You can read part one of this series here.
I have a hard time with the word “platform.” I simply struggle with the concept of me being in the center of anything. I’m not a spotlight kind of person. I don’t want it, nor do I crave it. But, the truth is I need it. I have a mission to accomplish and I can’t do it alone. I have a story to tell and I need a platform. It helps create a tribe which will then do beautiful work together.
Help One Now has fans all across the world. Some are friends and others are strangers, but together we make a community of people who care for orphans, do community development work and partner with local leaders in Haiti and Africa. We are a gift to each other.
And, that is why you need a platform. You need a tribe, you needs fans and eventually, if done with humility, you can build a community that blesses each other and makes a difference. Deep down, we all want to be in community and we all want to live a more meaningful life.
When I purchase music, books, art or download an app, I am being blessed by the art and I am blessing the artist.
Platform is Community Focused
Our understanding of platform needs to change. This is where the big shift has to happen. When I declare to myself that I want to have a platform, what I’m not saying is that I want to be the center of attention, make lots of money and use people along the way. It’s not about me.
What I am saying is this: I need a community to rally and help make the world beautiful. I have something they need, they have something I need and together, we can care for one another. We can create a community-driven platform that exists to create beauty.
- Think about TOMS shoes. They mastered the job of “one for one.” TOMS has a healthy business, they built a community that loves the product and they care for kids around the world.
- My friends at Kammock just released a new Kickstarter campaign for a new product and in ONE day, they fully funded their campaign. They created something useful, their tribe agreed and the project was fully funded.
- My organization launched the Garage Sale for Orphans campaign; so far, we’ve raised over $200,000 in the last 12 months through this simple concept. What is so amazing is how excited people are to throw garage sale parties and donate funds!
- My friend Jeff Goins has taught me how to be a better writer through his writing — so, I continue to share Jeff’s message to the world — not because I have to, but because I get to.
Building a healthy platform is never about getting; it is always about giving. You are curating a community of passionate people who care about something. It could be business, productivity, fashion, a cause or whatever — but they care and they WANT to help.
Do Not Lie to Yourself
I too often hear how an artist believes their art does not need an audience. They do not want to face the fact that the world has changed, expectations are different and therefore, the outcomes are also different. Amazing work that nobody knows about is a waste of time. That work lies dormant and if that is the case, then the world suffers a loss.
Art cannot be appreciated if it is not in the public’s eye. Imagine a world without Harry Potter, CS Lewis or Donald Miller, no U2 or Michael Jackson or whomever is your favorite.
What if Les Miserables never hit broadway or The Lord of the Rings never made it to print and then film?
What if charity:water, IJM or Compassion did not exist?
You see, the artist knows that if they want their art to make a difference, then they must ship. It has to go public, and you can’t go public without an audience.
Build a Community
Therefore, you have to build a community of passionate people with whom you can share your art. These people will gladly help you accomplish your dreams, they are excited that you have a platform and they love the fact that they get to help you break through the noise and succeed. They are rooting for you!
Not all of them, of course. Some will hate you, be critical towards you and be jealous of your success — do yourself and your fans a favor and IGNORE THEM. They make the world darker and you are trying to make the world brighter.
You have a story to tell. Build a platform and share it with the world.
In Part Three, we will discuss the nuts and bolts of “HOW to build a platform.”