3 Benefits of Building Your Own Platform

Successful creatives—authors, speakers, musicians, and even comedians—must possess two strategic assets: a compelling product and a meaningful platform. While the former is essential, it is not enough. Without a meaningful platform, you simply can’t get the attention your product, your brand, or your cause needs to succeed.

Microphone On a Stage with Lights - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/Nikada, Image #7683095

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/Nikada

Think of it like this: If content is king, platform is queen. You can not build a personal media empire without the help of both monarchs.

What is a platform?

A platform is the means by which you connect with your existing and potential fans.

It might include a blog, your Twitter and Facebook accounts, an online video show, or podcast. It may also include your personal appearances as a public speaker, musician, or entertainer. It might even include traditional media like a newspaper column, magazine articles, or radio show. It most likely will include a combination of all these items.

I am writing a book on this topic right now, based on what I have learned in working in the book publishing industry over the last thirty years. (I was also an artist manager for about three years.) In addition, I am also drawing on my personal experience in building my own platform. I am really excited to share what I have learned.

I can tell you this: Building a platform is no longer about:

  • Being picked by a gatekeeper;
  • Investing thousands of dollars in consultants; or
  • Understanding complex and confusing technology

This may have been the ticket five years ago. But not today. Social media technologies have changed everything. Now, for the first time in history, non-celebrities can get noticed—and win big—in an increasingly noisy world.

You can, too.

But before you begin building or expanding your existing platform, it is worth revisiting the benefits of doing so. I believe there are at least three:

  1. A platform provides visibility. The word platform itself is a metaphor. It brings to mind a “stage,” where the speaker or entertainer is elevated above the crowd. It makes it possible for everyone in the audience to see you. This is especially important in a world where more and more people and organizations are screaming for our attention.
  2. A platform provides amplification. It enables you to be heard above the noise in the crowd. Even before modern sound systems, preachers and politicians would stand on platforms in order to be heard. Modern sound systems leverage natural acoustics and make it possible to speak before tens of thousands of people. Today, modern media—especially social media—provide an opportunity for you to extend your reach like never before.
  3. A platform provides connection. Traditional media platforms make possible a kind of unilateral intimacy. You “know” the talk show host, the performing artist, or the conference speaker. But social media has taken this to a whole new level. It makes possible bilateral intimacy—engagement. The result is that you can be more connected to your fans, customers, and supporters than ever before.

Building a platform is easier than ever but still requires hard work. Before you begin, you must be convinced of the benefits.

By the way, I have set up a special Facebook page for people who are interested in learning how to build a platform. It is called My Own Platform, emphasizing that if it’s going to happen, you must take responsibility for it.

Question: What other benefits do you see to building your own platform? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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  • thea atkinson

    this is a great definition and explanation of platform. I’m looking forward to further posts

  • http://chriscornwell.org Chris Cornwell

    I feel like building a platform is necessary for someone like myself. I’m not going to get the chance to have Thomas Nelson, Lifeway, Crossway, or NavPress consider publishing me. I am taking advantage of being able to publish myself and it gives me the opportunity to connect with people so that I might be taken seriously and people consider reading my work. 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Even if you were interested in being published by one of the publishers you mentioned, you still need a platform. Thanks.

      • http://chriscornwell.org Chris Cornwell

        Very true. I didn’t intend to discount that side of it. You even posted
        about this a couple of weeks ago I think.

        • http://byrdmouse.wordpress.com Jonathan

          Chris, like you, I do not believe I have a good shot at Thomas Nelson, Lifeway, or others to consider publishing me. However, I am building a platform to change that and make it so that they do.

          • http://chriscornwell.org Chris Cornwell

            Nice! Good for you Jonathon! That’s a great attitude to have!

          • http://byrdmouse.wordpress.com Jonathan

            Having not received the pre-requiste 100 rejection letters yet, it’s easy to have a great attitude. Somewhere around 89 or 90 I expect it to go down to a merely good attitude.

          • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

            Love it!

          • http://profiles.google.com/sequoiajoy Connie Brown

            I love your great attitude and sense of humor. I hope you always keep a great attitude and don’t let rejection downgrade it.

          • http://byrdmouse.wordpress.com Jonathan

            I’ve been told no before, I’ll be told no again, but if I never ask the answer will never be yes.

          • Jmhardy97

            Yes very good.

            JIm

          • Anonymous

            When I hear No or No we cannot do that… I get energized and motivated. I take their criticism and refine my strategy, plan and or product. It is all about our attitude isn’t it?

          • http://chriscornwell.org Chris Cornwell

            Ha! Nice!

          • http://twitter.com/CoachTheresaIF Theresa Ip Froehlich

            Jonathan, I’m learning from your “fighter” attitude. One writer I met at Christian Writers Guild makes a point of putting her rejection letters in a scrapbook! :) I suppose we can look at these rejection letters as scars or medals of honor!

          • http://byrdmouse.wordpress.com Jonathan

            That is a great idea. My previous rejections have been via email, but I can print them out and get started.

          • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

            Andy Andrews, who has had (I think) three New York Times bestsellers, has two prominent rejection letters framed on his wall: one from William Morris and one from Thomas Nelson. They are inspiring to behold!

          • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

            I saw this funny thing one time about rejection:

            Have you ever had a resume rejected? Don’t ever let it happen again. The next time that nasty old rejection letter comes your way, respond with your own: Dear [Interviewer’s Name]: Thank you for your letter of [Date]. After careful consideration I regret to inform you that I am unable to accept your refusal to offer me employment with your firm. This year I have been particularly fortunate in receiving an unusually large number of rejection letters. With such a varied and promising field of candidates it is impossible for me to accept all refusals. Despite [company name]’s outstanding qualifications and previous experience in rejecting applicants, I find that your rejection does not meet with my needs at this time. Therefore, I will initiate employment with your firm beginning on [Date]. I look forward to seeing you then. Best of luck in rejecting future candidates. Sincerely, [Your Name]

          • Jmhardy97

            Thank you Brandon. Unique perspective.

            JIm

          • http://www.lookingtowardshome.com Looking Towards Home

            This made me smile! I could have used this a while ago when I was looking for a job – I was getting rejected sometimes even after only 5 minutes of sending the email. Funny :-)

          • Jmhardy97

            I have been told that many famous writers have been turned down in the begining, but with hard work, they get published in the end.

            Jim

          • http://www.warriorshepherd.com/blog Dave Hearn

            Why not shoot for Random House or Harper Collins?  ;^)

            http://michaelhyatt.com/the-top-ten-publishers-in-america.html

          • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

            I agree!

          • http://byrdmouse.wordpress.com Jonathan

            One of my favorite and most influential authors was a Random House guy, but realistically since my writing in literary fiction is heavy on the Christian themes and stories. It is really more in line with Thomas Nelson, Zondervan or West Bow. One of the earliest “lessons” I learned was know to whom you submit. I believe I have much tougher odds getting Random House or Harper Collins.

            Not to say I won’t try mind you.

          • http://courseadjustments.wordpress.com B_schebs

            Your positive attitude is a gift. Thank you

          • Joe Lalonde

            Great attitude to have Jonathan. And it’s great to see you know who you’re trying to target.

          • http://byrdmouse.wordpress.com Jonathan

            It seems to be the first thing I picked up reading blogs and newsletters from agents, publishers and authors. So I guess it just shows I was paying attention.

          • Joe Lalonde

            Always a good thing to pay attention. Helps you pick up on things like that and see the changes that could be coming.

            Learning who or what to target is also a transferable skill. It works great in looking for new employment, finding your spouse, where to live, etc… The more specific your target, the better your chance of obtaining it.

          • Jmhardy97

            Yes it does pay off.

            JIm

          • http://twitter.com/CoachTheresaIF Theresa Ip Froehlich

            Michael, please correct me if I am wrong. I seem to recall hearing somewhere that Random House has acquired a Christian publishing arm??? And so have several other non-Christian publishing houses several years ago?

          • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

            Random House has owned Doubleday Religious for probably three decades. However, they did acquire Waterbrook / Multnomah a few years ago.

          • Jmhardy97
          • http://LookingForPurpose.com Dylan Dodson

            What a story!

          • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com @kylereed

            I think the great thing about that is honestly you do not need them.
            If you build your own platform you can do your own thing.
            And honestly if I am understanding it correctly they will not even consider you if you do not have a platform already.
            It was like Godin said, if you give it away and people start to send it to friends people will start to notice.

          • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

            That’s not quite true. Publishers may still consider you. It’s just that you have a vastly better chance with a platform.

          • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com @kylereed

            thats true. I probablu shouldn’t have been so literal with that statement.
            It just seems that in a market that is over saturated with authors it is much harder to stand out without a platform.

            It goes back to what godin had to say about scarcity. 

          • http://www.bretmavrich.com Bret Mavrich

            The other thing I’m thinking, Mike, is that we can’t get too down on “the gatekeepers.” After all, these giant publishers did what we’re all jazzed about doing: they built their platform by publishing consistently good material. In some ways, I think building my own platform is sort of a practice arena for honing my voice and material. 

            What’s worse, 1 rejection letter from Thomas Nelson, or 1 hit on my blog. They both probably mean the same thing: I have work to do as a writer.

          • Jmhardy97

            Seth is doing a great job pushing people in creative ways.

            Jim

          • Joe Lalonde

            Keep up the good work Jonathan. You may one day get a good shot at one of those companies.

          • http://www.bretmavrich.com Bret Mavrich

            I just read a great ebook on platform building by @SarahMaeWrites. I liked it so much, I’m giving away a few copies. You should check it out.
            http://wp.me/p1EcMh-9L

      • Jmhardy97

        Good point I did not think of it that way.

        Jim

      • http://www.bretmavrich.com Bret Mavrich

        Mike, is it possible that a major publisher would pick up publishing rights to a successful, self-published eBook? Meaning, if an author could demonstrate successful Kindle sales from their ebook, could it become a crossover success?

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          Yes, absolutely. It happens all the time.

          • http://www.bretmavrich.com Bret Mavrich

            I’m glad to hear it! Can you think of a book off hand that I might have heard of that would make me go, “Omigosh! That started as an eBook?!”

          • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

            Sorry, I misread your comment. I don’t know of a book that started as an e-book, but I am confident you could find something with a little help from Google. I was thinking about books that started as self-published books and were then picked up my traditional publishers. Again, Google should be able to locate a few examples.

          • http://www.bretmavrich.com Bret Mavrich

            Got it. I’ll see what I can find. Thanks!

    • Jmhardy97

      Great point. This is encouraging.

      Jim

    • http://www.bretmavrich.com Bret Mavrich

      Hey Chris, it sounds like you and I are in the same boat. I mentioned to Jonathan a little lower in the thread that a (new) friend of mine just wrote an ebook about building platforms. It really helped me out by giving me actionable items that I can start applying tomorrow to my blogging strategy.  I’m giving away a few copies at my site as a result. I hope it helps you as much as it helped me.

      http://wp.me/p1EcMh-9L

      Maybe this time 6 months from now we’ll be reviewing one another’s ebooks. 

      • http://chriscornwell.org Chris Cornwell

        I’ve done the same thing. I have been blessed that I have developed some online relationships with a couple of guys through their blogs and they are giving me action items as well. Going to check out your blog now!

    • http://www.bretmavrich.com Bret Mavrich

      Hey Chris, just wanted to chime in. I recently read/reviewed a great eBook all about ePublishing from building a platform, to designing an editor and more. I liked it so much I’m giving away a few copies. Want one?

      http://wp.me/P1EcMh-aC

  • http://www.myoneresolution.com/ Don McAllister

    Great post! I’m encouraged by the fact that even non-celebrities can win big with social media. Thanks for reminding me of the benefits. 

    • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

      So true!

    • Joe Lalonde

      That’s true Don. The little guy can knock it out of the park if he does what is needed. The ease of access to so many followers has opened up the doors!

    • Jmhardy97

      Yes, that is correct.

      JIm

  • http://davidsantistevan.com David Santistevan

    This is so important. I talk to a lot of people who don’t take responsibility for their own platform. It’s like they expect God to grant them one (without hard work) or someone else to pick them, like you mentioned. I would rather work hard on what I can, trust God, and if someone picks me, great. That won’t stop me doing the work to build my platform. Excited for your book, Mike.

    • http://www.touchtheskye.org Chris MacKinnon

      This is the part I’m still learning and can be daunted by at times, the hard work. But I’m learning that the effort I am willing to put it into it is an investment that will have a return.

      • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

        Amen! Keep investing in what you love and want to do.–Tom

      • Joe Lalonde

        Exactly Chris. It’s just like anything else. If you’re not willing to work at it, it’s most likely not going to happen.

      • Jmhardy97

        Hard work will pay off. It take a very determined person to keep going.

        Jim

    • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com @kylereed

      Well and I think in some ways when people expect a platform I have to wonder about their motives

      • http://davidsantistevan.com David Santistevan

        Good point, Kyle. Truth.

    • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

      I’ve been on of those who simply expected God to part the publishing sea and I’d walk calmly and coolly across dry mounds of money. Glad He didn’t. Because I’ve learned I need to mature, season, and work. In the process, I’ve learned some new skills and am enjoying some of the unexpected lessons (not all, but most) along the way.

      I haven’t stopped dreaming. The dreams just don’t involve a lottery mentality and large amounts of cash. They tend to involve what you mentioned, David–God’s faithfulness and my work, in that order.–Tom

      • Jmhardy97

        We forget that sometimes unanswered prayers are exactly what we need inorder to achieve God’s plan for us.

        Jim

    • Joe Lalonde

      Great attitude there David! I was talking to a friend recently and encouraged her to broaden her platform. For her, it wasn’t that she didn’t want to take responsibility for her platform. It was that she didn’t know she needed one. Now she’s going gung-ho and blogging almost daily.

      • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

        Great story!

        • Joe Lalonde

          Thanks Brandon. I’m hoping this will take off for her. She has a heart for God and a lot of experience to share. If you’d like to check out her site, it is located at http://brendafriendofjesus.wordpress.com

          • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

            Very cool! I will definitely check out that site! Thanks.

            _____

          • Joe Lalonde

            I’m sure she’ll appreciate it Brandon!

      • Jmhardy97

        Positive attitude is the key to getting where we need to go in life.

        Jim

        • Joe Lalonde

          I’m learning that. It can be hard with all the negative things that get thrown at you. It’s one positive day at a time for me.

          • http://LookingForPurpose.com Dylan Dodson

            One day at a time is all it takes!

  • Sherri

    I am in the early stages of blogging and developing a platform so I’m reading everything I can find about it, and have been directed to some great blogs that provide more information than I can absorb! I watched your interview with Seth Godin and was reminded of something I’ve seen on authors’ websites. There is almost always a link to read an excerpt – usually the first chapter – and I take advantage of that. I’ve also seen a few authors who will do that with  an entire book. They usually publish one chapter at a time – once a week or once a month – and it serves as a teaser to bring readers back. I was thinking that this might be a way to build a following. I have a completed novel and am trying to find an agent right now. What do you think about this as a strategy for building a following, and is this the same as building a platform. Thank you!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I am not a novelist, but I think it is a great story. I would probably not give the whole thing away, unless, like Seth, I did it for a limited time. Then I would probably move to: “Read the first three chapters free!”

      • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

        There you go!

    • Joe Lalonde

      Sherri, good luck with getting things going. Keep working at it and it will pay off. Like Michael said, it’s probably not a wise idea to give the whole book away except as a limited time promotion. Giving it away for free or to a limited group can give you much needed reviews, rankings, etc.

      • Sherri

        Thank you Joe and Michael for the advice and encouragement. 

        • Joe Lalonde

          You’re welcome Sherri. I hope it helps and improves your audience!

    • Jmhardy97

      Keep up the hard work Sherri, It will pay off for you. Look at this and the work of other to help you design a platform.

      Jim

  • kat magendie

    As an ‘aside’ or ‘off-shoot’ of building platform, I have met some wonderful people — writing, as has been said many times before! — is a lonesome business, and I can be rather ‘reclusive,’ however, while out there in social networking land, I have broadened my life, my world view – I ‘ve met and spoken to readers and other writers. It’s a nice side affect/effect!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      This is a great side effect. Writing is a lonely business. I appreciate the opportunity to connect, too.

      • Tomtom

        Three cheers and a hearty amen to this unexpected bonus to the hard work of building a platform!

    • Jmhardy97

      I agree, some of the best lessons come from the random feed back of others and just throwning questions out with the help of others.

      Jim

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=833645316 Cj Ortiz

    Building a platform is THE most important objective of any free agent in these times.

    Brand differentiation is critical when using social media. Closely tied to this is being “idea driven.” Skill and proficiency are crucial, but without a “big idea” driving you into the digital marketplace, as well as providing your audience a reason to share, your success will be minimum. It’s like being a champion surfer trying to catch a wave on a fresh water lake. If you go anywhere, it’s only because you paddle very hard! It’s far better to ride a wave, viz. ride an idea.
    I created my platform for a personal development enterprise by combining two elements: motivation and heavy metal. I created “Metal Motivation: Daily Screams for Living Aggressively.” Without any previous professional status from which to build, I was able to build the Facebook fan page to 10,875 in a year and a half along with a healthy following on YouTube (1,095). Yes, I had to be proficient, but it’s the idea itself that did the real work.

    I’m writing my first book now, which will be self-published. No vanity presses will be used. I’ve worked in publishing for several years; written hundreds of articles and blog posts, and I’ve been designing book covers for 18+ years. My growing network, and platform is in place, so distribution we’ll be much easier than if I had started with a book and then build the platform.

    https://www.facebook.com/metalmotivation
    http://www.youtube.com/user/MetalMotivation
    http://metalmotivation.com/

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Good for you. Great, real-live example.

    • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

      Grewat stuff…thanks for sharing! By the way, is metalmotivation.com a tie in with metal/screamo music?

      Underoath might want to check you out! :)

      • Jmhardy97

        Thank you for sharing Brandon.

        Jim

    • http://beckfarfromhome.blogspot.com/ Beck Gambill

      Great practical advice. So, what you’re saying is, it’s hard work!

    • Jmhardy97

      Great post. There is some good information here.

      Jim

  • http://LookingForPurpose.com Dylan Dodson

    A platform also makes someone seem human and normal. See authenticity is highly valued these days,  platforms give an author/speaker/whoever the ability to be seen as “normal.”

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Excellent point.

    • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

      I think that is a crucial element!

    • http://profiles.google.com/sequoiajoy Connie Brown

      Where does that leave those who aren’t “normal” ?   ; )   

      • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

        Gathering a large following. ;-D

        • Joe Lalonde

          I was thinking the same thing when I read Connie’s comment.

      • Joe Lalonde

        I think it leaves you better off. It can help you stand out in a world of “normal”.

        • http://profiles.google.com/sequoiajoy Connie Brown

          Ha ha. If only that were true. Still, I love you for saying it.

          • Joe Lalonde

            I think it is true though. A lot of those with large followings are not normal.

            Here’s a few that spring to mind –

            Seth Godin
            Chris Guillebeau
            Daniel SeddiquiDan Miller

          • http://profiles.google.com/sequoiajoy Connie Brown

            Actually,  I agree with you. Interesting not-normal types, especially if they’re bright and charismatic, can get attention. If they have helpful and entertaining messages, like the people you list, they may keep attention. 

            I really didn’t think being too close to normal was an advantage — it may make it tougher to be distinctive.

          • Jmhardy97

            Very good Connie. You are correct.

            Jim

          • http://LookingForPurpose.com Dylan Dodson

            I understand what you are saying. But “normal” in the sense that they are regular human beings like the rest of us is what I meant. Normal in the sense that they have families and friends, eat at the same restaurants as the rest of us, etc.

            Unique in the particular field though, is a good thing.

          • http://profiles.google.com/sequoiajoy Connie Brown

            Good point. Understood.

          • http://LookingForPurpose.com Dylan Dodson

            These are creative people in their field and ideas, but they are still “normal” people. They still have lives like the rest of us, we respect them because the aren’t extravagant and outwardly prideful, etc. 

            So in that regard, they are still “normal.”

          • Jmhardy97

            Very good.

            Jim

    • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com @kylereed

      that is a great thought

    • Jmhardy97

      Dylan you are correct. People want orginal and creative material.

      JIm

  • Patricia W Hunter

    Thank you, Michael.  This is helpful and encouraging.

    Building your own platform – especially online – also provides an opportunity to test and tweak your ideas before investing time and energy in the wrong direction.  

    • http://LookingForPurpose.com Dylan Dodson

      Very true. Especially using a blog to feel out how receptive a possible book idea might be.

      • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

        Agree. Donald Miller seems to do that with his blog. I know John Maxwell did that with his ideas that eventually became the book “Everyone Communicates Few Connect.” Maxwell says that early in the book and offers pages and pages of names who helped sharpen his thoughts and concepts.

        • Jmhardy97

          Yes, it was a creative way to build a book. I think you will see others find creative ways to do the same. Seth is doing some of those things today.

          Jim

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      This is a great benefit. It is almost like performing as a band or comedian before live audiences before you make the album.

    • http://courseadjustments.wordpress.com B_schebs

      I am doing this with my blog currently.  I have tons of ways I want to go, but I am just writing for now about whatever comes and see where the readers want me to go.  Finding the specific niche blogosphere is difficult with so much out there, but by listening to my readers and where my passion lies (still Drilling this down) I should find my spot. 

      • Patricia W Hunter

        It really is a combination of personal passion combined with reader interest, isn’t it?  

        • http://courseadjustments.wordpress.com B_schebs

          I agree. Sometimes, as I am finding out, finding your true passion is more difficult than it sounds.

    • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com @kylereed

      I like that as well. Great thought.

      I wonder by the testing though if you mess a bit with your platform? 

      • Patricia W Hunter

        Hi Kyle. Thanks for your comment. I’m not sure I know what you mean, though.  Let’s say I have a passion for family caregiving of the elderly (which I do), and I want to write a book encouraging other families to consider this option (which is also the case), but my social media efforts to promote that platform (though I could most likely secure local speaking opportunities) don’t seem to have an audience (which appears to be the case), then I probably do need to “mess a bit” with my platform, drop the idea, or retool it altogether. 

        • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com @kylereed

          ya i see what you are saying now.

          I thought you were talking about having an established platform and then testing ideas on them to see what they said and see what works and then launch your stuff. Sometimes I just wonder if we are taking out a lot of “deposits” from our community and after a while not getting the full response we are looking for. 

  • http://byrdmouse.wordpress.com Jonathan

    I’m building my platform so that when I go to an agent or publisher I can show that I have one, so that I’ll have a place to start marketing my work, but mostly I am building a platform so that I can have my writing read.

    A post of yours last week has me building a better platform before I’ve finished the first one. I am working on my new website, even though I have no idea what I’m doing, so I can add some of the features you talk about. I am moving from easy interface and free, to paid for difficult, to add features I don’t really know what they do other than allow me to better see my audience so that I can learn what they want.

    Ultimately the platform I want is so that I can share what God has given me, blessings and talents, to reach the unreached but mostly to reach the reached.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Good for you for launching. You will learn as you go, just as I did.

      • http://byrdmouse.wordpress.com Jonathan

        I am glad I found you and your information, otherwise I would not a) have started building a platform at all b) still think blogging was for egotistical people who think the world revolves around their every word and c) not realize that when I did start there were particular statistics to measure. Knowing I need to do a and what some of c is puts me ahead of the game.

        When I get this part up and running I’ll announce when my novel in progress will be done much as you have done to put your own feet to the fire with a deadline. I’ve always been a fan of Douglas Adams and like him, I love deadlines, especially the whooshing sound they make as they fly by, so I’ve never been excited about being able to set a deadline. Now, that’s what I really want to do–set a deadline and meet it.

    • http://courseadjustments.wordpress.com B_schebs

      @Byrdmouse:disqus I am in the same boat.  I am getting ready to start on my self-hosted as well. Good Luck.  BTW I got your message, but have had sporadic internet access over the holiday weekend.  I will get back to you soon.

      • http://byrdmouse.wordpress.com Jonathan

        I went ahead and dove deep. I have a domain and webhosting set up. I installed WordPress, but am struggling to figure out how to upload the theme and clueless on how to transfer my WordPress hosted site. My hope was to have it up Thursday or Friday, realistically I’m thinking it could be next week and I may try a full-scale test run before closing out the existing one.

        • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

          Tentblogger.com has some great articles about migrating to a self-hosted WP setup.  They may be of some help…

          • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

            I agree. TentBlogger.com is great. Also, WPBeginner.com will do it for you—for free.

          • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

            WPBeginner is a new one for me.  Have to check it out.  Thanks!

          • http://courseadjustments.wordpress.com B_schebs

            Thanks for the great resouces.  You are an Amazing fountian for knowledge.

          • http://byrdmouse.wordpress.com Jonathan

            Thanks, I think they just told me my newly installed wordpress is outdated because 3.2 is out. I’ll look there for more help.

          • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

            No problem!  I don’t know about WPBeginner yet, but I know Tentblogger has a lot of incredible stuff all over the WP and blogging spectrum.  I find it extremely handy! 

        • http://courseadjustments.wordpress.com B_schebs

          Let me know how it works for you.  And if you need help, or extra eyes, Let me know.

          • http://byrdmouse.wordpress.com Jonathan

            I certainly will.

        • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

          You will love WP! What is your URL?

          • http://byrdmouse.wordpress.com Jonathan
          • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

            Very nice! Have you switched to the .com URL yet?

            _____

          • http://byrdmouse.wordpress.com Jonathan

            Not yet. I took advantage of a 4th of July special and bought the webhosting yesterday then spent the rest of the night (missing the start of the fireworks) trying to figure out how to do the switching. I hope to complete it in the next week or so, probably be Friday or Saturday at the earliest.

          • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

            Awesome! I look forward to seeing it come together!

            _____

          • Jmhardy97

            Ok Thank you

            Jim

          • Jmhardy97

            Very good.

            Jim

        • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com @kylereed

          If you are looking for some help with that as well jonathan I would suggest checking out firebug. It is an amazing little tool that helps a ton with code and design…and its free. 

          • Jmhardy97

            Thank you, I had not heard of firebug. I will check it out.

            Jim

    • Jmhardy97

      I like your approach. Everyone’s platform should be unique. Put your personal twist on it. People love creativity.

      Jim

  • http://www.warriorshepherd.com/blog Dave Hearn

    Good topic Michael.  I am looking forward to the book, and looking forward to some of the “How-to’s” … 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      It is going to be VERY how-to. I have 120+ different practical tips I am planning to offer.

      • Cindy Hirch

        I love VERY how-to books and materials! Practical application is a big plus in my book!

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          Agreed. I think this is the missing ingredient. People need to know how to get it done.

          • http://www.philippknoll.com Philipp Knoll

            May I suggest you write a post on how you mean to market your new book even before it is published. Tim Ferris and Gary Vaynerchuk were great examples of what can be done. It would be amazing to read your thoughts and plans.

            Let me know how to pre-order – I’m in!

          • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

            Great suggestion. I will consider this; however, I am a few months away.

          • http://www.philippknoll.com Philipp Knoll

            I’ll be looking forward to this article! Thanks.

          • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

            Same here!

          • Jmhardy97

            same here

            jim

        • Jmhardy97

          I do also. It is great when people share best practices.

          Jim

      • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

        After spending the weekend with frustrating “Gotchas” on my platform project, I can tell you that being detailed and thorough with the “how to” process will make your book invaluable!

      • http://www.warriorshepherd.com/blog Dave Hearn

        Great!

      • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

        Looking forward to it!

      • Jmhardy97

        I can’t wait to read it.

        Jim

  • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

    Timely post, Michael. I’m on vacation this week, working on my platform. Your message is spot on. Building a platform is hard. You have to have the latest knowledge of blogging and social media combined with the ability to tie everything together. Your book is a guaranteed best seller. This can be extremely complicated.

    I am currently designing a Like page for my WordPress blog on Facebook tied to a newsletter subscription. Sounds easy, doesn’t it. It’s when you realize how many pieces there are, that the task becomes daunting. I found three tools really helped me over the past few days, make it all work.

    1. A Goal Sheet: I took one of my daily goal sheets and wrote down the top six things I wanted to accomplish for the day at the top. I then put together a to-do list at the bottom of the sheet with the main steps it would take to get the project done. This helped me focus.

    2. A Checklist: For each main step, I put together a daily goal sheetschecklist of the things that would need to be accomplished to make it all work. Using a pencil, I put them down in order. Some erasing was necessary. I then went down the list and checked them off one by one. Writing things down helped me think through the process. Checking them off gave me a sense of completion.

    3. Learning From Others: Your blog posts and the posts of other designers, really helped me see what needed to be done. Facebook and other social media changes all the time. I needed the LATEST data to make things work. In my case, Facebook just changed the way their pages work. You now need your own hosting and a SSL certificate to create a custom landing page. This was a HUGE gotcha that I couldn’t easily overcome. Which brings me to my conclusion…

    To make this all work takes knowledge, organization, and a good checklist. It also takes money. I found that I needed to use a couple of professional solutions to make it all work. In my case, using the services of TabSite and the newsletter engine of A-Weber, helped me create multiple Facebook tabs that look good and work well for subscribers. I couldn’t make it work without them. 

    I know there are thousands of people just like myself that will devour your book when it comes out. In the meantime, they need to subscribe to your blog for helpful articles like this. I hope to launch my page later in the week. A BIG Thanks for all of your written guidance here!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, John. I always love how you expand on what I write, provide real-world examples, and basically take it to the next level! I’m grateful!

      • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

        Thanks, Mike. I’m a tech by trade, so when I get frustrated, I can only imagine what it must be like for the average author or small business person trying to build their platform. I really think the key is to have patience and do it one step at a time. It sounds like your book will take this daunting task and make it so mere mortals can accomplish it!

        • http://byrdmouse.wordpress.com Jonathan

          Each time I consider spending $25 on an 84 page e-book I stop remembering that you tell us it will save us weeks of figuring out Evernote. I have time, but I have a hard time shelling out that much money for something that small. I don’t buy many 300 page hard copy books for over 20 bucks. However, I am anxiously awaiting your book (even though it could be a year away based on your writing schedule?) and will not hesitate or think twice if the costs are similar.

          • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

            Thanks, Jonathan. With information, I don’t see it as buying page-count, but buying a solution. The faster I can get to the solution (i.e., the shorter the book), the better. That means I don’t have to invest as much time, which is more valuable to me than money.

          • http://courseadjustments.wordpress.com B_schebs

            I never thought of looking at it that way.  Thanks

          • http://byrdmouse.wordpress.com Jonathan

            I am the opposite, I have a wife and three kids ranging from 7 months to 14 years. My job allows me more time to figure things out (until I have to get a second one to fund the 14 year old’s next extra-curricular activity). In your description of the book, saying it is worth it to save time, tells me that if I take the time I can find it out. Ultimately I hope to buy it anyway. I learned a long time ago that just because you can do something one way doesn’t mean it’s the best way. Just watching someone do the same thing can help you both do it more efficiently.

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          That’s my hope, John.

    • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

      You always post great comments!

    • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

      Sounds like steps 1 and 2 could be carried by Nozbe…

      Love your comments, John.  They could all almost be posts on their own!

    • http://profiles.google.com/sequoiajoy Connie Brown

      This is helpful information. Thanks for sharing. 

  • http://wkevingilbert.me/ Kevin Gilbert

    Michael, as is often the case, you’ve articulated so well the ideas and thoughts that have been swirling in my head. Understanding this concept of “platform” is increasingly important, essential even, for anyone with a desire to connect and engage with an audience in a meaningful way. Whether you want to be a thought leader, whether you’re an artist, whether you’re a politician, whether you’re a student, getting a grasp on the importance, and the “how-to” of establishing a platform in order to better connect and engage is critical to having the opportunity to affect meaningful change. I look forward to more articles and discussion from you on the topic. Thanks.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Kevin. I’m getting lots of additional ideas from the comments.

  • http://twitter.com/MusicPowerStrat MusicPoweredStrategy

    Michael,

    From  your  experience what would you suggest are the keys for staying focused with your platform or brand?  With all of the options, tools, etc. for spreading a message it can sometimes start to drag you in the wrong direction with your time, communications, responses.

    Thanks,
    Greg

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I think you need an overall “social media framework” like I describe here.

      • http://www.touchtheskye.org Chris MacKinnon

        I was reading these comments and thinking about this same question. Great post on the framework, thanks.

  • Cindy Hirch

    It’s amazing to me just how important this concept is to one’s success. Initially, just by doing some simple things “intentionally” it makes a tremendous impact. People notice you and you never even realized they were watching. The wheels begin to turn and you start to gain momentum.

  • http://www.touchtheskye.org Chris MacKinnon

    It’s good to identify the benefits beyond being able to sell yourself or your product. There is a danger of looking at platforms as a means of achieving the next step – signing a contract, publishing a book, obtaining a position – instead of seeing the value of the platform itself. I personally find it difficult to generate traffic and expose the platform to my audience. Maybe you’ll touch on that later. I look forward to the book, and have just hooked up with the page of Facebook. 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      You bring up a key point. I think you have to see a platform as something that transcends a specific product. If you do it right, it will be something that serves you for years.

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

        I agree. Your platform is the sum of you and what you do to connect with your audience. If you build it, you are also building you.

    • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

      I agree with you!

    • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

      I have enough trouble getting the audience…

      • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

        Same here! haha

  • http://beckfarfromhome.blogspot.com/ Beck Gambill

    It is a noisy world, to have a voice that rises to the surface of the chatter is worth working for. I agree it is HARD work. I think that’s what I struggle with the most. How do I write content that is valuable and high quality, be an attentive mother, give my husband the care he needs AND do the work of building a platform? The million dollar question, I know! Thanks once again for your words of guidance!

    • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com @kylereed

      why don’t you figure all that out for us and then let us in on your secrets :)

      • http://beckfarfromhome.blogspot.com/ Beck Gambill

        Not a bad idea. I’ll figure the balancing act out and turn into a book, I’m sure that would sell!

  • http://brevis.me Robert Ewoldt

    A platform can even lead to the other strategic asset (a compelling product).  A platform, if you develop it first, can help one to hone your message, to make it more compelling.  Many people think about making their “product” first, and then creating their platform.  I think it can be done equally as well, and perhaps better, the other way around.

    • http://courseadjustments.wordpress.com B_schebs

      I agree with you.  I am doing something similar.  Using my small, but growing platform to help me narrow down my subject matter.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, they go together. I think it is best done simultaneously. That is certainly what I have done.

    • http://LookingForPurpose.com Dylan Dodson

      I agree, and I think many realize this after they have come out with the “product” first!

  • http://roborr.net Rob Orr

    I’m intrigued by this concept.  And it’s so true that we’re all competing for attention in a world where everyone is screaming for our attention.  Those that deliver value to those who’s attention they’ve won rise to the top. “Noisy” is an understatement too.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I agree. I’d love to find a stronger word.

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

        Maybe the word Remarkable works. We tend to gravitate toward that which is uniquely remarkable.

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          I think he was talking about the word “noisy.”

  • Anonymous

    Thank you Michael! This is extremely helpful. Do you think building a platform has anything to do with age or sphere of influence?

    • http://LookingForPurpose.com Dylan Dodson

      I think it may be easier to build a platform than others simply based on the amount of influence one already has to begin with, but I don’t think age matters much.

      • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

        I would say that most platforms start from the same place–with little to no influence. What we view as more influence or a better platform really is the fruit being born after the work has been done and the hours have been put in. For example, Stephen King probably has some influence in the publishing world. I know he has a pretty strong following. But he didn’t start with that. He started with what we all start with–some talent, some natural gift, a desire to do something with it, but little else. So influence grows as we hone our message, develop our abilities, and connect with others.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      No, I don’t. It mostly has to do with intention. In other words, do you want to build a platform.

    • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

      Maybe a little…probably more to none though! it’s all about connecting. I wrote a post today about it here: http://bigb94.wordpress.com/2011/07/05/communicating-connecting-helps-increase-your-influence/

      • http://www.dewittrobinson.com Dewitt Robinson

        Thanks Brandon. I’ll check out the post.

      • http://www.dewittrobinson.com Dewitt Robinson

        I read your blog post: insightful. Based on your commentary from Dr. Maxwell’s recent book, the first step to building a platform is connecting with your audience?

    • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

      I agree with Michael on the importance of intentions. Your influence will initially begin with those closest to you but will expand as they carry your message (whatever shape that takes). But you have to be intentional in developing that initial core group and clear about your message. The better you know where you’re going the easier it is to invite others to join you on the journey.

      • http://www.dewittrobinson.com Dewitt Robinson

        Thanks TNeal

    • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com @kylereed

      that is a great question dewitt

    • http://www.gospellab.com Gospel lab

      Not only age or sphere of influence of the person, but what about the platform its self?

      Is it best to start your platform from scratch or to inherit an established one that has age and sphere of influence?  There have been a lot of pastors who have been handed the reigns of a large church with some doing quite well and others crashing and burning.

      What if Michael Hyatt said one day, “I am tired of blogging, I think I will let some one else do my blog.”?  (Of course his blog would be hard to inherit unless you are Michael Hyatt Jr. or something.)  Would the next person enjoy the same level of readership or would they see the readers dropping off like dead flies?

      • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

        I don’t think you can transfer a personal platform. You can leverage it to help build other platforms, but I don’t think you can transfer it to someone else, particularly if it is branded with your name.

        • http://www.gospellab.com Gospel lab

          I pray you will continue to blog for many years to come.  (Would not want to be a dead fly)   :-)

          • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

            Thank you, Jonathan!

  • http://twitter.com/ScottWilliams Scott Williams

    Well Said!  Key point that you made: “Building a platform is easier than ever but still requires hard work.” Sometimes people forget about the hard work & consistency part of building a brand.
    You are your own brand & brand manager.Thanks for sharing, this post speaks directly to my story and my book publishing deal.

  • http://Busyness.com Dr. Brad Semp

    Hi Michael – I completely agree with the importance of building a platform.  As you point out, everyone and anyone can build their “platform” rather quickly and inexpensively given today’s environment.  In my experience, there are two keys to building a successful platform (among others):

    (1)  VISION – having a vision for the final platform and then breaking down the platform into actionable chunks to eliminate overwhelm and facilitate implementation.

    (2)  WORK ETHIC – having the right mindset and fortitude to take the necessary action to build your platform.  Like anything else in life, platform development requires hard work and effort over time to produce your intended results.

    Also, have you planned to write another post that describes BEST PRACTICES on to highlight your platform within a book proposal?  Personally, I’m working on a book proposal now that focuses mainly on my platform and describes how the book is an integral part of the platform (and vice-versa on how the platform will be used to promote the book).  I’d love to hear your advice on the importance of the platform specifically to an author and how to integrate it into a book proposal.

    Blessings,
    Dr. Brad

    • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

      Sitting down with some planning tools and spending a few hours on vision can save you countless hours of “busyness!” (Great blog BTW)

      • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

        Agreed!

      • http://brevis.me Robert Ewoldt

        Good insight, John. In the weeks that I’ve done this–sat down and planne
        out my writing week–I’ve been much more productive, and have had more
        impact.

    • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

      You mentioned valuable info…

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      My book proposal e-books will help you, Brad. I am in the process of revising them. Anyone who has bought the books previously will get the update.

  • Dkempf

    Mihael,

    This is such a great post–well said, clear and concise.

    Dave Kempf

  • http://www.forward-living.com W. Mark Thompson

    Glad you’re writing a book on this. I’ve found it takes a significant amount of courage to follow through. Just the thought of it sometimes is overwhelming and scary (and overwhelmingly scary). I believe that’s where the ‘hard work’ comes in. Great post. Saving this one for reference.

  • http://courseadjustments.wordpress.com B_schebs

    For me, the benefit of building my own platform, allows me he chance to share my successes and struggles with others in an environment where we can learn from and support each other.

    • http://byrdmouse.wordpress.com Jonathan

      We have to learn from each others mistakes because there isn’t time to make them all ourselves. Doubly so for the successes.

  • http://www.philippknoll.com Philipp Knoll

    I have come to realize the importance of a platform / network more and more the last two years. Especially your article on how you need that platform before you start a product or a book was an eye opener!

    No matter what plans I had, I put them aside for a while now to invest energy and passion into building a platform and truly engaging with people online.

    I guess we can’t be certain of the outcome but at this point building a platform before you start any project is crucial. I connected to your new Facebook page already. This will be a great place to connect with others meaning to build a platform, learn from each other and from your experience, Michael. I’ve no doubt that page will establish itself as a very powerful resource.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Just to clarify, Philipp, I think you should develop both content and platform simultaneously. You really can’t optimize either unless you do both.

      • http://www.philippknoll.com Philipp Knoll

        I get your point. Thanks for pointing that out again. In my case creating the product will be a short process. Therefore I wanted to build the platform first. I have a business that I built that platform around already. The next thing will be a spin-off of what I’m currently doing.

        I really appreciate you getting back to me on this! Care in action…

  • http://jasonfountain.blogspot.com Jason Fountain

    Great post, Michael. Since I started my blog just over two months ago, it has been quite overwhelming trying to balance creating great content and working on the “platform” piece. I like the idea of taking one step at a time. I know content is king, but building the platform is essential. I would be interested in your thoughts on the allocation of time for content versus building platform for beginning bloggers. Finding the right balance is becoming more and more challenging for me. Thanks, again!

    • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

      You bring up a good point, Jason. Time is a huge consideration when building a platform. I think that is why so many people give up after a few months. One of the secrets that I have found, is to automate as much of your process as you can. Programs like Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, and others provide a quick way to see all of your data in one place and set up timed postings throughout the day. If you have a smart phone or iPad, you can use these suites to respond on the go.

      • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

        I’ve been blogging for almost 2 years.  My circle of influence is small, due to the fact that I really only found my “voice” just a few months ago.  But also due to the fact that I have to divide my time between creating content and promoting it, all with a full time ministry.  It gets crazy!

        • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

          I’m in the same boat. Sometimes, I have so many blog topics and posts in my head, but I don’t want to publish them everyday because some days, they will go unread.

          • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

            I understand that.  And then there are those other times, when I draw a creative blank, and have to find some inspiration.

            I usually find those times to be when I’m exhausted or drained.  Summer is tough for me to write; I have so many weeks of camp and trips on the calendar.  It wipes me out, physically and mentally.  And even emotionally too, sometimes. 

          • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

            I totally agree with that!

            _____

          • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

            :)

          • http://brevis.me Robert Ewoldt

            Forcing myself to write, even when I don’t want to, builds my discipline.
            I’m also surprised at how quickly my writing comes out, even when I don’t
            want to. It’s like I want to get it over and done with, so the words come
            out faster :)

          • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

            I have to create discipline as well.  Sometimes it’s tougher to do that.  But there are other times when I have to walk away and do something else for a little while.

          • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

            Yes, but people can discover your content later if you have good SEO meta-data in place.

          • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

            Does creating great blog post titles have anything to do with that? Are
            there certain words that get noticed more on SEO?

            _____

          • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

            This is an entire science. You might want to research headlines on CopyBlogger.com.

          • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

            Thanks for the link! I will check it out!

            _____

        • http://jasonfountain.blogspot.com Jason Fountain

          Jeff, that’s me too. I work a full-time job and balancing the writing and promoting is almost too much for me at times.

          • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

            I understand completely!

      • http://jasonfountain.blogspot.com Jason Fountain

        John, thank you for the information. I’ve never used Hootsuite or Tweetdeck, but will check them out. I need to have a logical, plan to keep myself sane! Thanks, again.

    • Jack Lynady

      Jason. I agree. It’s a balancing act for sure. I like the concept of a megaphone and an audience. The megaphone (social media platforms) is easy. It’s what u speak into the megaphone and if anyone is listening in the audience that’s the hard part. ;)

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I think it should be about 60% content and 40% platform. That’s not scientific, just my experience. Think of it like this: If content is king, platform is queen. You can not build a personal media empire without the benefit of both monarchs.

      • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

        Great stuff: If content is king, platform is queen.

        How much advertising do you think is necessary for a blog?

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          Are you talking about advertising your blog or running advertising on your blog?

          • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

            Advertising your blog…?

            _____

          • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

            I have never paid for this, so I don’t know if it would be worth it. Personally, I am cheap enough that I wouldn’t do this until I had exhausted all the free ways to get the word out.

          • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

            True. I don’t want to really pay anything until my blog is big enough to do
            that. That is one of the reasons I haven’t gone with a self-hosted yet. I
            know that self-hosted has tons of better opportunities such as new plugins,
            advertising on the blog, and more…but I don’t want to switch until I have
            a bigger following.

            Beacon ads has already offered to partner with me when I switch, so I know
            that I can have that option…

            _____

      • http://LookingForPurpose.com Dylan Dodson

        Perhaps you could write a post detailing those percentages. Letting those of us know time wise how much effort we should be spending in each area. I know I’m pretty unsure of how much time I should spend doing what.

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          I will think about that. Thanks.

        • http://jasonfountain.blogspot.com Jason Fountain

          I’m with you, Dylan. I feel like content should be my top priority. But, even if I write great material, I need people to see it. It’s a tough balancing act for me.

    • http://courseadjustments.wordpress.com B_schebs

      I would be interested in this as well.  I find myslef spending more time on Platform than on Content. Which now has me behind in posting on my blog.

    • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

      It is complicated for me too…

  • http://cynthiaherron.wordpress.com Cynthia Herron

    Platform! This is so timely for me. In today’s world, novelists must use every tool at their disposal. Discerning which ones to use, how to use them effectively, and building my brand I know are crucial.

    Can’t wait for your new book!

  • Agatha

    Great information. I started my blog last Fall as I work on my book proposal. My platform is allowing me to sharpen my life and my writing. Concentrating on the messages that are what I am all about and being able to turn down the temptations to blog about everything that crosses my path. My readers are like-minded, so the feedback I am getting is invaluable…like having coffee with a friend over my breakfast table. Will enjoy your new book.

  • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

    Great stuff! Platforms are very important. For me, I am currently working to get into medical school. Although I amonly working on my 2nd yr, I have to begin my platform to get accepted. Grades are just the determining factor whether one gets accepted to be considered. You have to have a great platform to be accpeted into the school.

  • Anonymous

    On the eve of releasing my second CD of original, instrumental piano music, your post hits home and affirm the work we are doing on upgrading my website and making sure we can connect with exiting and potential fans in various ways.  Thanks Michael!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Great. I am glad to know this applies to musicians as well.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Letladi-Sebesho/1196875520 Letladi Sebesho

    You just helped me a great deal with this post; ‘not waiting to get picked’, I’m taking that with me… Thanks!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I actually stole that from Seth Godin. ;-)

      • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

        Seth will be proud! :)

  • Colleen Coble

    I’m reading John Locke’s ebook about this right now. I can’t type his name without thinking of LOST by the way. :) 

    My main reason to build a platform–connecting directly with readers. I love my readers. I love to talk to them and hear what they think about and what matters to them. Facebook, Twitter and my blog are just ways to interact with them. I love that. :)

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      And you are GREAT at it, Colleen. I’ll be interested to see what you think of his blogging advice. Personally, I disagree with it, though I learned much from the book.

    • http://brevis.me Robert Ewoldt

      I think of LOST every time I hear his name, too :)

  • http://www.christopherneiger.com/blog Chris Neiger

    Thanks for the reminder to be build my platform!

  • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

    This is an area I’ve just lately been becoming aware that I have a need to work on.  As I write more, and strive to build my leadership skills, I’m finding it to be ever more necessary.  Thanks for the input and the help, and the FaceBook page!

  • http://www.samanthabiron.com Samantha Biron

    Thank you Michael. I really enjoy your posts. Am finally expanding my business and preparing to fly solo so I will look forward to your book. As a Facilitator, I have also begun to share your blog and The Life Plan with my students when I teach Time Management and Getting Organized and in Control workshops. 

  • http://profiles.google.com/sequoiajoy Connie Brown

    You give great reasons for building a platform. Reasons to build your platform?

    Today’s writers can’t expect others to do it for them.

  • http://www.megaphonesites.com Jeremy Santy

    Michael. This is really exciting! 

    I recently launched a product called Megaphone, and it does just what you are talking about! We’re all about creating amazing websites for authors, speakers and individuals who want to stand out from the crowd! 

    Check us out!
    http://www.megaphonesites.com

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, I have seen it. It looks very cool. Thanks.

  • http://www.danieldecker.net Daniel Decker

    Really looking forward to the book. : )

    To me one of the best things about building your own platform is access and control. When you own your own platform you have direct access to the Tribe or consumer. You also have the ability retain and build the following beyond the current book release (for the next book) and beyond whatever is “hot” in the land of social media, etc. right now.

    The key is to start now. Most people don’t think of platform building until very late in the process but really platform building should be first and ongoing.

    • http://www.danieldecker.net Daniel Decker

      BTW… here is an example of a guy without a book who has built a platform and is making $25,000 – $40,000 per month online because he created a platform. http://www.smartpassiveincome.com/my-income-reports/

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I totally agree. You must develop both!

  • http://joyfulmothering.net Christin

    Building a platform allows you to be heard and your ideas to travel. I look forward to hearing more about your new book! Sounds like something I would be very interested in.

    I’m going to look at your Facebook page!

  • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com @kylereed

    A big interest for me is meeting others that have built their platform as well.

    You get to meet more influencers and learn from them.

    • turner_bethany

      It is definitely all about networking. 

  • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

    From a writing/blogging perspective, a platform actually provides a place for public feedback as you develop your voice/style. At least in the early stages, you get the opportunity to fail without becoming a failure, to improve your craft, and to do it without much expense beyond your time and effort.

    When you excel at what you do (personally still working toward that one), then you have developed your greatest asset, those who will trumpet your cause or story or product or whatever you’ve been working toward.–Tom

    • turner_bethany

      Love all the ways we can now receive feedback quickly and easily that didn’t use to exist. 

    • http://brevis.me Robert Ewoldt

      I think the blogging platform is especially good for honing your writing
      skills.

      • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

        Absolutely true. If you blog regularly, it sharpens those skills plus creates deadlines you either make or miss (making those deadlines involves commitment and discipline–good habits to form for any venture).

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

    My biggest mistake was not trusting my gut in building my platform. There were times I listened to experts without my discernment hat on, then blindly obeyed them. (I am a very obedient author.) The result of all that wrangling was a big fat zero.

    However, when I followed my gut (the leading of the Holy Spirit), my platform started to take shape–not in an Amway salesman way, but in a Mary-shaped way. So my advice is don’t violate your conscience when you’re establishing your platform. Be all you. And trust the Lord to lead you.

    • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

      Mary, I think, for me, it’s learning to listen to that gut feeling coupled with observing what others have done/are doing. One thing is learning who you are as a writer and maintaining your voice. I’m sure it changes in the same way other skills change but not in its essence. At its heart, as you wrote, it’s “all you,” the genuine soul who resides inside.–Tom

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

        Well said. And I watch Mike a lot. He seems to try things that work. Sometimes I get tired of trying things that a) don’t work or b) don’t fit me.

        • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

          I think that’s true about Mike today. I don’t think the “things that work” has always been true for him. His blog has changed over the years with, in my estimation, the biggest change coming at the beginning of this year.

          • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

            Yes, it really has changed over the years. You are correct, Tom. The biggest changes came at the beginning of this year.

          • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

            Mike, you’ve developed a model many of us can use within the context of our own foci and personalities. A specific example is the greater use of others to write guest posts. I’m seeing that example followed on websites run by people I’ve met here. I am more adventuresome because I’ve seen what a blogging adventure looks like through your writing journey. Appreciate your courage. It’s contagious.

          • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

            Thanks, Tom. I really believe in experimenting!

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          Uh-oh. I’m watching you. ;-)

      • turner_bethany

        I really like your point about not loosing your voice. I think it can be so easy to try to be what your followers want you to be, but if you do that , you are not giving them what they really need, and that is the true you. 

        • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

          I think a person expends less energy and sleeps better at night (meaning “is less stressed out”) if she uses her own style and voice. After all, it’s kind of like telling the truth. You don’t have to remember what you told everyone. Or, in this case, you don’t have to invent or reclaim a certain personality. You’ve decided to use your own.

          • turner_bethany

            Completely agree. 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I totally agree with this, Mary. I also won’t listen to so-called who experts who haven’t done it themselves.

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

    Michael, what is your response to authors who say, “I am a writer. That’s it. All I want to do is write, not market or build a platform.”

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I’d say, ”Let me know how that works out for you.” ;-)

      I don’t think that model works any more. Occasionally, it does, but that is the exception. If you don’t build a platform, you won’t be writing for long. (I actually think I heard you say this once.)

  • http://www.tonyjalicea.com Tony Alicea

    I’m really excited about this book. It’s a huge paradigm shift in how we spread ideas. I’ve been building my platform over the last year and it’s been incredible to see the reach I’ve attained in such a short time.

    Oh and I love that you recognized Mutemath. They are one of my favorite bands!

  • Joan Oji

    Building my own platform will prepare me and my audience for the kind of work I plan to do after leaving public service.

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  • Dennis Disney

    Michael…

    Love the post, but I especially like the realism: “Building a platform is easier than ever but still requires hard work. Before you begin, you must be convinced of the benefits.”

    I’m reminded of a “client” a friend of mine encountered. After preparing a very comprehensive web and social media plan for an influential pastor and first-time self-published author, the “client” looked at him and said, “This sounds like a whole lotta work for ME!” 

    My friend, of course, said, “Well, yes. It’s YOUR business! To build this well, YOU have to personally post and tweet and blog and drive the overall updating of your site, even if you hire someone to post new photos, videos or audio vignettes on you.”

    The “client” turned it down and decided he’d just sell his book at his church.  Granted, it’s a large church with perhaps more then 7,500 members and this gives this pastor a platform for sure. But both my friend and I were astonished that this otherwise fairly savvy pastor didn’t see how he was stunting the growth of what could become a really impacting national/international platform.

    Thanks for the daily posts!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      This sounds terrible to say, but I have met so many pastors who were “entitled.” They have gotten to the place where other people take care of all the little dirty details. They just shy away from real work. (Again, I am not speaking of every pastor or even most pastors, but enough to make it noteworthy.)

  • Anonymous

    Great article, as usual.  You demonstrate by example.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Karl.

  • Anonymous

    I especially appreciate the links to artists, etc. who have built their own platforms.  Great examples.

  • turner_bethany

    Love reading your blog, so I am super excited to read your book! 

  • http://www.writingplatform.com Michael K. Reynolds

    Writers are being told a solid platform is a prerequisite of publication. This used to be mostly for non-fiction, but now it’s for fiction as well. Although the flip response is to say, “Well, then what do I need a publisher for?” the actual positive result is that many writers are getting their hands on the marketing steering wheel for the first time. Whether biting, kicking or screaming this movement is a wonderful advancement for authors. It doesn’t have to be painful!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Great perspective. Thanks.

  • http://twitter.com/synectics Kevin Pashuk

    I’ve been blogging several times a week for the past few months and the page views are growing steadily.  The bounce rate is dropping, and people are staying on the site longer.  Comments however, are few and far between.  I work to ensure the topics are open ended (not preachy) and I often solicit feedback… so… what might I be missing?  Thoughts?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      You might want to read my post, “7 Strategies for Increasing Your Blog Comments.”

      • http://twitter.com/InvisiTech Kevin Pashuk

        Michael,

        Thanks for the link, and the recent highlighting of Scott Stratten (Unmarketing)

        Kevin

  • Joe Lalonde

    I can see a benefit of building your own platform being that you OWN it. You have creative freedom with it, you still have it even if your publisher goes down, you have the final say in what goes on on your platform. I think all of those can be very beneficial to you.

  • http://twitter.com/CoachTheresaIF Theresa Ip Froehlich

    One benefit I most appreciate about platform-building is independence and empowerment. Authors, speakers, vendors, and artists are no longer controlled by gatekeepers. We can go directly to the ones interested in our message or merchandise.

    I have long been convinced of the benefits of social media networking. Two challenges I face: first, balancing online and offline activities; second, deciding how much is enough. As a person with a primarily extrovert personality, I have to talk myself into it each day to get onto FaceBook, Twitter etc! I am learning to develop a more playful attitude so it doesn’t feel like work!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I think it is worth setting a time limit. Use a timer if you have to or a software program like Anti-Social (which I use).

  • Brasscastlearts

    As usual, you are providing invaluable information of benefit to many, many people. I look forward to your book.

  • http://www.megaphonesites.com Jeremy Santy

    Thanks Michael. We should connect, I would love to chat with you about how I can help you. To be honest, you’re blog has been a huge blessing to me personally.

  • http://www.megaphonesites.com Jeremy Santy

    Thanks Michael. We should connect, I would love to serve this community alongside you if you’re interested. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Nichols/92700497 Richard Nichols

    Having a platform is a way to inspire others. I’m reading a book right now by an author (a businessman) who has inspired thousands of people through his platform. He has given hope and meaning to their lives. As a bold proponent of the gospel, he has seen thousands turn to Christ through his message.

  • Anonymous

    Mike, this is a great post thanks so much. Honestly I think this is one of the areas that we fail at the most. We are all looking for someone else to promote us, no one wants to toot his or her’s own horn. But it is necessary!!!

  • Mike Smith

    Outstanding, Mike..

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Mike.

  • Anonymous

    You’re so right, Michael. If you don’t take responsibility for your own platform, nobody else will.

  • http://www.bretmavrich.com Bret Mavrich

    The clear benefit I see in building your own platform is learning to strike the balance between what I want to say and what others want to hear. The first is a necessary consideration of voice, finding what it is you have to say and allowing your perspective to ring out among the many other competing voices. But the second is an equally necessary consideration of craft where the writer must learn disciplines of clarity, strength of thought, how to write uncluttered prose. As you grow in these two areas, so also will your platform.

  • http://twitter.com/RookieWriter David Barry DeLozier

    Thanks for clearly defining platform – I had it confused with a singular message (i.e., “I believe we should mentor inner city youth,” etc. – the “Miss America” definition of platform). Is one social medium more effective at building a platform in your opinion?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Take a look at my blog post, A Social Media Platform. That will get you started.

  • Al Pittampalli

    John Locke most certainly understands this. I just read his book because of the quote I saw on your site. Great read…he brings up some brilliant insights. And is super ethical and transparent about his marketing. Thanks for pointing to it, Michael!

  • Anonymous

    Building your platform helps you define your niche or target audience. I’ve learned it’s better to define what you’re about than trying to be about what others are defining.

  • Anthony Dina

    Just in time!

  • Jmhardy97

    Just like starting a business, you have to put a little elbow grease into in order to get it off the ground.

    Jim

  • Anonymous

    Great post and definition of a platform. I look forward to reading your book. This is a topic I really enjoy, due primarily because I’m building my leadership platform. 

  • http://www.shaneraynor.com Shane Raynor

    This is an exciting time to be alive. I’ve heard it said that freedom of the press is only guaranteed to those who own one. But thanks to the internet and free tools like WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, etc., anyone can own one and build their own platform. You obviously have to have determination, a few ideas, some writing ability, and a little marketing savvy, but writers who are willing to work hard have more opportunities now to succeed than ever before.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sarahkovac Sarah Taylor Kovac

    I think one clear benefit of building your own platform instead of leaving it to a guru is that it can be your “baby,” and you can have complete control over how your image/project/product is presented. That could be a positive or a negative thing, I suppose. It requires more of you in the way of research and planning… Not to mention self-control when it comes to Facebook and Twitter.

  • Bprettyman

    Great post on the value of a platform in a world of noise and the importance of working hard to get there. Please keep expanding on this topic. Thanks for your thought leadership in this area.

  • http://www.bretmavrich.com Bret Mavrich

    Here’s how I see it: as a writer who would like to be published, either I will spend a year plunking away blindly at a manuscript and take the gamble that a publisher will be interested, or I take a year and write my book piece by piece getting feedback from my audience every step of the way before I finally compile, edit, and package an eBook for sale.  This new publishing age that is dawning is a remarkable opportunity.

    • http://brevis.me Robert Ewoldt

      Good thought, Bret. I think the times are changing.

      • http://www.bretmavrich.com Bret Mavrich

        Robert, are you a writer/speaker? How are you building your platform?

        • http://brevis.me Robert Ewoldt

          I’m building a blog site at http://brevis.me, to build my platform.

          • http://www.bretmavrich.com Bret Mavrich

            Robert, I just checked out your site. Looks sharp! You’re using the same template as @michaelhyatt , right? I really like it.

            I just read a great ebook on building your platform by @SarahMaeWrites. I like it so much, I’m giving away a few copies. You should check it out.

            http://wp.me/p1EcMh-9L

  • Anonymous

    This is one of the best documentations that I read about the importance of building  a platform.  I also enjoying all the comments to this post learning from them as well. Thanks

  • http://swipeouthunger.com Caleb McNary

    I can’t wait to read the book, I’m also excited to see the facebook page developed

  • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

    I can understand that.  I prefer digital over paper, unless it’s my journal.  Then paper and a good quality pen are exactly what I need.

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  • Ali Smith

    Thanks for this insightful post. I was a TV news anchor in Asia for 4 years and had no problem selling my book over there with that kind of instant platform, but since I moved back to the US, it has taken a lot of work to establish the kind of platform that will be convincing to publishers. But as I commit to putting fresh content out weekly on my blog, I am starting to see the fruits six months later. The tips on your blog have really helped, thanks! Ali

  • Eddie-g

    I’m a Christian Artist with a new release please help me share the gospellisten, dowload and share!http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/eddiegarrido

  • http://www.lookingtowardshome.com Looking Towards Home

    Building a platform IS hard work but it can also be a lot of fun – this is what I have discovered this year. I started in January with http://www.LookingTowardsHome.com and the most significant thing for me is how much it has opened my eyes to how much great talent is out there on the other end of the interwebs. Getting to know different bloggers, speakers and opinion leaders has been the biggest blessing this year.

    Along with all the technical knowhow that is required to get our message out into the world the best lesson I have learned is that we must work within Kingdom Economics to be successful – give and you will receive!

    • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

      “Getting to know different bloggers, speakers and opinion leaders has been the biggest blessing this year.” – Just go on. You will explore many more horizons.

  • http://twitter.com/FPApprentice Robinson Mertilus

    Thanks for sharing this, Michael. I’m definitely on board with setting the foundation and building my platform. I recently launched a blog, soon to launch a podcast, reading looks of great business books and am discovering great blogs like this one. I believe I heard about you on Dan Miller’s podcast. Definitely a great find. Let us know how your copywriter training goes. I am eager to hear about how it is benefiting you as you share with the community here on your blog. Keep it up.

  • http://sevensentences.com Geoff Talbot

    I seriously love this. The game has changed completely. Everyone can now have their own newspaper, their own publicist,  their own video channel and their own manager.

    The individual wanting to chase his or her dream has never been more blessed.

    I think of the platform as a village, a market place, a home, a school, an office or even a hospital. Stuff can happen on your platform you set the rules, you don’t need to feel limited.

    What do you want — create it.

    Geoff Talbot
    Seven Sentences

    • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

      Agreed Geoff! I too beleive that “Today World is Flat” that ever before.

  • snapcrakklepop

    Hi Michael. Please forgive me for commenting something completely unrelated to your post, but

    I sent you an email last month & was notified you were on vacation. So under your advice that it’s easier to get your attention here versus your email, here I am. (=

    I notice that you have a section for 1st time authors, and I see “author help” all over the internet. While I can put out a creative story or two if I have to, what I really want to do is edit and I see no advice for people who want to venture into the copy editing field. If you could lock me in a closet with a stack of papers & say “Proofread and fix these!” I’d be happy as a clam!

    I’d rather work for a book publishing company than a newspaper, but would it be smarter for me to start with a journalism background? I’m considering going back to school and don’t know where to start- journalism or English. Both would require technical writing classes, which should help… then again, it’d be ideal to just be hired on the spot by a publisher after taking some sort of qualifications test and then getting a pile of manuscripts to sift through for those pesky “your”s instead of “you’re”s, “would of”s instead of “would have”s, etc. I’d be thrilled! (= I wouldn’t even mind editing for a website; I’m that much of a grammar nerd.

    So, in a roundabout way, do you have any advice for someone who wants to get into the editing side of the book business? I’d appreciate any feedback!! Thanks!

  • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

    You control the direction of the conversation. I’ve started and written for all kinds of content-based websites for years, hoping that it would ultimately benefit me as a writer. I was disappointed with the results.

    I’ve seen more traction and momentum in the past five months than in the past five years by intentionally building my own community and sharing my best content there.

    I still write for other sites, albeit more selectively. Ultimately, it comes down to having 100% say over my words and how they’re used. When you contribute to other sites (or magazines or whatever), many require you to waive all rights to your content and how it’s used.

    Even for those outlets that pay well, I’m still pretty reticent to do that now.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I have seen that, too, Jeff. Thanks for sharing your results.

      • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

        The question I’m beginning to ask, in this age of self-publishing and opportunities to create your own platform, what value do traditional publishing outlets offer? I don’t mean that to sound arrogant or snarky. I really want to know. Thoughts?

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          Traditional publishers still offer plenty of advantages. I am planning to write a post on this.

          • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

            Cool. I can’t wait to read it. I know others are asking similar questions.

          • http://brevis.me Robert Ewoldt

            I’m excited to read this post. Off the top of my head, traditional
            publishers offer a wide network of contacts–for artwork, copyediting,
            marketing–that would be time consuming and expensive for one to procure on
            their own.

          • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

            Indeed. That is one of the challenges of trying to go-it-alone.

    • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

      Yup! I can relate to what you say Jeff!

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  • TLEE

    my concern in this post is that building a platform is not for everyone.  but everyone wants to build their own platform and be noticed.  too many Christian individuals today and young ministry leaders are building their own platform in order to be known.  it causes people to be selfish and self centered because they are concerned about giving themselves a name.  even this whole idea of how these younger people are calling themselves “thought leaders.”  they come up with the idea (because their idea is better than everyone else’s) and then everyone does the work.  when a person thinks he is better than he really is and attempts to build a platform for himself it causes harm to the Gospel and the church.  

  • Guest

    I just read a great ebook by @SarahMaeWrites on how to build your own platform. I liked it so much I’m giving away a few copies on my site. http://wp.me/p1EcMh-9L

  • http://www.bretmavrich.com Bret Mavrich

    I just read a great ebook by @SarahMaeWrites on how to build your own platform. I liked it so much I’m giving away a few copies on my site. http://wp.me/p1EcMh-9L

    • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

      I will be looking for this book. Thanks Bret.

      • http://www.bretmavrich.com Bret Mavrich

        I like this eBook so much I’m giving away a few copies. Want one?| ForeWriter http://ow.ly/5CDQa

        • http://brevis.me Robert Ewoldt

          Thanks, Bret.

      • http://www.bretmavrich.com Bret Mavrich

        Actually, I’m giving away a few copies if you want one.

        http://wp.me/P1EcMh-aC

  • Anonymous

    Agreed. Platform is the most difficult because it takes the most creativity. It’s hard to find time to think creatively about content of platform and components of platform. Thanks for elaborating on this.  If nothing else it at least makes me pause and THINK for a bit.

    • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

      True Tim! Anything worthwhile in our life takes time.

  • http://4somereason.wordpress.com MelindaBScott

    I’ve been so sheltered…Or I’ve been sheltering myself from all this information!  :)  A benefit…objective feedback on your works. 

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  • http://www.susiefinkbeiner.wordpress.com Susie Finkbeiner

    Building a platform puts the writer into contact with other writers. It helps build community. I can’t tell you how Rachel Held Evans has helped emerging writers build that platform. It’s truly a support system.

  • http://ashleyscwalls.com Ashleyscwalls

    This has been so important for me over the past 7 months and I have watched my life change for the better. Starting a blog really allowed me to make more conscious decisions about my online reputation as well as my in-person persona. The content of my blog has received a lot of positive response and people are becoming familiar with my name. Consistency is also very important and I think thats the difference between creating a platform and an opportunity.

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  • Dave Weiss

    Hi Michael, 
    I’ve been hearing you on so many of my favorite podcasts and recently subscribed to yours as well. I went right out and bought Platform and can safely say it is one of the most important  books I own. I’ve been building my platform for about  two years now in the field of Creative Arts Ministry. While I have been building the  platform I have read so many things in Platform that I need to do  that I feel like I need to rebuild. Beyond that, I know many of my readers would benefit from your information. I’ve already told my audience about Platform several times but I had a thought. I’ve decided to finish a cover to cover reading before putting the principles into action. When I finish reading, I plan on posting an amazing review, but then I thought why not blog my platform building journey. Would it be okay to take my audience step by step through the book, promoting the book on every posting. I don’t  want to mess with your copyright in anyway but I know my readers could really benefit. Any thoughts on how I can do this in a way that honors you and your intellectual property, builds my platform and helps my readers.
    God bless,
    Dave Weiss
    AMOKArts.com