Many new writers balk at platform building, but I argue that it is something that should be embraced. We all need a tribe, a group of people who are solidly in our corner, supporting us and fighting for us. When done correctly, this is exactly what a platform is: a tribe of people who care about you and what you have to say. Who doesn’t want that?
I talk more about the positives of a writer’s platform in my post, 5 Reasons Why You Should Start Building Your Writing Platform. In this post, I am going to focus on how to create that platform, starting with your frame of mind.
To create something exceptional, your mindset must be relentlessly focused on the smallest detail. ~Giorgio Armani
Mindset is critical for two reasons:
- You will attract people who care what you have to say. Then, when you have a book to sell, they will actually buy it.
- Creating content and working on your writing platform won’t be a chore. It will become something you look forward to.
Here are some questions to help move you into the correct mindset and begin thinking about content:
- Spend some time thinking about what you value, as a reader.
- In what ways would you like to connect with readers?
- What would bring you the most joy when interacting with others?
Create Quality Content
Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives. ~William A. Foster
Once you have decided on your mindset, you need to start thinking about what you plan to share. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Quality is better than quantity. Create meaningful content to post to your social media platforms, even if you aren’t posting that often.
- Design stuff en mass. I find it is easier to spend one day a week or every couple of weeks creating everything I want to post. Then I use a program like Buffer to schedule it.
- Follow people with excellent content and share their stuff with your followers (be sure to tag them and give due credit).
Social media is not about the exploitation of technology but service to community. ~Simon Mainwaring
Spend a dedicated amount of time interacting with others on social media. This shows people you are a real person, and you care about what is being said. The best way to get followers is to be active in the social media community. Others will notice and follow you. Here are some things to consider and try:
- Comment on people’s work. Explain what you like about it. Find people you admire and let them know.
- When someone follows you, take some time to get to know them (digitally), and comment on their work. Let followers know you appreciate the follow. This makes them more likely to stick around.
- Post questions and encourage dialogue.
- Be good about responding to comments on your content.
These are the basics for building a meaningful writing platform. There are certainly easier, less scrupulous ways to amount a following fast, but if you want to ensure that your audience will actually invest in what you have to say, it will take time and effort. Here are a few parting tips:
- Use hashtags, tags, and keywords related to your content. This is how non-followers will discover you.
- Make sure you provide your social media handles for all your sites on each site. That way someone following you on Instagram can find you on Twitter too.
- Reach out to your fellow writers. Guest posts and featured content are a great way to reduce your workload and expose you and your writing buddies to new audiences.
- You get what you give.