My Take-Aways from the Platform Conference

This is a guest post by Justin Wise. He is a family man, author, professor, and digital communications expert. He lives in Des Moines, IA (by choice) with his wife and two children. Visit JustinWise.net for a free social media ebook.

What do a trumpet, a George Bush impersonator, and the C+C Music Factory all have in common? If you guessed, “Nothing, weirdo,” you’d be wrong.

Platform Conference Day Q&A-1

Cliff Ravenscraft, Pat Flynn, Ken Davis, Carrie Wilkerson, Andrew Buckman, Michael Hyatt, Stu McLaren, and Jeff Goins

The correct answer, dear readers, is they were all part of the inaugural, sell-out Platform Conference, held in Nashville, Tennessee on February 11–13.

I was pleased to produce the live-media experience on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.) for Michael and his team, so I had a front row seat to all the action.

After seeing the amazing speaker line-up, I knew the material would be solid. But as far as other expectations, I didn’t have any. I was a blank slate, ready to learn.

Let me start out by saying I’ve been to a lot of conferences. I’ve been backstage at some of the biggest events around. With some notable exceptions, they all follow a similar script. They all have the same feel.

For instance, speakers will book the latest flight in and earliest flight out. You’d be lucky to have them breeze through the green room, say “hi,” and then shuttle off to the airport.

This was not the case at the Platform Conference. Smart money man, Pat Flynn was there for the entire conference, not just for his time on stage. Every session, every break, every meal—he was there (so were most of the other speakers, by the way). I saw Pat interacting, sharing, and learning from everyone else. I cannot overstate how rare this is. It’s also incredibly generous.

Podcasting powerhouse, Cliff Ravenscraft, was emotionally generous with us. He shared his very personal story of career missteps, frustrations, and, ultimately, redemption—through podcasting, no less. I could feel the relief in the room from those who are/have been in a situation similar to Cliff’s—hate their job, but it pays the bills. Cliff’s story showed me what happens when passion meets up with good ol’ fashioned determination.

My biggest takeaway, by far, was hearing membership site maven, Stu McLaren, unlock an entirely new way of doing business: recurring revenue through membership sites.

Stu’s comment about being from “the middle of nowhere” Canada (his words) instantly endeared him to me. See, I’m from Des Moines. (Yes, by choice.) While Des Moines may not be a thriving metropolis, it’s home. Hearing Stu tell the story of how his business grew from his little corner of the world gave me hope I could do the same—even from Des Moines.

After sharing some of my story in a side conversation with Stu, he encouraged me, “Anyone can run a business on the Internet. It doesn’t matter where you live.” I gushed on Twitter about his talk, but it was for good reason. He changed the way I think about business. Permanently. You can’t put a price tag on an enlarged mind.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Michael. Not because this is his blog, but because I saw a different side of him most don’t see. I was fortunate enough to spend considerable time with his five daughters (FIVE!) backstage. Do you know what I learned? I learned his children not only love, but actually like, their dad. Crazy, isn’t it?

Being a father myself, and sitting with dozens of parents during my time in ministry, I know how hard it is to have a healthy relationship with one child, let alone five. It doesn’t happen by accident, let me tell you. But Michael’s done it. This says something about the type of man he is.

This same relational intentionality permeated every aspect of Platform Nashville. To quote Stu McLaren, “I have never met someone whose public and private personas matched up so well.” Of course, there were plenty of stand-out moments from the other presenters. But, as they say, “so many words, so little time.”

I’d encourage you to consider your own platform-building efforts. If you need a nudge in the right direction, Platform Dallas is taking shape as we speak. (If you’re the worrying type, the Nashville event sold out. Keep that in mind as you’re considering!)

Question: What is one obstacle getting in the way of building your platform? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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  • http://www.handymarketer.com/ Christelle

    I wish you toured and came to Europe with the Platform Conference, I don’t think I can afford coming to the States for it, but I’d love to see you all !

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I hope we can bring it to Europe some time. Thanks.

      • http://www.epreneur.tv/ Tehmina

        That’s great news Michael, I look forward to seeing you here one day :)

  • http://www.epreneur.tv/ Tehmina

    Michael, I am a huge fan of your work but live in the UK….I therefore agree with my fellow commenter Christelle, please come to Europe!

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

      Tehmina, your comment makes me feel doubly bad about missing this event since I’m within driving distance (about four hours) of the Nashville; however,  unavoidable schedule conflicts kept me away. I feel like the guy who lives in Buffalo, NY and never goes to Niagara Falls (ugh)!

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

         We missed you, Tor!

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

          :-)

  • http://jeffsanders.tv/ Jeff Sanders

    Though I wasn’t able to make the conference, I was able to hang out with Pat and Clif at the Meetup they hosted in Nashville, late on Tuesday night.

    Both of those guys are very generous for sharing their knowledge and they really are the same in person as they are online. Both are awesome guys doing great work for lots of people. Love it!

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

      Jeff, I was fortunate to attend Michael’s SCORRE and Launch Conferences last year and the “faculty” joined us for all of the meals and were very accessible the entire conference. I agree that the expert access was unique and invaluable. 

    • http://PodcastAnswerMan.com/ Cliff Ravenscraft

      Thank you so much Jeff! So glad you made it to the meetup. It was an awesome time with great people.

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

    I’ve been a big believer in recurring revenue through membership sites ever since my stock trading days long ago, through seeing kirkreport.com do so well. I did have a hard time seeing that take hold outside of the stock world until I saw your platform university and other membership sites in the writing world. Conference sounds like it was awesome. I was also following along on twitter. 

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

    Great write up. Wish I could have been there!

  • http://www.chrisjeub.com/ Chris Jeub

    I totally agree with you, Justin. The personal touch the attendees recevied ALL THREE DAYS was incredible. Another differentiation I noticed: I don’t think anyone was taking more careful notes of the speakers than Michael himself! He was totally engaged with every single speaker as he sat in the crowd listening intently.

    Sorry, those who weren’t there missed out. Go to Dallas for the next one. 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      It wasn’t hard to stay engaged with the quality of speakers we had. I learned so much!

    • http://justin.am/ Justin Wise

      Thanks Chris! This was truly a one-of-a-kind event. Very cool!

  • http://www.kellycombs.com/ Kelly Combs

    I would have loved to come to Platform! I enjoyed meeting Michael (& Ken Davis) at SCORRE, so I know it was a great conference, Justin.  Thanks for sharing your insights.

    Side note, my husband is from La Porte City…which is outside of Waterloo…which is outside of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. So I know of what “middle of nowhere” you speak. We’ve been there many times, as his dad and brother still live out there.

    • http://justin.am/ Justin Wise

      I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again: All roads leads to Iowa =)

  • rabbimoffic

    What a fabulous summary. And I love your insight “You can’t put a price-tage on an enlarged mind.” 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for coming, Evan. I really enjoyed talking with you at the conference. I look forward to seeing you again—soon, I hope!

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

      So glad you were a part of the Platform Conference, Rabbi Moffic!

  • BradyBeshear

    Justin – great summary!  I was at the conference and will say that selflessness and authenticity permeated the entire experience.  This allowed me to quickly realize my alignment with the values of each speaker and focus on absorbing the special content. Informational, entertaining and inspirational — all wrapped up in a special event called the Platform Conference.

    • http://justin.am/ Justin Wise

      Thanks Brady! I was inspired by the content as well as the ethos of the presenters. Top notch, all the way.

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

      It was great meeting you in person, Brady. And congrats on winning one of the giveaways!

  • Graham Scharf

    I’m glad to hear the event went well. It made me realize that seeing family through the lens of a platform his helpful. For most of us, it is our primary platform and includes our most valued stakeholders. They are the ones who will see most clearly the integrity (or hypocrisy) of our message – and when they validate our message, it is even more compelling to our broader audience(s).

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

      Love this thought Graham that our family’s are “…our primary platform…” – that’s fantastic insight!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I have never quite articulated it in this way, but you are absolutely right. I think this is actually a biblical principal: 1 Timothy 3:4–5.

  • http://www.danerickson.net/ Dan Erickson

    Three obstacles: technical ability, time, and money.  I’m a single dad with a full-time teaching job.  I do a little at a time, but I can’t afford to hire much work out or go to conferences.  My site is slowly improving, though.  I just added professional headers and will be posting the original songs from my first novel on Feb. 27.  I’d appreciate it if some more experienced bloggers cold take a look and let me know how they think I’m doing: http://www.danerickson.net 

    • Terri Thompson

      I agree. Time, Money and knowing where to start are the obstacles that prevent me. I can’t give platform and promo the majority of my time. I also have to work and write as well as have a family life. 

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

      Don’t discount the “a little at a time” approach. Some of the most successful people I know built their business a little at a time. Even 30 minutes a day adds up to far more investment than those who are always waiting for a big chunk of time to magically appear. Keep going, Dan!

      • http://www.danerickson.net/ Dan Erickson

        Thanks, Michele.  I actually enjoy the “little at a time” approach.  It feels right, and I see the progress when I look back just six months.

  • http://twitter.com/cole_bobbie Bobbie Cole

    Roll on Dallas.

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

       Does this mean we’re going to see you there, Bobbie?!

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

    Justin, great “coverage” of the Platform Conference – you really did an outstanding job helping those of us who were unable to attend in person to still “feel” like we were there in person. Awesome!

    • http://justin.am/ Justin Wise

      Honored to participate! Thanks for the kind words, Tor.

  • Pingback: My Take-Aways from the Platform Conference | Michael Hyatt | Aureua()

  • Ernie Ayres

    I wasn’t able to make the conference but I did make a meetup with Pat and Cliff on Tuesday night. They were both extremely generous with their time and very easy to talk with. I’ll definitely make it to the conference next year!

  • Carrie Wilkerson

    It was a really great conference! One standout I noticed was that the quality of ATTENDEES was stellar! I enjoyed mixing with attendees as much as speakers!

    Thanks Michael for the opportunity. I count it a privilege to share the stage with you!

    A big KUDOS to attendees for investing the time, energy and resources into their lives, businesses and talents!!

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

      Enjoyed seeing you again, Carrie. Thanks for sharing your life and expertise with us! 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for attending and speaking, Carrie. It was awesome to have you there.

  • http://TrueFocusMedia.com/ Jeff Long

    Great post Justin.  I REALLY wish I could have attended the Platform Conference this year.  I lived near Des Moines for about 15 years.  I’ve enjoyed your Tweets for a long time and appreciated your thoughts throughout the conference.  Keep up the good work.

    • http://justin.am/ Justin Wise

      Thanks Jeff! I said it in a comment above, but I’m convinced all roads lead to Iowa =)

      • http://TrueFocusMedia.com/ Jeff Long

        Haha.  Touche!

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

    Great recap, Justin! Thanks for bringing YOUR expertise to the event. We loved having you!

    • http://justin.am/ Justin Wise

      Just trying to keep up with you, Michele =)

  • http://twitter.com/StephenFSkinner Stephen Skinner

    Being relatively new to this online world, I only knew of Michael and Ken Davis.  I had heard of this: “Smart Passive Income Guy” but that was about it.  Within 5 minutes of arriving on Monday night, this friendly guy walks up, introduces himself.  I assumed he was just another attendee, but after chatting with him, I was amazed as he was telling me about how he turned something awful (being laid off), into something great.  That was Pat.  Then, as I sat down for dinner, (and me being a “back of the room” guy) I found one empty seat at the back table.  I sat next to a really friendly guy who actually gave me a great piece of advice that could potentially save me thousands of dollars and headaches in the future.  That was Cliff.  Two seats over from me was this nice guy “from Toronto” named Stu.  I then recognized him from Platform University, but thought he was just a “camera guy” or something.  I had no idea until I heard his presentation, and wow!  Point is, all of these guys didn’t have to give me the time of day, but they did.  As was everyone at the conference!  I expected quality from Michael, because everything he does is quality.  In the usual Michael Hyatt way, he over delivered.  These people are real, sincere, caring, and very generous.  That is why they are successful and deserving of everything they have been blessed with!  

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Wow. What an awesome comment, Stephen. Thanks so much for attending. I can hardly wait for the next one!

  • http://www.paulbevans.com/ Paul B Evans

    Had a great time at the Platform Conference.

    It was fun to see all the behind the scenes action as the event was filmed.

    Michelle, you did an incredible  job with all the cuts, restarts, reframes, etc. 

    Michael’s servant leadership was evident in his presentations, note taking and interaction. His keynote on Resistance was especially strong.

    Ken’s keynote on WOW was spot on and highly applicable. Funny as always! :)

    Jeff helped us with Home Base, but most importantly we discovered we both love Coke Zero and he brought some bootleg cans in for us to sip on! Rock on!

    Andrew’s 10 Mistakes we’re making with our websites proved I’m only making 9 of the mistakes.

    Carrie killed with with The OZ Factor. Have always loved her combo of business sense and humor.

    Pat, Stu, and Cliff have already been mentioned in Justin’s article. But I always love Stu. He’s always first class.

    Joy, Matt, Lauren and a host of others worked hard to make the event great. And it showed. 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Paul, for coming. I only regret we didn’t get a chance to spend some time together. I hope we can do that again soon!

      • http://www.paulbevans.com/ Paul B Evans

        Anytime. I’m within driving distance. Maybe the next time Stu is in town. Blessings! 

    • http://www.stormyfrog.com/ Andrew Buckman

      Congrats on only 9!  Great to meet you this week, Paul.

      • http://www.paulbevans.com/ Paul B Evans

        You too, Andrew! 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Celeste-Martin-Vaughan/100001526411830 Celeste Martin Vaughan

    I’ve been blogging for about 1 & 1/2 years and trying to develop my platform…addiction. I am a pharmacist and after 14 years behind the counter ended up on the other side of the counter as a patient with grand-mal seizures, depression, and addiction. After seven years, God healed me overnight and gave me a specific purpose. I’ve spent the last two years writing, blogging, and learning, but people who are addicts—especially moms—don’t want to associate themselves with anything that could be traced back to them, so I’m having a difficult time reaching my audience. I’m working my way through your “This is Your Life” podcast series and implementing your suggestions as I can. Do you have any any suggestions? You can find me at http://www.celestialprescriptions.com. Thanks :)

  • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

    It certainly was an event to remember. Thanks for capturing it so well, Justin.

  • http://www.alansalls.com/ Alan Salls

    Justin I could not agree more with your summary of Platform Conference 2013.  I too was lucky enough to be there.  I found myself not being able to take notes fast enough as each of the speakers made their presentations.  Of the countless conferences I have attended in my life, this was without a doubt the best, by far.  I say that not only because of the speaker lineup and the production, but also because of the fantastic networking experiences available with the other attendees.  I was fortunate to spend some time with Melissa Taylor, author of the new book Pinterest Savvy, and by this afternoon, I may finally understand the function & purpose of Pinterest!  Thank you so much, Michael, and all!

  • Lee

    Hey Michael,

    I read in a private Facebook group that no one is replying to member tickets sent to Support at Platform University? Are you aware of this? Not sure I can sign up if there is no support!

    • Hans

      Maybe everybody was at the Platform Conference and no one was checking support tickets!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I think this came from one member whose ticket fell through the cracks. We communicated with him this afternoon, and, I believe, all is well. Thanks.

    • http://www.joyjoyg.com/ Joy Groblebe

      Lee – 
      Thanks for bringing this to our attention.  We did get a little behind due to the conference this week and we really appreciate everyone’s patience.  If you need any help in particular, please email me directly at joy @michaelhyatt.com and I’ll get you taken care of asap!  :) Thanks!

  • http://propreacher.com/ Brandon

    Sounds awesome. Wish I could have been there.

    My biggest obstacle at the moment is getting the word out. My blog is only a few months old. Traffic just had a huge increase this week, but I know there are thousands more that would benefit if they knew about it.

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      Keep pushing, Brandon!  We were reminded this week of the tragedy that most people quit just before breakthrough.  

  • Carol

    Hands down that obstacle is TECHNOLOGY, the very thing that makes having a platform possible. I am so far behind I can’t even find the 8-ball!

  • http://firefliesblog.com/ Deni Corbett

    Platform Conference was life changing for me.  I highly recommend Platform/Dallas (in fact several of my friends are sick of my constantly sending them “did you register yet” texts)  Self-doubt and needing a refined focus are my two personal obstacles.  Platform removed the self-doubt (I’m unique and have an important voice as long as my purpose is to give more than I receive.)   Working on the refined focus this weekend and am excited about building my platform.   PS – Sign up for Platform/Dallas.  Oh and SCORRE/Orlando!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Deni. I so appreciate your words of encouragement—and you sharing this with your friends.

  • http://www.janiscox.com/ Janis Cox

    Thanks for the overview of the conference. It sounds amazing. We are from a little town in Ontario – 5000 people in the whole county. Then we come to Arizona and have 5000 people in our park. I am gradually learning more each time I read, and interact with others about the value of platform.
    Thanks,
    Janis

  • Steve Hawkins

    Courage is a big hurdle. It’s like jumping off the high-dive for the first time in high school with everyone watching, wondering if you’ll belly flop or not jump at all. But I’m learning that after the first jump, good or bad, the successive jumps are easier.

  • Laurel Griffith

    The Platform Conference brought me to a new place in my thinking. The practical information was great but the personal stories answered my real questions. I heard of a call beyond personal success. I will push forward with my own platform without fear of becoming self absorbed. Like Michael, Ken and each of the other speakers, I will build my platform with passion, for the purpose of helping other people. 

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      Love this, Laurel!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Laurel. This is one of those things that is more caught than taught. I thought the personal stories were great too.

  • http://www.waynestiles.com/ Wayne Stiles

    Would love to know what we can glean from Platform Dallas that we can’t glean from Platform University. Most of these takeaways center around the personalities and character of the presenters. Is that it?

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      Great question, Wayne!  I’m a big fan of Platform University and all of Michael’s resources.  I had the same question before I went.  Here’s what I got from the conference:  Not only the presenters personalities and character, but their experience and new ideas.  As illustrative proof of this, Michael was taking notes from the other speakers talks as fervently as everyone else!  
      The other HUGE benefit for me was the networking.  The attendees are some of the most leading edge platform builders in the world.  Just hearing their stories was inspiring and generated lots of great ideas for me.  Also, Michael and the other speakers were personally available for one-on-one questions throughout the conference.   

      • http://www.waynestiles.com/ Wayne Stiles

         Thank you, John. I appreciate you spelling it out for me.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Definitely, the live interaction and total immersion is huge. Also, the networking with other platform-builders is a big benefit. Thanks.

  • http://twitter.com/robertkennedy3 Robert Kennedy III

    I’m getting jealous with all of the goodness posted here. Just beginning to really develop my platform, reading the book but I must put attending the conference as part of my Life Plan :-). I’m excited to make that happen and meet some of you, especially you Mr Hyatt! Awesome!

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      Robert, you’ll love the conference.  I’m glad it’s on your Life Plan!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Great. I hope you can come to Dallas, Robert.

  • Suzanne de Cornelia

    My major obstacle is the same TBI that cost me $1M and ended career managing $1B in complex construction. Now, can take 10-hrs to write a 500 post–often up till 4AM, 6AM to get it done, then sleep 2-3 hrs and get back to it. 

    Mirror site (frenchheart.com/suzannedecornelia.com where traffic registers) is totally self-designed and before brother/parents died had a 300K Alexa rating. Then fell off, now building back. (Try to use a ‘blog recipe’. But LOVE research…so all I need is to start pulling a thread and suddenly it’s four hours later….TBI cognitive stuff exacerbates.)I wrote a novel in UCLA creative writing program to the #1 best-selling category in print/eBooks, pushed aside with family deaths. Just read Guy Kawasaki’s outstanding ‘Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur’ so look forward to following his blueprint to get book online asap to permit running biz from France to be near my son, a French citizen. Have zero interest in traditional publishing, as someone with a TBI needs as much simplifying/orderly process/quiet as possible.
    My site needs resdesign, have 544 posts categorized (actually, enough for several France related ebooks). If techie hubs were still alive, he could be doing all of that part in a flash and we’d be gangbusters. I keep going knowing it’ll happen.

    Perhaps like TED talks, the conferences might eventually be online post-event. sounds great, and used to love attending conferences…but that just is no longer in the cards for me. Thanks for info. Loved ‘Platform’. 

  • Sami Cone

    Privileged to have been able to sit amongst such great minds at Platform 13, but more than that: they walk the walk. You’re right, Justin, having been to a TON of conferences it wasn’t just the information that set this event apart, it was the CULTURE. It amazed me how even the speakers seemed to be soaking up as much as the attendees…and more than that…equally willing to share what they learned. 

    Can’t wait for SCORRE now!

  • http://www.kayemarketingstudio.com/ Julie Ann Kaye

    Still reading and re-reading all the great tweets from the conference to keep me on track and heading toward my goal.

  • Vicki Cato

    I wish I could have attended but I didn’t know about the conference until one week ago. The obstacle that keeps me from building my platform is a lack of understanding how to proceed. 

  • http://twitter.com/Dabneyland Dabney Hedegard

    Time. Fear. Creepy crazies. Putting yourself/brand out there when few reply (with the exception of a creepish replied tweet).

    Thanks for the recap on the conference. I hope to catch the next one.

    Dabney

  • deandeguara

    Will the Platform Conference ever come to the West Coast?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Possibly. We haven’t planned that far ahead. It will be in Dallas in November. Thanks.

  • http://www.dalecallahan.com Dale Callahan

    Justin,

    Thanks for sharing. This was by far the BEST conference I have done. And the last I did was with Daymond John of Sharktank (he was awesome) , Bill Clinton, and the New Orleans Mayor – to name a few. No match to what this team pulled off at Platform. Some things I thought were WOW:

    1. The connectivity of the message – I think this was all Michael! Very clear that each speaker connected on the key points. 
    2. The intense focus on service. I have never been among such a great group of entrepreneurs who were so powerfully focused on serving others. 
    3. The connectivity of the speakers. Having the speakers be part of everything and attending along with us all – great. But I know how it is, I think everyone learned a lot. But that ability to chat over meals and coffee was great. 
    4. Small – with a small group – connectivity was way up. 
    5. Different style all delivering  When I saw Andrew take the stage (tech guy) reading from his IPAD – I thought that the main speakers were done and now we were into the boring part. Andrew was very different – but powerful, funny, and direct. I have 3 pages of notes from his talk alone!

    Here is the real testimony. With such a group of ADD people, it was shocking that everyone was attending and taking notes the ENTIRE time. Most of us normally would have been standing outside is side discussions. Not at Platform. 

    Hats off to the Platform Team. 

    • http://www.stormyfrog.com/ Andrew Buckman

      Glad I didn’t put you to sleep!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Wow, Dale. Thanks for your kind words. I am forwarding this to my team!

  • robert andrews

    Biggest obstacle is knowing what direction you want to go. There is so much information out there that you don’t think you can add any more value than has already been printed or said. Another obstacle is knowing where you want to focus. Most people have so many interest and ideas that it’s hard to get started. And determing which direction is profitable.

  • http://dalemelchin.wordpress.com/ Dale Melchin

    I have two obstacles.  The first is my own self-doubts.  I know I need to stick the proverbial sword of action into them and make them die daily.  The other one may be a function of the first, but I’m not sure.

    The second is I want to be a life coach and a counselor, I realize I can do the first without being the second, but I want to be both, and I don’t know how to position myself as a coach without the credentials and training of the counselor.  I also fear (yep function of the first) that I may be misunderstood by the world at large if I start coaching, build up a successful platform and then within 4 years people see the LPC after my name.  I’m hesitant to promote myself because I don’t know how to position myself.

    I could do more, but I don’t want to write a blog about my fears on Sir Mike’s forum.  I’ll just leave it at that.  Any feedback would be helpful.  Thanks!

  • http://twitter.com/BrianHolmesLive Brian A. Holmes

    Michael, words cannot express how grateful I am for the opportunity to attend the Platform conference this week. Your staff did such an amazing job at serving all who attended, and did so with such excellence. You should be very proud of them. Thank you for pouring out and pouring in to all of us who have a passion to reach people with a message. I so enjoyed meeting you, and interacting with all the speakers. World class! I live in Dallas, so will likely see you all there in November. Until then … Many blessings!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Brian. I appreciate your kind words. I know my staff will too!

  • Eric Walker

    I’m trying to incorporate various aspects found in Michael’s book, including writing a free eBook. Two questions. Can you recommend a particular wordpress plug-in to facilitate email capture and a free book give-away. Also, I’m fuzzy on the difference between a blog, and email blog and an email marketing newsletter (like Mailchimp) and how they function together to wind up in someone’s emailbox.  

  • http://rayedwards.com/about/ Ray Edwards

    Justin, this was really a great post, and captured so much of the spirit of the event. 

    I too attend many events each year, and always learn something or meet someone interesting. Usually both. 
    This event was different, though, in that the quality of the speakers, the venue, and the team was superior to that of other events.

    The bar has been raised for everyone else.

    In fact, I am having my own little event in a couple of months, and I have been furiously brainstorming how to bring the same kind of experience to my folks that Michael brought us.

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  • daniel

    I knew this event would be wonderful and am bummed I could not join you all!  I am so looking forward to learning and experiencing this at a future time.  I have known Mike for the past decade and know his heart is to add immense value and to serve all who want to grow and learn.

    So pleased to read the event was a hit!

    Daniel

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Daniel. I wish you could have joined us!

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  • Kent F

    Thanks for the post Justin, and this question might be for Michael.  What was the strategy on pricing?  I can’t imagine 90-95% of Michael’s audience would not have felt the price was beyond reach.  I guess if you’re gunning for the 2% that have unlimited funds, you probably succeeded in finding your pricing point. 

    On his site this week, Pat Flynn mentioned he had never been paid to speak?  Seriously?  Someone made a very tidy sum on this event – bravo to whomever it was.  I alaways assumed speakers were paid handsomely for their expertise – it appears Michael is well paid for speaking.  Thanks again.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Interesting, Kent. How did you arrive at that conclusion? We actually lost money on the event. Not a lot, but some. This is not unusual for a first event, but we are in it for the long haul. The main thing we wanted was an extraordinary event for the people who attended. We sold out, so I think we had it priced about right; in fact, I think we should go up some. Thanks.

      • Kent F

        I wasn’t there Michael, but would 200 folks be a sell out?  If so, rough calculations by me, which could certainly be off, would put gross revenues at about $230,000.  If you lost money at that level, I guess it shows I know very little about event planning.  No disrespect meant, and, you clearly knew where to price it since you sold out.  Hope to make one some day, and have heard nothing but rave reviews. 

        • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

          More like 130 people. Add in venue, food, live production, video production, travel and accommodations for staff and speakers, fees, gifts, staffing cost, etc., it gets eaten up quickly. The good news is that most of these are fixed costs. Once you cover those, you can make money.

  • Ed

    What is one obstacle geting in my way of building a platform?
    Wrapping my mind around it.
    Yes, I read the book.

    I’m a small businessman with a weekend service gig.  I have no product except for my services, which are pretty specialized.  I don’t have anything free to give away.  Not many people know I exist, so the phone doesn’t ring much.

    Perfect starting point for a platform.  Except I can’t see how the Platform formula fits me.

    You’re talking Facebook and Twitter and blogging.  You’re talking about powerful ideas getting thrown across state lines and even the oceans.  I’m talking a small rural area with maybe 200,000 people in a one-hour radius from my home.  I’ve got a web site. I tried a blog – inconsistently, yes, but what *else* do I talk about?  And tweet, too??

    It’s all so — just big!!  It’s scary.  I’m not going to go world-wide – not even state-wide.  Do I really need those huge powerful tools to build just a small localized platform??  Honestly, all of that sounds like the electronic equivalent of me putting a classified in the newspaper, where my tiny voice is going to drowned in the sea of other stuff bigger than me, because the others _are_ building huge, big, state- and world-wide platforms.

    How do I make something like this work for me?
    Or maybe it’s just not for me?

    Ed

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  • Austin Watts

    I just need some more time. I know that I have a unique voice in my industry where I am currently in a specific role with a specific skill set. I need more time to shape my craft. And if somebody could help me figure how to to pay $30 a month that would be appreciated so I can learn from the best, Michael Hyatt.

    I just scrolled quickly and time came up more than once. I know I need Platform University but I don’t know how to pay for it.