Top Ten Blog Posts on Figuring Our Your Platform (77 pages worth!) By Tad Hargrave Monday, 18th August 2014
Over the past decade, Iíve written a lot of blog posts: over 500, but there are ten of them that most get to the heart of really figuring out what I would call your platform (what you want to be known for); my guess is that youíve only seen one or two of them. † Figuring out your platform is the most critical thing you can do in your marketing. Without a clear platform, your marketing will feel clunky and awkward. Without a clear platform (or you could say brand, identity or reputation) success in business becomes extremely difficult. † I introduced the idea of the platform in my blog post The Three Foundations of a Thriving Business. It spoke to what your platform is and where it fits in your overall marketing strategy. This is one of the core pieces of my marketing workshop. † So, to help you figure out your platform, here are my Top Ten Blog Posts (which, if you printed them off in size 12, Goudy Old Style (the best font)) would total 77 pages.
Blog Post #1: The Three Roles of Marketing: This blog post sets the stage for the importance of having a clear platform as it attacks, head on, the central assumption that ends up making marketing and sales feel bad for all involved. What is that central assumption? Itís the idea that marketing has only one role. What is that role? To get people to say Ďyesí to buying your products and services. I think that is wrong. I think there are three roles in marketing. And none of them, provocatively, have anything to do with getting anyone to say Ďyesí. † Blog Post #2: We Might Be a Fit If: What if one of the three roles of marketing was all about establishing if you and the potential client were a fit for each other (rather than assuming that everyone needs what we have to offer)? I want to submit that your clarity around this issue of Ďwho is a fit?í is the most central question you can answer and that 90% of the marketing struggles I see come down to a lack of clarity around this issue. This post is chock full of specific questions you can ask yourself to get clear on who is and isnít a fit for you.
Blog Post #3: Polarize: This blog post builds on this idea and takes it further by suggesting that the reason most peopleís marketing doesnít succeed is because itís acting as a seduction rather than a filtering process. What if the role of our marketing wasnít just to attract the people for him it was a fit but to actively turn off and repel the people for whom it wasnít a fit?† † Blog Post #4: Your Platform in a Page: This is likely the post Iíve sent out to the most clients Iíve worked with as a first step. When people want to work with me, this is the post I send to them as homework to get grounded and ready for our session. Their answers to this help me laser in on where they are clear and where they arenít. Itís divided into six areas of your platform with the best three questions I could come up with for each. † Blog Post #5: Island A Ė The Painful Symptom: This is the most important thing you can figure out in your marketing platform. Island A represents that problem people are having to which your product or service would be a solution. 90% of clients I work with do not have this figured out. This is simultaneously the simplest and yet most difficult of issues to figure out. But, once youíve got this nailed, your marketing becomes ten times easier (without exaggeration). This is one of the longest posts Iíve ever written. Itís crammed with examples, case studies, criteria and specific questions to guide you in figuring this out for your situation. Itís one of the most practical posts Iíve ever written. † Blog Post #6: Island B Ė The Results They Crave: This post is the other side of the Island A post. If Island A is about the problems with which theyíre struggling, Island B represents that results they are craving the most. Again, this post is deep and extensive.† † Blog Post #7: Island C Ė The Unimagined Possibility: Sometimes youíre offering something thatís so new that they didnít even know it existed or was possible for their lives. If thatís the case then you need to market what youíre doing in a different way. If your work is cutting edge and is usually new to most people who hear it or if youíre offering a result thatís so much better than what most people assume is possible this post is a must read. † Blog Post #8: Island Z Ė The Unspoken Fears: This is a piece I almost never speak about at my workshops, but, if you want to have a clear platform and understand the people youíre trying to reach, itís essential. Island Z represents the very real fears people have of what might happen if they donít handle their problems now. These fears are often secret, unspoken but ever present in their lives. Your ability to really understand and empathize with these issues is huge in your ability to build trust. † Blog Post #9: How to Identify Your Own Message: Years ago, I heard one of my colleagues say, ĎDonít market yourself. Market your message.í and I sat with that for a long time considering what it meant. Your message is a core part of your platform and itís something that most businesses havenít figured out. † Blog Post #10: How to Figure Out Your Why: Simon Sinek wrote the brilliant book called Start With Why which lifted up the message Ďpeople donít just buy what you do, they buy why you do ití. I was powerfully struck with the truth of this message and, since then, helping people figure out the deeper purpose behind their business has been a core part of the platform work. † I hope you find these useful and Iíd love to hear your comments in the comment section of the blogs themselves.
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