Over the years we’ve received a wide range of questions from you, our readers. Most questions center on starting and running an independent Nurse Practitioner practice.
Occasionally though, we get a different set of questions. Some of you want to take your skills and expertise in another direction.
And you want to know:
- How do I start a non-clinical business using what I know?
- How do I get to be known for my expertise?
- How do I develop leadership skills?
How Do I Get Attention?
Really, what you want to know is how to get attention!
You want to know what you need to do so that your audience will hear your message and pay attention to you.
- Perhaps you have an idea and want to write a book.
- Maybe you want to start speaking on a certain topic.
- Or perhaps you want to create and sell information products utilizing your expertise.
Whatever direction you want to take, you need to know what to do, so that you can get your message out into the world.
A Small Problem!
But here’s the problem…
You see, we live in a noisy, cluttered, crowded world. We are inundated every day with hundreds, perhaps even thousands of messages.
And we do what we must to preserve our sanity; we tune out most messages!
TV, news, magazines, direct mail, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, email, mobile ads, desktop ads, radio ads, banner ads, billboard advertisings…
And that’s just a fraction of what’s coming at you, fighting for your attention!
Wondering if it’s really that bad out there?
Well, let me show you what I mean. Here’s an observation from just a few days ago.
Pulling into the parking lot, we were struck by the row of yellow school buses.
Goodbye to quiet and tranquility!
A sea of little kids playing, running, and exploring the outdoors at the nature center. They were busy moving sticks and stones to build “stuff”; eager and excited to show it to the adults with them on the school outing.
But sadly, most adults were far too busy to pay attention to the kids…
While standing close to them, most grown-ups were glued to their smart-phones, never realizing what they were missing!
An isolated example? Far from it!
Yes, it’s getting more and more difficult to get noticed in this busy, noisy world. Distractions are all around us and competition for your attention is fierce.
That’s why today if you have a message that you want to share with the world, you need a strategy; you need a platform for your message! A platform that helps you rise above the noise and competition so that you’ll be heard and seen.
What’s a platform? Is it just another buzz word?
Well, depending on the context, the term platform means different things to different people:
- In technology, a platform might be a framework for launching applications.
- In architecture, a platform may simply be a raised structure.
- In politics, a platform might refer to the beliefs and convictions held by a party.
- In marketing, a platform could be the way a message gets delivered.
But on a strictly personal level, a platform becomes your “podium” of choice.
And when you “step up onto your platform,” you are at a place where you can communicate your message to the people you want to reach, your audience.
Your platform becomes your stage; it gives you visibility. It can be both, your launch-pad and the way you position yourself to get your message heard.
By now you may be wondering how you can get started with building your platform?
Well, there are five basic steps to get you started.
5 Steps To Start A Platform
Get clear on what it is you want to take to the world: a product, a service, a message. Gaining absolute clarity is critical because it’s the foundation for the steps that follow.
Who is your audience? To some degree, you’ve defined your audience by your product, service or message. But beyond that, you want to put in the extra effort to define your ideal audience.
- Who is your product, service or message for?
- Who would benefit most from it?
- Who would be likely to ignore it… who’s it not for?
If you can’t define your audience, you’ll be hard pressed to reach them through your marketing efforts.
Define your message. What are you trying to say to your audience? How are you saying it?
- Are you communicating clearly?
- Are your conveying the essence of your product, service or message?
- Are you clear on how your product, service or message benefits your audience?
- Is your message consistent across all your marketing channels: your website, social media outlets, and printed materials?
Reach your audience by building your website, setting up your social media channels and through creating printed materials.
If you want to create authority through your platform, you must have an online presence, including a website, blog, and profiles on social media platforms.
If you want to get your message out, you must promote yourself!
There are many ways to do this: your website, blogging, publishing in social media channels and print.
It takes an ongoing promotion to get visitors (traffic) to your web properties. But it’s the consistent promotion that will help get traffic so that you can get your message out and get heard!
The world is noisy, busy, and crowded.
What you did in the past to get attention for your message, product or service is simply no longer enough.
But then again, today, you can tap into the power of the online platform. Once you’ve established your platform, you can reach and communicate with your audience whenever you like.
While still relatively new to most, the platform is a far more effective method to reach and stay in touch with your audience than anything that was possible in the past.
What do you think? Have you been looking for something like a platform? Let us know…
By Johanna Hofmann, MBA; regular contributor to the NPBusiness blog and author of “Smart Business Planning for Clinicians.“