“Your platform isn’t big enough.”
If you’re a writer, speaker, or ministry leader, perhaps these five words have squelched your desire to share the message burning within. In today’s digital world, speakers and writers are expected to grow their own following–or platform of influence–before gaining access to a microphone or book contract.
But as a Christian, is there a way to gather followers and still follow Jesus? Is it possible to both build up your stats and take up your cross? How can you reconcile promoting yourself when you’re called to humble yourself, or elevating your name when you’re commissioned to elevate Christ’s?
In Influence, you’re invited to a platform-building coaching session with the carpenter from Nazareth. As you set aside fears, examine hidden motives, and gain decision-making clarity, you’ll emerge with new confidence and awareness–ready to step out and shine the light of Jesus from the platform God has strategically placed beneath your feet.
About the Authors
Shannon Popkin loves to blend her gifts for storytelling and humor with her passion for God’s Word. Shannon is the author of Control Girl, and speaks for Christian women’s retreats and events. She is a blogging contributor at Revive Our Hearts.
Shannon has been married to her husband, Ken, for 22 years and together they live the fast-paced life of parenting two college-aged kids and one high-schooler in Michigan.
Kate Motaung is the author of A Place to Land: A Story of Longing and Belonging, A Start-Up Guide for Online Christian Writers, and Letters to Grief. She is the host of Five Minute Friday, an online community that encourages and equips Christian writers.
Kate and her South African husband currently live in West Michigan with their three children.
What readers are saying about Influence:
“I’ve never read a book before that hit at exactly what I was struggling with so much so directly.” – Kaitlyn Mason
“This is such a needed topic for Christian business builders and ministry workers! Since I am at the beginning of launching my coaching/speaker/author biz I have had a lot of the questions you ask in the book. I am excited to get clarity from God as to the how, the when and the if of building my platform. And doing it His way and not mine.” – Patti Reed
“I should have known that the Bible would have the answers I needed. Kate and Shannon went straight to scripture to show what Jesus would expect from us as authors who are building a platform.
I have had so many takeaways from the book. Mostly I’ve had a shift in thinking. When I consider the platform that God has already created specifically for me and think of building onto what he’s already started in me for His good and glory, I can trust Him to finish this thing He started in me.” – SJMC (Amazon reviewer)
“Every writer, speaker, blogger needs to read this and keep it on the shelf as reference whenever they feel discouraged or too big for their britches.” – Jennifer C. Bryant
“This book gave me a fresh perspective and how I could still make Jesus Christ the focus during the marketing process. I have marked so many godly nuggets throughout the book that spoke specifically to me! Thank you, Shannon and Kate, for writing this book and giving us a godly perspective as we navigate the publishing journey!” – Crickett Keeth, author of “On Bended Knee”
“With wisdom and grace, Kate and Shannon serve as our wilderness guides, leading us through the deep valleys, treacherous terrain, and hopeful hollows we all face on the journey from fearful wanderer to front-line warrior.
Real-life stories, powerful analogies, and penetrating questions energize and equip us for each new adventure while keeping our focus and priorities firmly fixed on Christ and eternal results. Read it. Share it. Live it!”
” ‘Platform’ is the word that makes every new speaker or writer’s heart quake. (And lots of us down the road are still shaken!) Tackling everything from social media to pre-sales, Kate and Shannon look at platform-building practices with a biblical lens that will calm our trembling heart.
This book helps to transfer our confidence in our messages to Christ once and for all. Influence has given us a Scriptural foundation on which our platform can be safely built.”
“Influence is a book I didn’t know I needed until I read it. Kate and Shannon give permission to use our gifts for God’s glory and then show us how to focus on making a name for Jesus instead of making a name for ourselves.
The authors exposed my pride, fear, and selfish motives, but through their wise mentoring and refreshing honesty, I’m emboldened to step into my calling as a woman of influence.”
Influence Interviews & Podcasts
Kathi Lipp is founder of Communicator Academy, a national speaker, and author of 16 books including “Clutter Free,” “The Get Yourself Organized Project,” and “The Husband Project.” Over the past 10 years, Kathi has helped hundreds of people increase their platform through teaching and coaching. She is a frequent teacher at writer’s conferences and has helped countless authors and speakers find their audiences. I was delighted to join Kathi’s for a “Communicator Academy” podcast interview, where we discussed my new book, Influence: Building a Platform that Elevates Jesus (Not Me).
Here is the episode’s title and content summary:
- The mindset that you need to serve your people.
- Why NOT to be fuzzy about your mission.
- How to influence a group of people as a christian writer.
- Overcoming fears about stepping out and building your own platform.
Marnie Swedberg has mentored over 15,000 leaders from 35 countries. She is the author of 13 books, the Founder/Director of WomenSpeakers.com and Bible Study Expo, plus the host of the #1 Ranked and Featured Blog Talk Show, “Perspective Transformation Radio”.
During this hour with Marnie and guest, Shannon Popkin, you’ll discover:
- 3 critical questions about platform-building as Christians
- The 2 ditches of platform-building
- The secret of building a platform that exalts Jesus (not me)
- 4 new challenges faced by today’s digital influencer
- A simple strategy to give the underconfident influencer courage
- A simple strategy (the same one!) to keep the overconfident influencer humble
- 2 God-appointed strategies for spreading truth and light
- The secret to breaking free from the “Comparison Trap”
- A 3-step “heart sifting” formula for determining next steps in platform building
- 5 guidelines for godly (not pushy) networking
- The key to aligning your platform-building efforts with God’s
Laurie Krieg, BA / Executive Director of Hole In My Heart Ministries / Laurie began HIMH Ministries with a prayer seven years before it launched. “God, if there is hope for me, please let me pass on this same hope to others.” That prayer turned into this equipping ministry, including the “Hole in My Heart Podcast”.
In this episode, titled “The Need to Be Affirmed“, we explored how to let God affirm us while navigating the murky waters of speaking the message he gave us. Put on your lifejackets because we are going to dive in.
This article appeared on Next Step Speaker Services, which is a speaker coaching service hosted by my friend, Amy Carroll. Amy is also a speaker and writer for Proverbs 31 Ministries and the author of Breaking Up with Perfect.
Here’s what Amy write about this article: “
“One of the great blessings of building your ministry is that you gain a community as you go. Last year, Cheri Gregory and I interviewed Shannon Popkin, author of Influence, on Grit ‘n’ Grace, our weekly podcast. Shannon has quickly earned a place on my “favorite people” list, and I fell in love with her even more as I read her newest book for endorsement. I wrote a whole-hearted recommendation and immediately asked her for some content to share with you. You’re going to love her advice!”
This article appeared on the Revive Our Hearts “Leader Connection Blog” hosted by my friend, Leslie Bennett. I have so enjoyed every opportunity Leslie has given me to write for the blog, but especially this article, highlighting some of the concepts from Influence.
Here is Leslie’s kind endorsement:
Influence is a book I didn’t know I needed until I read it. Kate and Shannon give permission to use our gifts for God’s glory and then show us how to focus on making a name for Jesus instead of making a name for ourselves. The authors exposed my pride, fear, and selfish motives, but through their wise mentoring and refreshing honesty, I’m emboldened to step into my calling as a woman of influence.
Revive Our Hearts, Women’s Ministry Initiatives
This article appeared on the Speak Up Conference Blog. I have loved serving on the faculty for this conference, and I’m so thankful for all of the friends I’ve made. I’m also incredibly grateful to Carol Kent, who leads with such passion and humility. She is such an encouragement to me, and so many others.
If you’re interested in speaking and/or writing, you should consider coming to the Speak Up Conference!
My friend and co-author Kate Motaung has put together an amazing series, interviewing 10 different authors on the topics of Influence!
From Kate: “I’ve been SO blessed personally by the opportunity to record these conversations with Christian writers I love and respect, and I can’t WAIT to share the wisdom and inside tips they’re giving away for free!
Here’s the first video, with Kate interviewing me on the topic of “Tension”.
To receive these interviews in your inbox, sign up here!
Spread Light &
We hope you’ll encourage others to lift Jesus high by sharing these graphics with friends or on social media.
“Kate and Shannon have written a much-needed resource for authors who want to steward their God-given message with prayer, impact, and purpose.
In my work with hundreds of Christian authors and publishers, their main focus remains constant: They each desire to share the Gospel in a way that honors God first and foremost over themselves.
Often the business side of marketing and selling books can create a real tension in this space between stewarding a message well and self-promotion. What I love most about (insert title if there is room) is that it offers a sigh of relief along with a balanced approach on how to address this tension with grace and confidence.”
“Today’s author faces pressure like never before to plug, push, and promote her own work. This is difficult for most writers, who’d rather craft books than sell them, and even more so for the Christian called to self-forgetfulness over self-promotion. How can we play our part in the contemporary publishing world without losing our soul?
In Influence, Kate Motaung and Shannon Popkin place platform building where it belongs—in the context of character and calling. Recounting their own failures, successes, and lessons alongside biblical insights, they help us navigate fear, comparison, and other perils while encouraging us to humbly share our gifts. This is a timely, helpful book reminding us that platforms are best built for the service of God and others.”
“Influence is the book every Christian needs who influences or communicates through writing, speaking, or a social media platform. Shannon and Kate’s honest, biblical, and refreshing perspective on the industry provides a professional compass for both new and seasoned writers and speakers. Their message reflects my own passion and struggle with ministry and marketing.
Their book lets you know you’re not alone in those feelings and provides a practical, biblical roadmap to share your message in today’s generation. Influence is something I will read again and will share with those I coach and teach!”
Kate & Shannon:
Kate is an introvert who cringes at the thought of a spotlight centered on her. Shannon is an extrovert who has to remind herself to limit exclamation points and smiley emoticons. Kate is a social media expert, with experience promoting other clients’ platform-building efforts from both a Christian and secular perspective. Shannon is a Bible teacher and speaker, with experience in various ministry settings.
By combining their unique personalities, and diverse skill sets, Kate and Shannon deliver a book that will be relatable to a wide audience of Christian influencers.
5 Questions Every Christian Speaker or Writer Must Ask:
How can I make noise, and still be humble?
Does Jesus want me to be strategic?
How can I weigh my own motives?
Should I become an expert platform-builder, or just trust God?
Am I self-serving when I try to network?
In Influence, you’ll work through these questions and more. But rather than just share the conclusions we’ve come to, we want to invite you to hear directly from the One who has called you to influence others: Jesus.