Small Things Make The Biggest Difference | Ep. #638

In episode #638, Eric and Neil discuss why the small things can make a big difference. Tune in to hear how many different facets go into creating a successful business.


  • [00:27] Today’s Topic: Small Things Make The Biggest Difference
  • [00:36] At a past job, Eric took the footer links on the homepage and added more that said “Learn Web Design” and “Learn Web Development”. These small changes helped to improve the domain authority.
  • [01:23] The Dropbox referral program isn’t what made their company, even though it helped.
  • [01:35] Their explainer video was also a small thing that helped make a difference without making the only difference.
  • [02:00] Dropbox offered a lot of little things to help create the powerhouse they are today.
  • [02:15] It’s never just one thing, but rather a lot of little things that make up a successful company.
  • [02:45] It’s like a video game: you are constantly leveling up.
  • [03:38] Think about building things up, but remember not to do it in isolation.
  • [04:00] Figure out how you can do one small marketing thing each and every week.
  • [04:05] Even though you won’t’ necessarily see the results every week, it will pay off in the near future.
  • [04:20] When Eric started at Single Grain, the web traffic was 4000/month. Now, it is 100,000+/month.
  • [04:30] This improvement was made over the course of four years.
  • [04:41] Never expect immediate results.
  • [05:16] Eric remembers grinding away until he got results.
  • [05:44] It’s all about the journey!
  • [06:06] For the first year that Eric was podcasting Growth Everywhere, he would spend six hours putting together all the facets of creating and uploading an episode.
  • [06:17] He only got 9 downloads per day, but kept grinding away until he got more listeners.
  • [06:30] Now, they get 80,000 listeners.
  • [06:44] There was no one thing that made the podcast big, it was a combination of factors.
  • [06:48] That’s all for today!
  • [06:49] Go to for a special marketing tool giveaway!

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The post Small Things Make The Biggest Difference | Ep. #638 appeared first on Marketing School Podcast.

Full Transcript of The Episode

Announcer: Get ready for your daily dose of marketing strategies and tactics from entrepreneurs with the gile and experience to help you find success in any marketing capacity. You're listening to Marketing School with your instructors, Neil Patel and Eric Siu.

Eric Siu: Welcome to another episode of Marketing School. I'm Eric Siu.

Neil Patel: I'm Neil Patel.

Eric Siu: Today, we are going to talk about the small things that make the biggest difference. Here's an example to get things kicked off. When I was at one company, I took the links, the footer links on the, obviously, bottom of the homepage and I just added some in there that said, "Learn web design. Learn web development," all these. These are very small changes to make, but what happened was the domain authority, that the site was actually very strong, where those rankings actually shot up to number one for both of those keywords that I put in. I put in a couple other ones in there, but that's just an example of a really small thing that I did that made a huge difference in getting more students for that business.

Neil Patel: You mean when you were at Treehouse?

Eric Siu: Yeah.

Neil Patel: With marketing, everyone's like, "Aw, I just need to do this and my business is gonna explode. I'm gonna get so much more traffic and so much more sale." It doesn't work that way. The referral program didn't make Dropbox's multi-billion dollar company. Yes, it helped. That explainer video that they did, because, back then, not too many people were using explainer videos, didn't make them a multi-billion dollar company, but, yes, it helped. It's a combination of building a good product, creating that explainer video, having a simple user interface, doing the referral program, Twitter being successful at that time and booming at that time, social media being popular because a referral program wouldn't work as well if social media wasn't as popular.
Same with smartphones, but they took a lot of little stuff, like, "Install this app on your phone, and we'll give you more free space." They took a lot of little things, and they said, "If you do them, then we'll give you more space," but it's tons of small things that add up to make a big company. Most people look at them being like, "Oh, this company did one thing and that's what caused them to blow up." No, it's usually never one thing. It's a lot of little things, but most people don't take the time and attention to look up all those little things.
It's just like a business. You can't take a business and be like, "Yeah, we got one product, got amazing sales team. We're gonna crush it and we're gonna be a big business." Well, no, you also need good support, you need financials, you need billing, you need people in marketing who explain how to use a product. Whatever it may be, you have to do a lot of little things before you get the big wins because that's what adds up to the big win.

Eric Siu: Again, I go back to the framework of leveling up. You're constantly new level, new problems. When you are starting a business, it's just yourself. You're figuring out, the product itself, the service you got, and you're trying to perfect that, and then you start to hire some people, move to the next level. Let's say you surpass a million or so, then you have a new set of problems, too, and then the idea is that you're constantly in problem solving mode, and you're constantly making adjustments to these small things. Maybe this person was a fit today. Maybe that person's not the fit tomorrow. What got you here won't get you there.
Again, you start to add these little things up and you start to make overall net net. You make the right decisions, yeah, you're going to make a lot of mistakes along the way, but, as long as you keep progressing, as long as you keep chipping away, the small things will add up to make the biggest difference. That's why the footer link, that's just one of the small things, but you add in the other stuff, like adding transcripts, putting popups in there, personalization, all this different stuff. For one website, that is absolutely going to help with the traffic, with the conversion rate.
Think about building things up, but not in isolation because, if you build things up in isolation and you try to just make a blanket statement that this one thing helped this company so it should help yours, that's ultimately going to be a waste of your time and you're naïve if you think that that worked for the most part.

Neil Patel: Now that you guys know that small things add up and that's what makes a big difference, what you need to do is figure out how you can do one small marketing thing each and every single week. You won't necessarily see the results from this each and every single week, but it's all of it that'll add up. For example, Eric, when you put in the footer link, how long did it take before you saw the results on Treehouse?

Eric Siu: Two weeks.

Neil Patel: Two weeks? All right. That's quick, but, with Single Grain, you started content marketing. When you first started it off, what was your traffic?

Eric Siu: 4,000 a month.

Neil Patel: And now?

Eric Siu: 100,000 plus a month.

Neil Patel: How many years has it been?

Eric Siu: Let's see. Since I started owning that piece, about four years.

Neil Patel: All right. You started with one simple thing. Just create a blog post a week. Then, eventually, you grew it from there, but the point I'm trying to make is don't always expect results right away. The first one that Eric mentioned, he saw results in two weeks. You guys will not see results in two weeks. The search landscape has changed, and it's harder to get quick rankings, but it doesn't mean you won't see results. It just takes longer. You have to be patient, and start doing one simple change each and every single week. I don't care how small it is, just do one a week. After you do that for a year, you're going to look back and you're like, "Oh, wow, we've grown. I don't know why, but we've grown." Yes, because you did a lot of little things.

Eric Siu: Actually, come to think of it, Neil, do you remember the point that you hit 100,000 or a million visits a month?

Neil Patel: I don't remember, and the reason being is because it's not like I went from nothing to 100,000 or a million. It's just I kept grinding away and it just kept inching and inching up. Some months, it went down a little bit, but, overall, quarter over quarter, it kept inching up, and that's when I don't remember, like that day, when I hit a million, be like, "Oh, my God, I hit a million." Well, for a while, I was close. I was at 980, 990, and then I'm like, "All right. I hit a million," so it's not that big of a deal.

Eric Siu: It's all about the journey. This is the stuff that's very theoretical, but you're enjoying the journey so much that you don't really think about things as you go. When I hit the 100,000 or even, let's say, I hit 10,000 visits a month or so, it's like, "Okay, yeah, I've been doing the work anyway. It's kind of expected." You set a goal, you're going to get there. When I think about the Growth Everywhere, as well, the first one I started, those of you that don't know me, after the first year ... The first year, I was spending six hours on every single episode, doing the show notes, writing, getting everything posted, all that different stuff. Every single week, I was doing that, and I only had nine downloads a day to show for it. Went for another year, 30 downloads a day to show for it. Probably should have given up after the first year, probably should have given up after the second year, but my point is you keep going, and then, when I look at the podcast now, we're getting anywhere from, if I added different channels, we're at about 80,000 or so, but I don't know how it got there. It's just because I kept doing the work, but there was no one moment where I was just like, "Yep, that was it. That caused all the growth." Usually, very rarely is that going to happen for you.
Neil, anything else?

Neil Patel: Nope, that's it.

Eric Siu: All right. Go to to get our marketing tools to grow your business, and we'll see you tomorrow.

Announcer: This session of Marketing School has come to a close. Be sure to subscribe for more daily marketing strategies and tactics to help you find the success you've always dreamed of. Don't forget to rate and review so we can continue to bring you the best daily content possible. We'll see you in class tomorrow right here on Marketing School.

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