Note: This week, I’m teaching a free series on how to build an audience. Don’t miss it! Watch the first video here.
One of the questions I get every single week, usually from writers, is this: Do I really need a platform? And the answer to that is yes. But not in the way you think.
The fear, I think, that many of us struggle with is that in building a “platform,” a place where you can showcase your best work and bring attention to it, that you’re somehow crossing a line, selling out. But that’s just not true.
A platform is people — nothing more, nothing less. It’s how you connect your message to the needs of the world. And if you have something to say or share, it’s essential.
Here’s the thing, though: You don’t have to do this the same way everyone else does. You can build a platform your way. In fact, it’s supremely important that you don’t chase other people’s success or try to give people what you think they want.
Bonus: In video #2 of my new teaching series on how to build an audience, I explain why “You Don’t Have to Do it Their Way.” Check it out here.
You need to find your authentic voice and build an audience around your unique message. Otherwise, you’re simply a hack, pandering to the whims of the masses. And trust me, I’ve done that. It doesn’t work out too well.
How I failed before succeeding
Years ago, I started blogging and did whatever I could to try to get people to read it. I’d change topics, chase trends, swap links with anybody. Whatever I needed to do to get attention, I would do it.
And sometimes, people did notice. The problem, though, was when they did, their attention exposed the fact that I was a fake. I wasn’t getting accolades for who I was. I was playing the celebrity, getting applause for playing a part, trying to be who they wanted me to be.
Let me tell you. It’s no fun winning people’s affection for something you didn’t earn or didn’t want. The worst kind of failure is succeeding at the wrong thing.
The worst kind of failure is succeeding at the wrong thing.
Focus on what makes you different, what makes you unique. Be your true self. This is a cliche for a reason. The last thing you want is to showcase to the world a shadow of the real thing.
What happens when we embrace our authentic message
Here’s what happens when you do this, when you start doing more authentic work the way you were meant to do it:
- You do better work. When you’re doing work that inspires you, that excites you, you bring an unmatched energy and enthusiasm to that, which ultimately results in higher quality work.
- You do more interesting work. It’s one thing to be good. It’s another to do work that is intriguing and captivating, something worth talking about. When you embrace your authentic self and share your message with the world, it is often something people want to talk about.
- You attract more of the right kind of people. Trying to reach a mass market is a fool’s errand. The Internet has fractured society into a million tiny niches and markets. The best thing you can do is place your stake in the ground and let people see it. Those who agree with you, and there are always some, will flock to you and follow you for your courage and tenacity. Nobody wants to be pandered to, and you don’t need that many people to make a difference.
The world needs fewer fakers and more people being true to themselves. Maybe that can start with you.
And if you want to learn more about how to find your message and share it, check out my latest video series on building an online audience.
In today’s free video, I share the five basic types of platform personalities that most of the world’s most successful bloggers and communicators have used to get their message out there. In it, you’ll learn:
- Why some bloggers can just write about their lives and people will care.
- How certain writers get away with not having to do any research.
- Which platform type best suits your personality and communication style.
Not sure which platform personality you are? Watch the video to find out. Click here to check it out.
Listen to the audio
To listen to the show, click the player below (If you are reading this via email, please click here)