When I tell people I work in marketing, I never really know what response I’m going to get. “Platform building” is not always everyone’s favorite topic. To many, it feels disingenuous, or even a little slimy and I get it. Trust me. I get it.
The thing is, I’m not just promoting things for the money. I get to market books and education—two things I’m very passionate about. I don’t feel like I’m selling something unnecessarily. I’m recommending things I can stand firmly behind and I just happen to get paid for it.
If I don’t believe in what I’m promoting, is there really any point?
For authors opposed to building their own platform, I think a shift in perspective may need to be considered. The question to be answered is how are you actually viewing platform? Is a platform something
A.)used to sell books
or is it B.)a tool to build relationships and foster discussion?
I firmly believe option B is what makes a platform. A just alienates those who believe in your work and doesn’t draw anyone new in.
So what’s the difference between the two?
It all boils down to your WHY.
Simon Sinek explained the concept in his 2009 Ted Talk, which I highly recommend. People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.
Marketing doesn’t work if it’s just advertising. It’s a relationship. An exchange of values and ideas that may result in a product. But it may not. This is what separates the schmoozing from the substantial. An author’s platform is not meant to be shameless self-promotion. It’s supposed to be tribe building.
I could talk about this all day, but if you’re looking for more on this topic, I recommend this blog post I wrote for Apricot Services.
Weigh in in the comment’s section. What turns you off to marketing and what does platform building look like to you?
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