Posted by: krpooler | March 5, 2011

Building a Platform:Preparing For The Launch.


     We all build platforms in our lives, whether it be as a parent, a professional, an athlete, a humanitarian, a missionary or any given mission we may define for ourselves.  It means establishing ourself as a voice of authority about a subject and then marketing that expertise to an audience. For instance, as a Family Nurse Practitioner, I have spent my entire career establishing my credentials so as to have the privilege of caring for adults and children who seek medical care. When I walk into a patient’s room, I am bringing with me many years of experience , education and a passion to make a  positive difference,along with an acute awareness that never ceases to  humble me – a person’s life and well-being are in my hands. It has taken many years and many challenges to establish and maintain a solid platform from which to launch these professional activities. My career started with a daydream I had while sitting in my eighth grade study hall and was launched through a series of steps that required time ,effort and sacrifice.

     So as a writer, why would I not expect to go through the same rigorous preparation to establish my  author platform? I have learned throughout these past two years of studying my craft of memoir writing (NAMW workshops) that becoming an author requires more than just writing a good story. Finding my edge in a market that is overflowing with talented competition has become a requirement. 

     Christina Katz, author of Get Known Before the Book Deal (among others),social media expert,speaker and writing teacher, provides an excellent description of why authors need a platform in this Writer’s Digest article. The three questions she poses to her writing students are:

” Who are you known as in the world of writing now?

    How do others see you now?

     Who would you like to be known as in one year?”

      Before I can even seriously send out queries, I have to answer the questions that the agents and editors I met face-to-face with in Denver at the recent  “Writing For the Soul Conference  repeatedly posed to me :

      What is your platform?

      How are you going to convince me that you are the one to write this story?

     What is your online presence?

     What kind of following do you have? How many readers do you bring with you?

     These are the questions I hope to answer over the next eight weeks in Social Media Consultant Dan Blank’s “ Build Your Author Platform on-line course. I am very excited to be taking the plunge. Dan is a social media expert who is the founder of  We Grow Media. His website is packed with pearls about how writers can use social media to become  successful authors.

     Right now I am idling when I feel the impulse to soar. I know building my platform will be hard work. The climb will be steep but the thrill of launching  my writing  career from a well-built platform~ Priceless.

     I’m ready to keep building my platform so I can reach the top and dive in.

     How about you?

    Will Your platform help you launch your dreams?


  1. I love this: ” Right now I am idling when I feel the impulse to soar.” Glad to be working with you!

    • Wow, Dan. That was quick. It just proves how powerful social media is. I’m very excited to have the opportunity to work with you. Let the games begin!

  2. This is such a good set of thoughts. When I was hired to teach nursing, I suddenly became aware of the fact that learning the body of knowledge that prepared me to become a nurse did not prepare me to become an educator. Amazing how many people teach their trade without realizing that educating people is a trade itself. So is writing well. I am always enriched by your posts.

    • Thanks,Katherine, for stopping by. I really like your thoughts about writing being a trade requiring preparation as our beloved nursing career has been. I love having a kindred nursing spirit on my journey and appreciate your perspective,as always.

  3. Kathy, I just finished one of Christina Katz’ online classes and it really helped unlock some great ideas about how to best establish a platform that is true to who I am and what I love. Also, how to be of service to those who take the time to stop by and read my blog. I notice your blogs are always packed with helpful and/or motivational information, and I appreciate it. Best wishes!

    • Lynne, I love the idea of “unlocking great ideas about establishing a platform true to who you are” I think that says it all and I hope to achieve the same in Dan’s course. We are so fortunate to have so many incredible mentors like Dan and Christina to help us find our way. It has also been very enlightening and enjoyable to follow each other’s blogs. I too appreciate your ongoing inspiration and support. Right back atcha’ !

  4. Kathy, I think we writers too often fret that the writing is hard work, when the really hard work comes later — selling our stuff! I’ll be interested in hearing what you glean from Dan’s workshop about platform. That’s an important topic and growing more so as time goes on. Frankly, I rather long for days past when all writers had to do was get published and their agent/publisher would take care of the rest! But those days are long gone, and it’s up to us to adapt! Thanks for an interesting post.

  5. You are so right,Deb. It’s turning out that the writing is the easy part. Now we have to put our business caps on and work at selling our product. I’m sure I will have lots to share as I move along in this next phase of learning. Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate how much you add to the discussion and always give me something to think about.

  6. Kathy, from Thursday onwards, I start waiting for the bank (of knowledge you share)—– for the doors to be opened and I get some dividents. Delivering a baby, looking after the mother, or doing some GYN surgeries was far too easy. I had books to read, hearts to be auscultated, specimens and what not. Writing is an art for me..unknown to me and in a foreign language?? “toe-baa, toe–baa!(OMG). I am learning and I can feel the pulse from the words in the books and can find out which way the fetus is lying. I wish I could understand the language the parents speak. My teachers help me to learn all that. Hope the baby won’t be delivered stilborn. I love the way you are climbing that mountain. You are so close to reach that top and look at the world down below.

  7. Dear Smita,

    Your observations and comments are like poetry~profound and engaging: “I can feel the pulse from the words in the book” Keep writing from your heart and you will have a masterpiece. Thank you for your ongoing support and encouragement. The climb up that mountain isn’t quite as steep with a friend like you. I’ll meet you at the top my friend. Just keep writing and believing in the power of your own words. As always, I appreciate you stopping by.

    With love and gratitude,

  8. That’s a wonderful next step, Kathy! Your blog is a work of art. Good luck with Dan’s class. I look forward to hearing what you learn.


  9. Hi Libbye,
    So good to hear from you! Yes, this definitely is a huge next step- another giant leap of faith. So much to learn and so far I’m loving the process. Thanks for stopping by and for your ongoing support and encouragement.

  10. Write On Indeed Kathy,
    Love your random thoughts and I am adding you to my blog roll! I am the “voiceless” phantom, fellow classmate in Switzerland, who is never awake for any of the Q &A sessions due to 7 hour time differenc. I, too, am working on a memoir, so I am sure we will have lots to of ideas to share!
    Where are you writing from?

    • Hi Pat,
      So nice to meet you all the way from Switzerland! I’m writing from Amsterdam,NY,west of Albany along the NYS Thruway and near the Adirondack Mts. Not quite as majestic as the Alps but beautiful country. I am so happy to connect with another memoir writer and look forward to sharing our stories along the way. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. Hope to see you again. Now on to Dan’s Session #2 assignment!

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