An author platform is about being visible in the world so that people who are interested in all that you have to offer know you exist. This potentially includes agents, publishers and the media as well as readers, writers and other like-minded souls.
There’s a great deal of information available now on how to build an author platform. Blog posts, courses and classes teach the elements of what a platform includes and the mechanics of how to take action.
Cultivating the right mindset is perhaps one of the most important ingredients for success. It enables you to develop meaningful relationships with people and take authentic action right from the start.
Here are 10 tips to support you to build an authentic author platform:
- Decide on a level of commitment that honours your truth. Refer back to your original intentions for becoming a published author to guide you and invest in strategies that reflect your vision. For example, if you’re aiming to get your book on the bestseller lists, you will need to be confident with all aspects of the media so media training would be beneficial.
- Gather your thoughts and begin taking action at an early stage. It takes time to build a platform so don’t leave it until you’ve finished writing your book to begin thinking about it. As soon as you are reasonably clear about your core message and the audience you are aiming for, make a start!
- Be professional with all that you do. Make sure you have a professional photograph and a good bio that presents you in a credible way. You also need clarity about the expertise you are creating a platform around. These basics count for a great deal and contribute to positive first impressions that become the foundations on which solid relationships are built.
- Do what you can with what you’ve got at any one time and learn from experience. By all means inform yourself first on the basics of what you’re about to engage in but real learning comes from “doing”. Know when to draw the line between yet another class and taking action! Add layers and finesse as your experience grows.
- Develop your natural strengths and be prepared to step outside of your comfort zone. Your first steps with social media or writing articles for magazines may feel like a stretch. But if you build on your existing abilities and accept that new activities will become easier with experience, it won’t be long before you find yourself enjoying what once might have felt like a challenge.
- On the other hand, focus on what you do best and find other ways – and other people – to take care of the rest. You don’t need to learn html to set up a blog or website! If you push yourself to take on board tasks that are way beyond your natural ability, it will take far too long and will drain your creative energy. Know yourself well enough to make wise choices about where you spend your time.
- Start building your mailing list straight away. Collecting people’s names and email addresses in exchange for some good quality information is a must from the word go. Invite people at a live event and have the facility on your blog or website for people to register for a Special Report or free sample chapter of your book. Always ensure you offer superb value in recognition of the exchange.
- Be creative with your ideas. There are lots of ways that you can connect with people. Give yourself permission to be as creative with your ideas for platform building as you are with your ideas for your writing.
- Have a long term perspective and be consistent with what you do. If you start writing blog posts once, twice or three times a week, stay with the level you choose. Let you audience know what to expect from you.
- Enjoy the activities you choose to engage in as much as possible. Your audience will be attracted to what you offer if you are clearly engaged with what you are doing. Enjoy the journey!
Q4U: What platform building strategies have worked best for you? Share your comments and experiences below
© Julia McCutchen 2011. All Rights Reserved.
If you want to use this article in your ezine or on your website I’d be happy for you to do so as long as you use the complete article, including the copyright line, and include the following paragraph in its entirety:
Julia McCutchen is the founder & creative director of the International Association of Conscious & Creative Writers (IACCW). A former managing director & publisher, Julia is an intuitive writer’s coach, mentor and professional publishing consultant. She has over 20 years’ experience of publishing and a track record that includes UK no 1 and international bestsellers. Julia is the author of The Writer’s Journey: From Inspiration to Publication. Visit www.juliamccutchen.com for a range of FREE articles, audios and videos for writers and download a FREE Special Report, Discover Your Authentic Voice – on the page and in the world at www.iaccw.com