In this final portion of our interview, Amy Carroll and I discuss building a platform with heart — the best things you can do, the worst mistakes you can make, and how building an online community, with heart, can actually be fun!
Cheri: What’s been the best thing you’ve done to build your platform?
Amy: Last summer, I did an online book study of Breaking Up With Perfect: Kiss Perfection Good-Bye and Embrace the Joy God Has in Store for You that was truly the best thing I’ve ever done. I went into it with the worst attitude. I was tired of focusing on marketing my book, but I thought, “I need to do one more thing to try to sell a few more books.”
(That’s terrible to admit, but it is true.)
Thankfully. a couple of things happened. Tracie Miles, one of my Proverbs 31 sisters, just jumped in and shared everything she had done and helped me, which was the sweetest. Then I found an online class on how to do an online Bible study. The more I prepared for the class, the more excited I got.
Then the most miraculous thing that happened was so many women joined. I have a heart for missions, and we had women from all over the world who joined our private Facebook page. We had women from all over the world- with the same issues- encouraging each other, praying for each other. And I used Facebook Live.
Not only did the online book study build my platform, but more importantly, it filled my heart with the understanding that the book was truly making a difference for women. Suddenly, my sales numbers didn’t loom so large anymore. It’s still important to me that I do my part for my publisher, but knowing that it changed life for just one woman truly became enough for me. Having a personal connection with those women was the best! Some days, I would just sit at my desk and let the tears roll down my face as I read their comments about how God was working in their lives through Breaking Up with Perfect.
Cheri: What’s the biggest mistake you see writers and speakers making in terms of platform?
Amy: I think that a lot of us (I’ll just include myself right in!) watch other people and we think there’s a formula. To be in the marketing world and some of this platform building lacks heart. I don’t mean that as a criticism, it actually makes me tear up to say it. We’re pursuing a formula instead of expressing our part in God’s heart. I think in the end, our audience sees right through that anyway. The heart stuff is always more important. It just is, and our audiences will feel it and they’ll know it.
Cheri: Yeah, that’s true. I just finished taking a blogging course from someone who only uses social media to thank people, not promote herself. Instead of pushing herself on people, she’s simply responding to them. That sounds like so much fun!
Amy: Suzie Eller is the master at this. She has built a true community on Facebook. That encourages me, because I’d been a skeptic about whether you can you really build community on social networks. I think you can, but it must always stay others-centered.
- Do you feel like you have built a community on your social media platforms?
- Look at your Facebook insights. What post in the past month created the most community (conversation)? What did you do well?