Monday, July 04, 2011
How Simple Manners Lead to Platform Building
A reader emailed me yesterday. I responded, thanking her for her comments. This was her response:
My Lord - I am HONORED that you took the time to respond (you may say I'm silly, but my hands are a little bit shakey as I write back!). I never expected to hear from someone like you (yes, that's a compliment).Thank you for writing back. The newsletter is becoming a Bible for me because you are thoughtful and conscientious in what you choose to print (and not print, I would assume). It is all of tremendous benefit, not just some throw-away information.
I sat at my desk in gym shorts, ripped tee shirt and bare feet, amazed with my mouth open. So I wrote her back and thanked her again for supporting my efforts with FundsforWriters. We exchanged 5-6 emails. She was nice. It was a pleasant experience. I now know her name, and guess what? She'll probably buy my novel when it comes out. Why? Because she can relate to the author. She knows I'd be honored if she did. Heck, if I ever met her, I'd hug her in thanks.
Platform building isn't just about collecting strangers' names and selling them stuff.
All those people who are the planks in your platform must want to be there - to support you. They have to respect the brand, product, voice, style, or whatever it is you are. It isn't about how many people know you. It's how many people like you and what you stand for.
So that person that Tweeted me, and asked me to follow her on Twitter so she could tell her potential agents that she had high followers on Twitter, doesn't quite get it. Sure, if someone follows you, they are bound to read some of your messages. But you want people who WANT to read your work, who appreciate you, who might be interested enough to keep up with your advancing career. But still...
Your platform members needs to know that you love the hell out of them.
Answer emails, Facebook messages and Tweets. Respond to blog posts. Show people that you are alive on the other end of that electronic connection. Thank people for following, buying,and respecting your work.
You're never bigger than your fans because you're nothing without them.