Whatever business or profession you are in right now, some persons somewhere out there, right now are trying to figure out how to do your job faster and less expensively with technology. And the more they breakthrough, the more people will lose their jobs.
Think about this statement by Bill Gates while speaking at The American Enterprise Institute, Washington D.C. Economic Think Tank –
Big changes are coming to the labour market that people and governments aren’t prepared for. Technology over time will reduce demand for jobs... I don’t think people have that in their mental model
It is for a good reason that world-renown economist (multi-millionaire entrepreneur), Paul Zane Pilzer called the time we are in right now...
The Dawn of the “Entrepreneurial Golden Age
He emphasizes that despite what the media is saying, corporations are not laying off employees in large numbers because of the bad economic times.
People are being let go because of the technology shift.
On the other hand, just as technology is taking over jobs, it is also creating even more jobs and opportunities for the entrepreneurial minded people. People who understand the importance of flexibility and adaptability to remain relevant in a competitive economy. These people refuse to compete with technology. Rather they figure out how to make technology work for them.
In the past getting your message to a wide audience was almost impossible for ordinary, everyday people. It was only reserved for the wealthy and famous. But not any longer.
Today Professionals, Public Speakers, freelance writers, authors, Politicians, Activists, Business Owners, Entrepreneurs, Sales Persons and Pastors are building online platforms, and cultivating an audience to grow their personal, professional or organisation brand.
An online platform offers unlimited opportunities to connect with people, spread ideas and information, develop friendships, influence political opinion, inspire creativity, report news and promote business expertise.
Below are practical ways to build online platforms to give your career and business unfair advantage.
If you have an area of expertise, giving away information generously on your platform will attract business prospects your way. Then you can sell your services to help them apply your teaching to their personal situation with personal attention from you. You can also land ongoing consulting work and get long term contracts with companies.
This model works in fields ranging from dating, marriage counseling to marketing, accounting, personal finance, personal development, photography, craft, legal, health niches etc. As a consultant, you offer services in coaching, mentoring and training your readers one on one.
Example: Amara Blessing writes on relationship and related topics on her blog platform. And offer counselling and consulting services.
If you write and intend to self publish your books, a platform will help you bring together potential readers for your books. You’ll sell more books depending on the size of your audience, email list, relationship with them and how important the problem your Book solves. Sometimes the book is based on the content you publish on the platform – other times it’s completely new.
In addition to selling your Books on your own platform, you can also publish on Amazon kindle and reach a whole new audience.
Example: Chidiebere Anegbu of Allnigerianfoods.com blogs about Nigerian Food and sells his CookBook on the Platform. Great Concept.
The best way to shoot up your speaking career is to share your knowledge and expertise, and promote your brand online. This will serve as the platform to advertise you to the world. You can start with volunteer speaking engagements. Once you build your online profile, the paid opportunities will come along.
Example: Titilayo Ama of Spread Media - an entrepreneurship and business e-magazine - offers speaking service on her Platform.
This may appear similar to the part of speaking, but it’s an extension where you run own training courses. You leverage the audience you cultivate online to fill up the seats for your training programs either online (membership sites) or offline.
Example: Alongside his blogging, radio ICT talk-shows and speaking career, Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata (CFA) also organizes ICT events and training programs.
If you make money writing for other media outlets, your own platform will expose you to more freelance jobs. Your profile, writing skills and expertise on your platform will attract other clients to you and serve as a comprehensive resume.
Example: Bamidele Onibalusi, at the age of 17 was earning four figures in USD monthly from freelance writing jobs. This would have been in his wildest dream if he never started his own content driven platform.
If you are skilled in graphic design, photography, event planning, Costumier, video coverage, web development or construction, a platform will help you reach potential clients.
Example: Akara Ogheneworo is a Professional Wedding and Concert Photographer showcasing his skills and offering photography service on his platform.
In your resume, you have at most two pages to impress the recruiter, and a few minutes interview to sell yourself. An online platform offers you much more room to express and demonstrate your knowledge and personality. You build your profile and perceived expertise in your industry. A potential employer may find you attractive to join their team.
Example: In this interesting story, Leslie Samuel shares ‘How My Biology Blog Landed Me My Dream Job’.
As a Business, organisation and larger corporation, your online platform will serve as the vehicle to reach new markets and grow your clients / customers-base. This article gives practical examples, on how businesses of all size succeed with online platform.
Example: 3InvestOnline is a real estate blog covering real estate deals, news and market trends. By Ruth Obih, CEO of 3Invest Ltd.
- Build a Platform as a Business
The 8 methods above are about leveraging an online platform to support your business. In this case, your platform is the business. He you build a free information-driven platform, get lots of consistent visitors and earn money from advertising, and sales of digital products and services.
Example: Millions of websites and blogs out there fall into this model.
These are practical examples of how large, small to solo businesses take advantage of online platforms to grow their careers and businesses.
Don’t assume that your business is too big or too small to need an effective internet presence.
Just 5 years ago, no one ever thought large organisations and multinational companies will go out of their way to ask people to ‘Like Us on Facebook’ or ‘Follow Us on Twitter’. Today, even CNN ask you to ‘Like Us on Facebook’.
Amazing how fast the business world is changing.
Do you have any questions or concerns about building a profitable online platform? Drop me a comment below.