Structured Interviews: Scalable Content, Finding Patterns, Building Leverage

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This is the free version of Trends PRO #0053 โ€” Structured Interviews

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โ“ What You’ll Learn

  • What are structured interviews?
  • Who built a 60,000-member community using structured interviews?
  • What are the pros and cons?
  • How to borrow trust?
  • How to pitch guests?

๐Ÿ’Ž Why It Matters

  • Structured interviews power scalable media companies.
  • Standardization makes it easier to find patterns of success and failure.
  • Borrowing trust, credibility and affinity are fast ways to build leverage.

๐Ÿ” Problem

Readers want insights from interesting people.

Guests want sales, backlinks and followers.

Brands want scalable content.

๐Ÿ’ก Solution

Structured interviews consist of asking the same questions to different people. Then collecting and sharing answers with your audience.

This method is used to build  newsletters, communities, funds, DaaS companies and more.

๐Ÿ Players

๐Ÿ”ฎ Predictions

  • Tools like Shortly will give small teams more leverage without the need to hire.
  • No-Code apps will use structured-interview-like interfaces to help you build by answering questions. See Headlimeโ€™s AI-powered landing page builder.

โ˜๏ธ Opportunities

  • Make it a no-brainer for guests. Minimize the time required and answer โ€œWhatโ€™s in it for me?โ€ Collect and share success stories. 
  • Build systems to scale. Document and delegate your outreach, collection and distribution process.
  • Add a personal touch. Tell guests why you want to interview them. Weave details into standardized questions. i.e. โ€œWhat motivated you to get started with Thankbox?โ€
  • Build a Data as a Service company. Nathan Latka pulls revenue metrics from podcast episodes, adds them to a database and sells access

๐Ÿ”‘ Key Lessons

  • Borrow trust, credibility and attention to build leverage. Structured interviews tether your brand to others. Unstructured interviews do the same but slower.
  • Think laterally. This hiring method is being used by funds to evaluate deals, SaaS for top-of-funnel and communities to attract members.

๐Ÿ˜  Haters

โ€œStructured interviews are impersonal.โ€
Semi-structured is an option. Work backward based on your goals. Less structure equals less scale.

โ€œIโ€™ll miss the opportunity to ask interesting questions.โ€
Thereโ€™s no free lunch. The world is full of trade-offs. You can have several rounds of questions. But scalability is lost.

โ€œIโ€™m convinced. But what if everyone starts doing this?โ€
Questions can be commoditized but access to guests canโ€™t. Find the best guests and โ€œsnowballโ€ an audience faster than others.

๐Ÿ”— Links

  1. Who’s doing standardized interviews? โ€ข The tweet behind this report.
  2. How 150 Personal Emails Sparked a Community of 60,000 Entrepreneurs โ€ข Courtland Allen used structured interviews to build a community of tens of thousands of founders. 
  3. Crowdsourcing โ€ข The powerful force behind structured interviews.

๐Ÿ™ Thanks

Thanks to Courtland Allen (Indie Hackers), Seth Kramer (No Code MBA), Louis Pereira (Podium Worthy), Stew Fortier (Compound), Nicolรกs Cerdeira (Failory), Neeraj Hirani and Stewart Townsend (Channel as a Service). We had a great time jamming on this report. 

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