Yesterday I had the absolute pleasure of being in an audience listening to the impressive Gary Vaynerchuk – the man known to many as @GaryVee. 

Gary rose to prominence in the 90s when he created WineLibrary, an ecommerce site that helped his father grow the family wine business from a $4m company to one worth $60m. Today he is an entrepreneur, CEO of VaynerMedia and highly sought after speaker. He is also an author, podcaster, YouTube star and much more.

I first heard Gary speak at Social Media Marketing World in 2016, and was a little underwhelmed, as it was a Q&A style, where the guy asking the Q wanted to make it all about him. Awful. I should be clear, I wasn’t at all underwhelmed by what Gary had to say, it was that he wasn’t given enough time to answer the questions asked as the Q guy kept interjecting with his own answers to his questions! #shocker

Yesterday’s experience of Gary was very different. He was humble, honest, raw and authentic. And nowhere near as sweary as he usually is.

Lessons from @garyvee

The wisdom of @GaryVee

The main points (and a few quotable quotes) I took away from his talk were these:

  • your mindset is everything – make it one of optimism, gratitude and positivity
  • “If your foundation isn’t right, you have no chance of long-term success” – this is true of everything we do. If you want business, marketing and social media success, you need to set the right foundation in place. However don’t overthink what you want to or have to do, the important part is how you execute it. A lot of the time we need to get out of our own way and just take imperfect action (this is me saying this!! And by we I really mean me…)
  • “if you don’t adjust to the reality of a situation, you will be left behind” – fellow business owners and CEOs, if you are not yet using social media, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR???
  • we are living our lives through our mobile phones, and if you are not yet accepting of this, and communicating with your audience via these devices, you are missing a lot of opportunities
  • we are still consuming information via the written form, video and audio, however the tools we use to consume are changing. Twenty plus years ago we consumed words via the newspaper and magazines, video via TV and audio via the radio, CDs and cassette tapes. Today we consume words via blogs; video via YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, and our preference is increasing to consume news as it happens via live video; we are increasingly consuming audio via podcasts and technology such as Amazon Alexa (sadly not yet available in Australia, but it will be soon. I hope.)
  • we need to be communicating in a compelling way so our audience acts the way we want them to
  • replying to people when they talk to you on social channels is CRITICAL. As busy as Gary is, he still finds time every day to like, comment on and share other people’s social media posts. And he does this himself. He doesn’t outsource this engagement because he understands how important it is. So all of you who want to outsource the engagement, please stop it and stop it now. DO IT YOURSELF. In the last 24 hours @GaryVee has liked two of my tweets, and in years past he has commented directly when I have mentioned him on twitter. Yes, I fangirled.
  • If you are targeting people aged 20-100 and you are not using Facebook and Instagram, you’re missing many, many opportunities.
  • Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat are marketplaces – you need to understand this and act accordingly. Ads on Facebook and Instagram are currently massively underpriced, therefore massive value. This is unlikely to be the case in another 24 months, so take advantage of it today. If you have a marketing budget, you should be using at least half of it on Facebook and Instagram (the proportions for each differ depending on the age of your target audience). If you don’t have a marketing budget, you should be spending the bulk of your marketing time on Facebook and Instagram.
  • use Google analytics, Facebook and Instagram analytics, get to understand pattern recognition and better understand your consumer
  • “we are grossly underestimating how good it is right now”
  • the importance of audio is increasing exponentially. People are becoming even more time poor, and audio allows you to reach them while they are doing other things. For example, most people listen to podcasts while doing something else – exercising, housework, driving, cooking. You can’t watch a video or read while doing something else. If you don’t currently have an audio strategy, you need to build one.
  • create content that is great advice and give away your best advice – this will help you create your brand.

What do you think? Have you seen @GaryVee in person? Or read his books, watched his videos or listened to his podcast? I’d love to know.

Mel Kettle works with associations, not-for-profits and businesses to help them communicate effectively and authentically so they attract, retain and engage their members and customers. To inquire about working with Mel, please email or click here.

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