What’s a platform and do you need one?

Dictionary.com defines an individual’s “platform” as

  • a body of principles on which a person or group takes a stand in appealing to the public; program: The Fabians developed an all-embracing platform promising utopia.
  • a set of principles; plan.
  • a place for public discussion; forum.

So, yes, you do need one if you want to give people a reason to pay attention to you as you sell your book or your services. What makes you different from the other people who write and talk about in your field? Why should anybody care?

Your platform is your Unique Selling Proposition. A USP is hard for most people to create for themselves as we’re taught from childhood not to put ourselves forward or brag about ourselves. We’re kind of embarrassed to have to say out loud why anybody should buy from us or pay any attention at all.
But, you wrote that book or started that business because of an underlying passion that you felt people should know about or care about, didn’t you? It’s up to you to find a way to express it.

Try this exercise is creating your USP:

1. Imagine you’re at a networking event. It’s noisy, crowded, and someone asks the inevitable “So what do you do?”
2. Write down as many answers as you can think of.
3. Then look at your statements from your prospect’s point of view. Why should they buy from you? Cross off the ones that don’t benefit your customer.
4. Then eliminate any benefits that your competitors offer as well.
5. What’s left? Probably you. What can you offer to your clients that nobody else can?
A good USP is a clear and concise sentence, offering benefits to the customer that are unique to your personality.
Get crackin!


One Response

  • After reading this post, I decided to create my unique selling proposition for my book, “The Path: A Spiritual Journey.” What do you think of this one? “The Path is a fast-reading novel about a little boy in the time of Jesus. In his travels and adventures he learns that many of the world religions teach similar values.” If you or your readers would like to read the first three chapters of the book for free, email me at perthwatch@comcast.net.

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