The word “platform” is one that you hear often.
Everyone tells you that as a writer you need to build one. But do you really understand what a platform is and why you should have one?
Merriam-Webster offers several definitions but the one that I find fits this conversation better than the others is
That is how you should think of your platform. Not as a place that you stand upon that is higher than your audience from where you can shout your message. Your platform is where you can share ideas, thoughts and dreams with others.
Your platform is the book that holds your story. Of course, you have to make sure that your book is on the right shelves so that your intended audience can find you. But whatever shelf you find your self on whether it is Google+, Facebook, Twitter or any of the others you can’t just sit there and collect dust.
Don’t think about how many books you are trying to sell or how many clients you are trying to attract. Think about how your audience’s interests and needs can fit into your story. If your book is about a young writer finding his way in Paris and honing his craft (A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway) then write about all the amazing people you met along the way, the places that you visited and your view of that moment in your life. Open your mind and share with your audience who you are, your creative process, ideas that come to you and much, much more. Create an experience that your readers can relate to and be sincere. You will find that the platform that you build will not only help you sell your book or services but it also will create a valuable conversation that will allow you to grow, while providing your audience with something worthwhile.
THIS WEEK on The Writing Biz our topic is building your platform. My guest will be Don Stevens, Author, Publisher, and Web Marketing Specialist and owner of Finger Lakes Copyrighting, The show will air live on Google+ Wednesday, July 23 at 7:30pm EST. You can also catch the replay and past episodes at http://thewritingbiz.com/ .