#013: Building Your Platform, Part 1 [Podcast]

In this podcast episode, I talk about my brand new book, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World (Nashville: Thomas Nelson).

013 - Building Your Platform, Part 1

Yesterday was the official publication date. I am celebrating this entire week with a special, AMAZING offer that I can’t wait to tell you about. If you can’t wait, you can find the offer here.

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Episode Outline

Four centuries ago, William Shakespeare said, “all the world’s a stage.” That is more true than ever before. If you have something to say or sell—whether it is a product, a service, a brand, or a cause—you are on stage.

The problem is that the stage is very crowded.

  • More than one million new books were published last year. Amazon has more than 27 million in its online database.
  • There are more than 164 million blogs in the world.
  • There are thousands of radio and television shows.
  • More video was uploaded to YouTube in the last 60 days than was produced by all three major networks in the first 60 years of their existence.
  • This doesn’t even include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, apps, or games.

That’s why you need a platform.

What is a platform? It’s that thing you stand on to be heard. But it’s no longer made of wood or steel. Today, a platform is made of people: contacts, connections, customers, followers, fans.

As you may know, I have spent my entire career in the book publishing business. About ten years ago, I started noticing a disturbing trend: We kept turning away authors with good content. The reason? They didn’t have a platform.

Content was still king, but platform had become queen. Without both, it was difficult to get a publishing deal.

Then in 2004, I started blogging. I accidentally created a platform. You can see my traffic growth and the implications here. Here’s a chart that summarizes the numbers I shared in this episode:

My Average Number of Monthly Visitors

You can assemble a powerful, personal platform with just five planks:

  1. Start with wow.
  2. Prepare to launch.
  3. Build your home base.
  4. Expand your reach.
  5. Engage your tribe.

These are the five parts of my book, which is divided into sixty short, practical chapters.

Listener Questions

  1. Question #1: Pilar Arsenec asked, “When you were first starting out, how did you personally discover or find your voice?”
  2. Question #2: Tor Constantino asked, “For a person who is just starting to build a platform, what do you think is the single most important thing to do?”
  3. Question #3: Mary DeMuth asked, “What are the top two to three things you would tell people to do to get the biggest return on investment?”
  4. Question #4: Dana Pittman asked, “How do you reinvent your platform if you want to go in a different direction?”
  5. Question #5: Marc Schelske asked, “How do you balance the time you spend building a platform vs. the time you spend creating content for books, speaking, etc.?
  6. Question #6: Dan Foster asked, “How long do you think it should take a person with a full-time job to get a platform up and runnning?”
  7. Question #7: Charles Stone, “What would you say to someone who struggles with self-confidence who wants to take the leap to build a platform?”

Next week, I we will continue our discussion of platform-building. If you have a question about this topic, please leave me a voice mail. I’d love to hear from you.

Special Announcements

  1. My new book, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World, is now shipping. It has been endorsed by twenty-seven people, including Seth Godin, Chris Brogan, Dave Ramsey, John Maxwell, Tim Sanders—and a whole bunch more.

    I have put together a special offer that includes SEVEN FREE BONUSES worth $375.98. To get this special bonus offer, all you will need to do is buy the book between now and May 25th. You can get the details here.

  2. I will be speaking at the BlogWorld & New Media Expo in New York City on June 5–7. I will be leading one of the “Super Sessions” on Thursday, June 7th, at 9:00 a.m. You can register here.

Episode Resources

I did not mention any additional resources in this episode.

Show Transcript

You can download a transcript of this episode here.

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Question: What would a platform make possible for you? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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  • http://jonstolpe.com/ Jon Stolpe

    I answered this question on Joe Lalonde’s blog yesterday.  Recently, I’ve been able to raise enough money to just about pay for a house in Guatemala which I’ll be building when I go on a trip later this summer.  Imagine if my platform was larger…perhaps, I could help to build a village!

    • http://tcavey.blogspot.com/ TCAvey

      Amazing Jon, with God’s help you just never know how many villages you could build! 

      • http://jonstolpe.com/ Jon Stolpe

         Thanks for widening my vision!

    • http://twitter.com/tammyhelfrich Tammy Helfrich

      That’s awesome! This gets me very excited, as it’s something I want to be able to do. Can’t wait to hear more.

      • http://jonstolpe.com/ Jon Stolpe

         Stay tuned.  I’ll share more details as they become apparent.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      A platform is best when the benefits serve an entire community and not one individual. This is great, Jon!

      • http://jonstolpe.com/ Jon Stolpe

         Thanks, Michele!

    • Alejandro

      Hello Jon, these is Alejandro, I come from Guatemala, currently living in the triangle (research park) NC working on to create a replica of silicon valley in the highlands of Guatemala.  you can contact me alexvelasper@gmail.com  have a blessed day

  • http://www.thegeezergadgetguy.com/ Thad Puckett

    I just started reading Platform last night (right before bed…not the best idea).  You had me after the first page, Michael!

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Did you get any sleep last night Thad? I found the book hard to put down! 

      • http://www.brandongilliland.com/ Brandon Gilliland

        I haven’t ordered the book yet, but I plan to!

      • http://www.thegeezergadgetguy.com/ Thad Puckett

        I did get some sleep, but only because I have had too many late nights this past week watching the Spurs beat up on the Clippers.

    • Jim Martin

      Thad, I tried the same thing (reading the book before bedtime).  Didn’t work very well for me!  It was difficult for me to put down.

  • http://www.CareerCoachJeff.com/ Jeff Melvin

    Part of your answer to Question #2 from Tor resonated with me when you were talking about people who don’t get started. They obsess about their product, blog design, or whatever so much that they procrastinate and end up not doing anything.

    That’s how I was! 2-1/2 weeks ago I made the decision to just “do something”, everything doesn’t need to be just right. I struggled with what to name my blog, the right layout, the right design, my product offer, etc., etc. All that thinking and analyzing paralyzed me. So I made a commitment to write a post once a week at my blog http://www.CareerCoachJeff.com – so far so good (only 2 posts).

    Your new book is on it’s way to my house and I can’t wait to develop my WOW factor for my tribe!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Good for you for getting launched!

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      Way to go, Jeff! I understand your struggle. I, too, become paralyzed when my website design, blog post, video, etc. isn’t exactly what I want it to be. I’m learning to push past all that analyzing and dissatisfaction to DO something. Inactivity paralyzes platform.

      It’s still difficult, however. For example, I’ve never utilized video to promo a book before. But this morning I posted my FIRST–ever! It was far from perfect, and I cringed when I pushed it out. But it’s a step!

    • http://www.thegeezergadgetguy.com/ Thad Puckett

      Congrats on getting started!  We can be paralyzed waiting for the “perfect {fill in the blank here}” and never get going!  It is easier to improve things that to reach perfection and only then launch!

  • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

    Can’t wait to listen to the new podcast. I’m sure it’ll be a great addition to the book!

    I’m hoping that creating a platform will allow me to live a different style of life. One where I’m able to help others live more fully and engaged while generating income to do the things that I love.

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  • http://www.brandongilliland.com/ Brandon Gilliland

    Great stuff! I am currently trying to build my platform. I am starting to publish more quality content on my blog, and keep the frequent updates going on twitter. It has helped a little so far, but it is no where to the level that I would like it to be…

    I am trying to develop my blog to “Amplify God’s Kingdom!”, but the platform will help me get into medical school. I am doing everything that I can to build a better platform for medical school and beyond.

    Thanks for sharing this, Michael!

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      The key is quality content and consistency over time–exactly what you’re doing, Brandon. I’m curious … how will a bigger platform help with getting into medical school?

      • http://www.brandongilliland.com/ Brandon Gilliland

        From all the articles and studies that i have been reading, building a platform helps someone get into medical school because it allows them to know who you are. GPA is only one of the many factors for being accepted…
        I have also published some medical related research papers that are deep in my archives on my site.

  • http://www.thedailyretort.com/ TorConstantino

    Love these podcasts! I’m able to download and listen during my morning treadmill run – able to feed both mind and body – awesome!

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      I agree. I usually listen while I’m doing a 3-4 mile run. I think it makes me run faster. :)

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  • http://bobbymcgraw.com Bobby McGraw

    I am about halfway through the book and love it! Thanks for making great tips very accessible!

    • Jim Martin

      Bobby, I agree.  A great value of the book is its accessibility.

  • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

    Awesome to seeing questions from team members that I know a lot of people can benefit from, can’t wait to listen to this episdoe!

    I’m building a platform that teaches people not to settle but puruse their dreams, I know the world would be a better place if we all were pursuing our passions and callings and living the abundant life the Lord wants us to live!

    • Jim Martin

      I thought the same, Kimanzi, regarding the questions.  They were very good and clarifying.

  • http://www.danapittman.com Dana Pittman

    Great podcast. I plan to save this as I work through the book. Especially Question #5, which is helpful as I write a lot and adding blogging to the mix is a new challenge after reading PLATFORM. 

  • http://www.marydemuth.com Mary DeMuth

    Thanks for answering my question. :)

  • Julie Swihart

    I’m not sure what all the possibilities are, but I’d like to be an author of influence.

    It’s interesting, Mr. Hyatt, that you didn’t know what your blog would lead to. Jerry Jenkins didn’t know the “Left Behind” books would be so successful, and if I remember right, Dan Miller and Dave Ramsey both stumbled upon their niches by getting great responses from their Sunday school classes.

    It seems like a lot of people come into their area of influence unexpectedly. Any thoughts?

    My husband and I have ordered the book, and look forward to learning all we can.

    Thank you for being so committed to helping people succeed!

    • Rachel Lance

      Interesting observation, Julie, I’m also curious to hear Michael’s thoughts. Seems to me the platforms you mentioned all share the common qualities of exceptional content delivered really well. That’s a pretty formidable (“Wow!) place to start.
      Thanks for the great question!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, I think that is true. I think you work hard, rather than waiting around for it to show up, and then be open to where it leads.

  • http://twitter.com/lukemeup Luke EisBrenner

    Michael, my brother and I are planning to buy Platform this week on the same order (two copies). Will we each be able to qualify for the bonuses using the same receipt?

    Thanks.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      You’ll need to e-mail the second one to tricia at michaelhyatt dot com. She will do it manually. Thanks.

      • http://lukemeup.com/ Luke EisBrenner

        Thanks!

  • ReasonDisciple

    A platform for me would allow me to gather together creative artists that have been either rejected or have moved away from “the system” to equip them to be leaders in the Five Fold MUSIC Ministry for the purpose of bringing the Ark (presence, principles, power, and praise) of God back to the restored Davidical Tabernacle (the Body of Christ), the music ministry, industry, & culture imparting faith, hope, and LOVE using our artistic abilities in the process.

    • Harmonylgf3

      I am very interested in this and am a former professional singer songwriter, very willing to use the talents God has given me to further the Kingdom. let me know what the next step is.
      God bless n prayers,
      Linda F

      • ReasonDisciple

         Hello Harmonylgf3! At the moment, I am in sort of like a “vision casting” type of “recruiting” slash “teaching and educating” stage of this journey right now This means that if I can’t build a team or even a network of people, I’m trying to build a platform and get the word out how music ministers can try to impact the music ministry (Church), industry (mainstream, business), and culture (genre, underground, local talent pool) in there area. And it’s not just music, it’s more all creative arts and entertainment in general. For me my specific niche in that is hip-hop or holy hip-hop (Christian hip-hop). You can find out more about me at one of my two main sites (of many, or what Mike Hyatt calls ‘home bases’) at:

        1. Ricardo Equips Artistic Leaders
        (R.E.A.L.) @
        http://www.ricardoequips.com/

        2. MIC Assembly Davidical Arts Network© @ http://davidicalhiphop.wordpress.com/

  • Dailyentrepreneurreport.com

    Please buy Michael Hyatt’s new book “Platform”! It has inspired me to create dailyentrepreneurreport.com and his podcasts have changed my life! Recommend him to your friends like I have.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Wow. Thanks for the recommendation!

  • MaryAnn Diorio

    Great podcast!  Not only the message, but especially the heart behind it.  Thanks!

    MaryAnn
    ____________________________
    MaryAnn Diorio, PhD, MFA
    http://www.maryanndiorio.com
    http://www.thewritepower.blogspot.com

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, MaryAnn.

      • MaryAnn Diorio

        You are most welcome! :) 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=512750417 Dave Grant

    Michael – you blog posts and podcasts have had a great influence on my business is being shaped. I provide financial guidance for teachers in Illinois. AT a meeting with local superintendents last week, I told them story of how my wife (a teacher) and I tired to understand her benefits when she started teaching (before I was a financial professional) and how it was a challenge. My goal now is to provide this education to as many teachers as I can to help them make sense of their benefits. From that meeting and my education-focused approach, I am now being invited into six school districts next year. My marketing program isn’t even 1-year old.

    Thank you for your words, your Personal Life Plan book, and all the material you provide. Given how good your content is, I bought your book yesterday and look forward to incorporating it’s message into my future business plans. Keep doing what you do – you’re great at it!

    Dave Grant, CFP(R)
    http://www.vantagefinancial.com

  • Tracy Hoots Hoexter

    Cracking up at your point that the only people that seem to be teeming with confidence are not that good! So true…. 

    • ms diana

       Dearest,

      How are you doing? guess all is well. I have gone through your profile and I was duly convinced about your entire responsibility, peace,loving kindness and good citizenship of your nation i decided to write you.

      I am single girl of 16 years of age, I am nurse by qualification.I lost my parent by rebels attacks when i was in school on my way back i saw dead bodies then i collected my belongings and leave my country. Iam the only survival daughter of my late parents. I wish i can be with you as your daughter. I promised to show you my good conduct and
      take care of you if you accept me to come and stay with you for my education. Please this is reality of my life.

      My parent willed the sum of $8.5usd (Eight Million five hundred United States Dollars) for me when he was still alive and i have gone to the Bank here to withdraw the fund while the Bank director said he can’t release the fund to me  that am too small to handle the fund.

      I am asking you if you can take me as your adopted Daughter then i will give you the Bank Directors contact you shall go for the fund as my adopted parent. I have my late fathers copy of will with me as a prove of my inheritance. I want to be with you and further my education in your country.I wait till when I hear back.

      May Almighty God bless you and I.

      I attach my picture for you for your kind perusal. Please reply to this my private email below

      Yours Lovely One,

      Ms.Diana.
      Nurse Student
      info.diana87@yahoo.com

  • Lorna Faith

    Look forward to reading your book Michael :-)

  • http://www.robsorbo.com/p/welcome-from-disqus.html Rob Sorbo

    How do you handle off months?

    I’ve been tracking my stats, and it’s looking like May will be my worst month since I relaunched my blog a few months ago. As far as I can tell I haven’t changed anything.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I try to learn from them and keep pressing forward. I definitely do not let them stop me or slow me down. One month will not make or break you.

  • http://twitter.com/JRandorff James Randorff

    Michael,

         Ordered Platform and have been listening to the audiobook version.  So far, the first part (about 20-25 minutes into it) is a great refresher on what I have already learned through your blog and podcast.

         All the freebies are greatly appreciated!  I was wondering if there is a way to download the videos in .m4v format, rather than streaming them from the website.  I’d like to watch them on the go, but I don’t want to be eating up all of my cell phone data plan in the process.  Thanks for any help with this.

    Best Regards,
    ~~James Randorff

    P.S.  One of my favorite quotes thus far: “The difference between your expectations and your experience is the ‘wow factor’.”  Simple and brilliant! :)

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Unfortunately, not at this time. We are looking at possibly doing that in the future.

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  • http://www.alexchediak.com/ Alex Chediak

    You’ve probably had this question before, but here goes: How do we go about building a platform in a Christian manner? 
    On the surface, it can seem like an exercise in self-promotion – that’s not an accusation, it’s something I
    feel that in my own heart sometimes when I’m trying to do it. 

    A related question: How is it not a pyramid scheme? After all, if
    everyone had a huge platform, there would be no readers/customers, since
    time is a finite resource.   

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      You have to make it about the message or the value you are giving to the world, rather than making it about you.
      With regard to your second question, that would make sense if everyone were selling the same thing. But even the people with huge platforms are buying and consuming other people’s products and services.
      Thanks.

      • http://www.alexchediak.com/ Alex Chediak

         Thank you. Makes sense. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/jono.landon Jono Landon

    Just heard you on the Entreleadership podcast.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/jono.landon Jono Landon

    And went right to Amazon and bought your book. 

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  • http://twitter.com/JobCoachHQ Douglas Andrews

    I am refocusing my niche, job search, to job search for college graduates.  I think this will laser focus my audience.  What do you think?  From there I can build a larger platform.  

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, I think the narrower the focus the better.

      • Harmonylgf3

        I appreciate your expertise, vision, and sharing all of your many talents. I just Graduated from Christian Life Coaching and Counseling and am just in  the beginning stages of launching a Practice to help the hurting and those in need of Recovery. Any recommendations or certain strategy I should use from the gate, to ensure a well oiled working machine for the Lord? I am ordering your books now. 
        Thank you so much
        God bless n prayers

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  • http://themarginalwriter.com

    Michael: just wanted to reach out and thank you for “Platform.” It has radically changed my thinking about how to reach out to others and to build a platform. I just completed a “dream list,” and blogged about it. I am putting in print my goals and I see the possibilities even more clearly. Thank you!

    Jon Becker

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Jon. I am glad you are enjoying it!

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  • Jeffrey Paul

    Great solid foundational direction based on experience . Your transparent approach is not only refreshing but connects the listener at every level to believe if God had given them a vision they can achieve it. Great pod cast and thank you for the rich contribution to all who listen’ s success with realistic expectations. Jeffrey Paul

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  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/sholaabidoye/ Shola Abidoye

    Very insightful and engaging content. Thanks for adding such value to the internet community!

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