Your Author Platform: What’s Your Ripple Effect?

Having recently finished a fabulous lunch at one of our favorite American eateries, PF Chang’s, our delightful server brought us the obligatory fortune cookies. When I cracked mine open it read, “You are often unaware of the effect you have on others.”

As I was thinking to myself, oh-oh, my husband exclaimed, “You see; people tell you that all the time!” Fortunately, he meant it in a good way. But it got me to thinking…

Wikipedia defines ripple effect as “a term used to describe a situation where, like the ever expanding ripples across water when an object is dropped into it, an effect from an initial state can be followed outwards incrementally.”

If you were to translate that into the effect that you—your personality and energy—have on those around you, what would your ripple effect look like?

Would it be a warm, confident energy that flows across all those you touch? Or would yours be that of a giant belly flop, causing a veritable tsunami to wash over everyone within miles, wiping out small animals and machinery and turning them into little pieces of flotsam and jetsam?

An interesting thought to ponder, don’t you think?


How Your Ripple Effect Affects Others

Do you know someone who by just being around them makes you feel upbeat, positive and cared about? Are you acquainted with others who have such an overbearing energy that you can virtually feel them sucking you dry making you want to back away?

In my experience, I have found that the tsunami creators rarely are aware of the effect that they have on others.

Ripple Effect On Your Author Platform


Your ripple effect is further defined by how various attributes (such as honesty, integrity, consistency) positively affect those with whom you do business or interact. For example, every time you post a comment on social media or engage another person while networking, you cause a ripple effect that touches them, as well as their fans or followers.

What I’m going to say next may seem like a “duh,” but I’m going to say it anyway. There is no place for profanity, angry rants, or negative comments about others on social media.

None. No exceptions!

If you want to do that, confine it to your private group of Facebook friends and family. Personally, I don’t recommend that either. But if it makes you feel better for the few minutes after you’ve posted it, go for it.  Just be prepared to deal with the consequences.

By all means, be controversial in your writings and posts. I’m not asking you to turn yourself into a “Stepford Wife,” (or husband) but recognize that negativity in the form of rants does nothing—nothing—to contribute positively to your online author persona. If you don’t believe me, ask a few agents, editors or publishers!

How To Gauge Your Ripple Effect

desert sandbarsBesides paying attention to your analytics, the frequency (or lack of) meaningful engagements on social media are probably the ultimate gauge of your ripple effect or “reach.” I’m frankly amazed when I see someone publicly lament about being “unfriended” on Facebook or “unfollowed” on Twitter.


First, why would you want to draw attention to that? Secondly, although that happens to all of us from time to time (perhaps we’re not posting enough helpful content) if it’s happening frequently you might want to examine your online modus operandi.

Finally, and only if you have lots of courage, ask close friends and family what effect your “energy” has on them – but be prepared to hear their answers!

A final word of advice: for goodness sake, don’t try to drastically change who and what you are! You are unique with strengths and flaws – we all are. By being aware how we affect those around us in different ways, it helps us to connect with more people, respecting our differences.

Do you have a unique way of enhancing your “ripple effect,” either in person or online?  Why not share it?   I’d love to hear from you. Please click hereto comment.

Karen Dodd


Article written by Karen Dodd

Author / Columnist, Entrepreneurial Woman Magazine

Notice: This article is copyrighted material. Reproduction of brief snippets of this article with a link to this site are permitted, but it may not be reproduced in full anywhere without the written permission of Karen Dodd at

4 thoughts on “Your Author Platform: What’s Your Ripple Effect?

  1. mirandainnaimo

    Very good article. I love seeing data on my "ripple effect" and how one post can reach someone so far away and impact their day. Wonderful. Keep writing.

  2. IreAnne Chambers

    Very good points. I don't know how many times I have found myself drafting a rant on facebook only to delete it before I post it. I have seen so many friends post a negative comment for whatever reason, get the backlash and then they feel worse than before. So much better to be positive, IMHO 🙂

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