Thursday, 23 September 2021

T The Pro-Active Author

Social Proof is Required for Experts and Teachers

If you are an author or speaker or teacher or expert, are you backing up your expertise with social proof?

With a few key strokes on Google, anyone can check out the background and expertise of another person. Now admittedly not everything on the Internet is true (a fact you have to keep in mind) but each of us have access to the information. 

Recently I was teaching at a writers' conference. During a break, I checked out the bookstore and noticed one of the participants had written a book with tips about Twitter. As I flipped through the book, it had some good information. Then I wondered about the credentials of the author. With my Smartphone, I found this author on Twitter and began to follow her. I noticed the number of her followers (less than 1,000). To “qualify” as a Twitter expert, I expected this author to be above average with at least several thousand followers. Next I checked out her page for this book on Amazon. This book had been out several years and had four reviews. To her credit, these reviews were Four and Five Star but they were few in number—not at least 25 reviews or hundreds of reviews for this book. I did not purchase the book at the conference because this author did not have the social proof to be writing on this topic.

While at the conference,  I taught a class on the business of writing and included this workshop at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference as well as at Write To Publish. Anyone can follow me on Twitter or check out my books online. They will discover my social proof backs up my expertise for what I'm teaching.

Everyone has to begin their platform building and their presence in the marketplace some place. If you want my free ebook onPlatform Building Ideas for Every Author, follow this link. For many years I've been encouraging authors to blogwrite book reviews, get reviews for their own books and take an active role in social media. You have to be wise about the amount of time you spend on these endeavors because they can become a huge time suck. But it does not have to consume massive amounts of time. The key is consistent and focused effort.

My caution is to understand you need to build the background and expertise in an area before you jump in and publish a book or teach a class about it. If you are just beginning in a particular topic or area, one key method to build expertise is through the world of print magazines. If you don't know how to get started, follow this link for a detailed article. In general, print has a higher standard of excellence than online publications. The articles are short and easy to create through interviewing others or your own background. As these articles appear in print, they will add to your own expertise in a topic and give you this required social proof to begin writing books or teaching workshops on the topic.  

Columnist: Terry Whalin


W. Terry Whalin, a writer and acquisitions editor lives in Colorado. A former  magazine editor and former literary agent, Terry is an acquisitions editor at Morgan James Publishing. He has written more than 60 nonfiction books including Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams. To help writers, he has created 12-lesson online course called Write A Book Proposal. His website is located at:

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