Positive Writer

Writing through doubt and fear, and you can, too!

Platform Schmatform! Writing Success Without the Stress

Note: This is a guest post by Mike Loomis. Mike helps people launch their dream projects and books. He’s a strategic partner to entrepreneurs, authors, publishers, and nonprofits. Mike is the author of Your Brand Is Calling. He and his wife live in the mountains of Coloradowww.MikeLoomis.CO

Are you stressed about growing your platform? (Your email list and the number of followers on social media) More like obsessed, right?

stressed

Do you know the number of social media followers, accurate to within 3 people? How many times per week do you check?

A friendly reminder

It doesn’t take a big platform to be successful. And by “successful” I mean financially, as an author, artist, business owner… you name it!

If you’ve ever considered sending money to web sites promising “Guaranteed Growth” or “a Gazillion Fans” I can relate.  I’ve watched too many of those webinars and learned some valuable lessons.

But…

You can own a thriving online business and have nine Facebook likes.

You can enjoy a stream of purchases from your web site, and not remember your Twitter password.

It’s possible to get a publishing contract, and not blog every week.

If your business model requires six pre-scheduled Tweets per day, you might not have a real business model.

If you believe you need ten-thousand fans before you (fill in the blank), maybe the problem is simply procrastination.

Focus

Do you have three people around you that you’ve helped, in ways that earned their respect – and their money? There’s no excuse for not handing a copy of your book to people every week.

How about twelve people? (You can make quite an impact with a twelve-person tribe!)

Then why?

Why try so hard to connect with thousands of strangers?

Does someone else’s online popularity mean your voice isn’t as important? Don’t jump into the arena of comparison. (It doesn’t end well.)

How?

Affirmation is my drug of choice. How about you?

As a result, perceived lack of affirmation (the sound of crickets chirping) can trigger self-doubt. Time spent looking for the next social adrenaline fix keeps me from working on my own art and serving those around me.

I need to purposefully limit my time in the neighborhoods where this drug is sold. Not everyone is tempted by this, but I am.

Detox takes time.

Myth & Math

The myth is that you need ever-exploding social numbers to be “successful.” Don’t believe the myth, but watch the math.

If you’re selling zero books or services with a 100-person platform, you’ll probably sell zero with a 1,000-person platform. (Any number times zero equals zero.)

Elevate your platform by serving three people this week, regardless of monetary or social impact.

Become great at helping people through your written words.

Yes, pay attention to your connections. Just remember, social media is a great place to give, but it’s a lousy (and frustrating) place to get.

Measure your success by your service, not by the crowd.

It only takes a one-person platform to refer you to some amazing connections.

About Bryan Hutchinson

I'm a positive writer and when that doesn't work, I eat chocolate. I help fellow writers overcome doubt and thrive! In my free time, I love visiting castles with my wife, Joan. Join me on Twitter and Facebook.

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Like a good friend, Bryan guides you through the process of facing your inner demons, conquering the craft, and creating work that matters. ―Jeff Goins

  • A fabulous post, thanks for sharing!

  • I love your sentiment, Mike. When I focus on how many folks we’re helping, rather than the # of Like, Shares or Comments I have…I feel rewarded and not so “less than.”

    It’s nice to know that be of service is good business. Thanks!

    • Thank you, Marcy! This is a reminder I need every day 😉

    • “Be of service.” There’s a lot in those three words!

  • This article should be a first read for beginning authors. When we get overwhelmed by all the advice about social media and “platform,” it’s usually because we have the wrong perspective. Motive is everything, something you can’t fake.

    • Thank you, E.J. I hope this post helps beginning authors. And love your comment about “motive”!

  • Curiouser Editing

    “Measure your success by your service, not by the crowd.” As always, I love the insight from my good friend and brand marketer, Mike Loomis. He is the REAL deal, and I still kick myself for not having hired him sooner.

    • Aw – Thanks, Shayla! YOU are the real deal.

  • Robert Ranck

    Mike, as my Dad used to say, “Quality, not quantity.”

    Great post – helps to keep the focus where it needs to be.

  • Katharine

    I know this is so right. But the drugs…arrgh! 😉

  • Encouraging! I have made the best connections unexpectedly and just by doing my thing… write and teach and encourage. Forcing it has never worked out well for me.

    • Thanks, Kari! What you said is SO true. The best connections often come unexpectedly – and keeps our focus on the true source of blessing

  • N K

    Hmm… As a soon-to-be blogger, I really needed this article now! Quality, not quantity. Over the past few weeks I have been trying to grow my FB friends list in the hope that more friends means more followers when the blog goes live. Not necessarily. I need to focus on cultivating meaningful connections with a few people instead of being obsessed with numbers. Thank you so much for this article 🙂

    • Thanks! Blogging/writing in today’s world is a balancing act, for sure. Ultimately, people will refer great writing to their friends and colleagues – in surprising ways!

  • EmFairley

    Great article, and just what I needed. Thanks Mike!

    • Thank you – I wrote this to MYSELF 😉

  • Well said! Quite suffered from Social media anxiety. This is a simple concept but the anxiety turns into maniac sometimes thus loosing concentration on quality of the writing. Thanks for the post!

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