Are You an Expert in Search of a "Platform?"

Here's What to Include and How to Overlap,
to Make Each Piece of Your Marketing Do More for You

By Graham Van Dixhorn
Write To Your Market, Inc.

Regardless of your profession--business, health care, mental health, legal system, education, or personal development--you've probably heard that you need a "platform." Authors seeking a publisher, consultants seeking more and better clients, physicians seeking greater recognition for their expertise, or CEOs seeking greater visibility for themselves and their firms, all are scrutinized by their visible qualifications, reach, focus, and reputations. But what is a platform, and how do you build one?

Loosely defined, your platform consists of your brand and positioning, your presence and exposure both virtual and literal, your endorsements and affiliations, and your offerings, products, and services.

Okay, so a platform is what people see and interact with when they find you. Leaving aside for now the challenges of having people find you, how do you create a platform that reflects the depth and breadth of who you are and what you offer? Well, it starts with branding and positioning that is compelling, well-designed, and appealing to your target markets.

Who are you, what do you offer that's unique and different, why should people "buy" from you and not the next person, what are the benefits of your offerings to your target markets, these are the core questions answered by a great brand properly positioned. Many experts need help in this area, but for those who are already well-branded and positioned, what else supports the platform?

An easy way to keep it all organized in your mind is what we like to call the "Four Pillars" of marketing for experts.

  • Products, Services, Offerings--this is the stuff you offer, or sell, along with the print versions (if any) of your marketing and advertising.
  • Speaking--these are public or private appearances at which you share your unique insights, solutions, and, hopefully, products, services and offerings!
  • Web--this is your website, obviously, but also importantly blogs, webinars, and social media.
  • Media--this is broadcast programming and print publications.

You've probably noticed that there's a lot of overlap on these items. And, the most successful experts coordinate multiple areas for efficiency and greater exposure. For example, you might book a speaking gig and a radio interview on the same day in the same city, having already been written up in the area newspaper and having blogged about it and flagged it on your website, all of which you did to promote your book or your services. Your website is given when you speak, during your radio interview, and in the newspaper article. Oh, and you plugged your upcoming webinar every chance you got.

Platforms don't just happen. They're built on a foundation of great branding and marketing. If you'd like to learn more about how to build your platform, email us at or call 715-634-4120.