10 min 6 sec

CLASSROOM: The Power of Your Own Small Army

Wondering how you’ll get your products and services to your ideal customers? Chances are, you already know some of the people who can help.

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What It's About

How to utilize and mobilize your social networks.

Notes from Chris

Episode 1192
Last week’s episode was all about a Side Hustle sprint, essentially a question posed as a thought experiment: what if you had to launch a project in two weeks or less?

This week I’d like to discuss a topic that is dear to my heart. It’s highly relevant to the current climate of the world, yet it’s always relevant (timeless!) to those who want to advance a message or sell a product or service without being overly sales-y and in a way that is relationship-focused.

I call this The Power of Your Own Small Army, and the best way to talk about it is through a story.

Way back in the day, when the cavemen began to emerge from the stone age and I set up my blog on Wordpress, I didn’t know much at all about blogging. I followed people like Gretchen Rubin and Leo Babauta and a few others, but I didn’t have a lot of resources, I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to write about, and I certainly didn’t have a business plan.

So what I did was decide to build this movement, one person, at a time. The only business goal I had was getting people on my email list and eventually write a book … I didn’t really have anything to sell them.

Well, I set up that blog and people slowly began subscribing, and for every one of them, they got the usual “Thanks for subscribing” message. But then I also sent them another personal note that said “Hey, this is Chris - I saw you joined my blog The Art of Non-Conformity. That’s awesome! Let me know what you think and if I can help you with anything.”

I did that for about a year and a half or however long it took to get my first 10,000 subscribers. Finally I stopped, but during that time I had gotten to know at least a little about probably 3,000 or more of that first group … which was very helpful!

Then when I went on my first book tour, I adopted a similar strategy by visiting every U.S. state and every Canadian province. I remember those gatherings very well, especially the smaller ones that didn’t have a lot of people. All along the way, I got the chance to have group and individual conversations that then set the path for the next few years of what I did.

This is all about a model I call the power of a small army.

Why am I telling you this? You may not want to send 10,000 emails and right now most of us shouldn’t be touring - I’m a little sad that I’m not leaving today on what was going to be a big tour.

The point is that you can reach people one-by-one too.

Not every person can be a customer—but there are other ways they can help. They might be an ambassador, a mentor for specific insight, or a connector.

Listen to today's Classroom episode to learn more...



Who will be in your small army, and how will you recruit them?

  Inspiration is good; inspiration combined with action is better. Now get back to work!

Yours in the revolution,


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To infinity and beyond,

Chris Guillebeau