Thursday, September 22, 2011

Developing a Platform~ Guest Post

Thinking about Thursday

Developing a Platform
Guest Post By
Writing Coach 

Many writers realize that nowadays we have to have a platform. One really great way to build platform is through public speaking. However, many writers shy away from this because of fear of talking in front of large groups. While public speaking can be done in person, consider other options such as online workshops, webinars and other ways of speaking to a group without standing in front of a group.

Once you’ve gotten over that hurdle or determined where you’re going to speak or you’ve been invited to speak, the next thing a writer needs to determine is what they’re going to talk on. I suggest that writers write on something that’s related to the topic or what the theme of their book or the research associated with their book and their genre, without speaking directly to the writing process.

For an example, if you’re a suspense writer and your book is about kidnapping such as Amy Wallace’s was, she did a wonderful job of teaching and speaking and having a website surrounded around safety for children and protecting your kids and the FBI and things like that. While reaching out to people who are interested in the topic of her book she did not specifically talk on her book.

Another example would be if you write Regency romance, such as Linore Rose Burkard. She has a wonderful website and offers things like information on clothing of the era and social mores and etiquette. Therefore people who are interested in that time period can get valuable resources from her and also will begin to develop a relationship with her and read her books because they know her and they’ve seen her stuff.

As a writer consider speaking on topics that are based on the research that you’ve done for a particular book, novel or industry, and not just be like you need to speak about your book specifically, about publishing specifically or publishing journey specifically.

Engage individuals who are interested in the topics that you cover in your book and that will help you develop your relationship and thus your platform.

Thank you, Tiffany, for those great suggestions. 

Tiffany Colter has been published locally and nationally. Her publishing credits include Charisma Magazines, Suspense Magazine, Today’s Christian, Encounter, On Mission and The Toledo Business Journal. Online she has a successful blog that teaches business principles to writers the Writing Career Coach and she writes a monthly Marketing Column and a quarterly Feature for the Afictionado E-zine. Suspense Magazine regularly publishes her work in their “Ask Your Writing Career Coach” column.

She teaches on topics as diverse as Writing for Small Business Owners to Special Needs Adoption to Thriving during Financial Crisis. Her speaking is managed through Command Performance Speakers’ Bureau.

I happen to be an exception to the "writer=introvert" rule because public speaking has never bothered me, but I know there are people who fear it worse than death.  

So, what about you? Does speaking in front of people make you break out in hives? Or do you love being in the spotlight?


Jerrie Alexander said...

Great question. If I'm around friends, I'm an extrovert , but put me in a room full of strangers, and I forget my name, much less how to make conversation. Give a a topic I've researched and am comfortable with and I can survive.

Thanks for the ideas and advice!

Tressa Green said...

They could do clinical studies on me about introverts. haha However, if needed, I've never been overly anxious about speaking or getting up in front of people. I think it was the way I was raised and the situations I was in growing up that gave me confidence.

Right this minute, though, I would be mortified. I'm not really well enough learned on any single topic to speak. I would be okay with expressing an opinion, sharing my personal experience about something or asking a question but that'd be it.

Speaking of which, I have a question about "platform". I've never been completely sure I understand what that really means. I try to engage people on Twitter and G+. I rarely pimp my book, so I mostly just talk about what's going on or expressing an opinion about a current topic. I do have a blog, but I post there only when I feel like what I want to say is bigger than Twitter or G+. Is that considered a platform?

What Tiffany was suggesting is something I just don't have the time or interest in investing in outside of the occasional flag waving for my pet causes on social media outlets.