WHAT IS YOUR PLATFORM BUILT ON?

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So, I’m just going to write a book, find an agent and live happily every after. Bwahahahaha!

When I first started this journey, over a year ago, I spent half my time writing and the other half researching how to be a writer. I remember the first time I read about platform I thought, I’ve got a lot of work to do! Wait, back up a little bit. First I thought, what the Hector Zaroni is a platform? The first visual I received was something you jump off of before landing in the water. I was close.

Our platforms are how people know us. If you were to walk into the mall or into the world dominating franchise that is Wal-mart, what would people be whispering? “Oh, I know him, he’s that guy on face book who had his photo taken, kissing a komodo dragon.” Or, “That’s the guy who rocks the base at the Blue Note on Saturday nights.” Or maybe, “She’s the chick who won the head cheese eating contest at the last Heritage Days Festival!” The methods we use to get people to recognize us are our platforms.

I realize that writers don’t often want to bring attention to themselves, however, the ugly part of writing is marketing; but it doesn’t have to be that way if  you change the way you think about it.

If you are uncomfortable with the idea of marketing yourself, think of it as marketing your work instead.

Platform has changed. It used to be you had a good platform if you’d: ever been on television, you were previously published, you made it big in some other industry like Country Music or NASCAR, you won the lottery or your parents were famous. Today, we are lucky because we can build our own platforms.

Tools to build your platform are plentiful.

Your gonna need a hammer, a level, some screws…Naw I’m just kiddin’. You don’t need any of that stuff. What you will need, however, is a laptop, willingness to learn new things and time. There are so many websites today that help us put ourselves out there like Facebook, Twitter (which I just recently caved and became a twit. FOLLOW ME! @MargieBrimer #shameless plug), Tumbler and the beloved WordPress. These sights make us visible to thousands of people who we could have never have been exposed to otherwise but there is a strategy to networking. You have to be active and responsive and authentic and RESEARCH your butt off on effective ways to format and communicate. Be creative and bold and real.

Don’t wait until you’re famous to build a platform. If you build it they will come.

 These days, many agents are looking for authors who have already put in the work to build a strong platform. It’s an exciting process really because the whole time you’re making relationships and maintaining those relationships and staying on top of posts, it is for a purpose. It’s for the day when it finally happens and when it does your platform will be there for you to step up on….and jump off of.

What other platforms do you use besides our dear WordPress? Can somebody expound on Tumbler and how Pintrest can be used to promote an author’s work? I’m excited to learn.

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19 thoughts on “WHAT IS YOUR PLATFORM BUILT ON?

  1. I’ve been thinking about branding lately, too, as I have a couple meetings with agents coming up and I want to be able to say, “I have over x amount of friends on Facebook, x Twitter followers and x blog followers!” I’m thinking I need to create a website beyond my blog as well. I learned about how to use your name as your brand on writewithwarnimont.com in his post “Branding Like A Boss.” I also use LinkedIn, but probably not as effectively as I could. I don’t use Pinterest yet, but I noticed this post “5 Ways Authors Can Use Pinterest as a Marketing Tool” on Rachelle Gardner’s site: http://www.rachellegardner.com/2013/04/5-ways-authors-can-use-pinterest-as-a-marketing-tool/
    Hope that is helpful!

  2. Hi there! Thanks for visiting my blog. I’m in the process of learning about the whole “Build your platform” process. Thanks for adding to my info!

  3. Now there’s an interesting question indeed Mrgie – how to use Pinterest for writers?? If you’re writing a non-fiction book, Pinterest is a doddle (recipes, pictures of steam trains, a lovely badger) Equally, for real genre fiction, it’s not too hard to figure out – if it’s a historical novel, pin pictures of costumes, recipes that would have been in vogue and so on. But for a contemporary fiction novel? Hmmmmm… My clearest thought at the moment is that a Pinterest board could be used to show locations from the book, maybe some of the inpsirations for the characters, what they like in terms of music (artists, bios and so forth). It’s not an easy one. Of course, there’s also the option of using Pinterest to build your own personal brand, pinning things that inspire you, writers you love, books that drove you to write… If you get it figured out, do let me know! 😀

    • I agree that you would have to be a little more creative to use Pinterest as a platform for fiction but anything is possible and don’t sweat the typo. I’m the queen of clumsy typos. The words is when it’s in the first line of a query letter!

  4. Great post! I’ve been struggling with the same thoughts and challenges in staying focused and proactive in the great goal in the sky: platforming! Thanks for the good words.

  5. Great post! I’m following you on Twitter. I needed this reminder of platforms. I’m on Facebook, Twitter, and blog. But I’m not on Tumblr or Pinterest.

    • Thanks for following!! Those are the three venues I use as well. I don’t know if I could keep up with any more. I think that Facebook is probably the least effective of my efforts to publicize my work though, strangely enough. I think its because the audience is so broad when things like WordPress and Twitter attract interest groups using the tagging system.

  6. Great post! I was on Pinterest long before I started my blog and announced that I’m a writer but I’ve recently found ways to use Pinterest in my writing as well. I’ve created a secret board for my unfinished novels where I pin things that remind me of my book (scenery, people, drinks, food, etc.). Once the novel is complete and you are promoting it, you make the board public and provide a link to it on your blog. I’ve also created a board to pin book covers that I like.

  7. Thanks for writing about the “business of writing!” I tell all my clients that writing the book is only 1% of the work, the other 99% is marketing. And yes, it begins with building a platform! Passion + perseverance + platform = Possibilities.
    Success to everyone. Write on!

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