Why A Huge List Should Not Be Your Goal…

Lately I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my online business and the strategies that I’ve employed to get to where I am. Josh Bartlett and I have sat around for hours discussing the ways that most people get started in online business. We’ve come to the conclusion that almost everyone out there is doing it all wrong.

It seems to us that most people have this strategy that consists of basically building a list as large as possible. Their number one focus in life is to build it bigger and bigger. While having a huge list is definitely not a bad thing, most people are putting their focus on the wrong thing. I’m sure you’ve heard by now that “the money is in the list”. You’ve probably also heard the counter-response that “the money is not in the list… it’s in the relationship that you have with the list”. Obviously, the second one is probably closer to the truth. Today I’m going to put a new spin on the idea…

Focus on Building Fans Instead of Gaining Subscribers.

When I talk about a fan, I’m referring to the people that purchase every product that you create just because you made it. These people have so much faith in you that they are willing to blindly purchase what you are selling simply because you made it and they trust that what you made will live up to the quality that they’ve come to expect from you. These fans will purchase products through your affiliate links because they trust you and that you would only recommend the best for them. One fan is worth infinitely more to you that even 100 subscribers on your list.

Think of Apple Computers… They have thousands (if not millions) of fans. There are people out there that will purchase every single product that Apple puts out just because it’s Apple and they’ve come to expect a certain level of quality and usability from them. We call these people Apple Fanboys / Fangirls (and day by day I’m becoming one too). When they put out an iPhone 4, hundreds of thousands of people who already have perfectly fine, working, iPhone 3s drop their old phone to go grab Apple’s latest new toy. It happens with each new product they put out… They have fans.

Another example would be the gaming company, Blizzard. They do games like WarCraft, StarCraft and Diablo. I’m a fan of their company. In my opinion, they’ve never released a bad game. As a result, I own every game they’ve ever released. I buy the games before even reading reviews because I’ve come to expect a certain level from them and they seem to never disappoint. I am a fan…

Let’s put some math behind the idea… Written on the white board on the wall in my office I have “1,000 FANS” written in huge writing. That goal has been on board for months and months now. It is my opinion that if I can build my business to the point where I have 1,000 fans, I will be set…

One fan can be worth any amount to you. I would say at the very minimum, 1 fan is worth $100 per year. Remember, a fan buys everything you release and also purchases most of what you recommend. You only need to sell 2 products in a year, valued at $50 each for one fan to be worth $100 per year. However, at this rate, 1,000 fans is equal to $100,000 per year to your business.

Realistically, though, one fan is probably worth more like $324 per year (or about $27 per month) to your business. So at 1,000 fans, you are probably closer to a business worth around $324,000 per year. At this rate, you only need about 309 true fans to have a $100,000 per year business….

It’s fun to play with these numbers. Obviously, people who only sell and promote really high-ticket items will have a higher value per fan. However, in the high-ticket market, one fan is probably a little harder to come by.

Are you starting to see how simple the concept of building a huge income becomes when your focus becomes building fans as opposed to building a list of subscribers?

How to create fans

There are a few simple rules that myself and Josh tend to follow. Do these things and you will be on your way to building a list of adoring fans.

1. Give tons and tons of high value content for free. Use your blog, create eBooks, make video tutorials, and record interviews. Then just give them away for free. People love to get for free what most other people probably charge to give. As long as the content is quality, people will stick around to see what you’re going to say or offer next. I do my best to share everything I know and learn and I usually give it away for free. The funny thing is, that has never hurt the sales of the products I sell. So don’t be afraid to share what you know for free. People will still pay to get even more details or to dig down a little deeper in to the concepts.

2. “Learn to love getting the short end of the stick” This is one of my favorite quotes and it comes from, fellow internet marketer, Eben Pagan. It basically means that when you do sell products, sell them for a lot less than you think they are worth. Have a philosophy of always over-delivering and make sure that when people purchase a product from you, they are always getting much more than they paid for.

3. Be customer service oriented. I still personally respond to most of my e-mails myself. I do my best to answer questions about my products or my ideas to the people who take the time to e-mail me and ask them. I’m not always the fastest at responding (I get a lot of e-mails) but I pretty much always get back to people. I hired people to manage my support desk as well. I want to make sure that even if I can’t respond quickly, you will get a quick response. No question goes unanswered and theres usually someone to answer quickly no matter what time you send it. These little details really solidify the confidence that people have in you and your business.

4. Never promote anything that you don’t know much about. Don’t jump on launches just because everyone else is promoting them and don’t agree to adswaps without knowing the product of the person you’re swapping with. Make sure that you do what you can to protect the list that you do have. Don’t violate the trust that you are working hard to build by sending crap that you don’t know much about. I’m not against promoting products, promoting launches or even doing adswaps. I just think that you should never mail anything to your list unless you are confident that it will benefit them. Don’t put your credibility with your list on the line by blindly mailing them everything that pops up to promote.

5. Always live up to the standards that you’ve created. If you are going to follow in these footsteps and build a business around creating fans and trust, make sure that any products that you put out continue to be high quality. Don’t let your true fans down. It may take only one misguided slip up to ruin that relationship. Don’t blow it.

Follow these steps and you will be well on your way to creating a huge list of fans. I know people with lists of 60,000 to 100,000 subscribers that get a worse response out of their lists than people with lists of a few hundred true fans. True, sustainable wealth comes from buildings fans and creating trust, not from making a list…

If you enjoyed this post, can you do me two huge favors? Click the “Like” button to let me know that you enjoyed it and leave a comment so we can further discuss it. What are you a fan of? Do you agree / disagree with this philosophy? Get your input heard.

  • http://www.joshbartlettblog.com Josh Bartlett

    Hey buddy,

    This is a great post. Its exactly what we talk about a lot.

    I know you also actively practise this in your business and rewards will come because of that.

    I still remember being sat in a cafe whilst waiting for my car to get fixed and reading that article about Porsche and how if they get 1000 fans of a new concept they make the car for real.. regardless of the cost.. (Because they KNOW their fans will buy it and make them a profit)

    For me, it was then that the concept of fans vs subscribers was born, I realised if I could transfer this into my business and make sure I created fans rather than just subscribers then the benefits would come and everyone would win. (including my fans)

    I remember getting home and calling you up and having a long talk about the concept which become our philosophy and kind of cemented itself in our businesses.

    The funny thing is, the concept of creating a fan rather than a subscriber is so simple yet so powerful and SO many people simply don’t do it.

    If you read this post you should take away two things..

    1) Matt is one of the good guys. He ONLY ever makes quality products with his users in mind. I don’t think I have ever seen Matt make something just for a profit. He always looks at how he can help people. (This is what separates successful people from the non successful people) Pay attention to what Matt does, if you do the same you will see good success.

    This is one of the reasons why Matt and I work together, we both share this quality and admire the other for it.

    2) It is NOT hard to change your business to focus on this, and if you do success will come. I was lucky enough to create fans of Easy Video Player (my software product) and they in turn became fans of what I do. This happened because I thought about them before myself. I didn’t make the product to make a profit, I made it to help people.

    A great post which sums up the philosophy we both have in our business.

    Keep up the good work man!


  • http://www.PresslerMarketing.com Eileen

    Great advice…. if you already have a list or traffic to your site. What if you’re a newbie just starting out? Remember when you were starting out? Was it easy? Did you struggle like most people when they’re just starting their business? So you have a website, but you need converting traffic. Just getting looky-loos to your site won’t make you sales.

    Yes, blogging is one solution, SEO and building back links and whatever else it takes. It’s a lot of work for one person and not everyone is a techie. Working 24/7 to get a business off the ground, with little resources and help is usually a recipe for failure. What most successful gurus don’t tell you is that they outsource most of their work. That has been their well kept secret, until recently. Now anyone can do the same, if they know about it and want to jump start their business without having a nervous breakdown trying to do everything themselves. Not only that, but it’s the only way you will be able to have the freedom to enjoy that great lifestyle everyone talks about, but few actually get to enjoy. Now, isn’t that what it’s all about?

  • http://www.nathanrufus.com Nathan Rufus


    This post has some scary timing for me.

    I’m building my list of subscribers right now and have been thinking about this long and hard.

    I’m a real fan of a certain marketer and this man gives the most content away for free that I know.

    But as I’m just starting out am looking into adswaps and to be honest, am really worried about the quality of stuff that is being given away.

    I know that when I make a video, audio or write a blog post, I put a hell of a lot into it, and only want the same for the stuff that I “promote” tot he people on my list.

    For instance, I know this rule is going to cost me a hell of a lot of money, but I will only promote stuff to the people on my list THAT I’VE ACTUALLY BOUGHT MYSELF.

    There’s a massive difference in getting a “review” (free) copy and actually taking your hard earned money and buying it yourself and going through the buying process.

    When you do this, you think differently about the product because you will instantly know whether it’s worth the value its beig sold for because you’ve actually bought it.

    There are a lot of marketers out there making a lot of money, and the only thing that you get in their emails is a BUNCH OF LINKS.

    Not knocking someone’s hussle but I wouldn’t want to do that.

    Really have to get the balance right between the adswapping side of things and providing my own content (…which I have stacks of at the mo…)

    This post has really got me thinking.

    Am a customer of yours and will have no trouble promoting apcf to my list when the time is right. It’s good quality and thorough and am using the information to help build my business.

    Well done on the post Matt.

    Reach new heights,


  • http://www.GettingStartedOnlineFast.com Jit Uppal

    Hey Matt!

    Great post dude! The strategy you outlined here is pure gold and I really hope people realize just how important the information you and Joshua revealed here really is.

    Keep up the great work!

    Jit Uppal

  • http://www.moneywomenandbrains.com Joyce Hansen


    It’s hard being the voice of reason in the wilderness. Who wants thousands on a list who may or may not buy when you can have a fan base who will! I like your fan based idea better and i’m immediately rethinking my marketing approach. Thanks Matt.

  • http://www.newbizblogger.com Michele

    Hey Matt,

    I totally agree! Although, I still think a list is important, it’s more important to focus your attention on those that truly appreciate what you do and will purchase whatever you put out because of it.

    I had a customer once, write me a full page report on ideas for my business, because she believed in what I did and was so happy with my service…I was really take aback by this I must say.

    So yes, give all that you can and be willing to be transparent and it will come back ten-fold. May not be the way you expected, but it will definitely happen nonetheless.

    Thanks once again for sharing!

  • http://SimpleProfitsBlueprint.com Chad Eljisr

    It’s true that subscribers to your list rarely give you a second chance, but the pressure in the IM niche is very high…

    I truly believe in the “tribe” concept, as we all need to feel that we are relating to the person that is sending us email messages after email messages.

    The FAN concept is powerful. Who does not want to have raving fans? It’s just not so easy to package this into a formula, because the words “delivering value” means different things for different people.

  • http://elvintiong.blogspot.com Elvin

    I agree with this “FAN” concept. For those who don’t know how to create your fans, some tips for you — use Twitter or Facebook. Social networking is how you can create fans and drive traffics to your sites.

    I am on Twitter http://twitter.com/elvintiong

  • http://www,websitesuccesssystem.com Colette Mason

    I found this blog post through a friend’s recommendation on facebook :)

    I totally agree with what you’re saying here. I secretly despair having to operate in online markets where the “numbers game” players seem to dominate.

    I’m a usability person, so everything I do is all about treating online visitors and customers with respect…. and so much of online marketing creates awful user experiences – like spoting the 50% price discount when you click on the back button, and a torrent of exit popups….. Or those fake “You’ve got an order” emails …. argh – enough already! :)

    It’s so nice to encounter more like-minded people who value the people and relationships above the pure numbers and spammy stuff!

    Top post – thanks!

  • http://togoodtomention.com Derek Overington

    Hi Matt,

    So true what you have said here, the first thing I done after the Alex Jeffreys course was to concentrate on building my list so much so that when I got my list over a thousand I emailed my list to find that only 3% opened the email. The list had gone cold, I would of been better off with 50 responsive people in my list.

    Cheers Mate

  • http://SaneSuperWomanClub.com Carole

    You are so right. And its really so much more fun that way. I’ve had people on my lists for years. I am always amazed when a new subscriber comes through and starts buying everything. I need to make more stuff!

  • http://majicmoneyonline.com Kenneth

    Hello Matt,
    I have been a fan of yours since I was surfing looking for instructions for WordPress and came across your WordPress Classroom.
    I enjoyed this article very much and looking forward to reading many more. Thanks for all the no-nonsense advice. I get e-mails all the time from people promoting products of someone else claiming to make thousands of dollars in a few day, etc. It really gets old deleting
    all the hype. Thanks again for the valuable information in your blogs.

  • C.J.

    I absolutely agree with this, seeing that I wrote the following on Mark Dulisse’s blog three weeks ago:

    “….many marketers might say that the holy grail of internet marketing is ‘hungry customers’ who are absolutely rabid for what you’re selling, but I would go beyond that and say that the ultimate answer is perhaps ‘raving fans’.

    Because once you’ve got traffic and conversion up and running, and you focus on creating TRUE raving fans who generate boatloads of referrals, you’ll never really have to worry about traffic again, will you? I would venture that the percentage of marketers getting this nailed totally right is pretty damn small.”

    I would hope for this line of thinking to spread throughout the IM universe, but unfortunately I’m not holding my breath as it seems that pursuit of the fast buck at the expense of our humanity will always be the bane of this industry.

  • http://www.theonlinemarketplace.com Dominick Savillo

    I could not agree more with the way your thinking Matt. I’ve felt the same way for years. I’ve become tried of seeing extablished marketers using their list as a light switch they turn on with each new launch of another marketer’s product.

    How about sending some valuable content pertaining to their own business and services they use. What really gets me is when I receive mutiple emails from several marketers all using the same cookie cuter sales pitch provided by the program they’re marketing. Build a rapport with your connections so they become loyal followers.

  • http://www.siteofwisdom.com Percival J. Meris

    Thanks for sharing your idea. The first lesson I learned about list-building is that I should build a list of subscribers. Then, the second one is that it is not just a list but your relationship with that list. I have come across these lessons for a good number of times.

    Now, here you are with a different twist. I think this third lesson is the BEST so far. It really does make sense. It outdoes the first two lessons.

    Yeah, having fans is the ultimate form of relationship with your list. Not only do you have a list, with whom you have established good relationship, but it is a fan-idol relationship.

    With this kind of relationship, the marketer does not have to sell but merely recommend, and they will buy. Sometimes, not only recommend but even mention a product in passing. Because it came from you, their “idol”, they will think they will improve their status by having the product you are using.

  • http://drdebratibbitts.com Dr. Debra

    This is a great post Matt full of truth and wisdom.

    There are many marketing styles out there but a sustainable one builds trust and creates an entourage of loyal customers just as you stated.

    Wish I had heard this just starting off and taken it to heart. Instead I have gotten side-tracked many times and now need to go back and focus on building a better and more consistent relationship with my subscribers.

    Thanks again for the thoughtful and thought-provoking post.

  • http://marketingwithrick.com Rick Byrd


    I follow with what you are saying but I am not sure I am totally convinced. You won’t know if a subscriber is a fan right away; it could take months before you have an idea that they are a fan. You may have some subscribers that become fans.

    With all things being the same, the percentages of fans should be approximately the same no matter the size of your list (if you did not pay for you list). So with that reason you would want more subscribers so your overall number of fans would be greater.

    I think you should follow the rules you listed above no matter the size of the list.

    – Rick

  • Randy


    You TRULY have hit the nail on the head my friend.

    Thanks for sharing this.

    Recently I have seen more and more of even some of the better marketers I know of who have been prostituting their list and showing less and less respect for those who have subscribed to them.

    Then they want to have their list jump into bed with someone else list.

    They don’t realize it but the way it has always been isn’t necessarily the way it should be nor is it the right way.

    I would go further and explain more but I am working on a project dealing with this very subject and do not want to let the cat out of the bag.

    Thanks again for a solid bit of wisdom you have shared with all of us.


  • http://www.sallyneill.com Sally

    Hey Matt,

    Great post as always, you tell it like it is.

    I am typing this comment with 1 hand, my other is in a sling, I injured it playing Wii Boxing ha ha!

    At 38 you would think I would have grown up by now!!!

    Anyway, I know the comments in this post to be spot on, I have had a big list (still do, just very unresponsive).

    So I know for a fact list size is not important, it’s the relationship.

    I have had to take a hard decision, and start again from scratch, building my list up from zero again, but this time size is not my focus.

    My smaller list is now wayyyyyyyyy more responsive than the large one, so I think I have made the right decision.

    And who knows, by providing exceptional value and content for free, perhaps the bigger list will come round in the end.

    My focus is now on helping the people on my list, not just using them for quick fix commissions for myself.

    Your fan, Sally :)

  • http://getwritecommunications.com Dean Fitzpatrick

    You are spot on Matt!

    I believe I am a perfect example of this paradigm. I am on a couple of dozen lists, so I get tons of emails on a daily basis. I simply don’t have the time to go through all of them, but when I saw the title of the email you sent announcing this post I was immediately intrigued. Congratulations! You’ve just converted one subscriber into a “fan”! :)

  • Kevin Wilkinson

    Hi Matt …I fully agree with your thoughts. I am up and coming in the marketing field and have learned so much. It can be disquieting sometimes trying to sift through the good content and the filler. So, being on the recieving side of things I am promising myself that I will not do that to others. Like the old tv ad used to say… “quality goes in before the name goes on”.


  • http://www.jotheentreprenette.com/businessstartupblog Jo Barnes

    Hi Matt,

    I love this post! People I’ve spoken too have such different ideas about what I’m doing. My strategy is to give pretty much everything away free until I set up a membership site and then drive everyone there and then charge a minimal monthly fee ($27 maybe) and still give loads and loads and loads of stuff for free all the time, just for the small monthly fee. But many experienced IM’ers are telling me that I’m building a list of freebie takers and I need to be selling now to make sure they’re buyers. Maybe that’s true, but I love the relationship building part and feeling the relationships grow due to the free sharing of information.

    Thanks for making me feel encouraged in the direction I’m following!


  • http://www.computersnottingham.co.uk Tony

    Hi Matt

    Your theories have already been well proven by Jon Street.

    He released a program last year called the £30K Day (now out of circulation) Where he proved on video that from a list of fans, not just list members, of less than 600, yes hundred not thousand, he made £30k in 24 hours. With a slightly bigger list Jon went on to make over £100,000 in 24 hours a few months later. No JV’s in either case. Notice that’s GBP NOT US dollars. I was an avid fan of Jon until he left IM training in July and it was all down to the exact tactics and principles you have detailed in your post and in the £30k Day prog. Hypnotic regular emails, only one a week. Loads of free content. Everything of value and quality.

    Chris Remple, Jim Edwards and Mark Dickenson (Backlink Bully) are other marketers that I’m a fan of. They only email when it’s worthwhile and it’s always quality and valuable. Fellow commenter Jeff Bode is also getting there. For me Matt, you and the other Matt (Carter) are also in the same league.

    I really wish you well in your endeavors and, despite unsubscribing to many many others recently, you and only a few others I continue to subscribe to. Thanks for the article. I only hope that churn and burn marketers fall by the wayside as soon as possible.

    Best wishes


  • http://interactive-blogger.com Peter Davies


    This is a very good post which knocke the nail on the head.

    This is a great strategy and one that I have been planning but not in those terms – I see people building their lists to 10k in no time but when I quiz them if they are making decent sales, people often go quiet which says it all for me, even though I see some doing well on giveaways and afiiliate sales in the OTOs because of the traffic they are driving.

    They are building the list, getting the intial benefits from opt ins but not doing the follow up of providing value, information and free content because it takes an awful lot of time and effort – your truly has been guilty of this in the past.

    So my strategy has now shifet to something similar to yours, give stuff away without optins, create regular blog posts and hopefully in time will have a decent set of ‘fans’ as you call it.

    Too many people are drawn the the $ per month per subscriber and treat their list like cattle which is counterproductive.

    The concept of gatting people to branding yourself in this way has to be the way of building a long term sustainable business.

  • http://www.affiliate-email-marketing.com/affiliatemachine/ Allen

    Very cool post – really like it (and would even love a copy for my blog … with a link back of course … cough cough).

    Am working my nutz off to build a ‘big list’, have heard the ‘relationship with the list’ thang (which is always a little wooly) but fans … think you’ve hit the nail on the head.

    Will definately be trying this approach to a new list and working towards my 1,000 goal.

    Haven’t been to your blog in a while … that’s going to change!

  • Venkatesh

    I like this post. I have one gripe – about you, Matt, not this post. You don’t post enough.

    • Matt

      Hey Venkatesh,
      That’s actually been another struggle of mine lately. I’ve been debating about how often to post… It’s not that I don’t have enough to talk about, I just haven’t figured out the right frequency yet.

      On one hand, I feel like I can write a lot and get all of my ideas and thoughts out on to the blog really quickly. On the other hand, I worry about each individual post’s exposure. If I space out my posts a little, I tend to get much more viewers and much more people commenting per post.

      So far I’ve opted for maximum exposure per post, as opposed to frequent posts but with less views per post…

      If enough people want to see multiple posts per week, I’m not opposed to posting more often. I just want to make sure that as many people as possible read and benefit from every single post that I make.

      Thanks for commenting

  • Matt

    Thanks so much to everyone who’s left comments. This really has become an amazing community! I’m really glad to know that the people who come here and the people that I associate with have similar ideals and philosophies to me. Maybe we’re finally starting to get the world of internet marketing pointed in the right direction.

    I want to reiterate, however, that I am not opposed to promoting other people’s products and I’m definitely not opposed to adswaps with your list. I think both of these things are necessary. However, I think you can use them to further strengthen your list (as opposed to weakening it) by only promoting the good stuff that you’ve personally looked in to. Don’t cheat your subscribers and your customers by recommending something that you personally haven’t looked through.

    When approached for a promotion or an adswap, look over the product closely. Put yourself in the shoes of the customer. If it looks like junk, looks like a scam, or just looks irrelevant to your list, politely pass on the opportunity. Your relationship with your list will be better off for it.

    When you do decide to swap with someone or you do decide to promote a product, don’t use the swipe copy that they give away. Put your own voice in to the promotion and use your own words to describe how it will benefit others. Those personal touches help your list realize that you have looked in to this product, you do think it will benefit them, and you’re not just out for the quick “copy and paste” buck…

    Promotions don’t have to be an evil nasty thing. Just make sure you believe in what you’re promoting and be confident that what you’re promoting will benefit most of the people you are sending to.

    Thanks again you guys! You are all amazing!

  • http://solarenergyprojectsspain.com/blog Ronnie

    As in life…You reap what you sow. I have always believed that subscribers are hangers-on – what can you do for me?- takers.

    Fans are like your best friends. They will always give back to you and have time for you.

  • Vanessa

    Thanks Matt!
    This sounds like great 411; I’m just finished the blueprint of my website using SEO and my starter blog, Wired for Sound…teaching children to read, but I’m so overwhelmed at the moment can barely see straight! How be ever, all your tips thus far are great help.

  • http://paulteague.com Paul Teague

    I think this is bang on the mark Matt.

    I was a bit shocked recently to see how many people on a list of over 4000 were actually opening and reading my emails.

    I’d thrashed the life out of my subscribers by constant ad swaps and promos, without giving any real value.

    I’m doing the same amount of business from a whittled down list of active subscribers … there’s definitely a lesson to be learned there :-)

    All the best, thanks for a great post, Paul

  • http://www.soschaffstdualles.de Martina Roters

    Hi Matt,

    I have just got to know you, however I already appreciate your writing very much.

    I just made a German website, the title in English would be something like “How you get everything done – continuing education on top of job and family”. As soon as I have an inspiration I write another article, imagining that out there are the people that need exactly the advice I have to offer (having gone through the experience myself, having struggled…). But I am just imagining, as I have not build a list yet or even done article marketing or the like. I do not even want to make a lot of money with the e-book (I even made an audio version!), however I want to see it used by the poople that really need it, and that is exactly the group of fans that you describe.

    This is my dream and I “just” have to do the necessary steps to promote it. (It is not so easy when you are moonlighting on the internet).

    Thank you for your insights.

  • Pras

    Big thanks, Matt. You’ve just given me “the key” I’ve been looking for so long.
    You’re awesomeeee…

  • http://ChampionWebsiteServices.com Bertram T Heath Sr.

    Hi Matt, I just found you about a week ago and I have watched several of your videos and read 5 of your articles. Not only do I agree with building a list of FANS, rather than a list. I don’t see how anyone could disagree! Like any good business, unless you like wasting time and money, it’s all about the numbers. The higher your conversion rate the more money you are making. Ultimately, every business is about making money. In your example people can create a group of friends (or RAVING fans if your really good!) and a business at the same time! I don’t know about you, but that sounds more like fun than work to me! You’ve definately made a friend, follower and fan out of me Matt, keep up the great work! “B”

  • http://internetmarketingmythbusters.com Dan Tredo

    Hi Matt, Awesome post! Amazing how the timeless principles never get old – like having a heart to serve your clients, and choosing ‘other-centeredness’ rather than ‘self-centeredness’. These truths work both in life and business. Great job!
    Dan Tredo

  • http://www.joefizz.com Wayne Evans

    Hey Matt

    Loved reading your post.

    As a fellow Alex Jefferys student, I can see that you practice what you’ve been taught.

    Keep up the good work mate.



  • http://privatemall.net/infozone Mark

    I have a simple question? Why can’t more people be as quality oriented as YOU!
    Not only do you walk the walk you TALK THE TALK! Most of the lists I subscribe to
    ONLY want to sell instead of try to also EDUCATE!
    Thank you for being REAL.

  • http://www.yourproofreader.com David

    Nice work Matt. A mentor of mine who’s made a lot of money in IM says that the more he gives away, the more money he makes.
    That seems to be the key.

  • http://www.salesbyexample.com Ronnie

    Hi Matt,

    I have been following your blog for a while now and as a result have become a member of WP Classroom. I am stoked with the content!

    In my off-line business, a solar energy company in Southern Spain, i have always set prospecting targets. Part of my proactive approach is to canvass a residential area,door-to-door. I speak to approx 100 people a week (20 per day) and make approx 12 appointments to call back and quote. Roughly, 4 of these will “blow out” and i will “pitch” the remaining 8.Of these, 3 or 4 place their order at the time of quotation.

    People definately buy people first and whatever else second – i have known this for 28 years. I am looking forward to transferring this approach to my blog – which is in it’s very early stages!

    I am looking forward to the journey Matt.



  • http://www.websitepresence.org Jim H.

    Hello Matt,

    Interesting post and quite the reversal from many who promote the idea of building huge lists … I have to admit, I have never been completely convinced about the huge list theory because most people on the list will never respond or even open the emails.

    This post definitely gives us all something to think about!


    Jim H.

  • http://imemailprofits.com Luke McCormack

    Hi Matt

    Came across your blog after reading your list building guide in the warrior room. Great guide by the way!

    Your post hits so many points that we often forget about. When I started list building I was keen for the quick buck (who isn’t) but all this led to was an unresponsive list and a high unsubcribe rate.

    The key is to overdeliver.

    Best regards


  • http://lotmorewinner.com Claude

    Hi Matt,
    Awsome post man ! I totaly agree. I’ve been preaching the same thing over and over for the past 3 or 4 month.
    Peoples are searching on the net for INFORMATION and the only way to make a fan out of a searcher is tu GIVE A LOT OF INFORMATION….
    Keep up your great work !

  • http://www.dani.usana.com Dani Linkhart

    Thanks so much for this! And for the WP video tutorial! It has been really helpful. I’m still working on a few of the suggestions, but before your videos, I had no clue at all! I appreciate your help!

  • http://makeitherenow.com douglas fodor

    I did not want to take advantage of just the free videos, because I can see there is a lot here, and for 4.95, I should join. I will try to do this tomorrow so I can learn what I need to begin with to become successful. thanks,
    doug fodor

  • http://www.makeitherenow.com douglas fodor

    I will work on trying to get the 4.95 special because I see that I have a lot of work to do.
    Doug Fodor

  • http://danverssoftwareonline.com/wordpress/feed/atom Ed Davis

    Great post Matt.
    I agree with everything you have stated here. The one thing I hate is when I get 5 or 6 emails from the same marketer every single day and they have nothing to say except buy this product. I have only been following you for a few weeks but can tell you tthat I open every single email from you.
    You always have something worth while to look forward to in your emails.
    My list is very small but I try to do the same for them that I expect. As they always say. “Do unto others as you would have done unto you”.
    I am a firm beleiver in that motto.
    Keep up the great work.

  • http://www.georgeclark.info George Clark

    Hey Matt,
    Thank you for the pointers above. I am looking to start internet marketing and building a list. This is by far the best yet simplest words. Will focus on quality not just quantity.

  • http://globalsuccessforall.com Felix Miranda

    Great! Totally Agree. The money is not in the list, because a list doesn’t mean anything. What really means is persons, friends, people who trust us. Tanks a lot for this information.

  • http://LIfesabeachinsonmarin.com Lorie Durkin

    Thanks for the advice. I was recently getting a little frantic at how I was going to get a list going, via AWeber or Get Response or Google email. Now I can relax and take my time.

  • http://www.activemassager.com Jerry

    Hey Matt,
    This post is a gem that every marketer or those aspiring to become marketers should read a make be a part of their MO. Adopting such a philosophy is without doubt a prerequisite for success in any business..

  • http://- Hilmi

    I can not say any thing more than thank you for your excellent way to teach peoples, and help them in what they need I am a proud with your style, your are good

  • http://www.richcardarelli.com/blog Rich Cardarelli

    Hey Matt,
    Well done. I think You are absolutely right, about building true fans, instead of a huge list of freebie seekers or whatever. I am promoting your WordPress Classroom, because I know its a solid product.

  • http://www.landscaping-doityourself.com.au Peter

    Great post mat, Absolutely agree, we live in a society where people think they have to take to survive but one of my favorite sayings is this “We Make A Living By What We Get, But We Make A Life By What We Give” Winston Churchill.
    And I intend as many others do here build my business with these principles.

    Keep up the good work.

    All the best….Peter

  • http://onlinebusinessmakingmoney.com Franklin

    I hear you, I get emails and just wonder if these individuals really know who I am, because I sure don’t know them yet… I would like to know someone that is well mannered, business minded, good morals and good family values, these all matter to me. I want to be with those that encourage and try to help you if they can, or at least try to, instead of ignoring my call. It totally changes my mind about these type of individuals, I do the same with friends to see if they really are friends. I learned a long time ago who my friends were and I teach my kids the same thing… I ask them, are your so call friends really there for you in time of need or are they just out to use you?

  • Roscoe

    I agree….Trust and quality is everything in this business. Shortcuts are short lived!!!!!

  • http://valwaldeck.com Val

    I think you have hit the nail on the head! I always read emails from people I respect and value and delete the rest. Thanks for a great post.

  • http://LouisvilleGalsRealEsateBlog.com Sharon Vornholt

    Great post Matt. If you give of yourself first and build relationships, fans will just be there when you look.

  • http://www.kesslermarketing.com Wayne Kessler

    Great post Matt: I like what you said about over-delivering.
    I have seen too many business owners miss out on sales opportunities because they over-priced their products/services, or tried to sell before they developed relationships and established credibility with their list. It is no doubt that your success is directly attributable to your business philosophy and you deserve all the good things that you are achieving.

  • http://generousentrepreneursonline.com/boostconversionstrick/index.html Nic Penrake

    Definitely an ideal worth reminding yourself of every few days. Has to be balanced though with the reality that you can’t grow a list unless you swap and jv and you can’t do that with a tiny list, so sometimes quality control is bound to slip. In the end it’s a question of balancing the two.

  • http://workathomebusinessblog.com Michael

    A very insightful topic! What I can add is this – don’t EVER become one of those internet marketers (warriors!) who get you onto their list by offering you a report for free, then end up sending you an affiliate link in a simple autoresponder sequence every other day. If I sign up for a report, that is ALL I signed up for, it does NOT entitle you to send me your spam forever more.

    So…when this happens to me – I simply unsubscribe – so what was the purpose of offering me something for free to get me on your list in the first place?

    I agree, help me to become a fan of yours & I’ll be one for life. Keep up the great work Matt!


  • http://www.blog.themoreuknow.com Mark Whitney

    You hit the nail right on the head. I get a lot of people to my blog but not many true fans. We have a popular blog and most people just want a back link to their website. The true fans are the ones who believe in you and purchase your products.

  • http://www.blog.themoreuknow.com Mark Whitney

    Time, elbow grease plus trial and error. There are no shortcuts as many have you believe.

  • http://wpblog-themes.com/ Dee Adams

    I cam to the same conclusion myself recently, mainly because my list was unresponsive. I had to admit that I haven’t really treated my subscribers with enough respect, and that I should really start concentrating on giving them more value. I agree – quality, not quantity, is what we should be concerned with.

  • http://www.wedding-favor-bookmarks.com Karen

    I opened my email alert to this new post because it was refreshing to hear that it wasn’t a priority to be building “the list.” I have opt-in boxes on my websites but in over a year, I think I might have three subscribers. LOL

    And with Facebook, I think that’s where most of my “fans” are now anyway.

    I’ve been focusing on building more and more content rather than building a list, but then in my industry, there’s not much more I could put in a newsletter than what’s already on my site. And I can’t force people to sign up. LOL

  • http://www.blast4trafficnow.net Michael Chibuzor

    What else can I say, this post is superb and it got me inspired. I can’t wait to start building my fan base like the Apple firm. You did well and my day is made!

  • http://www.southernaffiliate.com Jonathon

    Excellent article. The gem coming in the penultimate paragraph. Quality beats quantity.

  • http://www.bipolardad.com Craig

    Hi Matt,

    I was almost in tears and this is coming from a 48 year old man when I recieved your email regarding the wordpress classroom, you just stood out as someone who I can trust, and thats saying something considering there are very few out there on the internet. What got me in that state and passionate, was that you mentioned that it is not by coincidence that I stumbled accross this and that now was the time. I have a wordpress site and I no it needs alot of work done to it, but I no that I will learn alot from the wordpress classroom when I get the money to join. I want to do this for me and my twin boys whom I love dearly. Matt, and I mean this when I say it, literally every fibre in my body tingled with anticipation of a new beginning, a new hope and yes your philosophy outlined in this article is so true, people need a mentor someone who is honest and has the benefit of people at heart and I truly believe you do Matt. May God bless you and your family and business endeavours.


  • http://www.scottcrawley.com Scott Crawley

    Matt I love what you had to say in this post, I just wish more people would take your advise, I feel they would begin to see things happen quicker!

    I have been doing this stuff for a while now, people are under the impression that a BIG list will get them well on their way to income – that is so wrong, the money is in the relationships that are formed from the list, then the fans stay with you and learn to earn.

    About 2 months ago I read one of your emails about the word press classroom, now this is Amazing because this is showing people how to earn online – everything I see that you promote is like another ingredient that people can use to create their success!

    I learn every day fromyour video library, thank you for sharing the truth with people,that is the only way they will begin to learn.

    Scott Crawley
    Skype Me: scwealth

    P.S. I will take a responsive list over a big list any day …

  • http://www.deedawber.com Dee

    Hi Matt
    I agree that forming relationships with your subscribers is an essential part of your online business.
    I think that today, a lot of well known marketers are bombarding their lists with too many sales letters in a short space of time.
    It doesn’t do them any favours and alienates most of theor subscribers.

  • http://www.scottcrawley.com Scott Crawley

    That is true some shortcuts can actually hurt things instead of help them.

    Scott Crawley

  • http://www.prasanthonline.com Prasanth V

    That was really a valuable point that every marketer should take and implement them.
    “The Money is in the Responsive list”
    If every marketer follow this concept and help their subscribers then the success of the online dreams becomes reality for everyone.
    Thank you… and you made us to remember this concept again

  • Andrew Granville

    I am quite new to this world Matt, from reading your material it is easy to see that you know what you are talking about. Your information is accurate, up to date and interesting. I get a strong feeling that you are a good human who is ethical, professional and that it is well worth my time keeping an eye on you! Does that make me a fan?

    • Matt

      Thanks Andrew! I appreciate that. I think you’re the only one who can decide if your a fan or not. :)

      If you like my stuff and keep reading, I think you’d be considered a fan.

  • http://gottodroppoundsquickly.com Cathy Gettings

    Hi Matt,

    Do appreciate the idea that quality over quantity is what will ulitmately get you what you are searching for. Now that I am working on building my list, I am starting as an affiliate but plan on soon putting out my own product, so believe in giving before receiving and plan on offering plenty of good content.

    I look forward to developing some fans, and growing into many….1,000 Fans up on the wall as a goal, sounds worthwhile.


  • http://bobsoptical.info/ Bob Day

    I totally agree a very good friend of mine Scott Crawley has been driving that mind se tin me for a while and I believe after many years in the retail optical business that if you want return customers listen to them a provide excellent customer service and they will return

    Happy New Year To You & Yours

    Bob Day

    • Matt

      Absolutely Bob! I couldn’t agree more!

      Thanks so much for your comment.

  • http://www.scottcrawley.com Scott Crawley

    Hello Bob, Matt and Mark – give people value and they will be very grateful.

    I will take a responsive list over a huge list anyway!

    Matt I love your Video’s and how you share them with others, can I email you on your subscription offer?

    Scott Crawley

    • Matt

      Hey Scott,
      It’s great advice! Fans > Subscribers.

      I’m not sure what you mean about emailing me re my subscription offer… Feel free to send me a message any time.

  • http://aerialphotographyacademy.com/blog David Rodwell

    Well I am in awe. This is so contrary to the conventional wisdom.

    I have been “unsubscribing” all week to the “lick em and stick em” marketers….get a name and start sending 2 to 3 mail-outs a day…each with some other WSO or whiz bang deal.

    There are countless sales, marketing and general life books that have been telling these words of Matt’s for years.

    Where did we lose our way?

    I think many lost their way because the Internet can be an anonymous place. No one really knows you…and really… there are always millions of other suckers.

    It is pretty expensive to locate and secure a new customer, subscriber or “fan” and almost nothing to keep one. Yet we see the scorched earth that follows some folks around as their marketing efforts leave victims in their wakes.

    Getting “Fans” looks like a lot more fun to me…and you never need to worry when some stranger comes up behind you at the grocery store.

    • Matt

      Haha. Great point David! I still subscribe to a lot of lists because I still like to watch what everyone else is doing. However, if you’re cool with the people on your list and you treat them well, you’ll get a great response from them.

  • http://www.galfridayadmin.com Deborah

    Great blog Matt! I’m new to knowing aobut you, but in the past week that I’ve read your emails and blog posts I have quickly come to see you are a person of integrity and that is admirable. You are spot on with this mindset of quality over quantity. I love the word sustainable and the power it carries in all levels of our life: from food to business to relationships. If we function in a state of push and pull and lose connection with our authentic self then no matter how many people we have on our list it will be all for naught. I’m a huge fan of Laura Roeder’s product and business model/methodology. After going through one of her workshops I now purchase everything she sells and follow every article/blog she releases. When someone is true to themselves and cares about what they put out into this world, it’s easy to want to support them. Bravo to you! Slainte!

  • http://Noneyet Dr. Marta Oyhenart

    I am new at this. From a strategic standpoint, your article is excellent! I wonder, how do you cope with the problem you mention about the high volume of correspondence you receive and the commitment you made to answer it all personally.

    Cheers and good luck!

  • Jeff Irick

    Excellent post, Matt. I agree 100% with your philosophy.

  • Ray Maselli

    Great blog and good reminder is a world that is off track in many ways. I hear you saying maintain your integrity to self and others. Practice the Golden Rule. I also like the phrase once told to me by a former boss that I live by. “Do Right and Fear Not” That’s
    what I hear you saying as well. Your principles are good rules for all of us to follow. Thanks