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Focusing On The Few, to Reach The Many

Focusing On The Few, to Reach The Many

Seth Godin recently explained a principle he calls “First, Ten.” An interesting idea of this principle is that spending time with the few in order to reach the many is, in fact, more effective than spending time with the many to reach the many.

The Magical Penny

We all remember the trick we were taught in elementary school. Go home and ask your parents if they will give you a penny on the first day of the month, and then double it every day for just that month. Day two is 2 cents, day three is 4 cents, and so on. In return you would promise never to ask for any more money, as long as you lived.

A penny doubling for a month, at first consideration, seems harmless. Until we do the math. As it turns out, under this system of payment you end up receiving over $10 million on the final day of the month. What began as a lowly penny has turned into a fortune.

The “First, Ten” Principle

Let’s get back to Seth’s advice. He says the following:

“Find ten people. Ten people who trust you/respect you/need you/listen to you…

Those ten people need what you have to sell, or want it. And if they love it, you win. If they love it, they’ll each find you ten more people (or a hundred or a thousand or, perhaps, just three).”

Now we’ll make some assumptions and do some analysis on this idea. First, you spend a week finding 10 people. Now, let’s say in the next week, each of those 10 people brings you just one more person each. Now you’re at 20. Let’s say the same thing happens the next week, bringing you to 40. Continuing on, we will have over 5,000 people in 10 weeks, over 150,000 in 15 weeks, and over 5 million in 20 weeks.

Now consider the quality of these potential customers – they didn’t hear the message from an advertisement or from you (except the original 10); they heard it from a third party source that they knew. And that makes them that much more likely to trust you and become a customer.

Focusing On The Few

Our quick analysis shows that this can be an extremely effective, albeit somewhat unconventional, way to market. Have you ever considered taking an entire week, and focusing on finding and marketing to just 10 people? Take all the work and time you would have spent designing advertisements, sending copy through various marketing channels, optimizing online ad campaigns, and all other marketing activites, and spend that time instead focusing on just 10 people.

Spend time finding the right ten. Spend time explaining your product and service, showing it to them, letting them test it, and answering all their questions. Spend time getting their feedback, allowing them to become more invested. Spend the time necessary to gain their trust and respect. Forget about all other marketing efforts for the week. Your only goal, by the end of the week, is to have 10 evangelists for your company.

Assuming your product or service is worth something and really does provide value to these people, you are about to have a lot of business on its way.