Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Bad Ways to Build Your Platform (Part 1 of 4)

(another post from Twila)

We’ve discussed several good ways to build our platforms. Now I want to give you a few examples that will have the reverse effect.

At one time Cec and I hosted an online radio show. I received three emails within a short period of time from a man pitching himself as a guest. Here are excerpts:

Tuesday, 8:13 p.m.
I am (name of person), author of a powerful book entitled (name of book) and I want you both to have a free copy of my book. It is about Christ and how one may be born again. You will love it because it is a book like no other. If you write me at the email address up above, I can send you the screen version for your enjoyment, or I can mail you a paperback, or you can purchase one at Amazon for cheapest. Quite simply, when people read my book, they get saved. I am always happy to talk about it and, of course, I would jump at any invitation to discuss Christ's plan of salvation on your show.
Thursday, 3:57 p.m.
Hello Twila! Hello Cec!

I'm (name here), and ya'll are in for a real treat! This book is going to be something you won't want to put down… Once you start reading this book, you won't be able to put it down; however, because this book is sooooooo powerful, Twila and Cec, the devil will do everything in his power to keep you from reading it. Satan will even try to convince you that it's a waste of time. The "father of lies" will do everything in his limited power to keep you from feasting on the nourishment contained within my humble book -- so, don't let him win. Satan will win if you drop your guard. This book is such a weapon against him that he will utilize everything within his means to keep you from reading/understanding it, or even "giving it a chance."

Feel free to ask questions. If, at some future point, you'd like to have me on your show, everyone is in for a real treat. Many will get saved. Christ will be honored. And, of course, we will not mention any names that appear in my book (I believe in good taste!).

ATTACHED you will find:
1) the book
2) the book's cover

Please read it slowly. Let it sink in. Read the whole work, Cec. Read the whole work, Twila. Each chapter is unique and will please you, challenge you, disturb you, thrill you, and make you appreciate Christ all the more. I guarantee it.

IN SUM, I'm just a regular fellow. I teach English at: ____________.
He attached a press release and encouraged us to look at his “one small, yet powerful, review on Amazon!” And he closed with this: “P.S. -- there are only about 3 grammatical errors in the entire 160 pages -- see if you can spot them!”

Thursday, 5:29 p.m.
Just a follow-up...
Dear Twila, I'm just trying to make sure you got the copy of my book that I sent to you (via email) earlier today.

Twila, if it never reached you, let me know and I'll send the original email again. My Internet Service Provider has had issues in the past, so, I just wanted to see if you got it.

In sum, I can't wait until you and Cec delve in to my book. It's unlike anything else you've ever read, before! As such, and because we have an arch enemy who doesn't want it to reach you, I'm attaching it again "just in case."
BTW—I checked out his book on Amazon and noticed the title had a misspelled word in it.

If you hosted a radio program, would you want to have him on your show? Tell me your thoughts.

* * * * *

Twila Belk, aka The Gotta Tell Somebody Gal, is a writer and speaker who loves braggin’ on God. She works full time with best-selling author Cecil Murphey and enjoys teaching at writers conferences across the nation. Twila has written or co-written five books and contributed to several others. For more info, visit www.gottatellsomebody.com.


  1. I can't begin to tell you how many agent submissions we get that are similar. In answer to your question, no. I would not want to have them on my radio show. :-)

    1. You could probably fill a book with bad examples, couldn't you, Diana? I'm amazed at the people who think it's the proper way of pitching themselves or their work.

  2. I had to smile when I read "my humble book". If his book is humble, he certainly is not. And no, if I had a radio show, I would not want to have anyone like that as a guest. I don't think I would even want him commenting on my blog - would probably delete it. I think he might win a contest for the most ridiculous spam comment, though.

    1. Several parts of his emails caused me to smile (and even laugh out loud). I thought his line about only three grammatical errors in the whole book was especially effective. That's something to promote. :-)

  3. In sum: No.
    He's a nut, unless he's just a recording. Ha.

    1. A nut maybe, but at least he was persistent. :-)

  4. I think it depends on your radio show. If your show is a serious program, then no, don't have him as a guest. If, however, you have the kind of show that aims to shock, awe, and promote heated arguments, then by all means, make it a call in show and let him on!
    I am not yet published, but I'm looking forward to more of this series on what not to do: so far it's encouraging me that I could be doing a lot worse with my proposals!

    1. You bring out a good point, Katie. When marketing ourselves we need to make sure we're a good fit for the program/audience. We weren't a good fit. And yes, we can learn a lot from other people's bad examples.

  5. Hmmm, yea. Makes me want to listen. Be sure to let us know when you have him on. :-)

    1. Vonda, the bad news is that we no longer have our show. The good news is that you have a show, and he'd like to be on it.

    2. Of course! Why didn't I think of that! :-)

  6. Twila: This is enlightening. Thank you for sharing. I am working on a project that has me going about things very cautiously. I will be on guard for these types of comments in my work.

    1. I'm glad this bad example was helpful for you.

  7. Well, on the one hand, he's very enthusiastic & optimistic so he might be quite entertaining. The "one small but powerful review" & "only about 3 grammatical errors -- see if you can spot them!" certainly made me laugh.

    He might be good on a show with a panel of guests, to potentially add another level of drama. Kind of like how The Bachelor always has at least one bachelorette who's funny but a complete mess & they keep her when everyone knows he's not interested but the audience likes to watch a train wreck.

    On the other hand, folks like this are a wild card so it would be risky. For instance, his enthusiasm might end at the keyboard. And of course, like Katie wrote, it sounds like he would not have been a good fit for your program.

    Maybe he should contact Trinity Broadcasting. Or Montel.


What are your thoughts?