April 02, 2009
Vaynerchuk Invokes Inspiration & Passion
I've heard Gary Vaynerchuk speak in tech circles before but its an entirely different game when he's on front of a group of business entrepreneurs and CEOs who are in traditional industries, largely operating in an offline world.
His passion was equally high with this non-tech crowd late last night, but his motivation was ten fold. It's the same reason my motivation to inspire was ten fold at the same event.
You hear a great business idea and when you learn that they're not utilizing social media tools to accelerate their growth, you go crazy -- internally that is. Interestingly enough, Gary hates the phrase social media - "it's not social media, its media," he yells into the audience while his hands are flying around in front of him.
So refreshing Mr. Russian emigrant from New Jersey. Thank you. Can you please move to Silicon Valley for a few months?
Gary's site Wine Library TV now has 80,000 visitors a day. He gets paid $15K to drink wine with people. He's working on books and talking to Fortune 500 companies regularly. He tells the audience that network TV is going down.....in the wake of newspapers of course. The fate of traditional media is no longer an "insider" conversation. Online and offline.
"You wanna a great business strategy?" Gary shouts into the audience. "It's care. Ignore everything you've learned. When you leverage social media tools, you're expanding your reach."
He continues educating this largely offline crowd. "If you're selling content, you're in trouble. It's all free. Music is free. News is free. Programs are free." He asks everyone to imagine a day when we can watch everything we view on the web today through our big widescreen TVs. "Figure out what your free model is," says Gary.
His personality on stage is what you see on his show and when you meet him one-on-one - East Coast tough but tons of 'heart and care' underneath. That said, he's all about business. He wants to make money and is. It's not just about wine although what drove him crazy about wine were the limitations of wine varietals in the states. Hear hear Gary.
Gary moves into inspiration mode: "Nobody wants to work hard. People want the 'secret.' The only way you'll be happy is to put content around a subject matter that you love and are really passionate about. Put your sweat and hours into something you love. We only drink six wines in America and I hate that. I want to change it."
He weaves humor into nearly every takeaway.
"You've all heard that content is king right?" he asks. "Well, marketing is Queen and she runs the household." Glad someone said it since some in the all transparent world think all middle men are going away and that includes marketers. No, they're not going away, they're just going to have to adapt - big time. Their skillset is invaluable as long as authenticity and transparency has always been at their core.
A central theme to many aspects to this business strategy conference are alliances baby. Find affiliates, find partners, don't do it alone. He echoes this. Artists and creators like to do it on their own since they hate rules, fight against structure and want to do it their way without having to collaborate.
"If you didn't have a lemonade stand at five or wrip flowers out of your neighbor's garden and then sell them back, go find a business partner," says Gary. The audience laughs. The artists know who they are in the audience as do the serial entrepreneurs who are on their tenth successful business.
Says Gary, "we get to play only one time in this life. I don't understand the American culture where the majority work in a job they don't absolutely love."
We discuss how traditional businesses who don't have vision like to "hold onto things." Like anything, if you hold onto things, you're going to lose the game. Technology waits for no one. Culture shifts happen all the time, the key is to be ahead of the curve when they do.
This is where his passion moves into inspiration for everyone in the room and this crowd not only needed it but was craving it. Some wanted 'the secret,' while others were clearly willing to make the commitment to make it happen.
"If you don't love what you do more than anything, then change your game. It's never about talking, its about listening.....and there are obnoxious lights out opportunities for all of us right now."
The guy is about to miss his redeye but the crowd roars. They want Gary and more like him in front of the room all night and in their businesses every day to inspire them, to push them into using social media to innovate, create and of course, triple their sales.
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