By Terry Whalin @terrywhalin
At the end of this month, I will
be headed to Asheville, North Carolina and the Blue Ridge Christian
Writers Conference. It is my first live event in over a year with this
pandemic. I'm teaching a continuing workshop about a publishing
buzzword—platform. My continuing class is called What's a Platform and
How do I Create one? While I work at my own platform every day (in many
different ways), I do not often teach others about this important publishing
topic. I will be giving much more detail during my workshop—and I would
encourage you to attend in person (where you get the greatest value) or
virtually (still valuable in many ways).
I've been thinking about some of
the platform essentials and in this article I want to focus on three key
elements: time, focus and tools.
Everyone has the same amount of
time in each day. How are you using this limited resource? Do you waste it or
do you make the most of it? Your awareness of how you are using this resource is
important. Are you stuck in meetings or other things which require a lot of
time? Continually evaluate and make adjustments to get the most mileage from
each day. As I grow older, I'm keenly aware of the value of my time and the
limited nature of it. Because of this awareness and my own personal bent and curiosity, I have created an intense schedule in my life. If I'm honest, the
intensity of it is something I have made and filled my day with phone calls,
emails, writing projects, and much more.
Focus is another limited
commodity. Do you have a big goal in mind such as write a book or sell a book?
How are you focusing your time to gain more readers or entice people to learn
about your book and then buy it? There are many different paths and
possibilities in this process and much of your platform size will boil down to
your focus. What proactive steps are you taking each week to grow your audience
and build your email list? The world is full of shiny objects to take your
attention off your focus and on to their product or video or article or book or
______. Every writer (including me) needs to keep this goal and focus in mind
as you go throughout your day.
I don't want to overwhelm you in
this section but I use a number of tools every day. The key is to try these
tools and use the ones which are effective for you. No one can be everywhere or
do everything. You will have to make wise choices in this process and keep doing
these things bit by bit. As I've written in the past, that's how you eat an
elephant (one bite at a time).
One of my continued interest is
communication and using different tools to become a more effective communicator.
It has always been ironic to me that editors and agents are in the commuication
business yet many of these people take a lengthy time to communicate. It's one
of the ways I've been different in this business is to step up my own
communication ability. While I can't control the speed of communication from
others, I can control my own patterns—and I use a variety of tools in this
proces. I encourage you to be aware of the different tools and use
Here's a few of the tools I use (some of them many times each day): Hootsuite (my main social media tool), my email
list, mock up shots (a tool for
creating various images), a variety of lead magnets or generators (follow this link to learn more details), various websites,
pop ups (I am not a
huge fan but know they work so I used them), guest blog posts, comments on
other blogs and many
Here's some other wise details to
consider in this process. No one can do everything. Every day you (and I) are
making choices in this process—so make wise ones which will lead to your goals
for your writing life. It's not easy or simple for any of us. Also keep working
on building and maintaining your relationships with others (readers, editors,
agents and other publishing professionals). Who you know is often as
important as what you know. I encourage you to keep knocking on new doors
and seeing what will open for your life and work.
These details are some of the
platform essentials. I will be teaching in much more detail at the conference.
I'd love to hear your comments below.
Labels: agents, Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, books, Focus and Tools, platform, Platform Essentials: Time, publishing, teaching, The Writing Life, W. Terry Whalin, writing