Thoughts

A Beautiful Perspective On How To Build Your Army.

Business

Ryan Holiday insight on your platform.

In my definition, a platform is the combination of the tools, relationships, access, and audience that you have to bear on spreading your ideas — 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 work, but for creative work, whatever it may be.

This is the reason that if I could give a prospective creative only one piece of advice about platform, it would be this: Build a list. Specifically, an email list. Why? Imagine that, for reasons entirely outside of your control, there was a media and industry blackout of your work. Imagine that, due to some controversy or sudden change in public tastes, you were suddenly persona non-grata. Imagine if no publisher, no crowdfunding platform, no retailer, no distributors, and no investors would touch what you’ve made.

Think about a band like Iron Maiden — radio hasn’t played their kind of music since the mid 80’s. MTV hasn’t played their kind of videos in almost as long. But in that time they’ve put out a dozen albums which have sold millions of copies. How? Because their relationship was directly with their audience. They had a platform. They have an enormous email list.

As creators, to do our work without a platform is to be at the mercy of other people’s permission. As business people, to not have a platform means we are dependent on having a certain job, or backing. Someone else must fund us, someone else must give us the green light, someone else must choose to let us make our work. To a creative person, that is death. It’s not a career, it’s a dependency. Having an audience that we own? That we’re bound together with like hand and fist? That is life. Yet as I’ve said before: this does not just happen. It must be built.”

Buy his new book: Perennial Seller.

Related articles

The DO TeamBusiness
Contact

Copyright 2021. The DO Lectures All rights reserved.
Registered in England & Wales. Company Number: 06772325.