Recently I’ve been really encouraged with the progress of HELP. There are some emerging opportunities that are currently taking shape, initiatives that are being launched and partnerships are being formed. Building a platform is not easy, but we all have to do just that, no matter what field you work in, or what dream you have, without a platform, it’s just an idea!

HELP was launched out of a church that I helped plant in Austin, TX, our church was 100-150 people, we were about two years into the launch. I say that to say this, HELP had no platform whatsoever, we had no resources to speak-of. What we did have was a network of friends, and that was our initial platform.

I’ve spent close to 15 months building an audience, casting vision, sharing our story! So far we’ve raised little money, instead we’re doing our best to create trust and spread awareness.

How do you build a platform? Here’s how I’ve done it:

1. Personal relationships: I tell everyone about our dream to rescue and restore orphans.
2. Social Media: My personal and HELP’s Twitter and Facebook accounts and this blog. However, you must have a strategy! Add value via social media, Re-tweet, make comments, and connect. Following is NOT enough, you have to engage your audience.
3. Events: We’ve done two launch parties, they were simple and effective!
4. Conferences: I attend any conference I can and my goal is never the content of the conference, it’s the connection that are formed at the conference. Content is icing on the cake.
5. Meetings: I meet with anyone I can…and than I find a way to help them, it’s never JUST about HELP. I want HELP to be a blessing to the local church, to my community, to the business person, etc. Also, a ton of these meetings happen because I connected to someone via social media outlets first.
6. Follow-up: You have to continue to follow-up on every conversation. It’s vital, send a thank-you email, a Starbuck’s gift card, (I almost always send a $5 gift card) or a quick note.

Remember, it’s vital to be authentic, you have to tell a great story and make sure you add value. It’s a two-way relationship!

Now, the last thing you need is patience. Wait, wait and wait…and wait…and little by little, you will build a platform, and then you can take the next-step, ask for the help you need to pursue your dream!