In our recent SMarketPlace™ conversation with Mark J. Carter, professional interview expert and author of Idea Climbing: How to Create a Support System for Your Next Big Idea, we turn the tables and interview the interviewer. Mark delves into the nuanced world of professional interviews (and interviewing), exploring the pivotal role it plays today in business, sales and personal development – and, of course, we check in on Mark’s favorite rock ‘n roll bands. Drawing on Carter’s experience, we discuss his book and unpack the essence of impactful interviews, their strategic significance in branding and networking, and the intriguing parallels between conducting interviews and mentoring. 


Idea Climbing: A Support System for Your Next Big Idea




With Idea Climbing: How to Build a Support System for Your Next Big Idea, Mark J. Carter unveils a transformative approach to turning ambitious visions into reality. Drawing from 22 years of interviews and research with successful individuals and companies, Carter crafts an eight-pillar success blueprint designed to guide entrepreneurs and innovators through the process of actualizing their ideas. Whether you’re looking to launch a new business, revamp your marketing, or start a mastermind group, Idea Climbing provides a clear roadmap, emphasizing the power of collaborative relationships and strategic mentorship. This book is more than just a guide; it’s a lifeline for those navigating the often solitary journey of bringing big ideas to fruition, teaching you how to bridge the gap between concept and execution through community and support.


Unearthing the Power of Curiosity in Interviews


As Mark J. Carter emphasizes, at the core of every memorable interview is the interviewer’s genuine curiosity. He advises:

Ask to interview people. It’s insane. The CEO, the serial entrepreneur, will talk to you, and will give you the knowledge you need to become successful, no matter what you do.

With his insight, Mark encapsulates the transformative potential of interviews when driven by authentic interest in the interviewee’s experiences and insights.

Carter’s approach to interviewing transcends mere fact-finding; it’s an exercise in building rapport and understanding, allowing for deep dives into subjects’ passions and expertise. This method not only enriches the content but also fosters a connection between the interviewee, interviewer, and audience, creating a more engaging and informative experience for all involved. Best of all, its a technique that can be learned.


The Strategic Role of Interviews in Branding and Networking


Interviews are more than just conversations; they are strategic tools for branding, networking, and content creation. Carter’s journey from a curious individual to a seasoned interviewer highlights the multifaceted benefits of this medium. Through his podcast and various platforms, he demonstrates how interviews can serve as a catalyst for professional growth and brand enhancement.

One key aspect Carter points out is the reciprocity of value in interviews: 

Be genuinely curious about the other person. When you really want to know, and you really want to dig and find out why they’re successful, what they did, that genuine curiosity will take you so far. I don’t think genuine curiosity is something people can fake.

That curiosity is absolutely essential because people like to talk about themselves and their passions, and it’s what they do when asked.

This approach not only positions the interviewer as a thought leader, but also amplifies the reach and impact of their interviewee’s insights, creating a symbiotic relationship that benefits both parties and their audiences. In doing so, they can adopt the “Video, Video Everywhere” framework necessary for staying in front of customer — whether this be on a website, LinkedIn, other social media channel, or email communications. As a result of such good distribution, interviews are a very effective way to create quality content to one’s “known audience,” while expanding the audience at the same time. 


From Mentoring to Mastering Podcasts: The Evolution of a Professional Interviewer


Carter’s story is a testament to the power of community, support, and continuous learning in achieving professional excellence.

Carter’s transition from being mentored to becoming a mentor himself, and eventually a podcast host, illustrates the profound impact of learning and guidance in one’s career. He acknowledges the critical role of mentorship in his development, stating, 

“Every successful person I spoke with had mentoring experiences, at least being mentored, if not turning around when they became successful and got mentored. And I realized most big ideas die on the shelf because people don’t have the support.”

Carter emphasizes the strategic use of media and content in establishing a strong personal and professional brand. 

His advice to aspiring interviewers and content creators is to start simple, use available resources like Zoom and freelance platforms, and focus on the art of asking insightful questions. This pragmatic approach demystifies the process of content creation, making it accessible to a wider audience and encouraging more individuals to explore the potential of professional interviews from either side of the microphone.

His involvement with professional organizations like H7 Network (where we met Mark) and collaborations with individuals such its founder Clay Hicks further underscore the importance of connections and real-world interactions in building a successful career in professional interviewing.


A Passion for Aerosmith: Mark J. Carter’s Rock ‘n Roll Influence


Mark J. Carter’s connection to rock ‘n roll, as embodied in his experiences with Aerosmith and appreciation for Kid Rock, offers a unique lens through which he views his professional and personal journey.

Aerosmith’s music, a blend of raw emotion and rock energy, served as a soundtrack to Carter’s younger life, resonating with him during significant moments, from the highs of exhilarating performances to the lows of personal heartbreaks. Aerosmith’s bluesy, pop, metal jam brand of Rock ‘n Roll was there. Mark’s recount of being “literally 20 ft away” from Aerosmith – around his 20th time seeing them demonstrates the influence the genre has on so many marketers and sales people. He’d only seen them in huge arenas but he was front and center at their residency in Las Vegas. This vignette underscores the impact the band has had on him, transcending mere fandom to influence his perspective on creative passions, dedication and perseverance, and the power of storytelling.

Leaving politics aside, Carter’s admiration for Kid Rock extends beyond musical preferences, though growing up in Michigan, he’d seen Kid Rock as a local act a number of times. Kid Rock’s legacy goes beyond his musical evolution from Hip Hop and Rap to Rap Rock and now Country Rock, delving into entrepreneurship and control over one’s creative output. Kid Rock, is also known for his defiant stance on owning his music through his role as the CEO of Top Dog Records, embodies the ideals of self-reliance and business acumen that Carter respects.

The parallels drawn between the Rock’n Roll industry’s battles over rights and the importance of ownership in content creation offer valuable lessons in that today’s business leaders must also understand. Namely, how to nurture creative talent if they want to leverage an investment in media to achieve business strategy.



The Transformative Power of Professional Interviews


The insights from Mark J. Carter’s 25-year journey and expertise in professional interviews illuminate the multifaceted role of this medium in personal development, professional growth, and the broader landscape of content creation. 

Interviews, when conducted with genuine curiosity, strategic intent, and a flair for storytelling, can transcend their traditional boundaries, influencing brand narratives, fostering connections, and enriching the collective knowledge pool. 

As we navigate the complexities of the digital age, the lessons from Carter’s experiences offer lessons for aspiring interviewers, content creators, and professionals seeking to harness the power of podcasts. The art of the professional interview, much like the enduring appeal of rock ‘n roll, lies in its ability to resonate, engage, and inspire, reminding us of the timeless value of authentic human connections in shaping our stories and successes.


Harness the Power of Professional Interviews with Publio’s Podcast Ecosystem™


Mark and the team at Publio are available to help you tell your story. Together, we will create, produce and distribute content showcasing your expertise through a highly effective, integrated social media and SEO strategy. Our Podcast Ecosystem™ will give you a month or more of content (“Video, Video Everywhere“) for just a few hours of your time. Let us help you connect your podcast to your HubSpot CRM for efficient lead capture and nurturing.

Schedule a time to discuss your content needs here.


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