Their Platform Or Yours?

For at least ten years, I’ve been preaching about the importance of owning your own platform—your content on your website, delivered through email to your private (owned) list.

The reason is simple: it gives you 100% control over your content, your intellectual property. No google algorithm can take it away (although they can mess with your ranking status), Facebook can’t put you in jail and Twitter can’t yank your chain.

But there are a few exceptions when you may want to experiment with building authority in places you don’t own.

You’re writing a “big idea book”. Even if you have a good-sized email list of fans lining up to buy your book, having it published by one of a handful of influential houses can introduce you to new audiences and expand the reach of your book (plus they can often get their stable of high-profile authors to blurb it).

You’ve identified an outlet where your ideal people hang out. It helps to go where your people are and engage them right there. This might look like writing a few articles you pitch for placement or even writing a regular segment. Ideally, you’ve got a byline and short description with links to your website and social profiles so they don’t have to work too hard to follow you “home”.

An alliance partner appears, offering you unique access to their existing tribe. I just had one of these pop up, offering me the option to create the only consulting group on a platform with almost 1 million professional users. While you have to do your homework carefully, sometimes the opportunity for a win-win presents itself.

Sure, 100% control feels good (and safe). But that doesn’t mean there aren’t times when you need to see what you can create in tandem that’s bigger than what you can do solo.

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