#PR Expanded [Guest Post]: Drawn To The Spotlight, Part 1

A Guest Post by Jeremy Miller, President, Sticky Branding

unnamedThere’s something in the DNA of people like Deirdre Breakenridge, Chris Brogan, Mitch Joel, Michael Hyatt, and Darren Rowse that propel them to grow remarkable platforms.

Some might chalk up their success to their early adoption of blogging and social media. But that’s not fair or accurate. You could take away each of their respective platforms (blog, Facebook Page, Twitter followers, etc.), and I am willing to bet they’d be back in no time with a new one.

The tools don’t make these individuals into celebrity CEOs and respected thought leaders. These people are destined to this life. They are drawn to the spotlight, and they are programmed to connect with people. It’s in their DNA.

In this two-part series, I will share with you how some people are naturally drawn to the spotlight, and what companies can do to harness that talent to engage their customers to drive sales.

Pulled to the Spotlight

I’ve been chewing on this idea for a few months — some people are naturally born to grow platforms. And a platform is just as it sounds, it’s a stage. It’s that thing you stand on to be heard, which in the digital realm could be a blog, Facebook Page, YouTube channel, or some other group.

The idea was sparked from a conversation I had with Gini Dietrich as we were developing the launch strategy for my new book, Sticky Branding. During the call Gini asked me, “If you were to do it again, would you grow your social media community on LinkedIn?”

It was an interesting question, because I run one of the largest branding groups on LinkedIn with almost 40,000 members. My answer was, “No. The conditions for success have changed.”

I launched my group in May 2010, and with the help of my members we have grown the group into a vibrant and engaged community. But Linkedin has also evolved and changed a lot over the same period of time, and the obstacles to scale a group are dramatically higher than they once were.

Gini then asked, “Would you build another group?” I said “yes” without hesitation.

This is the response of someone drawn to the spotlight — or as I like to call us, Platform Builders. Ask anyone with a platform if they’d do it again, and chances are they’ll say yes.

The Conditions to Share

The advent of the Internet and social media created the conditions for countless people to be heard.

In the pre-Internet era, audiences were restricted to a few sources of content — TV, radio, and print — and only a select group of people who were chosen to be heard. Audiences didn’t have the opportunity to discover new personalities, and individuals didn’t have the opportunity to connect with audiences.

Now, everyone with the desire, talent, and stamina can be heard.

Look at the growth of YouTube celebrities Bethany Mota, Felix Kjellberg, and Michelle Phan. These are young people (19, 25, and 27 years of age respectively) with millions of followers. Felix, for example, has over 33 million YouTube subscribers. He’s bigger than most TV celebrities!

The power to self-publish creates an opportunity to be heard. And if you have the DNA to be drawn to this new digital spotlight, you will show up.

Harness a Platform Builder

From a business context, Platform Builders are exceptionally valuable.

Gini Dietrich is a great example of this. She says, “Spin Sucks is one of the top three PR blogs in the world, and it has afforded us the ability to compete with the largest agencies in the world.”

And there’s a clear ROI to Gini’s platform building efforts, “The blog drives eighty percent of our growth.”

That’s the power of a Platform Builder. When you can link the individual’s need to connect with a set of products and services, you can achieve remarkable ROI on your marketing.

The Platform Builder not only grows his or her personal brand, they pull the corporate brand along with them. The platform creates the conditions for a business brand to punch well outside its weight class.

Tie the Brands Together

A Platform Builder can function very well on its own, but when integrated with a business brand they can go even further.

In part two of “Drawn to the Spotlight”, I will tackle how businesses tie together the corporate brand, the Platform Builder, and their content, enabling them to stand head and shoulders above their competition.

Jeremy Miller is a Brand Builder, Keynote Speaker, and president of Sticky Branding — a brand building agency. Jeremy helps companies stand out, challenge the giants of their industry, and grow Sticky Brands. He is the author of Sticky Branding: 12.5 Principles to Stand Out, Attract Customers and Grow an Incredible Brand — it’s your branding playbook. For more information or to connect with Jeremy visit www.StickyBranding.com. Or connect with him @StickyBranding on Twitter.