed are more likely to come across you (particularly if you post the article on your website).
- Through the interview process the other practitioner gets to know you and may refer clients to you.
- PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
- You learn from their knowledge.
- ENJOYMENT THROUGH CONNECTION
- Running a practice alone can be a lonely business at times, so these interviews boost your sense of community.
DODGING THE PITFALLS
There are a number of possible pitfalls when taking this interview approach. The main one is ‘losing authority’ to the person you are interviewing. If someone else looks like a more trusted, knowledgeable practitioner, why book in with you? So how do you overcome this problem?
‘IN CONVERSATION’ (NOT INTERVIEW)
Make the format one that allows a two-way conversation, rather than just you interviewing the other practitioner. While you may be asking the questions, it’s important that you demonstrate your own knowledge too. Record the conversation then have someone transcribe the audio for you (find cheap transcribers online – for example: elance.com or upwork.com –make sure they are English speaking!)
Do some serious research of your own before going into the conversation. Ensure you have not only read what the other practitioner has written but also other key articles (and videos) on the subject. This is not to ‘trip up’ or ‘show up’ the other practitioner. It is purely to show you can stand your own ground. The idea is to support each other through the conversation. But your role is one of host, so setting the tone of respect and support is paramount.
While some people appreciate receiving set questions in advanced, others prefer to ‘wing it’. A balance of both is usually best. Have a list of questions and/or key areas to give a structure to the conversation. This also helps to prevent rambling. You want the article to be valuable AND concise. While other practitioners might be interested in a long article on a health subject, your clients and prospective clients are busy and want short, sharp and helpful articles.
Comparing modality approaches to a particular condition can be an interesting approach, and it means that both you and the other practitioner can easily appear as experts in your own respective fields. This is a particularly helpful differentiation if the other practitioner is in the same geographic area as you. It’s also where client referrals between you are most likely to occur.
DIFFERENT GEOGRAPHIC AREA
Interviewing someone in a different city, state or country – particularly if they are reputable – can be useful in avoiding a conflict of interest. Particularly if they practice the in same modality as you do.
OTHER POINTS TO CONSIDER:
AGREE ON USE & DISTRIBUTION
Before going too far down the road of research and preparation, be clear on how you intend to publish and distribute the article. Also discuss how they may like to distribute the article.
It’s important to include profile photos of both yourself and the other practitioner. It is also helpful to have an emotive image that reflects the topic you are discussing. For free (and copyright free) images check out: www.pixabay.com. Otherwise www.shuttestock.com and www.istockphoto.com libraries are popular.
Send a draft of your proposed article (or podcast or video – see more on this below), along with the proposed images, to the other health practitioner for their approval. After all, their name is strongly associated with it.
You can edit the audio of the original recording and launch as a podcast. If the podcast is posted on your website, consider having a written transcript option underneath for those who prefer to read the conversation. This also helps with Google ranking.
If you are more experienced with these practitioner chats, you may consider video recording the conversation. This can be done face-to-face, by Skype or Facetime. Make sure the video is no longer than three minutes in duration. To really optimise the video, consider having subtitles of what you are discussing. Many viewers prefer this to playing audio. Again, if the video is posted on your website, have a written transcript option underneath (for readers and for Google).
Building a community through practitioner collaborations is helpful. But it’s important that you still present as a trusted professional in your own right. Doing the research in preparation for the practitioner conversation can be a fun and inspiring way to enhance your knowledge and your confidence. The chat itself can be even better still.