“Without a platform—something that enables you to get seen and heard—you don’t have a chance. Having an awesome product, an outstanding service, or a compelling cause is no longer enough.” —Michael Hyatt.
Platform, everybody’s talking about it. Every authority on publishing recommends that writers build their platform. Writers clamor for platform-building information. In his book, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World, Michael Hyatt describes in detail how he built his blog readership to more than 300,000 subscribers. He’s become the go-to guy on platform-building. Just take a look at his website today.
Why have I waited so long to review the book? Platform has been on the market since May, 2012. It made the best-seller lists almost immediately. From the descriptions, it appeared to me that it was a compilation of material already on Hyatt’s blog. I’ve been a subscriber for a long time, so I thought I had already heard it all. That’s true to some extent. But, in the book, Hyatt organizes everything in logical start-to-finish order and includes updates that might not appear on older blog posts. His friendly, uncomplicated writing style makes the book a pleasure to read.
What’s in the book? The subtitle is A Step-by-Step Guide for Anyone with Something to Say or Sell. Not only does Hyatt give you detailed instructions, he provides sources where you can learn more. Access the table of contents on Amazon. One particularly helpful section for me is the appendix on Federal Trade Commission guidelines. It’s too much information to repeat here, but you can get some basics here.
What’s not in the book? Other reviewers have pointed out that Hyatt gives Twitter thorough treatment but gives Facebook short shrift. I can’t criticize him for that because he’s describing how he built his platform. He says does not like Facebook, although he does have a fan page. You might not learn everything there is to know about building platform in Hyatt’s book, but it certainly is an authoritative resource. Also, because change is constant, new techniques have developed since the book came out and will continue to emerge.
Will Hyatt’s method work for you? It could be argued that Michael Hyatt already had a platform before he started his blog. He was CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, one of the largest publishing companies in the world. Writers, potential employees, other publishers already wanted to hear what he had to say. His credibility in his area of expertise was already established. However, I think the book is a valuable guide for platform-builders no matter where they are in the development process.
Get the book. Subscribe to Hyatt’s blog. He is now writing and speaking full-time. And, he is also mentoring others through his Platform University.
Readers, do you have platform-building resources to share? Comment on this post and tell us about it.
Other posts on building platform:
- Jane Friedman’s A Definition of Author Platform
- Alan Rinzler (Forbes magazine), The New “Author Platform” – What Writers Need to Know