Building a platform: It’s not just for jerks!

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The Black Eagle nagged me for days to watch this video from Cris Lema. Don’t wanna, I said. I don’t need a platform yet. What I need is to build discipline of sitting down to do creative writing every day, finishing what I write, and getting the finished work packaged to sell as ebooks. In that order. Then I can worry about building a platform. You can’t worry about selling until you have something to sell.

And besides, I said, I hate watching talking-heads videos. I’d much rather listen to the audio as a podcast.

And “building a platform” is for jerks.

But I finally watched the video — and I loved it. So I guess I’m a jerk.

Still wish I could’ve converted it to an MP3 and listened as a podcast.

Chris’s four rules:

  1. Always be helpful.
  2. Focus your attention on others.
  3. Go where others won’t go.
  4. Make your clients the hero (not you)

I don’t know that I need to make a lot of changes to what I’ve been doing online. But there are a few things I can do better. More reviews and original writing. Letting people know when I’ve responded meaningfully to something they posted. Spreading the word when I have a new article up on Light Reading.

There are right ways and wrong ways to build your platform. Nagging people for a newsletter signup before they’ve even settled down to read your website is the wrong way. Pestering your friends to join your multilevel marketing network is DEFINITELY the wrong way. Those are examples of being a jerk. What’s the right way? Start with Chris’s first rule, above.

By the way, I haven’t abandoned traditional publishing for my creative writing. It has abandoned me. I submitted my finished novel, Iron Star to about a dozen agents and publishers. About half rejected it with form letters. The other half never even responded.

I think it’s a good novel. I have faith in that book. If I want to get Iron Star in front of readers, I have to choose another path than traditional publishing.

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