How to Host a Successful Ask Me Anything
AMA’s or Ask Me Anything sessions are becoming forever popular!
In this post, I’m going to show you exactly what they are, what they can do for your business, and how they help our current businesses grow.
Before we dive into some examples, let me explain exactly what Ask Me Anything is….
What is Ask Me Anything?
Originating from the boards of Reddit, AMA’s are threads or sessions whereby a person of interest faces an audience of people who can literally ask them anything.
Normally the person of interest will be someone knowledgeable or someone who has a lot of experience in the chosen topic or niche. The participants will therefore obviously be connected and interested in the niche and person of interest, thus creating a great platform for discussions.
The format is quite simple….there isn’t one!
Typically speaking, the audience will submit all manner of questions in the allotted time and the AMA host will answer those that he/she wishes to.
How to host an Ask Me Anything
When it comes to hosting your own Ask Me Anything, there are several factors you have to take into consideration.
Although relatively easy and cost free to set up, you may want to consider these following points in preparation:
- Guest: Remember, you don’t have to host the AMA yourself in order to see results. If you have a following, website, product or something you’re looking to grow, it’s often a good move to invite a key player in your industry to host an AMA on behalf of your brand. Maybe you run a fishing website but you’re not the most knowledgeable fisher, invite one of the best fishermen in the world to host your AMA for better results.
- Date and Time: Take into consideration your audiences’ timezones. You want to make sure you set a date and time that doesn’t conflict with their everyday cycle. For example, if your audience is mainly in the US, don’t set a time for when they’re going to be asleep on independence day when they’re not by a computer. Pick a date and time that caters to the majority of your audience.
- Promotion: This is key! Prior promotion is what’s going to give you the best chance in getting some great results. Of course you can do an AMA off-the-cuff, but setting a given date and time and then promoting that to your audience is going to yield more results. Book a date and time and then email, call, advertise on social networks and more to make sure as many people as possible know about your AMA.
- Answers: If you’re hosting an AMA about fishing, then 9/10 questions on your AMA will be about…..you guessed it: fishing! This gives you or your guest the perfect opportunity to brush up on the latest techniques, tricks and tips about fishing because this way when you’re faced with multiple questions you likely have an answer for most. The beauty is that on AMA’s you can skip spammy or unrelated questions; however, doing some homework will make it flow a lot better!
- Stock Questions: If you’re planning your first ever AMA, the chances are there may not be too many participants. Hopefully, you’re reading this and can get thousands of people on a session, but not everyone can from day one. My tip here as not to look stupid is to prepare a list of pre-devised questions and answers, so that if there’s a lull in questions coming in during your session, you can simply pick one from your list and make it sound organic.
- Engagement: I preach this time and time again. Engagement is key to everything! Especially if you’re hosting this on a social network whereby every comment on your AMA counts as more engagement and exposure, get your audience involved! Keep promoting them to ask MORE questions. Prompt them for their responses to questions and their own opinions on things. As I always say, the more engagement you get the more reach you get and the more successful your efforts are.
- Moderation: As with anything on or offline, you don’t know who’s going to turn up to the party. You may get trolls, haters and more on your AMA’s, so it’s good practice to have someone else in your team moderate the session. On social media that could be someone removing or banning any troll accounts, and offline it may be a moderator at an event. Having someone moderate the questions will reduce the risk of you getting caught up on something not worth your time.
- Recording: RECORD your session! Obviously if this is on a forum or board, it’s easy to archive it, but recording your session somehow is essential. For example, if you record your AMA on Facebook Live, it gives you the opportunity to run traffic to your post to get more exposure or possibly turn the sessions into a full video or online course to monetise in the future. Anything with decent and useful content can be sold or used to promote your business.
Another huge part of the above preparation is “where” and deciding exactly when and where to host your Ask Me Anything.
This is another kettle of fish entirely, and there are lots of ways to do this all with their own pluses and minuses.
Here’s a list of the top places you can host your AMA’s:
Social Networks: LIVE is key! With the new emergence of Facebook Live and other live platforms, running your AMA on social networks has never been so appealing. Look back up to the “engagement” part above. Having your audience for example engage on Facebook is crucial to growing your audience. Ask them to post a comment or share the live stream to their mates in order to grow your reach.
Events: Often such offline events are created to give an audience a chance to ask a key figure in their given space anything. For example, I’ve been invited to participate in a live event in London surrounding affiliate marketing. In the event, people will have the opportunity to direct questions to me on stage regarding landing page design and how to build high converting landing pages.
Reddit: The father of Ask Me Anything is a great place to run a session. It’s super simple to create a board on Reddit and you can have your audience post questions during the weeks or days running up to the event. You can then ask others to vote on the questions, and therefore answer the most popular ones.
Forums: Not only a great way to increase the amount of posts and discussions on a forum but also a great place to host AMA’s. I tend to create entirely new sub forums especially to host our guest and then set it live one week prior to them attending to stir up some hype and let people get their questions in early.
Examples of Ask Me Anything:
Directly or indirectly, we’ve used AMA’s on the majority of our publications and websites to great effect.
Below I’ll show you a few firsthand experiences:
On our Forums: Since 2013, we’ve been hosting Ask Me Anything “Weeks” on our forums with huge success. In our “Expert Weeks”, we invite an expert within the forum’s specific sector to attend a week of answering questions on the forums.
We set up a specific forum for them a week or two prior to the event with an image and date attached and a call to action to “Ask a Question Now”.
Not only that, but we also mail out to the entire forum list several times to encourage them to get their questions in early for our guest.
On the day of the AMA week, we then open the forum and our guest visits once a day or several times during the week to answer any questions. Not only does this help our members tremendously by having direct access to some of the best in the industry, but it also helps us increase our reputation, posts and discussions.
All our previous guests have participated for free as it also helps them expand their brand.
For example on AffiliateFix, we’ve now had 13 amazing guests participate, who have helped us generate over 1000 new discussions, helped 1000’s of members, and grown our reach:
- Charles Ngo
- KJ Rocker
- Zac Johnson
- Greg Davis
- Jay and Tuan SMASH
- Lukasz Jasiak
- Rohail Rizvi
- Cash Money Affiliate
- Tim Burd
We then archive all the questions and answers in this thread for future help.
On Facebook Live: For the past several months, we’ve embraced Facebook’s “Live” feature and formed our own version of an AMA with amazing results.
Lovecars has now hosted over 5 Facebook Live sessions, and on each one, we’ve been taking viewers on a tour of the most amazing cars in the world.
Each time we’ve done a Facebook Live car tour, we’ve integrated it with an AMA, asking all viewers to ask us anything related to the car we’re showing them.
Koenisegg Agera RS and Bugatti Veyron Super Sport 😎
Posted by Lovecars on Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Rolls Royce Wraith – LIVE – inside, outside, engine, trunk and of course the starlight roof!
Posted by Lovecars on Monday, June 6, 2016
The beauty of Facebook Live is every time someone asks a question, it’s then in turn shared on their feed and lots of their friends then see it and join in the session.
In our latest Live session, we managed to get over 30,000 people Live on the video thanks to engaging them in AMA tactics and more.
If you run a business or company that has an audience that’s interested in what you do, Ask Me Anything’s are an incredible way to grow your reach whether you host them yourself or invite a key figure within your space to do so.
As ever, don’t forget to comment and ask me anything below and look out for my first Ask Me Anything sessions coming soon on my Facebook page.