“Anticipated, personal, and relevant messages to people who want to get them.”
This is the way Seth Godin defined a platform on the opening episode of the second season of his podcast.
Unfortunately, people often think of a platform as a number of followers. They think of their social media profiles or email list size and misunderstand why people follow them in the first place.
Let’s break down Godin’s definition a little further.
Evaluate your platform based on these three questions as a kind of platform checklist:
Is your content anticipated?
When your content is anticipated, people will expect to see it at a certain time. They will be trained to look for it at that same time every day, week, month, etc. If you are really successful, they will not wait for algorithms and subscriptions to feed them your content. They will go out looking for you. They will visit your website or social media profile or look specifically for your email in their inbox.
Is your content personal?
You are not a big, faceless corporation. You are a human being seeking to connect with other human beings. The audience needs you to be uniquely you so they can distinguish you from the crowd. You are a person after all so be personal. This doesn’t mean you have to share your life story or talk about your family in what you create. Have a voice. Be yourself.
Is your content relevant?
Who is your audience? What do they care about? What change do you want to help them make? People will see what you create and ask themselves if it is for them. This requires you to think deeply about what it is you want to create for a specific audience. When you create whatever you want whenever you want, you risk losing people because they won’t see how it is relevant to their lives.