Why You Need to Be Building Your Platform Now

This is a guest post by Carrie Wilkerson. She is the author of the newly published book, The Barefoot Executive: The Ultimate Guide for Being Your Own Boss and Achieving Financial Freedom (Thomas Nelson). You can read her blog and follow her on Twitter. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.

“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” This philosophical question doesn’t seem to have an answer. I mean, there is only a sound if someone is there to perceive the sound waves, right?

A Diving Platform with Blue Sky in the Background - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/ZargonDesign, Image #14431358

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/ZargonDesign

Your message, your story, your speech, and your book are much the same way. The sound they make is—dare I say it—irrelevant, if there is no one there to watch you, hear you, or read you.

Too often, as speakers, teachers, and writers, we get wrapped up in “the thing.” We spend so much time reading, editing, practicing, and perfecting for our “someday” audience that we lose sight of the fact that we don’t have an audience … yet.

Call it a platform, a database, or a following on social media, you must have someone listening in order to make an impact of any kind.

Unlike the fictional account in the famous Kevin Costner movie Field of Dreams, just because we build it, doesn’t mean they will come. We will not draw crowds of raving fans or hordes of like-minded believers simply because we take the microphone or the pen in hand—no matter how great we believe our message is or our skills are.

The truth is counterintuitive. Must we really gather a crowd in the forest before we begin to chop the tree? Yes!

Now is the time to start surrounding yourself with others who will (or might) be interested in what you have to say. Audience-building now Is just as important as book proposal writing, creating your speaker reel, or even polishing your shoes, your suit, or your presentation.

Perhaps a less philosophical example is teen pop sensation Justin Bieber. Justin didn’t work his way through the ranks of the Disney or Nickelodeon star-makers. He didn’t pitch studio after studio on his music until he found someone to listen. Justin honed his craft while building his audience through YouTube videos and social media channels.

Whether you are a “Belieber” or not, Justin hosted mini-concerts at public venues and invited fans and friends through social media. Eventually, his self-selected audience roared so loud and so big that a major label could not deny his stardom. His platform demanded it.

So how does apply to us today? Establish some credibility by publishing yourself first.

  • Consistently publish to your blog.
  • Guest post to other blogs with similar markets.
  • Collect emails on your blog and keep in touch.
  • Consider producing a podcast.
  • Create a Facebook Fan/Like Page.
  • Start a LinkedIn or Facebook Group.
  • Be a guest interview for other blogs, podcasts, BlogTalk Radio, teleconference calls, webinars and more.
  • Make short YouTube videos for your own channel.

In short, publish yourself. If you are waiting for a book deal or a big speaking contract to validate your work, your message or to make you famous, you’re going to be waiting and waiting and waiting.

Wouldn’t you rather be helping others now? Wouldn’t you rather be making ripples and waves right away? I know I would!

The competitive asset you bring to any publisher or producer is not merely your manuscript or your demo reel, but the audience you bring with you.

An old riddle says, “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” In this context, the riddle says, “Which came first, the platform or the publishing?” The answer is … “Yes!”

I gave away 100 copies of The Barefoot Executive. To qualify, my readers had to comment below. You can find the list of winners here.
Question: How is your platform development coming? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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  • http://wheretigerswill.tumblr.com Will Laohoo

    I’ve definitely gotten a lot more strategic and intentional when it comes to my platform development over the past few months. Whereas I used to use Twitter to follow just about anyone, I’m now getting more focused.

    I used to have just a bit over 200 followers while following something around 500, but then went through and stopped following a lot of folks who weren’t necessarily adding value. This did include some personal friends who were either not following me back or not tweeting.

    Now, I’m closer to around 300 followers and following 300, so it’s more even, and my Klout score was helped a bit. I’ve stopped automatically following people back, and I may find it beneficial to stop following others whose tweets are not adding value, even if that means I lose some followers.

    The people I tend to follow now are real people, who tweet real things and are open to real interactions.

    The other aspect I need to work on more is blogging consistently. It’s tough when I have an irrelevant day job and a bunch of other things going on, but it’s something I need to get back into the habit of doing.

    • Anonymous

      Great start, Will! What if you set aside about 2 hours on the weekend to crank out 3-5 blog posts and preset those to trickle out over the week? I know, for me, it’s easier to get in the flow of writing when I’m not stopping and starting!

      And don’t forget to always have a call to action – several tweets, FB posts and even blog articles – if you found this of value, please share with a friend. Or ‘forward this to someone who would like it too’ – etc.

      Always ‘ask’ for the viral-ness. ;) (yes, I made that word up)

      • http://wheretigerswill.tumblr.com Will Laohoo

        Thanks for the pointers, Carrie! Blocking out time on the weekends sounds like a great idea. I’ve been reading about busting out a bunch of posts at once, but haven’t quite implemented that yet. Will give it a real shot.

        Call to action is something I haven’t done quite as much, I think. Usually I end with some “food for thought” or something like that, and a call to action, if any, is typically more of an exhortation for the reader to do something in his/her life. I’ll have to figure out ways to insert a call to action to gather some more traffic without coming across as trying too hard to self-promote.

      • http://blog.ashleypichea.com Ashley Pichea

        I’m horrible about asking people to tweet, forward, etc. I put the tools in their hands {easy click buttons}, but I hate to ask. I know I need to get over that…

        • Carrie Wilkerson

          If you like a movie…what do you do?

          YOU TELL PEOPLE :)

          Remind them to tell…it’s not offensive in the least ;)

        • http://www.aslobcomesclean.com Nony (A Slob Comes Clean)

          Ashley, with my most recent youtube webisode I remembered to specifically ask for a thumbs up at the end.  I got five in the first 50 views, and that video now has 17,  twice as many as the one with the most views.  It taught me that it’s okay to ask!

          • http://blog.ashleypichea.com Ashley Pichea

            That’s a great idea – I’d never thought about that. Thanks for the suggestion and real-life example, Nony! :)

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

        As is often true, I get as much out of the comment section as I do the original post. That’s a very doable practice. The call to action is an especially helpful bit of advice–not that I haven’t heard that before but you’ve put it in terms I can visualize.

        • Patti Schieringa

          I’m learning from comments too. Right now I’m making a workable Life-plan for each day. Sounds funny, but I have a teaching chart with see-thru pockets. i used it before to plan rotary-diversified meal plans.  Next, It needs to be divided between weekly and daily.
          TNeal, thanks for your comforting words. You too, Carrie. Now to the next comments. 

      • http://everydaysnapshots.com Dave Anthold

        Thanks for the reminder to tell people.  I often forget that.

  • http://twitter.com/blissfulE Elisa

    I am building my platform through authenticity and consistency on my blog. I would say it is going slowly as I find my voice and uniqueness. I do not even know what my platform will one day enable, but I trust God will use it – a little or a lot – for His glory.

    • Anonymous

      Authenticity and Consistency are key!

      Don’t worry about ‘specific’ voice. I always say just Be Exceptional. Be Extraordinary. Be You!!

      Your voice is yours alone, not something you have to ‘seek’ out necessarily.

      Nice job!

      • Patti Schieringa

        Wow! more encouragement.  I took and interest inventory 30 years ago and again this year. I’m in the middle. Interests everywhere. I almost feel as if I need to pretend I have a schedule like college where I tend to one interest at a time. That’s why i started a chart to see if it can work. One item I want to do weekly is find out how to understand my computer’s language with a friend who is fluent.

        • Carrie Wilkerson

          Patti – in my book there is a chapter specifically on ‘one interest at a time’ – it’s hard for us creative types – but works for best results.

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

    Thanks for the ideas, Carrie!  I just recently started my own blog and I need to know more ways to get it “out there.”  

    Like Elisa, I am not sure where God is taking it, but I am going to do my part and let Him worry about the rest!  

    • Anonymous

      Refer back to the post. Once you have the blog, then circulate the content through social media channels, emails, your signature line on your personal emails, etc.

      Also – don’t just tweet it once or update your FB once. I find every 3 hours or so gets into an entire new stream of folks. And ask THEM to share.

      I usually post my blog on Google+ the day after the Twitter and FB wave for even more sharing with a new crowd.  Keep it up – shout it out!

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

        Thanks!  I appreciate the additional info.  I am working on it!

      • http://everydaysnapshots.com Dave Anthold

        Another great reminder to tweet / FB out more than once.  I didn’t think of that.  I have been trying to do a “From the Archives” tweet, but that totally makes since that there would be a completely different group of people a few hours later.  Thanks.  I will try this.

  • Matt

    My platform is not coming.  By way of analogy, there are many pieces of my life puzzle that I want to be a part of my week, every week, however I am working for a new (and unstructured!) job and I’m having a hard time figuring out how to put the pieces together. 

    I am tempted to think that because I’m only 24 there’s no need to worry about it right now, but this post is really helpful in encouraging me to continue working to find a way to blog consistently, get involved with social media regularly, and begin to build a platform.

    Thanks for this.

    • Anonymous

      You are welcome, Matt!

      But don’t get sucked into ‘I have plenty of time, either’ — remember that we are not guaranteed tomorrow. So every little effort today is valuable!

    • http://blog.ashleypichea.com Ashley Pichea

      Linchpin Bloggers had a great article on building your platform last week… start with 5 people. Get them to be dedicated to reading, commenting, and sharing your work.

      • Patti Schieringa

        Thanks for the nuts and bolts idea.

  • http://profiles.google.com/cloudscome Andromeda Jazmon

    This is a really encouraging post. I have been blogging and commenting and participating in the kidlit world online for several years. I know I am past due for the next step… and now that I am unemployed I certainly have the time. I was just wondering this morning how many other people out there are praying about finding ways to let God use their voice online to bring God’s Spirit active on the Internet. This book sounds like exactly what I need to push me forward. I’ll be looking for it everywhere but I hope I win a free copy here!! Thanks so much for hosting and posting.

    • Anonymous

      God is good and you know your efforts will be rewarded. We may not always see it – but He is faithful, even when we don’t see the big picture.

      Kidlit is such a fun world, but I was unaware of how big it was until I read the ‘Happiness Project’ and one of the author’s goals was to indulge herself more in her kidlit hobby.

      Have fun. Small steps and don’t let the fact that ‘you have lots of time’ encourage you to be unfocused. I would still work within a set time every day with focused effort.

    • Patti Schieringa

      Recently widowed, I also am finding my voice  and hope i can obtain Carrie’s book. I can see others have my concerns too, just by reading the comments. Thanks everybody. I don’t know how to make my picture show up. I click on image and get a mess 

  • Marty Cauley

    You blogs on platform have been incredibly helpful as I have attempted to assist with a project recently related to the validity and importance of social media and defining the new playing field for ideas. Keep it up!

    • Anonymous

      glad you enjoyed it Marty!

  • Cindy Finley

    How is my platform coming?  My mission, to mobilize women to impact the world for Christ, is crystalizing and I am working to building a platform that will help me accomplish this mission.  I am building a new blog, seeking speaking engagements, and mentoring young women in my sphere of influence, both personally and virtually.  

    I would love to win a copy of Carrie’s book, however you direct us to take four actions, but only have three listed.  Is there a fourth I’m missing?  Thanks!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Oops. Just a typo. All fixed now. Thanks.

      • Carrie Wilkerson

        do you have a G+ or +1 button somewhere??

    • Anonymous

      Cindy – I would seek out Facebook groups of women that are like-minded. Focus on 5. I would seek out Facebook pages of women that are like-minded. Focus on 5.

      There are women raising their hand and saying – this is what we believe, this is how we feel, let’s DO this — and you need to join them, encourage them, contribute to the conversation and establish your platform among some of those that are already existing.

      Well done, you!

      • http://blog.ashleypichea.com Ashley Pichea

        I would never have thought to seek out Facebook groups, because that is not something I personally use. Are a lot of FB users using the groups to connect?

        • Carrie Wilkerson

          hundreds of thousands

    • Olanahope

      Hi Cindy! My name is Lisa Barros and my mission echoes yours! Find me on Facebook under Lisa Olana Barros! I’m all about connecting women who desire to fulfill their God-purpose and influence their world to live their highest purpose in life! I am a pastor and have been a women’s leader in my community of believers for years! I’d love to chat with you as I’m all about empowering women across the globe who are passionate to help and serves others for Christ!

  • Richard Wanjema

    These are good ideas and I definitely want to internalize them. As a graduate student, soon to be publishing his work and later looking for employment. These are great steps to follow. I am intrigued to find out what other nuggets are shared in this book. Thanks for putting out this resource.

    • Anonymous

      Richard, what I love about this model is that you don’t have to finish your degree first. (By all means, FINISH) – but you don’t have to be ‘credentialed’ to start establishing your platform!

      Enjoy the book!

  • http://www.lionstand.com Jamie O’Donoghue

    Carrie, I love the correlation you make between that popular philosophical question and building a platform. I haven’t thought of it quite like that before.

    I’m on day 5 of a mini course on developing my platform for my blog and it already seems to be paying dividends.

    From your suggestions, what ones would you consider to be the most important for a budding platform?

    • Anonymous

      Jamie – that answer is ‘it depends’ – it depends on your market, your focus, your topic and your consistency.

      I love twitter for ‘quick hit’ content and credibility.
      I believe a blog is vital as your ‘main base’ for content and resources.
      Facebook has a huge population and can be crucial, depending on your demographic.

      My strategy has always been ‘radical strategic visibility’ (that term coined by Mari Smith) – and that means I want to pop up a little bit of everywhere.

      But start with what is comfortable for you. Then be consistent there. Then move beyond your comfort zone and be consistent there too :)

      Don’t feel like you have to tackle it all at once!

      • http://www.lionstand.com Jamie O’Donoghue

        Will do Carrie and thank you for your advice. I’m looking forward to reading your book.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Theos-Dulos/100000922437098 Theos Dulos

    Platform building? Authentic, relational, deep and maybe many will disagree, but offline. I beleive offline contact with people is way more important than the online is. You can have impact at people if you know them personaly. Maybe this is not true for the best selling authors, but it works for people who are just starting to build their platform. Invest time into small group of people. I think platform building, if it should be solid and perspective  is a long term process. It is easy to get many people to follow you on facebook or twitter. It is much harder to have real impact at their everyday life. And that is what we are looking for, or not?

    Be Godly person, fear Him, serve Him, be intentional, authentic and use platform building to His glory. If I had any impact at just one person, who will have closer and better relationship with Christ, I have my life was not meaningless.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I personally don’t think it has to be either or. Instead, it should be both offline and online.

    • Anonymous

      Theos, you have some valid points, but in an age where we are all so scattered, online platform building is a key unifying factor. I have a global audience of amazing, REAL, deep relationships that were established before I ever shook the person’s hand.

      I had a live event in Dallas this weekend and had relationships with most of the people in the room before they ever walked in. It’s a combination of efforts that is most powerful.

      And many of my relationships would have never come to fruition if we had not established credibility and connection online first.

      Using online methods I can impact hundreds of thousands. If I have to be in a bricked room with them, I am limited to mere hundreds.

      I believe God’s intent is for us to reach the world and He will bless our efforts in all those arenas if our motives are pure.

  • http://twitter.com/chriswilliamsde Christopher Williams

    I have been thinking about “platform” lately and the need for me to be intentional about building one.  One interesting internal dilemma I have noticed inside of me is that I have wondered how building my own platform sits with my spiritual perspectives.  As a Christian is it okay to build my own platform?  How does that fit with the call of Jesus to be humble?

    That said, I have been spending some reflecting on this issue and have come to two key insights that are helping me.  First, I can and should build my platform so that the gifts I have can make the contribution they were intended to make.  I believe that God created me with certain passions and gifts.  It is my calling to pursue those passions and employ those gifts to make a difference.  Building a platform is part of being faithful to my calling.  

    Second, I should always build my platform from the perspective of humility.  I don’t have all the answers and I will not always get everything right.  Because of that I need to offer what I have and remain open to learning from others.  I also need to use my platform to help others and lift others up.  If the platform I build is only for me then I think I have missed the point.  My platform must be focused on others.

    These two concepts have brought some internal peace to me related to this issues of platform building.  I have started posting more regularly to my blog, being more involved in social media, and am doing more interacting on blogs like this one.  The traffic on my blog http://differentandbetter.com/ is not yet breaking records, but it is starting to pick up.  I’ll keep building my platform and trust that it will be used to help others and make a difference. 

    • Anonymous

      Great insights.  I’m glad you shared this.

    • Tracy B

      Christopher- excellent post!!  Humility is such an important aspect of living a very fulfilling life.  I pray throughout the day for constant humility in everything I do.  I think humility will keep you connected to what is true.  May God bless you and all of future your endeavors.

    • http://christiansimplicity.com Kevin

      Thanks for sharing this.  Frankly, I have to continue to ask myself, is building a platform the right thing for me at this time?  I’ve learned a lot from MH’s blog, but am not sure how much of it I should actually implement.  I am just starting out and my thinking is to focus on seeking depth in ministry and let Father deal with the breadth he wants it to have.  

      A few days ago I read an article by Wayne Jacobsen, collaborator and the publisher of “The Shack”.  The article, “Quiet Lives of Profound Consequence”, isn’t entirely about platform building but does address it directly in a couple of sections.   It’s too large to copy here I’ll leave the link.   http://www.lifestream.org/bodylife.php?blid=60

      Michael, I think many of us could benefit from understanding your thoughts on how platform building is not opposed to humility.   There is this nagging question…am I attracted to platform building, indeed, are we all attracted to platform building, because we want places of honor at the feasts, the best seats in the synagogue, and greetings in the marketplace?  Jesus seemed to do everything he could in his day to minimize his platform, yet God made it bigger than anyone could imagine.

      • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

        I probably should do a post on this. Platform building is not about promoting yourself; it is about promoting the message. Jesus taught one-on-one, in small groups, and to the multitudes. It’s no different than that. Thanks.

        • http://blog.ashleypichea.com Ashley Pichea

          That’s where my internal conflict is… trying to find the balance between self-promotion and promoting the message.

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

          I would love to see a post about that Michael.

      • Carrie Wilkerson

        And did He not command others to Go & Tell?

        If we have the message of salvation, is it not our responsibility to share it?
        If we have a message of the cure for cancer, do we not have an obligation to heal?
        If we have the tools for debt recovery and financial responsibility, should we not tell as many people as possible to free them as well?

        And in my case…if I’ve discovered and mentored others on freeing themselves from a job that binds them, a lifestyle that doesn’t allow their gifts and a way to be the full time parent of their children…should I not want to tell as many people as possible?

        My platform building is not all about me-me-me – but I do have to establish credibility so folks can trust and listen and move forward in their own solutions.

        Jesus had an inner circle of 12 but fed thousands and thousands on the hillside.

        I build a platform to help others with a message. Not to glorify myself.

    • Anonymous

      Nice insight Christopher. I like to reflect on the parable of the talents.

      We can bury them or we can grow them. In order to grow them — we have to do some ‘platform building.’

      I am certainly grateful that Michael has his platform. What great impact he has on us. I am grateful for recording artists that haven’t buried their talents. If they believed they couldn’t showcase their gifts, we’d be missing an integral part of many worship experiences.

      I’m grateful that Dave Ramsey has his platform. He is helping many folks, believers and non, to escape financial bondage.

      Serve others, not self. Build your platform to serve using the gifts you’ve been uniquely blessed with.

      • http://twitter.com/chriswilliamsde Christopher Williams

        Carrie,

        Thanks for reminding me about the parable of the talents.  That is a helpful story from Scripture related to this topic.  The call to develop and use what God has given us, combined with the Master’s affirmation of those who multiply what they were initially given is insightful.  

  • Mcsaint

    Great advice here- my takeaway: there has never been a more important time than now to build a platform.

  • http://www.facebook.com/scot.longyear Scot Longyear

    Thanks Carrie for the great article.  My platform is coming along and I am ready to make some needed tweaks and ramp it up.  I do have a question.  Do you suggest a facebook fan page or a “regular” page?  I currently have around 1700 friends.  Is there a point that a switch to a fan page would make more sense?  Thanks!
    - Scot Longyearwww.reson8.org

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Carrie may want to jump in here, but I switched mine to a fan page a couple of years ago. It is so much easier to manage, primarily because you don’t have to accept friend requests. People simply “like” the page, and then they get the updates.

      • http://blog.ashleypichea.com Ashley Pichea

        I added a “fan page” for those who I am not personally connected with offline. I share a lot of the same content, but I can do so w/o compromising my family’s privacy.

    • http://stopdoingnothing.com Patrick Allmond

      Michael is dead right on this. There is no “regular” page. You have a personal “profile” and then you can create one or more “pages” to represent a brand, band, company, you as a personality, etc. The profile has several restrictions and is not good for a long term plan. 

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      I always think the personal profile will limit you a bit. The ‘fan page’ or ‘business page’ will enable you to 1. not have to approve everyone 2. promote openly 3. offer fan-only content and 4. is very useful in search engine rankings, etc. 5. your personal profile will limit you to 5000 but there are no limits to the business page.

  • Guest

    Bleh.  More advice on getting more people to do blatant self-promotion as opposed to doing remarkable things that people will notice regardless of whether or not they have developed their “platform.”  More All Hat and No Cattle I’m afraid.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      It doesn’t have to be either or. As I have written several times on this blog, it has to be both and. Unfortunately, remarkable product is not enough in today’s world. I have published scores of remarkable books that sank without a ripple. Why? Because the author had no platform, and as a publisher we didn’t have anything to work with.

      • http://christiansimplicity.com Kevin

        Could you also say the opposite?  Scores of unremarkable books have been published and rose with lots of ripples because the author had a platform.

        It seems one can succeed at platform creation and have little depth of character.  I can’t imagine having a large platform without depth of character as being a healthy thing.  We see the repercussions of that all through society.

        I don’t know if you read all the comments, but Michael, I think many of us could benefit from understanding your thoughts on how platform building is not opposed to humility.  And how to balance platform building with character development so that we don’t build a platform that is too big for our britches.   There is this nagging question…am I attracted to platform building, indeed, are we all attracted to platform building, because we want places of honor at the feasts, the best seats in the synagogue, and greetings in the marketplace?  Jesus seemed to do everything he could in his day to minimize his platform, yet God made it bigger than anyone could imagine.

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          I responded in another comment reply.

          I don’t know of many (if any) unremarkable books that had sustainable success. They might have gotten a momentary burst of success but then quickly fizzled. As I often say, “Great marketing only makes a bad product fail faster.”
          Again, why not shoot for both a remarkable product and a platform that gets it noticed?

        • Carrie Wilkerson

          I have zero desire for the right hand seat, the best feasts, etc. As a matter of fact – I talk about that alot with my store.

          I am not status-driven or prosperity driven but I believe more folks can have the lifestyle of raising their own children, giving wildly to causes they believe firmly in, etc by creating a job at home. So I’m passionate about sharing that message.

          I don’t know that Michael can address this for every person. You have to know your own heart, your own motives, your own spiritual discernment.

          You cannot make one rule: thou shalt not build a platform because it glorifies self.

          Building a platform enables others to know about great gifts, messages and truths.

          I am very thankful Billy Graham built an amazing platform. He is still very humble and God-honoring and yet, his platform has enabled him to spread the message.

          • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

            Great answer, Carrie. Thanks.

          • http://www.lindajojenkins.com Linda Jo Jenkins

            Love your reply Carrie–Creating a platform is not always a case of self-promotion. It is creating an environment to be able to accomplish the tasks that God has given to His followers. If we are to teach and reach others we need to have an audience to reach. We also always with or with out a platform need to be constantly in check of humility. Reminding ourselves that the abilities we have we did create them inside ourselves–it was given to us by God to be used for His purpose.  We have worked to develop them but ultimately they were given to us by God. Having a strong platform will not cause us to head down a wrong path–it comes from within–a constant reminder of who we really are.

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      If you are doing blatant self-promotion without doing things to ‘back it up’ that people will notice, you will sink.

      If you are doing remarkable things, great! Some folks will notice. But you need to strategically have a home base for content and ways to increase the ripples for your audience.

      For instance, I could comment on blogs without an avatar and a name and put out really great stuff. But if I choose to add a photo and my name…that is part of building my platform.

      • Patti Schieringa

        Carrie, i have a photo on my FB page. I replied, or tried to, to a few of the commentors and I got a shadow profile. How do I get my photo with a comment? Thanks. I sure appreciate yours and Michael’s hearts.

        • Carrie Wilkerson

          I’m not sure which profile you are using. I have an account with Disqus that posts mine. You can also get a free account with gravatar.com I believe.

  • Mike McGrew

    Building my platform is something I know I need to do, plan to do, but just haven’t prioritized yet. Thank you for the encouraging post.

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

    I love your book, Carrie. I’ve been reading it while on vacation and going through the exercises. Very helpful! I’ve been building a platform for over 6 years now and need to take it to the next level. I found your chapters on mentoring and brainstorming to be exciting next steps that I need to take. Do you have any recommendations for online mentors that are good with e-books? I’m working on a couple of them and need a little guidance. Thanks for helpful information.

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      Thanks John for your encouraging words!!

      Make sure you’re following on our BarefootExecutive.TV and BlogBarefoot.com and we are talking alot about mentoring, etc over this next few weeks!

  • http://www.boardgovernance.ca John

    Despite having had significant success with my board governance consulting practice, I recognize its longer term viability is dependent on building a more solid platform.  To this end, I’ve been actively building my LinkedIn contacts and, this Friday, I’ve enrolled in a half-day course with the Stryve Group (www.stryvegroup.com) that will equip me to supercharge my use of LinkedIn.  This will also position me to formally launch my blog.  I’ll be using a series of business magazine articles written over the last eight years to sustain it with relevant content, while generally relying on good governance observations, learnings and lessons from my day-to-day client work.  Finally, updating my web site should be done in the next week or so.  On track and almost ready for launch. 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Good for you, John.

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      Well done John!!

      I also work with Greig Wells who is amazing on LinkedIn maximization.

  • Jviola79

    I loved this post. I started blogging less than a year ago & have so enjoyed it. I started for me. For an outlet to my own thoughts. Never thought anyone else would read them & look forward to doing so. It has been slow in growing in readers but I have been glad that anyone thought me worthy of reading. This post made me realize that there is a desire in me to write & perhaps one day write a book. I would love to win a copy of this book & learn from it. Thank you for the opportunity.

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      I like to say that my online communication is me talking to my own self with a bigger audience ;)

      Welcome to my inner thoughts! Glad you feel the same…takes the pressure off a bit, doesn’t it?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bryan-Van-Slyke/653293402 Bryan Van Slyke

    This was a great post to read. I have recently started a new platform aimed at men. It is how a man can be more mature in his walk in life and in Christ. I was already involved with social media, so I was able to easily set up a twitter,  facebook and more recently Google+ accounts. I also set up a few other outlets that include blogger, wordpress, digg and a .com. 
    I am finding that each outlet is good for different things.  The blog is great to write about your ideas and beliefs. And from your blog you are capable of promoting on twitter and facebook. 
    The website is a great tool for all of your information. This contains all of the blog posts, the links to your social networks and information about you. I have also found digg to be a great tool. This is a place to promote my blog and other Christian or related news. And finally the best thing I have found is to be part of a community. This involves commenting on other blogs, re-tweeting great tweets and just showing interest in what other people are doing.

    Thank you for the information and I look forward to reading your book.

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      thanks Bryan! Sounds like you’ve started several great systems. My next recommendation would be to set a timer and don’t spend all day on it ;)

      We loved the new Courageous movie and so I’d also encourage you to mobilize the press and publicity surrounding that to maximize traffic and interest on your platform. (just a thought ;)

  • Rob Wiley

    I’ve been feeling the call to develop my platform for a while. This post was helpful as it reminded me that the “right” time to begin is now. Thanks for the great thoughts.

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago…the next best time is now ;)

      Good insight!! Thanks Rob

      • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

        I love that quote!

  • http://twitter.com/parastudio Michael Parapetti

    My platform is currently “a work in progress” that I am developing. This was an interesting post with some great take aways!

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      Michael – mine is always a work in progress. Just like mold-able clay…I’m working with it daily

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1162956716 Julie Goodhue

    I do not want to win, does using reverse psychology make me win?  A cross country friend turned me on to this blog because we are mutual Dave Ramsey fans.  He has decided to jump the (facebook) ship however, so I have lost his contact after the latest round of unsatisfactory  changes.  I, however, still enjoy the platform, and  love posting witty, sarcastic, or uplifting comments.  Someday soon I hope to start my own “live aboard” blog, about the live aboard lifestyle on a larger sailboat with our family and travel the “Great American Circle”.  For now, I write and journal and read and read some more.  My husband, the entrepreneurial computer guy, and I and our brood of 5 boys will sit perched on our hill, preparing our ark until the (money) flood fills our valleys. Anyone know the conversion formula for a cubit?

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      I don’t think you have to want to ‘win’ – but if you can inspire and encourage others with your ark journey – what a fun platform to build.

  • http://twitter.com/Francarona Fran Carona

    It’s coming very slowly, but surely.  I am developing a twitter following, but getting them to my blog page (which is new) seems to be more of a challenge.  I try to leave comments on the blog pages I like, and have guest posted a couple of times.  One problem I am having concerns comments.  I would like for people to leave comments on my blog page.  however, since my Blog is linked to my FB page, they tend to leave comments on FB instead. I meet monthly with a friend who is further down the road and we exchange ideas.  Appreciate you, Michael! 

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      are your comments posting immediately? (like these?)
      are you moderating or letting them go straight to blog?
      are you asking them on the blog to ‘comment here, not on facebook’
      are you sending them from twitter several times a day or expecting one tweet to do it?

      those are some reflective questions to ask oneself when the interactivity isn’t coming.

      also – the interactivity comes with bigger numbers – so keep building and building and the comments will come eventually

      • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

        This is an important point, Carrie. Nothing kills commenting and community-building faster than moderated comments! With a good spam catcher (like Askimet for WordPress), bloggers really don’t have anything to worry about.

  • http://DebraSmouse.com Debra Smouse

    I’ve done the basics:  I blog on schedule, my website asks for registrations and I do a weekly eZine to those subscribers, I have my Facebook Page set up…

    I need to do two big things:  begin guest blogging and start doing video work.

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      way to go Debra! Great foundation you have there!

  • http://www.shannonmilholland.blogspot.com Shannon Milholland

    Building a platform is definitely more like climbing a mountain than running a flat trail. I try to do one new thing every 30 days while maintaining what I still have going. For example, I might concentrate on building my presence on LinkedIn one month, learn more about video blogging the next and increase my number of guest posts the next. I receive the most platform growth when I delve into the new while maintaining excellence on the old.

    Thanks for all these valuable tips. I haven’t done anything on YouTube yet and you have confirmed for me what my next “30″ should be.

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      great job Shannon…I get overwhelmed at the thought of the mountain though…so the gradual ascent is less scary ;)

  • http://twitter.com/swoodruff Steve Woodruff

    Everything Carrie lists for audience-building is true. I would add one more – build up an inner circle of “multipliers” – influential people who are truly in sync with your message. These friends will introduce you gladly to THEIR audiences. And, they provide a wonderful sounding board as you develop and hone your message!

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      great input Steve ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=725470037 Annette Wagnon Geffert

    Today’s audience is different than even five years ago. Even, no especially small businesses need to be onboard for platform building and marketing. I appreciate Carrie’s post and agree that this is the new “Medium is the Message” ! Thanks, for some great specific advice. I’m looking forward to reading your book!

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      thanks Annette! We have to evolve with the mediums. Absolutely true!

  • Anonymous

    I’ve been working on my platform for some time now. I try to blog regularly and I’ve built up some half decent Klout. I have contributed a few guest posts and have a Facebook page. I’m strill trying to figure out what I want to make of it all.

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      if you don’t know the end destination, then enjoy the journey right now as you self-discover.

  • http://rickmanelius.com Rick Manelius

    I find that the platform component of web design is the most critical and most overlooked. I know that I’ve taken the “build it and they’ll come” approach a few times, mistakenly thinking that people would simply be wowed by technology, etc. But that’s usually not the case, as I’m finding.

    So I’ve been focusing on and building out my personal platform for the last month or so. It’s still in the beginning stages, but I’m already seeing some momentum starting, even if it’s just a trickle. It’s going to take time, but I know it’s the way to go!

    Thanks for this wonderful reminder/confirmation.

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      you’re right Rick! Don’t focus on fancy, but functional. Does your site encourage them to share? Does your site capture their information? Does your site compel them to stay? Does your site encourage credibility and social proof? Do we really take ANYONE seriously that doesn’t have a professional site?

      And by professional…I mean – word press templates with a consistent look. Gone are the days of overpriced brochures online.

      • http://rickmanelius.com Rick Manelius

        The problem I was facing was trying to mash too many audiences together. I was using my one site for both personal, business, and hobbies. While that is ok in some instances, the groups were a bit too disparate and I think I undercut my efforts considerably.

        Now I’m more focused on the advice you’re suggesting: capturing information, getting them to come back, making the content focused, making the themes appeal to the audience I’m targeting, etc.

        Thanks for the reply. And I’m happy to see you successfully promoting your new book!

        • Carrie Wilkerson

          Thanks Rick – I’m about to divvy into 2 blogs. CarrieWilkerson.com will be more personal, humor, family, general speaking and BlogBarefoot.com will be business & brand related. I may regret that…but I’m going to try it and keep it targeted.

          • http://rickmanelius.com Rick Manelius

            Well, you could always close down the personal one and merge the content back into the other.

            I know, I’m hesitant too because I hate wasting my time and/or undercutting my efforts. But it’s that line of thinking that got me stuck in this rut in the first place! Sometimes it’s better to just make the leap eh?

      • Mubitanawa

        Carie I love your work. Because of you I am moved to change s man things about me and my business. Wow. I am so humbled.

  • deandeguara

    I’m currently at a place where I need to take my platform to the next level. With a tight budget it tough but just reading your posts have helped me with low cost ideas that have increased my audience. Would be grateful for a copy of this book.

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      all of my suggestions were no-cost. I started building when I was over 100k in commercial debt. So I’m a lover of the shoestring methods ;)

  • Randy Allen Bishop

    I use many social media sites. I like Google+ at the moment  I am friends with Carrie on Facebook. So many places to share content.
    Randy

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      keep that content cycle circling Randy!

  • Deborah Lovett

    Great article and timely for me too as I put the finishing touches on my book proposal. I always figure if I get one piece of information that I can remember, do and get results from, it was worth my time to read!  I always get all three when I read your blog Michael. Carrie’s was no exception to the rule. My next step is to start a fan page that will attract my market. Thank you for the suggestion, I had always thought it was for after the book was published till I read your post. Deborah Lovett

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      Glad to help Deborah. I got my book deal BECAUSE of my platform and content. If I’d just had the content and zero platform, they’d have kept moving…

  • http://www.brainwads.net/drewhawkins Drew Hawkins

    I’ve built a base myself but not really for being noteworthy. There are a few very very loyal readers to my blog that always challenge me and help me learn more through my comments. For me, building a platform has been a great learning opportunity. If other things come out of that, great! But it’s not my sole purpose for being out there. 

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      always important to know your motives, Drew. I was writing primarily from the perspective of those that want to be speaking or published.

      Love that you are enjoying the journey!

  • http://blog.rumorsofglory.com/ Lucille Zimmerman

    I just got my first book deal — a book about self-care — so I read this with great interest. I blog consistently, with what I feel is good material, but I struggle to get readers. http://blog.rumorsofglory.com/
    I am doing most of the things on your list — all except the guest blogging. I have done several Youtube posts (“TheLucilleZ”) and didn’t think they were getting much traction, but when I went back many months later, several hundred people had watched them. I’m going to start doing this again. I’m looking forward to learning more from you at DCW next week. 

  • Sue Shanahan

    Good points. Those of us sleeping- be left undisturbed. Time to wake up and smell the coffee if we want to share our gifts with the world.

  • Vzlauter

    I have been in the process of changing my platform the past year. What I found in the journey is that sometimes you don’t need to throw the baby out with the bathwater and that multiple streams of income are a good way to go. The challenging part is figuring out how to integrate the whole in a way that your ideal client understands the offering.

    Thanks for the ideas; great post and appreciate the information very much.

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      Client clarification is KEY! I’ve been going through that myself the last two years! Thanks!

  • http://www.bethweststudio.wordpress.com Beth West

    I like Carrie’s post, but the idea of getting in front of people still gives me tachycardia!  Michael has convinced me that I have to get over it though.  I love the words “barefoot” and “executive” in the same title.  I’m contemplating how I can build a platform beyond just having a blog.

    • Kwblock

      A word from Sarah Young’s book “Jesus Calling” seems to be appropriate here: ” When you project yourself into the future, rehearsing what you will do or say, you are seeking to self-sufficient: to be adequate without My help. This is a subtle sin– so common that it usually slips by unnoticed.”
      Just a thought to toss into the mix of helpful and interesting observations. And a tendency I know I have. (I bet I’m not the only one…)

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      Most of my suggestions were 1) text-based and 2) online

      So breathe. inhale. exhale. and then ask yourself ‘what is my fear?’ am I concerned with making a mistake? being deemed unworthy? am i fearful of my weight or image?

      Most of the time our fear is based in self-involvement. When you really are aiming to SERVE…you free yourself up to know it’s not about you at all ;)

  • Tracy

    My journey is just beginning and it is so enthralling!!!  I am on a path of discovery and it is absolutely unbelievable.  My life is being blessed in so many small ways, each and everyday, and I owe God everything. 

    I have always enjoyed writing, but for most of my 35 years have written solely for me via a journal.  However, recently I saw a post from a previously unknown author (for me),  Jon Acuff on Dave Ramsey’s FB page discussing the 6 reasons he quit his job.  I read one of the posts and was immediately intrigued.  I purchased his book Quitter the very next day.  Purchasing this book has expedited my tool collection for things that I know I will need along this journey.  It led me to another book titled The War of Art, and eventually led me to you, Mr. Hyatt, and your ebook Creating a Life Plan.  My days have been filled with an appetite to devour, digest, and reflect on what I have been reading.  Again, I can’t begin to describe the overwhelming sense of excitement that exudes within me and from me.  I have been more committed to my writing (although it is still in journal form at this point) and that is what my next goal is, to be led to the next step in my journey.  I am hoping this will eventually lead me to my platform.

    I have always been filled with a desire to want to do more, to help others, to invoke a passion of selfless caring for all, but have always struggled with how to make the most of this desire in a broader application.  I try to model this in my own every day life and pray for God’s guidance and humility in everything I do, but know that I want to branch out, reach others and inspire them too. I am hoping that He will continue to guide me to where He wants me to be and trusting that He will lead me to my platform.  I know I want to blog eventually, but am just not sure about what.  I have several things that I am immensely passionate about, but hesitate to start a blog yet for fear that I will be a little all over the place in the beginning as I find my “voice.”

    I know many people recently have read various quotes from the late Steve Jobs.  After having read 2005 Stanford commencement speech in its totality, I am struck by these comments the most, “Again,
    you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them
    looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something —
    your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me
    down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”  Of course my personal trust is in God, but what struck a cord with me is right now I am not sure how all the dots are connected, but I am excited that I recognize the dots in my life.  How they will connect, I don’t know, but I am inspired by the prospect that they will be connected.

  • Teresa

    I believe there is a sound wether there is anyone there or not.  However, I love Carrie’s point that if there is no one around to hear it, see it or read it what is the point!  No one will listen, no big name companies anyway.  I’ve sort of started on a platform, but I no where near took it seriously!  I’m a homeschool mom of 3 and will be 4 in just a couple of weeks!  My purpose is to fill in the gaps of education that my children do not get with the curriculum we have chosen, and I put those on my website and my sellers website.  But the profit is not nearly enough to even discuss.  So I will take Carrie’s point to heart and start working on it!  Thank you for the guest post!

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      exactly Teresa – my point was – who cares if there is even a sound…if no one receives it, it is in vain.

      I have 4 young’uns and have adored every moment! I love working with Cindy Rushton, Christina Parrot, Kerry Beck and other influencers in the homeschool movement.

      Keep pressing on. Your profit is immeasurable.

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

    I started blogging daily about 7 months ago. At the risk of burn-out, I went down to 3 times per wk, MWF, and I have my blog schedule posted.  My blog content is Christ-focused with tidbits about the writing life. Readership ranges from those needing a word of encouragement to other writers interested in Christian fiction, and also to those interested in learning about the path to publishing.

    I resisted Twitter and Facebook for awhile, but realized they were  great ways to build a following and interact with those who share a mutual interest. My numbers are slowly growing, but like others have said here, I’m more intentional now about who I follow back.

    At the ACFW conference recently, I had folks approaching me with, “Oh, I know you! I recognize your name…” I still feel like a little fish in a big pond, but I now realize that building a following does take time and a focused approach.

    I would love to win a copy of Carrie’s book! (And I smiled when I read the title–reminds me of Kurt Russell and monkeys!)

    Oh…I do have a question…Should writers/authors establish a personal fan (FB) page PRIOR to publication? I would like to keep my private life separate from my writing life, but I realize there are many schools of thought on this.

    Thanks so much for this post!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, I would establish a fan page immediately. The time to build your tribe is now. When the book comes out, it will be too late.

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      I agree with Michael on this. Establish NOW.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.d.butt Tim Butt

    At 55 and having being laid off, I committed to never again allow someone else to control my destiny. I set out on a journey to create something remarkable that provides value by improving the lives of others, specifically the Gen X and Y generations.

    My new business venture in now a year old and there are 3 attributes I’ve learned will help deliver on my vision; 1) perseverance in providing value content on a consistent basis (and you’ve been a great mentor for this), 2) communicating with clarity and simplicity across multiple social media platforms with a focus on creating a community of loyal fans willing to share my message and 3) and most important – a passion for continual learning…which I now can never get enough of.

    Thanks for all your efforts empowering entrepreneurs of any/all ages!

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      great input and inspiration Tim! Thanks for sharing!

  • http://avajae.blogspot.com Ava Jae

    I haven’t been published yet, but I started a Twitter account back in April and launched my blog in May and it was truly the best decision I’ve made for my writing career so far. I’ve gained more relationships with both readers and writers than I ever imagined would be possible on both platforms and developed a lot of confidence along the way. I know that when I do eventually get published, I’ll have infinitely more support than I would have had I not decided to step into social media last spring. 

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      well done Ava!

  • http://www.chaplainmike.com Mike Hansen

    To be honest, I am just in the beginning stages. What I am trying to do is not get overwhelmed with too much data in my research. I spent a number of hours yesterday working on my Twitter presence-and plan on spending more time. I have a Blogger account set up, have my domain forwarding to it and have many ideas in draft or paper form. I get the first admonition: just write! And I will.
    I didn’t know the Justin Bieber story-amazing! I wonder if he had someone coaching him in that endeavor,early on or did it come intuitively for him?
    Thanks for the invaluable information!

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      I recommend you watch his movie (yes, I just admitted that out loud) – Never Say Never is an amazing study in marketing and leveraging platforms.

      We are not huge fans (even with all the girls in the house) – but I admire his strategies and you cannot dispute his results.

  • http://hoop.la Rosemary ONeill

    How is the platform development going?  Well, I’ve been slowly building up connections via social tools, now ramping into some guest blogging, and by the end of this month I’m launching a personally branded website.  It’s a bit nerve-wracking, but I know it will be of value.  I also recently moved to the beach, so I AM literally a barefoot executive :)

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      Love it Rosemary!

      Slowly and surely is fine! Just be consistent and integrate a new strategy in November and see what the results are!

  • http://www.ivanhoesanchez.com Ivanhoe Sánchez

    I think I’m going through the right path.  I just started my first blog, although for now I can only see how much is in front of me.  If  I take the bullet-list as a check-list, I have only completed number 1!  

    I currently blog in Spanish and it is hard to find great content on my native language…any ideas?

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      create it yourself ;)
      If you can’t find it – be the creator of it or translate English content, just make sure to give credit where credit is due.

  • kymoore

    A newbie, I am but I am tracking you. Very well said. Many people who know me don’t know I am an introvert because the way God uses my life is very extroverted. When I am in that space, I’m good. And I get it as a sales/marketing exec.  Now as a budding tweeter,  a book proposal  writing budding author, a live event producer, something in me is about to change forever. Thanks for your post. It’s the kick in the pants again….this time though it doesn’t hurt so bad. 

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      Well done!

  • http://brandonweldy.wordpress.com Brandon Weldy

    I have very recently begun to update my blog regularly. I make it a point to post 4-5 days a week. I write on leadership/ministry topics. I have tried to do this before but failed so a few weeks ago I started over and have committed to posting. I was posting links on my twitter, google+, and linkedin accounts but kept from facebook. It was more of my “social interaction” site and I didn’t want to ruin that with links to my blog (it made sense to me at the time). I started posting it there too, and I am so glad that I did! views have soared (from what they were) with most of the refers from facebook. Right now that is all I have been doing but I really like your list and will be thinking of ways to include some of those!

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      Sounds like ‘tracking’ has paid off. When we are intentional and then measure our results, we can see where the gaps are and improve there.

      Nice!

  • Anonymous

    I am working while still in school to develop my platform. I have learned this through other experiences that this is a good way to handle things. Thanks!

  • Robin Bryce

    I’m steadily building my platform by publishing myself now. When I speak, I collect info from my audience and make contact with them afterwards. I use a newsletter which directs them to my social networks and blog posts. I see steady increase in website views. I’ve also self published a book for back of the rooom sales and created a women’s conference with other items to sell. My platform is growing, but I would like to see bigger jumps in growth by putting some of the book’s strategies to work.

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      Great! I would also suggest that you add a photo to your avatar so we can connect ‘Robin’ with a real face.

  • James Henderson

    The development of my platform is improving thru increased relations with friends and colleagues.  While my “target” audience is still being defined, my out-reach to individuals that may fit that profile has increased.  Initiating contact with potential prospects that I don’t have a relationship is my biggest hurdle.

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      I believe this is why social media can be so huge. We can jump into conversations, answer questions, comment on things our ‘target market’ has said and then begin to develop the relationship.

  • Suthenangel

    My platform seems to be slow-going. I started a blog earlier this year, but so far have gotten a few friends to link to it; only one has commented. I’m the one described as “the one wrapped up in ‘the thing’.” After reading this post, I certainly intend to do more to connect with people and network. Thank you for the advice!

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      don’t be discouraged…read some comment responses further up and see if you are circulating well, if you are moderating comments vs posting immediately, etc.

  • http://www.hope101.net Lori Tracy Boruff

    I wanted everything to be perfect and in place before I started speaking. Well, two years later I still don’t have a book or hired professionals to make things happen  but I’m speaking 50+ times a year, have been on TV and radio and have built a platform.

    I love the idea of You Tube, this is the second time this week that idea has gotten my attention so I’ll be looking into that concept. Thank  You!  I believe I’m adding a couple more steps right now to a bigger platform – a book and bigger speaking venues.  How is my platform development coming?  It’s getting bigger and better.

    But I know I would have never gotten to second base had I not run to first!!

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      Exactly Lori!
      I’d also suggest a photo avatar on your blog comments.
      And I suggest James Wedmore’s Video Traffic Academy if you really want to maximize YouTube presence. I’m working through that myself.

      My channel is YouTube.com/BarefootExec if you just want to see some basics on what I do.

  • http://ducktoes.com Cathie

    Thanks you.  This is a great post.  I’m a small computer repair company but definitely need to work on the points you bring up.

  • Anonymous

    Fantastic Post! I agree that there is no better way to establish yourself as an expert and gain credibility than creating meaningful content. I’m looking forward to reading your book!

  • http://www.enmast.com/ Brad Farris

    This is not just true in publishing! I see a lot of small business folks trying to scrape out a living without an email list, or way to attract and communicate to fans at ALL! 

    It can be done, but there’s an easy way, and a hard way….

    I think it is a chicken and and egg, in that you build your platform while you hone your message. The more you talk to your core audience, the sharper your message gets, the more your core audience is attracted, and so on…

    • http://brandonweldy.wordpress.com Brandon Weldy

      This is great. I find myself wanting to have a perfect platform and perfect message before I start. I need to remember that it is a process and I each one helps the other!

      • http://www.enmast.com/ Brad Farris

        I actually saw a great post on this issue last week: “The best time to go live with a new site is the first day it’s better than the old site.” ow.ly/6QRjn” <= I think you'll like it…

        • http://brandonweldy.wordpress.com Brandon Weldy

          Thanks for that! I have struggled with each of those fears. It was a great post thanks for sharing it with me!

      • Carrie Wilkerson

        I’m glad my kids didn’t wait to be runners before they started walking ;)

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      TOTALLY agree Brad — was catering the post to the core audience here, but as a business advisor – I know you speak the TRUTH ;)

  • http://levittmike.wordpress.com levittmike

    One of the many positives of building your own platform, is that you end up learning more about yourself.  Combined with having a life plan, your life will be filled with success.

    Blessings!

    • http://brandonweldy.wordpress.com Brandon Weldy

      I have found that having my life plan is really starting to help with improvement. Today I have scheduled in my first weekly life plan review! I am excited about this new process and learning about myself and how to reach out better

      • http://levittmike.wordpress.com levittmike

        That’s great inspirational news Brandon!  My Men’s group at our church is (hopefully) going to be developing our individual life plans as a group exercise.

        • http://brandonweldy.wordpress.com Brandon Weldy

          That is a awesome idea! My family and I just moved to a new town and I am currently seeking out at least one other person to keep each other accountable in our life plans. I can really see the benefit in having others along for the journey!

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      Oh My Goodness – you are so right! Developing my platform helped me refine my message!

  • http://www.ivanwalsh.com Ivan Walsh, Media Writer

    There is only a sound if someone is there to perceive the sound waves, right?
    No, the sound is there. Think about it…

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      it is there – but who cares?? If you are the best Media Writer in the world and there is no one there to read it or listen…then the creation of the sound is in vain and it might as well not exist.

      • http://www.ivanwalsh.com Ivan Walsh, Media Writer

        That’s the answer to a different question. 

        …then the creation of the sound is in vain and it might as well not exist

        No, not true as you’d know it existed. 

  • Edi Balian

    The concept of building platform before launching your product makes total sense to me – given that you have a product to launch or working towards it.

    I find myself more interested to accept or be receptive to those who I follow.

    I’m waiting for MH to publish his new books so I can get them.

    My interest is based on following him through his blogs.
    The loyalty is already there.
    I follow his platform!

    Therefore I see the need to build the base/market before you release your product in order to impact the most people and be successful.

  • Arthur Rasco

    At this time, my platform building is really limited to Twitter and Facebook.  Facebook obviously limits my outreach, but with Twitter, I’m able to reach out to a much broader base.  That’s been great!  

    Really need to focus more on my platform of storytelling by developing a new blog.  Granted I am greatly intimated by the challenge of coming up with compelling content week after week, hence my…  procrastination.

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      my secret is this (please don’t tell)

      I have removed date postings from my blog…so that if I get busy or am focused in another area, it doesn’t look like I’ve neglected my blog.

      So if you are challenged about posting. Just START.

      Remove the date.

      Then challenge yourself to post 1x a week.

      In 2012 challenge yourself to post T/Th without fail.

      And so on. The principle of Kaizen is to change your habits one teensy step at a time.

      • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

        I did the same thing on the single post pages (not the home page). Mainly, because most of the material is timeless, and a date operates like an expiration date. ;-)
        I actually have the date at the bottom of the post for reference, but not the top. By the way, I got the idea from Tim Ferriss.

        • Carrie Wilkerson

          Tim has some smart ideas, go figure ;)

          I saw a tweet from a popular blogger that said ‘if your blog hasn’t been updated since the presidential election…I have lost confidence in all of your material’

          Made sense to me.

  • Jose. Torres

    I am still working my platform development , and am continuing to grow .

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

    One step at at time, I’m making some headway on building my platform.  It’s been kind of surprising to me as I see just how little and just how much it actually takes to do this.  It’s work, true, but sometimes the littlest thing makes the biggest difference.

    Thanks Carrie, for the consistently great content! Not just this post, but the info you send out via Twitter and your blog.  Great stuff!

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      thank you Jeff ;)

      It’s one of the paradoxes of doing ‘Great Work’ as mentioned in @BoxofCrayons:disqus
       book ‘Do Great Work’ —

  • Agatha Nolen

    Great outline and my platform is coming along well. A former Thomas Nelson employee recommended I start my blog a year ago as I was starting to write my book proposal. I’m gertting additional followers each week, and more comments. I’m posting 2-3 times per week, have a FACEBOOK, LINKEDIN and TWITTER account and have a podcast of each post. I need to start planning for guest interviews and haven’t done any YOUTUBE VIDEOs yet!
    The value in my platform is first and foremost that it is getting my message (Creating Redemptive Relationship) out there. My readers let me know which are the more important messages, and it is helping me to sharpen my writing kills. People are also sending me topics, “you should blog about this…” I feel called to write on this subject and people are responding. Last Friday’s post on Rebuke vs. Love generated comments and emails and even two personal conversations while grocery shopping after church!
    Thanks for the outline. I’m on target, but need to do more!

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      Celebrate what you are doing. Make a list on what to do moving forward and give yourself permission for one step at a time.

      Well done!

  • http://twitter.com/davidamoore David Moore

    The 3rd paragraph hit me square between the eyes.  As a “perfectionist” I tend the polish the project to perfection, yet fail to concentrate that the audience has not been built “yet”.  I love that.  Never can be reminded of it enough. It’s easy to dream and PROCRASTINATE about the end result.  And really it’s just an excuse to avoid doing the real WORK now.

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      David – I had zero intention of hitting you between the eyes…I usually aim for the seat of the pants, LOL

      Proud of you for being open to receive some input!

  • Edwin_sarmiento

    I’ve been doing technical public speaking for the past 7 years now and that’s how I’ve started building my platform. But I’ve realized that is not enough. I maintain two blogs – one for technical content and another for leadership topics. The challenge I have with posting regularly on my technical blog is that it takes a lot of work just to write about a topic. So, what I do is to write articles for an online publication and just post the links on my blog. However, this does not encourage engagement to my blog visitors. So, I started following Michael Hyatt’s advice for first time bloggers and to regularly develop content

  • http://www.wendybelloblog.com Wendy

    I began blogging this year, and that is my main platform so far.  I’ve learned a lot by reading other bloggers that are headed the same direction.
    My audience is for Spanish speakers. I blog in Spanish and my blog is mainly for women.
    This is a whole new world for me, but I’m just following His lead and enjoying the journey.

  • http://www.sundijo.com Sundi Jo Graham

    I’ve had to grow it over time. I started my blog several years ago as just a way to journal some thoughts. Over the years as I have gained followers, I have had to polish it. Then polish it again. And again. Like you have suggested, I’m not waiting to “perfect” my speaking abilities, writing, etc. before putting myself out there. I am letting my followers (platform) grow with me. God is blessing my willingness to be real for all to see, because as He continues to work in me, He gets the glory. 

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      great Sundi!

  • http://www.facebook.com/MarkBordeaux Mark Bordeaux

    How we serve now lays the platform for how we will serve in the future. Rather than suffer from “destination disease” where we tend to only think of future opportunities, I’ve learned to try to be faithful with what God has given me each step along the way. Or, as Catalyst 11 stated so well, I try to “be present.”

    After 31 years of ministry in five states and leading annual church planting trips to an Islamic Republic in the former Soviet Union I am completing a doctorate in Church Growth and Evangelism at the Graham School of Southern Seminary as I prepare to launch my personal ministry (Life Worth Living Ministries) which will involve evangelism, consulting, coaching, and missions. This experience will be like a “tree falling in a forest,” to borrow your description, without a platform.

    Seven aspects of a healthy ministry platform:

    1. Grow from the inside out – heart first
    2. Continue to learn from others
    3. Continue to serve at every opportunity
    4. Genuinely care for others
    5. Offer meaningful “Tweets”
    5. Launch blog that lifts and challenges 
    6. Launch ministry website that simply and clearly shows what God is doing
    7. Keep multiplying leaders for Christ and His Kingdom central (Mt. 28:18-20)

    Still growing, still serving,

    Mark Bordeaux
    Life Worth Living Ministries

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      I would disagree that you are starting without a platform.

      I would say 31 years of a platform already exists – it just needs to be distilled and carried into what you do now. Well done.

      Thank you for serving.

  • Olufemi Ojo

    I am totally in agreement with you Clarrie on this platform before publishing thing. It does makes sense to me.

    My platform is coming up gradually as I believe making the best use of social networking sites is really the way forward here.
     
    I have gradually started building up my twitter account. @adefemiprof  I follow those whom I share the same passion with. I  love leadership  and intend to start my own blog site also so as to have more people know me, for my upcomming book which am still working on.

    I also have a face book account that is growing by the day which will someday become a fan page.
    I intend to tryout other social networking sites just to make sure people hear me and my stuff before the big one.

    This post is recipe for success, thaks for sharing. Michael, you’re doing a great job

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      thanks for your feedback! Keep up your great work!

  • http://www.CFinancialFreedom.com Dr. Jason Cabler

    My platform development is coming along slowly but surely.  I have only been blogging for about 2 1/2 months and I’m finally starting to see the first seeds of growth.  I still have a tremendous amount to do just to optimize the site just so it can be found and I have some plans to publish my Celebrating Financial Freedom course as an ebook.  There is never a shortage of things to do but I’m taking it one step at a time.

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      love it! well done!

  • http://www.dwaynes--world.blogspot.com Dwayne Morris

    My problem is defining my niche. I’m a “Creative” and tend to be all over the place. My greatest joy is adding value others through mutual brainstorming and encouragement. But that ranges from event planning to working with parents of teenagers and a lot in-between.  I’m reading and watching as much material I can get my hands on, so hopefully I can score a copy of this book as an additional resource.

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      great Dwayne – just don’t read and watch yourself into paralysis ;)

  • http://www.championsforkidscoaching.com Bill Graybill

    Starting a business after 33 years of pastoring one church presents a challenge that is overwhelming. My audience has be ready made and now I am creating a new platform and a new audience. Learning the art of collecting is difficult with so many options and different directions to go. I am on Facebook, twitter, have a blog and a newsletter but the results are disappointing.

    My observation is that with limited time to work on building a following it is critical to be intentional and know where to put your energy. This has been difficult as everyone has a method that worked for them and it is THE one you need.

    My goal is to be intentional, strategic and persistent. Persistent is not a problem. Intentional will be easy once I better understand strategic. That is my struggle: being strategic is a world of 10,000 options.

    My quest is to build a platform that extends my 35 years of ministry experience to those who follow and are hungry for successful ministry themselves.

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      Blog first. Start with your heart.

      Disappointing results come when you measure your numbers against those of others. One person reached is a victory.

      Blog first, then start the content cycle by sharing on other networks.

      This is like coming into a very small church with a desire to grow it. The strategies are no different. You start one person at a time. Then they tell friends, etc.

  • Sue Gomez

    Carrie this is a great post, I don’t have a platform yet, and I think it is time to get one. I am sure that this book will help guide some of my thinking and get my started on my journey.

  • http://www.melissaknorris.com Melissa K Norris

    My platform developing is at a steady pace. After a year, I’m finally figuring things out. The most important thing I’ve learned is instead of concerning myself w/ all the stats, to focus on every tweet/FB/blog post. Is it targeted to my audience and what is in it for the reader. If it’s about me and not about them, then I’m not doing my job. That has really helped me start focusing and developing a platform/followers of people who want what I have to offer and will hopefully buy my book when I have one to offer.

    Thanks for the chance to win a free copy. I’m a barefoot kind of gal, so I love the title.

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      Love that — ‘if it’s about me and not them, I’m not doing my job.’

      Crystallizes it perfectly, I’d say :)

  • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com @kylereed

    Been giving and then giving some more to build a platform that is about sharing not about myself. I have noticed that it has grown a bit because people know that I look for resources to give away. 

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      Great Kyle! Keep it up!

  • Merrilou

    I am at the beginning of this journey and trying to put the whole picture together.  This blog put all of it in context and so very efficiently that I am revising my “To Do” list today to reflect an important platform.  Thank you for the wise words and the added motivation to continue!
    I also have been following Carrie on Twitter and pursuing her links.  Another aspect that she brings to my life is BALANCE – she is great at knowing/recognizing life balance with work – especially in working from home.  Thanks for the guidance.  Now back to that To Do List. :-)

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      as far as balance…today is ‘off’ mostly – except for interacting with you guys ;)

      We have chosen costumes for the kids.
      We are going pumpkin selecting for a harvest evening at home.
      My beloved Texas Rangers play today and we’re hosting a watching party.
      I’m celebrating my last ‘live’ event for several years. Was this weekend and we’re unwinding.

      So business. Life. Family. Holiday. Baseball and Y’all!!

      Balanced? Maybe not according to some standards, but blessed for the opportunity :)

      Thanks Merrilou!

  • http://twitter.com/reallyasa Asa Veek

    I am just beginning to learn the need – and benefit – of utilitizing social media outlets to make myself known.  I’m not a sales person at heart, and I’m even less comfortable selling myself.  To move my message forward, however, I have to develop these skills, and many social media outlets (FB, LinkedIn, Twitter, the blogosphere, etc.) make that much easier.

    It helps to 1) realize I have something to say, and 2) while growing my following, it will start with 3 people: God, myself, and my wife (assuming she reads what I post).  From there, as I grow my network, my voice becomes stronger. 

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      I think sometimes in social media we get caught up in ‘what do I have interesting to say?’

      I’d say – focus on being ‘interested’ in others and that makes you all the more interesting ;)

  • Ada Gonzalez

    I’m all for building a platform. Yet it’s not as easy as it sounds. Consistency in blogging comes easier for me than finding the “right people” to attract.  Circulating through social media channels is ok, and I do. Yet, what I find is many times I attract more people doing the same thing I’m doing than my ideal clients. Which makes me think. ..  maybe I should change my focus to training those who train leaders?

    Another thing, I agree that YouTube videos are a good way to extend my influence. Yet, I find it difficult to make quality videos without spending lots of money on having professional’s help in the production. I know many people are just producing their own. But when I look at those, they don’t send the right professional message. Any good ideas of a middle ground?

    Thanks!

    Dr. Ada

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      I create most of mine using my flip camera or the one built right into my laptop.

      I have pro videos at BarefootExecutive.TV – but the rest of my videos are self done.

      I think the message of content is more important than the message of professional production. No one expects you to be as polished as Oprah’s production team.

      When you attract peers in the industry – ideally, some of their follows will come too.

      Who are they conversing with?
      Who is interacting?
      What are their followers interested in?

      This is like a pastor thinking that because he attracts pastors online, he should switch his focus.

      I disagree. I think that is great credibility and social proof and others will come.

      Are you in Facebook groups?
      Are you commenting on Facebook pages that already exist with other audiences?

      I never meant to make it sound ‘easy’ – but the strategy is ‘simple.’  It is absolutely work.

      • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

        I totally agree with you. In fact, I think people often distrust overly-produced videos. Simple is better—in most cases.

  • Chad Barrett

    I love the practicality of this blog post. I’ve been asked to create a YouTube version of my blog, but haven’t done so. I haven’t been consistent in my own blogging (weekly or daily). My Facebook “blogging” has had tremendous traction, though, but I realize that this won’t cut it alone.

    Thanks to this blog post, I realize that I must step it up with these creative ideas. I plan to move forward with consistent blogging and a YouTube channel.

    Question with YouTube: What is the best way to video myself? What kind of camera should I use? How long should my videos be–how long is too long?

    Thanks for the great post, Carrie!!

    Chad

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      the best video camera is the one you will actually get out and use.

      I like the flip camera and the camera built into my laptop.

      See examples at YouTube.com/barefootexec

      I like 2-4 minutes.

      And don’t forget a call to action. At the beginning you can say ‘watch this to the end and leave a comment’ at the end ‘don’t forget to leave a comment and for more great info, check out BlogBarefoot.com’ – etc

      You can also use YouTube annotations to put links and calls to action directly on your videos. You can change those according to your focus for the month or the quarter or if a page changes ;)

      All free.
      Not too techy either ;)

  • http://highpointchurch.us Andrew VanDerLinden

    I’m not an author and the thought is quite intimidating.  With that being said, I still have people that I lead and it becomes easy to produce “stuff” and assume people are taking advantage of it.  On a scale of 1 to 10 my platform would be a 2. 

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      not everyone wants or needs to be an author. However, I’d submit that if you have a blog or an email newsletter, you are indeed an author ;)

      Aim for a platform of ’3′ over the next quarter. I dare ya!

      • http://highpointchurch.us Andrew VanDerLinden

        Great incite.  I never thought of it that way.  My definition of author is very rigid.  Thank you for the motivation to move forward.  I accept your dare :)

  • http://www.aaronsellars.com Aaron Sellars

    Haven’t even began to develop the platform that I’m on, but this book seems like a great launching pad for the platform.  Would love to win a copy!

  • deegibbons

    I’ve started a Facebook Business Page for my business and am trying to get listeners there but it is slow going.  I try to do a little bit every day to find new fans and to post valuable information in my own voice.

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      my favorite strategy for getting folks to a FB fan page is questions!

      if you go to Facebook.com/BarefootExecutive you will see how I do this.

      For instance on blog comments, blog posts, twitter, LinkedIn, etc I might say –

      ‘Hey business owners, I need to know your favorite here ==> http://www.facebook.com/BarefootExecutive/posts/10150293835072361

      and that does several things:

      1. if they aren’t fans, they go thru that step first (adds to my numbers)
      2. then that add to the discussion
      3. they connect with others that have commented and hopefully
      4. see me as a connector of like-minded folks that are really smart and resourceful
      5. they also tend to poke around to other posts, resources, etc

  • Anonymous

    I believe building my platform is coming along well. I moved from Blogger to WordPress a couple months ago as a self host. I’m starting to post on a consistent basis and working on my content.

    I have been thinking about starting to do short Youtube videos but still need to build my courage before I start. I’m also starting to search out blogs where I can guest post and also have people guest post on my blog. It will be interesting to see the results from doing these two  things.

    This was a wonderful post and really helped me. I look forward to reading your books, whether it through getting a free copy or buying it. (I Also plan on writing more books reviews and doing book giveaways, another way I’m building my reader base) 

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      I was terrified of video.
      Truthfully terrified.

      So I started with video BEHIND the camera. I would shoot the deer in my yard with a business lesson (me as voice talent only ;)

      Or I’d shoot video of my kids doing something silly and I’d use for business application.

      I gradually moved to the other side of the camera. Baby steps ;)

      • Anonymous

        This is a great idea and point. Thank you

        danblackonleadership.com

  • Horace Ward

    Thanks Carrie.

    “Go ahead.” is your message to me  Yes!  It is time for me to launch from a firm platform.

    And that is why I look forward to reading your book and engange with others to make a difference
    with the message from the context of the Faith Community in south FL.

    Go for it!

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      I dare you ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chuck-Minear/1102833905 Chuck Minear

    Thanks for the article.  I guess my problem is focusing on the message.  I am still trying to figure out what it is!  I notice on several blogs that topics are varied.  Do I want to get into commenting on all aspects of life or focus the message?  How do I figure out what what it is I really have to offer and hone that message.  I recently went to a Dave Ramsey event.  He basically says the same thing over and over but in a way that is entertaining and almost fresh every time.  I learned nothing really new, but came out energized.  How do I create that type of energy, and radiate that kind of passion?  See, even my questions are all over the place!  

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      I bet his focus was less clear when he first started.

      I like stories and life lessons with a practical application at the end.

      You don’t have to be fully developed before you start.

      We all start at the very beginning. Embrace that. Your audience will relate to that well :)

  • http://twitter.com/davidhedges2 David Hedges

    I’ve just recently decided that I need to focus on this. Thankfully, I have the wisdom and experience of people like yourself and Michael to help me navigate the process. Thank you for sharing your talents!

  • http://www.saltandsparkle.com Nics Cahill

    Carrie, a wonderful post.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading it thank you.  I began my blog in the Spring of this year, and I love every moment that I write there.  I adore writing, and creating content, and try as hard as I can to be consistent and write most days.

    I have really been enjoying reading Michael’s blog, and following some of his very wise words on how to build my platform.  

    At the moment I use twitter, and a Facebook page, and slowly but surely I have seen traffic increase to my blog.  I also participate in other blog linksy which I have found to be a great way to bring traffic to my blog.  But I do feel sometimes like I am wading in the dark, there seems to be so much to do, and somedays I am not sure where to start apart from posting, and writing content that I am passionate about.I love your idea of posting to FB or twitter every three hours or so to get a fresh stream of people to the content, that is a great idea, thank you for that.Have a great day.Nicssaltandsparkle.com

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      Set a timer.
      Give yourself a deadline or you will create and tweak all day.
      The timer is the greatest invention ever ;)

  • Christa Allan

    One nail at a time…

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      right on!

  • http://www.joansatterlee.com Joan Satterlee

    My platform is coming slowly.  I have a Facebook page, a website, a twitter account, a blog but what I don’t have is activity.  I need to be more deliberate about connecting with other authors, readers, agents, and publishers.  So much of my time is spent writing that I forget the need to develop a following.  Thanks for the reminder!

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      you cannot build a fence and expect the cattle to round themselves up and shut the gate behind them ;)

      Go get em!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=650931649 Jonathan Watson

    You stole my thunder! I’ve been saying for weeks, “If a tree falls in the forest…” Hopefully, having someone else say it will add some validity. Thanks!

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      Wasn’t my intention – just means like minds think alike ;)

      • Carrie Wilkerson

        and that wasn’t a typo ;)

  • http://seekoutwisdom.blogspot.com Joseph Iliff of SeekOutWisdom

    To me, this seems similar to how building a retirement fund works today.  No longer do most employers save a pension for you, it is up to you choose to fund a 401k, an IRA, or whatever.  Similarly, while there are lots of free avenues to building a platform, no one will do it for you.  You have to invest in building them, with content that appeals to your target audience, and the convenience they need to get that content to them in a timely way.  While not everyone has a soapbox out there just waiting for them, there is a place for you to have one.  You just have to go out to the workshop and build it.
    I’m trying to build a platform myself, for those looking for wisdom.  It’s just getting started, but I feel that if I keep investing in it, it will grow.

  • http://www.abetterwayofbusiness.com/ Ivan Bickett

    I’m emailing this post to a client as soon as I’m done here! This is something I’ve been saying myself, if you don’t have an audience or a community but then launch a product… you’re launching to yourself.  LOVE IT!

    My platform development is coming along rather nicely. When I launched my blog I had VIRTUALLY ZERO online presence. Yes, I had a personal FB page for friends and family, but no one was aware of my desire to start my own business.

    That changed rather quickly. It has been around 2.5 months since I launched my original blog. After 1.5 months I had already surpassed where I expected to be at the six month mark!!!

    I did this several ways. First, I produced consistent, quality content on my blog (I can vouche for consistent and I infer the quality b/c my readership increases every week / month).

    Second, I was intentional in getting the word out to people. I let two online communities (one free one paid for) know of my endeavors. I also created a FB fan page to let my existing friends and family members know what I was doing.

    Third, I started including videos blogs in addition to the written word to draw more people.

    Fourth, I started a guest posting series where I ask experts to address a topic to help my audience.

    Fifth, I started another , bi-weekly series aimed at remarkable businesses and how what they do can be adapted and implemented by other small businesses.

    Six, I started 90 Days to a SMASHING Success! to chronicle my first 90 days of being full time self employed.

    Through all of these efforts my audience is consistently growing month over month!

    I’m so glad to hear you validate my recommendation and belief!

    ~Ivan

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      Keep it up Ivan! Well done!

  • http://www.thebetterwayofhealth.com Robin

    I have this book and I will say – it is THE BEST I have read on building a business. Im going thru reading it for the second time, and highlighting and really digesting.  Most of the biz builder gurus out there waste a huge portion of their books telling you all about themselves, how they made millions, how they went from rags to riches and if you dont do exactly what they did and hire them as your coach for 2,000 a month, you will fail. Carrie gives you everything you need to know about building a lucrative business without all the hogwash.  Im so blessed to have found this book!!! Thankyou Carrie!

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      No hogwash. Love it ;)

  • Massagejenn

    I am back in a planning stage, where i should be. I really need to find focus and do one thing well, and not let my imagination take me here and there…never really going anywhere.

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      Set a deadline on planning.
      Give yourself 7 days, then take action.

      You can do it Jenn!

  • http://twitter.com/obihaive Joseph Sanchez

    I’ve been thinking of going into business for myself but am not sure exactly how to do it. If this book could help I’d love a copy!

  • http://www.facebook.com/stephengasser Steve Gasser

    I have found that the best way to build the platform is to setup some core discipline and schedule them right into my calendar.   If they are not scheduled, they don’t happen.   For me, that is scheduling focused time dedicated to Twitter, Facebook and Blogging.   The key is scheduling the time right into your calendar. 

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      here is my key advice about timers and scheduling… blogbarefoot.com/one-hour-a-day-will-make-a-difference

  • JP

    You mentioned guest blogging as one of the activities. How would you recommend going about getting that invitation?

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      go ask for it from bloggers who are in your core market or even a fringe market to yours.

      Be prepared for ‘nos’ and then some will say ‘yes’

  • Nancy Marco

    I just submitted my branding profile to a consultant, taking the first step to bringing focus and clarity to my message!

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      Good luck with that Nancy! Hope it works the way you want! Wahoo ;)

      Believe it or not, I never worked with a branding person. My husband nicknamed me The Barefoot Executive in 2003 and I just embraced it first as an alter ego and then as a brand and hope for others.

      I just try to be consistent with my colors, my message, my ‘look’ and my materials. I’m sure I’d be a consultant’s nightmare ;)

  • http://twitter.com/kennyholloway kennyholloway

    Platform development has never been more accessible than it is today.  One of the greatest challenges I’m facing is doing a pivot after you’ve established a platform.  I’m sure now, that I did not handle this pivot the best way.  I thank God for a new opportunity everyday to set out on the right path.

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      when you come to a fork in the road, take it ;)

      No looking back!

  • Ricky

    I am just now getting started on developing my platform.  I am eager to use the tips provided by Carrie Wilkerson and kick it into high gear.  For me, achieving financial freedom is a goal and I’ve already learnt a lot about that from Dave Ramsey, Ramit Sethi and others.

  • Trey Darbonne

    What a great post, Carrie! Thanks for your insight. 

    I’m at the beginning stages of building my audience. My blogging has been inconsistent, and I have been distracted by other things. Inspired by the amount I have read on this topic from Mike, I spent this past weekend thinking about the best strategy to develop an audience and my relationship with them. Carrie’s post has come at the perfect time for me, and I look forward to reading her book.

    Thanks, Mike for hosting another great guest blogger!

  • http://www.betterhealthtoday.co Kay Wilson

    This is such a helpful post to all of us, Michael, must pass it on!

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      please do and THANK you!

  • Figitjill

    My platform development is suffering from fear. I haave ablog page set up. It is beautiful if I must say so. However, putting words to screen is terrifying. I am self doubting . What is people don’t read it? What if they don’t like it? What if I am just plain no good? I need to stop worrying about the what ifs and tell my truths.

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      No one will read it unless you tell them to. So embrace that and publish without fear. Then as you gain confidence tell other folks.

      To quote @PaulEvans:disqus  – you can build a house, but no one is coming to your party unless you give out the address.

      So start your party – publish without fear of death or embarrassment and then as you polish a bit, go tell folks where the party is ;)

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      What if you die with the words inside of you. That’s what you should be afraid of!

  • Zanne

    Carrie, thanks for all the great ideas! I’ve been wanting to start a blog for a while now, but I’ve gotten trapped in the “gathering information” stage. I think I need to get past the fear, stop shooting for perfection, and start writing. I look forward to reading your book (whether I win or not). Your post has been a real encouragement! 

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      You are welcome Zanne!

      What is the fear about? What is the worst thing that can happen? Once you embrace that, it doesn’t seem so scary after all ;)

  • Chris Dushek

    It’s about making connections and social media platforms are a great foundation to accomplish this task. Carrie makes a great point “call to action”; build your communication skills, use platforms as a resource, and begin networking. 

    http://chrisdushek.com/

  • Kevin

    I need to get busy and get focused…this was a great kick in the pants!

  • Niccol

    This is a good reminder… life gets so very busy that this is the kinds of stuff that goes by the wayside in my days.

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      blogbarefoot.com/one-hour-a-day-will-make-a-difference

  • http://realfoodsmatter.blogspot.com/ Linda

    I am making regular posts to my blog and I am joining many blog carnivals each week in an attmept to get my “words” out there.  I’m thinking the next step will be a facebook fan page. 

  • http://blog.ashleypichea.com Ashley Pichea

    “Call it a platform, a database, or a following on social media, you must have someone listening in order to make an impact of any kind.” This is why I started blogging and tweeting. My dream was/is to be published by the time I turn 30. Social media has made this possible. No, I haven’t gotten a “book deal” or anything, but my writing has reached 1000s of people all over the world. God had a bigger picture in mind than I did when He called me to be a writer!

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      *applauding wildly*

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

    Carrie, I’m currently reading your Barefoot book and find it challenging, provocative, and practical. I asked a friend a couple of your questions, “What are your victories?” and “What makes you smile?” I discovered something during that conversation I’d never known about him. Thanks for sharing your expertise on Michael’s blog.

    As for platform, I blog and I do public speaking. I’m preparing a novel for Amazon’s Kindle format. When I think I’m done with going pro in writing, I hear an encouraging word from someone I didn’t even know read my blog. Just went through that cycle over the weekend.

    Blessings–Tom

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      we are afraid to embrace our victories in fear that others will think we’re not being humble (see above posts) – but we are being refined as we live and we are given those challenges and our ‘story’ in order that we can reach more and more people.

      Well done, sir.

  • http://twitter.com/Tammy_Noble Tammy Noble

    Build your audience WHILE honing your craft — much like trying to find a buyer for a house while it’s still just a blueprint or under construction…LOVE it!!!

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      Earn while you Learn.
      We’re ‘building on spec’ ;)

      I learned that from Frank McKinney, best selling author of The Tap

  • http://talesofwork.com kimanzi constable

    I started a blog with 3 of my friends (parenting from a Dad’s perspective) and I started my own blog talking about our work life (that’s my true passion). I got fed up with talking about all the things that I wanted to do and was going to do, so I shut up and wrote a book. I paid to have it edited and formatted and paid to have a website designed.

    The book came out August 14 and since then I’ve sold 1900 copies through all the ebook sites and my website. I now post on my website regularly and am sarted slowly to build an audience. It hasn’t gone as fast as I want but I’m proud to say that I’m on the way to fufilling some of my dreams. I have gained over 300 twitter followers and am starting to see all my social media profile’s getting filled with people who are digging my work. It’s truly a dream come true.

    Now I’m reading as much as I can to grow my website and subscibers by reading blog’s like this, pro blogger, smart passive imcome, and various books. I’m sending out guest posts and hoping some bigger blogs respond. If not I’m going to just keep doing what I’m doing and hope word of mouth and my marketing keeps growing my platform.

    Thanks for this little burst of encouragment Carrie and good luck with the book, either way I’m buying a copy to support you! 

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      I am so proud of you! Self publishing is another way to grow your platform! Well done!

      • http://talesofwork.com kimanzi constable

        Thanks Carrie, I really appreciate you saying that.

  • Joan

    Building a platform requires real commitment in time and mental energy.  Life seems to get busier every day so I ended up developing a block schedule and use a timer.  I tend to get caught up in whatever I am working on and sometimes neglect other things that need to get accomplished.  If I am really on a roll, I may choose to go past the allotted time, but the timer does cause me to do so consciously and not just because I am absorbed in something.

    I gleaned a great deal of good information from the post and from the comments.  It was interesting to read the various opinions.  Keep up the good work.

  • http://profiles.google.com/pamallen68 Pam Allen

    My platform development is a work in progress!  I’m very happy I came across this post.  It’s giving me new insights, ideas, and a direction.  I have a lot of work to do.  I’m going to read all the comments and get a MOVE ON building my platform! 

  • http://twitter.com/stevehackney1 Steve Hackney

    My platform is still in the blueprint stage.  I am just beginning to understand the concept and importance of having a platform, and I look forward to reading this book as I begin to lay the foundation.  Thanks for the opportunity.

  • http://golfwisdomlife.com Larry Galley

    Thanks for the direction.  Confession:  My noggin is not embracing technology at the same rate as it is coming into play.  So, of necessity,  I am in a steep learning curve—not all of it fun—that I am in hopes will be rewarding as the dawn breaks in my mind as to how to connect some of these pieces.  Thanks you so much for the maps. Please keep them coming.  I WILL catch up!  God Bless. 
    Larry Galley

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      when I started, I didn’t know hotmail from html coding, so have hope, my friend!

      Thankfully, systems like wordpress and facebook fan pages make it lots easier!

      One step at a time, you don’t have to know why it all works or how to use it ;)

      (I still don’t understand fax machines, but use them on a regular basis ;)

  • Diane

    Particularly appreciate the “tree-falling-in-a-forest” analogy.  It’s true that so many of us focus on the product or piece rather than ensuring that anyone is out there watching or listening.  Probably because that’s something we can control…..  I know I spend a lot of time trying to figure out which platform to build, not whether to build one!

  • Michael Joshua

    I perform SEO for some clients and have used some optimization on my own site as well. Since I have snagged a newspaper column through a print paper (for over a year) I am preparing a mailing list to offer my column to other newspapers in exchange for a copy of the etear. I do have other things in the works, but these are the two primary things I am launching right now.

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      set a deadline and go get ‘em!

  • Sally Ferguson

    How is your platform development coming?
    When I think there is no one reading my blog, surprise!  Someone will make a comment about it on facebook.  The tweets don’t get mentioned, but people continue to add me.  So, I think things are not happening, but maybe there is a connection being made.
    I am interested in making podcasts and youtube videos at some point.  I’ve added that to my learning curve and will continue to seek the Lord’s timing for everything to click!

  • http://stephenalynch.tumblr.com Stephen Lynch

    Musicians need this just as much as writers. A “big break” is nothing more than an opportunity presented to someone who already has an audience.

    Thanks for sharing Carrie!

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      true Stephen! I worked with several musicians and artists this weekend on the same concept.

  • invictusgladiator

    My platform development is coming along ok.  I am in the process of building a solid platform to which I think I have a good start but am striving to continue to find better ways to craft it.  I use social media like twitter and facebook to begin to gather followings of people that will hear the message.

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      but make sure ultimately you are building them towards your blog and email list. You don’t want to be solely reliant on 3rd party apps like FB and Twitter.

      Focus on building your real estate first ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cynthia-K-Wade/533808528 Cynthia K Wade

    Excellent article!  I am eager for your book to be published.  I always learn from your blog postings.  I am a beginning writer and have lots to learn.  Thank you for providing the on-line opportunity to share knowledge.

  • http://ericspeir.com/ Eric

    Great ideas here! My platform building is coming slowly. I started blogging back in July and have been trying to consistently post good content. I have been building my social media tribes as well such as through Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. These avenues have helped as well. It’s a work in progress and I’m learning more and more everyday. It helps to follow and read guys who have done well already, like yourself!

  • http://twitter.com/lukestokes Luke Stokes

    I left my “day job” just over 5 weeks ago to work on my own company. On my last day, as my friends and co-workers were praying for me, one prayed that God would give me a platform to help others. That resonated so clearly that I started reaching out to the local developer community and started blogging again. It’s been such a blessing to attend meetups and build new connections. The encouragement from people tweeting links to my blog and leaving comments because they were helped by the thoughts there has been wonderful.

    It’s often easier to think, “my stuff is great, someday someone will notice” instead of putting yourself out there and asking someone directly, “What do you think? Was this helpful? Would you share this with your friends?” I’m just getting started, but I’m having a lot of fun and the few who have been encouraged are enough to keep me going.

    In the spirit of building a platform, my blog’s at bestoked.blogspot.com. I hope you enjoy it.

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      And I would encourage your frame of thought to be, “My stuff is helpful, I hope this benefits someone.” Instead of ‘my stuff is great, someday someone will notice.’  Semantics, I know….but makes a difference ;)

      • http://twitter.com/lukestokes Luke Stokes

        Thanks Carrie, you’re absolutely right. If the content doesn’t help people (IMO) it can’t be “great” which is why the “my stuff is great” thought is flawed. Unfortunately, that thinking is common.

        Thanks for spending time handling so many personal replies. It’s wonderful to see every voice being valued.

  • Ruth Tredway

    I’m really new at the whole idea of having a platform. I’m using Facebook, and learning to use Twitter, but not sure of the best practices if my time is very limited. My first step will be to start following others whose work I respect, and study what is working. I’ve been really discouraged by the amount of time I can spend online and learn nothing new, except who is having a birthday this week, or who went to which ball game.
    I’m learning to be intentional with meeting and keeping new contacts open. I look forward to learning and growing in this area, including reading the comments on this page and taking notes. Thanks for helping.

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      follow strategically. @mhyatt:disqus and @barefoot_exec:disqus are great examples of this on twitter (if I do say so myself.) We interact with people, share content, connect others, etc.

      And yes, sometimes tell which restaurant we’re at or announce our newest grandson’s adoption, right Michael?

      The little bits – the LIFE bits like that are VITAL to weaving in and out of your content. If you really want a platform with personality – you have to be tolerant of other folks and their birthdays too :)

      • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

        Absolutely. It makes people think we are human. ;-)

  • Shelli M Gerlach

    My outreach is for spouses of lawmakers (statewide and congressional).  It’s very difficult to navigate public expectations in the role political spouses play against the realities of life in the political fishbowl.  It’s really not a glamous gig.  Ask them.   

    Until this year, there wasn’t a central place for legislative spouses to connect, engage and become better equipped to survive (and thrive in) political life.   In providing real connection and relevant resources for the issues that matter most to political spouses, we are equipping them to steward these roles productively with an eye for leaving a legacy built upon principle and integrity.   

    After all, they are indeed the ‘real running mates’.

  • JoeSorrells

    Finding a platform…

  • http://twitter.com/RWDigest Bridget Weide Brooks

    The list is everything. It can take a while to establish your communication channels with your audience, but it’s a vital step, and can grow quickly once you get some traction.

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      it’s like the old riddle about investing a penny a day and doubling that every day. The results will astound you!

  • Patricia

    Platform building is slowly starting as educational efforts concerning platform building are intensified. Because platform strategy, like anything else, needs certain building blocks I am making efforts to learn which building blocks are most reliable. Facebook, Twitter, email, and blogging are my meager beginnings. I am learning what else would be complement these efforts.

    Jesus always consulted the Father before doing anything and always followed the Father’s advice. The Father always knew what was best for the overall plan. Consulting those who know platform building better than I do is how I am trying to learn and to build a platform.

    Just for the record: My consulting comes via books, internet, videos, and conversations with others who know more than me concerning platform building. One step at a time is how the road is walked.

  • John James

    I am in the start up phase. Currently I am working on a series of blog post to roll out over the next few weeks as well as linking my various sn sites so as to achieve cohesiveness

  • http://twitter.com/DGGT Grenae Thompson

    How is your platform development coming? Let’s just say, it would have been helpful to read this post and have this resource prior to my business partner’s book being published last year. We are getting ready to publish a blog and learning to navigate the social media waters, finding what works best for us. I feel like I’m in learning mode so much of the time, I forget that spreading the word is so important. Will definitely put your recommendations in practice in preparation for next book. Thank you.

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      this is why we have the awesome term 2.0 ;)

      You will have book release 2.0.  What I mean is – keep growing and building your platform, the re-launch or re-release your partner’s book with a downloadable supplement or digital content to be the 2.0 component.

      Stop beating yourself up and push yourself ahead! Really proud of how you’re navigating!

  • mike presley

    Thank you Michael for your Blog. I have a very good friend of  Carrie’s who encouraged me to start my own Blog. I’ve only posted 10 or so blogs but read yours all the time. I receive so much insight from you. Think you.

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      friends rock :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/PaulEvansImpact Paul Evans

    Hey Carrie!! Great article. Everything I know about building my platform I learned from you! :)

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      And speakers that aren’t following you are missing out. When your platform grows, watch out world!

      You are a gift, my friend. God is ‘fixin to use you in a mighty and miraculous way!’

  • Dawn Ford

     I went to the
    Florida Christian Writer’s Conference in March. I learned a lot about
    platforming, which I’m attempting to implement and met some great newbies like
    me. We keep in touch through Facebook, encouraging one another, commenting and following each other’s
    blogs and have “liked” each other’s pages. We’re not stingy with what
    we learn and help one another. One of the friends I met at the conference turned me on
    to this page and I’ve shared it with others. I also follow Rachel Gardner
    (which I found here http://www.rachellegardner.com/
    ) and another great page called the Blogging Bistro http://www.bloggingbistro.com.

    I’m a Christian
    speaker who wants to learn to write well, so the above four sources are invaluable.
    Personally, I’ve spend more time blogging, building my website and my FB page.
    I’m just starting to branch out into guest blogging, Twitter and Linkedin.

    Thank you Mr.
    Hyatt for all the practical information and assistance in navigating this Social
    Media Giant. You and your colleagues make it a lot less intimidating and
    majority of what you share I’m able to apply immediately (or saving for later
    :-)).  Have a great day!

     

    I’m a Christian
    speaker who wants to learn to write well, so the above four sources are invaluable.
    Personally, I’ve spend more time blogging, building my website and my FB page.
    I’m just starting to branch out into guest blogging, Twitter and Linkedin.

    Thank you Mr.
    Hyatt for all the practical information and assistance in navigating this Social
    Media Giant. You and your colleagues make it a lot less intimidating and
    majority of what you share I’m able to apply immediately (or saving for later
    :-)).  Have a great day!

     

     

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      As a Christian, I love that I don’t have to be restricted to the ‘Believer Spaces’ – we are commanded to be salt and light. At no time in our history have we been more able to take light into all the world than through the use of social media.

      Have fun growing your network!

  • Anonymous

    I have no platform and no idea how to build one. One of the frustrating things for me is that I know a lot and have access to a lot more, but have no “my own fresh new idea” that I can put out. I feel like I am watching everyone riding on the merrygoround and have no idea how to get on.

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      I think there are no fresh ideas ;)

      I teach people how to begin and grow businesses.

      There are hundreds of others than do the same.

      And yet, I’m me.

      This post might explain how I think everyone is their own fresh idea.

      http://blogbarefoot.com/3-core-principles-that-make-you-and-your-business-unique

      • Anonymous

        Thank you very much, Carrie, for responding to me and for the post. I met you at Bob Burg’s Big Event in Florida. I was the one who told you about Lisa W doing her speeches barefoot.

        • Carrie Wilkerson

          that was such an amazing event with such heart-centered folks! @bobburg:disqus  really assembles the cream of the crop! Nice to see you here too!

  • Jill Poulton

    My platform development has started.  I am using a variety of methods such as social media channels.  I am at the beginning stages of this however so my following (audience) is still growing.  I have noticed though that the more I do, the more I attract.  The other platform that I am using is liev audience interactions – whether its through masterminds, lunch & learns, or short keynotes.  My blogging is something that requires a little more attention.  Being an extrovert I often find myself challenged at putting my message into writing in such a way that is transferable to the reader.  I have not yet read/purchased Carrie’s book, however it is now on my to-read list and I look forward to gleening from her wisdom!

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      Before I started blogging regularly, I shot videos. I’m a better speaker than writer (in my opinion).

      Then I had those videos transcribed and they became my framework for blogging.

      As I started to ‘see’ more visually how I communicate by working backwards, it has helped me develop my blogging voice. So now when you ‘read’ me, you hear me and see me because it’s my ‘style’

      Hope that makes sense.

      Alot of my videos are at BarefootExecutive.TV and then are also in written posts at BlogBarefoot.com

  • Billie A Williams

    It is slow but finally evolving. So many helpful hints in this post and I’ve been trying most of them. Thank you.

  • Julie Swenson

    I really enjoyed your article!  As I head into what is typically the slower time of my business which luckily for me doesn’t feel that way right now I realize I need to work more on my platform.  I have a lot of it set up I am just not on the stage right as the top performer more like the opening act to the opening act:)  Thank you for the info!

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      Sometimes the opening act is where we discover the freshest ideas…just sayin

  • Bruce Peppin

    Dear Mike, I have followed you for some time and wanted to thank you for sharing your insights and life with all of us in your audience. I have appreciated that you also bring to our attention others who are noteworthy and have something to say. Carrie Wilkerson is one of those people. She has an excellent website and videos filled with great advice. I forwarded one of her videos to my 20-something kids today. I am in the early stages of starting a blog, FB etc on a passion of mine which looks at what does it mean to “finish life well.” It’s targeted more to the boomers as we need to keep our eyes on the end goal and not derail along the way. I will be reading you and Carrie for continued ideas to start my finishing life well effort on the right track. Thank you for all your efforts! Bruce Peppin, Monument, CO

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      What an honor that you have entrusted the mind of your 20-somethings to me, sir. I don’t take that lightly. Blessings to you for racing to the endzone with a burst of speed!

  • Steve Lowe

    It’s starting to work…I’m just starting. I have a book in process, along with a blog and some outbound advertising inviting people to my site. It is definitely a process and not an event, despite the claims of some of the other gurus. I guess that’s why I like Carrie’s material; she’s realistic and down-to-earth. 

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      There is no easy button if you want real ever-lasting results.

      It’s a simple plan, but still requires work.

      Thank you Steve for your kind words.

  • Linda Jo Jenkins

    Well I definitely have a lot to learn on creating my platform.  I just learned I needed to establish one a few months ago. I have been slowly working towards setting it up. I first wanted to set up who will be my general audience–whom I am trying to reach and what difference in this world  I am wanting to make.  I found my “voice” and direction but have not been diligent in creating it. Have had a few set back on my web-site, health and time management.  I am hoping to have it all rectified this week, except the health–that will be on-going–however, I am working through it. 

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      Way to go Linda. Just make sure you don’t get caught up in perfecting it before you go live ;)

      That’s the great thing about blogging and online activity – healthy or not, we can still do little bits at a time!

      Start with shorter posts if you need to.
      Start with 1x a week then move into 2x.
      Preload your posts when you are feeling great so that when you are not, you can relax.

      Keep it up!!

  • http://iheartthechurch.com Justin Simmons

    To be honest… I’m worn out with building my platform. I know it’s important and I’m trying to consistently publish content to my blog, but it’s almost over-consuming at times. There are those days where I have to ask “will this ever break out into a good idea or does it matter if it doesn’t?”

    Thanks for the good tips on getting the platform out there… those are extremely helpful :)

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      Justin – sounds like you’re putting too much pressure on having a ‘good idea.’

      I just blog in a ‘note to self’ kind of way. Pretty informal and just about common sense stuff.

      I quote other people freely. I point to other resources and I talk about what is working for me.

      Nothing I teach is revolutionary or new. NOTHING.

      Just tell your story. Be relate-able. Be helpful. Be consistent.

  • http://themarketingmommy.com/ Nicole Thomas

    Carrie, thanks for your work. I have learned so much from you!

    I’ve been working on developing a platform for a while now…I have a blog, facebook fan page, twitter account, etc. However, I haven’t been clear on what I want to communicate or who I am speaking to. BIG mistake. This has caused me so much anguish and confusion!  So I am trying to get really solid on my message and target audience before I continue.

    Michael, thank you for sharing Carrie’s wisdom with your readers!

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      Nicole – what do you say to yourself?

      Note to self: ____________

      Most times, I am just saying out loud what I’m saying to myself as well. I learned this from my dad who is a pastor. He’d say from the pulpit – I’m not preaching to YOU, I’m preaching to ME and I thought if I needed to hear it, you might too :)

      That takes the pressure off a bit.

      Also – you are speaking to the people that are there. If you have a room of people at a party, do you anguish over every word before it comes out? Or do you mix and mingle and have conversations?

      It really can be that simple.

  • Anonymous

    Earlier in the year I had tried to put some work out there expecting an audience, and now I realize how much work it takes to build an audience before you get the audience you want. Great points about building your audience before chopping down the tree!

    I’m still trying to figure out how to build my platform and I hope a book like this would be a great way to help me form at least a rough blueprint for getting there.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Rebecca-Kenney/550160086 Rebecca Kenney

    I would love to do this– however, I write mostly fiction and my ideas don’t flow as fast as those of most bloggers. I’m not sure how to begin building a platform. But your post is inspiring, so hopefully I’ll find a way.

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      have you considered blogging or tweeting or facebooking from the standpoint of one of your characters?

      Some of my favorite content streams are fictional characters. It’s a fun way to gather an audience for your fiction, to give your character a voice and to not have to be the ‘expert.’

      Just a thought ;)

  • http://wonderingjourney.blogspot.com/ Kaye

    We (my husband & I) are in a time of transition between ministries & business & finding ways to generate some income.   We are both getting started with blogging & learning lots as we go – & appreciate posts like this one.  Even the comments are helpful; I especially like the one about setting aside some time on a weekly basis to crank out some blog posts. 

    This looks like a great book & is now on my wish-list.

  • Michael Raburn

    It is coming along slowly. I have a blog (hate the name) and try to post at least once a week. This is the info I need. Finishing up my dissertation for a phd in theology and ethics, I have focused most of my energy on academic speaking and writing. Sensing a call away from that and not sure how to build a platform to get my perspective out there. This blog has already been helpful (constantly emailing MH’s posts to my Evernote) and will be more so in January when I give full attention to this (post-graduation).

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      I think this is hardest for academics. One of my closest friends is a Ph.D. and this is a struggle for her as well. She keeps waiting to get credentialed in this area :)

      If you hate the name, change it.
      If you struggle with a creative name, use yours.
      Look at your academic writing from a lay person’s perspective and translate into normal human-speak.
      You can make this work.

      It doesn’t need your FULL attention. It just needs a little bit of consistent attention ;)

  • Marcus Bigelow

    I have a huge network from my last career, but as I switch to lifeplanning full time in a sole proprietorship, I’m finding the number of things to do overwhelming.  Thanks for the encouragement to keep blogging.  I’ve always had people do the marketing for the past 15 years and now I’m it.  But, I’m enjoying it hugely and feel really centered in a mission of letting “my fruit grow on other people’s trees!”

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      So your ‘job’ will not really be as a ‘lifeplanner’ – but your ‘job’ is really ‘marketing’ your services as a lifeplanner :)

      We are marketers.
      Period.

      Enjoy!!

  • http://twitter.com/Dan_Foley_Jr Daniel J Foley Jr

    Quite well, although it’s hard to measure. When I post articles I like to facebook I get sufficient “likes” and responses. When I tweet, I seem to find some new followers every now and then. My website is still in the design stage so that hasn’t had much of any traffic. Overall its coming along though it’s in the early stages. 

  • Melisa

    Thank you for this post.  I’ve recently started blogging (in the last month) and have become discouraged.  I believe I have great ideas to share but no strategy for gaining an audience.  You provided me with some tangible ideas and renewed my passion.  Thank you!

  • http://www.facebook.com/lexgilmore Lex Gilmore

    Hi Michael and Carrie,
    Thank you for the additional information on building one’s platform.
    I was stuck. You helped me out of the mire. I have a Facebook page, but I wondered how you acquire a “fan page” and your article clearly spells out to “create your own!” So I will.

    Also, I never thought about podcasts before you mentioned it. Or my own channel for YouTube. I had just signed up with VYou this week and had no idea what to do with it next . Now I do. I can integrate both social media platforms together.

    Development of my platform has ramped up so much more over the last week: I’m now on FaceBook, Twitter, Google+ (because of your email signature, Michael. THANKS!), Awesomeize.me, shareaholic, AddThis, VYou and FriendFeed. Whew! I need a vacation from my home office.

    Currently, I’m trying to sell a manuscript to an editor I had pitched at conference as well as acquire the agent I would be honored to have.

    After reading your brief article, I now feel empowered to go ahead
    and learn how to do the aforementioned action items and grow anew. No fear!

    Thanks to you both.
    Warm regards,
    lex
    http://www.lexgilmore.com

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      No fear? Good for you! I have fear on a daily basis, but…

      I can be scared and broke or afraid and well paid ;) So I choose to PUSH through the fear and see what happens :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/deb.kalmbach Deb Kalmbach

    Last week I signed up for an eBook writing/marketing class online. Whew! Talk about launching me out of my comfort zone. But I’ve learned volumes in only a few days–plus I’ve written a big chunk of the eBook!  My goal is to get it “out there” instead of sitting back and waiting for a book contract to drop in my lap. I want to give readers hope now…not later. Thanks to Carrie Wilkerson for confirming this in her excellent post.

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      GO GET ‘EM Deb!!

  • Dee

    Thanks for the reminder Carrie.
    I know that you have created a huge platform from following your own advice and that is what I too am doing at the moment.
    The thing I am missing at the moment is consistency. Today I will do a plan to ensure that I am getting my message out in as many places as i possibly can – CONSISTENTLY.
    I am believing in myself more now and asking others to help share my message.
    Loving your stuff, as always.
    Dee :)

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      Thanks Dee ;)

      Consistency. Consistency. Consistency. that really IS the missing ingredient for most folks.

  • http://twitter.com/jamespinnick7 James Pinnick

    I’m applying all the things you talk about! Thank you for reminding me!

    James

    Author-The Last Seven Pages
    http://www.jamespinnick.com

  • http://www.kidsenroute.com Kate Elwell

    Carrie, this post seemed perfectly fitted to my current situation. I just recently decided to take the leap, quit my full-time dream job and become a full-time stay at home mom. Not wanting to forget the experiences and hoping to bless others through our lives, I decided to blog. (www.kidsenroute.com) Being a bit of a perfectionist and horribly self-conscious, I have yet to let anyone besides my husband know that I have even started it, hoping to have it perfected before I get the word out, even to friends and family. You’ve inspired me to take the leap and start building my platform, perfect blog or not. Thanks again! I look forward to reading more from you!

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      Way to go Kate!

      You are assuming others will be as critical of your work as you are. Not so – they are worried about what you are thinking about THEM ;)

      Serve them. Get out of self. And ENJOY!

      I’m going to incorporate some of my mom humor and stuff on my CarrieWilkerson.com blog. I have a manuscript in progress called ‘Mom-flict’ – because no matter what we do, they’re going to need therapy :)

  • Believingoutloud

    It is coming along because I finally am asking. I know, right? I polished my speakers flyer and resume, and sent it to a few personal contacts and I am booking more speaking engagements. These also allow me to sell my book at each one, and promote the next one I am still writing. My blog is growing slowly but steadily, and I have seen a dramatic increase since starting my Monday’s with Mom each week. I only have about 140 followers on twitter but over 600 on facebook.
    My sleeves are rolled up and I am working, but I am also sure to wear out the knees in my pants as I am praying for open doors and guidance.

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      I like to quote songwriter Bill Gaither who says…my Uncle Grover always said to me, “Bill, you pray for rain – then get out there and hoe, hoe, hoe!”

      God can’t bless our efforts unless we’re doing the work. What a great partnership that is!

  • Danneh

    I’ve created a spreadsheet to manage the whole project — finding blogs to follow and regularly post to, creating a FB page, building the Twitter base — the whole platform bit, plus of course product development and communications development. That way, every weekend, or whenever I can carve out even an hour or two, I can just look at the spreadsheet and know what work I should be doing. I’ve structured it in a way that still gives me some choices — sometimes my energy level is better suited for research than to be creative, and if I feel stuck in one area, there are others where I can make great progress. It keeps me moving forward and it’s all time well-spent.

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      great idea! I created a mind map for a class of mine called ‘Fill Your Stadium’ and the mind map is our Daily Task Tracker that let’s us see what we are REALLY doing and what effort we are REALLY making.

      We tend to grow in the areas we are tracking. Smart move Danneh!

  • Angela Goff

    I made a couple specific decisions and schedule/life changes in the past few weeks to get my own internet “presence” off the ground, in anticipation of floating my first round of query letters this coming spring. To minimize distractions I shut down my FB and went solely with Twitter, and have already seen a marked difference in how I’ve been able to network and keep a pulse on the publishing world.  I launched my own blog a couple weeks ago and am posting there several times a week, and sending out tweets whenever I update. So far my site has received about 700 hits — not a lot, granted, but then the site’s only been up 12 days. I’m following several agent blogs/tweets and gleaning lots of great info, joined GoodReads and have met with other writers in my area on how we can boost each other’s site activity and support each other’s writing. Thanks for the great article and encouragement!

    • Angela Goff

      I should add that I was directed to this site by a friend on Twitter and so came upon this article in a timely fashion. Glad I found it!

      • Carrie Wilkerson

        I’m not sure I wouldn’t at LEAST have a FB fan page – but looks like your traffic strategy is working. Well done. Just don’t get too ‘single-streamed’

        I always like to ask ‘what if _______ network goes down…what is left?’

        So I don’t want to be reliant on ANY of the social networks singularly.

  • Mark Brewer

    I totally agree with this article. We all need to get out there and connect in different ways and in new ways.  Do write a blog on something even if just to get your thoughts and ideas organized.  Get on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.  Perhaps set up a landing page on one of the new sites. Try out those resume visualization sites.  You never know which one of these ‘channels’ might connect you with someone very important to your future.  And do all this to learn, listen and connect.  Have fun with it.

  • Amy P Boyd

    How is my platform development coming ? It has been almost no existent up until a few months ago when I began trying to make it a priority. Like many others who have comment here the things that seem to be holding me backs are: Concern that others will view it as being self-promoting, time constraints in writing posts and funding some of the upgrades and development I feel my blog needs. However, I feel my biggest stumbling block is the fact that I do not consider myself a writer. God has called me to share verbally at women’s events and the writing is simply a means to open the door to more speaking engagements.
    I have found so many of Micheal’s post so helpful in moving me down the path a little and Carrie just pushed me a little more. Thanks Michael and Carrie.

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      Amy – get some of your audios transcribed and turn those INTO writing!

      I’m more of a natural speaker than writer…so I do this alot. I use http://transcriptionsplus.com

      They go through my video channel, my podcasts and even speeches from my live engagements.

      That has been a lifesaver!

  • Nora

    I love to write.  Somehow when I become interested in a topic, I find myself reading about it until it feels to0 late to write.  I still write but mostly don’t share.  My goal for now is to leave the comfort zone at least once a week, building to twice and so on until I’ve built a new comfort zone.  It’s a journey!

    • Nora

      Thank you for the article.  I found it soothing in that you don’t push the ideas.  Your manner is persuasive and convincing without no push.  I forgot my manners in my original response.  

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      this is like cooking and cooking and cooking and never feeding anyone Nora!!

      Serve it up!

  • Silvia Arvelo

    Hello Carrie: Great points!  I am rolling out my personal blog this Wednesday (October 12th) which happens to be my 42nd birthday.  While I am excited about this wonderful opportunity I am also nervous at the number of blogs out there and what will make “mine” unique and “reader” worthy.  I have identified my audience to be women, women of all ages.  Women of both latin and english speaking, my blog will be bilingual which I hope will attrack more women.  I do need a lot of help in this arena…this is all new to me and I feel almost guilty at promoting myself!!!  I am sure your book will be of great help and assistance to me and my new platform in the blogging world.  Thank you so much for your consideration!  Silvia Arvelo

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      you are going to ROCK your 40s!!

      So proud of you – bilingual is excellent!

      You don’t have to be unique. You have to be you.

      Be exceptional. Be extraordinary. Be you.

      To quote Steven Curtis Chapman’s popular song…I can see the fingerprints of God on you.  What other uniqueness do we need?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/William-Chris-Shelton/1658930944 William Chris Shelton

      Happy birthday & God bless!

  • http://chocolatenonuts.blogspot.com Carrie Padgett

    I’ve made it a point to blog consistently three times a week. Book Talk Tuesdays are for book reviews. Woe! It’s Wednesday is my personal “rant” day when I just talk about what’s going on in my life. Fiction Friday is where I serialized my first novel rather than letting it malinger on the hard drive or the file cabinet. Now, I’m writing a novel a chapter a week. It’s a good discipline. I’m also on Twitter and Facebook. I try to tweet consistently as well. Sounds like The Barefoot Executive is just what I need to continue making strides toward platform as well as publishing. 

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      Carrie, Carrie, Carrie – WELL DONE!

      Having a schedule for content Book Talk Tues and Woe Wednesday is EXCELLENT for giving yourself a framework so you don’t flounder in ‘what will I write about land’

      Love it!

  • http://davidsantistevan.com David Santistevan

    It’s coming along great! My blog continues to grow and I’m releasing my first ebook in a couple weeks. The advice here is spot on. I’m working on just publishing myself and seeking to make a positive difference every day.

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      Mary Kay Ash used to say, ‘if one woman knows today how incredible she is …then today is a GOOD day!’

      Sounds like you have that same mindset… way to go!

  • http://www.facebook.com/BruceMooreTampa Bruce Moore

    Carrie, what a great blog post! Not developing your audience is paramount to hiding the gift that God has given you. It seems like until our “thing” sees the light of day and gets connected to real people it is never fully developed. Have you found that the process of unveiling your next concept, book or idea only gets better when others can help tweak it? Thanks again!

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      We learn it when we’re 2 years old…

      ‘This little light of mine…I’m gonna let it shine.”

      Then we grow up and decide it’s noble to hide it under a bushel???

      NO!

  • Susan Fontaine Godwin

    This was a very helpful and affirming article. I have been working the past 1-2 years in building an online platform for copyright education in the Christian community, and have been writing a blog for a few years. (www.copyrightsolver.com and http://www.copyrightcommunity.com) I have focused on tweeting with two accounts, and a Facebook business page the past several months, and have begun to see a real increase in our website traffic as a result. In addition, we have hosted several webinars which have been somewhat successful. We haven’t tried podcasting yet, but I’m wondering if that would help promote the educational focus. We’ve also produced a video series (2-3 minutes each) that we’ll be publishing this week and include on YouTube.

    There’s definitely a lot of room for growing and expanding the online platform, and I’d like to particular focus on 1) being a guest interview for other blogs; 2) podcast; 3) start a YouTube channel, and 4) work on increasing frequency of blog posts.

    I’d love to hear about any other recommendations or suggestions. Thank you for posting this article.

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      a couple of ideas…Dan Miller with 48Days is excellent with his weekly podcast. What does he SAY? He answers questions that readers submit via a form on his website.

      Genius. Last I heard he was going to an 18 minute format weekly. Love it.

      As far as being available for interviews – make sure you have a button on your blog that leads to an interview request form of some sort. It has to say ‘Need an Interview Guest?’ or something along those lines.

      Then tweet that every few days. Include it at the end of blog posts. Use social proof like ‘today when XYZ was interviewing me for his podcast’ – etc.

      You have to plant the thought.

      Then when folks DO interview you…send them a physical, mailed thank you note. Tweet and FB – Thanks to ________ for the great interview today – you can see that posted on their site at _______

      Social Proof. Social Currency. Increased Opportunity.

      (also at the end of your podcast – to have me as a guest on YOUR podcast or radio show, contact _________)

  • Jason Elam

    What a fantastic, informative, practical post!  Thanks!

    As far as my own platform development goes, I’m committed to blogging consistently, launching a podcast in 3 weeks, developing a series of short YouTube videos, and networking with like-minded bloggers.

    I’m a small town Pastor looking to make a living outside of ministry so that our church can invest even more into transforming our community. Your book sounds like a great resource that I’d love to have!

  • Jmhardy97

    Great book and great author. Can’t wait to read it

    Jim

  • http://twitter.com/mawade1 Michael A. Wade

    “Do unto others as you would have done unto you”  Be a raving fan and you will  create raving fans.  I have come to find that as long as I continue to give to others I will never lose.  I had a elder neighbor who ran her own restaurant at age 80.  She was extremely happy and successful (though not in the worlds eyes).  She told me one day that her mother told her to give away something everyday.  She lived by the rule.  She gave someone, anyone that came into her restaurant everyday a free meal.  She always had a line of people willing to buy her meals.  She was a wonderful lady that had a platform.  She helped many people including me.  THANK YOU GWEN.  We miss you.  

    • Susan Fontaine Godwin

      Thank you Michael for this powerful reminder of Christ’s way of building a platform to bear witness to the free gift of grace.

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      beautiful story – thanks for sharing! This is a fabulous thing about online platforms too! I give away loads of my time, content, articles, videos, interaction, etc. and it grows my borders.

      Then we I have an opportunity for resources…folks are willing to buy from the menu (much like your Gwen)

      Love it Michael!

  • Jkdodge

    Your article was a real wake-up call for me.  I am almost half-way through writing a book about Burnout among those in ministry.  ANd as of this point do not have a Twitter or Blog going. Where do I go to learn how to do both of these?  Thanks  JIll

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      if you will go to youtube.com and search ‘how to twitter’ and ‘how to set up a blog’ you will find loads of free instructional tutorials.

  • M!ke McGinnis

    Right now? 

    I’m gathering information, building relationships, and creating content. Nothings been released yet.

    I’m doing the pre-platform dance.

    Pouring the concrete for the platform to be built upon.

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      I would say you should take a page from the pop artist playbook and ‘leak’ some of your content even before the album is ready for release.

      Start a FB fan page. Start a twitter profile and gather there ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/louise.thaxton Louise Thaxton

    Great post and very timely for me!  I have been thinking about “building a platform” for the last several weeks – and now I have a PLAN for doing just that!  Although I have been involved in several social medias – I have not BRANDED myself – and that is my next step!  Thanks so much!

  • Roman

    My platform development has been coming along surprisingly well. Just the other day a women from another state told me that she reads my blog, and that tells her friends to read my blog because she enjoys it so much. I was shocked, especially because this women is from Georgia and I live in the Midwest. (She told me this at a football game where her son and my brother are on the same team.) I have realized that the more intentional I am with publishing valuable content for my readers on my blog and the more I am engaged with others on various social networks, my platform development takes care of itself. It’s exhilarating and a blessing, and I feel privileged to be able to share my heart and my thoughts with other people.  

  • http://twitter.com/AlisaLaGroue Alisa LaGroue

    Well, my platform it not going anywhere very fast. I have a blog, a Facebook page, twitter account, LinkedIn, and even a Good Reads account. I am trying to blog once a week which I know is not very much, but I can’t seem to get more than that done. I don’t twit much or write comments.  Of course, each blog post goes to all of my accounts. I’m one of those quiet, introverted types, but when a thought does enter my brain I will leave a comment. It just doesn’t seem to be enough. I do want to join one of those book blog tours. I started to do one a couple of weeks ago, but missed the cut off date. I have thought of doing a YouTube video, but I’m not sure what I could say as a writer of historical Christian fiction. Thanks for your post. It is encouraging.

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      I will venture to guess that when you blog 1x a week – it posts to your social media accounts just 1x.  Go look at @michaelhyatt:disqus  tweet stream to see how often and how many times he posts about each blog title.

      You can be introverted – that is totally ok. I commented above to another fiction writer that I’d take on the persona of one of my characters and tweet, fb and comment as THEM :)

      Your platform isn’t going anywhere fast because you aren’t moving it ;) You can’t just act when a thought enters your brain (to use your words) – it’s a methodical and strategic process.

      A blog book tour is a heckuva way to push you into massive comments and public eye. I might consider taking control of your own platform FIRST before you pay for someone to push you.

      For youtube – I’d show some screens of your illustrations, or better yet – use animoto.com with some images related to the book and do a voiceover of you or a hired voice to read segments of your book.

      • http://twitter.com/AlisaLaGroue Alisa LaGroue

        Sigh . . . I know you’re right. Thanks for all the great advice.

  • Darin Merritt

    Thanks for the great post. Today literally marked the beginning of a new stage in my life. It is the first day of the rest of my life doing what I have always loved but have never been able to do it full-time. God is Good! I am relatively new to all the social media, but the next thing on my list is to work on a platform and publishing. Thank you to all who are showing us the way and helping us navigate through the treacherous waters that is online… Thanks again for all the information that you have written about over the recent years. –Darin

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      Today is a great day for a beginning Darin. Thanks for letting us celebrate that with you!

  • http://twitter.com/the3nchanting the3nchanting

    This is such a timely post!

    I’m involved with several abolitionist campaigns and have a passion for ending trafficking. I’d like to discuss policy that has worked in other countries as a way to suggest a change in policy here. It’s something controversial enough where people often discuss trafficking in the real news, but I’m having the opposite reaction in my circles.

    Most people in my social media circles – extended family, childhood friends, coworkers, church members – prefer not to talk about things that make them uncomfortable. I post if I’m meeting with my congressman or excited over a new film on the topic or link a petition from Int’l Justice Mission only about 5% of my circle responds.

    The solution I had been kicking around is to start a blog on trafficking, writing original posts along with gathering and commenting on content from external sources. It will be frustrating writing to no one at first, but opening a FB and Twitter account for that blog may give me a chance to better attract like-minded people.

    Does anyone have suggestions on how to gain traction after I launch? Thank you!

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      to gain traction – you keep moving. it’s like getting your vehicle out of the mud…you have to stay behind it for quite sometime ;)

      I actively raise funds for trafficking through http://100xmissions.org and what I’ve found is that people simply aren’t educated ENOUGH about the issue. They don’t believe it exists and they don’t WANT to believe it exists.

      However…a controversial niche topic like that is honestly the best blog fodder usually. You just have to actively keep posting, keep shouting, get into all mediums (podcast on itunes, videos on youtube, facebook, etc) and raise up the other warriors like yourself. @GinaParris:disqus  on twitter is a big anti-trafficker too. So is @paulevans:disqus

      It’s not really dinner time conversation – but online will lend well to you seeking out other activists like yourself through keyword searches on facebook groups, search.twitter.com for who is talking about it. Blog about it alot when there is related news about it. Find out who is talking about the movie ‘Taken’ – etc
       

  • Angela WR

    My platform development is living large only in my mind. It exists as dislocated pieces of information dancing around in my head, never touching and never connecting. It’s easier to give away the information in order to help others than to manifest it myself.  It seems I am overwhelmed with all the social media “audience-building” information that I am struggling with putting it into a coherent system that will move me forward. It might be fear. It might be something like writer’s block only that it is social media blockage. It might be perfectionism. Whatever it might be, it has me in a box unable to make a public, baby step forward…again.  This realization hit me after talking to a husband and wife business team. I asked them if they had a platform, but the question took on a life of its own and whispered back to me, “Do you have a platform, Angela?” So, I would like mentor help.

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      Your post makes it really obvious your are overwhelming yourself.

      Start with one step.
      Quit overthinking.
      Step 1. Blog or Tweet or FB
      Step 2. Be Consistent
      Step 3. Actively add friends or followers
      Step 4. Add a new strategy from Step 1
      Step 5. Repeat

      All the fancy words, coherent system, jigsaw pieces floating, etc- makes my head spin.

      Walk into the virtual party we have going on in social media, find some folks that look friendly, ask about what they know, talk about what you know, be friendly, share resources, etc.

      This is how you start.
      You won’t have it all figured out before you start.

  • Alayna Mills

    Until recently I didn’t realize the importance of a platform. I have always said that I want to write someday. Yet as the song goes, someday never comes. I’ve written on my own blog and even the blog for the church I am involved with but not frequently enough to count. Recently God has really put it on my heart to start setting time aside to write and begin to develop myself as a writer and blogger. 
    As I began to do this I started thinking about the importance of connections. As I pondered about this I realized how great a resource Twitter is. So I began to follow other writers, editors and publishers to find out what they were doing. I used to throw hammer in college and one of the things my coach would always say is that if you want to be great you much surround yourself with champions. I figured that this is a principle that could easily be applied to writing. 
    As I’ve been reading through the blogs and posts of other people in this industry I kept coming across blogs about building, maintaining and starting a platform. Quickly I began to realize that this was something I knew naught of and had not even begun to even think about my audience now. 
    This has resulted in some quick changes in my use of social media. While I have never been a fan of Twitter I have come to the conclusion that this is a very useful and almost necessary part of establishing a platform. Thus I’ve continued to use and add to my Twitter follows and as a result I’ve gained a few as well.
    Not only that but I’ve volunteered to guest blog for a couple other small blogs and have committed to publish a blog consistently and then post on my different social media sites. I have also begun to talk about my writing more to people I meet and come across because the more people that know I have a blog the more people can actually begin to follow my blog. 
    Finally I’ve begun to ask for help. I’ve asked both friends and family to share my blog and have people follow my on Twitter. One of the things that my company says is to always ask for our customers business and for our customer’s referrals because if you don’t ask they will walk out the door and that will be that, but if you ask they will do it and continue to bring you business. It is similar with having a platform. If you don’t ask someone to share you with a friend most likely they won’t, but if you do ask there is a good chance you will gain another audience member. 
    So now that I’ve written a comment just about as long as the blog all I have to say that as I continue to work on my platform the next step is to get consistent in my publishing to my blog so that my audience has something to follow.

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      Excellent Alayna! And to point, I’ve never seen someday, tomorrow or one day on a calendar.

  • Tifpi92

    My platform development is in the word-of-mouth stage amongst my friends and aquaintances.  By that, I mean I am letting my Christian-Holistic world view be known by speaking to people individually about God’s healing power, especially where mental, physical and emotional health are concerned.  I just have to develop into the living example I know I am, to influence others to “see the light.”  I know, now, this involves taking pharmaceutical medicine every day, although my heart says “I don’t need it”. 

    Knowing the God-centered components of “recovery”, I’m on my way to individual recovery and leading others to their recovery as well.  The vehicles I will choose to share my views will include mainly Twitter and YouTube.  I already have 28 God-loving followers on Twitter, and a blog I started a few months ago.  The most powerful vehicles I believe are Twitter and YouTube.  Facebook has too many privacy issues, so I will be careful how I approach this form of social-networking.  Please pray for my personal recovery journey and that I may encourage and lift others up, both through my successes and “bumps” along the way.  The ultimate message will be helping others and giving God the Glory.

  • http://twitter.com/kpmiracle Kenny Miracle

    Good words here. I read the intro to your book on Amazon and was extremely inspired/encouraged. I found that it was almost precisely the same vision that I had for starting my business – esp the faith/family aspect, which is rare to find in a business book. Glad to see it’s going to get to more people!

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      thanks Kenny. That really IS the purpose of platform-building…not to glorify self – but to help scores and scores of other people through mass messaging ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Grady-Phillips/100002122653239 Grady Phillips

    I reaaly love your new book cover as it real captures the attention of the reader and makes one get into the book and find out what it contains. God Bless You!

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      thanks Grady – Thomas Nelson did an amazing job with the cover and keeping it consistent with my online branding. I’m thrilled!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Garry-Wells/100000265750191 Garry Wells

    My platform is parked. I am in a job. Never quite broke through outside of my small group.  I got in my own way but stay tuned. I am not beaten yet.

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      Garry – you have an active social media profile. You are not parked. Set a time for 25 minutes a day to focus on the ‘non-job’

      I believe in you, sir.

  • http://twitter.com/mjharvell Michael Joe Harvell

    As a Pastor, I have always found this to be a very hard thing to do!  You work hard to try and stay humble and try to play down the whole “He’s got an ego” thing, but you’ve got an amazing message to share and the message takes on a whole new power and significance when you have an audience to receive it, so it’s one of those things that you have to do, if you are to fulfill your calling.

    I am a fairly active user of Facebook and Twitter and I have written over 700 blog post.  I try to blog at least five times a week!  I need to do some work on the Twitter side of things.  I feel that my Facebook is fairly active and seem to be a lot more in touch with my tribe.  My platform development is coming a long, but needs all the help it can get and this post was a step in the right direction!

    Enjoyed the article and look forward to follwing and learning more from Carrie Wilkerson!

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      Hey Michael – you might go see how Guy Kawasaki handles his twitter account. It’s more of a feed of the other places where he has content. He doesn’t use it for conversation much.

      My dad built his churches not to glorify himself but to encourage others, serve in a bigger way and share salvation. Those that will criticize have a mote in their own eye. Only YOU can know your heart.

      • http://twitter.com/mjharvell Michael Joe Harvell

        Thanks Carrie – looking forward to being sharpened by you and the gifts God has given you to share!  Mike Hyatt has been a tremendous help!

    • http://twitter.com/AlisaLaGroue Alisa LaGroue

      If ever there was a place to share the message of Christ it would be here on the internet. Thanks for being bold enough to do it.

      • http://twitter.com/mjharvell Michael Joe Harvell

        Thanks for the encouraging Word!

  • Dedwardsiii7

    I’m behind the times with my platform. I need to be more proactive in social media. Read something about a “blog.” Is that something like a “blot?” Twitter is about my stretch so far.

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      a blog is an online journal. THIS is Michael’s blog. BlogBarefoot.com is my blog. It’s online journaling, article sharing, etc.

  • Jason Davis

    Not much platform development going on here. I need to figure out what my platform is…

  • Kari

    I am trying to process how I can apply this blog post to my life as I am not a gifted writer and do not feel led to write or publish a book.  Though my husband may have dreams of doing so one day.  
    Together, my husband and I dream of owning our own business one day.  Which is where Carrie’s book would be helpful and sounds like a great read!  I suppose for the time being, we can work on creating a platform for ourselves in our professional lives.  Distinguishing ourselves among our co-workers and managers in hopes of becoming leaders in the field.  That way, we are known by others and will have followers that will follow us when we start our own business.
    Sounds good to me!  A new outlook for my daily grind. =)

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      I built my platform NOT to publish a book (that was a happy surprise) but to grow my business. So just go insert the word business into everywhere you see author or publisher ;)

  • Simon

    My platform development is difficult.  I’ve had no experience in marketing and now am learning not only what is available, but which methods are best, and how to succesfully use them.   Thank you.  Simon

  • Carrie Wilkerson

    you are welcome :) Believe it or not – I was really resistant to social media too! (truth!)

    You don’t have more followers or friends because you are not actively following or friending more people.

    ‘In order to have friends, one must show himself friendly’

    Social media translation…(Carrie paraphrase) — Go friend and follow strategically and actively and then a % of those folks will follow and friend back.

  • Marc

    My understanding of my platform is growing and presently I’d say it mainly consists of my parishioners. I post mainly when away on mission trips or when involved in other ministry… and I am seeing how influential it is, even as a means for creating conversation, building community and causing self-reflection. Thanks for the tips Carrie, I’m excited to see how my platform will grow, and how the kingdom will grow. It’s all about Jesus.

  • Andrew Acker

    It’s in development, but I know it needs more teeth. Having opportunities from professors to go speak in the very business classes I attended as well as other events gives an opportunity to share insight and connect, but without a website/blog I feel like I’m losing the opportunity to actually capture those people that are interested, but have no resource to follow up with me…so I greatly desire the blog and website, but I have results that have to be produced for my clients, relationships to foster with my friends, and ministries to serve and volunteer in.

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      you might consider something like typepad or blogger in order to have a simple, no cost resource to update about 15 minutes a day. no over-thinking ;) then you’ll get into a habit of consistency

      You can also use madmimi.com or mailchimp.com as free mail services to capture emails and follow up. Don’t give yourself permission to ‘not start’ because of time or money. There are hacks for that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1565502744 Mari Ann Lisenbe

    “How is my platform coming?”  hmmm
    Program built? check 200+ members with phenomenal testimonials
    Facebook page? check 700+ fans
    Twitter profile? check  10K+ followers, but this is kind of bogus since my Klout score is only 34, and many of these followers were acquired via an autofollow type of  bot.

    I’m at “critical mass”… but having problems actually lifting off…. so I know it’s my platform that needs work..

    Since my program is a weight-loss program (faith based), finding a celebrity would be great boon. But, need to work on my platform to attract a celebrity!

    As far as a book goes… would a “how to” book be best?  A cookbook?  A “combo” of the two?  I have materials for both, but not sure which would be the best direction to take.

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

      Sounds like you’re doing well for yourself Mari! Keep it up.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1565502744 Mari Ann Lisenbe

        Thanks, Joe… but I still need to work on my platform and work on “publishing me” as Carrie puts it.  Sometimes it’s so much easier to hide behind a computer screen :-)

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

          I agree, it’s a lot easier to hide. However, once you start stepping out you’ll be amazed at the success that you can achieve, the people that you help, and the attention you can gain for God.

          Just keep pursuing it and expanding your boundaries. Eventually things will break open.

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      Don’t measure your credibility or currency by Klout.

      And I’ve had a clip on CNN and doesn’t really boon the bottom line. So a celebrity isn’t a must for you either.

      It’s more people you need. How does your email list look? You can have all the social media followers in the world, but if you don’t have a way to directly get TO them to promote, you are missing out on 90% of your followers at any given time.

      Your success stories are your best celebrities. We can’t relate to celebrities. We relate to each other. You need tons more fans, many more members and more twitter followers.

      And you need to be moving those folks to an email list.

      Watch how Holly Rigsby of FitYummyMummy or Tom Venuto of Burn the Fat Inner Circle or Brad Pilon of Eat, Rest, Eat attract folks using a variety of methods.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1565502744 Mari Ann Lisenbe

        Thanks, Carrie. I actually capture emails everywhere. 

        On facebook, I have a welcome page that non-fans see where they are met with a video and a  free questionaire. To see the results, they must enter their email. Same thing on my website (on every page – top right sidebar).  

        The trick is increasing traffic to those pages AND doing a much better job with follow-up emails. 

        Thanks for the push – I’m going to get more aggressive following up, highlighting our success stories.  

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

    I am just starting to lay foundation for my platform. In a sense, I am a novice aiming to turn professional gradually. In fact, my platform development is at a nascent stage.

    I am just looking to learn about finding a target market, developing business strategy, and brand development in connection with my creative writing.

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

    Loved the information in your post Carrie! Lots of great information regarding your platform. It’s definitely an interesting time we’re in. The publishing world is turned upside down and many authors are unwilling to take responsibility for their work.

    I’m currently working on my blog, http://www.jmlalonde.com. I started publishing posts only a week or two ago and have received quite a few views with little to no promotion. I’m currently on the first page of Google for Joe Lalonde and Joseph Lalonde. I’ve had some comments to my blog and it looks like I’m inspiring people.

    As for Facebook and Twitter, I’m not using those for my brand. I have a personal Facebook page and a Twitter account that I use for contests. Other than that, nothing on that front.

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      but do your contests contribute to your work? to your brand?

      I love the content cycle. Use blog as your homebase and the other networks to keep churning the traffic back to ‘home’ where you capture their email and then directly ‘touch’ them

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

        Carrie, I think I wasn’t clear on the contests. I don’t use Twitter to host contests, I use it to enter contests.

        However, I have run one contest on my blog and I felt it fit in with the post I had it in. I had just done a movie review for Courageous and had an extra poster. Decided to give it away and got a couple of comments for it. Nothing great or special, just a thank you for reading my newly formed blog.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mphcoin1 Milton Paul Hockmuth

    I Want to Learn More About These Individual Financial Concepts! By Carrie Wilerson, About Building Spear Of Infleuence Relationship’s, with Uplifting Success.  I Will Then, Learning These Success Prinicipal’s Can Infleuence and Duplicate/Teach/Train Other’s!  

  • RamP

    I personally think I’m one of those who like to learn and learn from wide variety of sources. Being an engineer with a graduate degree and with experience in healthcare/hospital industry and recent move to financial industry/banking there’s so much that can be changed/improved and so many people who can learn/benefit from us.
    That being said how am I developing my platform? Reading and learning from so many authors/experts who share so much via online medium and constantly looking to work on my strengths and improving them regularly advancing them. Apart from these I use resources like toastmasters & pechakucha nights, there’s so many fascinating things that you don’t know & there are so many people who are passionate about so many things.

    I’d really love to get this book from you, this book sounds like a lot of great information and real life examples and suggestions for people like me that can definitely benefit from. I’ve great ideas and to my knowledge I’m equally qualified all I need is that extra support system which would help me take that massive action and take charge of my life, I settle for so less.

    Time to use my DVR & do something productive. Thanks for the encouragement Michael.

  • Colin

    This is an area I could do better with! I start it, but slowly, slowly evolve it! There is definitely a lot more for me to learn and want to if I dream of becoming a church comm. director.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/jalandajames Jalanda James

    Ahh Carrie. Sooo happy for you. I remember when you first started. You are living proof that you got to keep at it. And Take Action.

    My Platform Development is coming along. 

    It’s been a long road to get here. I kept picking the wrong target audience. Dontcha just hate when that happens;-) 

    I’m creating videos to build up my brand. As a NYC Video Producer, It’s a different thing being in front of the camera, but I’m doing it. Here’s some tips I can offer others. 

    1. Write out your thoughts before you press record. Don’t write word for word but have talking points. 
    2. Enunciate MORE than you think is normal. It’s funny how lazy our tongue is in day to day talk. You really notice it on camera. (I added a few extra vowels. Dropped a few endings. But I’ve Learned;-)
    3. Record several videos in one go. Who knew concentrated speech could be soo exhausting. So record as many as you can in one go, to give yourself time to heal.

    Good Luck all. Building a brand is fun!

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      Thanks Jalanda – I’m proof that it doesn’t have to take forever, right?

      As far as videos – I love doing hair/makeup ONCE and then shooting for about 90 consecutive minutes. Record. Stop. Record. Stop.

      I never script – but I have a thought point on a post-it note ;)

      I enunciate, yep – being a music major ingraines that into you – but I DO embrace my accent ;) and even my crazy word-isms ;)

      Thanks for your tips – super helpful!

      ( I even go a step beyond, strip the audios for podcasts and have them transcribed for blog posts, ebooks, etc)

  • Tammy

    I’d like to be making ‘ripples’ right away and be influencing others today with all that I do– that is my heart’s desire– as for building a platform, I feel like I need to focus first- to know what I really desire and begin step by step with the recommendations that Carrie gives above (like first doing a Life Plan!). I’m thankful that with technology today, it is much easier to build platform and influence without borders in a much broader way than in the past. 

  • http://TheNetworkingQueen.net The Networking Queen

    Clarity makes a huge difference in platform building. Mine has improved (thanks to coaching with Carrie), thus my platform is improving. I have some work to do, but articles like this, reading Carrie’s book, attending BOSS 2011, and taking part in B.E. University have all lead me down a new path that is fast become my own “yellow brick road.” 

    I am marking of a POWER HOUR at least once a day and already see the difference that is making. This hour has been focused time to do tasks I am not all that excited about completing, and I am progressing. WOOHOO!!!  It is amazing what I can achieve when my time in uninterrupted, focused, intentional, and with a set goal. 

    Learning should be followed by implementation. Thus, anyone reading this article should have a plan for what and how they will implement the teachings above. For me, it serves as a reminder of this past weekend’s conference in Dallas and that I have some blogging to do. WOOHOO!!!

    I choose to have my platform be in a constant state of improvement as I continue to learn from leaders like Carrie, and select my ONE CHAMPION to follow for the year. Guess who that is? Let the unsubscribing continue. WOOHOO!!!

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      LOL how fun having a cheerleader on this blog :) Thanks ma’am – now get offline and go focus ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/sonja.gross2 Sonja Gross

    “The competitive asset you bring to any publisher or producer is not merely your manuscript or your demo reel, but the audience you bring with you.”  Excellent point.  Good post.

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      all things being considered…the platform weighs heavily in their choices for certain!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FKQB3K63X7HKXL6ZFPAFLNIWTM Peggy_Dallmann

    My platform development has not yet begun, as I only just opened a hosting account and downloaded wordpress to start working on my blog/website. Yet I will refer to this post again and again as I begin developing my platform in the coming weeks. What great tips for this newbie to online marketing! I have ideas for books and courses that I plan to market, along with some other things, and your information will come in very handy. I intend to look into your book as soon as I leave this blog. Thank you so much! So much useful information in such a short post.

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      great Peggy! thanks for your feedback! I’m excited about your journey!

  • Anonymous

    My platform development is coming… Well, honestly, I feel a bit stalled right now. I’m re-examining my focus as I anticipate a new publishing project, and I’m wondering how that fits with my original vision.

    The “financial freedom” part of Carrie’s title appeals to me as I contemplate day job changes in the midst of all of this…

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      When we free up our financial obligations, it enables us to pursue other things and breathe!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/William-Chris-Shelton/1658930944 William Chris Shelton

    As a child abuse investigator for over 9 years, I realized the State can help, but only God can heal and was led into ministry school.  As only one investigator, I realized I can help one at a time (still not a bad thing, but exhausting), but as a minister I could help more people and encourage them to help others as well.  With our book (ministry message), “It’s Okay, You’re With My Father” (A Child Abuse Investigator’s Call to the Church), I have to opportunity to involve (and help) even more people.  I was seeking larger platforms without realizing it.  Our ministry has a webpage, http://www.ReachOutChristsKingdom.org that also links to our facebook page.  The website shares about the book message and links back to the opportunity to purchase.  It also links to news articles printed on the ministry and book.  Both give me the opportunity to share upcoming events.

    I’m glad I was led to this site and appreciate what you  are both doing.  Thanks & God bless!

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      William, I would also intentionally connect with authors in your market, radio hosts, abuse survivors, etc in social media as their followers and friends are probably like-minded.

      Another way to grow your platform is to borrow a portion of someone else’s ;)

      Similar to how Michael ‘shared his platform’ with me on this topic and post – what about the guy who wrote ‘The Boy Called It’ and other abuse activists? Just a thought ;)

  • http://twitter.com/janellchristine Janell Camp

    My platform development is in a very early stage. I am 22 years old and my message is still being formed by my current studies, experiences, and daily walk with Yahweh. Carrie, I really liked what you said about the tendency to get caught up in “the thing” and preparing for our “someday” audience. This reminds me of my constant struggle to revert my attention to the people in my life now when I get caught up in my dreams for the future.

    This is the second post I have read in the last week about this topic. The other is “Why Building Your Own Platform Is Essential” by Jeff Goins and it speaks to the objection that has been brought up several times in the comments here…the opinion that platform building is self-promoting and lacks humility. Jeff points out that although some people who build a platform do have the goal of becoming a celebrity for their own sake, platforms are not always ego-driven. A platform is about permission, influence, and relationships with people. He says, “Without one, you’re just another voice in a crowd of noise.”

    Therefore, it is my intention to change the way I use Twitter and Facebook, blog consistently, and be more purposeful in making real connections with the people I know. I want to remember that my platform, and my message, is all for God and others — it’s not about me. 

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      also Bob Burg just released a short parable style book called ‘It’s Not About You’ – which is really great. It’s not a spiritual book, but really good insight about your business and ministry being ‘others centered’ while still being successful.

  • Sbartlow

    Currently, I have created a wordpress called, “scottbartlow.com” and created a tag line with my picture on it to be more relationally connected to my followers. My blog is about encouraging others and myself to dream, discover and take risk around dreams that God has given each of us. I personally am an activator and a entrepreneur in the context of the church. I want to encourage people to take action with their dreams to have the most kingdom impact. I find myself struggling to update my blog everyday. However, I loved the suggestion of creating a video blog via youtube and post that as well to increase viewings to the blog. I would love any more suggestions to create a larger following.

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      Don’t just blog – make sure you are cycling your content through the social networks too!

  • http://twitter.com/lovinglyyoursG Georgiana

    In 2010 I created my own simple website emphasizing my poetic inspirations to inspire people to “Embrace Positive Passion” in life everyday.  As I incorporate both Twitter and Facebook in my marketing, my platform is constantly growing, steadily increasing to about 200 per week and spreading internationally as well.  I also actively speak about positivity on other websites as a guest blogger, related venues and seminar appearances. These are all valuable, tangible tools to remind my devoted readers what life is truly about. 

    I would love to read Carrie’s new book as it would definitely be a valuable resource for continuing to build and sustain my platform.  My ultimate goal is to freely write to help everyone in this world not to fear and worry as we only have this moment in time.  Do I want to waste my energy on anxiety?  No, I choose to Embrace life with a Positive outlook and to share it with a Passion!

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      way to go Georgiana!

  • Anonymous

    Based on the video interview advice between you and Seth Godin in a previous post, I’ve decided to give my first book away for free and will be releasing it the first week in November (at least that’s the plan).  I’ve been very overwhelmed at the idea of building a platform. I know it is necessary, but as a mom of four who is working a “day job”, getting the platform built for my writing dream has often felt near impossible. I need all the help I can get. :)

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      I love the 30 minutes before all the kids and hubby get out of bed, before ‘regular work’ beckons.

  • http://twitter.com/AndreaAresca Andrea Aresca

    This post has really been a stimulus to be more consistent in building my platform.
    I received many appreciations for my blog and insights on time management, but I realize that my “follower” are not growing so much, because I don’t “ship” regularly new content.
    Using Seth Godin’s words, I need to overcome my “resistance” and show up giving my insight to the world more often.

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      very important to Show Up Consistently

      Great insight Andrea

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  • timdaviswired

    Right now, there is a lot to be desired.  I have two blogs, but have not kept them up as much as I would like.  I want to be more intentional about those.  I also want to be more strategic and intentional in the area of social media as well.  

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      Tim, mark it on the calendar.
      Write down the days you will publish.
      if you are too slammed during the week, then write several posts over the weekend and then set your blog to release them on the predetermined dates

      Don’t “want to” — just do :)

  • Renovationmalaysiahq

    I agree to this article about creating a platform. However, what about if I’m not sure of my audience yet? In terms of our giftings & interest. Any suggestions on this

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      then why not just start as YOU ;) Worked for Oprah as she evolved her brand ;)

  • Stephen Gulley

    I have just begun the process of creating a blog to update consistently, which I believe was your number one suggestion, which really encouraged me.  I have a twitter and facebook account. Once I have the blog up, my desire was to begin using all three of these in cahoots. Almost like to create an idea continuity daily.  Create one big idea and give two different formats. what I post on twitter, goes to my facebook per Michael’s suggestion and teaching. And I have lastly been using Michael’s tips for branding in my blog creation. I can’t find how to change the twitter background yet to match my blog, but I have a theme from elegantthemes.com that I am working with on the blog!

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      it doesn’t have to match your blog per se – but using unified colors and images is a great first step!

      I love the ‘content’ cycle of blog first, then push content to twitter, to facebook, to linked in, to video to g+ and recycle ;)

      the more you share – the more your network will share

  • http://twitter.com/CheapLoveCarrie Carrie Starr

    Thanks for this encouragement Carrie!   I’ve been blogging for eight months and we recently self-published a book through West Bow Press.  We are building a faithful following of like-minded readers on both facebook and twitter. 

    Our goal was to see others improve their personal relationships by empowering them to make wise financial decisions.  The feedback has been tremendous and we are already seeing changed lives!  I’m so glad we didn’t have to wait for “approval” to share this important message. 

    We would love to see this platform grow so we can multiply our impact.  It’s both comforting and encouraging to know that, while we work to give our best, the results are ultimately in God’s hands.  Thanks again for showing us more ways to let our message be heard!

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      Congrats Carrie! (that was fun to type) — I have a 7 yr old that has a great voice and a thirst for the stage (imagine that) — I always tell her, don’t wait for American Idol or X Factor — discover yourself FIRST, build your fans NEXT then the producers will come seeking YOU out ;)

  • http://susuworld.com Sue Allen

    Great post thank you for sharing Carrie.  I’m a big fan of your videos and work.

    I have my blog which at the start I was so conscious of being “perfect” or as close to perfect as I could get it before going live several months ago.  I built it from scratch including domain, hosting, theme etc.  It was getting very frustrating so I just took the plunge and went live!   

    So far I’ve had fantastic feedback on what I have shared from business plans, social media, to one of my first posts on Michael’s very own Life plan:
    http://susuworld.com/got-your-business-plan-but-what-about-your-life-plan/

    I have been building the platform on Twitter to spread the message which is going well.  I also share my youtube video and slideshare presentations on my blog, linkedin profile and twitter when relevant.  My focus is now being consistent with regular posts and guest posting is my next step to build the awareness more.

    Online and offline I have always looked to add value wherever possible and this has helped me spread my message more through building great relationships and of course making some great friends.  

    My next project is more video on the site (how-to’s /resources) and looking at launching my own products. 

    Have a great day Carrie and Michael. 

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      Sue – thank you for your kind feedback and congratulations on your action!!

      Love your ‘next steps’ – I’m going to encourage you to set a date on the ‘more video’ and set a date for your first product! Keep up with me at FacebookBarefoot.com in case you have any product development questions!

  • David Ashley

    In building a platform through social media, one thing that seems to stay at the bottom of my to-do list is adding followers to sites like twitter, facebook, etc. Many companies now offer a service to deliver thousands of targeted fans to your social media outlets for pennies on the dollar. Any thoughts on these types of services? 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Honestly, worthless. The best way to attract followers is to create content that people way to consume. Anything less than this doesn’t create the kind of permission and loyalty you need to make these relationships beneficial. Thanks.

      • David Ashley

        Thanks for the reply, Mr. Hyatt. I presumed that to be the case. I do have a follow up question, then, to clear up some confusion I still may have. Are you saying that if you consistently deliver great content to your small audience that there is no need in spending (even my own) time “adding” friends. They will eventually find you.

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          I think you should add people that interest you, but not so that they follow you. That strategy worked in the early days of Twitter, but I don’t think it is effective any longer. What you really want is to create great content with interesting tweets, so that your followers re-tweet you and thus expose their followers to your content.
          Hope that helps.

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      I totally agree. If you want to seek out and follow folks, go to someone (perhaps an influencer) in your market. See who is following them. See who is engaging with them. Engage in conversation. Follow them. You’re in the same market. You are seeking relationships. Then it is up to them whether they follow back or not.

      Michael and I do this differently, but you choose what is comfortable for you.

  • Anonymous

    My goal is expanding influence and impact in my writing and speaking. Social media relationships are an integral part of my plan. 

    I strongly believe that everything rises and falls on relationships.  Building platform is taking advantage of every avenue of relationships.

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      Relationships are relevant. Interesting how this is the ‘new’ trend in business — but the fact is, social media and platform building is a key part of mass relationships. Wise insight sir!

  • http://louisebroadbentfiction.wordpress.com/ Louise Broadbent

    Your blog post title got my attention but I found it misleading. I expected it to be about the importance of building your platform now if you plan on writing professionally later in life but know you’re not ready yet. A counter-argument to the belief that writers should focus on their writing until they’ve reached that point. Instead you made an unforgivable assumption about writing and gave a terrible example that does not even remotely back up your point.

    Writing that isn’t for an audience is not irrelevant. Many writers choose to write for themselves, with no intention of sharing their work. It’s an act of self-expression, of creativity, of therapy (in a lot of  cases). It is never irrelevant.

    When I think of Justin Bieber I do not think of someone who has worked hard to hone his craft and build up a platform. Whether or not it’s true, I think of someone who was picked up for his looks and promoted as a commercial product for screaming teenage girls to devour. Now, you may well be correct that he worked hard to hone his craft of singing generic pop-songs to please such an audience but his singing just isn’t technical enough for me to accept that. A lot of people have strong assumptions about Justin Bieber and, for the purposes of supporting your argument, it doesn’t matter which is more true, it matters that people don’t see him as you’re presenting him. To be honest, he’s a joke.

    I would have gone for Ed Sheeran: a talented singer/songwriter who’s known for building his ‘platform’, if you like, through gigging constantly and selling CDs from his rucksack. Unlike Bieber, his self-promotion and honing of craft is a massive part of his image. Of course, he’d never have made it big if Radio 1 hadn’t decided to back him but nobody in the music industry can unless they get on the playlists. That’s just the way the music industry works. Arguably, and it’s important for your point, the publishing industry is going through a revolution, through which writers will be writing directly for their readers, making it far removed from the world of music anyway.

    I’m sorry to be so critical. I have to admit you really riled me up with your opening statement about the irrelevance of writing without an audience. If I wasn’t so angry I wouldn’t have commented at all, in the spirit of ‘if you don’t have anything nice to say…’ which seems to apply to the social networking world almost to a greater extent than the real world. Of course, I could take it back now, Delete it and not post it but I won’t because I think you need to know the effect of your words. I know I’m being young and naive and probably strike you as being very inexperienced, which I am, I’ll freely admit that. I guess I’m not quite jaded (or wise) enough to know that the older, more experienced professional, is generally right. I haven’t yet lost my youthful arrogance that leads me to disagree. I apologise for that.

    Regards

    Louise Broadbent

  • http://www.facebook.com/ikalka Iris Kalka

    Having read your ideas, I wonder whether there is a way for one to establish an index of worth. If you take all the formulations of your presence in the web, from social networks to a comment like this, is there a way to weigh it all, a sort of yardstick?

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  • Faith

    Love it. There is something daunting about building a platform. And yet, it must be done. Motivating articles like this make all the difference. It’s all in how you look at it. Thank you!

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