“Now, for the first time in history, noncelebrities-people like you and me-can get noticed and win big in an increasingly noisy world.”
by Michael Hyatt in “Platform: Get Noticed In A Noisy World”
Just like the train platform that allows commuters to get on board the locomotive that will take them to their destination, authors use a platform that allows followers, potential followers and partners to get on board with their message because it helps them reach a specific destination-or a personal goal. Beautiful ads, scores of talk show interviews and book tours are great tools for a product launch that. But these tools only produce sales within a short period of time surrounding the event.
If you want to generate steady and consistent sales over long periods of time, you will need to build a platform.
What Is a Platform?
Although a platform is something that you have the power to build on your own-or hire others to help you build-the success of your platform is measured by how many people follow your message on your platform.
Effective platforms have a community of people who have a common goal. That goal is usually related to solving a problem in their life. And if they believe that your message solves their problem, they will not only follow your platform, they will tell everyone they know about how you helped them solve their problem and recommend that they follow you too. This message evangelism is what makes platforms so powerful.
What Are Some Examples of Platforms?
The term “platform” is most often used to talk about the online version, but a platform can also be built offline.
Platforms can be built offline by using the following communication mediums that allow audiences to follow your message:
- Annual Fairs, Conventions or Conferences (events),
- Catalogs (print media),
- Courses (live in-person),
- Magazines (print media),
- Newsletters & Newspapers (print media),
- Public Speaking Engagements,
- Talk Shows (TV or Radio),
- TV Shows,
- Seminars (events), and
- Non-Profit Organizations (e.g. associations for a specific audience or a charity based on solving a specific problem through service)
Platforms can be built online using the following communication mediums that allow audiences to follow your message:
- Email Marketing,
- Online Courses,
- Online Communities (e.g. Facebook Pages, Google Plus Groups and LinkedIn Groups),
- Phone Apps,
- SEO a.k.a. Search Engine Optimization (Strategies that make it easier for people using search engines to find your online content)
- Social Media Accounts (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google Plus and LinkedIn),
- Virtual Events
- Webinars, and
These are not the only platforms you can use to build a community of followers, but these are some of the most common.
For more information on how to build an online platform, which is much cheaper to build than most of the offline platforms and also serves as a great support to any offline platform, read the 7 steps detailed in “3 Things Every Published Author Needs to Be Successful.”
Question: Can you think of at least one person’s platform that you are already following? What draws you to that person?
Image by: By Hirohisat (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons