What it is
An author platform is where and how the right people (readers, fellow authors and potential collaborators, influencers) can find you, learn about you, and fall in love with you. It’s the engine of your author career.
It’s also a commitment. As you’ll appreciate by the end of this post, creating a fully realized author platform is an organic process that takes work and steady commitment over a long period of time. The good news is that once you get into the habit, it doesn’t take up that much of your time. And it becomes fun!
What it’s not
It is not a place to do hard selling, endless self-promotion, fan your ego, toot your own horn, rant about your favorite pet peeves (unless they’re an integral part of your brand, of course) etc. It’s also not for extroverts only—in fact, and on-line platform is the goddess’ gift to introverted authors (and there may be one or two of us!).
To grow your list, you need three things:
- A way for people to sign up (previous post)
- A reason for people to sign up (previous post)
- A way to invite people to sign up (this post)
Third, invite people to sign up
Now that you’ve got a way for them to sign up and a good reason to sign up, you need to get the word out. The basic principle is that everywhere your current and potential readers find you, they should also find a signup form with a “call to action” where the action is “sign up.” A call to action means you don’t just let the form speak for itself – you visibly and overtly ask them to fill it out. Don’t shout, exactly, but speak up!
To grow your email list, you need three things:
- A way for people to sign up (last post)
- A reason for people to sign up (this post)
- A way to invite people to sign up (next post)
Second, a reason for people to sign up
Your signup rate will be significantly higher if you offer something of value as an incentive to do so, and the more attractive or valuable the incentive, the faster you’ll build your list. Don’t skip the incentive part – there’s always something you can offer within your budget of time and money that will be better than nothing.