A few weeks ago I finished Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World by Michael Hyatt. In Platform, Hyatt has packaged his thoughts on what has made him one of the most followed bloggers among both Christian audiences and those interested in leadership. Platform is full of tips for how to take your message to the world through technology and social media, and is a good read for anyone hoping to be heard.
Hyatt is the former chairman of Thomas Nelson Publishing, the largest religious publisher in the world. The author of eight books, Hyatt’s blog on Intentional Leadership (http://www.michaelhyatt.com) is consistently rated as one of the top 10 most-followed Christian blogs. He has built his own brand by building a platform. As he describes it in the book:
“…a platform is the thing you have to stand on to get heard. It’s your stage. But unlike a stage in the theater, today’s platform is not built of wood or concrete or perched on a grassy hill. Today’s platform is built of people. Contacts. Connections. Followers.”
Platform is an easy read and moves quickly. It is really a selection of the author’s blog posts on messaging, branding, and social media topics. This was my first book of that type, and at first I found the format strange and distracting, but as I read on, I realized it has its own advantages. Because the information comes in “capsules,” it is easy to pick and choose the parts of most value to you without the concern that you’ve missed something along the way.
The author clearly loves experimenting with social media. If you do too, you will find plenty of nuggets explaining how to use it better. Personally, I got the most value from the blogging section. What I read prompted me to re-think my “About” page and make some significant changes in how I post, and what tools I use to do it. If you are new to blogging, or just feel your blog is getting a little stale, Platform is a great place to go to reinvigorate it.
Platform guides readers through steps from building a “Wow!” product and experience, to launching a product, solidifying a base of support, and expanding that group into a tribe. This is all great information. The one thing I felt it was missing was the “why?” I guess I’m just the incurable career counselor and coach. We all have a platform available to us – some are big and others small. We can expand that platform, but before I step up on one of any size, I better know why I am there. We live in a very noisy world, where everyone is a content producer, but much of that content is really not worth sharing. God protect me from having any bigger platform if I just like to hear myself talk.
Michael’s blog was one of the first I ever followed, and it definitely influenced me in building my own. It is worth a look, and Platform is a worthy read. It will definitely help you build that bigger stage. Just don’t forget, in the excitement of building, why you are there.