In recent years, Gary Vaynerchuk has been inspiring a generation of young and hungry entrepreneurs to execute their ambitions and dreams.
The serial entrepreneur is a subjective figure – you either love him or hate him. The foul-mouthed rants and his confrontational approach to motivational speaking can be too much for many. Meanwhile, others find Gary Vaynerchuk’s style refreshing in a world of polished personalities in suits and ties. The last thing Gary is interested in is perfectionism. He is all about being himself which I love.
Gary Vaynerchuk, overwise known as Gary Vee, is best known as the CEO of VaynerMedia, a full-service advertising agency that delivers content and manages campaigns for some of the world’s most recognizable brands. Gary Vaynerchuk’s client base is impressive and he attributes much of this success with VaynerMedia to the power of branding.
Even if Gary Vaynerchuk didn’t have millions of people around the world following his social media channels, this is still someone that service-based business owners can learn from. There are many entrepreneurial gurus online that can talk a good talk, but Gary Vaynerchuk is someone that actually has the track record to support what he preaches.
People follow Gary Vaynerchuk for different reasons.
As the years have gone on, the broad spectrum of topics that he recovers only continues to widen, from business practices and self-awareness to schooling and parental advice. This ability to cover all bases has helped Gary’s content appeal to the masses. The number of followers that he has gained in such a short period of time is truly remarkable – and yet not surprising, particularly to Gary himself.
So, what can a productized service learn from Gary Vaynerchuk about branding? There is certainly no shortage of content from Gary Vaynerchuk to browse through and consume. The sheer volume of content that is consistently distributed is incredible. Whether you’re looking for written, audio, or video content, Gary’s team is pumping out dozens of posts every day across a variety of social media platforms.
After consuming Gary Vaynerchuk’s social media content for several years now, I have learned many lessons about the power of branding. I briefly took some time to reflect on what I have learned from Gary Vaynerchuk’s content on branding, condensing my thoughts down to three key takeaways that can easily be applied to productized services.
Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook – Content That Brings Value To The End-User
Gary Vaynerchuk believes that building a following on social media is a form of commerce. If you want to be able to convert your followers into customers, you must first provide them with some form of value. When you scroll through social media or any other marketing channel, so many branded accounts are simply just promoting their products and services.
This might seem like very standard practice for most businesses, but there’s a fatal flaw in this strategy. If you’re not providing your following with any value before your ‘big ask’, how can you expect them to care about your products and services? Rather than going straight into ‘the ask’ and getting your followers to make a buying decision, why not provide them with some form of value beforehand?
Essentially, you need to be doing more “jabbing” and less “right-hooking”. Gary Vaynerchuk likes to use the metaphor of boxing to describe the transactional nature of marketing. A right-hook is content that is posted primarily to sell your product or service. A jab is a piece of content that is designed to provide your target audience with as much value as possible.
Let’s talk more about “jabbing”. In most cases, content that provides your target audience with value is likely to have an educational angle. As an example, if you run an on-demand, graphic design productized service, you could write a blog post about color psychology and share it across social media and incorporate it into your email newsletter.
Instead of asking your followers to subscribe to the on-demand graphic design service, you can provide them with value through your content to subtly educate them on the benefits of using an on-demand graphic design service. Once you’ve done this for a while, you can throw a “right-hook” and encourage your audience to subscribe to your productized service.
In a digital marketing landscape, your brand needs to provide audiences with as much value as possible across all marketing channels. This means that you need to think about your followers before you think about yourself. Take the time to craft meaningful content that will position your brand as a “giver”, rather than a “taker”.
Engage With Your Audience
There’s nothing worse than scrolling through branded social media posts to find dozens of comments from an enthused follower base with no replies from the branded account. Across all of your marketing channels, if people are engaging with your content, you need to show them some love back. This takes us right back to the “jab, jab, jab, right-hook” thesis.
Engaging with your audience is the perfect way to start building meaningful relationships with prospective customers. Even if you know that they aren’t interested in becoming a customer, you should still engage with them on marketing channels like social media, to show the audience that you actively talk to your followers and show an interest in their thoughts, perspectives, and opinions.
Gary Vaynerchuk has managed to master the concept of engaging with his audience. Despite the size and scale of their following, there is rarely a question that goes unanswered on his social media platforms. The willingness to engage with your audience can have a tremendous impact on your brand and many fail to fully capitalize on this.
The trick is to try and engage with your audience before they engage with you. It’s all about sacrificing a few hours of your day, every day, to reach out to people across all of your marketing channels, without having an agenda to sell anything. You simply just want to increase your brand awareness and provide them with value, even if that’s just a compliment.
Adopt The Media Company Mentality
The cost of entry to spread your brand across multiple marketing channels is incredibly small and in some cases, it’s completely free. Every productized service has the opportunity to put their stake in the ground and become part of the global conversion by distributing a variety of different content forms across all of their marketing channels.
Gary Vaynerchuk believes that your business needs to adopt the mindset of a media company in an effort to scale the reach of your brand. If you’re not sharing content across all of your marketing channels, your brand simply doesn’t exist. In this digital age, your brand is only powerful when it has eyeballs on it – and the attention will only come when you create value.
The vast majority of brands simply don’t understand digital marketing, which is why their content often solely consists of “right-hooks” and feels immensely one-sided. As a result, they rarely manage to amass large audiences because the content simply isn’t providing people with any value.
To take on this mindset of being like a media company, you need to start thinking about the types of content that you could be creating for your audience to boost brand awareness. You should be incorporating written, audio and visual content into your digital marketing strategy to share your brand with the world. Your brand will not build itself – you need to take action!
After years of providing his audience with value, Gary Vaynerchuk has learned about the power of branding and how it can lead to the growth of your business. It’s all about playing the long game and building a brand that your audience has a genuine emotional connection to, which is brought on by the amount of value that you have provided them with over the years.