Why do many aspects of Platform cause a writer to shun and run from this daunting stage?
“It’s so new. It’s *so* scary. I’m scared! I can’t do it. I don’t know even what I’m doing. Why is it even important?”
It’s not my goal to even pretend I know everything (I certainly don’t know everything, if I did then I’d be really scared. That’s an awful lot of responsibility, and I’d rather just trust the Lord to lead me). 😉 But in the year I’ve been plunging the scary waters of social media and striving to build platform, I’ve learned it’s not so bad. And it’s actually quite fun. I’m no better than the next person because God’s given each of us our skills and abilities with which to serve him. We all have something to contribute to the world.
As I was reading the comments from one of Bob’s first posts about Platform, author Rachel McDaniel nailed it.
Fear, she said.
Fear pushes platform away from the writer’s ability of ever becoming successful. Fear keeps so many people from doing what they should be doing or from what they want to be doing. Granted, I’m very much an introverted person and don’t enjoy airing every scene of my life out for the whole world to see, but there’s a way to do it and still maintain that privacy. Once I realized that I was afraid and how to stomp it down, connecting with people has been the most rewarding part of this platform journey. Am I “there” yet? Nope. Do I want to be? You bet!
I can’t remember who said it but I’ve learned to let fear motivate me, for in that I’m able to balance the rational fear from the irrational fear about platform and why it makes me scared. If I can answer the 5 W’s and H questions and write them down, I’m only giving myself the freedom to do what needs to be done and shoving that fear farther behind me.
As King David said in Psalm 23: “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.”
A missionary friend of mine explained this verse in an empowering way. She said, “God goes with you everywhere. Down the road to the grocery store. On vacation. You can rest in security because he is with you and he will not fail you.”
My fellow writers, graze in the security that the Lord is with you in every situation. Even as you build your platform and reach out to people. In my mind, platform simply means people. With the Lord at my side and a love for people, I can go anywhere and do anything.
Okay, well, within reason. I am a Christian who happens to be a writer. 😉
As for building platform and engaging in social media, I recommend the Blue Ridge Marketing Conference. While I’ve not been yet, I know Diann Mills and Edie Melson are excellent encouragers because they want you to succeed at blogging, branding, and using social media. And, as Bob Hostetler sums up in one of his comments to readers on The Steve Laube Agency website, “platform” isn’t just social media, branding, and blogging, “it’s network. It’s connection. It’s relationship.”
Many beginning creatives may find Platform challenging, and it is. There’s no way around this valley. But if we zoom through the valley and turn our eyes to the mountain, we will recognize success. Rome wasn’t built in one day. Neither is Platform built in one month.
Bob says, “How strange is it, that we Christian writers, who claim to write in order to touch hearts and lives rail against platform, which is about gathering an audience of hearts and lives?”
While the concept of creating your platform may seem crazy, the actual building of your platform is simple: brick by brick. Until it’s steaming right along.
Here are three N’s to build that platform:
- Network on the social media you’re comfortable with.
If it’s only Facebook, stay there. Don’t try anything else. When you’re comfy cozy, venture out and include Instagram, or Twitter, or LinkedIn, or GooglePlus, or YouTube. Above all else, start small. Build those relationships, even among your thirty friends. You’ll grow.
- Nudge everyone in your field.
If that field is editing, reach out to at least one person a day. Make small conversation. Compliment them on something from their website or social media content. If that field is writing, connect with writers who write the same things you do. Offer something of personal value to everyone you meet.
- Never give up without praying about it first.
The going is gonna get tough before it just trickles. Keep working at it. Form a prayer chain with a few friends about your struggles. Find a mentor. Pray and ask God what he would want you to do. He will help you because he’s called you to it.
I’d Love to Connect with You!
Authors, beginning writers, editors, friends, PEOPLE, I’d love to connect with you!
You see my social media links on the sidebar. Follow me, and I’ll follow you back––I would also love to engage in conversation.
That’s what it’s all about. Let’s get this platform under our belts so we can do what we’re called to do!