In today’s world, if you want to build a rockin’ awesome platform that creates distinction for you in your marketplace or industry, you and your team need a long-term strategy.
No matter what the tech is — it doesn’t matter if you create a podcast, an awesome YouTube channel, an insightful blog as a resource for your customers and prospects, or if your customers are on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter in droves — you need be there with them to have a conversation.
Or, if you have a decent connection with customers via email — then strengthen your relationships via email and provide deep, deep, deep value.
There are no shortcuts. It takes hard work and disciplined effort. But your hard work will create distinction for you — because the majority of your competitors will not want to work that hard.
To help guide you on this path — I outlined 5 key steps in a brief action plan that I think will be helpful as you consider the type of platform you want to build. But one final word of caution before I share the steps. And that is — in the wise words of Ty Bennett, “Just pick one platform — master it — go deep — and then maybe add a second.”
My hope for you is that you will put these steps into practice with relentless action and execution.
Here are the 5 Steps you need you build a platform.
Build a Platform Step #1: Find out where your customers hang out
Do they listen to podcasts? Are they on Twitter? Are they on LinkedIn? Are they on YouTube?
How? Ask them.
- Take a survey
- Send an email
- Make some phone calls
- Post on Facebook
- Post on Twitter
Pick a path and create a conversation and ask your customers and prospects questions. Have the courage to ask and learn — even if the answers make you uncomfortable.
Think of it this way…if the answers make you uncomfortable — wouldn’t you rather have that information sooner rather than later so you can make changes and deliver more value to your customers instead of them leaving and doing business with a competitor who they believe is more influential and delivers more value than you do?
I know…ouch, right? But you can’t fix it if you ignore there’s a problem or an untapped opportunity.
Build a Platform Step #2: Create a content strategy.
Your strategy should accomplish two things:
- Deliver massive value to your customers and prospects. MASSIVE VALUE. Don’t skimp.
- Ensure that what you are delivering will position you as a thought leader and influencer just like Gary Vee accomplished with Wine Library TV.
Build a Platform Step #3: Ignore the Imposter Syndrome
Push past the imposter syndrome and begin building your content, building your platform, and preparing for launch. Don’t let the questions in your head derail your success.
I encourage you to go back and re-listen to Onward Nation episode 158 — which I dedicated toward defeating the Imposter Syndrome — it will be a great resource for you. Because you are more talented, more wonderful, more gifted, more incredible than you can possibly imagine. You are a child of the highest God and were blessed with an abundance of talent. Don’t give in — build the content and it will get easier over time.
Build a Platform Step #4: Execute your strategy — push the launch button!
Will your podcast, videos, or blog be perfect on day 1? No!
Will you be embarrassed at first? Maybe.
But as Reid Hoffman the founder of LinkedIn said, “If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.”
Does that mean you just launch something that is half-baked? No, it doesn’t. But it does mean that your podcast will never be perfect…you will learn along the path…your listeners will help you get better…and until you have the courage to put yourself out there…you will never receive that valuable feedback.
So have the guts — build something great — realize that perfection is not attainable — and that part of the fun is to improve along the way. It’s the journey, it is valuable to your growth and really fun for your listeners to watch how you evolve and change because of their comments and recommendations.
Build a Platform Step #5: Don’t stop.
Never give up and keep moving forward — success is there for you — just not overnight.
It will take time — but it is funny how quality eventually rises to the top. It is a struggle — you will feel the pressure but pressure is a necessary force of nature — and pressure creates an astonishing result outcomes.
For example…how is a diamond formed? By placing coal under intense pressure for a very long time.
Or, how is oil formed? By placing organic material under extreme pressure and heat for a long period of time.
Or, say you turn your garden hose on without any sort of nozzle at the end. What happens? Right, you get a steady stream of water coming out the end of the hose. But what happens when you place your thumb over the end of the hose and apply pressure to the water? The water shoots out the hose, doesn’t it? See? That is how pressure transforms and creates a fun and exciting result outcome.
Don’t run from the pressure in your business or the pressure you might be feeling as you consider a podcast or some other platform building strategy. That pressure is your guiding force and it will direct you toward big result outcomes if you let it. So don’t ever give up — just remember — when you are feeling the pressure — you are likely to soon experience massive growth and your business is about to jettison forward into something amazing.