I recently spoke with an author whose book is being published this coming fall. The really interesting thing about him is the fact that the topic of his book has absolutely nothing to do with the expertise and renown he is known for as being a leader of his particular industry. In speaking with him about building his online platform, I began questioning him on what his message is and what tribe he would like to lead. He had not yet thought this question through and could not articulate it at all.
This is a problem.
Our job is to help you build a community around your idea. Answer questions like “What do I blog about?” and “What is a Twitter?”. Build your website, setup your email list, plan your book tour, etc. And everything in between. We build the megaphone and hand it to you. But if you have no idea what you are going to say, none of it matters. We can not provide your calling in life.
The exciting thing is that you do have a message. You have a life full of experiences and choices that can help other people. But what is your message? What is your idea? Who are you trying to lead?
If you are stuck and need some help figuring out the answers to these questions, grab a piece of paper and work through the below questions to give yourself a kick start:
- What makes you unique? What knowledge and experience do you have that other people do not? What have you seen and done that no one else has?
- Who do you want to be in 10 years? 20 years? On your death bed? I am not asking what you want to be doing. That is a different question.
- Who are you trying to help? I am not much help to new mothers or people learning to rock climb because I have never been there and never plan to do either of those. But if you are in your 20s and trying to figure out how to start a business, I have been there and have something helpful to say on the subject.
- How would you like to make the world a better place? This does not have to be something grand like “ending world hunger” (although it can). But maybe you just want to teach people how to market their online business better. Or put a bit of humor into people’s lives. Where do you want to leave your mark?
Work through these questions and you will see your message start forming and be well on the way to changing the world.
By the way, for extra bonus points and to give you a head start on building your community, read Tribes by Seth Godin.
Photo by katielips
April 12, 2010