How To Build a Platform From Scratch


If you went to #SheSpeaks14 and attended my breakout – this is the blog post I promised – basically my notes and powerpoint dumped into a VERY long blog post. If you didn’t go to #SheSpeaks14 – enjoy!

I have to tell you – just the word “platform” gives me a little lump in my throat. If you are in the world of writing and speaking – it is just part of it. Ann Voskamp did a BEAUTIFUL job writing on the topic lately and reminding us bloggers, writers and speakers of what really matters.

Jon Acuff joked that “if you don’t want to build a platform, you just probably need to write a journal.” Ha!

Another great source is the book PLATFORM by Michael Hyatt.

 Without a platform—something that enables you to get seen and heard—you don’t have a chance. Having an awesome product, an outstanding service, or a compelling cause is no longer enough. – Michael Hyatt


What is a platform?

“Your writer’s platform is basically the group of activities you engage in that get your name and work noticed by the public. It’s marketing, not of a specific work, but of you as the author. It’s everything you do to build your brand.” Source

Does it matter?

Unfortunately it does.

Do you know how many amazing writers went with their proposals into She Speaks and sat in front of editors and publishers – only to get turned away with this response …”great idea – but you need to grow your platform.” It is so sad, but this is their investment – they need to know that an author or speaker resonates with an audience. An idea can be awesome and even God-inspired but they have to sell books because they are going to spend A LOT of money on the project.


Did you know God is able?

Oh yes he is. He can take a woman out of the middle of Australia and use her all over the world. I will speak more about her story and how she inspired me to let platform UNGRIP my soul during our link up this Friday.


If you went to She Speaks – don’t forget we are linking up together this Friday on my blog. What is a link-up? Simply write about something you loved or learned on your blog and then come back here on Friday. You’ll see – it’s so easy – you just simply click and add your site. So, others can visit and we can help build each other’s platforms!


I really believe God can use anyone in any form to deliver His message. Whatever he has laid on your heart. Your story of abuse. Your story of freedom. Your story of infertility. Your great love story. Whatever He wants to do – He can do through a mic with thousands. A small group of 8 women. A blog of 8 readers. A mom that comes over on your front porch. A self-published book or traditionally published book. A letter to a friend. Don’t put God in a teeny tiny box. He’s pretty creative. Check the stars at night.


This platform thing is a part of this world and only a part. It’s not the only way.

Also remember that God often gives us the original vision and WE heap on the 100 things after that. I am so guilty of getting stressed out and overwhelmed of things I added to my plate. Let this rest on your heart for a minute. Preaching to me today.

Just because everything is Godly or good doesn’t mean it is His will. A lot of good, noble, Godly things pull me really far from God’s original to do list for me.

Let’s do our part.

If your daughter told you she wanted to be a nurse and then did NOTHING to reach that goal – would you be frustrated? Oh yes! Sweet child, you have to get a degree, and get training, and log some hours and work hard! Yes, trust God and pray and sleep and do your best. But – our part involves work! Same with this platform business. If you have a dream to write a book (hopefully placed on your heart by God not our own desires) and have it traditionally published… building a platform takes work.


Why did I say YES to this breakout?

I didn’t speak at She Speaks because I know it all – it’s because I’m in it with you.  I didn’t write a book on parenting because I figured it out – because I’m passionately raising kids IN IT with you. I am building a platform right now and desperately holding onto Jesus. I want to be a great steward. I want to keep this perspective. And when it gets out of WHACK (usually when I’m on Facebook too long)… I go back to this.

  • FACES with stories over FOLLOWERS with money


  • His FAME over your FAME


  • Few faithful FANS over many fleeting FOLLOWERS


  • Your own FAITH over someone’s else FORMULA


Download My Presentation Notes Here

My presentation notes are RIGHT HERE. I’m still learning like all of you. I put about 10x the amount of material needed. And people were scribbling fast. So here are the notes.



You are not alone. I feel like a big dork too. I put myself out there too. I am not in this for my fame. I want God to be known and little lives to change. I believe in families making virtues, love and laughter a daily part of their family life. And THAT gets me up in the morning. And, I’ll bang down a celebrities door for a message like that. That’s good news to share.



See you Friday!



Want to Make a Meaningful Product That Lasts?

That was my other breakout and I TOTALLY freaked you guys out about Zondervan and the rights to the Bible among other random things I said. 🙂 All of those notes are coming in a blog post – September 10. Come back!


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  1. Thank you for sharing this. I so wanted to attend your workshop, and all of the others. So many good things! Can’t wait to dive into your notes.

    Because I’m one of those who heard, great idea-love what you’ve got here but you need to build your platform. Rather than let that discourage me, I’m prayerfully taking on that challenge and praying all the while for more of him and way, way less of me!

    1. Hey Gina! Oh I am SO glad you had the perfect response to that hard experience. Remember – it isn’t a “no” – it’s a “no not right now.” What’s your site? Love to come take a peak. Send me something you want to share.

  2. This post is awesome! I pray God continues to use you and you remain obedient. Thank you for your encouraging words. I have yet to fully soak in all the #SheSpeaks14 nuggets of info. But a whole month later I’m still in awe of how God is working !

  3. Thank you for sharing this! I loved your sessions! I was there feeling small and nervous, but the sessions were incredibly informative and encouraging. I left She Speaks thinking to myself “I can do this! I CAN do this!” It’s a total God thing, but my blog has exploded (in the good way!) since then. Now praying for vision and direction to make this gift count.

      1. And I don’t know how (no, actually I do but it’s just unexpected) but the recent Buffalo Chicken Lasagna recipe went viral this week. Like, out of control crazy! So now I have an audience, time to say stuff 🙂

  4. Hi Courtney! What a surprise to be reading through your post to find a picture of the two of us :). It was a pleasure meeting you and sharing about the need for ressources like your blog (and women behind them of course!) in the french-speaking world. I have to say it was also entertaining to hear you speak!
    Thanks for openly sharing with us what you have learned about platform building. Such valuable and insightful tips!

    1. Hey!!!! Please keep in touch with me. I am still very interested in what you are doing for Quebec. And I want to connect you with Jennie Allen for the If Gathering. Did you watch any of that to see her vision? Oh I bet it was entertaining for you. I speak a foreign language too – Southern.

  5. Thank you for sharing what you’ve learned along the way. I am at the beginning phase of writing and developing a platform for the message that Gd has placed on my heart. There’s a lot I want to say, and I realize that it would be nice to have readers carrying the conversation with me, growing together as we study God’s Word, raise little people and carry the banner of the gospel. I admit that one of my biggest challenges is using my time wisely and not getting distracted by the social media web. I downloaded your notes and look forward to using them. Thank you!

    1. Hey there! I KNOW. It is so hard to cut it off. It’s a great tool and can be used for so much good – but it is also a weapon for discontentment and comparison. I guess we each have to know our limits and set boundaries with that ole social media. Thanks for your encouragement. Wishing you well!

  6. Courtney, thank you so much for reposting all this information. So much has happened since the She Speaks conference. I am “this close” to having my book, Love Echoed Back, released by Westbow. However, within those 3 weeks my mother also suffered a stroke. She is recovering and fighting her way back. Will you and all those within your blog just pray over my family as we weather this storm. I am continuing to work on my blog and finishing the book among all the other things that are going on. I refuse to be discouraged. Thanks again for all you do and for sharing your heart at the She Speaks conference and here. I appreciate you trying to help all of us who are stilling trying to get off the ground. 🙂

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