Thursday, January 17, 2013

How To Build Your Platform, Part I

The Road To Building A Platform Is Worth It

I'm learning how to build a platform. If you're a writer, especially of nonfiction, you need a platform.

To date, I don't have much of one, but that won't be the case for long.

I began building my platform two years ago. I've written and published articles on my personal story of loss and how I manage that journey. I've kept in mind my audience: mothers who've lost a child to suicide as I have. I wanted to help these mourners, because I have compassion for them. I  I know the horrors and sorrows that come with that tremendous loss.

That began the steps for my platform.

Soon after, I joined bereavement organizations and familiarized myself with these online sites. As I began my proposal, though, it became obvious I needed much more exposure and quickly.

I contacted a TV news anchorman and told him a bit about my story. I asked if they'd give me a slot for when my book publishes. The gentleman not only said yes, he asked if I'd be interested in an interview the following week. I was taken by surprise, and explained, "But my book's not published."

He said, "I don't care. You've got a fascinating and unique story that needs to be told."

Fast forward to a week later. I did the interview two days ago with KOBI 5 News in Medford, Oregon. They acted kind and made me feel at ease, and most important the gentleman was sensitive to my topic on the loss of my son. Now, my interview can be viewed on U Tube and it was all for free. What a great way to begin my interview and speaker career.

You may be wondering what didn't go well. When I thought  the interview was completed and we were off the air, I made an expression of relief to the interviewer, while I thought, "Oh, I hope I did well."

When I viewed my interview on U Tube, the expression was not edited out. After talking about the serious topic of suicide, to have my expression shown on TV was not respectful to grievers, especially early grievers. Yes, it was innocent and my thinking was understandable. Still, it was not a thoughtful way to end an interview targeted for mothers, whose lives still spin from the horrific death of their child's suicide.

Upcoming on January 21st, I'll be interviewed on Living Joyfully Free Radio by Host Lisa Buffaloe. I'm excited about this interview and less nervous, because she assured me the taping would be edited to make us both sound great.

I'll post about that interview and tell you how it goes, what I learned, what I could have done better.

The topic of platform building will be this blog's focus, where I will share with my readers each new adventure I experience.

Until next time . . . begin to build your platform before you start your book.