On Building a Platform
Lessons from a Book by Michael Hyatt
This week I have been reading a book called Platform by Michael Hyatt. This book becomes a bit repetitive in the later part. But again lots of lessons, worth rereading multiple times.
What’s a product ?
Product can be anything from you are trying to say or sell. It can be an actual physical product, service or even yourself.
Regardless of the form your product takes, no amount of time marketing, savvy, salesmanship or operating excellence can overcome a weak product.
Questions to ask about the products ?
What about the products you create ?
If you’re speaking about business do you deliver exciting and powerful messages that you know can make a difference in people’s lives
Do you even use the items you sell ?
Would you recommend them enthusiastically to a friend ?
Do you really love these products or are you only trying to generate revenue ?
Out of box
Create products that solve problems in unexpected ways
Apple’s engineers put themselves in user’s place and refused to be constrained by the past. They didn’t start with the technology. They started with the dream and then went in search of technology.
Questions to ask ?
What would make this really cool ?
What would take this to a whole new level
What would we create if the limits of current technology aren’t there ?
Create products that exceed your customer’s expectation
Elements of a Great Experience
Surprise - Exceeding what’s expected from a product, creating a feeling of delight, amazement, wonder and awe.
Resonating a deeper level
Clarity - It creates a moments when you see things with more clarity than ever, you suddenly “get it” in a new way.
Presence - It creates timelessness. You are not lost in past and not thinking about future. Instead you are fully present.
Universality - Almost everyone will experience it in a similar way.
Evangelism - It has be shared. You can’t contain it. You recommend it unconditionally.
Longevity - The shine never wears off.
Privilege - You feel glad to be associated with it.
Questions to ask to Create a Great Experience
How will the customer or prospect feel as a result of this experience
What specific expectation does the typical customer bring to this experience
What does failing to meet customers expectation for this experience look like
What does exceeding customers expectation for this experience looks like
Obstacles to Creating a Great Experience
Running out of time
Not having enough resources
Don’t have sufficient experience
Too often, we acquiesce to the committee
Ways to overcome
Taking a stand
Taking a stand means making a commitment. Means you are hell-bent on bringing that vision to life.
Connect with the original vision, don’t drift away
Remind yourself, what is at stake.
Why is this so important ?
Listen to your gut
Defend your ideas
Be Stubborn to refuse, to give up to mediocrity
A simple strategy for a memorable name
P - make a promise
I - create intrigue
N - identify a need
C - state the content
It’s worth spending the necessary time to get it right
Know your audience and build for them
Strike a balance between reaching your audience and and representing who you are.
Invest on UI/UX and packaging
Don’t limit the imagination of your designers.
Insist on several comprehensive layouts.
Don’t let the design get in the way. Simple and Elegant
“You’d miss if it wasn’t there but you barely notice it when it is”
Evaluate the packaging in context
Will the packaging pop out on a shelf with similar items ?
Is the text readable from five feet away ?What about ten
What about the online context ?
Don’t get married to a design until you have seen the product in appropriate environment
Launch a beta. Get reviews
Assume Personal Responsibility
You are responsible for success or failure of your product. Your life and career is on stake. No one cares more about the product than you do. So don’t irresponsibly outsource this.
**Define your platform goals**
Creating an Elevator (Short) Pitch
Your product name and Category
The problem you are trying to solve
Your proposed solution
The key benefit of your solution
This is one of the ways, it can change with genre and segment of the product.
Basic Branding tools
Social Media Profiles
Keep them professional.
Types of Platform Presence
A Home Base - A digital property you own and control. It is where you direct all of your internet traffic.
Embassies - These are the places you don’t own. but you have registered profile. In other words you have regular presence.
Outposts - Places you don’t own nor do you have a regular presence. Instead you simply listen to the conversations.
Ideas for Writing a blog
Tell a personal story
Describe a historical event
Review a book, movie or a software program
Comment on a powerful quote
Comment on something in the news
Report on an interesting conversation
Provide a step by step explanation of how to do something
Provide a list of resources
Answer your readers question
Make a seemingly overwhelming task simple
Explain the rationale behind a decision
Write guide to something popular
Common Blogging Mistakes
You don’t post often
You post too often
Your post is too long
You don’t invite engagement
You don’t participate in the conversation
You don’t make your content accessible
You don’t create catchy headlines
Your first paragraph is weak
Your post is off brand
Your post is about you.
Writing an About page
Write in first person
Write in conversational style
Start with reader’s priorities
Tell them about yourself
Tell them about your blog
Set their expectations
Invite them to subscribe
Point them to your top posts
Provide a full biography
Tell them how to contact you
Include a photo or a video
Building a tribe
Marketing is the act of sharing what you are passionate about. Nothing more. Nothing less.
Volunteer to lead
Lead by serving and by giving
Provide a way to communicate.
Four kinds of communication
Tribe leader to tribe member
Tribe member to tribe leader
Tribe member to tribe member
Tribe member to outsiders
20 to 1 Rule
Make twenty relational deposits for every marketing withdrawal.
Defending your digital brand
Build an online presence
Monitor the conversations
Respond quickly to criticism
Admit your mistakes (without but)
Understand the lifetime value of the customer
Empower your employees or yourself to solve problems
There are other notes on commenting, getting a picture etc. Which I think is more recipes than fundamental concepts, hence skipped here in this blog.
Thanks for reading. I am glad you took out time from your busy life to read this.