I am working on my platform. No, I’m not building a stage out of wood for the local rock concert promoter. I am creating a rather nebulous entity called a social network platform. This is a place in the Internet ether that will allow me to share with others who I am and what I love to do, namely, write poetry.
Now if you have a business, whether you’re an author or own a tire shop, the theory is you can increase sales by sharing with others your professional passion. You do this on the Internet by entering a kind of continuous party or conference in which you rub shoulders with others who have similar interests. In a sense, you are continuously passing out your business card on-line. To put it more bluntly, you are engaged in unabashed self-promotion on the Internet. In my case, I am a neophyte author of poetry books.
This month I’ve joined a 30-day Platform Challenge group, led by Robert Lee Brewer, a poet and editor. He is the author of a busy blog called, My Name is Not Bob. Robert gives copious amounts of sage advice on blogging, writing and on-line networking. Of course, Robert is a consummate networking executive who, while offering advice on building platforms and making new contacts himself, is helping me and 80 others put our best foot forward. I don’t know about you but I could use a shoe shine.
After the eleventh day of the challenge I think of Robert as the super hero of bloggers. He’s much too organized to be a normal human being. I suspect he is a clone. He is registered and active on a gazillion social network sites and his blogs generate 40-80 comments daily. And he seems to answer every comment that requires a response. Plus, he has a full-time day job and family. For comparison purposes, I’m definitely in the minor leagues of blogging and authoring. At the moment, I feel like a pollywog in a big pond. I take comfort in the fact that I am a good swimmer and a person of faith.
The current challenge has given me a much-needed kick in the pants. Robert’s platform challenge has helped me shape and sharpen my professional profile, which until now did not exist. I’ve spent the last three decades writing poems under the admittedly romantic assumption that I would write brilliant poems, self-publish a book late in life, a la Walt Whitman. What’s more, the book would instantly become a barn burner and I would become the first millionaire poet in the history of mankind. I would accomplish all this without stooping to write reviews of my own book under a pseudonym, as Whitman did. So far my plan is working. My poems are brilliant at least when back-lit by the computer screen.
Back on earth, Robert gives us a new task each day to expand and focus our social media platform. He keeps assuring us all this gets easier and keeps telling us that if he can do it we can too. He tells us this will take time and not to bite off more than we can chew. Most importantly, he reminds us to be honest about ourselves. Good advice.
When was the last time you challenged yourself to learn something new?
Let me know. Comment below.