Many will say yes - I have a strong platform. I have my website, I have my marketing materials, I have presented at a few events, even some freebies - does this mean you have a strong platform? No it does not, what it means is you have a low visibility platform and what you want to achieve is a high visibility platform. Many think that by heavily marketing themselves they are building a strong platform, but do not mistake marketing with building a strong platform.

Say you want to mix your marketing with platform building, this is one example of going about it the wrong way. Say you put together a postcard campaign, you send it out to about 100 colleges, do your follow up, send a second mailing and so on - does this help build your platform? Not really because you are just letting the college selection committee know you exist, that you're available and that you are the expert, but how do they really know you are the expert and speaker of choice if you have not built a high visibility platform that proves to them that you are indeed the expert? One where there is no doubt in their mind that yes you are the expert for them. When you mail out a marketing campaign say to colleges and one finds your material interesting, what do you think they do? They research you on the internet to learn more, if they can't find anything the chances are they will move on to the next speaker. As you all know one of the worst fears of a planner is hiring a bad speaker, one that did not perform well, one that did not portray their message clearly and one that may very well get them fired or give their business bad recognition.

Do not get me wrong because it is very important to market and send out your materials via mail or email, but just don't mistake it for building a strong platform. It is okay to mix your marketing and platform building, just know the difference and make sure you are accomplishing the goals you set for yourself. Get a plan in place and prepare the steps necessary for building up your platform.

You really want to build a strong platform first and then start your marketing campaigns, trust me if you do it this way you will find that you will grow and become more successful much faster with many more doors of opportunity opening for you - and you will find yourself saving money and time.

When you have a strong platform with high visibility you will become the choice speaker in your field, the one people will call and select for their event, the one they will call when they need an expert for an article, interview or TV appearance and by just having a website and marketing material will not help grow your platform to a high status. Remember you have to let people know you exist and you can do this by growing a strong platform that will give you expert status and this can be done either on your own or hiring a professional to assist you.

I coach my clients on a daily basis the importance of building a strong platform so the opportunities will start coming to them, so they will become the speaker of choice and so they can begin to fill their schedule every year. There are many ways to build yourself a strong platform and below are just a few to get you started and will prove that you are the expert in your field.

1. Get yourself in front of the media - publications, TV, radio, etc.
2. Create products that show you are the expert in your field - books, workbooks, DVD's, ebooks, CD's, programs, etc.
3. Write articles - the more you can spread and share your expertise the more attention and exposure you will get as the choice speaker in your field.
4. Speak wherever and whenever you can, this builds your reputation and gives you additional exposure (free or fee)
5 .Contribute to support groups and forums - share your expertise and be willing to help others in the group.
6. Ezine - publish a regular ezine and send out to your list sharing your knowledge freely.
7. Podcasting & Blogging - a very inexpensive way to get the word out, grow a list and share your expertise and be known as the expert in your field.

These are just a few of many but enough to get your wheels turning in the right direction. You also want to make sure you have a media ready website, professional, easy to navigate and have all pertinent information on your site so the hiring party or media professional can easily identify what your message is and find the information without having to spend an hour on your site- if it takes them too long to find what they need or doesn't look professional, they will move on to the next expert - so be ready! All speakers who do not have a site may want to start thinking about getting one up as soon as possible and those who are still in pre-historic days may want to think about a "make-over".

If you would like further help with building your platform you can contact Wendi at

Author's Bio: 

Wendi McNeill has been opening doors of opportunity for speakers since 2002. She is the founder of Charli Jane Speaker Services providing coaching and services to help speakers grow their business and build a stronger platform. To learn more about Wendi visit her online at