What a great song, right? Is there anyone on the planet who hasn’t watched the movie “Urban Cowboy” a hundred times?  

It occurs to me that authors, coaches, and speakers look for audiences in the wrong places as well.

For many, they are not in touch with the day-to-day needs of their target market.

Why is this so important to address at the inception of the project?

Because you need to offer the book, program, talk or service that people need, not the products they think they need! Yet, the disconnect between author and audience happens most of the time.

Many years ago, a friend of mine wrote a fabulous book for divorcing couples with children. The book addressed how to behave in the best interest of the children involved. The book sold poorly. One of the reasons was because the information in the book was the same information that was taught in a mandatory class for divorcing parents. It also had difficulties because it was written for every parent who was divorcing.

There are over twenty thousand books on this same subject. The book got lost in the crowd.

Communicating with her audience in a targeted fashion before the book was written, could have helped the author narrow down the topic. For instance, the problems that parents face with children of divorce are different in the toddler years versus the teenage years. When you search on Amazon with specific terms, the number of books narrows dramatically.

The bigger problem was platform-building. There wasn’t a social media presence that indicated that this was an area of specialty for the author. There is an occasional article but no real presence of expertise. This is a common problem for psychologists who pen books. They don’t build a platform around their area of expertise.

The bottom line is… You need your platform-building skills in place long before your book is published.

If you are writing a book to increase business, build your platform first. One of the biggest offenders of this “expert” model are writing coaches. If you have ever been to an event where expert writing packages are sold, the excitement in the room is generated from the guru telling his attendees that the book is they key piece to their success. This is misleading, at best. It is the platform-building that generates leads, establishes expertise, and generates increased revenue. The book is icing on the cake.

Establishing a niche or target market and beginning to communicate with them six months to a year before publishing, is the difference between hundreds of people buying your book and thousands of people buying your book. In a world where the average indie author sells less than one hundred books, it is the difference between making money and not making money.

How will you show up in your own platform-building journey?