It is critical that an author have a well-established platform. But it is not imperative that it be a large platform. In today’s “new-media” world, it is not necessarily about the numbers anymore. It is now about “engagement” with the readers. Whether it is for a large niche audience, or a micro-niche audience, it does not matter. Is the author seen as the “go-to person” to that audience? Is the author making an emotional connection with them? Is the author getting his audience rallied around a particular niche? Is the author selling books and eBooks to that audience? Is that audience commenting on the author’s blog posts? Are they re-posting those blog posts? All of these questions will help you understand what it means to have a strong and well-established platform.
Bigger Is Not Always Better
Creating a huge platform with many thousands of followers might seem like the obvious answer. But there is more to it than that. A huge email list and huge Twitter and Facebook following are all great, and are always an accomplishment to strive for. But the quality of those followers is what is really important. For example, if the email list is mostly composed of those simply wanting to download an author’s free eBook, and then not want to engage with the author anymore, the quality of that email list is low. The author needs to know how to engage those downloading the free eBook, and convert them into true followers who are willing to visit the author’s blog again and again.
It’s Not About The Numbers Anymore
You must never forget that in today’s social-media-savvy world, it is more about how the author is interacting with the audience, AND how the audience is interacting with the author. It is not so much about the numbers anymore, but about the engagement between the author and his audience. Even if an author has a huge following, but does not know how to sell, or how to talk to his audience, or does not know how to really get that audience rallied around something, the author will not be able to hold onto that audience for the long-haul. And book sales will eventually suffer.
You don’t need to be all over social media. Just start somewhere. Start by focusing on one social-media outlet. This should be your blog. Your blog will enable you to focus in on your particular target audience. Your blog is where you start to build a following of readers that look to you for insight into your subject matter. You will also be proving to your readers that you know and understand your subject matter, and that your knowledge will help them solve their problems. This is how you build a strong and well-established platform.