The Power and Necessity of an Author’s Platform

A physical platform is what a person stands on in a crowd so an audience can see him or her. For an author, your platform is how you connect with the people who want to hear what you have to say. You can do that through a website, a blog, speaking engagements, webinars, book signings, social media like Facebook and Twitter, newsletters, e-blasts, videos, podcasts, etc.

curtain-165488_640Your platform is the place where people can interact with you. It is where you stand and share what you have written. 

Very few people can be like Justin Bieber—just put a few videos on YouTube and a year later have one of the top songs in the country and a huge fan base. But everyone’s book has that chance. To give yours the best start, begin building your audience now.

An amazing resource to help you build your platform is the book Platform by Michael Hyatt. If you don’t want to buy a book, at a minimum check out Hyatt’s website, which has a wealth of great information that you can access for free. Invest some time this week and do some reading, watching, and listening here.

If you don’t have a website or blog, watch the 22-minute video on how you can Launch a Self-Hosted WordPress Blog in 20 Minutes or Less. A self-hosted blog will cost you some money. So will www.squarespace.com. It’s not free, but it is reasonable. And if you’re serious about building a platform, it’s a good way to go.

You can check out quality free blog and website options at www.weebly.com, www.blogger.com, www.wordpress.com, or www.tumblr.com/about. These are good options that will give you a place to begin and also provide the flexibility to expand in the future if needed.

If you’re not sure of the importance of an author website, take a look at both sides of the issue as presented by Jane Friedman here.

Don’t dismiss the importance of social media. Nearly one out of four people in the world are a part of a social network of some kind. That’s about two billion people. As of 2013, more than 1.1 billion people around the world are on Facebook. Someone clicks the Facebook “Like” button more than 4.5 billion times a day. That’s more than 52,000 times per second.

More than half of all Americans have a profile on a social networking site, and it’s not just kids who are signing up. If you’re over forty, you may not think social media is for you. But 55 percent of adults ages 45 to 54 are part of a social network.

More people are connecting on social media than anywhere else. If you’re not a part of that network, you are missing an amazing opportunity.

I like what Dan Blank of WeGrowMedia.com says: “Platform is not about status updates, but about being a person others want in their lives.” Consider how people who are interested in you and your content may want to connect with you, and grow your platform in that direction.

Starting, maintaining, and growing your platform is an ongoing process. If you have a platform in place, consider your next step to help it grow.

If having a platform is a new idea for you, click on a few of the links in this post, do a little research, and figure out what’s going to work for you.

Question: What type of platform is working for you? Leave your comment below.

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