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  • Writer's pictureHarvey Brownstone

It's all about the numbers

I'm learning something very quickly about the reality for an interviewer - especially a novice interviewer like me. Well, wait a minute, am I really a novice? I have spent my entire 40+ year career in a courtroom - first as a lawyer, then as a judge. I've been involved in literally thousands of trials, both in family and criminal courts. Shouldn't I know something about how to examine and cross-examine people? Isn't that good preparation for an interviewer? Yes, it certainly is. More than one guest has told me after their interview, that they sensed a certain "laser sharpness and precision" in my style of questioning. So maybe I'm not such a novice after all.

That being said, there is no question that I am not a well-known interviewer - at least not yet. I had a TV talk show for 2 seasons a decade ago, but the show was not on a major network, and I certainly did not become a household name. And I have only been doing "Harvey Brownstone Interviews" for a few months, so I am still relatively unknown. Because of this, when I approach managers and publicists of celebrities and authors to ask for an interview, the first thing they do is go to YouTube and check out how many views my interviews are getting. If famous people don't think an interview will get enough "reach" - that is, if they don't think the interview will be seen by enough people - they will not grant me an interview because they feel it's not worth their time. It's a numbers game.

And it's a catch-22 situation. If I can't get interesting people to interview, then the interviews will not be seen by many people. But if my interviews are not being seen by many people, then I will not be able to persuade interesting people to grant me an interview. My strategy has been to try to attract people with something interesting to say, and then give them the best and most thorough interview they've ever had. I then do what I can to promote the interviews on social media, and I rely on the interviewee to also promote the interview on his/her social media platform. The hope is that an interview will "go viral" and attract many thousands of viewers.

So far the results have been encouraging. Who knew that an interview with the author of a relatively unknown book about the Holocaust would generate thousands of views in less than a month? Who knew that an interview with a local psychologist highlighting important mental health issues would generate thousands of views in less than a week? And even more interestingly, my interviews are being watched by people all over the world, in increasingly large numbers.

I started "Harvey Brownstone Interviews" because I have a natural curiosity about what makes people tick, and because I believe that special people who have achieved special things deserve an in-depth, intelligent interview where they actually get to say something meaningful in more than a 2-minute sound bite. I believe in myself and in this project. And I'm encouraged by the thousands of people who have taken the time to watch the interviews, send me comments and share the links to the interviews with their friends.

I truly believe that, if I keep working at doing the best job I can to produce great interviews, the number of viewers will keep growing, and eventually the agents, managers and publishers will see the value of recommending a "Harvey Brownstone Interview" to their clients. You can do your part by sharing the links to the interviews with everyone you know, and help make the numbers grow. After all, to the celebrities out there and the people who manage them, it's all about the numbers!

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