What is “Platform?”
Michael Hyatt’s website promoting His book states this,
“A Platform enables you to cut through the noise and deliver your message or product right to the HEART of your best PROSPECTS.”
Think of it as standing on a stage. It makes you visible to people. It allows you to be heard above the noise of the crowd and allows you to connect with those around you.
Hyatt points out that Social Media has taken this ability to a whole new level. It now allows you to converse with those you are promoting your product to. You can now engage your customers as never before.
In my context as a Youth Pastor, I have experienced this first hand.
To communicate with my students, Twitter and Facebook are my two best options. There will come a times when face to face communication is needed and is best, but for getting news out to them, these are the best options.
The same goes for any product. The platform, the stage has changed. But there are still some constants.
Part One: Start with Wow
“You won’t get a second chance to make a first impression.”
That quote, in my mind, sums up the first part of this book. When you are creating a product, whatever that product is, you have to remember that you may only get one chance to impact those you are selling it to.
You have to have a great product before you do anything else. Trying to sell something that isn’t great is only setting you up for failure. Hyatt quotes David Ogilvy who said,
“Great marketing makes a bad product fail faster.”
Whatever it is your selling. It may be yourself if you speak, preach or teach. It could be a service you offer as a business or a Church. It may be something you’re passionate about and are trying to spread the message. You have to have a great product.
Hyatt talks about how If people don’t want to use your product or recommend it to their friends, then you’re not going to do very well.
The What and the Who
He says there are two critical parts to creating a great product.
- A compelling product (the what).
- A significant platform (the who).
The platform (the who) isn’t going to be effective with out a great product (the what).
As I read I started to think about wow experiences I have had.
The first one that comes to mind is the birth of my son. The first time I held him was like nothing I had ever experienced before. To realize the miracle that he was and that he was my son, words can’t explain it. That experience created a “wow” moment in my life.
Then there are other things that created a “wow” experience. Not on the same level as the birth of a child, but wow experiences nonetheless.
Driving through the Canadian Rockies and experiencing some of the sites throughout like Lake Louise is something that I will always remember.
The time I opened my first MacBook Pro computer or the first time I picked up an iPhone. These were moments when you say “wow” because of the clean simplicity of the design, yet the beauty that it carries with it.
In design, we need to create those same wow moments for people. Without it, whatever you’re selling will just be another product on the self with all the others.
Part of getting to this point of have a great product and marketing it properly is having passion for it. And when you have the passion, it’s about not giving up on it or settling for second best.
One question that Hyatt says we need to ask is “Why is this so important?” I think we should ask that every day in whatever it is we are doing.
Application to Ministry
When I think about ministry, as I eluded in one of my previous posts, I think many of these principles can be applied. We have the most compelling message in the world.
One that can change lives! But how we portray it, that’s up to us. The impression we make will determine how people view it.
It’s like having a great product with a terribly designed packaging, a terrible website and an awful name. The product may be amazing, but most people will never know because we don’t give people the right impression of it.
Like I quoted in that earlier post,
“If your packaging looks cheap, dated, or confusing, your prospective customers will assume that your actual product is (surprise!) cheap, dated or confusing” (Pg. 27, Platform).
It what we say and do. In our promotion and execution, the product, how we portray the Gospel should be the best it can possibly be!
Colossians 3:22-25 in The Message paraphrase says this,
And don’t just do the minimum that will get you by. Do your best. Work from the heart for your real Master, for God, confident that you’ll get paid in full when you come into your inheritance. Keep in mind always that the ultimate Master you’re serving is Christ. The sullen servant who does shoddy work will be held responsible. Being a follower of Jesus doesn’t cover up bad work.
A great principle to apply to all things that we do in life. Whether its a business or a ministry. We should work and do our best for the Creator God.
What are your thoughts? Have you read the book? Do you think design and how we execute in ministry can have an effect on how people portray the Gospel?
Tomorrow we will look at Part Two: Prepare to Launch. Don’t forget, there will be a chance to win a FREE copy of this book. I’m just touching on the principles he outlines extremely well in the book. Be sure to
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