A little over a year ago, we launched Platform University. Since that time, it has been fascinating to watch how the world of platform-building has changed.
If you want the short version, it is this: platform building is getting easier every year. For the first time in history, ordinary people can build a real business or take their existing business to a new level.
- They don’t need to wait for the economy to improve.
- They don’t need a lot of capital.
- They don’t even need to be good with technology.
Most of what they need is as close as the Internet and much of the real change has occurred in the last three years. Here are five changes I have witnessed:
Change #1: You Don’t Have to Leave Home
As recently as a few years ago, if you wanted to connect with fans and engage with your tribe, you had to go to them. For most platform-builders, this meant a lot of travel.
Coming out of the corporate world three years ago, I took nearly every speaking engagement I could get. I was constantly on the road.
Last year that began to shift. I intentionally reduced the number of dates I made available for speaking. I went from thirty-five events to ten this year. I know many other speakers who have made a similar move.
Change #2: Recurring Income Is Now the Focus
The problem with speaking, as well as coaching and consulting is that you are trading time for dollars. You do the work once and get paid once. In other words, it’s non-recurring income.
That’s fine as far as it goes, but it has it’s limitations. The only way to earn more money is to increase your number of engagements or raise your price.
But the latter is not always possible, so many speakers spend more time on the road than they should. It negatively affects their health, their family, and their routine. I always felt I was playing catch-up.
I still do this kind of work, but a lot less of it. Now I focus on generating what my friend Dan Miller calls SWISS money: “Sales While I Sleep Soundly.” This is when you do the work once, but get paid over and over again.
This is possible in the new world of platform-building, using courses, [membership sites][platformu], software, and even affiliate promotion strategies.
Change #3: The Tools Are Inexpensive and Easier to Use
When I was at Thomas Nelson, we built lots of websites for authors. They were largely a waste of time and money—but at least they were expensive!
We did this because it wasn’t easy to build your own site. Blogs weren’t yet mainstream, so if you wanted an online presence, you had to either be a geek or hire one.
Now all that has changed. You don’t have to be proficient at technology. In fact, I could argue, that if you are, it is a long-term handicap. Why? Because you will be tempted to do it all yourself, rather than focus on where you uniquely add value.
WordPress has made it possible for mere mortals to create a highly customized experience with thousands and thousands of themes and plugins.
But even apart from that, the declining cost of technology makes professional quality production available to almost anyone. Even an iPhone 5s is sufficient for many video projects.
Change #4: The Right Information Is Readily Available
When I started building my platform back in 2004, there was not much available in the way of how-to information. You pretty much had to figure it out on your own.
I took what I knew from my thirty-plus years in the book publishing industry, including a lot of traditional marketing experience and tried to apply it online. Sometimes it worked, but often it didn’t.
As a result, I made tons of mistakes and often paid for them. It was difficult to get traction. (It took me four years, for example, to attract more than one thousand readers a month.)
But now there are tons of resources available. Brendon Burchard, Jeff Walker, and Cliff Ravenscraft have blazed the trail and documented what they learned along the way. Sure you’ll pay for the information, but it’s a whole lot cheaper than learning on your own.
I started Platform University for the same purpose—to help beginning and intermediate platform-builders leverage their influence and maximize their impact. We are dedicated to providing the inspiration, education, and tools people need to succeed.
Change #5: You Can See Results Faster Than Ever Before
This is my favorite part. It took me forever (it seemed) to hit an inflection point. But when I did, the growth was exponential.
I have often said, if I had known then what I know now, I could have done in two years what it took me eight to accomplish. That’s the benefit of building your platform now—it’s easier than ever before.
I know lots of people who are living their dream, having built a business of their own or just taking their existing business to a new level. The stories are everywhere.
One of my favorites is of Jeff Goins, who didn’t start building his platform until three years ago. He began as a blogger, created an online course, published a few books, and was able to leave his day job after just two years. Remarkable.
The best part is that he is having a much bigger impact and making more money than he ever did in his previous job. And, best of all, he’s in control of his own destiny.
So, maybe it’s time to start building your platform or get serious about taking the one you have to the next level. If you are an entrepreneur, an author, an executive coach, a consultant, a public speaker—or even a corporate executive, local retailer, or salesperson, this is a great time to get started.
That’s why I created my new three-part video series, The Platform Revolution. It’s designed to help you take advantage of the amazing changes I’ve outlined above.
Most importantly, I’ll show you how to discover exactly where you are in the process, and where to focus now in order to get to the next level fast. For a limited time, it’s FREE, so click here to watch it now.