Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World by Michael Hyatt +
A friend introduced me to Michael Hyatt’s blog nearly a year ago. Since then I have become a daily reader of Hyatt’s wisdom and insight. He has an uncanny ability to write exactly what I need to hear at the moment I need it. When he announced his new book, Platform, I was really interested. The subtitle described exactly what I have tried to solve: how to Get Noticed in a Noisy World.
Michael Hyatt rose through the ranks of the publishing world to become the CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers. The oddity of a CEO publishing a blog was enough to get me started reading. However, his wisdom has kept me coming back every day. If there is an expert on building a platform, it would be Michael Hyatt.
A platform is from where we stand to be heard. In a lecture hall, it would be a podium. In the online world, it is more about how to get your message out. Those of us who write, crave an audience. We want what we have to say to be heard and, hopefully, appreciated. Not just Mom, a brother and a couple of friends, but thousands, perhaps MILLIONS. In Platform, Hyatt talks about how to get from humble beginnings to just such a large following.
Hyatt has broken the book into five parts:
- Start With Wow
- Prepare to Launch
- Build Your Home Base
- Expand Your Reach
- Engage Your Tribe
In the sixty chapters, he provides excellent examples of it has worked for him. Perhaps what I like the most about Hyatt’s style is he lays out step by step plans to follow. It was almost a checklist. No hidden formulas. No magic bullets. No web trickery. Yes, what he proposes is hard work, as it should be. There are plenty of snake oil peddlers on the Internet, willing to give the illusion of followers. Hyatt believes in building honest, loyal readers, who will be willing to help spread the word without being asked. And he lays it all out in one place.
A great example of how it has worked for him isn’t just in the book, but the book itself. As the book launch drew closer, he started dropping hints about what it would contain. When it actually was available for pre-order, he asked us to NOT do it. Huh? “Don’t buy my book?” He promised he would make it worth the wait. Every few days he would drop another hint, building the anticipation. Finally, he promised if we would wait until the actual publishing date to buy, he would throw in a bunch of free ‘extras’, but only if we purchased our copy during the first week. My anticipation was so high by the time the launch day came, I got up at 5:00am, just to buy my copy. I couldn’t wait to start reading it. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one, because it rocketed up the best seller lists and by noon the second day, he was in the top 5 books on Amazon. Fortunately for me, one of the ‘extras’ was an electronic copy of the book, because my hardcopy was delayed two weeks, as they sold out completely almost immediately.
Excellent marketing? Yes. Content? That is what made it happen. As he preaches unashamed throughout, create a compelling product that:
- you would personally use,
- that solves problems in unexpected ways,
- and exceed your customers’ expectations.
Ironically, about two weeks before the book launched I signed up for an online course in how to increase my blog traffic. It was very expensive. After reading Hyatt’s book, I realized I should have waited two more weeks, as the material in his book is much better, at 2% of the cost. So, learn from my mistake. Buy this book and read it. And then reread it. I am on my third time through.