Everyone's trying to build a platform these days. Bloggers. Speakers. Musicians. Everyone. The question is once you have a platform, what will you do with it?
Don't be another noisemaker
There are a lot of people in this world trying to get heard. They are eager for an audience. Some, though, are unfortunately going about it the wrong way. And they're paying dearly for it.
These people have turned their channels into monologues. They've hijacked the conversation and made it about themselves. They need to get in touch with what earned them influence in the first place. They need to refocus on others.
We've all seen the importance of a platform and why you need one to get published. We understand how to earn the attention of an audience. So let's talk about what comes after. What do you do once you've built a platform? How do you continue connecting with people and spreading a message that deserves to be heard? Here are three tips to remember:
1. Broadcast your passion
With negativity surrounding us from all sides, we need something to motivate us. Something positive. Something that matters. Do you have this kind of message? If you don’t, it might be time to rethink what you’re spreading.
What we need is your pathos, your love. Not just another angry rant.
The temptation to make a buck in the short-term is alluring, as is the opportunity to be controversial. Eventually, though, people see through this approach. Why not instead try something radical? Start letting your passion be heard. Make it loud and clear.
This resonates more than another piece of bad news.
2. Give back
A great way to build a platform is to be generous — to give away something for free (like an eBook). Once you've done this, don't stop. There is always something more to give, always another way to share.
Look for ways to help people. Think of all the good you could be doing with your new-found influence. How about taking that guest post from an unknown writer? Or grabbing coffee with someone ready to learn?
Take what you've received and pay it forward.
Don't resent the attention you receive; embrace it. As much as you can, even if it takes a while, answer those requests for advice. Reply to emails asking for help. Don’t get cocky, remember how you got here, and don't forget to give back.
3. Make your message matter
Do you know what it’s going to take to make an impact on this world? You and me and the messages we’re spreading — dripped out over time to our audiences. What we think and write every day — getting heard on a regular basis.
That's how you make a difference. And that’s why you build a platform: to communicate in a way that changes things.
You could do all the right things to make your story spread, but if you don’t put out a consistently important message, you're irrelevant. Just another noisemaker in an already-noisy world. So keep showing up. Keep sharing a message worth hearing.
As Seth Godin says, “We need you to lead us.” So start leading. And do so generously. We're all waiting to hear from you.
Why do you want to build a platform? Is it to help people? Or promote yourself?
*Photo credit: Incase (Creative Commons)