Author Platform and The Laws of Attraction

Whenever someone communicates anything in any form, the message will either attract or repel readers, listeners or viewers. All communication is like a magnet, with north and south poles.

What you do in social media or blog for your author platform will either cost or earn readers. No matter what you do, the best you can hope for is a net positive, with more people friending, following and subscribing than the number driven away.

Commonly understood etiquette is “don’t talk about politics or religion” when attending a social event where a variety of people are gathered.  Why? Because the host of the function desires their guests to be friends and enjoy themselves. Therefore, no potential repelling conversation. Please.

Politics and religion are universal hot buttons.

I’ve already stuck my finger in the light-socket of politics for Christian authors with this post, so I figured why not complete the electrical circuit and talk about religion. Specifically, the Christian faith.

Christian teachers and authors are not universally loved and accepted. You only need to know Scripture on the surface to see Jesus was not universally loved and accepted. After all, he was betrayed, hunted down, arrested on made-up charges, beaten, and killed by crucifixion, the most humiliating and agonizing of all punishments.

Jesus communicated things which attracted and repelled. The first followers of Jesus often paid with their lives for their faithfulness because the message of Christ was foolishness at best and at worst, blasphemous to many of the religious leaders of the day.

Knowing you are going to attract and repel no matter what you do, makes your message worthwhile.

I’d rather an author repel someone by suggesting Jesus Christ is the one and only way to God than by a rant about another church who doesn’t use the right Bible translation or sing the right hymns.

Using Jesus’ life as an example, his greatest moments attracting thousands of people were followed by episodes which angered others. But if you look closely, it was his love, mercy, forgiveness and grace which attracted multitudes and when he did speak harsh truth and make some people angry, it was to a few who were threatened by his presence, message and actions.

Whatever you do in social media or anywhere in your author platform, make it worthwhile.

You can attract some people by reflecting anger, bias, or base-level desires you know will create a following. But for Christian writers, techniques of effective worldly communication are not worthwhile.

The only anger which is justified is righteous anger, the kind even Jesus exhibited at times.

For Christian authors, the ends do not determine the means. You are called to speak truth. That’s all.

If you are going to make someone mad, make them mad with the truth of Scripture and the reality of Jesus Christ, not because of your unwavering adherence to a nonessential theological issue.

Attract or repel for the right things. Worthwhile things.

And if you are going to attract a following, be different, attract with the love, mercy, forgiveness and grace of Jesus Christ, not around things of this world which will only pass away. There are enough people doing that already.

 

19 Responses to Author Platform and The Laws of Attraction

  1. Laura Kirk December 5, 2017 at 5:09 am #

    Perfect!

  2. Kelly December 5, 2017 at 6:13 am #

    Yes! I agree!

  3. Shirlee Abbott December 5, 2017 at 6:31 am #

    WWJP. What would Jesus post?

    • Peggy Booher December 5, 2017 at 9:12 pm #

      Shirlee,

      Good question for me to keep in mind.

  4. Damon J. Gray December 5, 2017 at 6:45 am #

    I cannot recall to whom I was speaking, but just a couple of weeks ago told someone, “If I’m not getting under a fair number of my readers’ skins, then I’m most likely not doing my job.”

  5. Sherry Eyssen December 5, 2017 at 7:28 am #

    Thank you for reinforcing this truth. I couldn’t agree more.

  6. Joey Rudder December 5, 2017 at 8:19 am #

    What a powerful post. Thank you, Dan.

  7. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser December 5, 2017 at 8:36 am #

    When my platform reached out and grabbed me by the throat (or more accurately but less visually, the pancreas), I thought about a short blog series called “Your Dying Spouse”, bringing up things folks might overlook when caring for a terminally ill husband or wife.

    We’re up to 415 posts now, and while it’s getting physically harder to write, there are still things to say, and in saying them I know I’ve irritated – or worse – a lot of people.

    My background is not one that would appeal to most who seek a dinner guest; I did violent work in violent times, and it shows. The only thing that makes writing about something like this authentic is the lens of experience, the mill-wheel of life that grinds the soul.

    And even my wife finds my perspective intensely irritating; saying “I’m good to go!” when you can’t even get off the floor is, to her, more than kinda sorta stupid.

    So I’ll write my faith and my heart from the beginning, and leave it to whoever wants to judge to do so. I’ll write the pain and the black humour and the incontinence and the sometimes monumental arrogance, and most of all I hope I convey the love.

    You can’t make this stuff up, and you shouldn’t try.

  8. Peter Missing December 5, 2017 at 9:04 am #

    Dan, I am serendipitously resonating with your articles. I recently found myself unintentionally drawn into a rabid site that exists to chastise every possible social issue in the name of God. As I had been liked without wanting it, I said to the pastor concerned, “Preach Jesus and let that offend and I will join the pantheons above in urging you on, but preach offence in the guise of your faith and I will join all against you”. I have made my peace with the love/hate tension and had to eventually be like Jesus in walking past those who would crown me (I wish) to the left or throw me off a cliff to my right, so I could be about the father’s will. But, the key is knowing what I am about. I cannot work the crowd. I think that is a mug’s game. Sure, if no one agrees or too few agree, that is an issue of relevance that requires some introspection, but to chase numbers and try to appeal too widely, is a lost cause. That said, we must then stick to that and avoid any detraction from that – as such I absolutely avoid polemics of any form as it would violate my brand persona and alienate the people who trust my tacit promise: as in the values I have stood for that first caused them to follow me. I thus, avoid politics, contentious subjects and cheap draw-cards, and so on. Its not what God wants me to do so I don’t. That demands that I know myself and make my peace with that. Jesus wasn’t effective because he did many things, but because he did a few things exceptionally well – I hope to be as true to him. I also really serve an audience of one and do so with all my heart in every thing I do, to love my audience and serve them for his glory. That spares me a whole lot of disappointment or any dependence on approval. It also frees me to say what I believe not what I think people want and eventually that is what made Jesus so universally popular – he was authentic in every way.

  9. rochellino December 5, 2017 at 9:12 am #

    Dan, you are right. Jesus attracted with love mercy, forgiveness and grace. He also attracted with truth, the whole truth .As you know He did not stand idly by and remain silent in the face of the moneychangers in the temple performing sacrilege Our Father tolerated a lot but would not tolerate this affront in the face of God. Some of us can not as well.

    I expect my outlook will likely attract and repel simultaneously as you predict. So be it.

  10. Melanie Kilsby December 5, 2017 at 9:36 am #

    Knowing how to click bait readers in one thing, having the content actually worth while is another.

    This blog post did both 😀

  11. Norma Brumbaugh December 5, 2017 at 10:11 am #

    What a relevant post! How you present the message is worth noting. We so easily get hung up on the wrong things . . . And we want to be liked, at least I do. In my life this came up recently. I have several manuscriots written and at various stage of editing. I asked the Lord which one to finish first. He directed me to the most controversial one of all of them. I thought “really?” because I’m more of a peacemaker than someone who wants people to take pot shots at me, and these would be Christian brothers and sisters disagreeing with my message. But the message is Christ and his Church. Thus, I carry on to completion what was started. We stand for truth, and that truth will prevail in the end.

  12. Sheri Dean Parmelee, Ph.D December 5, 2017 at 12:04 pm #

    Amen, Steve!

  13. Frenchy Dennis December 5, 2017 at 2:19 pm #

    Thanks, Steve. Sound advice.

  14. Carol Ashby December 5, 2017 at 2:32 pm #

    Good post, Dan. I maintain two separate websites because they serve two purposes and, it turns, out widely divergent visitors. My Roman site would be comfortable for anyone interested in the Roman Empire, although I do include detailed historical information about Christians in that time period when I can. If they click on the information related to my novels, they will find a definite Christian flavor on those pages within the site. My author site with my blog is deeply Christian.

    Strangely, I get more clickthroughs to the blatantly Christian historical novels from the Roman site than from the blog. I even have about a 2-5% ratio of sales to total international visitors from the Roman site, and those are >10% of total sales. Go figure! Are they believers looking for a good Christian read or nonbelievers who are curious about why the Christians during the Empire chose horrible deaths over denying Jesus? I hope some are the latter, but I’ll probably never know.

    Whatever the case, I try to always present the truth in love and to show how love and forgiveness can lead someone to the Truth. I think that should always be our goal.

  15. Pearl Allard December 5, 2017 at 4:33 pm #

    I’ll raise my teacup to that!

  16. Linda Riggs Mayfield December 6, 2017 at 1:16 am #

    “You can attract some people by…base-level desires you know will create a following. But for Christian writers, techniques of effective worldly communication are not worthwhile.” Wise words, Dan, but discerning what is a desire or technique to avoid can be a challenge. Several of the highest-profile Christian women writers blog about their mental illness issues, the breakup of their marriages, sexual abuse they suffered as children, and their current crusade for same-sex marriage. They have a net positive of thousands of loyal followers, but honestly, reading their posts often makes me feel like an ambulance chaser. Is there such a thing as too much transparency? Peter Missing’s reference to authenticity resonated–that seems to me to be what provides the balance, and authenticity clearly is not the same for every writer. Thanks for another thought-provoking post!

  17. Carrie December 6, 2017 at 11:56 am #

    Well said. There are enough people making bold statements in this world. We need more Christ-followers making bold statements for Him.

  18. Peter Missing December 7, 2017 at 5:43 am #

    I know a man who is a very good photographer. Great, but he will never reach world class or stay relevant if he never cares to respond, feedback or engage. He will lose his audience if he feels he owes nothing to them. He assumes that his talents, like my good looks (hah), are good enough (pah) – not in this competitive world they aren’t, not in a world where you can go from hero to zero in a wink. In an increasingly remote society, human touch and connectedness represent the last great differentiators. Products are commoditized. Service is vanillarized. But what really lifts the game is personalization, dialogue and connectedness. Those who don’t care to do that, for whatever reason, should do something else, for they have distanced themselves from what gives them a platform. I assume nothing and I have learnt, through business, speaking, writing and other pursuits, that loving your audience is paramount. Is that the real secret of success for leaders like Michael Hyatt, Chris Tomlin and a number of great church leaders and scientists that I engage from time to time?

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