If you're an arts administrator and want to advance in your field, you need a platform.
If you're an artist looking to be a part of interesting projects, you need a platform.
I think that covers just about everyone who reads this blog.
Let's start with a definition, I consider a platform a place where people can see a evolving body of work. There are a thousand different ways to accomplish this. I'm partial to blogging, of course, but a well executed YouTube channel, a dynamic Flixr site or even a good email/print newsletter are all ways to accomplish the goal.
I've been preaching the importance of building an owning a platform for years, but I still find that an alarming number of people haven't embraced the concept. Let me see if I can convince you. Let's start with this . . .
You see that all the time. Marketers "spin" the value of their products. Resumes get enhanced. It happens.
Because it happens, people tend to be skeptical about most claims. This applies to you as well.
So when you tell folks that you're an innovative arts fundraiser, they don't believe you.
When you tell people how great you're music is, it quickly gets dismissed as hype.
This isn't a personal thing. It's just how life works now. People believe what they can see.
You missed that, let me say it again.
People believe what they can see.
There's a world of difference between saying that you're an advocate for the next generation of nonprofit leadership and building a platform that demonstrates it.
There's a world of difference between talking about your acting range and showing it in a series of videos that you can put together without worrying about being cut off by a casting director.
You should assume that before anyone works with you they have popped your name into Da Google and looked around a bit.
If you have a platform, that is GREAT news, that means that everytime your name enters a search engine you get to expose people to your worldview, let them see your skills, etc.
But if all I'm seeing is a rarely updated Twitter feed and a few Facebook photos, then you are easy to ignore.
Again, I want to stress what a great opportunity this is. All your life you have wanted a chance to show what you can do. You have wanted a chance to cut through the clutter and shine.
You have that chance now. Use it.
During my next post I'll talk about what makes a platform particularly effective.