If the thought of “building your fan base” or “growing your audience” overwhelms you, you’re certainly not alone. Creating an online platform isn’t a one click task, but there are ways to maneuver the often confusing road to successfully building your online reach.
The 5 major stages of the journey to grow your platform (according to Michael Hyatt) are as follows: Definition, Activation, Attraction, Monetization, and Optimization. If you’re tired of feeling like you’re writing to nobody and posting for no one to see but yourself, keep reading. I’ve adapted his 5 stages and action steps in order to best serve partner-published and self-published authors.
1. Definition – Gain clarity
As you work on finding your voice and creating a brand for yourself, you are considering the unique, God-given message you have to share. How will it impact the people that receive it? Determine exactly what your message is going to be.
- Survey your readers
- Write a core value proposition
- Create a brand slogan
- Develop your brand components (logo, photos, etc.)
2. Activation – Create content
Whether it’s a blog, vlog, podcast, or website, you’re launching your home base that will be the source of your main content. You’re beginning to work on gaining your first followers and learning how to serve them through great content in a consistent fashion.
- Establish your home base
- Select your primary content categories
- Determine your voice
- Commit to a publication schedule
3. Attraction – Attract customers
Your content is being created and published, but now you want to share it with as many people as you can. This is done by developing your social media presence (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.), building an email list, and trying to increase your home base traffic.
- Install an email collection form
- Create a compelling email incentive
- Choose a primary social media channel
- Develop a social media strategy
4. Monetization – Generate cash
Once you have a solidified subscriber list and following, you want to serve them even better by increasing your income through online revenue. It’s time to explore affiliate links, selling ads, and creating original products (think eBooks, webinars, workbooks, conferences, etc.).
- Understand your relationship to money
- Consider advertising income
- Maximize affiliate opportunities
- Develop your own products
5. Optimization – Build a company
Finally freed from the demands of a day job, you can work on maximizing your impact and optimizing your results. By building infrastructure, developing workflows, and hiring a team, you can learn to empower others to spread the message that started this whole process.
- Learn how to delegate
- Establish a hiring process
- Identify and define key workflows
- Pay attention to the numbers
So don’t be overwhelmed! Follow these 5 steps at your own pace and reap the rewards!