This summer has been full of learning opportunities. I went to conferences, read books, joined professional organizations, and started my platform.
Platform? What’s a platform, you may ask?
A platform conveys your face to the (virtual) world. It conveys your image, your voice, and your product. It’s your moneymaker and publicity shaker.
Do you know who Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian are?
Of course you do! Do you know why you know who they are?
Before they had their own television shows, before they were on magazine covers, before they had the product endorsements and launched their own product lines, they had sex. On tape. And everybody across the county was talking about it.
That’s the quick and dirty to platform making.
You want people to know your name, your face, and your product (especially if that product is you). And all this doesn’t happen on accident.
People don’t just find you, or your product, on the Internet. You have to make them find you. You have to put breadcrumbs the size of boulders in front of every path that they could conceivably take.
Not only do they have to find you, they have to want to read your stuff, and they have to keep reading. And most importantly, they have to come back and tell their friends.
But you don’t have to have sex on videotape to start your platform. In fact, please don’t. ;-)
One way to platform is to create a blog. And once you create the blog, you have to get crazy at promoting it, or what I like to call throwing boulders at potential readers.
Some of you may be saying, “I’m not a blogger.” This is what I initially said. But saying you’re not a blogger does not mean you are not a blogger. It means that you are in denial.
You might already be a microblogger. A microblogger is what we in the blogging community (a community of which I am suddenly, as of the last two weeks, a part of) use to refer to a smaller platform such as Facebook.
So if you use Facebook, and...
Then you, my friend, are a microblogger.
For my authorial agenda, I can’t just be a part-time microblogger. I have to become a full on, with capital B, Blogger. This is something I have quickly grown to fully embrace.
And that might just be the case with you. You might just be a blogger-to-be.
If you are a budding author, a professional with a service to offer, or someone with any product to sell, you must become a Blogger.
If this is the first time you’re realizing it and it’s difficult for you to digest, I’m sorry. It’s hard. I know. I’ve been there.
Here are the emotional stages I went through in creating my platform. I hope that this may offer you some support as you come to realize that you, too, are a Blogger.
Denial. Other people need a platform - younger, hipper, people with more commercial appeal. “Not me, boy. I don’t need a platform.”
Fear. OMG. I think I need a platform. “The world feels so, so enormous, and I feel so, so small. This is bigger than I ever imagined I could be.”
Acceptance. OMG. I need a platform. “I will take small steps to reach my accessible goal.”
Growing excitement. I am building my platform. “Hey, my blog is looking pretty good. Why didn’t I do this before?”
Full Blown Excitement. People are following my blog. “PEOPLE ARE FOLLOWING MY BLOG!”
World Domination: I’m going to learn all that I can and master this. “I am determined to take over freaking the Internet.”
Now, going through these stages is not a bee-lined progression. For example, I find that I may fall from my happy state of acceptance into full-blown fear again. But as I see it, I’d rather be throwing boulders instead of hiding behind them, so every time I find myself back in fear mode, I just keep smashing right on through.
For a detailed guide on creating your platform, I recommend Michael Hyatt's Platform: Get noticed in a Noisy World.