Writing a Book for your Platform

Let’s talk about writing a book to build your platform as an entrepreneur or artist or business person of any kind. I’m speaking of the “platform” here, if you’re not familiar with the term, as your little bit of fame, your public identity.

Often, folks can increase traffic to their business or artistic venture by simply becoming more well-known, and writing a book can be a big part of that. What a lot of people don’t realize is that to do this they don’t have to write a book about being the biggest expert in the field or discovering some new innovation. They can also write a memoir about how they struggled through tough times as a kid, an instructional book about how to put yourself through grad school on a budget, or even a children’s book explaining their field in easy-to-understand language.

The main thing, when it comes to building a platform, is that entrepreneurs or artists simply have a book for sale, authored by them, that tells the world a little bit more about who they are and shows how dedicated they are to their craft or business.

We live in a personal world nowadays, where everyone wants to know a little bit, or a lot, about you on a personal level. It’s not enough to know that your dentist is good at pulling teeth, you check his facebook page and find out he also enjoys restoring wooden boats and photographing sunrises. Now, he’s more than a dentist to you. He’s someone you trust. He’s real.

I resisted this reality for a long time. I didn’t used to want to blog, because I didn’t want to tell the whole world about my personal life. But, when I finally realized blogging is not only important, but actually pretty cool, I found aspects of my life I was willing to share.

So, I blog about being a ghostwriter and a memoirist. I don’t blog about my romantic life, my hobbies, or my crock-pot recipes. I share what I want to share and have learned to really enjoy it. So, when I have a ghostwriting client who wants to write a book to improve her platform, I tell her to do the same: think of something you’re willing to share with others. You’ll be surprised at how unique your experience really is, and how much people enjoy reading about it.

For me, because I’m a ghostwriter and my books are confidential, I can’t use them as part of my public platform. That’s what blogging does for me–it shows people my expertise in the field without crossing certain lines (of confidentiality) that my profession requires me not to cross.

But a book does this even more effectively than a blog, because you can sell your book at your office or shop, you can list the title of your book on your resume, and you can even give it away to potential clients to woo them.

Some hire a ghostwriter to set down a memoir they’ve been dying to write for personal reasons. Others hire one to write a book to build a platform. In an ideal situation, a book can be both!

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