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Everything Big Is Small Again

Everything big is small againDo you really need to reach all 3,000 of your Facebook friends all the time?

How about your email list of 33,000 people? Do they need to receive a message from you every day? How about every week?

And what are you doing with 3 million Twitter followers, 1200 daily blog visitors or 6,539 Facebook fans?

Is bigger the best we can do?

What’s the purpose to spend so much time, money and effort making everything big?

Donna and I have been building our business to bring folks beyond “engaged” and into the realm of the “involved”.

Check it out here if you’d like to see exactly how we’re doing it.

From my standpoint, I’m seeing that everything big is small again.

I believe small and highly focused is the next wave in building an online business.

What do you think?

David Merrill 101
I'm an Internet Marketer and Online Marketing Coach. My students learn no-nonsense, power strategies and techniques to build solid blogging and internet businesses. David Merrill+

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39 Responses to Everything Big Is Small Again

  1. donna merrill June 6, 2014 at 1:38 pm #

    Hey David,

    Awesome message you have given here. Indeed, I am on the same page as you.

    There is a great difference between engagement and involvement. I’m the “social butterfly” of our company and engage all the time on social media. Although it is great to do, and a heck of a lot of fun, when it comes down to business, who exactly is involved with business?

    Way back in the day of my offline business, I was never chasing numbers. Now that was about 30 years ago, and that business is still going strong. My clients were and still are involved with me. The word of mouth factor had so much to do with it.

    You, of all people know how much I love my clients…and now their children who have grown and call me.

    The same principle applies doing business on line. I rather have 500 involved customers that millions of people in my business whereby I cannot deal with them directly. Hey, I’m a people person and so are you.

    When it gets down to it, we both share that passion of helping others. OK I’ll stop blabbering.

    donna merrill´s last blog post ..Taking Time For Your Self

    • David Merrill 101 June 10, 2014 at 12:04 am #

      I guess you know as well as anyone… how to build a very successful business by working intimately with your clients. That’s probably where I first learned how powerful this method is.

      It may not be for everyone. Not everyone feels comfortable working closely with their customers and clients. They’d rather offer their affiliate links, products, services… whatever… from a more anonymous position.

      That’s okay, too. We both love working with people, so building our business in this way just makes sense. And it’s both rewarding and fun!
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Best Blogging Business Model

  2. Gregory Bowen June 6, 2014 at 10:29 pm #

    David I think your right …or at least I hope your right….because I have thought this way for a long time…..I found out that I can’t get involved with a huge list of people ……but with a big list of friends or E-mail list…a person can find out who is open to being involved…then that list can be worked with…….so in my little mind I am trying to “Engage” a fairly big list …to fish for the ones I can be “Involved” with…..and a more manageable …not so overwhelming size ….Do I get this right?….Thanks David ….Smokey
    Gregory Bowen´s last blog post ..I Have Some New Stuff Happening Here….Take A Look!

    • David Merrill 101 June 10, 2014 at 12:09 am #

      Sounds like you’re heading in the right direction, Smokey.

      To “fish” for people on your email list who might want to get more deeply involved with you, try segmenting your list. Do that by asking people “who would like to hear about xyz”. Give them a link to a squeeze page asking them to opt in to a new list (a segment of your main list) of folks who are really interested in xyz. That’s how you can refine your list of followers into people who want to engage with you on different topics that you want to lead them into.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Everything Big Is Small Again

  3. Marquita Herald June 7, 2014 at 12:36 pm #

    Absolutely agree David. Just one example of how my own attitude has changed is with my list – when I first started I was devastated when someone unsubscribed! While I still value every person on my list, if someone isn’t engaged or not interested, I am seriously happy to see them leave. (Though they do receive a sincere “sorry to see you go” message.) I’d rather have an engaged/responsive list of 500 than a worthless list of 30,000 with little or no engagement. I have the same philosophy when it comes to social media and I admit I’m pretty picky about who I add as a friend/follower or to one of my Circles.
    Marquita Herald´s last blog post ..How Clearly Can You See Your Future Self?

    • David Merrill 101 June 10, 2014 at 12:12 am #

      Sounds like you’re doing it right, Marquita.

      Keep your list lean and responsive to your messages and calls to action.

      As you point out, there is really no purpose to having a big list of people who have little interest in what you’re doing. It’s also expensive, because you have to pay your auto-responder service according to the number of subscribers you “carry” on your list.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Everything Big Is Small Again

  4. Sue Bride June 8, 2014 at 12:45 am #

    When I started social media promotion for my business I tried to get as many followers as possible. I even used like exchanges but of course ended up with masses of followers who did not have the slightest interest in what I was doing. I even bought likes (once) and gained a large following of people who only wrote in Russian. All this led to Social Media Fail.

    I started concentrating on quality not quantity. Since then I’ve focused even more tightly with the help from a couple of small but very helpful groups of people – including you David.I can therefore testify that the methods you talk about in your video do work.

    Engagement and communication is the key for developing personal contact and social media interaction is increasingly important for SEO..
    Sue Bride´s last blog post ..Coming Soon Team Site Traffic

    • David Merrill 101 June 10, 2014 at 12:15 am #

      Thanks for sharing your story, Sue.

      It’s never a “fail” when you learn your lesson and move forward in a smarter, better informed way. Sounds like you have 🙂

      Keep up the great quality, it is certainly the hallmark of what you do online.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Best Blogging Business Model

      • Sue Bride June 21, 2014 at 12:55 pm #

        I really got back to where I started, blogging for the love of it and enjoying and writing content on topics that contacts and regular readers showed more of an interest in, or asked questions about.

        You’re right, I did learn from my efforts to attract all and sundry. Having a more engaged community motivates me more and I believe my content has improved because of it.
        Sue Bride´s last blog post ..Buy Team Site Traffic

  5. Ryan Biddulph June 9, 2014 at 8:57 am #

    Amen David! And the irony is, when you focus on tiny, small, steps, everything number wise gets big, because you stop chasing numbers, detach from outcomes and do what matters. Thanks!
    Ryan Biddulph´s last blog post ..3 Travel Pictures and an Update from Phuket Thailand on a Gloriously Beautiful Day

    • David Merrill 101 June 10, 2014 at 12:27 am #

      Excellent point, Ryan.

      When you stop focusing on big numbers and killer results… and just get involved with helping the people who follow you to reach their goals and overcome their obstacles… ironically, the numbers and results just start happening!

      I guess it’s a case of “a watched pot never boils” 🙂
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Best Blogging Business Model

  6. Kyle Nelson June 9, 2014 at 11:17 am #

    David – – I totally agree with your statements. I think instead of a large following we need to focus on the followers that are truly following us. Be on top of building relationships, being engaged and then responding to your following is the way to go. Looking forward to the future of attraction marketing!
    Kyle Nelson´s last blog post ..What Separates Great Leaders From Good Leaders

    • David Merrill 101 June 10, 2014 at 12:28 am #

      I guess the word for this process might be “nurture”, Kyle.

      Stop “building” your list, and work toward nurturing the one you already have.

      Thanks, Kyle.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Best Blogging Business Model

  7. Nathaniel Kidd June 13, 2014 at 7:17 pm #


    I definitely have heard many of the things you talk about. I hope we are in a period of contraction as you stated. Having a huge email list or thousands of twitter followers does not do much good if your customer is not interested in what you have to offer.

    Focusing on smaller groups and engaging with them makes much more sense to me, instead of the current model of building huge lists and followings in hopes that you capture a small percentage of them through sales. Great post and advice. Thank you for sharing.
    Nathaniel Kidd´s last blog post ..How to Save Money as a Wedding Guest

    • David Merrill 101 June 22, 2014 at 7:07 pm #

      Building a tight, intimate following is definitely my favorite business model. It’s not the only one. But it’s definitely my favorite for the time being.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Best Blogging Business Model

  8. The Food Curator June 15, 2014 at 8:54 am #

    David, You have hit the nail on the head! A smaller more focused client list or set of followers is far more valuable than masses of people who are not really you ideal client or interested in your product or service. It really is a case of quality over quantity!
    The Food Curator´s last blog post ..Sunday Roast

    • David Merrill 101 June 22, 2014 at 7:11 pm #

      Well, it certainly is more manageable. I guess it depends a lot on your “ideal” business. For me, it is one in which I can be closely involved in helping my clients move forward and reach their own goals. Now, that’s not necessarily what everyone aspires to, but it works for me.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Best Blogging Business Model

  9. Sarupa Shah June 15, 2014 at 6:42 pm #

    In my business I can offer a finite time and yes I can leverage with products etc…however boutique is part of my band…and yes with these big lists open rates are much less…you are a wise man David and SO lovely to hear your voice too!
    Sarupa Shah´s last blog post ..3 blogging tips for heart centered entrepreneurs…

    • David Merrill 101 June 22, 2014 at 7:13 pm #

      Thanks for the kind words, Sarupa. Sounds like you’ve got your “boutique” brand doing what you need it to. Good job. Now, just keep doing more of the same and you’re right where you want to be.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Best Blogging Business Model

  10. Heather June 15, 2014 at 11:28 pm #

    I could not agree more with this post. I have been working to grow my business but keep it small at the same time. I want to make sure I can still interact with my readers and followers. I feel that it is so important. I love it when big blog writers still interact with me, even if they have thousands of followers. It makes me feel like they really like me.
    Heather´s last blog post ..Father’s Day

    • David Merrill 101 June 22, 2014 at 7:17 pm #

      It’s great to build a business that reaches people on a personal basis. It’s not always easy, but it sure feels good when it’s firing on all cylinders. But you already know that, don’t you…
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Best Blogging Business Model

  11. Rachel Lavern June 16, 2014 at 1:29 pm #

    Hi David,

    I am with you. I don’t seek big the numbers. I prefer having people who are in focus mode because they are the most motivated people and they are engaged. I do not see the point of worrying about how many followers we if they are not “clicking”. First, work on building value…establishing relationships to prove that we are worth following.

    The beauty of building a subscriber-focused online presence based on valuable content is that you can do well.
    Rachel Lavern´s last blog post ..Are You Facing Your Fear – Pt 2

    • David Merrill 101 June 22, 2014 at 7:21 pm #

      I can tell you’re on the same page Rachel. It’s all about bringing folks into “focus mode” and keeping them there. Nice to hear from you.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Best Blogging Business Model

  12. William Amis June 17, 2014 at 5:32 pm #


    We run our operations the same. Understanding that little consistent steps are the best. This, works with smaller groups as in the old days. We had a list of twenty people who we would setup appointments for a presentation. Then, we had to complete face to face at their homes. That was the exciting times.

    Now, it is coming down to basics again. We have grasp reality, and understand not do follow a broken method that was and still is utilize in the snail mail programs. Thousands to view offer, that doesn’t work. It is time consuming and costly.

    If you have something that you use yourself. You are the best marketing method. Get to know people and find out if you can enhance their lives with something you are passionate about and use.

    Thank you David. I always learn from you each visit.
    William Amis´s last blog post ..Establish, Look and Be A Company!

    • David Merrill 101 June 22, 2014 at 7:35 pm #

      You got the system, William. I know you have built your business on this level of engagement. It’s a good case in point to show how this works in real time.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Best Blogging Business Model

  13. nick catricala June 20, 2014 at 8:41 pm #

    well, well.. here you come up again with something that is really interesting and some how I resonate 100%..

    The reason why I resonate 100% is that in a way or another I always have been doing what i feel good to do, and really do not pay attention is 5000 people listen or read about or not.. I just do it for me and it has been working very well since I never go to find out how many people I have .. what really could is to be true to your self and do what you believe in and the people you are connected with (even if a handful) will fulfil the void that we all crave.. to be seen as we truly are and when that happen even if one person does it… it mean the world.

    You and Donna are doing a great job sharing and teaching so much of what you learned and do every day.. I am certain your success is fulfilling and I am happy for both.
    nick catricala´s last blog post ..A Lifetime Commitment -Part 3 of 5

  14. Mark June 20, 2014 at 9:30 pm #

    Well said David:

    And it’s far easier to be tight and focused instead of large and thin. You make many excellent points, especially in your video.

    Thanks for sharing your insights!
    Mark´s last blog post ..How To Market Your Business Using An Effective Exit Strategy!Part Five

    • David Merrill 101 June 22, 2014 at 7:46 pm #

      Nice to hear from you,Mark.

      I do like to keep things “tight and focused”. And I see it as the emerging model for doing business online.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Best Blogging Business Model

  15. Marty Diamond June 23, 2014 at 12:25 am #

    It’s always back to the 80/20 rule – 20% of your list will produce 80% of your revenue – so focusing on that 20%, meeting their needs and finding more like them, needs to be the goal of anyone truly interested in growing their business.
    Marty Diamond´s last blog post ..What Do You Do After You First Apply Google Anayltics to Your Website?

    • David Merrill 101 June 29, 2014 at 10:46 pm #

      You’ve got it right, Marty.

      Sticking to the 80/20 rule is just something that always works, isn’t it? Pretty amazing how it always works out that way.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Best Blogging Business Model

  16. Nile June 24, 2014 at 6:08 pm #

    I’m in agreeance with Marty… she said what I would’ve. I list to grow my lists and followers, but I always know the rule in the end. These are the people I can work with and building lasting relationship.
    Nile´s last blog post ..WordPress Support Tips – Wait, There’s Etiquette?

  17. Yorinda Wanner July 12, 2014 at 11:26 pm #

    Hi David,
    what you are saying makes a lot of sense to me.

    Focusing on quality rather than quantity is probably not only better for our clients but also for us.

    Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge!

  18. David Merrill 101 July 13, 2014 at 8:36 pm #

    So true, Yorinda.

    It we always strive for quality, we will bring people into our business that appreciate that. Once we’ve won the trust of our followers, the rest comes much easier.
    David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..The Shortest Path To Online Success

  19. Lesly Federici July 14, 2014 at 11:10 am #

    Hi David,
    I absolutely agree! First of all, you can’t be everywhere! Some thing will give way. But staying focused and connected with a small group of people is such a smarter way to go about things. “Big” is overwhelming… smaller is realistic … thank you for reinforcing my own thoughts on this …
    Lesly Federici´s last blog post ..All About Lesly

    • David Merrill 101 July 27, 2014 at 4:58 pm #

      I think “big” projects, “big” followings, “big” memberships… I think all these “big” things scare most folks just trying to get something rolling.

      They think they must make things big or all is lost, so they stall, hit the reverse gear, start again… they just don’t get anywhere.

      “Small” makes it believable, attainable and much more do-able. Once it’s in motion, you can decide on what limitations you might or might not want to impose on it.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..The Shortest Path To Online Success

  20. Liz Delaney September 10, 2014 at 8:49 pm #

    What you say makes so much sense, David. I know I have willingly joined people who were in a smaller group. I felt more ‘at home’ in those groups. The support was more personal. I think it has to be so much easier to devote your time and attention to smaller, more communicative people who are willing to teach and learn from each other.
    Liz Delaney´s last blog post ..Tuesday Tips – 10 More Ways of Finding leads

    • David Merrill 101 September 21, 2014 at 12:43 am #

      You make an excellent point, Liz.

      Working with smaller, tighter groups of like minded people is a more comfortable and supportive place to be than some big, faceless mega crowd on a forum or Facebook group. Not to say, of course, that you can’t find these tight groups within forums or FB groups. We have to look around and find those groups that resonate with us, or create them ourselves.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..The Shortest Path To Online Success

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