What Makes a Platform Powerful?
A lot of thought leaders have great ideas, smart content, and products with real value. The problem is that all of those things are disorganized, cluttered, and unfocused. The ideas aren’t getting the attention and value their ideas deserve – because the thought leader has no platform. So, what’s a platform, and what makes it so powerful?
A platform identifies and raises awareness of the thought leader’s specific niche of business expertise. Through focusing on that platform, the thought leader becomes known as an expert, and is sought out by those who require specialized, high-level business assistance. Here are four qualities of a powerful platform:
- Authentic voice,
- Sharp focus,
- Useful and relevant ideas, and
- Market viability.
A thought leader’s authentic voice stems from their unique experiences.
How and why did you create your innovations? What lessons have you learned? You have to be credible, either through what you’ve done, or what you know. You must clearly be the person you are; how you talk, the stories you share, the goals you care about. Your platform has to express your past, your unique expertise, and your story.
The next quality is sharp focus.
A platform cannot contain every idea that has ever percolated through your head, or even every idea on a single topic. That would be encyclopedic! You need a sharp focus that makes your thought leadership manageable. One that clearly expresses your ideas, your solutions, and your area of expertise. It needs to be expressed in just two or three words, so that people will remember you when they need you most.
Your platform also must be based on useful and relevant ideas.
Without ideas, a platform is just a marketing slogan. It leaves clients asking “why?” If you said that you have a platform around “accountability,” you can’t just follow that up with “Be accountable!” You need ideas that are useful, and create value for others. The platform expresses how your ideas are relevant, and identifies the audience that needs them most.
A platform also shows that the ideas have market viability.
It creates value for your ideas. It identifies the pain points that your content solves, and shows how your ideas solve those challenges. That might mean saving time, increasing productivity, or improving accountability – all things that your clients want and need. People who are consuming thought leadership are looking for strong solutions, and they’re willing to spend money if they are convinced you have what it takes. At the end of the day, a platform turns your thought leadership into something that people will buy.