The Dark Side of Building a Platform

Platform

This is part four in the series entitled, “Why You Need a Platform.” Go here to read Part One, Two and Three.

The Dark Side of Building a Platform

Social media can kill your soul if you are not careful. Obsession with the number of fans, followers and subscribers you have can become addicting. But, your importance is not based on your social influence. Some of the best leaders in the world have few social followers. They don’t need them to succeed, but they are not you!

You must battle the thin fine razor sharp line of being intentional and building a platform without becoming addicted in the process.

It’s important for you to understand your role and what your story requires. For many, a social platform is a must and if you don’t build it, you will not succeed. For instance, if you want to be a published author, for the most part, you have to prove that you can build a tribe and gain readers. Some writers hate that. You do not have to wait to be picked anymore, but now you have to master the art to building a platform in order to get in line.

If no one is reading your blog, why would they buy your book? That is the questions most publishers are asking. Often, it is a pointed, painful query for an author, because the facts reveal the brutal, honest reality – no one is reading your work. So you have to ask:

1) Will I take the time to build a platform?
2) Am I capable of building a platform?
3) What if I cannot; what does that mean?

This process can exhaust you, create depression and be painful. You can be successful and become someone who is considered “important,” which can drive pride and arrogance. Or, you can fail, feel like a loser and give up writing and on your dream. But, there is a third way: you could build a meaningful platform that creates beauty, a sense of community and accomplish meaningful work.

Here are signs that you are losing your soul through social media:

  • If you are buying followers or playing the follow and unfollow game. This is a slippery slope, leading to fake influence.
  • If you obsess over your social media metrics more than focusing on the actual reason you need social influence. You will forget why you are doing the work in the first place – the story that needs to be told.
  • If you are spending too much time on social media and it is becoming a distraction for you. This will get in the way of the real work that needs to accomplished.
  • If you post too frequently. Be wise in how much you post; you don’t want to look desperate or overwhelm your fans.

Wait To Be Invited

If you have a story worth telling, then you have a platform worth building. (Tweet That)  If you believe that, then you also must have a social strategy that is healthy, focused and scalable. But this is a big key: don’t try to get on stage and scream, “look at me, I’m here, I’m an expert!” Instead, do work that matters, be intentional along the way and allow other people to invite you to the stage (platform). I’m not saying you can’t humbly ask, or seek to open new channels; I am saying it’s always easy to tell the person who craves the spotlight and will do whatever it takes to be in the center of it. Be wise and be patient

Start Now

I’m a big fan in believing in the work you are doing. That is the core of your life and how you will add value to the world. When you do great work, over and over, you will build fans. These fans are the ones that will help you achieve your goals along the way. Trust the process, believe in the work, be intentional and wait. If you do this, you will build a healthy platform soon enough. And when you stand on that platform, you will do it with humility, passion and a desire to use it to serve others along the way.

This is how you avoid losing your soul to social media. It’s never about you. So again, let me say this: Do you have a story worth telling? If so, you have a platform worth building. Go do the work and remember: I’m rooting for you.

If you have any questions, please email me at chrismarlow@me.com. I will do my best to help!

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About The Author

I’m the Founder/CEO of Help One Now. I live in downtown Raleigh with my family. I’m a justice advocate, who loves empowering leaders (and tribes) to launch movements for doing good.

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