Before I joined the “dark side” and became a conniving copywriter…
I spent several years working part time as a newspaper reporter.
One of the biggest challenges of that job was just getting people to talk to you.
Your typical “Joe Lunchbucket” (my editor’s name for the guy on the street) has a healthy distrust for the media…
And most elected officials and government administrators have been burned once too many times by eager-beaver practitioners of “gotcha” journalism.
Pretty regularly though, I’d sit down with someone, notepad in hand, and before long I’d see them cock their head to the side thoughtfully and say, “I don’t know why I’m telling you this, but…”
And then they’d spill their guts—tell me something that could be potentially damaging if I really decided to put the screws to them.
I was always amazed when this happened.
Partly I think I have a face that people trust.
But a big part too was the types of questions I learned to ask.
The right questions can put the person you’re talking to at ease—and that’s when you get the really good stuff.
I recently recorded a video about the kinds of questions to ask to “tease out” stories you can use in your emails.
I also share a couple of simple “hacks” that will help your stories leap off the screen—while also making “writer’s block” a thing of the past.
Just grab a cup of coffee and hit the play button below to get started: