How to Grow Your Platform

Authors and aspiring authors are often baffled by the question of “How to grow one’s platform”.

I’m seeing this question coming up a lot in my July Author Cohort for Make Publishing Fun*.

I believe most authors and aspiring authors worry about platform building because it’s seen as needing a strong marketing and promotion mindset—very much the opposite of the creative mindset.

However, those creatives out there are going to LOVE my tip on how you can grow your platform.  My tips is not about selling, but about creating, so let’s get going…

*Yes, the first cohort of the Make Publishing Fun Introductory Course is underway!  If you’d like to listen to a free recording of our recent call where I field questions about topics such as platform, the costs of hybrid publishers, and much more, please click here

A Fun and Creative Way to Grow Your Platform
Write your first book!  Yes, that’s right.  You don’t need to have 100,000 Twitter followers, speak to thousands, or have hundreds of hits per minute on your website in order to get a book out today. True, a traditional publisher will likely not take you on as an author unless you have a large platform, but you have other great options available including professional self publishing as well as hybrid publishing.   If these terms (traditional publishing, self publishing, and hybrid publishing) are going over your head, this post will get you up to speed right away about the different publishing models.

Once you get your book out of your head and into the world, I suggest that authors have an ongoing, focused, consistent, and meaningful effort over a long period of time to add to the platform. Here is where we get into blogging, social media, speaking, and publicity efforts, but I feel that all of those things are so much easier if you have a book from which to pull content.

The One Caveat:  Learn about the Publishing Industry First
On another recent webinar training, I talk about the Three Tips to Make Publishing Fun. One of them is to follow the process of observing and orienting BEFORE you decide and act.  I simply feel that a little education about the industry is imperative before you jump in.  When I was in management consulting, we always built in time at the beginning of the project to learn about our client’s industry. Even if it was just a crash course in the players, the recent trends and the industry financials, knowing the norms was critical in allowing me to give the best advice to clients.

Need some inspiration to get going on your publishing journey? I highly recommend that you download the free interview with Marci Shimoff, #1 NYT bestselling author and transformational leader. The interview is available to the right of this post on web browsers (or just go to the home page if you are on your mobile device).

Here are the inspirational and actionable fun nuggets from the interview that will help you to get that book project GOING:

Fun nugget #1: If you can finish this sentence: “I have something to share that is really important, that will help others, and it is___________”… You know that you are an aspiring author

Fun nugget #2:  If you want to amplify that message and have a burning desire to spread that message, you know that you are an aspiring author

Fun nugget #3: You have to know your “avatar”– who are you serving? (See questions below)

Fun nugget #4: Know how you are there to serve that avatar (what are their paint points?)

Fun nugget #5: You must love the topic that you want to write about (because you will be immersed in it for a LOOOONG time)

Fun nugget #6: Follow the success formula that Marci’s explains:  Intention, Attention, No Tension, an incredible formula that also makes sure that you avoid burnout. ?

Questions to ask yourself:
1. Who am I here for (who am I here to serve)?
2. How am I here to serve (how can I help?)
3. What do I care the most about? (your passion/your calling)

More questions specific for authors:
1. what am I going to write about?
2. how am I going to take care of myself while I write
3. how do I write?
4. how am I going to market this book

Marci also has been generous to offer a freebie (that will also get you on my list to hear more about the summit).  It is her 28-page AWESOME Happy For No Reason Workbook. You can get your own copy here.

Want to learn how to publish a book profitably?
Get important facts about the publishing industry today (traditional, self, and hybrid publishing) and how you can plan a fun and profitable book publishing process. Guide your spending and maximize fun while gaining the invaluable resources you need.


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