Do you have something to say, but struggle with how to say it? Or maybe the issue is finding your audience. You know they're out there, right? People who share your concerns and passions. People ready to hear what you have to say, but more than that-people who are willing to open dialogue with you. Have a conversation. Learn from each other.
This is the point I'm at. I've determined the steps I need to take in focusing my blog and website on its new purpose. Now it's a matter of learning how to build a platform so that I can reach the audience I want to share with.
Enter PLATFORM Get Noticed in a Noisy World: A Step-by-Step Guide for Anyone with Something to Say or Sell. During its release week last May, the author offered a sweet package for those who ordered the hardcover. I jumped on it and listened to the entire book via mp3 several times before the physical book arrived. There are five main steps to platform building:
1. Start with Wow. This should be a no-brainer, but maybe it isn't. Either way, it's certainly the foundation to a platform. If you don't have a WOW product (book?), it will be hard to create a solid platform on top of it.
2. Prepare to Launch. In this section Hyatt talks about accepting personal responsibility, defining goals, creating branding, etc. Although this isn't the largest of the five sections, it's got a lot of practical information in it.
3. Build Your Home Base. This section focuses on the one place on the internet you own: your website and blog. Hyatt gives solid reasons why your blog should be at YourOwnName. You can't control anywhere else, so you need to solidify your efforts to your home base. He likens Facebook, guest blogging, etc, to embassies-a presence you've been invited to have on foreign soil, knowing they can change the rules at any time and kick you off.
Anyway, this section talks a lot about the hows and whys of blogging, with some information about the rest of your website as well, such as your "about" page.
4. Expand Your Reach. This relates to reaching out from your home base to find blog subscribers, Twitter followers, and Facebook fans. Hyatt is a great believer in Twitter, so a good chunk of this section has tips for this form of social media. While I don't love Twitter any more than I used to, he does provide some solid ideas.
5. Engage Your Tribe. Now that we (presumably) have all the pieces in place, Hyatt gives advice for keeping our new readers/followers/fans engaged and promoting us to their friends and contacts.
While he tries to make a case for "if he can do it, anyone can," this didn't ring true in my mind. Most of us are complete unknowns, not (former) CEOs of major publishing houses. Most of us don't have the budget to throw at our websites the way Hyatt apparently does. ($1000 per month? Beyond my comprehension.)
So, in my opinion, you need to take some of it with a grain of salt. A lot of his advice can be scaled back to a normal budget of paying for URL and hosting then using a free theme and plugins. Mine may not be as fancy as his, but honestly I don't see an expensive site when I go to MichaelHyatt.com. I doubt the average visitor is impressed by the bells and whistles. I could be wrong. My lack of judgment on the subject may be holding me back from having as effective a platform as Hyatt, who knows?
With all that in mind, I still think this book is a good buy and worth going through slowly and repeatedly. I'm sure I am getting way more than $15.36 value out of it. If you're trying to find your way to a more solid platform, I recommend this book.
Michael Hyatt is the Chairman of Thomas Nelson Publishers, which makes him the coolest man alive since most of the books I read are from TNP and now they are the proud publishers of the Voice bible. Mr Hyatt writes books and blogs about leadership, productivity, publishing, social media, and, on occasion, stuff that doesn't fit neatly into any of these categories.
His latest book, Platform "Get noticed in a noisy world" is exactly what the title implies. This is a must read for anyone who wants to be noticed among the crowd. And this is the kind of leadership book I like, the chapters are short, easy to digest, packed with punch and there is TON of information here to devour.
If your self-improvement goals are to read one leadership book a year, make it this one! This is 60 chapters of equipping that you can use in ministry or the business world. In fact, I would argue that this book would be applicable to anyone who wants to get noticed, especially in fields that are flooded with competition.
The other great thing about this book is, it's relevant. Unlike some leadership books that just get reprinted with new covers, Platform is about modern tools like websites and social media and Michael gives you great advice how to use them.
Hyatt also takes time out from advice giving to offer real stories of his personal successes and failures making for a delightful and easy read. Highly recommended!
Thank you to Thomas Nelson for providing this book for a fair and honest review.
Michael Hyatt knocked it out of the park. For the Social Media novice, it is an effective step by step instruction manual for effectively setting up your social media platform. It is a tremendous value for the price.