For example, if you're a Pastor, your platform is basically your church. You're influencing a congregation of people to follow what you teach. If you're a singer, then your platform is your music. You're influencing fans to buy your albums. These people like what you have and will go to great lengths to hear what you have to say. This is your platform.
However, just because you may have a platform, doesn't mean you know how to produce a sale. As an author, your product is your book, but before people buy it, they want to know that it's worth it. Anyone can write a book. It's how you stand out that gets you the sale.
What authority do you have to write a book? What credentials do you have? If you're a nonfiction author, and your writing giving advice on a particular subject, what gives you the right to do so? What experience or education do you have on this subject? Do you have a degree in that field, or are you just looking for a lucky streak? People want quality, and if you can't provide that for them, they'll move on.
How many people are you reaching? How many sales are you producing? How many people have subscribed to your email list? (Mailchimp.com)
So, how do you grow your platform if you're just starting out?
First, you need to identify your target market. Who is your crowd of readers, and how and where can you engage with them?
Try creating and distributing quality content. Write some articles or short stories and take them, or email them to your local media outlets such as newspapers, television, and radio. This doesn't guarantee you any results, but it can't hurt you, and you are starting the process of presenting yourself as a professional in your field. Include your name and contact information on this one page article and offer to appear as a guest on their show for an interview.
You have no excuse for not doing this. It's easy and only costs you about a dollar, if that! Be sure to include in your signature that you're the author of “Your Book Title.” If you can afford it, send a free autographed copy of your book as well.
For more information on building your author platform, check out this great site.
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