Writing a Business Plan for Your Platform

by Angela Enos

 

Attending a WFYL Writer’s conference certainly provides a writer with a wealth of information.  And, if you have made the decision to dig your heels in, climb the mountain, and build a platform, attending the Business of Being a Writer conference is invaluable.  Afterall, we are all writers, but we are not all business savvy.  Yet, a writer is an entrepreneur, and being a successful author requires more than just creating a winning manuscript.  Though formerly unchartered ground for me, the business of becoming a writer has now become a well-traveled path.

I needed to formulate a plan and organize my thoughts into concise steps.  First thought, financing.  How much is this going to cost?  I had a family friend that I thought might help me get started by investing in my vision to build a platform.  Therefore, I began to write out the steps I needed to take, and the money required.  I spent days working out the details and rehearsed my speech.  In the end, as I stood and presented the sales pitch to my friend, I realized that I was selling myself as well. I truly believed in the plan I was about to initiate.

Below are the steps to my business plan, along with the dollar values I paid, which will obviously vary.  I pray that these steps help you get started as you begin writing, pitching, and believing in your platform.

Things I need to do: 

  • Establish your brand and platform. See previous blog “After the Conference – How to Determine Your Brand and Platform,” posted 1/13/2020.
  • Obtain professional photos (to be used on website, Facebook, Instagram, etc.) – $300
  • Obtain website professional to create a website, produce a banner for Facebook business page, set up YouTube channel, create business email, and create email marketing service provider $1,500
  • Pay for website subscription for one year – $250
  • Create business cards with new photo – $30
  • Clean up personal Facebook
  • Update Linkedin
  • Write out a realistic timeline: photo shoot to launch date
  • Order banner for marketing and video production – $20
  • Learn how to create a meme
  • Giveaways?!
  • Create a launch team
  • Send Launch team members some business cards and a free gift for signing up
  • Purchase free gift for launch team members – $25
  • Learn how to create Facebook ads – (I spent $10-$15 a week on ads. You can spend $5 a week or $500 a week.)
  • Learn Instagram and begin to post on Instagram
  • Consider Etsy and Twitter benefits and use if appropriate
  • Create three-fold brochure for marketing
  • Obtain speaking engagements

Videography

  • Learn how to make videos for Facebook and Youtube and learn how to post videos.
  • Download video editing software and learn how to use it.
  • What equipment do I need? Microphone?  Camera? Teleprompter?
  • Find free music to add to videos during editing.

 

You may note that many of these steps did not involve money.  It is possible to do all of this on a low budget.  You don’t need an MBA or a fat wallet.  You need a vision and a few organizational skills. WFYL offers professional assistance in many of these areas.  See: https://writingforyourlife.com/writer-support-services/

Now, combine your creative juices with a dash of organizational skills and begin to type.  You can create a business plan that fits your platform.  Begin to believe in yourself and your mission; and stay passionate.

 

Angela Enos is a retired youth pastor and children’s pastor; now author, speaker, and the founder of Prayers for Life, an innovative online prayer school designed to bring power and victory to God’s people.  Angela produces a weekly 10-minute teaching video, a bi-weekly electronic Newsletter, and supplemental videos and inspirational postings.  Check out Angela’s website, YouTube channel, and Facebook page for further details and to view her life-changing videos.

Website: www.angelaenoslive.com

After the Conference – How to Determine Your Brand and Platform

by Angela Enos

 

I attended my first Writing for Your Life conference in June 2019. In addition to making new friends, I was inspired by other writers and taught by knowledgeable speakers.  My weekend also included an encouraging one-on-one with a literary agent that left me dancing in the streets.  And now…nothing left but to build a platform.  My head was spinning with a tidal wave of ideas during my three-hour drive home.

The next morning as I sat at my home computer, those ideas began to overwhelm me.   I quickly realized that this was going to be work, hard work.  Hard work, yes; impossible, no.

If you have attended a writer’s conference, I am rather confident that you have experienced some of the same highs and lows that I have described above.  Now, what is your next step?

The conference left me with a treasure chest full of information, newly formed ideas and, the challenge of building a platform.  I decided to accept the task at hand.  Now, how do I create and build a platform?

Allow me to offer the following springboard.

It is time to contemplate what you might have to offer on social media.  What will be your specific platform and how will you take that first plunge?  Time to grab a pencil with a large eraser or, sit at your computer, willing to cut and paste, and answer the following questions.

  1. This is, perhaps, the same first question you asked yourself before writing a manuscript. What information do I have to share?  In what area(s) am I knowledgeable?  In what arena can I be accepted as skilled and proficient?  What am I passionate about?
  2. What are your talents?  What are your strengths?  Are you a good speaker?  Are you comfortable on camera? Perhaps a vlog?  Or, are you more of an introvert, no crowds or camera for you?  A blog is more your style.
  3. What are people looking for on social media?   Where is there an open niche, a need?  Write some questions that you believe are most commonly Googled in your area of expertise and experience.
  4. Lastly, how can I combine my knowledge and talent to produce something that meets that need, something that encourages people to tune in because they are receiving the desired information they have been looking for?

For the next few days I sat at my computer, typed feverously; cut, pasted, and deleted. After days of brainstorming, I birthed my platform, Prayers for Life, a free online prayer school.  You see, I love being in front of people, I am comfortable teaching God’s Word, and people are always coming to me for prayer, even asking me to write them a prayer.  My platform:  videography, teaching, and prayer.

What’s yours?  Commence the brainstorming and take the plunge.

 

Angela Enos is a retired youth pastor and children’s pastor; now author, speaker, and the founder of Prayers for Life, an innovative online prayer school designed to bring power and victory to God’s people.  Angela produces a weekly 10-minute teaching video, a bi-weekly electronic Newsletter, and supplemental videos and inspirational postings.  Check out Angela’s website, YouTube channel, and Facebook page for further details and to view her life-changing videos.

Website: www.angelaenoslive.com

The Importance of Branding

When Susan Cain published her book about introversion, she had a very specific audience in mind: introverts. This was also a traditionally underserved audience, which is even better from a positioning perspective (when supply is down, demand is high). The result was Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, a publishing sensation that has not only moved more than two million copies, but also spurred courses, leadership consulting, and a viral TED Talk that has been watched more than fourteen million times.  But imagine if she’d poorly branded or defined that initial product. Imagine if, in an early manuscript, she had not clearly defined what introversion was or provided enough practical tips and strategies – and her editor had allowed her to get away with it. Do you think she would have had the same kind of success?

 

– from “Perennial Seller” by Ryan Holiday

 

Impossibilities?

Wikipedia has taught me to believe in the impossible more often. In the past several decades I’ve had to accept other ideas that I formerly thought were impossibilities but that later turned out to be good practical ideas. For instance, I had my doubts about the online flea market called eBay when I first encountered it in 1997. You want me to transfer thousands of dollars to a distant stranger trying to sell me a used car I’ve never seen? Everything I had been taught about human nature suggested this could not work. Yet today, strangers selling automobiles in the major profit center for the very successful eBay corporation.

 

Twenty years ago I might have been able to believe that in 2016 we’d have maps for the entire world on our personal handheld devices. But I could not have been convinced we’d have them with street views of the buildings for many cities, or apps that showed the locations of public toilets, and that it would give us spoken directions for walking or public transit, and that we’d have all this mapping and more “for free.” It seemed starkly impossible back then. And this free abundance still seems hard to believe in theory. Yet it is on hundreds of millions of phones.

 

These supposed impossibilities keep happening with increased frequency.

 

– from “The Inevitable” by Kevin Kelly

 

 

Positioning, Packaging, and the Pitch

Today, in order to even have a chance at people’s attention, your project has to seem as good as or better than all the others. Three critical variables determine whether that will happen:

  • Positioning is that your project is and who it is for.
  • Packaging is what it looks like and what it’s called.
  • The Pitch is the sell – how the product is described and what it offers to the audience.

 

– Ryan Holiday, “Perennial Seller”

 

Planning a Launch

The first thing anyone planning a launch has to do is sit down and take inventory of everything they have at their disposal that might be used to get this product in people’s hands.  Stuff like:

  • Relationships (personal, professional, familial, or otherwise)
  • Media contacts
  • Research or information from past launches of similar products (what worked, what didn’t, what to do, what not to do)
  • Favors they’re owed
  • Potential advertising budget
  • Resources or allies (“This blogger is really passionate about [insert some theme or connection related to what you’re launching].”)

It is essential to take the time to sit down and make a list of everything you have and are willing to bring to bear on the marketing of a project. Aside from racking your own brain, one of my favorite strategies to kick off this process is simply to ask your world.

 

– Ryan Holiday, “Perennial Seller”

 

What’s a Platform?

In my definition, a platform is the combination of the tools, relationships, access, and audience that you have to bear on spreading your creative work – not just once, but over the course of a career.  So a platform is your social media and the stage you stand on, but it also includes your friends, your body of work, the community your work exists in, the media outlets and influencers who appreciate what you do, your email list, the trust you’ve built, your sources of income, and countless other assets. A platform is what you cultivate and grow not just through your creative work, but for your creative work, whatever it may be.

 

– Ryan Holiday, “Perennial Seller”

 

The Sharing of the Crowd

Harnessing the sharing of the crowd will often take you further than you think, and it is almost always the best place to start. We have barely begun to explore what kinds of amazing things a crowd can do. There must be two million different ways to crowdfund an idea, or to crowdorganize it, or to crowdmake it. There must be a million more new ways to share unexpected things in unexpected ways.

In the next three decades the greatest wealth – and more interesting cultural innovations – lie in this direction. The largest, fastest growing, most profitable companies in 2050 will be companies that will have figured out how to harness aspects of sharing that are invisible and un appreciated today. Anything that can be shared – thoughts, emotions, money, health, time – will be shared in the right conditions, with the right benefits. Anything that can be shared can be shared better, faster, easier, longer, and in a million more ways than we currently realize. At the point in our history, sharing something that has not been shared before, or in a new way, is the surest way to increase its value.

– from “The Inevitable” By Kevin Kelly

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