Social media’s rise has created a buzzword: platforms. A platform can be described as a brand that consistently markets followers and customers to buy into their ideas or service. On the surface, a platform sounds great, but how creates a platform is not without flaws. Here are a few concerns:
1. When Everyone Builds A Platform the Same Way, No One Stands Out – Michael Hyatt wrote a popular book on platforming literally called Platform: Get Noticed In A Noisy World. Within it are great tips and tools helpful for social media marketing that Hyatt popularized. Yet, a problem with applying Hyatt’s book and the idea of platforming is that when everyone follows the exact same advice, no one stands out, making everyone noise again. However, Hyatt’s book can glean wisdom when combined with other texts, making Platform a foundational source towards making you authentic and unique.
2. Platforms Need To Be Authentic – Admittedly, when trying to build my platform years ago, I presented the idea of who I wanted to be than who I actually was in real life. As a result, my platform hardly went anywhere because people saw through my phony online persona. Returning to Hyatt’s book Platform, like me, too many people strive towards a platform that’s not true.
In contrast, being authentic is key to platform building. Therefore, focus your promotion on something you’re already doing. If you’re not yet doing what you want, give yourself time, and do it in real-life before pretending to do it online. At the least, start your online platform and real-life ventures simultaneously. Otherwise, you might be labeled a fraud, and people will see through your facade. Fortunately, being genuine is not hard.
3. Start Your Platform With People Closest To You – In his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Steven R. Covey talks about the difference between the Circle of Concern versus the Circle of Influence. Covey states that when one overreaches our influence too soon, we actually shrink our authority than growing our reach. Effective platforming then requires us to start with those closest to us for support.
One of the biggest supporters on my platform now is my Mother-in-Law. Some might scoff that I can only get my family to support me, but a better argument is that by having my family’s support than my influence is genuine. As a result, by first impacting those closest to me, others have become interested in my influence and concern. From friends to coworkers, to now even strangers are finding my writing helpful. Why? Because I made my original audience those who truly knew me best. In response, they’ve kept me authentic and have helped grow my concerns into a more extensive influence.
4. Don’t Make Your Platform An Idol – Developing an audience on social media is not the ultimate purpose in our lives. Yes, it requires focus and intention, but Christians should make one’s platform an eventual means to point others towards Christ than self. Continually ask yourself these questions, who’s empire am I building? Mine or Gods?
Our answer should be the Lord’s. Kingdom. God has given each person a unique personality, and it should be used as the gift He intends. If one’s personality is marketable, then lean into that gift, but if it is not, don’t force a persona. Simply be yourself and do it for Jesus! Any benefit we receive this side of heaven becomes a joyous icing on the cake than our primary concern.
Platforming can be a great approach to building your business, expressing your voice, or supporting causes that are meaningful to you. Remember, as you platform be yourself, reflect the activities you are doing in real life. Seek to glorify Christ over yourself. With such an approach, you might not find the results you expected, but you’ll see outcomes far better than any fabricated reality you try to create. Plus, it will be a journey like no other!