Resources  >> Two Things that Create a Compelling Platform

About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.

Written by: Vickie Sullivan  |  March 31, 2016

Two Things that Create a Compelling Platform

A great platform distills all your brilliance into one central idea backed up by one central approach.

Like most big buzzy words, platform is bandied about by many people in the thought leadership space. Publishers only want authors who have a “platform.” Web designers wax eloquently about creating the best platform for their clients.

For influencers both in the B2B space and in mass markets, here’s my definition of a platform: it’s a container. It’s a place that holds all of your advertising campaigns, speech topics, content marketing, and so on. And that container is created by combining these two things:

  1. Your perspective. Smart people have a ton of ideas. Brilliant people can distill those thoughts into one breakthrough concept. Ask yourself: What point of view do I personify? What do I stand for? The best thought leaders see the forest for the trees. An oldie-but-goodie example: best-selling author Dan Ariely redefined how we make decisions. Everything he spoke about could be traced back to those Jedi mind tricks.

Related: How Platforms Are Born


  1. Your approach. We’re not talking methodology here (a rookie mistake made by many). In general, how did you get to your message? What’s the focal point? For example, best-selling authors Steven Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner launched their Freakonomics platform based on the study of incentives. Notice that we’re talking three words here: study, of, and incentives. The approach creates credibility for the perspective. It tells the marketplace, “Hey, I’m not just making stuff up.”

The common denominator for the above: underlying theme. A great platform distills all your brilliance into one central idea backed up by one central approach, not two or three. It’s one simple thing that changes everything.


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About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.