I like a book that gives me practical advice to grow my business. That’s what I found in Michael Hyatt’s Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World.
Platform is a New York Times best-selling book that offers a step-by-step guide to setting up a platform or improving a platform that already exists. Hyatt defines a platform as “something that enables you to get seen and heard.” So, “platform” is a term that encompasses a variety of mediums and media, including websites, video interviews, books, e-mail newsletters, podcasts—anything that enables a person to be seen and heard by an audience.
No matter how talented you are, or how strong your message is, without an excellent platform, Hyatt explains that you won’t be able to reach an audience.
Speakers, bloggers, musicians, business owners, sales people, brand managers…all of these people need platforms. And as a writer and speaker, I need to understand what makes a platform successful so I can grow my audience.
Michael is unquestionably an expert in building a platform. His stats explain why:
- 300,000+ unique monthly visitors
- 231,000+ Twitter followers
- 92,000+ monthly podcast listeners
- 70,000+ newsletter subscribers
- 46,000+ Facebook fans
Five steps to a dynamic platform
The book is broken up into five steps to help create a dynamic, successful platform:
Step One: Start with Wow talks through creating a “wow” product. In my case, that would be my book, The Editor’s Eye (which I hope others also consider a wow product). Hyatt says you should exceed the expectations of your clients, customers, or audience. Go above and beyond to create something truly worthy of a purchase. Hyatt quotes David Ogilvy, who says, “Great marketing only makes a bad product fail faster.” Basically, put the time in at the outset to create a wow product well before marketing and platform building begins.
Step Two: Prepare to Launch discusses the mindset needed to build a platform and remain consistent in building and maintaining it to make a real difference.
Step Four: Expand Your Reach talks about how to get people to your website or blog. Twitter, Facebook, and guest posting are all strategies offered in this section. He explains how to build traffic and get more followers and fans on social media.
Step Three: Build Your Home Base discusses creating a web presence (such as a website) where you completely control the message. It sets up a home base that people can come back to.
Step Five: Engage Your Tribe explains how to build a passionate community through interacting with your audience. It also teaches how to get people engaged with your brand and message.
My conclusion? Read it!
Overall, I found Platform to be a useful book—and I think you will, too, if you’re looking to build a successful platform. I’ve already started implementing some of his tips and advice and even purchased software Hyatt recommended (Call Recorder for Skype). Perhaps even more useful, I utilized many of his recommendations in a client project with great success.
While it may not have been the most interesting read of my life, it was informative and inspiring—and it helped me see potential in my professional endeavors. The next step? Putting in the work.