Excerpt: Build Your Platform Well

Here’s the big tip I’d offer to build strong platform messaging: Don’t lose your content! You need every bit of it to redistribute and heighten your platform.

Where do you begin a task as daunting as becoming a veritable expert like Gary Vaynerchuk? A strong platform starts with your ideas. Your ideas are your foundation; they’re what you offer your audience, and they’re what will make you money.

Building valuable content that an audience will care about and pay to access depends on many factors, including finding your passion, identifying your audience and its needs, and connecting that passion to that audience with appropriate content. Let’s walk through this process and take a closer look at what this means.

Identify your passion

It is essential that you care about your topic. If you’re not engaged, your audience certainly won’t be. Ideally, you will be passionate in an area where you’re already credentialed. If you’re a professional magician who wants to create a platform in the world of deep-sea diving, you’ll have to work a lot harder than someone who’s already in the water.

Connect with your platform

Do you want to create your own content, or is your staff aligned with your message enough to do it for you? Your answer to these questions might depend on whether you’re creating a platform for yourself or your business (or whether your “self” is your business). If you are developing your personal platform, it’s important that fans feel like they’re interacting with the real you—not your personal assistant. As literary agent Rachelle Gardner writes on her blog, “It’s harder than ever to attract people to books. The way to do it is increasingly through personal connection, and that means YOU, the author, making connections with your readers.”

Vaynerchuk took the time each week to record himself on camera for his (now retired) video blog, The Daily Grape. He was being himself for his fans. Glancing at his Twitter feed, it’s a stream of responses to his followers. No wonder people feel connected to him: they are.

Decide on a content strategy

How will you present your content? Through blogging, videos, presentations, webinars, articles, or a book? A mix of these is likely the most effective way to present your content, but it’s important to know what your audience responds to. How do they learn best? And what works for your content? Do that!

Collect and organize

Building your platform requires content, and here’s the big tip I’d offer to build strong platform messaging: Don’t lose your content! You need every bit of it to redistribute and heighten your platform. Once you have your content arsenal ready to go, there are a number of ways to get the most use out of it. Keep a record of your newsletter tips, blog posts, radio and TV interviews, lecture recordings, and so on. Create your own system to tag your content by subject area to come up with a messaging matrix for easy syndication and so that you’ll be able to quickly repurpose your content for requested media pieces, op-eds, and the like. This organized approach to content management will save you many headaches down the road.

This is a selection from Greenleaf Book Group CEO, Tanya Hall's book Ideas, Influence, and Income. To download free sample chapters from the book, insert your email address below.

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