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The Right Platform Can Make Your Business
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By Suzanne Falter-Barns

Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to take your work into the world and share it with others. But unless you can reach those all-important others, your mission is bound to be a dud.

But fear not. Thatís why Iíve created this website and my Get Known Now Program; because after nearly ten years of building my own platform, I truly see it as one of the most critical things anyone who consults, coaches, writes, speaks or runs a small business can do.

Simply put, your platform is your reach in the world; itís the degree to which your name is known and your work is recognized. Itís your following. Itís your buzz. And it happens to be the single most important factor that literary agents, radio bookers, news directors, T.V. producers, publishers, editors, magazine people, and even big-time publicists use when determining whether or not to work with you. More than one literary agent and editor in major publishing has told me they seldom consider proposals for books from writers with no platform.

Why? There are several answers, depending on whom you ask. Book industry types need authors with platform because the publishing houses no longer have marketing budget to sell books besides those at the top of their lists. That means they rely on unpaid publicity to sell books, i.e. airtime on radio and TV, and write ups in newspapers, magazines and websites.

Meanwhile, radio and print media folks are simply looking for the next big thing Ė or trying to anticipate trends. So if they run across an expert with a platform that is quickly brewing, theyíre interested. Buzz begets buzz. In addition, TV and other major media bookers need to know that the guest they trot out in front of millions is a proven entity, so they tend to really check you out in advance.

They want you to have a website, media clips, a great press kit, a video reel. Thus your platform works as a kind of public pre-approval which reassures media bookers. And all of these folks have less time to do more, like the rest of us, so they need everything theyíre offered to be laser-like in itís intensity and clarity, easy to access, and loaded with reasons why. A big platform certainly helps get the point across faster that youíre someone they should feature.

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Suzanne Falter-Barns writes The Get Known Now Blog.
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