When you’re starting out online, it’s easy enough to dig into everything a little bit, and keep your agility by not building a routine.
However, as you do more and more work – more writing, more tweeting, more status updates – you’ll begin to look for ways to reduce the emotional overhead on working your networks. Tools, like TweetDeck, web apps like The Deadline, time management processes, and more. This makes it easy to maintain momentum and keep your consistency high – but it does remove some agility unless you’re aware of the scaffolding you’re putting up around your work.
Creating a platform can’t be haphazard – you need to put some thought into the framework you create.
Got a blog? Great! You have a home base, somewhere all the content is your own.
Got a podcast? Cool. Whether you blog or not, you’re publishing your own content.
Youtube channel? Ok… Now we’re getting into mixed media. Video is powerful, but if it’s on a platform not your own, you don’t own control of it.
Massive Twitter following? Neat – but, like the YouTube channel, or a Facebook page for that matter, if Twitter goes away, so does your content – so does your platform.
Building a platform means having control not only of the scaffolding – the framework – but also of the content that fills it out.
We’ve known this for a while. Owning your database is important. Having purpose apparent behind our work is important too. But how do we do this in effective ways? We diversify.
We produce podcasts as parts of our blogs, we use Twitter and Facebook as promotional and communication tools instead of publishing venues. We create spaces where people can not only congregate, but interact as a group – campfires of media to be gathered around, rather than street corners to be passed through (and passed by, and bypassed entirely).
Diversity is part of the difference between building an effective personal platform – and building ephemeral content gardens.
Look at any of your heroes, the people who got you into this whole content marketing, social media game. What do they do? How have they grown over the years?
- Chris Brogan writes a number of blogs, produces video, takes part in podcasts, tweets, has a Facebook community, does Third Tribe stuff, and more. He’s diverse.
- Mack Collier has a blog, but also is intensely active on Twitter, and has built #blogchat into one of the biggest weekly twitter chats.
But these are platforms which have existed for some time – what else are we seeing?
I look at people like Stanford Smith at Pushing Social, who’s recently started video blogging and podcasting in addition to the #tweetdiner twitter chat he and Margie Clayman started last year. That’s diversity.
These are just a few examples – there are more. Are you one of them?
If you’re just blogging – why? If you’re only building a community on Twitter, what reasoning do you have behind it?
How are you addressing the needs of your platform – how are you allowing yourself to grow?
Image by Peter Alfred Hess.