Guest post by Rebecca Livermore
The word, “platform” can be a bit confusing since it can be used so many different ways.
What is a Platform?
A platform can refer to computer hardware – something I definitely won’t be building.
Or it can refer to the structure you stand on when waiting to board a train. I’ve stood on many of those during my travels in Europe and Asia, but I don’t plan on building one of those, either.
The platform that I’m most interested in building and what I want to address here is what is defined by Dictionary.com as, a raised floor or stage used by public speakers or performers so that they can be seen by their audience. It is also defined there as, an opportunity to voice one’s views or initiate action.
We Live in a Noisy World
People, such as artists, no longer need to wait around, hoping to be discovered by a big name company.
That’s the good news. The bad news is that since it’s so “easy,” there are many artists out there trying to sell their wares, be it music, paintings, or crocheted dish clothes. Some are truly creating great art and others are just making noise. Either way, the high volume of artist hawking their wares online can make it hard to be discovered.
Who Needs a Platform?
This is where having a solid platform comes in, because a platform elevates you and raises you higher than others who are also trying to be heard.
A solid platform is no longer necessary just for artists such as musicians and book authors – though authors and other types of artists certainly need a solid platform.
Michael Hyatt writes in his book, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World that a platform is for anyone with something to say or sell.
In other words, anyone who has a message, be it political, religious, or related to a lifestyle or hobby needs a platform, and most certainly, anyone who is selling a service or product needs a platform.
How Can I Benefit From a Platform?
- Platforms make you visible.
If you’ve ever been in a crowded park with a stage, you’ve probably noticed that as soon as someone stood up on the platform, your eyes, and the eyes of many others in the crowd immediately went to the person on the stage.
Even if the person was “unimportant,” you couldn’t help looking. For instance, the person may have just been emptying a trash can, but you stood there watching him, because the fact that he was on the platform got your attention.
If you want people to find you and know about you and your business or the cause you’re promoting, building a solid platform will help you to be seen.
- Platforms amplify sound.
Many stages are built in such a way that sound is amplified from the stage. In fact, before modern sound systems were invented, the primary way that a person could be heard was to stand on a platform, speak up, and let the acoustics do their job.
Being seen is one thing – and is the first step in being noticed online. But being heard comes about when the platform you’ve built is solid enough that people want to hear what you have to say.
A solid platform helps you build credibility so that people not just put up with your message, but embrace it, and go out of their way to hear it and even share it with others.
How Can I Build a Platform?
I believe that blogging, assisted with other forms of social media, is the best way to build a platform.
Blogging is incredibly effective because it enables you, at a very low cost, to demonstrate your expertise. When you consistently create quality content that is written in your unique voice, and when it’s devoid of annoying sales messages, not only will your content help you be “seen” via Google searches, it will also help you to be heard, since the content you create demonstrates that you not only can be trusted, but are worth listening to.
Social media such as Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest are great ways to also get your message out there, help you connect and build relationships with others, and help drive traffic to your site.
How Are You Building a Platform?
I’d love to hear your thoughts about what you’re doing to build a platform and any tips you may have for being seen and heard.
Rebecca Livermore is a blogger and virtual assistant with a specialty in social media and content marketing. If you need help developing the blogging habit, she invites you to sign up for her free eCourse, 5 Secrets to Developing the Blogging Habit,or to connect with her on her blog, Professional Content Creation.