Posts Tagged ‘platform’

How to Extend Your Platform

September 22, 2009

[The following post is rewritten from the blog of Chris Brogan, social media consultant and author of Trust Agents (John Wiley & Sons). Used with permission.]

Today I’m presenting at the Writer’s Digest conference. This is a bit of a dream, because from the moment I thought I was a “serious writer,” Writer’s Digest products were my guides to what I thought I’d have to do to succeed. Now they’ve asked me in to show people the crazy hazy edge. Today they want to know about the book as platform and seeding your future.

I’m going to start with a great quote from Bob Stein, from the O’Reilly Tools of Change event. He defined a book as such: “A book is a user-driven media where readers and sometimes authors congregate.” Do you love that? Is that crazy? I love it.

I extended myself into a platform. People try to ask about this at events, but because they don’t exactly know or see the edges, they don’t ask the question the way I’m framing it for you now. What do I mean? What’s it mean to be a platform?

I am me. I make media. I push the media onto this blog (at the time of this writing), 30,000 or so folks get this via a subscription, and over a month I’ll have 250,000 unique visitors. I have this linked to my Facebook, so another 4750 people get this. If I tweet the link, just short of 100,000 more people get this. I speak at dozens of events a year.

That means my ideas spread pretty darned far. Not TV show far, but not bad, eh?

You can do the same thing. That’s really what I’m going to say to people. I’m going to talk about HOW I set it up, how I built the network, what I did to nurture it, and how I use it to help other people, and finally, what that does to help me.

Do you know how? You’ve been here awhile now, right?

I started by connecting with people in one place and making relationships. I invited those people to my other platforms. I explored their interests. I learned what mattered to them and tried to fuel it. I moved into new platforms. I went everywhere that information could spread easily. I went nowhere that information was penned in. I connected with as many connectors as I could. I put my ideas into forms that other people could take them and run. I reinforced and encouraged others. I thanked others. I asked for very little in return for everything that I gave.

I co-wrote an entire book on how to make information and value move through systems, that most people buy because they they think it’ll teach them the secrets of social media. The secret is that these tools let us build better relationships. That’s it.

That’s platform, friends. You’re great alone, but you’re everything once you figure out platform thinking and how to equip and empower value transactions.

Make sense? What am I missing in my descriptions? What do you want to ask, given what you see above? What would you add, my brilliant friends?


Best-selling or Best-writing?

June 5, 2009

The other day a fellow blogger posed the crucial question, “do you want to be a best-selling author or a best-writing author?” I was surprised at the number of authors/writers who prefer “best-writing” status.

It’s admirable to want to improve one’s craft, to write poetic prose, to so completely relate to one’s readers/tribe/platform/community, et al with powerful words. I’d love to become that level of writer, to win the Nobel Prize for literature. On the other hand, I write with purpose. I write with a message, and it’s more important (to me) that the message gets spread.

Key to spreading the message of my writing – and yours – is building our online platforms. Central to our platforms are our daily or weekly blogs. That’s what one blogger calls “home base.” Another calls this “your (more…)

How To Increase Your Platform

June 2, 2009

So, the last time we chatted we talked about the need, and the opportunity, for authors to build their “platforms” via social media. Whether blogs or Facebook or Tangle or Twitter or YouTube or other online communities, generating a following is easy enough from the technology end.

As authors know, the hardest part of writing is staring at the blank screen. Whatever will you write? Whatever do you have to say that’s interesting and/or useful to anybody, let alone the entire blogosphere?

Wait a minute! You just wrote an entire book. Or you’re in the midst of writing one, right? What’s your subject matter? Can you expound on a specific fact beyond the scope of your book? If you’re a chemist (pay attention, Richard), what new developments are there in the world of beakers and test tubes? If you’re a geologist or (more…)

How Online Visibility Helps Authors Get Published

May 22, 2009

More and more often, publishers are requiring authors have “platforms” before considering their books for publication. Many authors, however, especially those who are unpublished, wonder how they’ll generate a “platform” if no one will publish their book.

Call it a platform, a community, a following, or a tribe, it’s much easier increasing one’s visibility to readers these days, thanks to the Internet and the World Wide Web. Authors who are passionate about the subject of their book can easily blog about said subject or speak to local groups or write columns for appropriate periodicals, thus creating the “platform.” When readers discover useful and valuable information in those blogs or columns or speeches, they’ll gladly tell their friends and associates. Many will recommend authors or books in their own blogs.

Today’s tip: Make your blog useful to readers. David Meerman Scott tells about an author who wrote about (more…)