The Biggest Entrepreneurial Tool You Have – Your Platform
You might have heard of this show, I don’t know, it’s kinda obscure. It’s called “Fixer Upper?” It features this kinda under the radar couple, Chip and Joanna Gains? Ring a bell?
Well, of course it does. In fact, it’s almost impossible to not hear about the entrepreneurial power couple! Most recently, you might have heard that they have launched a new exclusive line with Target. This comes while also confirming the end of the home renovation show, which shot them to fame.
So how is this possible? How could they end very thing which has propelled them to their success, while moving forward with such momentum?
The Gaines will remain relevant because they have built a platform. As an entrepreneur, you must take this lesson to heart. You absolutely must create a platform for yourself that will sustain you despite the success or failure of any particular business venture.
So, what is a platform?
A platform is a collection of things – tools, resources, networks, relationships, audience – that you use to propagate your ideas. Your social media profiles are part of your platform. The connections you build by going to networking events and speaking to crowds are part of your platform.
Lets talk about a few types of platforms we can build, as well as how to build them well.
Build an email list.
Your email list is one of the most valuable assets you have as an entrepreneur. It is a readymade audience that can be accessed and spoken to at will, even if your current business venture doesn’t do as well as you hoped.
If you’re in the internet marketing niche, for example, if you’ve built up an active email list of 5k-10k subscribers, you basically have an on-demand audience to send offers and promotions to. You can send your list affiliate offers and invitations to other ventures you might have.
Don’t make your email list all about sales. In fact, it is sometimes best to not focus on sales altogether. What is something people would feel energized to receive in their email inbox.
Remember, we all get at least a dozen emails every morning. 90% of the time, we go straight to “mark all as read” before we open them. If your subscribers are there because they know that they are going to receive value beyond a product.
Start your own podcast.
Podcasts are wildly popular right now, and for good reason. They’re inexpensive to produce and distribute and offer new people a great access point to your thoughts and ideas. Podcasts are easy to listen to on the go, since most people spend a lot of time commuting and traveling.
Think about what you are an expert in. It doesn’t even have to be directly related to your business. It could tie in in an overarching way and be a way to bring in other opinions or perspectives.
Pay attention to your social media profiles.
Different social media platforms have different rules of engagement. Make sure you’re catering your content to the platform it is being published on. Take the time to interact with your followers and respond to questions and comments. There are several businesses that are operated entirely over Facebook and Instagram. It’s not just for yoga selfies and DMs.
Answer every comment. Engage in thoughtful discussion. They are powerful business development engines.
Maintain a blog.
Blogging is another fantastic way to introduce yourself to new audiences. Popular blogs like The Four-Hour Workweek and Zen Habits get millions of readers a month. Imagine what even a 10th of that kind of exposure could do for your business.
Pick something you’re passionate about and naturally spend a lot of time analyzing, because you’ll naturally come up with fresh and valuable content ideas. Then, the key is consistency. You might see the results right away, but you’ll only see results with consistency.
You’ve heard about the concept of 1,000 true fans – the idea that a creative professional or artist needs only 1,000 true fans to get by comfortably. Building a community around your ideas is a powerful tool that you can leverage to build your personal and professional ventures.
We’re always happy to chat ideas! Remember, we’re here to empower the creative entrepreneur however we can!
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