Resonance | Powerful Platform Building Secrets for Writers

There’s a lot of talk about platform building in the writing world but not a lot of talk about resonance. Yeah, they’re kind of the same but also different.

Resonance | Powerful Platform Building Secrets for Writers

Platform can be interpreted as a numbers game, which it *is* but also isn’t. Resonance is the next level of platform and influence—it’s the ripple effect of your message making waves.

Going viral, if you will.

Resonance is your platform reverberating

I first heard the term resonance applied in a platform-building context from the Novel Marketing podcast. Fascinating stuff. Here’s a brief excerpt:

Author Media

“Platform can be a sign of resonance, but it is not how you make resonance happen. Resonance is the horse. Platform is the cart the horse drags. Don’t put the cart in front of the horse.”


Author Media

The big secret about resonance is it’s an upside down model.

You, the writer, serve others.

You write for them.

In fact, you write what they want to read.

It makes sense when you think about it, but so many people write for themselves, and then are confused or frustrated when others don’t resonate with it.

When something connects with readers, they respond with engagement. This is SO important in platform building.

Numbers are one thing, but they don’t mean much if your followers don’t respond to what you write. And it means so much more if they share it with their friends.

Here are some reasons people are most likely to share something

  • If they have a strong reaction to it
  • If they have a positive emotional response to it
  • They are more likely to share if they feel inspired by it
  • If they are surprised by it
  • If they find it practical and useful
  • People are more likely to share something if they think it will help someone

The degree of virality changes based on the level your audience amplifies your message. If you connect, they’ll engage. And that’s resonance.

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Influencer marketing and resonance

There’s a corner of the Internet that makes money directly from their platform, they’re called influencers.

But even they can’t get far without resonance.

An influencer is someone who has an engaged following of people who pay close attention to their thoughts and opinions.

A true influencer can post about a great new product they’ve discovered and they have built so much trust with their audience that they rush out to also purchase the same product. These people have achieved the “three Rs” of influence marketing.

  • Reach
  • Relevance
  • Resonance

They are given this amazing level of influence because their audience trusts them enough to act on their recommendations.

And for success here, resonance means more than platform numbers.

Elements in a well-rounded author platform

How this relates to freelance writing

Alright so maybe you’re not interested in building a traditional author platform because you’re a freelance writer.

And influencer marketing is also not your jam.

You might be thinking you don’t need to write for your audience or readers.

I get that, I see it all the time!

Resonance and relevance

But here’s what else I see, and please don’t take this personally.

When a copywriter writes for themselves rather than their clients, the client can feel it even if they can’t put their finger on why. But I’ll tell you why, it’s because they copywriter puts themselves into the work rather than writing in their client’s voice.

It fails to resonate.

When a journalist writes for themselves rather than their readers, it either falls flat or it comes off as a passion project. Because it’s self-serving rather than community service.

It fails to connect.

When a blogger writes for themselves rather than their readers, they will stop reading. Plain and simple. This is because it comes off as a journal or some other type of autobiography.

Personal stories need to point to a larger narrative, one people can relate to and see themselves in.

Quick tips for creating resonance with your audience

  • Demonstrate to your readers that you care about them. Talk to them, ask them questions, engage with them on their channels
  • Highlight the tangible benefits of paying attention to you. Showcase your knowledge or expertise, entertain, inspire, encourage or help them deal with a specific situation
  • Show up consistently and appropriately according to the channel’s conventions
  • Give as much as you ask. Be a good literary citizen, be generous and helpful
  • Share relevant information. Think about your audience before you post. What will they like? What will they respond to? So what do then need/want to hear?

In marketing, relationships are everything. In life, relationships are everything. If we want people to pay attention, we need to say things worth paying attention to.

And the best way to do this, whether it’s for platform building, business or getting clicks, is by creating resonance.

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There's a lot of talk about platform building in the writing world but not a lot of talk about resonance. Yeah, they're kind of the same but also different. 

Platform can be interpreted as a numbers game, which it *is* but also isn't. Resonance is the next level of platform and influence—it's the ripple effect of your message making waves. 

Going viral, if you will.

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