In part, one I stated what an author platform was “Platform is the means by which you connect with your existing and potential fans.” Platform by Micheal Hyatt
That a platform does three specific things
- Provides visibility
- Amplifies of extends your message
- Allows you to connect and or engage with your audience
We discussed the various types of internet-based sources that can accomplish this.
- Social media
- Email lists
- Speaking engagements
Using the analogy of the game Monopoly, I am going to give you a suggested way to build your platform
- Buy the land
- Buy some houses
- Buy hotels
- Buy all the color groups and do the same.
Using this basic idea I think anyone that has played monopoly can easily determine the strategy necessary to “win “the game of platform development.
Let us start with “buying land”
The ‘land’ represents your real estate in the game. To be successful you have to ‘buy’ some.
Understand that on the internet your real estate is your website/blog. Remember that your website or blog is the home base from which you begin to embark on the quest to building a successful platform. It is your exclusive owned presence on the net.
This is a key point and crucial to understand. A Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus or any other form of social media is NOT YOURS. It is leased internet property and the lessor can change the rules on you at anytime. Keep in mind that as I write this there is a trend to attempt to monetize social media more. (i.e. you have to pay to acquire visibility, amplify your message, and engage with your audience.) There is a great article on this and its impact to small businesses (authorprenuers) who use Facebook . You can find the article here.
If those sites deem your behavior inappropriate or someone reports you for some reason you will be subject to the owners of those sites removing or limiting your access to an audience you want to engage with. This happened to me. It can happen to you.
There are two types of internet real estate you can acquire: a hosted website or a self-hosted website. If you are, low on cash and are just starting out. A hosted website is the route I recommend that you take. This will get you on the “board” A hosted website will be something like Blogger, Wix.com or wordpress.com. Between the three, I suggest wordpress.com. Simply put it provides you the greatest degree of flexibility with the means to grow with you as your needs change. (and as we move up the platform ladder you will discover the power of WordPress is simply beyond the others mentioned.) It is more widely utilized on the web than the other two, and the guts of wordpress.org is open sourced which means free.
If you have the cash expenditure (aprox $200-$300) then you want to move directly to a self hosted website. In this case you want to use wordpress.org. Your set up is more challenging but if you can go straight to this step do so! Find a host who can put your website on the internet. There are many, Click here to research and select the right one. I am using BlueHost as my host for this website.
I’ll talk more about self-hosting at a later date. For right now going the free hosting route is like picking up Connecticut Avenue in Monopoly. A self-hosted is like getting one of the yellow or green properties.
This article would become to long if I had to explain the pros and cons of each suggested option. (I do plan to do this at some point) but in the meantime, trust me on this. Use wordpress.com over the others.
If you do not have a hosted website, worpress.com is the free way to acquire the necessary space you need on the board. Just like the game of monopoly; once acquired, you can begin to “build” houses and hotels. Again just like in the game of monopoly the purpose of the land is to provide a base to build. Keep that in mind. It’s not the end. It’s the means to an end. And just like in the game you know that buying the land won’t win you the game. Getting a hosted website wont instantly draw people to learn more about your product or service. But it is the start, the foundation that we will build a solid platform together.
So lets put things into action. Go here and begin playing around with creating your own website. I’ll come back in my next post on the subject and go over next steps. Until then if you enjoyed this post, please consider subscribing to my monthly newsletter where you can learn even more and get exclusive insights on my forthcoming books, tips on leadership and more.
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