Build Your Platform Tip #2 Get Other Authors to Work for You (and do the same for them…)

Left to their own devices, authors tend to be solitary creatures. The only problem? It’s lonely out there for a writer.

Me and my husband Roger with Author Friends Cindi McMenamin, Arlene Pellicane, Lynn Donovan, and the Chick-fil-A Cow at Harvest House’s Desire Conference in San Diego

I’ve found one of the best ways to have some longevity in this biz is to gather up your own little crew. A few authors who have a variety of gifts and talents to learn from, teach, and generally keep each other afloat when major publishing houses merge and panic sets in.

Another great advantage to having a network of other authors is the ability to build each other’s platforms. Here are just a few of the ways I do that each month:

  • Feature each other’s new releases on your blogs
  • Promote your writer’s friends books in your e-newletter
  • Shout from the Facebook rooftops about their accomplishments
  • Create events together
  • Team up together on virtual book clubs (for an example of this, check out our MOPS Military Book Club at www.thebookclub.kathilipp.com )
  • Carry each other’s books on your websites and on your book tables

All of these networking opportunities I take advantage of on a regular basis. But the most effective, platform building networking I do is by referring (and being refered by) other speakers.

When I am already booked for an engagement, I have a few other speakers/authors that I refer to these groups. But, I even take it a step further. After a great event, I will pass on one or two of my favorite author’s speaker packets to the meeting planner, telling them that they may want to consider booking these authors for their next big gig.

I only do this with other speakers I have heard and trust. Nothing can make your credibility go south quicker than a bad referral.

The flip side of this is that I have other authors who pass my name along when they are done with an event. There is nothing better than great “word of mouth” given to a happy client.

I have had great results with this idea, and an added bonus: I have developed a great network of friends who go through this business with me. It is great to have someone to talk with who understands this sometimes very strange industry.

Action Plan:

  • Hook up with a couple of speakers that you know and trust, and ask them if they would be willing to recommend you, because you would love to recommend them. (If you need speaker training, be sure to check out Toastmasters.org, CLASSeminars, or Proverbs 31 Ministries.)
  • Create a speaker packet for your speaking ministry (if you would like an example of my speaker packet, email my assistant at lynette@kathilipp.com and she will send you a copy of my e-packet now through December 19th.)
  • Exchange speaker’s packets with your favorite author to hand out after your event
  • Put a list of other speakers on your website in case you’re not available to do an event
  • Feature another speaker/author in your monthly e-newsletter (and have them give away a couple of copies of their latest book) with a link to their speaking page

Question for you:

What is the most effective way you’ve found to work with other authors and speakers when it comes to building your platform? Share your tips in the comments below.

9 Replies to “Build Your Platform Tip #2 Get Other Authors to Work for You (and do the same for them…)”

  1. Hey Kathi, great ideas! I’ve recently joined a really supportive group of authors and it’s amazing to see how the reciprocal promotion idea really does work! I highly recommend anyone who’s serious about promoting themselves to find a like-minded group they can work with. Twitter and Facebook are good, but not if you’re playing by yourself!

  2. Kathi,
    Love this idea, Kathi! Supporting one another as writers and speakers helps so much because it lightens the load. I’ve done verbal recommendations for others, but I hadn’t thought about having other speakers’ cards/speaker packets on hand.

  3. Great post! I recently taught a Basic Social Media class and I talked about this very thing. We need to support each other in our platforms, exposure and especially encouragement. It’s tough to go this thing on our own. As director of a writer’s conference, I try to promote these kinds of ideas in workshops and in choosing my speakers. We are a community!
    Thanks so much.
    Jan Cline

  4. Hi Kathi,
    I love what you do and I love this post. One of the things I started in August (as you know) was The Well Writer for the Christian Fiction Online Magazine. (By the way for those of you who haven’t checked it out I encourage you to do so.) I’ve had several guests including Doc Mabry, Serena Miller, Megan DiMaria, and Kathi will be leading off the New Year. Yeah!
    http://www.christianfictiononlinemagazine.com/brilliant_well.html
    I thought this would be great way to talk about different aspects of Wellness for Writers. Since I’m a full time counselor this was one way I thought I could promote health and each other. I’ll be posting again in February. It gets my name and others names out there along with our books.

    Also, I love Twitter. I twitter our blog posts almost everyday on this site.

    I haven’t done any speaking. Although I was a member of Toastmasters for many years I haven’t yet wanted to make the leap primarily because I’m swamped already. But there are other ways for those of us who don’t yet speak publicly.

  5. I’ve been blessed beyond belief by the generosity and encouragement of my fellow writers and blogging buddies. Many of them have already offered to help me promote my debut novel when it’s released in July. I love doing shout outs for them as well. The mutual support among writers is awesome. The Water Cooler is a fine example!

  6. Thanks for this great advice, Kathi. I couldn’t agree with you more about hearing a speaker before you recommend them. That’s a great idea to take other speakers’ information with me to recommend to organizations for future events. I never thought of that, but would recommend if asked. Great tip!

  7. Kathi, I’ve found friendship as well as support in my “tribe,” which includes many Water Cooler friends. We are particularly blessed in that our agent has great taste and therefore, the group contains a lot of strong writers whose work I enjoy recommending. 🙂

  8. Kathi, well, she is the perfect example of everything she just suggested to do. Follow her steps and you won’t go wrong. She practices what she preaches and has a heart to help. I hope to be like her when I grow up one day.

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