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Writing My Memoir #7: Platform is More than Social Media

When I came back from my hiatus and found my blog was dead, I was unsure where to go from there. I could try and resurrect the blog, but to tell the truth, I didn’t feel like blogging several times a week. I could try and ease my way back into Twitter, but every time I logged in I felt overwhelmed.

I blogged from time to time when I felt I had something to say. I began to enjoy it and it became a fun outlet for me when I needed it. I no longer felt like a part of the blogging rat race. (And I apologize to anyone who has found true value in regular blogging because I know my experience isn’t everyone else’s.)

But I definitely wasn’t going to build platform this way.

Frustrated, I read a few books that helped me begin to rethink platform. I began to see platform as something larger than a series of blog posts or a presence on social media.

In Platform: How To Get Noticed in a Noisy World, Michael Hyatt, writes:

“[Platform] is not about ego or being the center of attention. It’s about having something of value to others and finding the most powerful way of getting that message to others who can benefit from it.”

Instead of committing to a blog schedule or tweeting 10 times per day, I thought more broadly about my MESSAGE and how I can share it with others:

  • I applied to teach at my community college’s adult education program.
  • I sought out paid (and even unpaid!) speaking opportunities.
  • I began writing for local and regional publications.
  • I collaborated with real-life friends who had large networks.
  • I hustled, but it felt different than throwing out yet another blog post hoping it wouldn’t get lost in Facebook’s algorithms.

It wasn’t viral, but it felt real.

When I finally had someone redesign my website, I knew what I wanted out of it. I had my message, and now I needed a great website to help me spread that message. But my platform lives in the real world–whatever I do online is an extension of that.

If you’re exhausted from blogging and feel like it’s not going anywhere, I encourage you to take another look at platform. Think about your expertise, your talents, your real-life social circle, and your larger network for opportunities to strategically build your platform. Take time to develop your message. And then when you have a strong message, use the Internet to strategically spread that message in a powerful way.

 

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