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How to Interview Your Favorite Creators

In this article, I outline my entire process of reaching out to interesting creators, and I also include my template for sending them an email.

Oren Cohen
Oren Cohen
4 min read
How to Interview Your Favorite Creators
Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com / Unsplash

Table of Contents

It's 2018. Fantasy High - Dimension 20's first season - had just premiered, and I utterly and completely fell in love. I've been following the crew of the show ever since the days of CollegeHumor sketches, and Fantasy High shined a different kind of light on them. I've never thought what writing about the show would enable in the future. I've never thought I'd fall in love so madly with D&D.

Fast forward to 2022. I've just published an interview on YouTube with Aabria Iyengar - one of the most prolific creators in the TTRPG space. No matter what TTRPG show you watch, you've probably heard her name in one way or another. I have eight interviews with Brennan Lee Mulligan, and more interviews with various creators like Gabe Hicks and Jasmine Bhullar. How did I get here? That's exactly what I want to share in today's article.

Disclaimer: what I'm going to share in this article worked for me. It won't necessarily work for you, but at least adopt the attitude.

Step 1: Create Something

In July 2019, I published an article on Medium about Dimension 20's newest season (at the time), The Unsleeping City (chapter 1).

That article gained recognition when Medium decided to put it on its homepage. It didn't go viral, but it certainly got more attention than most of my articles at the time.

I wrote this article just because I wanted to, not because I had a secret plan to secure an interview. It's important to remember that what you create should not be transactional. Nobody guarantees you anything.

Step 2: Share and Tag on Social Media

In 2019, CollegeHumor still had a PR team. Most of them (if not all) were laid off in January 2020 when IAC sold the company to Sam Reich.

So, when I published the article and tagged CollegeHumor on Twitter, One of their employees reached out to me via DM and asked if I wanted to meet with Brennan. I immediately said yes.

Fast forward to July 2019. I'm visiting my Brother in Austin, Texas and I'm preparing for an audio interview with Brennan.

So I enthusiastically tweeted about it and tagged him - and he decided to follow me.

Hang out on the social media platforms your favorite creators are using. You might just cross paths with them.

Step 3: Build Trust

Fast forward to April 2020. A Crown of Candy is announced, and I reached out to Brennan via email to interview him about the season. That interview would also only be in writing. Brennan agrees, and we e-meet via video for the first time.

On both occasions, I have done what I promised I'd do. I have published the interview in a timely manner and pointed people to where to find the show.

In other words, I had built trust with the CollegeHumor team that I'm a serious dude and can be trusted.

If the creators you want to interview do not trust you for whatever reason after your first engagement with them, then you won't see any further engagements.

Step 4: Manage Expectations

I have never received monetary compensation for my interviews from any creator or organization that I have interviewed. I monetize the interviews I publish on YouTube, but that's fairly recent (since Feb. 2022). You should manage the expectations throughout the process.

  • Is there any date you should keep in mind before publishing?
  • Are there any pieces of the interview you've been asked to remove?
  • Are you being aware of the time when you interview people? If you feel like you'll go overboard, ask the creator if they can push a few more minutes before it's time to end the interview.

Don't make any assumptions on people's time or freedoms. Always ask.

Step 5: Build a Library of Content

To date, I have 20 published interviews on YouTube. So, a couple of months ago, when I wanted to interview Brennan for Critical Role, I have given them a playlist of interviews with Brennan and other creators to make this a no-brainer. Out of all of my long-form interviews, my Exandria Unlimited: Calamity interview is still my most viewed video on YouTube.

Even though for Dimension 20, I could just reach out to Brennan for interviews (whenever he DMs a season), I had to go through Critical Role's PR team for that one, because it's their IP. Building a library of content, helped make the decision easier for them.

Here's my template for reaching out:

Hi {{name}},

My name is {{your name}}, and I'm a creator on {{main platform}}.

I was wondering if you'd be interested in sitting down for up to 45 minutes and talking about {{main subject of interview}}?

If you're curious what it's like to talk to me, here are some past interviews:
{{playlist link(s)}

Thank you,
{{your name}}

Step 6: Have Contact Information

If you're here, congratulations! It takes time to get here, but just keep going and creating.

Now you'll find that YouTube and other platforms where you publish contact will open up opportunities for you. To date, I have been contacted by two creative productions of D&D campaigns that want me to interview them. And since I have contact information, it was easy for them to just shoot me an email. In addition, I've also been able to secure interviews with some amazing creators that I love, which are scheduled for the near future.

Step 7: Repurpose Content

My early interviews with Brennan still sit around 4000 views. And that's ok. My latest interview with him sits at around 80k views.

So, think about repurposing content. For example, I have a huge untapped potential audience on TikTok, where D20 shorts are doing very well.

I just need time to make those videos.

Conclusion

There you have it! That is my entire process for reaching out to creators I like and asking to talk to them.

If you still have any questions, please feel free to reach out wherever, and ask me anything. Otherwise, feel free to subscribe to receive future blog posts directly to your inbox.

Content CreationInterviewsCreative Process

Oren Cohen Twitter

I'm a software engineer by day and huge nerd by night. I love to share thoughts about video games, content creation, life, and geek culture media like TV shows, Movies, and Books. I hope you enjoy it!

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