An online platform, first and foremost, is a place to express your passion and expertise in order to help others. Creating your platform includes a website and or blog/blogsite, email and social media.
What are the biggest challenges I hear about building a platform?
- It feels calculated.
- How will I stand out?
- I don’t want to tweet about my breakfast or share photos of kittens.
- If I give away my content, why would anyone pay?
- How do I know what people want to hear?
- How does this make me money?
Each of these has an answer as well 🙂
- PURPOSE: When you are working in the place you should be – striving for a vision that makes you shiver a little when you describe it – all else flows from there.
- Note that the more true to your core purpose you are, the more your message will identify with an ideal target market – those people that you are excited to help the most.
- PERSONA: Your passion is unique to you, made up of a plethora of experiences and observations, inspiration and judgements that colour how you see the world. This is what creates your persona and nobody else is the same as you. As long as you share what makes you excited, angry, proud, you will be true to that persona.
- MESSAGE: Your message can change people’s lives. Some of us in small but significant ways, others in massive ways. Focus on your core message that you know makes a difference and leave out the fluff.
- CONTENT: As coaches or consultants know, content is not usually enough – and certainly not enough for your ideal client. The content shows your knowledge, experience and passion and proves that you can customize the same for them as well as work side-by-side in helping them reach their solution.
- CONNECTION: Listen to the comments in emails, social media and phone conversations, ask for questions during and after talks and workshops you conduct. People are happy to tell you what they need.
- Solutions: based on what you hear, build packages that deliver solutions (operative word being packages – give them exciting, benefit-filled names).
- Process: Create an interim freebie that gets a lead onto a mailing list. It should bring that lead one step closer to the solution they feel they need.
- Shopping Cart: Allow people to buy from your website, use shopping cart or scheduling plugins that allow deposits or full purchases so that you do not frustrate the leads that want to work with you. You can place ads beside your blog content but avoid trying to sell in the content itself.
When you start from passion and purpose your platform becomes genuine. It is important to remember that you need to marry that purpose to the perceived (NOT ACTUAL) needs of your target market. Understand what draws your clients to you as THEIR first step. Their actual needs as you perceive them can be delivered over the course of your business relationship as you teach them what you know.