Need Help Building a Platform? Michael Hyatt Has Some Good Advice

Donald Miller

For years now I’ve counted Michael Hyatt as a friend. Whenever I’m going through a career transition or considering a new book, Mike takes time to meet with me. I count that as a blessing because there are plenty of folks who’d like to meet with Mike. He was the CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers for years, is a best-selling author himself and has helped hundreds of people launch their writing careers.

I was glad to see the subject of his new book because now I don’t have to call him every time I get the inkling. Instead, I can pick up platform.

I don’t endorse many books on this blog but because I get so many questions about writing and speaking I wanted to let you know Mike’s book releases this week. For writing, I recommend William Zinsser’s  On Writing Well and for the creative Process, Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art. And for all the rest, that is for marketing and self promotion, bringing a product to market and building a following, I recommend Michael Hyatt’s Platform.

Mike is doing some special promotion this week and you can get a lot of free resources here. The best to you as you build your platform, too.

Donald Miller

Donald Miller

Donald Miller has been telling his story for more than a decade, now he wants to help you tell yours. He’s helped over 1,000 companies clarify their message through the StoryBrand Workshops. For an introduction to what he’s doing now, check out the 5 Minute Marketing Makeover.

  • GREAT deal, honest promotion. Done and done! Looking forward to soaking up Mr. Hyatt’s wisdom!

  • justina

    Thank you. You have been very resourceful to me.

  • I have a question that has been on my mind lately, as I try to build platform/brand/blog/ect…(and I plan on reading the book and will probably love it) but do you think the whole platform thing is self- centered? What about the whole “God must become greater…and I must become less?” I am a blogger/artist and I wrestle with this issue. How do I build a platform without creating this..”look at me…listen to me…follow me” kind of obsession?

    • Saradays

      I love what Lauren wrote below. I think she sums it up. I would only add that self-promotion is just a requirement of a writer’s job in this day and age. The rise of the internet has caused information clogs- there is just too much out there, and much of it is off-base. So for you to rise above it all to be heard, self-promotion is merely a tool to help make your work visible.

      Since we are on Don Miller’s blog, I’ll use him as an example: he has warmth, openness, and kindness in his blogs and FB postings for his following, but there is always a professional veneer over what he puts out there. Even if he is sharing something from his personal life, like his dog’s antics or what he learned in counseling or successful fishing, it seems to fall into an overall arc of saying, “I’m still a person stumbling my way through life with its ups and downs. I’m devoted to Christ.” Because the vast majority of his posts are hungry for authentic Christianity, the times he makes a personal post do not seem to be just all about him. It still seems to be based in hope that others will live an abundant life in Christ.

      I wish you all the best. I read recently about the role Gertrude Stein and her brother played in the early 20th century in supporting struggling artists like Cezanne and Picasso. Could it be that without their own means for self-promotion in that day the world would have missed out on the blessing of their art if not for someone willing to promote (and buy) their work?? What a pity.

    • James Paul

      Lauren – I realize your question was directed to Don – he would probably provide a more helpful answer than I. A thought did cross my mind:

      If Chrisitian discipleship is the process of becoming more like Jesus, then the methods and competencies of Jesus and the apostles (who Jesus discipled) should be of interest to us. For instance, Jesus and Paul were very directive at times (i.e. “follow/imitate me.”). So perhaps there is a redemptive way to look at this idea of “Platform.” The qualifying question: “Is my life worth imitating?” (as Jesus’ was and Pauls’ was). In the realm of Christian discipleship it might be wise to match the size of one’s platform with the maturity of one’s character and competencies.

    • Lauren — I just got Mr. Hyatt’s book in the mail and read the first section. I have had the same concerns as you, but his approach doesn’t bother me. It’s very straightforward.

      Also, it helps to remember: I’m not the “product” here — not the thing being promoted. I’m the one doing the promoting. My “product” happens to be a really important nonprofit work. It’s my job to get the word out.

      Maybe that helps?

      • Lori I just got his book and am really liking it so far. You are right…it is straight forward and helpful. Thanks for your reply!

  • Hi Lauren,
    I think of building an author platform as being that city on a hill and letting my light shine… to let God be more, and us less, means that it’s going to be harder and harder NOT to be recognized. Because you are already aware of the possibility of too much self-centeredness, I would say that means that your heart is already in the right place. I would encourage you to give the platform a go and put your trust in the Creator. He gave you the talent, and He would love to see you putting it to work. 🙂

    • that makes sense Lizz. Thank you for helping me see it a little clearer! 🙂

  • So looking forward to reading this book. Thank you for sharing a few other recommendations also!

  • I heard a writer speak recently and one of the things she said was to not be afraid of wanting success. So often, especially for christians, it seems like such an unholy thing to be successful–or worse, to WANT to be successful.

    But God gives us desire. Desire isn’t wrong.

    What’s wrong is pretending we don’t want something and then being resentful because we will never have what we don’t pursue with all of our being.

    I’m botching up what she said, no doubt. But the message resonated.

  • I am purchasing the book today. I’m one of the 100 pre-launch members for Michael’s book and, just being on “the team” has caused me to learn (and relearn) a ton of great stuff.

  • I love it when he says a platform is not just for authors. Food for thought!

  • Don, Is it fair to offer, that a good portion of your platform was built on embarrassing details of your life? You broke a rule to write in such a way that others thought you were crazy? You shared thoughts that no person would consider sharing? You never tried to impress anyone?

    Does your platform continue to draw on these personal ventures and thoughts that others find to difficult to share?

  • Pingback: Check out Michael Hyatt’s New Book: Platform | StoryWriting Studio()

  • I concur. Mike’s book (and work) is great. Would love to hear more of your thoughts on the subject of platform, Don.

  • So, I followed the line “here”, but I didn’t see any ‘free resources’….anybody?