Fri, 31 October 2014
#QOTD: No question for this one! I need more banter!! I'm looking at you, VaynerNation ;)
I absolutely hate when people send auto-messages after they've gained a new follower. I have actively un-followed most of you when you do this because it speaks to your intent on the platform. You're looking to scale social media on a platform like Twitter that's simply not scalable.
Twitter is the only true social network because it functions like a town square. A place where you can jump into conversations without sounding/looking creepy. The other networks are pushing content where Twitter is still the place for actual conversation.
When you go and auto-reply in a "town square," you're the same as the guy walking around just dishing out their business card at a conference or networking event. YOU'RE THE GUY THAT PEOPLE HATE. It's the wrong move. You're not putting any effort into engaging with people. You're auto-replying in the town square and providing no depth, no value.
What do you honestly think is going to happen when I receive that message? I'll tell you what's going to happen. I may sign up for your newsletter and you're going to email me and it's going to go to spam and I'm not going to engage. Why? Because there's no context established. That first taste, that first impression, all of a sudden is sh*t, and you've lost.
Tue, 28 October 2014
#QOTD - Are you a chugger, or did you have a turning-point moment, and if so, what was it?
If I were a realtor, the thing I would do more than anything else would be to review the establishments in my area. If I'm selling homes in Millburn, NJ, I'm putting out a daily piece of content featuring the the school, then I'm interviewing the individual teachers. I'm reviewing every single local shop: The wine store, the sandwich shop. I'm interviewing people who have lived in the neighborhood for 50 years. I'm putting out content to make you romantic about the area.
People pick where they want to buy a home for a lot of reasons. Some of them are practical: Public transportation, distance to schools. But how about making it a little warmer and interviewing Mrs. Robinson the 3rd grade teacher? I remember a realtor telling me that someone moved to Short Hills because of Wine Library (That was such a cool feeling, by the way).
So I'm doing daily content about the 20-mile radius around the area where you're selling homes. I'm finding the stories tucked away around the neighborhood, and all the iconic things that make your area what it is. Those stories are what will create the emotion that could be the tipping point in selling someone their next home.
Mon, 27 October 2014
#QOTD: What do you think of GaryVaynerchuk.com? Questions, comments, concerns? What’s your $.02?
Email is definitely not dead. As most you may know by now, I’m a big fan of marketing in the year that we live in. And so, email remains to be a very killer opportunity.
Email is a channel that you can control without being at the mercy of all these other platforms that are out there. But, we also can’t be naive to the changes have been made, such as the promotions tabs that GMail implemented recently. Sure, email is falling off and these changes have caused us to lose touch with some email lists that we may have been paying attention to prior, but it’s still very much in play so long as we leverage it wisely.
Are open rates at 90% like I had in 1997? Absolutely not. But, I still believe email is very much something to be considered. There’s no question that email will certainly be less valuable in 3-5 years. Heard me say marketers ruin everything? That’s where this fits in perfectly. That’s what this is all about. Platforms come along. They present value. And marketings pounce on the opportunity to arbitrage against their audiences.
But, while us marketers are working to exploit and potentially ruin email marketing, we’re still in a time where it should most definitely be considered as part of any business’s strategy.
Wed, 22 October 2014
#QOTD: Are you a Vayniac or part of the VaynerNation? What's the difference?
If I were to go back in time and start all over again, I would change NOTHING. From 22 to 32, for the first ten years of my hustle, I remained quiet and I put in the work. I did the work that allowed me to have the audacity to go out and build the Gary Vaynerchuk brand.
The notion that there's people out there that are growth hacking, and getting exposure through other people's podcasts, and leveraging the brands of others to build themselves as "experts," is LUDICROUS. What are these people actually experts in? What have they accomplished to be deemed an expert?
Here's what I did and why I think you should listen to me when it comes to business. I am in the midst of building my second $50M plus business in a 5 year window. Is it $50 Billion? No - but it's a very substantial business. I was ahead of the market and I executed. I put in the work, I built up the business at a speed many can't comprehend, and I did the things that allowed me to be worthy enough to have a shot at putting out a $15-20 book and amass the following that I have.
So my question is, what did these self-proclaimed experts do to claim that title? If you want to be an "expert" in your craft you need to be in the trenches, day in and day out. You can't just rely on modern day technology to build up your brand. The notion that people are leveraging these technologies and the brand equity of others to build their name is LAUGHABLE. You need to actually execute. You need to earn the opportunity to be a personal brand. You need to show them the proof. If you're an actual expert the proof should be in your forethought, your wins, and your execution.
Fri, 17 October 2014
#QOTD: What is your favorite candy?
First of all, if you want to increase engagement with your content, you need to make sure you're putting out quality product. Once you know that you're hitting the right notes with the material you'e putting out, you need to put your efforts into business development.
When an opportunity presents itself, pounce on it. Hustle. Be mindful of the environments and conversations you want to get involved in and be sure that you're offering them value in exchange for what you want from them -- exposure.
When I didn't have the base that I have now, I was out on the streets hustling for Wine Library, formerly named Shopper's Discount Liquors. I was walking into any business that might be relevant to my community and passing out flyers and coupons one-by-one to gain more exposure. Nobody gave a crap or knew who we were but I knocked on doors and made sure we got the exposure we needed.
So, can you biz dev? Are you willing to hustle to make it happen? Are you willing to work 15+ hours a day to make it happen? In today's world, there's so much room and opportunity to bring value to somebody, but it's never going to happen if all you care about is yourself .
Thu, 16 October 2014
I am one of those people who used to think that tons of companies were overvalued. However, I was eventually proven EXTREMELY wrong. As I learned throughout the early Internet days, inflation happens, the world changes, adapts, and now I'm starting to wrap my head around the notion that things aren't actually as over-valued as they may seem at first sight.
But, this notion of over-under-valuation is definitely a doubled-edged sword. There will be plenty of businesses overvalued due to early-stage hype, but if something has proven to have won and you think is the future of infrastructure, such as an Uber, then we need to start paying close attention.
And of course, there's plenty of people that have lost money buying into "over-valued" companies, but then again, many have won. When we need to start looking close is when things hit scale. In the early Internet days, many people thought Amazon and EBay were over-valued, until of course, the world began to catch up with them. They were just a step ahead of everybody. When the world begins to catch up, and normal people start to interact and utilize these platforms, that's when you're going to see a shift in scale.
The underlying difference in all of this is whether these shifts in value are temporary or long-term. If the signs point to a long-term, strong valuation, then it's likely that they're just working in the future, ahead of the game, while others are caught trailing from behind.
Mon, 13 October 2014
#QOTD: Are you going to subscribe to my podcast? YES or NO?
#QOTD2: What can I do to make my podcast a TREMENDOUS experience for you?
An interesting question was raised here about taking a course/class in order to become a social media marketer. The truth is, I'm self-taught. I didn't take any courses in social media, but in general I was never a real good student and never took any substantial classes in business or marketing -- But, that's seemed to work out for me just fine :)
I think all this really just boils down to being self-aware and knowing yourself. I honestly think that 99% are you are clowns, and are just reading headlines, rather than being actual practitioners and going deep within each platform. I'm even scared of you taking a course because most of the courses I've been exposed to during speaking engagements were jokes -- either the course itself or the teachers involved came off as clowns.
My honest opinion is that Social Media right now is in a very awkward and early stage. If you look back at the early internet marketers of 1995, they were spewing out a ton of garbage as well. So the timing is difficult now, but I can say confidently that I would feel a lot better about you taking a "course" 5 years from now rather than today.
So, in this whole circus type of environment, it all scares me. The most important thing you can do is be surgical, knowledgeable, and become an actual practitioner. However, for this particular instance, there's too many variables to consider. Are the courses good? Can you actually learn in those environments? Because I can't - hence why my advice is to become a practitioner as best you can, because that's what I've done, and that's certainly worked for me :)
Sun, 12 October 2014
#QOTD: What's your favorite thing about San Francisco?
To me, a name is made. I have some friends that sit around and spend wayyyyy too much time trying to figure out the name for their startup. What did "Google" or "Facebook" mean to anybody outside of their inner communities when they weren't the household names we know today? None of these words mean ANYTHING until they're SOMETHING.
Some people email me saying they don't like their own last name. My response? You're emailing Gary VAYNERCHUK. Let's call it what it is, Vaynerchuk SUCKS. And yea, they'll be those that tell me it's unique and kinda cool, and I get that - BUT, it's only good because I made something out of it.
And so, what does a name actually mean? To me? NOTHING.
I actually think a new trend in this short-form world we live in will be that most business names will start getting abbreviated. People used to call me "V-Chuk" because they didn't want to call me by "Vaynerchuk," and that became my slang last name. We will evolve our name to our convenience so long as it brings VALUE. And so, stop worrying about the name and start worrying about the product.
#ProTip: If your full name is available for a dot-com, go ahead and purchase it. I highly recommend it.
Sun, 12 October 2014
#QOTD: What do you think of the 3-question episode vs. the 5-question? Let me know!
General statements like "you should move your budget to digital video" scare me. Typically when people think about online video they think about spending 5/10% on the overall production and then 90/95% on the distribution. Of that 95% of allocated budget, they just end up pounding the users with right hooks and wind up pissing them off.
So what does online video mean to most people? It's the pre-rolls on YouTube where people end up tabbing out and don't end up consuming the content. OR, they're going to sites like ESPN.com and getting pounded by 30 second videos that waste OUR time, which I'm sure pisses most of us off.
What I'm most worried about when I hear about these allocations is that I actually like live TV commercials better than the online videos that end up blocking the users from what they actually want to do or see. As I've stressed a million times before, this comes down to providing VALUE.
So when I hear these notions versus what I know the practitioners are actually doing, it bothers me because I know that they're spending their budgeted dollars on video that is annoying customers. They end up putting these videos in places where the consumer doesn't want it, versus putting a larger percentage of the money on making better quality content and putting it in places where people actually want to consume it -- such as in native Facebook dark posts, where the user has the option to view or not.
In theory, it's great that traditional dollars are moving to digital but unfortunately people continue to misplay it because they're not focusing on providing actual VALUE.
Fri, 10 October 2014
#QOTD: Who is the biggest influence in your life right now?
As an entrepreneur, I default into assuming it's always going to be competitive. It doesn't matter if "nobody is in your space" because if you're any good, and you've figured something new out, EVERYBODY is going to be in your space eventually.
To me, competition between startups is the same old game: Better product, better service, better execution. Those are the things that will drive your business.
When you're David, you shouldn't play Goliath's game. When you're Goliath, you should CRUSH David.
Here's an example: Did anybody think it was weird that, for three years, I NEVER mentioned VaynerMedia. The truth there was that my size (or my lack thereof) was my advantage, and I couldn't let these other big guys know how huge we were getting! I was learning the landscape. Now that we've got the money and the scale to compete, you'll see that I'm talking about it more.
The important thing is to NEVER PLAY THE OTHER PERSON'S GAME.