3 Important Habits for Building Influence that Matters

I am mostly offline, attending a business conference. I have asked several bloggers to post in my absence. This is a guest post by Jeff Goins, who is an author, speaker, and blogger that lives in Nashville. You can read his blog, follow him on Twitter, and check out his eBook on getting published. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.

Last year was crazy. In six months, I received a publishing contract, started speaking for live audiences, and launched a writing career—all without having to quit my day job. How did it happen? I built a platform. But what does that mean?

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/mediaphotos

If you want to find and lead your “tribe,” you are going to have to be intentional about the process. The first place to start is with building relationships. I’ve cultivated three important habits that have helped me do this.

Habit #1: Make Connections

A platform is not a website. It’s not your Twitter feed or speaking schedule. It’s people. Plain and simple. You may use a tool like a blog to connect with your audience, but this is simply the medium for your message. It’s a means to an end. And the end is relationship.

Realizing this changed everything for me. Instead of cold calling or emailing strangers, I looked for ways to build real relationships. Instead of demanding to be heard, I took my time getting to know people.

This isn’t like typical “networking,” where your goal is short-term, selfish gain. It’s about showing people they matter. It means taking someone out to coffee or going out of your way to say thank you. It’s about dignifying relationships, not commodifying them.

The best “networkers” are good at what they do because they care. Making connections means building relationships that lead to friendships. It also means helping friends connect with other friends. It’s not always easy, but it’s a whole lot more fun than trying to sell yourself.

Habit #2: Find Patrons

Every struggling artist, author, and entrepreneur understands the challenges of trying to survive in a competitive market. If you rely on your creativity to make a living, you will struggle with this, too.

The problem is we hear stories of overnight success, of people “making it happen” all by themselves, without any help. But the reality is there’s no such thing as a self-made man or woman. We all need help — someone to show us the ropes.

Every success story is really a story of community. Without the Medicis, Michelangelo never would have painted the Sistine Chapel. Without his friends at Atari, Steve Jobs wouldn’t have started Apple.

You need patrons — people who will believe in you and help you succeed. How do you get them to notice you? Do something that matters. And then, ask. This is how I got Seth Godin to endorse my eBook.

Habit #3: Create Great Stuff

In this noisy world, we are all overwhelmed with too many messages. Our inboxes are cluttered, and our eyes are trained to skim. So how do you — someone with something to say — break through these barriers? You have to do something truly interesting.

What’s the best way to do this? Start by asking questions:

  • What do people want?
  • What do they need?
  • What’s causing them pain?

Find out their problems and solve them. This will earn you the right to speak.

The best way to do this is to make a remarkable product. Start a blog or a podcast, launch an online course or coaching program. It doesn’t have to be complicated; it just has to help.

If all you do is connect with people, but don’t connect them with something, you will limit your impact. You need to create something. And it needs to be amazing.

If you are going to build a platform, you will have to give before you get. The best way to begin is by earning attention through being generous. As your influence grows, build stuff that solves problems, and good things will come.

So what does this look like, specifically? Here are four ways to get started:

  1. Email five people you want to meet. Ask them to coffee — your treat. No agenda, no big ask. Just reach out and see who responds. Do this with individuals and groups.
  2. Do something generous. Donate your services or time. Give away a free product, like an eBook. Make yourself available to others — be interruptible.
  3. Publish a manifesto. Create something with a message worth spreading. It should be good enough to charge money for, but don’t. Solve a problem, and do it for free. Watch as your idea spreads and your influence grows.
  4. Repeat these steps for the rest of your life. Keep connecting, keep serving, and keep doing remarkable things.

Question: Which of these habits do you practice? Have you seen others work? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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  • http://jonstolpe.com/ Jon Stolpe

    Connecting with people  for coffee, breakfast, or lunch is such a valuable pursuit.  I probably average getting together with someone in this fashion about once a week.  As a challenge to me, I’d like to see if I can double that to twice a week.

    Thanks for the thoughts on building my platform.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       Great goal, Jon. I’ve found tremendous “payoff” with these investments. It’s not about what you can get — it’s about the relationship — but if you do this enough, it’ll come back around to you.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      I’ve found those kinds of connections over coffee extremely valuable. As a caution, I try to remind myself that there’s a big difference between esteeming the person/time shared and esteeming what you can “get out of” the person/time shared. It usually doesn’t take long for the other person to unravel the true motives.

    • http://darensirbough.com/ Daren Sirbough

      That’s a great thought. I like how you’ve made it more then just a once off event, but how you have made it a regular occurrence.

  • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

    Jeff after reading your blog for a while now I think I can confidently say I’m doing all of these things. The one piece of advice I think anyone who wants to publish a book should take is to publish a short manifesto and make it free. I saw how well it worked for you and talked to you about it, and did it myself. It has been downloaded over 15,000 times which has helped with exposure, given people, hopefully, some great free content they can use. I now offer it free on my website to build my email list!

    As always Jeff, awesome post! I feel honored to “headline” for you on Michael’s blog!

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       I think you are, too. Wow, 15,000 times?! That’s awesome. Congrats. You should be proud.

      • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

        I saw how you had success and exposure with your’s, it just makes sense. When it’s free, people will download it, I think the key is to get a cover that draws them in.

        Thank you for helping me set it up on my website for free with email updates, I really appreciate that.

        • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

           You’re welcome. You just convinced me to try out the FREE deal on Amazon.

          • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

            To help make sure I got the most bang for my buck, I sent the link to 5 friends that have blogs and 15 friends on Facebook and asked them to share the link multiple times a day, I know it really helped to get the word out. As soon as the link was free before I even saw it, there were 500 downloads.

            It just sucks that Amazon only let’s you do it for 5 days every 90 days!

    • brent

      Kimanzi,
      The 15,000 downloads is impressive! Wow! How do you track “free” downloads? I would love to try this. Also, how can I download your manifesto?

      — Brent

      • http://justin.am/ Justin Wise

        Brent … I’m jumping in here, but my guess is there’s some sort of landing page that he’s tracking. Visits to the page = downloads. Either that, or there’s some sort of email newsletter system he’s tracking.

      • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

        When the manifesto first came out I made it free on Amazon for the first five days. It still would be free on Amazon but they don’t allow it to be free for more then 5 days in a 90 period. So when it was free for those five days it was downloaded over 13,000 times.

        Now it is free when you subscribe for email updates on my website: talesofwork.com

        I saw Jeff do this strategy with success, I tought the idea was brillant! I put a promo for my new book in the back of the manifesto.

      • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

        Amazon gives you up to the minute numbers of downloads, paid and free. Now I give it away with email subscriptions on my site, I get a email everytime I get a new subscriber, I also see how many people opened the email with the manifesto.

  • http://www.godsabsolutelove.com/ Patricia Zell

    Thanks for some good advice–as far as creating good stuff goes, I know my message will help a lot of people find their security in the absolute love of God. When we understand and manifest the power of everthing that Christ accomplished on the cross and the power of God’s never-failing love, we will be able to put on the life that Christ came to bring us and to overcome and defeat the evil in our world (John 10:10).

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       Very cool, Patricia. I hope you take the time to build important relationships to help your message. That’s key.

  • http://www.timemanagementninja.com/ Craig Jarrow

    Jeff, great advice you provide here!

    I think that too many people fall into the trap of thinking they are just going to do #3. They think if they just put “great stuff” out there… that people will find it.

    That can happen. But, it truly only happens when you do #1 and #2. 

    You have to connect with others. And you have to find your audience. 

    Don’t wait for them to come to you… go out and find them! :)

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       I agree, Craig.

    • http://justin.am/ Justin Wise

      Craig … Believe it or not, you’re one of those people I have on my list for #1! Sending email soon……. ;)

      • http://www.timemanagementninja.com/ Craig Jarrow

        Love to connect sometime! Drop me a line. :)

  • http://runningwithhorses.wordpress.com/ Steve Hawkins

    I think a great career starts with Habit #1. Developing new friends and seasoning those friendships with time and availability helps you build your own tribe of people who can help you see beyond your own perspective. That’s the beauty of friendships: they prevent you from becoming your own counselor. Once you get out of your own world and then go outside and help other people, the remaining habits naturally follow. 

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       Love that, Steve. You’re right. We need counselors and advisers — good accountability — in order to live the life we’re supposed to live.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      Excellent point, Steve. Relationships remind us that we don’t have all the answers or the perfect perspective on all things. We need outside counselors. “Plans fail for  lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” Prov. 15:22

      • http://runningwithhorses.wordpress.com/ Steve Hawkins

        A few years ago, I attended a “Men’s Fraternity” study with the men’s group at church. The 3-part series focused on looking back on your past (Quest for Manhood), understanding how to be a good husband and father (Winning at Work and Home), and planning for the future (The Great Adventure). During the Winning at Work and Home series, a few of the men just broke out in tears. When asked what was wrong, they all said, “Why didn’t someone tell me about this? My lack of wisdom has almost ruined my marriage.” 

        Sometimes we don’t have all the answers. But thank God the answers come at the right time when we’re open to receive, learn, and forgive where needed. Maybe that’s why there were 300 men who showed up each week. I certainly learned a lot. 

        • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

          Having raised three boys and being married to another, your comments here encourage me greatly. There is something incredibly powerful about a room full of men who are challenging, teaching and inspiring each other. We need this. Thank you for being a part of it.

  • http://modernservantleader.com/ Ben Lichtenwalner

    This is why I enjoy your blog so much, Jeff: your advice is usually spot-on and covers both the strategic as well as tactical, immediate actions one can take. To your great list, I would add one simple modifier, that works for me – both in gaining my own and other’s influence:

    Be Responsive / Timely: I struggled with this a long time & Michael was a great example in practice. When people do reach out to you, the only thing more valuable than your response is the speed with which you offer it. The person commenting on your blog or asking you a question will appreciate a quick response. The timeliness reflects the priority you place in serving your community. The more you serve your community, the more influence you will gain with them.

    Excellent post Jeff. Thank you for sharing!

    • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

      Great point, Ben, and one that I am really guilty of. A great example of someone who follows through, is a speaker named Craig Duswalt. He put together a 4 day boot-camp built around his moniker as the Rockstar Marketer. He has hundreds of people coming to his seminar this week. I emailed him a couple of questions yesterday and he emailed me back with four succinct answers in just minutes. Probably faster than I can type. I was blown away.

      I figured I would hear from a secretary or just put on ignore.

      Speed is a great thing.

      It shows you care!

      • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

         It really does.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       That’s a good one, Ben. You’re right — Mike is a great example of this. One way to stand out from everyone else is to get back to people within 24 hours. It may sound like “too much” for some people (and maybe it is), but I am constantly amazed by how much people don’t respond at all to an email, phone call, etc.

      • http://justin.am/ Justin Wise

        Guilty as charged. Or rather, I respond to the ones that I want to, not necessarily all the ones I SHOULD be responding to!

        • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

          Yep. That’s a biggie. And a discipline for most, as I understand it.

    • http://runningwithhorses.wordpress.com/ Steve Hawkins

      Great thought Ben. Some of the happiest people I see at church are those who are volunteering in some capacity. You really do get back more than you give. 

  • Pingback: The Secret to Influence Is This... | Goins, Writer()

  • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

    Care. Reach out. Work. Repeat. Thanks for sharing your insights, Jeff.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       Yep. And you’re doing a great job of it, Jeremy. It’s inspiring. Keep up the great work.

  • http://www.ChristianFaithAtWork.com/ Chris Patton

    Jeff, I thank you for this post!  I have already taken action on it and I will report back when I see the results!

    I know without a doubt that this advice will help me move into territory I would not have seen otherwise.

    Thanks!

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       Ooh, cool! Yeah, please let me know.

      • http://www.ChristianFaithAtWork.com/ Chris Patton

        You will know when I do!

  • http://blog.cyberquill.com Cyberquill

    Good point about the coffee. I always invite those I want to meet to a shot of wheatgrass. Perhaps I’d hear back more often if I switched to java.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       You would. :)

    • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

      I’ve heard that wheatgrass is powerful stuff.

      • http://blog.cyberquill.com Cyberquill

        Yep. As powerful as it tastes awful.

    • http://justin.am/ Justin Wise

      Have you ever tried chasing it with a fresh orange slice? That’s how we drink it in our house ;)

      • http://blog.cyberquill.com Cyberquill

        An orange slice keeps you from throwing up the wheatgrass? Good to know.

  • http://www.ChristianFaithAtWork.com/ Chris Patton

    Back in October at Catalyst, I actually did something like you are recommending and it worked!  I approached one of the speakers after the session and just asked if I could visit with him sometime to discuss how his experience in both business and ministry could help me with my efforts to integrate my Christian faith into my family auto dealership businesses.

    His name is Jim Reese and he is CEO of Atlanta Mission.  He had previously served as CEO of Ranstad and Honeybaked Ham.  Of course, I thought he would be too busy and I was probably out of my mind for even asking, but I did it anyway.

    He agreed!  It took a couple of months to fit it into his schedule, but we met last month and he spent a full morning with me and my brother (and business partner).  He simply closed the door to his office and asked what we wanted to know!  After close to three hours, we left with our minds reeling over all we had learned.

    I will never forget his willingness to pour into us like that.  I came home and immediately entered all I could remember into Evernote.  Right after that, I was able to write a series of posts on my blog about the specific advice he offered.

    Here is the link to the series of posts…

    http://christianfaithatwork.com/tag/jim-reese/ 

    Jeff, I can testify that your advice certainly works if we are just willing to make the ask!

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       Love that, Chris. It really DOES work!

    • Jim Martin

      Chris, I look forward to reading your posts.  Thanks for sharing this story about how you asked and another gave his time.  

  • http://www.BrianJones.com/ Brian Jones

    “A platform is not a website. It’s not your Twitter feed or speaking schedule. It’s people. Plain and simple. ”
    Amen! Amidst all the SEO optimization/Twitter technique info we get all day long as bloggers, being  reminded that blogging and writing is first and foremost about relationships was refreshing. Thanks for sharing this on a Monday!

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       You’re welcome, Brian. Thanks for reading.

  • http://chrisvonada.com chris vonada

    Wow, Jeff you’ve taken something that’s at times hard to put our hands on and made it sound pretty straightforward! Excellent!! You’ve touched on “being authentic” in your habit #1 – Essential… to be authentic… real… or just me!

    I need to print this one out and stay focused on it… thank you!!

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       You’re welcome, Chris. Good luck!

  • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

    Good to see you guest posting here, Jeff. You have been a great mentor to me through your many blog posts across so many sites. It all comes down to creating relationships and being yourself. The big problem that I hear about when I talk with others trying to build a platform, is complexity.

    We become jugglers, trying to tweet, write, speak, and create. 

    There are too many pieces.

    We become scattered.

    We need to focus.

    Do one thing.

    It’s hard.

    Very hard.

    We need help.

    We need each other.

    We need a way out of this.

    Thanks for being a pioneer.

    Thanks for showing us the way.

    Thanks for giving us three concrete steps to take.

    Thanks for helping us find our way through the information jungle.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       Very poetic, John. It’s my pleasure. From what I can tell, you’ve got a gift. Thanks for sharing it with us.

    • http://cherionethingivelearned.blogspot.com/ Cheri Gregory

      “Do one thing.”

      Thanks for a useful Monday-morning reminder!

    • http://justin.am/ Justin Wise

      I just like the way this is structured. Reminds me of the psalms ;)

    • http://www.eileenknowles.com/ Eileen

       I liked reading your comment, John.  The format was attractive and encouraging. :)

    • Rachel Lance

      John, you described my day & my world perfectly – so glad to know I’m not alone! Thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1398138107 Dale William Melchin

    This is good stuff.  Its commonsense, no nonsense, and it can be made into a workable plan, thanks Jeff!

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       You’re welcome, Dale. Thanks for reading!

  • http://www.suttonparks.com/ Sutton Parks

    Meeting people out for lunch or coffee has changed my life through the new relationships I have made.  That is how I met and became friends with Dan Miller, who encouraged me to write my first book.  
    Sending hand written thank you notes have helped as well.  While writing them I am reminded of the gratitude I have and hopefully it lets the other person know they’ve made a difference.Thank you Jeff, great post!

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       I LOVE how you embrace the ask, Sutton. Few people have the courage you do.

    • Jim Martin

      Good for you Sutton!  Great to hear about your practice.

  • http://www.alslead.com/ Dave Anderson

    Jeff,

    New blogger and consultant on leadership.( http://www.alslead.com) This is a great read for me at this point. I am just building the things you talk about.  I am learning…

    Finding a patron has taught me so much.  I’ve found a few people who are willing to spend more time with me than I would expect and it has been humbling.  The more I do this, the more I want to help others.

    Thanks for helping me.

    Dave

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       Agreed. Thanks for sharing, Dave!

    • http://justin.am/ Justin Wise

      Go get ‘em, Dave!

  • Trent_Boyd

    Jeff,

    Easy to see why Michael chose you.

    Brilliant simplicity is only possible from intimate acquaintance with a subject. You obviously have been there and done that.
    Great starter for the day.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       Thanks, Trent. Kind of you. I appreciate the comment!

  • DanStratton

    Well said, Jeff. I have been advocating for people to “stick out their hand” for a long time. Meeting people is a lot of fun and you never know who you’re going to meet next or how you can help them. I think finding ways to connect others together is one of the most gratifying experiences I have ever had. Thanks for the great post.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      So true — meeting new people IS fun!

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       I’m inclined to agree. I just helped a friend going to SXSW this week find free housing in Austin. He thanked me, but really I should be thanking HIM. Stuff like that gives me life.

    • http://runningwithhorses.wordpress.com/ Steve Hawkins

      It’s scary sometimes to reach out and meet new people, especially if you’re by yourself or new at church. But after you meet a few people, you realize that they’re just as scared as you are. And then you find common ground. 

  • anderson rioba

    a very amazing article .. will sure do these in my day to day life

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       Thanks, Anderson!

  • http://www.heartyourchurch.com/ Jason Stambaugh

    Thank you for sharing your blueprint for success. One thing I might add to the mix is focus. I’m in the habit of chasing down too many dreams/ideas at once. The balancing act often makes growing my “platform” pretty darn difficult. 

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       I can relate. A lot of peoples — creatives especially — seem to struggle with this. I don’t know how you do it, Jason, but my anytime I am moderately successful at something, it is a result of focus. Which is always a discipline for me. Keep up the great work.

  • http://www.thenancyway.com/ Nancy Roe

    Thanks for sharing these tips.  If you don’t put yourself out there, how will anyone know you exist? Your advice is so simple.  Thanks for the inspiration.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      You’re exactly right. And reaching out is our way of telling the other person we know THEY exist. Win-Win.

      • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

         What Michele said. Plus, it’s not as scary in reality as it is in our minds.

  • http://www.kellycombs.com/ Kelly Combs

    If you think last year was crazy, wait until you birth that book, and your baby both in the same year!  Congratulations on all your success.

    I’m enjoying seeing your success, and appreciate you sharing your “tricks of the trade” with us here, and on your blog. And I took your blogging course too, so I’m a fan.  Great job, Jeff.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      Hahaha … he’s still in the calm before the storm. Let’s not ruin his blissfully ignorant peace, yes? ;) But if anyone can do it, Jeff can. And he’s got a community of people ready to help.

      • http://cherionethingivelearned.blogspot.com/ Cheri Gregory

        I can’t wait for his parenting posts!

        • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

          neither can my wife.

      • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

         Hmmm… thanks?

    • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

       At 57 and male, I’ll stick with birthing books.

      • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

         As am I, Tom. ;) But I saw a movie where Arnold Schwarzenegger did. And I figure I’m at LEAST as tough as he is. So…

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       Thanks, Kelly!

  • http://cherionethingivelearned.blogspot.com/ Cheri Gregory

    Jeff —

    You’ve helped me understand why I submit proposals to speak at educational conferences. Many of my colleagues think I’m nuts for “wasting” my time and energy presenting when I could be heading off to Disneyland. Others think I’m egotistical. 

    In 20+ years of teaching, I’ve made every possible mistake. I enjoy sharing my experiences with other teachers in hopes of (a) preventing them from falling flat on their face or (b) helping them get up faster. If nothing else, I want them to realize they’re not alone. We’re all in this together.

    I’ve done #1 twice. Once with great results, once with “rejection.” Need to quit fretting about the second person and move on to the third, fourth, and fifth!

    I’ve been terrified of #3, wondering what on earth I have to say. Guess if I look through the notes for my dozen or so workshops, I just might find something…!

    Thanks for an extremely practical and encouraging post to wake up to!

    • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

      On #3, I was surprised how much came out of a chat with a critique partner last night. She was asking about platform and blogging and I was blending what I’d read with what I’d done (how wonderful when knowledge can be applied). I’m not Michael-Hyatt experienced in that area but I have absorbed and practiced a lot of stuff others are just beginning to ask questions about. Like you, Cheri, I have made mistakes others can learn from. Perhaps the greatest lesson though has been to not fear making mistakes. They at least let you  know you’re attempting to do something great. You never strike out (mistake) and lose a game (deflating) while sitting on the bench, but you never experience the rush of excitement from making the play or getting the hit that wins the game either. This morning, I read the first Amazon review of my debut novel. For better or worse, that review wouldn’t have happened without my taking a swing at writing and publishing.

      Wow! Your comment sure stirred up a lot of stuff in me. By the way, I know you write well and have stuff worth reading. Keep it up.

      • http://cherionethingivelearned.blogspot.com/ Cheri Gregory

        “Wow! Your comment sure stirred up a lot of stuff in me. ”

        This is what I love about a blogging community!  Once you get all that “stirred up” stuff fully baked, let me know and I’ll come over to your blog and enjoy it there!  ;-)

        I know I’m going to be using Disqus to harvest a bunch of my “stirred up” comments this summer when I (finally!) have time to blog seriously!

        • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

          I have one gripe with you, Cheri. You don’t post often enough. When you do write and post, I enjoy reading your stuff. I’m looking forward to more from you this summer. But I’m one of those people who have flexibility (total daily commitments: walk dog) so I’m not having to work around a real life outside the home. Just the virtual one in my head.

          • http://cherionethingivelearned.blogspot.com/ Cheri Gregory

            Thank you for your encouragement! Working with high school students keeps keeps me humble: they never gripe that I don’t share enough words with them!

            I’ve been meaning to write a series on reflective leadership practices. Keep an eye out for Part 1!

          • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

            I look forward to it.

      • http://cherionethingivelearned.blogspot.com/ Cheri Gregory

        P.S.  I’d call 5 stars clearly on the “better” side!  ;-)

        • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

           You peeked.

          • http://cherionethingivelearned.blogspot.com/ Cheri Gregory

            You dropped the chocolate chip cookie crumbs…!

      • Jim Martin

        Tom, your comment is very encouraging.  

        “Perhaps the greatest lesson though has been to not fear making mistakes. They at least let you  know you’re attempting to do something great. You never strike out (mistake) and lose a game (deflating) while sitting on the bench, but you never experience the rush of excitement from making the play or getting the hit that wins the game either.”

        Very nice!

        • http://runningwithhorses.wordpress.com/ Steve Hawkins

          Experience is when we learn from our mistakes. Wisdom is when we learn from other people’s mistakes. Instead of saying that we have ten years of experience in a certain area on a resume, why can’t we say we have 20 years of wisdom?

    • Jim Martin

      Cheri, I love your second paragraph.  Good for you in adding value to the lives of other teachers.  What you are doing is incredibly important.  (My wife is a teacher which may be one reason why this is so important to me.)

      • http://cherionethingivelearned.blogspot.com/ Cheri Gregory

        Thanks Jim!  

        Today’s conversations are helping me re-think how I add value to the lives of other teachers. 

        Sure, it was fun to present my “Subduing the Chaos: Becoming Organized Enough” session to a room full of fellow non-organized educators in November. But letting the material sit unused in a Keynote file is a waste of dozens of hours of preparation. I need to consider ways beyond the one-time speaking engagement to keep getting that value out there.

        • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

          Excellent thought, Cheri!  Have you thought about adding a 
          speaking page  to your blog with the keynote you mentioned and any others that you might have?  

          • http://cherionethingivelearned.blogspot.com/ Cheri Gregory

            Great idea! My website and blog are undergoing a complete overhaul, so I think I’ll add a section for those who want to download my slides. 

            I also need to explore how to adapt my workshops into eBooks, as my slides without my content will confuse more than help!

          • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

            The e-book could be your manifesto.  Let us know once you have your new website up!

        • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

          Cheri, I had a chance to sit down with some of my old NSA alumni on Saturday and talk about the current state of the speaking business. One of the long time professional speakers told the group that even in this subdued economy, there is a shortage of “good” speakers in the $2500-$5000 range. Many corporations and business organizations are having a hard time finding the right person. That was encouraging, and I realized that I need to make a few phone calls, and send some of my one sheets to some key people.

          That speech sitting in Keynote may be well worth promoting! 

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       You’re welcome, Cheri. Thanks for the kind, thoughtful comment. My thought is that life is basically about finding your passion (the thing you would do even if you didn’t get paid for it) and finding a way to do it without shirking responsibility. That’s the tension we all need to live in.

      • http://cherionethingivelearned.blogspot.com/ Cheri Gregory

        “and finding a way to do it without shirking responsibility”

        Ay, there’s the rub!

      • http://runningwithhorses.wordpress.com/ Steve Hawkins

        I read somewhere (maybe it was on this site) that our passions are usually found when we look back on our childhood and rediscover something that we really enjoyed. But as we became adults, that interest was clouded by the dark clouds of responsibilities and adult stuff.

        It reminds me of the movie, “The Neverending Story.” In the movie, the children would see these dark clouds on the horizon and yell “Look out! The nothing is coming.” And later in the story you learn that “the nothing” is the indifferences and anger of adulthood that the children are trying to avoid. What a metaphorical movie. 

  • http://www.thegeezergadgetguy.com/ Thad Puckett

    Great stuff Jeff.  Thanks for stimulating my thinking and my perspective this Monday morning.  So, when can we do coffee? (You’ll have to come to Austin! ;-) )

    • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

       I’ll come to Austin if you provide the coffee. ;-) back at you.

      (I’m in Wisconsin but my family lives in Victoria, Houston, and the Austin area.)

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       Dang. Wish I could’ve made it to SxSW this week. Maybe next year.

  • brent

    Jeff,
    I love this blog. Very insightful. One question: I have people close to me that can push me forward, but I am worried about connecting with a mass audience. I want to build an online audience. But, how do you connect with people like you describe in item 1 when you are online?

    — brent

    • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

       Brent, observing the changes in communication on this website, you connect with the initial few, and, as your online presence grows, your few connect with others. The initial impetus starts with you but you’ll see in time that you don’t shoulder the whole load. Michael likens it to hosting a dinner party. You provide the place and the food but your guests provide the conversation.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       Hi Brent. Great question. I think the answer is start small. Don’t go for the masses. Go for the one-to-one connections wherever possible. There are actually a LOT of things you can do to build rapport online. I’m a fan of email, Twitter (direct messages are most personal), and Skype. Typically, if I’m trying to build a relationship with someone I don’t know, I’ll reach out via Twitter first, then try to go to email and eventually chat on Skype (if the person is up for it). Let me know how it goes!

  • http://www.authorcynthiaherron.com/ Cynthia Herron

    Spreading one’s influence. While connecting. With no agenda. Wow, such powerful, timely words in today’s oversaturated “it’s all about me” world!

    One area that we see “agenda” practically handstamped all over the place is Twitter. I love connecting, but I don’t automatically follow those folks with 50,000+ followers anymore. When it’s evident that I’m just one more number in their daily quota, I’m not impressed. Those with steady, self-aborbed streams of touting their own platform ALL the time wear me out. 

    I enjoy linking up with like-minded folks, spreading joy, and being an encourager. I also like promoting passion-filled people and espousing great causes. When we put others first, I think the rest falls into place.

    We CAN be intentional–just honestly so.

    Thanks, Jeff, for your wonderful reminders and great concepts!

    • Jim Martin

      Cynthia, thanks for this excellent comment!  I like what you say about being an encourager and promoting others and great causes.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       Thank you for YOURS, Cynthia!

  • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

    Favorite line in the post =  “It’s about dignifying relationships, not commodifying them.” That should be an overarching motto for everything we write and say. Great advice here, Jeff. I’ve watched you do everything you purport. Inspiring.

    • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

       Agree with the sentiment and I know Jeff models that. That’s the message that’s really caught fire for me in the past 3 or 4 months. I must have skimmed that line though. Thanks for repeating it.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      …And DO. Thanks,  Michele. I’ve had great coaches (like you).

      • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

        Thanks, Jeff. :)

  • http://cherionethingivelearned.blogspot.com/ Cheri Gregory

    Great Monday Morning connection, here. Rachelle Gardner quotes Seth Godin in her blog today:

    “In the connection economy, what’s really clear to me is that there are more opportunities to be generous and to lead and to curate than ever before. If you spend a year or two or five doing that, in your spare time, with no real focus on getting repaid, sooner or later people are going to want more of you”

    http://www.rachellegardner.com/2012/03/do-authors-have-a-right-to-be-paid/

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

       It’s funny how things work together like that, isn’t it Cheri?

      Normally I find when that happens, I’m being nudged to get out of a comfort and expand my horizons.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       Love that Godin quote, Cheri.

  • http://www.robsorbo.com/p/welcome-from-disqus.html Rob Sorbo

    Great post. Unfortunately, you hit me at one of my biggest weaknesses! I’m pretty shy and terrible at small talk. I wouldn’t even know where to start with a coffee meeting with someone I respect!

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Thanks, Rob. I am the same way. I find the best way to begin is to force yourself into it. The words will come. The more you do it, the easier it gets.

  • Kerry

    These 3 questions change lives……

    What do people want? (LOVE)
    What do they need? (LOVE)
    What’s causing them pain? (?)    (Not to say that people don’t need other things, but loving someone genuinely offers them the most you can give)

    How many times do you hear yourself or someone else liking the sound of their own voice during conversations…People want engagement on a real level with others. This is why we cannot truly love others until we have found the eternal love of Jesus.

    • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

      Agreed. The questions are powerful, and so are the answers.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       I LOVE that, Kerry. :) All we need is love.

  • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

    I think habit #1 is something I’ve especially tuned in to the past six months. Last night in a chat with a critique partner, I mentioned you, Jeff, and Michael Hyatt as key people in understanding platform. At some point, platform became people and people became friends. I haven’t had a cup of coffee with you or Michael yet but that day may come. Last night’s conversation reiterated the lessons I’ve learned in reading and exchanging ideas with others like you. Excellent follow-through with the four ways to start. Generosity is something I’ve experienced from others. It’s a culture I hope to cultivate and pass on to others. Thanks, Jeff–Tom

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       I look forward to that cup of coffee, Tom.

  • http://deuceology.wordpress.com Larry Carter

    Jeff, I think one of the things I have learned most from you is that to really get what we want, we have to be willing to give away.

    • Jim Martin

      Larry, good point.  I think Jeff has done this well.

      • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

         Thanks, guys. I liked what one person recently said to me: “If you aren’t stingy with the universe, the universe won’t be stingy with you.”

  • http://www.livewithflair.blogspot.com/ Live with Flair

    So very helpful today!  I love #3 because my manifesto “live with flair” became the blog I’m still writing after 700 entries.  Daily blogging is a free gift to the readers, and sometimes it feels like I’m just doing so much work without getting paid (even with ads it’s not much).  But I keep doing it because it IS a gift.  After two years, the readership has grown, and new opportunities are opening up.  Awesome!  

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       love that idea. keep giving gifts. they don’t return void.

  • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

    Jeff, I guess I need clarification on #2, Find Patrons. You aren’t simply using patrons to mean financial partners, are you?

     In my case, I had to ask someone yesterday for financial help before ordering books for a book signing, so I recognize the importance of that aspect, but I also know that the people who champion your cause may not provide financial backing. For me, it’s the friend who, having recently learned I would have a book out, immediately congratulated me then sent emails out to everyone she knows letting them know, “Hey, Tom’s written a book.”

    My guess is that you would define her as a patron.

    Your post certainly makes me think more deeply about my writing career.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      What I got from #2 was that you need to find people who will champion your cause. So I would think your friend would qualify as such.

      • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

         That’s right, Joe. In fact, I wouldn’t ask these people for money. Their relationship is far more valuable. An easy example of this is the friendship Mike and I have formed. It took some time (and a lot of generosity on his part), but his willingness to champion and endorse my work is worth FAR more than money could ever buy.

  • http://www.CrazyAboutChurch.com/ Charles Specht

    Great post, Jeff.  It is interesting to see how your life has changed in this past year.  The results speak for themselves…and we should listen.

    • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

      Agreed. Nobody works harder than Jeff.

      • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

        I dunno about that. I am quite a lazy in a lot of things. Plus, I don’t have kids, nor do I have the prefix “Dr.” on my name (like — ahem — certain people). However, I do believe in doing what you can with what you have as long as you have it. I’m inspired by you guys; your encouragement gives me hope.

  • http://www.ryanhanley.com/ Ryan Hanley

    All four of your pieces of advice are timeless.

    I think #3 is very important in the Online World.  You’re defining work doesn’t have cost money to create value in your life.

    Thanks!

    • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

      Some of the most valuable items can’t be bought.

      • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

         I tend to think THE most valuable items are priceless.

  • http://www.robstill.com Rob Still

    In the last year, practicing point #1 has been a great blessing in my life; to connect with people in a way that adds value – hopefully for both parties!

    I’ve had that coffee meeting with a few folks I discovered through their blogs, and it’s been amazing. One of those guys was named Jeff Goins. It so cool to see the breakthroughs you are experiencing!

    Thanks for another super helpful post. Blessings, Rob

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       Thanks, Rob. I enjoyed our time together. We should get coffee again soon.

      • http://www.robstill.com Rob Still

         Absolutely! I’ll see you at Killer Tribes too.

  • http://www.lincolnparks.com Lincoln Parks

    Jeff, you know I started reaching out and asking for lunch, breakfast meetings. I did a few they flopped and I stopped. I see that you just kept on going, and its what those that succeed do. Keep going.. Thanks for your tips and inspiration that this can happen for those that put in the work.

    • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

      Keep going, Lincoln. Jeff is always a great source for inspiration.

      • http://www.lincolnparks.com Lincoln Parks

         I will Jeremy Thanks.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       Yep. Perseverance is key. Also, be flexible. It needs to work for the influencer. Be willing to get up early, drive across town, go out of your way. It’s worth the effort.

  • http://justin.am/ Justin Wise

    Could not have said it better, Jeff. Truly inspired by what you’ve done in such a short amount of time! Keep going for it. Onward….

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       Coming from you Justin, that’s quite the compliment. Thank you.

  • http://www.sonyaleethompson.com/ Sonya Lee Thompson

    Jeff,

    Great advice here. I particularly liked the three questions to ask. But how can I find people of influence in my area with whom I would want to build a relationship with?

    • Jim Martin

      Sonya,

      This has been an important practice of mine for a long time.  I keep a list of people who I find interesting.  These are people who represent a variety of occupations, disciplines, etc.  The one thing they have in common is that for whatever reason, I find them interesting.  

      Very often after meeting with one interesting, a few more names begin to surface.  

      • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

         This is great advice, Jim. I don’t have much to add to this other than I don’t focus on local. I focus on the WHO and then figure out the HOW.

  • Jennieast

    Love this article…great advice.

  • coachbyron

    thanks Jeff for this post.  I really like how you keep things simple and actionable.  

    • Jim Martin

      Byron, I agree!  Jeff does this again and again on his blog.  I continually find his writing helpful.

      • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

         Thanks, Jim!

  • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

    Great stuff!  John Maxwell always says that leadership is influence.  Being a leader in the church, influence is critical.  But there’s another element here:  it has to be earned.  And so I agree; connecting with people is the important thing here.  Building that trust is essential.

    • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

      There is no influence without trust. Thanks, Jeff.

      • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

        Very true!

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

       That is true Jeff. You have to earn the right to be influential. You have to put in the time, effort, money, etc to build up a level of trust.

      • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

         Good call, Joe. Influence is not a right, but a privilege.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       well said, Jeff.

      • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

        Thanks! :)

  • http://www.thehahnhuntinglodge.com/ Nikole Hahn

    I like what you said about emailing five people and meet them for coffee. Budget may not allow for me to treat them, but it’s been on my mind that I need to connect better with people. As a writer it’s so easy being an introvert. So I think I may take your advice. Connections with live people is what we need. 

    • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

      It’s one of those things that is easy to neglect, but can be incredibly rewarding. Hope it works out well, Nikole.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       If possible, maybe have them over for some homemade coffee? Without getting awkward, this can be a great way to build rapport — also a lost art.

      • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

         French press is best!

  • Mike Zserdin

    Jeff, you’ve touched on something that everyone wants in a relationship: sincerity and authenticity.

    As usual, great insight and thank you.

    Mike

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       As usual, Mike, you distill my thoughts better than I could. Thanks.

      • Mike Zserdin

        Ahhhh, too funny. Great work. I’m looking forward to your next TWO books.

  • http://timewithtracy.com/ Time With Tracy

    I especially love #1. In this fast-paced world, making real connections is a dying habit. After recently moving to a city where I didn’t know anyone, I realized that friends weren’t going to magically show up on my doorstep. In January I hosted a “post holiday blues” tea party at my house and invited over 50 women, many of whom I had never met in person. I’m not a great hostess by nature, so doing that was way out of my comfort zone. It was a blast. I made several new connections through that event. I still run into people around town who stop me to say how much they enjoyed the party because it gave them a place to stop and take time to connect with other women in our community. New friends and old.

    I’ve lived in 10 different cities now, and you honestly can’t survive moving that often unless you make intentional efforts to connect with people. 

    Thanks, Jeff. As always, you rock.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

       That is a great idea on meeting new people Tracy. It sounds like you were able to expand your comfort zone and create new relationships! That is awesone

  • http://twitter.com/ConnorMeaks Connor Meakin

    Awesome post. As I am in the process of cultivating my personal brand, I found this pretty helpful. I am getting my message out through blogging and networking etc, but i wonder the next step. You talk about publishing a personal manifesto. It seems like this is the next logical progression.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       Yep. I’m a big fan of spreading your message this way.

  • Jackie

    I am one of those who is listening, learning and has watched. Books took me to M Hyatt  who directed to you and others who speak into my life via Twitter. Thank you! Saw the title of your book “Wrecked” and was thinking about it on the treadmill this morning.  Looking forward to reading.  Your intentional “methods” influence. 
    The “church” is my primary Tribe and Love is the killer app. 

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

       Jeff’s new book looks amazing, doesn’t it?

      • http://timewithtracy.com/ Time With Tracy

        I can’t wait to read it. The title alone has me hooked.

        • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

           It’s a great title but I love the picture. The image does a fantastic job showing how we all feel at times.

          • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

             Thanks, guys.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       Thanks, Jackie!

  • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

    I love your suggestions on how to be more generous. It is quite hard to resist the offer for a free drink!

    I’m currently doing all three steps but I know that I need to step it up.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       Agreed, Joe. :)

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

       I can never seem to turn one down!

  • Spec2williams

    I recently experienced #1 gone bad and it was a helpful learning experience.  I was invited to grab coffee by a young man who attends the church where I serve.  I am  3 or 4 years older than he is, but the difference seems a lot bigger than that.  He invited me to coffee with the sole purpose of “getting to know each other a little bit.”  That was cool.  We talked about each other’s journeys and current roles.  We talked about family and all sorts of stuff.  I really felt like this was a good first step in getting to know each other.  Things got weird near the end of our time together when he whipped out a huge envelope containing a support letter.  He repeatedly stated that this was not the reason he wanted to meet with me, but by that time, my mind was in another place.  The more he tried to make this clear, the worse it all seemed. I was thinking back over the course of our conversation, searching for any clues that this had all been a setup to raise support.  The way that he handled the last few minutes of our time together made everything that had happened previously seem shaky.  I’m very familiar with folks that need to raise support to do ministry or nonprofit work.  I give to these types of things all of the time; however, I have never felt that the purpose of getting to know someone was to prep the way to get something out of them.  I see this as a caution to those who would follow step #1.  Be genuine in your desire to connect with people.  Most people will eventually see what you’re all about., so just be yourself. 

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      So true!  The same thing happened to me a couple of months ago with a twenty-something who had been trained to use this “bait and switch” technique by his missions organization! 

      The first 50 mins of our one-hour meeting went great, as you describe about your meeting.  Then he got real uncomfortable and tried to “hard close” me to support him.

      I let him know that I believed in him and his ministry (because I did) and that I was going to support him.  I mentioned that he seemed uncomfortable and asked some questions about his training.  He explained a three-day fundraising training course that he went to that taught him this technique!  

      I gave him some tips on how to do this better.  He was extremely grateful.  I think it really helped him and his ministry.

      It may be that some missions organizations need to re-evaluate how they are training new missionaries.

      • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

         As someone who raises support for a living, I can attest to how awkward this is. Interesting to hear the other side. Thanks for sharing. Sorry you had that kind of experience; it’s not fun.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       I can relate to how much difference in age a few years ca make. Love these tips. Thanks!

  • http://krisandraili.blogspot.com/ Krisrobbie

    Serving other people with pure motives. This is life worth living.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      indeed.

  • http://ignitechange.net/ Craig Morton

    Hi Jeff.  I think what you said about it being about people rather than a website or feed was a great perspective shift for me.  That behind those lines of text are real people that are wanting to build connections as well.  I’m relatively new to this game, but have enjoyed getting to know the people who show up as text on my screen.  
    I also really enjoyed your Manifesto in it’s content and style.  Very well done.

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      Craig, you are so right about focusing on relationships.  

      I once had a mentor who said that we are a transaction-based society instead of relationship-based, as we were created to be.  He challenged me, instead of going an inch-deep and a mile-wide with a transaction-based mindset, to go an inch-wide and a mile-deep building fewer and deeper relationships.  I took his advice and made that change.  It revolutionized my business!  The deeper relationships were what I worked on and the transactions happened as a natural result.  I generated more revenue with much less effort and REALLY enjoyed my work much better than when I was chasing the transactions!  

      • http://ignitechange.net/ Craig Morton

        Hi john. I like that analogy a lot and it makes sense. It’s sort of like twitter. If you had 100,000 followers who you don’t even know anything about or 1000 that you spent time really cultivating relationships, the work becomes the people rather than the transaction. Thanks for sharing that. It really helped.

        • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

          Right on, Craig!   Casting a wide net through a medium like Twitter can help initiate great relationships (Michael taught me this and I’m still working on casting the wide net), but it’s a means to an end.  I think that real relationships are the end objective.  

          • http://ignitechange.net/ Craig Morton

            It’s interesting how technology can cloud the vision of what service providers are meant to do. If it was all done in person, then it would be like you said, a inch wide and a mile deep each relationship. However, with technology, people forget about the relationship and often charge forward in switch to the mile wide/inch deep ideology and then have very little to show for it in the long run. Hope you have a great day John.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       Thanks, Craig!

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  • http://themarriagechecklist.com/ Dr. Ann

    Great post Jeff – I’m saving this one!

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Thanks, Dr. Ann!

  • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

    Great post today, Jeff!  You’ve challenged me to be better in each of these areas.  

    I bought into publishing the free manifesto when I read this idea as described by Seth Godin.  However, I couldn’t quite get my head around an idea for the right one for me.  Though, today after processing your thoughts above, I’ve now got an idea for the right one.  I need to keep processing, but you certainly helped me today!

    P.S. – I love following your blog … thanks for writing great stuff!

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      awesome! thanks, John.

  • http://lesdossey.com Les Dossey

    Jeff,

    I just became a fan and a subscriber

    Only the Best,

    Les Dossey

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       thank you, Les!

  • http://dougmullin.ca/ Doug

    thanks, Michael, for having Jeff share on your site. thank you, Jeff, for sharing. I bunnytrailed off to your site, when you mentioned Seth Godin. and learned more about influence, expecially your thoughts on Dale Carnegie. I didn’t realize how simple building influence can be, and really didn’t think I was already doing it. Reading this post and the one on your site reinforced that I am already building influence, simply by trying to remember people’s names.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      the most sobering/empowering thought about platform is we already have one. what we do with it is our choice. thanks, Doug.

  • http://www.malindalou.wordpress.com/ MaLinda Johnson

    Platforms are definitely people, not services. Good one to start with and a good reminder!

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       thanks, MaLinda!

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  • S Delemare

    I so liked this – especially the bit about giving stuff for free. I’d been told that one shouldn’t write for free, but I’ve been doing this for years – as and when I’ve had the opportunity to get my ideas out there – and I know people read it.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Excellent. It’s a touchy subject. I don’t mean that writers aren’t worth paying. Quite the opposite, in fact. But the reality is with so much noise in the world, the best way to get noticed is to be generous. It may be the only way. How else can you prove your talent?

  • http://www.paperandglam.com/ Paper & Glam

    Jeff, this post is remarkable per usual. Thanks for lending your guidance and encouragement daily. Would love to hear your advice and perspective on time management on the blog sometime.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Ack. I’m no good at it. For me, it’s all about tricking myself and doing silly routines.

  • Rachel Lance

    Thanks Jeff (& thanks for the great question Brent). This meets me write where I am on several projects. Time to build a new muscle – building connections.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       It can be a lot of fun, Rachel. Good luck!

  • Rachel Lance

    Thanks for adding that quote, Cheri. I’ll be mulling that over all week!

  • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

    Jeff,

    Fantastic stuff—simple and convicting!  I am working on emailing my 5 people right now!

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      awesome, Barry! Hope it goes well.

  • http://darensirbough.com/ Daren Sirbough

    These are some great points. Unfortunately I don’t feel I have done much of these to a great extent. However, I’ll give this some thinking time and see who I can serve and who I can ask out for Coffee now. I agree with all the points listed above. I just have to do something about it now.

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  • http://twitter.com/scskillman SC Skillman

    Thank you for this post; it is so refreshing to read. For some time I’ve been wondering about these stories of authors who became successful “all on their own”, & I’ve known something was missing…  something they’re forgetting to tell us. The reason why I write is to be in relationship with my readers, through my characters & their dilemmas.  My desire is to connect with an audience, through my fiction. Now you have articulated in your 3 points what I know to be true. I will  put them into practice. Thank you again.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       You’re welcome, SC!

  • Drdavidpatton

    A really inspiring post that has prompted me to take action! Thanks. A great summary if some powerful steps to take

  • http://twitter.com/MusicPowerStrat MusicPoweredStrategy

    Jeff,

    I  needed this today!  It’s so basic but with all of the information and activities that may distract us, it’s easy to lose focus.

    Thanks for reminding me of what’s important!

    Have an awesome week!

    Greg

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       You’re welcome, Greg. Best of luck to you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mel.menzies Mel Menzies

    Great post, Jeff, and so true.  My mantra, and the whole purpose of my books, blog, website and speaking engagements, can be summed up as: Encouraging others with the encouragement with which I’ve been encouraged.

    Relationship is mandatory if  you are to know what encouragement people need, I’ve found.  You need to walk in their shoes; listen to their needs; feel their feelings.  This isn’t always possible face to face.  But having experienced a broken marriage, bankruptcy, a daughter on drugs, and bereavement, I find I have a meeting point with many people.  And being a published author for over 20 years, I’ve had the privilege of connecting with many of my readers who’ve written to me to share their stories.  For me, that’s worth more than anything that fame or fortune can bring.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       I love your generous spirit, Mel. Keep up the good work.

  • http://beckfarfromhome.blogspot.com/ Beck Gambill

    I’m slowly beginning to incorporate these strategies into my mindset. I see my blog and message as a stewardship issue, and generosity must be the hallmark of a good steward. After you put your manifesto out I took the leap to write an ebook. A simple handbook on mentoring. Sister to Sister; A Mentor’s Handbook is available on my blog for free download. This month a blog friend downloaded it, shared it with her pastor and women’s ministry leader, and the church used it at a women’s event to train new mentor’s. I was blown away and humbled. That one event stoked the fire in me to keep the momentum going and gave me courage to approach people I respect to endorse the handbook.

    One thing I have noticed about your advice on building a platform is that it’s a starting point. I have to tailor these skills and tips in a way that meets my goals and life situation, and that’s what I’m trying to do. Thanks for great advice Jeff.

    http://beckfarfromhome.blogspot.com/2011/08/get-copy-of-my-new-ebook-sister-to.html

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       Definitely, beck. It has to work for you.

  • Laura Headley

    Readily applicable and practical- thanks for this relevant post, Jeff. I’ve found that as I’m building my business platform (still in its infancy), learning from business leaders/ thinkers like you has transformed my traditional J-O-B. Thank you for advice that has deepened the relationships I nurture with the teachers I support AND helped me build a solid business platform for myself. Blessings and abundance! Laura

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       Thanks, Laura!

  • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

    Thanks for the enlightening message this morning Jeff! I beleive that nothing in this world turns out to be an overnight success by chance. Intentions and consistent effort brings up positive result. Building influence is really an art. It requires good planning and focused excution from our end.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      You’re welcome. I share that belief.

  • http://www.struggletovictory.com/ Kari Scare

    I think I do okay with #3 but struggle with #1 and #2. The two I struggle with are not natural for me but I am working on strengthening and bulding relationships. Even #3 isn’t where I would like it to be, but I kind of feel more at ease figuring that one out. Some days are better than others for all three though. Maybe it’s a confidence issue more than anything. Not sure today.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       Kari, it may be. I would just begin. Put yourself out there and see who responds.

  • http://sidekickgraphics.com/ George Gregory

    Great, practical suggestions. I’m learning to connect and contribute. Relations are easy for me – I like people – but getting organized is a bit of a struggle until I find my stride. Work in progress…

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       Thanks, George. Love that you’re trying to do this. In my experience, starting is much more important than strategizing. It doesn’t have to be perfect; it just has to work.

  • http://www.peterglowka.de/ Peter Glowka

    Great post, Jeff. One point I don’t agree with is how you describe ‘typical’ networking. People who think in short-terms are no successfull networker and from my experience they are a minority.

    Today most People who attend networking events know that you build relationships when you don’t need them so you will have them once you need them. There is a lot of giving involved in this before you earn the right to ask for something.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       Great clarification, Peter. Thanks. I admit this was my own prejudice. I appreciate the feedback.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/2NXXGADYZ4B2JRZT74ABQWM4VE Re

    Hi… such an interesting article.. thank you for sharing.. well.. I’ve done 1-3, but not in a large scale, active in several small communities, and if someone throw a question (such in linkedin), if I know anything about it, I will try to give my opinion.. :) and of course.. sincerely

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       Awesome. I’m glad it helped.

  • Pablo

    Thanks for the advice and the article Jeff. As a new author living in Israel I am far away from the people I would like to meet up with. I can do this over Skype which of course is not the same as a coffee face to face. What other ideas do you have that would help a new author like me wanting to build a tribe amongst English Speaking countries whilst not living there.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       You’re welcome, Pablo! I find that Skype is a GREAT replacement for face-to-face meetings.

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  • http://www.lynboyer.net/ Lyn Boyer

    Jeff, Thank you for sharing these very effective and important ideas. I know you will continue to be successful because you focus on the relationship and not on the product or even worse, just what you will gain. Whether you call it platform, foundation or process you have made some excellent suggestions. 

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       You’re welcome, Lyn! Thanks for reading.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kare-Christine-Anderson/100000521862131 Kare Christine Anderson

    As well, Michael, I might add: 
    1. Step into their shoes: offer help that is, well, helpful
    2. Vividly, authentically and specifically praise others in front of those who matter to them
    3. Bring together diverse others who might not think they want to meet, citing a Sweet Spot of Shared Interest to get them talking. This strengthens the web of relationships

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      great points, Kare.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kare-Christine-Anderson/100000521862131 Kare Christine Anderson

    Oops, I meant to add my comment, writing to Jeff for his adept guest post, rather than Michael who was embodying the message of this post by having Jeff as a guest blogger on it, 

  • Deitra Brunner

    WOW!  Where have you guys been all my life?  This stuff is absolutely amazing!  Thank you so much for this…well, now I have to pray some more so I can get the wording for the platform, but at least now I know what to pray for!  Stay Blessed!

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