Over the years many people have asked me about creating a professional platform, and of course it’s a great idea — if you have something of value to say. I’ve found a lot of people spend too much time on building a professional platform and not enough time determining where their value truly is.
Before you start down the rabbit hole, ask yourself, “What is my expertise?” Don’t take this question lightly. Most people are experts at something in one form or another. A mother may not actually be an expert at rearing children, however, she may be an expert at one aspect of rearing children. That one aspect may be enough to build a platform as an expert. Experts are experts because they have spent years mastering one or more tasks, even if they fail to recognize their own expertise, they probably are experts.
So, what is your expertise? What have you master in your life time that would be valuable for others to learn? Start with what you have done most often for work, then write down the processes associated with the activity. How big is the market for people who NEED to know how to accomplish that activity?
Are you an expert?
If you’ve been doing the same thing for 3, 5, 10 years or more, you are an expert. If you’ve been making money doing it then you’re a smart expert and if you have started documenting how you can teach you expertise to others than you are a brilliant expert.
Assuming you are in either of the last two categories then you can easily turn your expertise into a new source of revenue.
Don’t quit your day job!
The mistake some experts make is that they quit their day job, the source of their base, recurring revenue. The purpose of a platform is to sell your “commoditized expertise” while building your reputation and credibility so that you can charge more for doing what you’re already doing.
Think of the process as a huge marketing campaign that results in multiple revenue streams. When I describe multiple revenue streams I’m talking specifically about information, products and services that you created, own, provide and control. I’m not talking about third-party advertisements or affiliate/commission programs. These third-party opportunities only serve to confuse your visitors and then send potential customers off to someone else’s web site. Third-party offers will seldom result in any real income for you.
Your next steps
So, you’re ready to move your professional platform forward. You have determined what your expertise is and that the market is big enough for you to create a revenue stream. Great!
5 things you need to do to launch your platform
- Determine your brand – is it your name or a business name, verify it’s not already in use, reserve the domain name and consider a trademark.
- Reserve social network names – Facebook, twitter, YouTube and maybe Google+
- Develop products. These can be training programs, webinars, books, coaching, etc.
- Launch your web site, blog and training platform.
- Market your program. Free press releases, write articles, social networks, etc.
If anything above sounds overwhelming, it can be. If you do not understand any of the concepts mentioned above, you can always hire someone and learn from them.
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