The Second Big Lie: Building Your Platform
The Second Lie Authors Are Fed: You Have To Build a “Platform” To Be Successful.
The biggest problem with authorities is they all define different things when they talk about “platform.” They define it in their terms of what they ran into when they were trying to get started as an author. Most of them say a platform is social media. And that’s a bunch of bull.
Most of them say it’s the network you have. A lot of them say it’s “influencers.” But while they all talk about it, they don’t know they are all describing the same four pieces that make up a platform, even without pointing them out.
The problem is that they’re not telling you all the pieces. They are just telling the pieces they know of.
Here’s the four pieces:
The First Is Your Vision.
This is exactly what you consider it can be. It’s what you want to accomplish as an author. It’s the end-goal in your mind.
Second Is Your Content.
That’s the books you write, and all the text you write, but it’s also all the ads and any descriptions you write about your books. It’s also anywhere you write or talk about your book or the experiences it contains, anywhere at all. That’s your content you’ve produced.
The Third Point Is Your Audience.
Who will listen to you when you talk about something? This is where a lot of authors struggle at their beginning. Nobody has ever heard of them. These authors don’t know wants to listen. You can’t just get off a bus in the middle of New York City, talk about your book, and expect anybody to listen. You need to find places where readers gather. Then find readers for that story type.
The Fourth Part Is Your Network.
These are all the people you do business with. And they’re all the people that have audiences from front of them like media hosts, podcast, and radio hosts. They’re also other authors that have similar readers to yours. If you were running a regular business you’d have plumbers, electricians, building and repairing your shop. You would have your regular customers that come in. And the business owners on your street would be in your network. It’s where you buy the gas for your car from. In a small town, everybody knows everybody, and everybody is in their other network and also in everybody else’s network.
So when you come out with a book and you tell them, they tell their friends and other relatives they know and that’s where you will get your book sales. Most authors get their get their first sales that way. That is also the end of their book sales. Because that is all the network they’ve developed.
How the System Works
We want to build up an audience through readers who want to read your book. We want to build up a network of people who want to share your book to their audiences, so your audience grows. We want to build your vision: What you want to accomplish. Where you want to end. That vision says how much money you want to make, how much income you want to produce. It’s how much effect you want to create with this book.
All those will determine what content you want to/need to write. They predict your needed investment to get that result.
The trick with these four points is that they are a natural system, everybody has this. Learning to walk and then to run. “Practice Makes Permanent.” All the elements in this system are interactive. So when you improve one you improve all of them. And if you screw up one you’ll bring the others down. But that’s very unlikely. Because if you get your vision straight about what you want to accomplish, and if you make this your burning desire (as Napoleon Hill described it.) You get everything else off your plate, or just let those distractions slide away, so you can just concentrate on that one goal in front of you. Then you’ll be able to succeed and grow and expand your writing to whatever you need to.
Your vision will also encompass how much of a network you want, how much of an audience you need, and how much and what type of content you need to produce. It will also tell you how much you need to work on improving your vision.
As you publish, your network will then tell you whether that was a hit or a failure with their audience. Was it inappropriate content? So change it next time. Study them. Learn what they want. Deliver what they expect. Just as you do in your writing.
And your audience will either react or they won’t. But the point is you need a big enough and vocal audience to give you the feedback necessary to revise your content. If it’s your network’s audience, you want to work to please those audiences so you please network people. Those sales will or won’t give you enough income to satisfy your vision. Your main effort in this might be to see how much audience you can add. See how these four points fit together?
Next: Lesson 8 – What We’ve Learned