Platform is a two-way street. Which side are you driving on?

Platform isn’t about producing information all the time. It’s about producing quality content and having it resonate with active readers of your blog, website, Facebook and Twitter feed. Imagine you are driving down the street and everyone is going the other way. Where are they going? What are they going to see? To get people flocking you have to be engaged with them.

The reason platforms work in your favour is that they create a community and provide transparency. So developing content might seem like where the work lies, but that’s half the battle. The rest lies in leading people to your content, and giving them something to chat about.

Tip 1: Focus your message

What is it that readers can expect from you? Don’t jump around from topic to topic. You want to be known as an authority on a subject matter (whether it’s holistic nutrition, women’s fiction writing, or pet therapy) and build you community around a topic.

Tip 2: Focus your content

Use your website, blog posts or Twitter feed for what they are. Websites are information and resource based. Blogs are content and text based. Twitter is personal mixed with self promotion. Facebook is relationship based. Know which conversations to have where.

Tip 3: Post less, get more readers

When blogging, instead of posting daily or multiple posts daily make a decision about what is important about your posts or which posts are important. Every time you write a post ask yourself: Is this something my readers will want to know? Am I 100% happy with what I wrote? Do I feel comfortable promoting this across all my social media outlets? Is this consistent with my message? Write something that makes readers click on the ‘share’ button.

Tip 4: Be yourself

Push through the 4th wall between you and your readers. Let them in. While you are an authority on your preferred subject, you are also human. Twitter is great for this.

Tip 5: Evaluate each step before you make it

Start with one or two outlets (Twitter and blog; Facebook and blog etc.). Can you keep these up following the above tips? If you can, add another outlet. If you can’t, peel back and develop content at a speed you can maintain. It is about community development and retainment.

Tip 6: Know which social media and website outlets fit your message

Social media and platform building is changing all the time when forms like Tumblr, Google+ and Pinterest emerge as new leaders. Know which outlet is right for you. Twitter: short form information. Google+: benefit of Google search engine optimization. Facebook: personal community building. WordPress: content oriented blogging. Tumblr: photo oriented blogging. Pinterest: e-commerce and visual branding.

Conclusion

Decide what kind of commitment you can make to developing and maintaining your platform. It is a mix of organic development and leading the conversation. Be confident in what you produce. Self-awareness is a big part of the process so once you get readers to your platforms make sure you listen to what they have to say in terms of feedback. Once you’ve applied these interactive tips you’ll be moving within the flow of traffic, not driving down a one-way all alone.

Q: What sites do you use for platform and brand building?

Image via Flickr

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9 thoughts on “Platform is a two-way street. Which side are you driving on?

  1. I have had my own website/blog since 2004, and have been building my brand for that long. I also maintain a Facebook author page, a Twitter account, and a token presence on Google+. I post book reviews on Amazon, B&N, and Goodreads under my own name, which I think is something a lot of authors fail to consider as part of their marketing package. My webcomic helped build a whole lot of buzz and put me on the map of the internet (and now that I’ve ended it, I hope that doesn’t make me just fade away!). Coming soon, I’m going to be a guest in a podcast and also a guest on a Paper Rats video production. New avenues…

    Like this

  2. I love and completely agree with your third point. I also agree with the fact that we shouldn’t take on too many social networking sites if we can’t keep up with them. For the moment, I know that I only have the time and energy for a blog. Other platforms may come later.

    Like this

  3. Pingback: Platform Building Links | Carly Watters, Literary Agent

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