Guest Post— Lynn Donovan “Developing the Dreaded Platform — Or Not”
Boom! Your lungs deflate as the acquisitions editor across the table responds to your humble and hopeful offering of your life’s work. Your proposal is written and your book is ready. You arrived at the writer’s conference in search of a publisher who would believe in you and your story. Your meeting with the editor began with anxious hope. You’re a great writer and your story is powerful even to the point of changing lives for the Cause of Christ. The woman across the table agrees.
However, the dreaded subject of a platform finally surfaces. “Your platform numbers simply aren’t there,” she responds with compassion.
“Thank you.” You turn to leave, and your lungs feel the sting of rejection.
It’s likely that many writers have lived through a similar experience. Ouch!
Allow me to breathe some fresh perspective into your stinging lungs. My perspective on platform and marketing is somewhat different than most authors. And I believe my perspective gives life and hope as well as helps writers to bring the Kingdom of God into alignment with our writing mandate.
From this day forward, toss out the idea that you must develop a platform. From this moment on, consider something different. A platform isn’t a mass of numbers. A platform is people.
Real, living, people who are facing problems, tight schedules, marriage difficulties, illness and much more. These people have a heart and a mind. They are good people who are often confused and searching for the truth as well as some ideas of how they might live a life of victory, peace, and love in the middle of a world of madness.
And guess what? You have some answers for their searching.
Start today by reconceiving your platform, which is comprised of your interactions online, at church, at speaking events or wherever you connect with people, as service.
Your platform is the offering of service.
When you make the mind adjustment from gaining numbers to serving people, your commitment level changes. You view your followers as children of God and begin to offer them real solutions to their needs through your online writing, speaking, social media, etc. You are serving, which after twelve years of online ministry, I will assure you is richly rewarding.
And guess what again? The searching people stop searching and begin to follow. They become loyal readers. They buy your books! They tell their friends about you. One day you wake up to a viral post on the web that you wrote, and thousands are landing on your words of wisdom and love. Your powerful voice of love is what people need.
Write to serve and allow the Lord to build your platform. In this there is peace, fullness, and success in the Father’s eyes.
My dear writer friends, write well, love always, see the face behind the numbers and commit your writing to the Lord. This is a powerful combination that will march the Kingdom of God forward through the power of the written word.
I bless you today, in the name of Jesus, to follow hard after the Lord. I bless you with words that flow from our Father’s heart. I bless you to serve and receive the blessings that come from giving to a community of people who turn to you because you are a voice of hope and love in a hateful world. I bless you to walk in your gifting and calling and receive all that God has prepared for you since before time began. In Jesus name. Amen
Lynn Donovan is an award-winning author, speaker, and ministry director. She writes and speaks on a variety of topics. She has written several books, contributes devotions to her local newspaper, writes articles for various magazines, and has been a guest at Dr. James Dobson’s Family Talk, Family Life Today and the 700 Club. Her delight is leading people to hear God’s voice and to thrive in faith. Find Lynn at spirituallyunequalmarriage.com
Books: Winning Him Without Words & Raising Godly Kids, Winning Them With Prayer
November 13, 2018 @ 11:22 am
Excellent, thoughtful, and right on! Thank you so much, Lynn!
November 13, 2018 @ 11:46 am
That was an especially good one. Whether I serve one or a thousand and one people is not the concern. The point is to make a difference no matter how big and let God do the rest.
November 13, 2018 @ 12:54 pm
Thank you, Lynn, for this encouragement and perspective. The concept of platform building has been a struggle for me. When first starting, I was getting no interaction back on the things I posted or shared which led me to believe I wasn’t sharing anything of value. My blog content has evolved and hopefully my shared content curation is refining itself to fit the needs of my specific audience. It is definitely a work on progress with a great deal of trial and error. But I have started to have people I don’t know engage with my words and messages in ways that tell me some of what I am doing connects and meets a need. Platform is still a source for some angst for me, but the rewards of making those connections with people who are looking is priceless.
November 13, 2018 @ 2:36 pm
What a fabulous way to transform our perception of what a platform is. Love the grace in your writing. It is a blessing to me today. Thank you.
November 18, 2018 @ 8:24 am
Lynn, your words are a breath of fresh air in a world that seems inundated by the pressure to market and “build your platform.” I will be sharing your post with the writers I work with to encourage their hearts. Thank you so much, friend.
Judy Gordon Morrow
December 4, 2018 @ 11:13 am
Lynn, this is wonderful, and you are speaking my heart–thank you! I could write paragraphs about this topic, and I’m blessed to teach a workshop at the Mount Hermon conference in April titled “Marketing as Ministry.” I’d love to quote from this or perhaps include it in my handouts, giving you full credit, of course. Would that work for you?
As Cindi wrote in her comment, your perspective is a “breath of fresh air” and one I hope will turn into a whirlwind of refreshment as we follow the Spirit’s leadings in this arena and in all aspects of our lives. Bless you, my friend!
January 14, 2019 @ 5:56 pm
I was encouraged by your words to view a platform as people who need to hear words that minister life to them. I hope to start a blog soon as my book continues to be updated and edited. It will be a labor of love and bring me insight into how to impact people and at the same time build a “platform.”