Small changes can change everything

Photo credit.

Growing A Community Around Your Own Cause…

We’ve been talking a lot about the power of community in the past few weeks – both our community at Live Your Legend as well as the fundamental importance of the people in your own town.

To take that a step further, today I want to give some very specific tools for growing your own online community around a cause you believe in.

And it comes in the form of a special treat for you all – an insider’s look into the workings of LYL.

Whether you’re currently building a career around your passions and the impact you want to make, or you’re working towards getting there, building an online community is a huge part of making it possible. After all, nothing at LYL would exist without you all.

So to teach us all a few things, I want to introduce you to my friend Derek Halpern.

His site, Social Triggers, is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs use proven psychological principles to grow their business and communities.

And he’s damn good at it. In under two years he grew Social Triggers from 0 followers to a community of over 100,000 fans.

The Small Tweaks that Can Cause a Movement to Explode

A few months ago Derek did a “site review” of LYL, where he recorded a screencast picking apart our design and user experience. It was more than a bit humbling, but the education was priceless.

This video was filmed last December. I wanted to wait to post it so I could first measure the actual results of his suggestions. It turns out they were dramatic – and I still have a lot more work to do.

You’ll notice in the video that our subscribers were about 21,000 when we filmed it. Today, six months later, that number has nearly doubled. While lots of factors contributed to the growth, I know his suggestions were a huge part of it.

In fact, one of his simplest pieces of advice lead to an additional 10,366 new members to our community. And it only took a few hours to implement. Watch the video and see if you can guess which it was!

And as an added bonus, Derek’s a passionate New Yorker – he’s intense, he’s sharp and at times even part comedian.

Get out your note pad, pay attention and have some fun!

There might even be a few more than 5 tips in here…

Don’t see the video? Click here to watch it on LYL.

What 80/20 Are Your Missing?

Often times the smallest tweaks lead to the most dramatic improvements. So the magic question always comes back to – which 20% of the effort yields 80% of the results? It’s a question I’m constantly asking about every part of life. I encourage you to experiment doing the same.

Thankfully, in the case of building an online community, Derek removed the guesswork. And a lot of you are probably reading this because of it.

Need more help?

Be sure to have a look at how incredibly simple Derek’s Social Triggers site is. Basically black text on white background. But he adds massive value and his community loves it. Amazing to think what I’ve learned from him in the past months and years.

And for a deeper dive, have a look at his Social Triggers TV (his recent episode on How to Meet New People Who Want To Help Your Business and Career is spot on!). His free newsletter and tools on building community are also damn powerful.

Once we know the right places to focus our energy, magic starts to happen.

Your task this week? Pick one tip from the video and apply it to your own project. Then come back and report the results.

Here’s to building a community around a cause we believe in. Thanks for being a part of this one!


For the comments: Can you see the changes we’ve made at LYL since Derek picked the site apart? Some are big, some are small, and all of them had a lot to do with our community growing by nearly 100% since we made the changes (and our conversion growing by a lot more than that). Also, let us know what you plan to implement!

Btw, this is just the beginning. We plan to make some major changes to the design and flow of LYL in the months to come. We’re always doing all we can to improve the experience for you all. Keep an eye out!

P.S. And finally, this week we will be posting the recording of last week’s live webinar on How to Build an In-Person Community of Inspiring Passionate Supporters. Thanks to all who joined us live!


  • Pingback: 5 Overnight Changes that Grew Our Community & Conversions by 2-3x: Derek Halpern Dissects LiveYourLegend | Internet Biz List

  • Kevin Park

    Great interview. I’m looking forward to implementing some of the ideas you guys discussed and seeing improvements.

    • Scott

      Awesome Kevin – good luck with your own site!

  • Joy

    Scott – I’m 15 min into the video and already see 5 changes to the LYL site. Good stuff, worth the watch!

    • Scott

      Love it – guess there were a few more than five ;)

  • Tim

    I was just writing about focusing on the 20% . I’m a bit of an efficiency nut, so it’s my focus.

    I haven’t seen this review of Derek’s. Good to see him preaching the good word – reduce clutter, increase usability & relevance.

    Great job implementing the changes!

    • Scott

      Thanks Tim. There’s still a lot to be done but so far the 80/20 has been huge.

  • Darlene with BlogBoldly

    First off I love Derek! I saw his other site critiques and so I’m thrilled to see a new one.

    He cracks me up at about 26:00 when he yawns. LOL

    Well, I’m glad I listened to this because I was just getting ready to change homepage. I have too much going on.

    Now (after hearing video) I’m going in dif direction for homepage.

    30:00 he talks about something I’m doing post on because it’s such a GREAT idea and very few people do it. In fact I found the idea by accident.

    Thanks, darlene :)

    • Scott

      Haha. Glad you dug it Darlene! That guys seems to know his stuff. Come back and share the new homepage when it’s done!

  • Brian Kwong

    I can see more than a few changes on here, like the feature box, optin box background, optin box copy, Tedx talk above optin box, new optin page for “free tools” so which small change gave you the biggest result? :)

    • Scott

      Good eye! By far the biggest results came from the feature box, as I mentioned in the post. That was huge.

      TEDx also has helped but I think that’s more of a credibility piece than anything, which helps conversions throughout the site. And the free tools has also gotten a lot of attention but it links to a common page so I’m not tracking that as closely as I should (shame on me!). But we’ll do a lot closer tracking once we get into the new and refined LYL design (don’t hold your breath for that one though – those can take a while ;).

      Hope that’s helpful!

  • Christine

    Love it! I have started researching how to get more hits for my site recently and I’m loving both your site and social triggers site too! Thanks for sharing the video. I’d love to see where the suggested changes take you! Good luck and keep writing amazing content.

  • http://ArtofAdventure.Net Adventure Insider

    35 minutes of great information. It seems like there are a 1,000 and 1 details to learn and know when starting a blog and maximizing results. And as a newby I am learning it all to well.

    This was very helpful.

    Thanks Derek & Scott

    Adventure Insider

  • Kristin

    Thank you for recording and posting this. You have a ton of information to share. I’m in the process of starting a blog. I plan to have it be more of an online resume at first, but eventually become something more. I don’t have a full vision, I’m open to where it takes me. This video has come at a great time since I’m in the design process of the blog. My next goal is to add the email subscription to the blog tonight.

  • Kurt


    Lots of useful info! I like the focus on signup boxes. I have a couple of horizontal signups in the middle and bottom of my About Page. But hadn’t thought of putting one at the end of blog posts. Good suggestion!


  • Petra

    I feel ashamed I did not see Derek’s blog before.
    Thanks for pointing it out.

  • Lorena

    This was fantastic- thanks for sharing and letting yourself be the example. I always learn more from real world examples than just a theoretical example. I’d love to see a follow up post as to which changes you found to be the most effective. Keep up the great work!


  • Pingback: 10 Step Half-Year Blog Checkup | Liz Strauss at Successful Blog

  • Yuheng

    Thanks for sharing this video! It came just at the right time as I’m tweaking my blog. I especially love what Derek is saying about experimenting and testing things out just to get a feel of it!

  • Melanie Harth

    This is fantastic! Love your transparency, Scott. Derek clearly knows what he’s about :-) . The two of you working together provides a terrific showcase. My site’s a big, fat mess as I transition my niche — I’ll use everything I’ve just learned in this video to uplevel. Just in time for WDS!!
    DrMelanie from CWA

  • Etienne

    I enjoyed this video. My site is still pretty new, but I added the opt-in box to the bottom of my posts. Thanks!

  • Veronika

    thanks so much for sharing! you are doing something right, I find my self hanging out on your webside almost every other day! when my webside has started, I will definetely recomend your side there!!

    • Scott

      Haha. That’s awesome!! Well you’re in good company around here Veronika :)

  • Robin Oxford-Davis

    Scott, this was so brave, congratulations and thank you for sharing! I definitely benefited and implemented some the suggestions. I found you some months ago when I started my blog and the changes are making a difference…your site FEELS better, if you understand what I saying. When I visit a site, I want to feel that the mission is organic to the sites creator in addition to providing innovative information and resources. This is definitely taking root for you…Congrats again!

    • Robin Oxford-Davis

      One more thing…that little pop out thing that jumps out from the side, is a little annoying. I’m in the middle of reading something and trying to take it all in and …BAM! there it is. It seems to be a little aggressive. Your message speaks loudly and we hear it. I not sure that this type of marketing for you and your message is necessary.

      • Scott

        Thanks for both your comments Robin and your feedback. We have been experimenting with different sizes of the form. We only have it show up near the bottom so that people who’ve read the post and get to the comments have a chance to join up. You make a good point though on size. On my 13in screen it doesn’t seem to interrupt what I’m reading but I can see where you’re coming from with a different screen set up. We will continue to experiment. Thanks again and so glad to have you a part of things!

        • Robin Oxford-Davis

          Hi Scott;

          Thanks for your gracious response to my comment, I was concerned that I came off abrasive, which absolutely wasn’t my intention. I so admire the energy and sincerity that comes across at LYL and I appreciate and benefit greatly from you living your legend.

  • Stefan @

    Awesome, thanks for sharing this. It’s amazing what kind of changes you can make to your conversions by making small changes.

  • do breast actives results last

    Please let me know if you’re looking for a article writer for your blog. You have some really great articles and I think I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d absolutely love to write some material
    for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine.
    Please send me an email if interested. Thank you!

  • breast actives review side effects

    Greetings I am so thrilled I found your site,
    I really found you by error, while I was researching
    on Yahoo for something else, Anyways I am here now
    and would just like to say thank you for a remarkable post and
    a all round exciting blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to read through it all at the minute but I have book-marked it and also added in your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read much more, Please do keep up the superb job.

  • green coffee extract weight loss does it work

    I am sure this piece of writing has touched all the internet visitors, its really really pleasant paragraph on building up new web site.

  • breast actives side effects

    This is really interesting, You’re a very skilled blogger. I’ve joined your rss feed and look
    forward to seeking more of your fantastic post. Also, I’ve shared your web site in my social networks!

  • breast actives reviews scam

    What’s up, I desire to subscribe for this blog to obtain most recent updates, thus where can i do it please assist.

  • Pingback: What’s Happening In Internet Marketing: June 7, 2013 -

  • Curently

    It is then our intention to start the transition at two per month. Logistically it takes time to swap out a technician to a new van and we do not want to overwhelm ourselves, although the sooner we switch the sooner we start saving. google

  • whole house filter system

    Your style is unique compared to other people I’ve read stuff from.
    Thank you for posting when you’ve got the opportunity, Guess I will just
    book mark this site.