Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
January 3, 201310:03 PM

Build A Platform

There is one true, defendable thing you can do to avoid unemployment.

What do you think it is? Take a guess. A better education? Work for a secure company? Start your own business? Move to a more prosperous area? I would argue that an individual with a powerful platform is someone who will never be unemployed. Platforms used to be something that someone else had to bestow upon you. If you had a large audience that cared about you, it was because you were frequently published in the local newspaper, or if you were lucky enough to be a regular on a radio program. That was the traditional platform. But that platform wasn't your own (it still isn't). The platform was owned by the media company that published the newspaper or put the radio station on the air. It should come as no surprise that now -thanks to blogging, podcasting, Twitter, Facebook, tumblr and more - you can own the platform.

Back in the day.

Back in 2007, when I was first introduced to my literary agent, and we were working on the book proposal for what would become Six Pixels of Separation, he re-enforced that the author's platform was critical. Meaning: what kind of audience will the author leverage to sell books? The major book publishers were interested in everything from this blog, to my podcast to how many speaking events I do a year (and to whom), along with the types of corporate clients that Twist Image has engagements with. The platform was everything. It still is.

What's your platform like?

We have quickly entered into the age of the platform. This is a good thing, because we're (finally) putting to rest the hyperbole of social media and moving towards something a little bit more real and substantive than pageviews, likes, followers and more. No one knows this better than Michael Hyatt. Hyatt is the former Chairman and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers (one of the largest book publishing companies in the U.S.), and he's also the author of the bestselling business book, Platform - Get Noticed in a Noisy World. He's taken his impressive knowledge of how to build a serious platform and turned it into something called, Platform University. To promote this new initiative, he has launched a series of online videos talking about the power of the platform and his thoughts on how he built his own. The first episode in the series was recently released. It's about twenty minutes long and worth every minute.

Watch this...

What I believe...

I believe that Hyatt is perfectly accurate. When you have a platform... and you own the platform, you are always employable. You are always someone that has information, knowledge and experience that others want... and expect.

What could be more powerful?

By Mitch Joel


Comments Comments Feed
  • Posted by Andy Traub
    Mitch Joel

    My favorite part of platforms is that they enable you to make a difference no matter where you live. I feel incredibly connected to people all over the world because of the platform I've been able to build after reading books like yours and Mike's. thx for highlighting a fellow hero Mitch. Mike is a true pro.

    Reply
  • Posted by Samuel Lavoie
    Mitch Joel

    Mitch thanks for sharing this, Michael's got a new fan.
    I really dig the platform idea, quite similar to Seth's Tribe, that you need a home base that have some control over and where you can share stuff but more importantly interact and nurture an audience. Definitely worth the watch.

    Reply
  • Posted by Houssem
    Mitch Joel

    Thanks for the great post Mitch. I would only argue that we don't own our social profiles. I believe the only difference between these social platforms and radio/newspaper is that they're accessible to everyone (besides the fact of their huge audience and web 2.0 features). They present a tremendous opportunity for those who exploit them well, but we still don't own our Facebook pages and Twitter profiles. They still make the rules, and no matter how open these rules are, they will always be restraining for many people. I also heard many stories of business owners who lost their Facebook pages or Twitter profiles without any notice!

    The only thing I believe we own besides our connections is our websites. That's our only controlable asset, and nobody can take it away from us.

    I absolutely agree on the fact that once we have a platform, we'll never worry about unemployment, and we can literally get business at WILL.

    Thanks so much for your valuable insights Mitch, I love your podcast :)

    Houssem

    Reply
  • Mr Hyatt is certainly a top guy to follow. His book, Platform, is very very very good.

    And I agree, a platform can work wonders, not just for the self made man and woman, but those who wish to work for others, too. I know a few people who have received job offers because of their Blog or general platform.

    Matthew (Turndog Millionaire)

    Reply
  • Posted by Elissapr
    Mitch Joel

    Maybe the most important post I've read all year. And it's only January 3.

    Reply
  • Thanks for this post Mitch. It's become increasingly apparent that platform and content are vital to a brand (personal or professional).

    Especially appreciate Hyatt's mention of making the blog about your readers. "What can we do to help?" is one of the cornerstone's of success in today's social market.

    Reply
  • Posted by Jeph Maystruck
    Mitch Joel

    Well that video really hits home for us 3 year going on 4 year bloggers. Ha!
    I agree the platform is becoming more and more valuable, Michael touched on many important points in the video, I may have to sumerize now while rewatching. I love it how slow his blog grew, then again most major bloggers today had a very slow start (Brogan comes to mind as well I'm sure Six Pixels wasn't an overnight success either).
    Talking time, several years to find your voice seems to be the norm.

    Great post Mitch, the video was inspiring.

    @jephmaystruck

    Reply
  • Posted by Phil Simon
    Mitch Joel

    Really? A reference to the age of the platform without a link?

    Curious omission Mitch, since you wrote the foreword!

    Reply
    • Ugh... wasn't even thinking about it in that perspective. Sorry about that, Phil. Thankfully you have corrected it by linking to it in your signature.

      Reply
      • Posted by Phil Simon
        Mitch Joel

        Not a big deal, Mitch. I just found it a bit strange since I know you've heard of the book! :)

        Reply
        • Of course, I know the book (like you said, I wrote the foreword ;) ... but your "platform" is not the same "platform" contextually for this post ;) Same words but different definitions and intent in terms of the content of this piece. When I talk about platforms like Amazon, etc... I'll get it right... promise :)

          Reply
          • Posted by Phil Simon
            Mitch Joel

            There are many uses for the term. No argument here, Mitch.

            Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google are all first and foremost platform companies the way I see it.

            Reply
  • Posted by Joyce
    Mitch Joel

    Fantastic blog Mitch, and video Michael, thank you for posting this! I will share with my job seeker clients. You have such a content-rich site, I need to come here more often! I also hope you will speak at the HRPA conference again!

    Reply
  • Posted by Joel Libava
    Mitch Joel

    Thanks for reminding me about this book, Mitch.

    I've followed your for awhile, and love your stuff.

    When I was approached by Wiley Publishing to write my first book on franchise ownership, The word, "platform" came up a lot.

    And, guess what?

    Because I had a platform, I was offered a book deal-an advance.

    Phil Simon is another guy that has a great handle on platforms.

    The Franchise King®

    Reply
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