If you're trying to get heard in a world full of distractions, you've got your work cut out for you. You have two choices:
- Get a friend named Donald Trump.
- Build a platform you can be proud of.
If you happen to have a billionaire patron who's willing to help buy your way into influence, great. Shut the computer down and go start building your empire.
But if not, then you had better get to work.
The good news is you finally have the tools at your disposal to create your own fame. The technology is accessible and cheap; all you need to do now is act. Here's what you'll need to get started (the tools and next steps for each):
A permission asset
This is often a blog, what you might call a “platform” or something along those lines. It can be a podcast, acting career, TV station, etc.
A permission asset is a piece of “property” you have control over. In other words, it can't be taken away from you; you own it. That part is important.
If you have a website on someone else's domain (e.g. Blogspot.com or WordPress.com), you don't own your platform.
If you have to ask someone else's permission to speak to your audience, you don't own your platform.
If you have a landlord telling you how you can or can't use what's been given to you, you don't own your platform.
So if that doesn't describe what you're building, it's time to start making smart choices to earn trust and build something you can be proud of that won't be taken away from you.
Next Step: Set up a self-hosted blog (it takes less than eight minutes).
A distribution channel
It's not enough to have a platform. You can buy a nice house, but that alone won't get friends to come over. You need a way to invite people. In other words, you need a channel.
Some of the most popular distribution channels in society are the postal service or telephone line. Even Twitter is a way to connect with an audience and bring them back to your platform.
This is something that you may not own, but it's a vehicle for reaching more people and inviting them back to the asset you've built (i.e. your blog).
My favorite channel is email: it's personal, simple, and timeless (as far as the Internet goes, anyway). Plus, if you have a good list, you can take that with you anywhere — even if you start a new business, blog, etc.
When my blog went down last week, one of the reasons I didn't freak out was that I still had complete control to communicate with my readers through my email list. It's a powerful way of connecting with people.
Next step: Set up and start building an email list.
Yes, a clock. Why? Because this is going to take some time. How much? I'm not sure. It could take a year or a decade. Maybe it happens faster than that, but that's not really the norm.
It took Chris Brogan over eight years to get more than 100 subscribers to his blog. It took my friend Bryan Allain a decade to earn his first 1000 fans. It took me four years of practicing (and failing) plus two years of hustling before I built my platform.
Next step: Start creating content and building relationships.
The bottom line
It requires patience to build trust; the two go hand in hand. And like I said before, if you've got some bajillionaire friend who's willing to help you expedite the process by getting you in front of Oprah, by all means call him.
But if not, these three tools are your best bet.
If you want to know more about this sort of thing, check out my online course, Tribe Writers, where we teach you how to build a platform you can be proud of. The next class opens up for registration later this week.
What's one thing you need to do to build a platform you can be proud of? Share in the comments.