Tuesday, May 1, 2012

April Platform Challenge: Next Steps

Yes, I know it's May. And yes, I know the April Platform Challenge is over. But I wanted to share a few last pieces of advice related to building your platform. A few of these are ideas that cost money, and I was really trying to avoid touching on tasks that would require money during April.

Here are three more steps:
  1. Buy your URL domain name. Of course, the goal here is to eventually host a website at the domain, but if nothing else, buy your URL domain name before someone else does. For instance, I own http://www.robertleebrewer.com/, which takes you to a GoDaddy place-holder page right now--until I do something with it. But at least, I know that no other Robert Lee Brewers can take my name.
  2. Purchase business cards. These cards are important marketing tools at events and can be included in mailings as well. For mine, I go simple and just include my name, skills, mailing address, e-mail address, and URL. There's no reason to break the bank with crazy images and/or weird sizes. Often, the extra expense just makes your business card look tacky.
  3. Build connections. Ha! This doesn't cost any money--or at least, it shouldn't. Instead, it requires a large investment of time. A few of the basics from the April Platform Challenge were to be consistent, experiment, and build connections through sharing and communicating. Keep that going in May and beyond.
There are always new tools to master and carrots to chase, but claiming your domain name and making connections will always add value to your platform-building efforts.


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Hannah said...

I was late to even think of starting this challenge earlier this month but I'm looking forward to delving in now, at a later date that is not so hectic. Thank you, for all the advice, Robert, it is so generous of you! Smiles~ Hannah

jennifer said...

My domain name is long gone, but I do have business cards. Thanks for all of the platform building tips even if I am skeptical about platform building. It really forced me to think about the whole thing.

Joseph Lalonde said...

Already have my own domain and am making connections. I've been thinking about business cards but have been holding off until I have a design created for the blog. That way the cards and the blog can match. Thanks for the extra encouragement to get them done!

Gerry said...

1. Done. But here's a question, Robert. Do you recommend also buying the .net/.org versions of the name? What if somebody comes along with a gerrygwilson.net website?

2. Done! Already have good business cards; just looking for places and reasons to use them.

3. Working on it. That's why the APC was so important to me.


Lynn said...

Thanks Robert - I will add purchasing my own domain name within the next week. Already have business cards and I'm still making connections, but that's taking time.

Laura Diane said...

Thanks again for the valid and useful advice.

I really appreciate how interactive you've been with us throughout this challenge despite your busy life.

All your tips and hints have been extremely helpful.

Madeline Sharples said...

My domain name is:


I have purchased bookmarks instead of business cards and they have proved very valuable if you're trying to sell a book.

However, I like the idea of business cards as well, so I'm considering buying them.

Of course, the connections are an ongoing process. Thanks Robert for all the help.

AMelodyGalloway said...

1. melodypearson.com....already done. That's the name I intend to write under, so I don't think I need AprilGalloway.com.

2. I have business cards, but they are for the web design company my brother and I share. Maybe I should have some made up just for my writing persona. I like the idea of bookmarks. It seems appropriate for an author.

3. I'm still struggling with the whole social media thing, but I really appreciate the group you've gotten started. Hope it becomes a lifelong friendship.

Cerece Rennie Murphy said...

Done and on-going. Still plugging away at these as you will see. Thanks for everything!

Charmaine Elizabeth said...

Hi Robert,

Thank you for all those wonderful excercises you gave us for the platform challenge! I am still working on them. I would also like to send credit your way for giving me that push for starting a blog. Before the challenge, I kept saying I'm going to start one. So thanks :-)


Nichole L. Reber said...

Agreed on the domain name. One way for me to remain focused was simply to name it what I write about: Architecture, travel and writing. Therefore my blog and email are http://www.architecturetravelwriter.com. It's a wide enough avenue I've chosen, much like the Chicago's Eisenhower Expressway. Yet I won't be writing about balloons or apple pie recipes there.
Business cards when I move back to the US. I miss those.

Am loving Hootsuite, BTW. Thanks for that challenge day.

For writers working on books, I'd also recommend "Create a Winning Nonfiction Book Proposal with Brooke Warner". It puts the steps on compiling a book proposal into a daily program. From the first day it proved useful as your APC.

Cheers y saludos!

Monica Miller said...

Thank you, Robert. I appreciate your valuable advice.

I am glad you did not put anything in the April platform challenge that required spending money, because there are talented writers out there who are in a financial place where they might not be able to complete the challenge if it cost money.

Again, thank you for your advice in moving forward.