Are You Using the Right Platform?
A platform is needed in order to share your work with others.
A platform can take many different forms: concert stage, website, ad in the yellow pages, or publishing contract.
If you don’t have a platform, it becomes very difficult for others to see your art. You need it to accentuate your message with your audience, who will in turn share it with others.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to choose the wrong platform. As you pursue your passion, it is very natural to get excited with any success you have. But if you are not very intentional about what platform you build, you might accidentally let others build it for you.
Recently, the Washington Post arranged for one of the nation’s top violinists, Joshua Bell, to play a concert in the Subway in Washington DC. You can watch the video below or read the full article here.
(If you are unable to watch the video, click here to view it in your web browser.)
Because of this platform, the violinist is defined by the audience as a street musician, while he is one of the finest violin players in the world. The majority of the audience did not take the time to stop and listen to the performer. They simply passed on to go to their destination.
And the same could happen to you.
Timing, location, and familiarity are 3 key elements that need to be considered when building your platform.
Why it fails: This concert was performed at rush hour by the subway right as the audience was on its way to work.
How it could succeed: Announce the concert in advance or have the concert when the audience has time to enjoy the show, such as lunchtime.
Why it fails: The physical location was right by the entrance and exit of the subway. Very little space was available for anyone to watch the performer.
How it could succeed: Move the concert to a waiting area for the commuters where there is more space for the audience to gather around as well.
Why it fails: The piece being played was not familiar to the audience. To get one’s attention, you must stand out. One way to stand out is to be familiar.
How it could succeed: Had the 1812 overture or even a Led Zeppelin song been played, it probably would have resonated more with the audience. If there were any children in the audience, a nursery rhyme or television show would have worked well. Most parents are more likely to give to a musician who brought some joy into the life of their child.
Be intentional when building your platform so it helps rather than hinders. Do NOT let others tell you what you can or cannot do. While it is very wise to seek counsel, you must take personal responsibility.
Make sure that the platform accurately shares YOUR unique message.
How are you building your platform? Share your strategies in the comments.