Monday, August 01, 2016

4 Platform Building Lessons from Ephesians - Guest Post by Joan Campbell

Joan Campbell lives in Johannesburg with her husband and daughters. She is inspired by South Africa’s vibrant mix of culture, language, music and folklore. Her country’s history also impacts her writing, with the themes of discrimination and reconciliation woven through her fantasy novels. 

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I’ll just come right out and admit it. The constant advice to ‘build a platform’ used to irritate me. A lot. I followed it not because I wanted to, but only in the hopes of impressing publishers. 

Once I signed a publishing contract my attitude shifted. With a greater incentive to build an audience interested in my books, I began to pay attention to how other authors tackled this. I saw plenty of creativity, audience engagement, powerful messages and savvy use of social media. 

Inspirational, right? 

 Well…no. Instead, I felt more discouraged and uncertain on how to improve my half-hearted efforts.

That’s when I began to pray about it. I hadn’t ever thought of seeking God’s guidance, mainly because I didn’t think of him as a modern ‘platform guru’. Yet almost immediately I received the direction I sought through a passage from Ephesians 4. These four keys to platform building are changing my outlook, turning something I’ve always done rather resentfully into a joyful part of serving God. 

 Engaging others is part of our calling 

“Therefore I… beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling for you have been called by God.” (Eph. 4:1) 

As a Christian writer, I have a message and ministry from God. I might prefer to huddle over my computer, working only on my manuscripts, but that’s not all God calls me to. He calls us to love others and speak truth into their lives. Our platforms are a powerful tool to do that, be it in the form of a newsletter, blog, Facebook post or speaking engagement. 

Work as a team to build God’s kingdom 

“Always keep yourselves united in the Holy Spirit, and bind yourselves together with peace. We are all one body, we have the same Spirit, and we have all been called to the same glorious future. There is only one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and there is only one God and Father, who is over us all and in us all and living through us all.” (Eph. 4:3-6) 

In the competitive world of publishing, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that—as Christian writers—we are called to build God’s Kingdom. To do that we need to unite and pull together by encouraging and supporting each other, promoting each others’ books and doing all we can to get the message of Christ’s love into the world. We are a team. 

 Let our uniqueness and gifts shine through 

“However, he has given each one of us a special gift according to the generosity of Christ. He is the one who gave these gifts to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers.” (Eph. 4:7,11) 

 As much as we are a team, we are also wonderfully unique. We have our own voice, own stories and message, own audience and own spiritual gifts. If our gift is teaching, this will be reflected in our posts and blogs. If it is evangelism or encouragement, that will be the thrust of our messages. Our platforms are not an end in itself, they are an extension of the unique ministry God has for each of us.  

Be authentic and vulnerable 

 “So put away all falsehood and tell your neighbour the truth because we belong to each other.” (Eph. 4:25) 

In our scramble for attention, it can be easy to project something other than the truth, but God calls us to be honest and authentic in our engagement with people. That is the vulnerable place where the real connection happens between us and our followers/readers, and where our words have the greatest impact. 

Ephesians 4:29 tells us that our words should be an encouragement to those who hear them. I love this verse in The Message, which says our words should be gifts to the world. What an honour that God has given us words to write and speak and share. We need the courage to do this not only in ways comfortable to us, but also in ways that challenge us. Platform building is not about us garnering readers and acclaim. It is about being true to God’s calling to bring words of truth, hope and salvation to the world. 

 (Verses from The New Living Translation) 

 Connect with Joan on her Website, Facebook, Goodreads and Twitter (she says she's still working on her attitude towards tweets). 

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 Joan’s Books 

Chains of Gwyndorr is the first book of The Poison Tree Path Chronicles and published by Enclave Publishing. Joan started writing this book after she read The Chronicles of Narnia to her two young daughters and realised the powerful way in which a story can convey redemption. 
Buy it on Amazon

Legends of the Loreteller, the trilogy’s companion book, is a collection of short stories set in Tirragyl, the fantasy world of the The Poison Tree Path Chronicles. 
Available as a FREE DOWNLOAD on Joan’s website 

Encounters: Life Changing Moments with Jesus brings readers face to face with Jesus, through stories from the gospels told in the voice of those Jesus encountered. The book is enhanced with reflections, prayers and art work.

Buy it on Amazon.


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Ronie Kendig is an award-winning, bestselling author who grew up an Army brat. After twenty-five years of marriage, she and her hunky hero husband have a full life with their children, a Maltese Menace, and a retired military working dog in Northern Virginia. 

Find Ronie online:
     Website: www.roniekendig.com
     Facebook (www.facebook.com/rapidfirefiction)
     Twitter (@roniekendig)
     Goodreads (www.goodreads.com/RonieK)
     Instagram (@kendigronie)
     Pinterest (http://www.pinterest.com/roniek/)






2 comments:

Barbara Latta said...

What great encouragement and insight. A few days ago I was on the train of "why am I doing this" and "I think I am ready to quit", yada, yada, yada..., but you have reminded me of the reason I am writing. Thank you.

Joan said...

Thanks Barbara. That is such a blessing.