What Happens When You Have a Clear Platform Vision like Jackie Bledsoe

March 12, 2018  •  Platform Strategy

In 2012, Jackie Bledsoe found himself in a place he didn’t want to be: with a struggling marriage and a failing career.

As an outlet, he started blogging about marriage and family matters. Like most writers, he found his voice when he started writing about something he knew well.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock Photos

Jackie knew about the hardships of marriage. He understood the obstacles men faced when they committed their lives to their families. He felt the friction created when family and work demand increased levels of time and attention.

At one point, Jackie and his family were broke and even homeless. But it was out of that despair that his voice was born and a passion to persevere was developed.

From a branding perspective, we would have labeled Jackie’s Platform Archetype as The Struggler—someone who is in the midst of the conflict, figuring it out as they go. Six years later, Jackie has become The Sherpa—leading others down the successful path he discovered.

People won’t follow you if they can’t put you into a clearly defined category. The psychological term for this is a “mental schema.” Schemas are the way we understand the world around us. They let our brain take shortcuts and help us make meaningful assumptions. We segment things into categories and label them. We do this with everything, but mostly with people.

Find Your Category

Your audience wants to put you into a precise category, too. Something like “the fitness guru” or “the leadership mentor.” And if they can’t do this easily, they won’t exert the mental energy to figure it out. Meaning, they won’t stick around to see who you are and what category you fit into.

As Jackie learned, figuring out your niche (or which mental schema you fit into) is a crucial element to having a successful platform. Part of determining your niche is deciding who you help and how you help them. Jackie was able to nail this down with precision and clarity.

In 2014, Jackie underwent a platform makeover through Platform University. He emerged with a clear Platform Vision, Value Proposition Statement and branding so precise that his audience could immediately identify a few things about him:

  • Who he is
  • Who he helps
  • How he helps them

I help you lead with love and live on purpose, so you can cultivate a marriage worth celebrating and establish meaningful influence in the lives of your kids.

Jackie Bledsoe

If you want to emulate Jackie’s success, let’s break it down step by step.

1. Clarify your branding.

You don’t need to hire a fancy agency to do this for you (although I’m sure you’d have some amazing branding assets if you went that route). If you’re just getting started with your platform, your resources are likely limited. That said, branding is the first thing we cover in our members-only Core Curriculum. We walk you through developing your Platform Vision, your Value Proposition Statement, and even your tagline.

For Jackie, Platform University was the resource that took his platform to the next level:

Platform University changed everything for me. There is no other tool or resource that even comes close to the impact Platform University has had in my platform journey. I would not have a platform today, or at best I would have been spinning my wheels trying to figure things out, if not for Platform University.

Jackie Bledsoe

2. Know your Platform Archetype.

Knowing your archetype is going to help you craft content that gives your branding a clear voice. You can be the Struggler (figuring it out as you go), the Sherpa (climbed the mountain already), or the Sage (expert with credentials).

3. Know what you want from your platform.

We like to call this your Platform Vision. Where do you want to be in five years? What do you want your platform to look like? Will you have books, podcasts, or huge speaking events? Those are all details you need to decide now.

Hopefully, like Jackie you find that your platform allows you to reach your vision: My platform has changed my life. I’ve experienced things, been places, and changed more people’s lives than I ever imagined. And I feel like I’m just getting started.”

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4. Let your branding lead the way.

Not sure which projects you should pursue? Refer to your original branding. Clear branding can save you many missteps. Think of it like your road map to get you to your end result. If a project or blog post doesn’t fit within your branding just say no.

5. Make your promise clear to your audience.

Your audience is always tuned into WIIFM (What’s In It For Me?). If you keep your promise to them up front with everything you do, you’re going to build a loyal following.

6. The more specific you can be, the better.

It can be tempting to focus on a broad topic like marriage. But instead of using a blanket term like that, Jackie paired down his niche to focus on a particular audience and what outcome he can help them achieve. Most platform-builders fear that narrowing down their niche will exclude people, but that’s the point. Your message isn’t for everyone.

There is no other tool or resource that even comes close to the impact Platform University has had in my platform journey.

Jackie Bledsoe

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QUESTION: How can you get more specific with your branding? Tell us in the comment area below!

 

About Deidra Romero

Deidra Romero is the Production Manager at Platform University with a decade of blogging experience. When she isn't at her laptop, she's chasing children and Instagramming her adventures in motherhood (@deidradaily).