Michael Hyatt does a great job in Platform introducing and simplifying concepts to promote a personal idea, message, or product to the world through an online platform. The platform he is referring to is building an audience around a website that you create. But first, he walks you through the elements that might help you ‘get noticed in a noisy world’ which is Michael’s catch phrase. These include creating a product with a great name, thinking big and setting goals, creating a brand and an elevator pitch around you. His message is for someone who wants to be a thought leader in a specific area and communicate that message by way of different forms of media, specifically those that are closely related to the publishing world and then how to convert that to your personal website.
A few specific things that are interesting to me are his thoughts behind creating a speaking page and his twitter recommendations, as he is very knowledgeable about those areas as he is very active in both. Specifically regarding Twitter, he makes a compelling case why you should be present there and I tend to agree with him, especially compared to Facebook.
If you are new to the game of building your own hobby brand on the side and have dreams of it becoming something more than just an idea, Michael’s book can help you understand just the nuts and bolts of what you should focus on for getting started, how to track what people are saying about you and how you can keep up with the conversation. His added knowledge of book publishing and experience promoting is what makes this an even better resource.
I originally got this book thinking I could use it as a resource to help my college students get familiar with a few topics that would help them understand what they need to know if they are to pursue communication design and advertising as a career. First, ideas about how to promote themselves through portfolios and highlighting their experiences through a personal website and second, an overview of digital marketing concepts. I believe the first half of the book does a great job explaining the promoting themselves part and the competitive nature of getting noticed online. I continually tell them that no one is going to hand you the kind of job you want, you will have to navigate that yourself and in many cases become self-taught as I have done myself what feels like many times over. In most cases, the portfolio will get you in the door if it communicates that you know the right stuff. The second half goes too far in the wrong direction though, so I decided against the book. That being said, I would recommend it. It and a few other books have helped me come back to the basics after I have spent possibly years getting caught up in making things perfect or pretty in my sales pitch instead of the types of things that will communicate value to others. I know that if I focus on the value part, the other stuff will come later.