Can You Build It? Yes, You Can!
I want to touch on something that everyone is hearing about right now. PLATFORM BUILDING. I’m going to start with some basic information. WHAT IS A PLATFORM A platform is quite simply how your audience views you. Are you helpful in the reading community? Do you give great resources for writers or illustrators? Do you offer material for teachers or librarians? Your platform focus should be who you want your audience to be. Your platform will also help build trust between you and your audience. This will create a ripple effect to where people will look for your books, material, advice, and spread word-of-mouth. WHO NEEDS A PLATFORM EVERYONE needs a platform. I’m serious! If you are an enteprenuer (and that’s what you are writers!!!!), then you need a platform. Your platform will help you get your word out without being so pushy. People will come to understand you and feel they know you by the material you put out. This builds trust. WHY DO WE NEED A PLATFORM We need a platform to expand our audience. People use different venues for information. By using more than one venue, you can reach more people and have a better chance of improving your search engine optimization on the internet. Who doesn’t want to have their links at the top of the search field?!? WHERE CAN YOU FIND A PLATFORM Platform building is found on the internet (social media), the material you put out (books, magazine, newspapers), word of mouth, networking, reputation. WHEN SHOULD YOU START BUILDING YOUR PLATFORM Now! Yes, I said right now. It does not matter if you don’t have a book out or if you have 50 books out. Begin now. Or start over now. Get a direction you want to take and stay on course. The more you have out there (and have it consistent), the more your audience will build trust with you and your products. So now that you have an idea, let’s think about the building process. Think of PLATFORM BUILDING as a house that your identity lives in. What do you need for a sturdy, stable house? A foundation, material to build with, things to keep your material in place, and a roof.
FOUNDATION AND FRAME WORK:
Website/Blog Yes, you need to have one or both of these. What is the first thing you do when you want to find out information about something? If you are like me, you Google it. Right? Having a website is a solid foundation to where you can place your information in one place. If you have a blog, you can make an about me page where people can get to know you more. This is where people will come back time and again to get the information they need on you. Make it interesting and useful. BUILDING MATERIAL: Content What do you want to be known for? Think along the lines of the field you are in… Non-Fiction or Fiction. Which children’s genre? Useful information such as agent or publishing information. Maybe you have resources for teachers, parents, or librarians. Do you want to target writers or illustrators? How about helping reluctant readers? There are plenty of ways you can reach people and have a great way of communicating. KEEPING IT IN PLACE: Social Media Outlets Nail down what and who you want to reach by using social media. There are so many outlets out there. YouTube, FaceBook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and Instagram are only a few. Try a few out. What I like to do is give it a good week to see if I really like it or not. You will find out what works for you, what you like and dislike, and they best avenues to reach your audience. ROOF: Keeping it all in place Make sure people can find you easily. I’ve done this by trying to keep my ID consistent with my media outlets. You can find me by searching Tracey M. Cox, traceymcox, or traceymcoxauthor on any of my outlets. Also if you can put all this in one place that is an added plus. Remember your foundation? Yep, I have my links on my website in the top boarder. I also have most of them on my blog. The thing to remember is it will take time to build your platform. Those of us who seem to be all over the place? Well, we’ve been building for a while. Take it one block at a time. Update often to keep your search engine optimization up. Just keep building, building, building. Before you know it, things will come together and you will have built a great platform that is sturdy and a great house for your identity to live in. :::LEAVE A COMMENT::: Let me know which social media outlets you struggle with? Which would you like to know more about?
Tracey M. Cox
Tracey M. Cox has been writing professionally since 2000. She is a children’s author, local liaison for the Southern Breeze region of SCBWI, Founder/Director of Books Love & Taters Book Festival, co-founder (with Julie Gribble) of KidLit TV, and host of SUMMER SPARKS Writing Challenge. She also offers services on critiques with non- rhyming pb ms & as a platform building consultant. She lives in South Georgia with her husband, three children, and various fur-babies.
FIND TRACEY M. COX:
We are entepreneurs. Maybe some of us were when we were children also. How many of you had a lemonade stand? Or maybe a paper route? I sold flowers… that I clipped from my grandmothers yard… when she wasn’t looking. *I know. BAD, TRACEY! BAD!* Some of us might have volunteered too. Make a list about the different businesses children can do. Now pick three and do some research. See if it’s been written about. Can you think of a unique angle?
Tracey will be giving away your choice of one of her picture books:
Missed a SUMMER SPARK? Don’t worry, you can find them here:
Day 1: In Celebration of Summer Magic by Kelly Milner Halls
Day 2: The Power of Doodling by Alison K. Hertz
Day 3: Cause & Effect by Alayne Kay Christian
Day 4: How to be a Marketing Ninja by Corey Rosen Schwartz
Day 5: A Visual Writing Prompt: Begin at the End by Julie Gribble
Day 6: The Final Word by Jodi Moore
Day 7: Inspiration Station by Susanna Hill
Day 8: Voice and Word Choice in Picture Books by Tara Lazar
Day 9: Platform Building Can You Build It? Yes, You Can! by Tracey M. Cox
Day 10: 5 Ways to Hook Your Reader with Your Very First Line by Kirsti Call
Day 11: Burning Down the House aka Revision by Donna Earnhardt
Day 12: Persistence by Donna M. McDine
Day 13: Writing Your Way to a Spark by Kris Dinnison
Day 14: Hope In Your Heart by Carol Gordon Ekster
BONUS: What Songs Rock Your World? by Claire Rudolf Murphy
THAT’S A WRAP!
Follow-up #1: TIPS
Follow-up #2: 9 Ways to Tighten Your Story
Prize Announcement: Winner! Winner! Chicken Dinner!