I want a platform that, like a book or a magazine,
I can carry into the bath or leave at the beach. | Walter Jon Williams
We hear a lot about building a platform. There are a number of books, podcasts, and websites that deal with the subject. There is a lot of useful information that can help a budding author or speaker develop a tribe of loyal followers. Apparently the strategy works for some people.
But, there is a problem. Many of us who are in the process of building a platform lack the advantage some experts enjoy. Our previous or present employers aren’t high profile publishing or media giants. Our names aren’t household words. We can contact everyone we know and still not come up with someone who can write an endorsement for our books. If someone stole our identity, they’d give it back!
So, here is some platform-building advice for regular people:
- Refine your message until it can be stated in 25 words or less. If you have to take a breath in the middle of explaining your primary purpose, your statement is too long.
- Work in circles. Start with yourself. If you aren’t convinced your message needs to be heard, no one else will buy into it. Once you’ve convinced yourself, work outward… family, friends, acquaintances, etc. Keep expanding your audience until you reach the public.
- Don’t be intimidated by the success of others. Face it, you and I aren’t going to have 40,000 unique visitors to our websites this month. That’s OK. Celebrate those you do have. Respond to their comments. Ask them to help spread the word.
- Be confident in your message but humble in your approach. Your humility enables others to trust you. When they trust you, they will be loyal to you. It is possible to be confident without being obnoxious.
- Live to give, not get. We aren’t here to wallow in self-gratification. We are here to make a difference. Give in proportion to what you make. Select some causes you believe in and direct part of your income to them. When people know what you believe, they’ll believe what you claim to know.
Are these foolproof strategies? Nope. Success can’t be guaranteed. Anyone who tries to sell you a recipe for success includes you in the list of ingredients. Think about it.
What strategies are you using to develop your platform?
Maybe you need a few pointers to help get you started on the write path. Why not join my FREE Write Now Teleseminar on Tuesday, March 12 at 7:00pm (CDT)? I’ll spend 45 minutes answering some of the most common questions about writing and building a platform. Just click Write Now image to learn more.