Have you ever built anything? I’m not the most handy guy (just ask ANYONE). But I have managed to remodel a kitchen and bathroom, finish a basement, and even build a chicken mansion (think of a chicken coop on steroids…REALLY big chicken coop) over the past several years.
None of these creations will end up in the carpentry Hall-of-Fame…but they have served their purpose. Now I’m trying to build something else. I’m trying to build a platform.
I wish it was the kind of platform that needed some wood and nails. I think that might be easier. No, the kind of platform I am trying to build is defined perfectly by Michael Hyatt (CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers) as “the means by which you connect with your existing and potential fans.”
I’m not hung up on the word “fans.” That feels too egocentric. I don’t think of anyone who reads my blogs or follows me on Twitter as a “fan.” But I recognize that there are some people who like what I have to say. And I want to make a difference in the lives of as many people as possible. So I would define my platform as “the means by which I connect with the people in whose lives I have made, or will make, a difference.
Feels too wordy, but it gets to the heart of what I want to do: I want to help people. And in turn, I want those I have helped to be inspired and motivated to help others. I want to look back on my life in 40 years and smile, knowing that God used me to help as many people as possible.
In order to maximize the number of people I may help, I need a platform.
THE “GOOD OL’ DAYS”
In the days before electricity, the way that an individual built their platform was much less broad. The local newspaper would carry information about the movers and shakers of the community, but the influence was localized. As technology grew, the ability to carry a message grew with it. Telephone and telegraph became a way to carry the message to more people. Eventually radio and television exponentially increased the numbers of people who could be influenced. Now we have the internet…and within the internet, the number of ways to reach people and establish a platform continues to grow, seemingly with no end in sight. The explosion of Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Squidoo, Google Reader, and RSS (just to name a few), has created a vast network of people, so it should be easy to connect with thousands of people at the click of a button…
But it isn’t. Not without a platform.
The beauty of a platform is that it is not a “one-size fits all” creation. A platform may include your Facebook, Linked In, or Twitter accounts. It might include pod-casting or YouTube videos. Perhaps you are a musician or an actor or a public speaker. If you are a writer, your platform may include newspaper, online articles, or a blog. It is likely that building a platform will require a combination of things in order to get yourself noticed.
Hyatt is releasing a book on May 22nd called (appropriately enough) “Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World.” I cannot wait to read this book, and I encourage all of you who are looking to be a voice in the world to order it too…BUT…
Do NOT order it yet! Hyatt is giving away an insane amount of free material for those people who buy the book during the week of May 21-25. In his own words, Michael writes, “Here’s the deal: if you buy the book during the week of May 21–25, I will send you SEVEN FREE BONUSES worth $375.98.”
This is an incredible opportunity to learn from an expert how to build your platform and be heard above the clatter of our noisy world. I urge you to check it out. Details are available on Hyatt’s website.
WHAT ARE YOU DOING?
I’m building a platform, one plank at a time…I’m doing it through speaking, coaching, teaching, and writing. We all want to make a difference in this world, so we all need a platform. How are you building yours?