Hey, it's Marie Forleo. You are watching Marie TV, the place to be if you want to create a business and life you love. I got a question for you today. Do you ever feel completely overwhelmed and confused by social media? Most of us want to do a really great job, we know it's important, but with things changing so fast and with so many platforms, it gets a little confusing. We just want to know the right way to do it. If you can relate to this, you are in for such a treat today because I have the world's leading expert in social media here to help us out.
Gary Vaynerchuk is a talented entrepreneur, video blogger, self-trained social media expert, and a bestselling author. Recognizing the importance of e-commerce in 1997, Gary launched winelibrary.com and helped grow his family business significantly from 3 million to 60 million by 2005. In the spring of 2009, Gary and his brother AJ launched VaynerMedia, a new breed of agency that helps Fortune 500 companies like GE, Pepsi-Co, Hasbro, and the New York Jets find their social media voices and build their digital brands. With over a million followers on Twitter, Gary is recognized internationally as one of the top people every entrepreneur should follow, and a social media trailblazer.
Gary, it is so awesome to have you on Marie TV. Thank you so much for making the time to do this.
Thanks for having me.
This is your new book, which by the way, jab, jab, jab, right hook, how to tell your story in a noisy social world. I fricking love this book. I went through it when your team sent it over and I was making notes. You can see I even have a little tab back here. This is different than your other books, which I love, Crush It and Thank You Economy. But this has 86 case studies, which is amazing. Let's start off. What does jab, jab, jab, right hook mean in this context?
I decided to use the boxing metaphor because I think when people think about social media, they think about it as this ... and I'm talking about the whole world. I'm not talking about just the people in the know. They think of it as, is this real? Does it have actual business value? It seems like there's a lot of noise. It seems like people are just throwing stuff at the wall and hoping it's going to be okay. Social media experts and gurus and mavens who 80% of them used to be real estate agents when the real estate boom was good. So, it's mucky.
But for me, somebody who's been in it for a long time, it's a real science. There's a real reason that I'm sitting here with you. There's a reason I've been able to sell a lot of wine. There's a reason VaynerMedia has gone from 20 to 300 employees in two years. There's a reason I'm executing. I realized it's a ... I said at one point, I said, "It's a science." And then I was thinking about this notion of content and why people are struggling with it.
When I decided to write a book, I decided to go with the boxing metaphor because I think when most people look at boxing, they look at it as dudes punching each other in the face. But most philosophers or deep knowledgeable people of the sport compare it to chess. As a matter of fact, boxing is known as the sweet science. And I'm a fan of boxing. And so, I realized social media reminds me of boxing. People think it's this one thing, but it's very detailed. Then jab, jab, jab, right hook is actually what I do. Give, give, give and then ask.
When I wrote Thank You Economy, I noticed that the people that got it aren't actually doing that well in business because they're too romantic. They're actually crippled by asking for the sale. And then you have 99% of everybody else who's only selling. They're spamming on social. If you're always throwing right hooks, people duck. They know it's coming. This is my formula. This is why I have success. I want to guilt people into buying my things.
The way I do that is by giving so much up front, and then if you're lucky enough to be wired the way I am, which is you have no expectation for people to deliver, you end up not worrying if your right hook doesn't land. You recognize that a good percentage of your right hooks do land. And you're right, it's very, very different than my last couple of books because I also want to evolve and change and make people like yourself, who I'm happy that respect me, not to start muting me out. This shows my detail. I wanted to put a stake in the ground and say, "Listen, I'm Social Media 301." Most of the books are 101, but I'm 301.
I love that. There's so much of what you just said that I want to dive into a little bit more. First of all, I think it's so genius because at first blush, you can be this guy who's telling it like it is and in their face and people could write off. Maybe your other books, it's like, "Oh, they're so surface." But just like with boxing, how there's so much more. If you think a little bit, there's so much more strategy underneath the in your face attitude, and the fun and the motivation, and all that. I think that is brilliant. Two, I think another reason-
I want to say something because I think, in this gorgeous setting by the way, it's fun to be like, "Let's get emotional." That matters to me. I'm kind of a contradiction. I equally care what everybody thinks about me, and I couldn't care less what anybody thinks of me. But I recognize my bravado on stage and my public figure, but I have a lot of pride in that I've actually been able to execute. And this is kind of that book for me.
Again, I absolutely love it. I'm so excited for everybody to get it and we'll keep talking about it the whole time. The other thing I'm going to mention too, and I think this is the reason why I've been such a huge fan of yours and followed you since back in the day, is because I identify with so much of that. What we do here on Marie TV, people always ask, they're like, "How are you making money?" I'm like, "We sell one big product a year, but the rest of the time it's like we're give, and we keep trying to kick up the level of this." It's like, how do we give more value? How do we make it more entertaining, more goofy? Because that's really me. I think similarly, sometimes people write me off. It's like, "Oh, it's just that silly girl. She curses. She's from Jersey. She's so inappropriate." But it's like once they really look a little bit deeper, there's a lot more. So anyway.
That's me. I'm from Jersey.
I know, you-
It's Edison. I was born in Edison, and I know that's where you had your-
My brother AJ was born at JFK Hospital, I love it.
Yes, Jersey in the house. So digging in, social media, it can be so overwhelming for folks. I hear that all the time. It can be overwhelming for us. I'll speak from experience too. We have a small team. What do you think are some of the big major mistakes in the context of jab, jab, jab, that we're all making with social media? How are we getting it wrong?
I wish everybody, I'm talking to the camera. I wish everybody could be in my seat right now and understand how much goes into this, how many amazing people, the structure. There's a dude rolling stuff right now, like real stuff going on. I think that that is fascinating to me because you just said, "We do this, and then we have this one big thing we sell." You're putting so much effort into your jabs. This is your jab.
You're putting so much effort. Nobody puts effort into their jabs. I do. It's why I send people free stuff. It's why I pick up the phone and call people and scare them. It's why ... The one thing people want is your time and effort, because everything else can be bought, but your caring can't. Your time can't. Those are the assets that matter.
The real answer is that everybody's so hungry to get to the right hook, "Buy my book, buy my product, go to my conference, buy my wine." Everybody's putting effort into their right hooks. 99% of people are not putting any time or effort into their jabs. I think what they're doing wrong is they're not jabbing.
For example, and in the context of this, there's also what I call the deejaying of content. So, we have this interview. You guys should take this entire interview, figure out the seven best things I said, make quote cards, put them out on Facebook with a link to the overall, and that piece of content in Facebook with my face or with us together and my quote, will do better than if you just use Facebook as distribution to awareness to that show.
Done. Louise is taking notes. This is actually going to happen and that's [crosstalk 00:07:47].
Let me give you another one.
Yeah, let's do it.
Take a couple of other things and then turn it into an infographic and put that on Pinterest because infographics do really well there. Here's another one. Take a funny moment where I do something silly, which I will, like pick this up and smell it like-
We're going to dance later, I hope you know.
That's devastating. When we do that, take that moment. Turn us dancing into an animated gift. Post that on Tumblr and link out, because on Tumblr, animated GIF is the slang. I almost called this slang marketing, because that's what it is. In Pinterest, make it a little prettier, make an infographic. On Tumblr, make it an animated GIF with us dancing because it's silly, it's a younger demo, with a link out. On Facebook, my picture, us together, quote card. That really works. On Twitter, wait for something that's trending, that's could be tied into the copy of something that happened here, and then post about this instead of, "Oh, it's time to post about Gary's episode."
People are not thinking enough. This is all strategy. What are people doing wrong? Everything. It's ugly out there. For somebody like me, who has gone very deep and has been doing it for a very long time and truly believes he's good at it, and my organization is good at it, everything's wrong.
I got to tell you, and this is like I'm not ... I don't blow smoke up anyone's ass. When I was reading this, preparing for this interview, I was reading it literally 12, one o'clock in the morning, and I'm taking notes, and I realize we care so much. We care more than anything. We will do everything. We'll give customers money, we'll send them gifts. We'll, like anything possible to show that we genuinely care about people.
Thank You Economy.
Yes. We do that because that's how I am as a human being, and that's the only way I want to operate.
It works. A funny thing happens when you care about other people. They start to care about you.
When I was reading this, and I know how much we care, and I know how much effort my team puts in and we're small, but everybody works their asses off, and I saw how many mistakes we were making-
Because it's not about caring. It's why I wrote this. Thank You Economy, I wrote as a call to arms. Like, if you don't give a shit about people, you're done. Recognize we're living in a small world now, and everybody's reputation and the word of mouth matters. But I've watched people from afar, like you and your team and everybody else who do care, that's easy. Let's actually rephrase. It's extremely hard, but once you get over the mental hump, it's very easy. You're not making all these mistakes because you guys don't care, you're making all these mistakes because it's hard and nobody's talking about the real details.
I didn't know, like it was ... You know what I mean? It was the thing.
It's the talent of knowing what to do. I think you're really in accordance why jumped in and said it mattered to me. I realized, "Hah, people think I'm successful because I'm funny on stage?" I'm like, "Are you guys out of your mind?" Do I have to remind you that I built a $60 million business before even I started one episode of Wine library? I needed this book for myself as much as anything else to just ... and I really wanted to empower people. This is utility. This isn't a rant. This is a textbook.
Yeah. Well, I love it too. One of your talents, which I think it's awesome. Your ability to offer constructive criticism, to not hold anything back, but at the same time it's incredibly respectful. I think it's amazing.
Even when I said to [Lil Wayne 00:11:05] that he was the first person to turn Facebook into Myspace?
It's fucking funny. It's hilarious. That was a laugh out loud moment for me. So, content versus context, which is a big theme in this book.
Everybody thinks about content. What are they going to say? Nobody's paying attention to the context of the platform. I just ranted on that. Nobody's sitting there and saying, "Wait a minute. Animated GIFs work on Tumblr. Why am I going to put ..." They make ... Listen, it's bandwidth. It's bandwidth. You take one picture and you want to put it on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, because everybody thinks of social networks as distribution channels to bring you somewhere else. I think of them as places to natively tell stories. Got it?
Of course I have to respect the context of Pinterest. Not only do I have to understand and respect what works there, infographics and other things of that nature, I have to respect who's there. Females more than males, there's certain demo. I also have to respect, and I didn't do as good of a job getting this point across in this book as I could have, and I'm disappointed about it because I think it was close, is the psychology of why somebody's on it.
Why is the female on Pinterest at 8:00 PM at night? Why is she on Pinterest at all? Because the data shows analytically and anecdotally and what I spend time on, is she has the intent to buy something. You pin something you actually want to buy. Or the intent to aspire to buy that, "One day I'm going to get this kitchen." Pin. What you're putting out to somebody from that mindset needs to be different than why she's going through her phone on Facebook, which is to keep in touch with her world. That takes a different story.
It's all context. The way you and I are acting right now compared to if we run a conference on a Saturday night at 2:00 in the morning in Las Vegas is different. The context of the room requires us to act differently even though we still are ourselves. Right?
Those subtle things. That wittiness on Twitter that's required, that beautiful picture or authentic picture, let's call it, on Instagram. You have to respect the context of the room in which you're storytelling.
Yes. That was such a huge thing for us, because I know for me. You mentioned the word bandwidth. This was a big question I have for you because I know so many people in our audience, they could be like a one woman or one man shop. They're just getting started. They're fricking going crazy. They got the full time job still. They got kids running around. They may read this and go, "Holy shit. There's all these platforms. He just schooled me on all of them. I'm overwhelmed," and go like this and go, "Fuck it." I'm done before I even start. Would you recommend someone going, "You know what? I think I could really tell my story effectively." For me for example, I'm good on video. This is a great medium for me. So, we focus a lot of our energy there. Would you suggest someone pick one platform and get good and dominate it, and then stack on top of it?
A hell of a lot better than, "Shit, I'm not doing anything." So yes, if that's the alternative. I'd also like to ask them to audit what they do for a living or recreationally, and try to find another 90 minutes that they're [inaudible 00:14:22] on dumb shit, and apply to have a second platform because this will actually work.
Yes. Okay, good. Because I know I can hear people going, "No, no, no, no, no."
Listen, listen. I really wish I had a six pack. I tactically can read anything to know what to do. I can eat better and I can do all crunch exercises. The blueprint's here, it's here. But I don't do it. Thus, I don't have it. If you want to put your hands up and say, "Woe is me," that's fine. I have nothing to say to that. All I can do is put out the blueprint, and then the 1% that's watching that is actually going to do it, is going to send both of us an email in two years and say, "You know what happened?" Listen, I'm living this now.
Crush It has similar things to it, because it was a little more actionable. It was also rant and action, there's more action. I get 50 emails a month saying, "My life is different. You changed my life." But there's plenty of people ... But meanwhile on Amazon, there's a slew of negative reviews because they didn't want to do it. Cool. Like, all I know how to do is to do, and then I feel like if I do, then at least I have the respect or the authority to be able to talk about it, and give a chance for somebody to change it.
Absolutely. Actually you mentioned something else I wanted to ask you about, which I think your perspective on this topic is so refreshing when it comes to haters or criticism, either of that. I know you had a little short piece and I don't know if it was Inc. Forbes?
Inc. Can you share that? Because I think it's so fricking useful.
What's getting really weird, the Inc. article is Why Gary Vaynerchuk Is Doing It Wrong. A couple of weird things. I'm on the cover of Inc. this month, so the timing's really funny. Second-
Oh, I was actually talking about another Inc. article.
Good, great. There's a lot of negative stuff going on.
It was a good one. It was your take-
Oh, you mean in the Inc. magazine?
Yes, it was your take on [crosstalk 00:16:04].
I'm sorry. So what you're referring to, which I was going to get to, it's the same basic principle, which is I really respect my haters. I truly no bullshit respect them because it's how they feel. Now, it takes me time sometimes to dig in into, are they unhappy people? Is there other things going on? Did I do something wrong by accident, because I never had that intent. But if somebody thinks you stink, that means you're doing a bad job communicating to them of what your value proposition is. I respect my haters. The people that don't agree with me are easy.
When I say haters, I mean people that are being rude or unkind to me. I respect it. I take it very seriously. I try to understand it, and I evolve from it. I reach out to it. 90% are thrilled to be heard, to have that dialogue. A lot of times they're surprised that I'm even willing to go there because nobody has the time. The 10% that want to draw a line in the sand and dislike me, it bothers me, but I try my best and hope it ... I know how my parents raised me. I know what my objectives are. I wrote a piece on Medium, which is an incredible blog platform that I think everybody should. You should be seriously paying attention to Medium.
What I wrote, there's two ways to build the biggest building in town. There's two ways. One, you just build it. You build the largest building. Or number two, you tear down all the other buildings around you. We live in a very cynical world where a lot of people do number two. I take enormous pride in number one. I love when ... Listen, I was one of the first video bloggers ever. I love sitting here knowing video bloggers have gone further than where I went. That doesn't make me sad. That makes me happy. I want other people to win. As long as I win more, I'm competitive. But that's on me. That's not me being on the defense of everybody else. That's not me saying, "Oh, that's not good. This guy's not good. This girl is not good." That's me being on the offense. And so, that's how I look at it.
I love it. Switching gears a little bit-
I apologize. And you're right. It's stunning to me. I'm on an island on this issue. I just don't even see the other people that look at it this way. I don't know if ... Maybe it's a flaw. I think a lot about the fact that maybe I'm rewarding the negative instead of the positive. I don't know what it is, but it blows me away how singularly isolated I am on this issue. I mean, my contemporaries are baffled by my effort towards this negativity.
Well, I have to say, when I read the piece that you wrote, again, it was a little short piece and it was about respecting your haters and saying, "You know what?" If you actually listen to them and say, "Hey, well, what can I do better," and have a conversation. I actually found it really, really refreshing.
We had an example on our blog of someone who was kind of tired of hearing ... Our flagship program is called B-School. She was like, "You know what? I've heard all these great things, but I also heard X, Y, and Z," which were more on the negative side. I remember looking at that and I said, "Let me go in there and talk with her." And I said, "You're right on this, you're right on this, you're right on this." But I also have to say, "You got to be balanced and look at X, Y, and Z." She came back, Lewis, do you remember this? And she was so thankful and grateful.
People want effort.
Yes. Well, just that A, we heard her.
People want to be heard.
We acknowledged where she was 100% correct, but we also were like, "Hey, we think you should see this other side as well, and then make a choice based on what you feel is best." It was amazing.
I have incredible relationships in my life, and they're all predicated on communication. If you want to have a relationship with your audience, you have to communicate with them. That doesn't mean that you get the video, we get to put it out, and that's that.
I think one of my favorite parts of the book, obviously the case studies are incredibly instructive, but I love chapter nine about effort. I know it's just three pages, but it feels like ... When I was reading that, I feel like I'm listening to you talking directly to me. It just got me so pumped up. I know we talked a little bit about effort before, but when it comes to even business in general, and let me ask you this, maybe I'll paint it in a different context. Building VaynerMedia. You said you're now 300? What's that like? You've never built a company with 300 people before, right?
That's right. It's the weird thing [crosstalk 00:20:15].
Are you doing all the hiring, or is your brother? How is it, if you're just like, "Holy shit, how do we get this done," and you just figure it out. What's it been like?
It's interesting. It's so weird. I can't believe that you putting it that way, that you've never built ... There's a really great saying in football that I like. And I'm a big Jets fan, as anybody who's watching this knows me, knows. I love the saying of, "Act like you've been there before." It's this whole notion of when you score a touchdown, a lot of people respect the person that just hands the ball to the ref, instead of all the insanity that the modern athlete does. Until you said that, I'm so insane in my own brain of where I'm going, that to sit and think that I've never done that before, it's such a foregone conclusion in my brain that ... you know, I don't know. I don't even think of it that way.
I can totally understand it. If you look on that wall, you see Everything Is Figureoutable?
That's one of my ... that's how I live my life. Anytime we have an idea, or I have an idea and I'm like, "Oh, I've never done that," because everything I've done that's cool, I've never done before.
I feel like I'm wired the same. But when I thought about having 300 employees, which is not necessarily where I want to go, but it was like, "Oh, cool. I want to-"
That's a whole another story for another day, which is that nobody, I mean it's ... This is similar to maybe the hater conversation. The amount of people that actually want to build heavy human infrastructure is so low. I, on the other hand, desperately want it. I'm like, "Look, this is my high school." I mean, everybody's 23 years old in my company. And I'm like, "Look, my high school, I'm the principal." I love it. I would tell you that I'm the head of HR and then the CEO.
I spend outrageous amounts of time by percentage on HR. You do not ... We have one HR person who's ... I would not call senior or have ever done it before, so I'm very deeply involved in my employees' lives, thoughts, concerns, mainly because I think it's going to be a thousand or a 5,000 person company, so I feel if I instill the heart into these ... and DNA into these 500, into these 700, well, then that gets me to 70,000 or 7,000 or whatever it ends up being. VaynerMedia is an evergreen company for me. What I mean by that is, I will never sell it. I may dilute some of the percentage of it, but I'll never sell it. I need it to be a testing ground for all the other things I do for the rest of my life. It's a very emotional company for me that way.
What I can feel from you, as you're saying that, is I love that energy. And everything in here, it is. It's like the perfect testing ground for you to continue to evolve. Obviously, I'm really thankful that you're doing it because I feel like, "All right, great. I have someone who's leading the charge who we can pay attention to, and obviously we're going to try and figure things on our own," but I love knowing that you're in the world because it makes a huge, huge difference.
I appreciate it. It's a funny thing for me to think about, which is I'm like, "Look at me. I'm so great. I was able to make this detailed book." No shot if I didn't have this company. I think Crush It ... Thank You Economy is my life. It's my like North star. But Crush It, I was writing about what I was doing for Wine Library TV and Wine Library, which was pioneering this thing. That's what I feel about this book, which is this ...
What I talk about here will be mainstream. When I'm talking now and doing this interview, I'm looking at your team. When I'm bringing up the Tumblr post and I see everybody like, "Yeah, that's exactly right." That's how I felt about Crush It. And that's how I feel about this. But in three, four years, saying that same thing, everybody's going to understand that's the game. I like that feeling of being ahead of it. I have that feeling with this.
I think it's incredible. One more question about your team. Do you hire a lot of people through your connections on social media, people that follow you?
It happens. I mean, more so in the beginning. Now we're getting to such a level where ... Those hires have been awesome and they're the most family to me, but they've been hit and miss.
Because people are so passionate to work with me, and I'm such a softy that I want to give people that at bat, and what you start learning is you don't do the right thing by them. Now, if the experience is worth it and the relationship with me is worth it and I always do the right thing, but we've definitely taken 30% out of the equation of the Gary factor to try to really be a little bit more critical to make sure we're finding the right bits.
I have to say, some of my best people that I love and I do consider them family, they've come through being a customer, and it's been amazing. I was just curious.
Customers are totally different. Getting customers that knew me or were fans or social, they have been great. When you come into the inside, when you work at Vayner, I'm trying to be the best, and so at some level like that ... Now, what's interesting is that doesn't mean you have to be the best. It means that I have to be able to put you in a position to succeed. I have to find a place within the structure of what I'm trying to do for you to be able to bring value, and sometimes there's not a perfect match.
Do you use your gut a lot for those decisions?
Only your gut?
Yeah, me too. Sometimes things look like ... on paper, and there's something inside me that's just gone, "No freaking way."
The truth is, my gut's been wrong.
Like 30%? 50%? Couldn't even say?
Look, I don't even think about it because I don't care, because it's what I wanted to do at that moment. But I don't know, 25% has been wrong, with let's say ... Employees is a crap chute. It really is. With my wife, it was 100%. I think that I trust my gut, always will be. Investing in Tumblr, investing in BirchBox, that's worked out. I'm all about guts. But I also don't want to be like, "My gut is the greatest. My feel ..." It's wrong. Yobongo didn't work out, I lost money.
I don't even know what that-
... speaks to. Gary, this has been absolutely amazing. I'm going to do one, not that you even need it, but if you want to-
I'll take it.
He'll take it.
I'll take it.
He will take the right hook right now.
I'll take [crosstalk 00:26:12].
If you want to market anything on social media, if you care about your business and about the people that you serve, and you want to do it right and you want to be leading edge, and you want to connect with people in the best way, you have got to get your hands on this book. Get it for your team. Get it for anyone that works with you. It is that good. Gary, you know what we like to do on Marie TV? I told you that we like to give people a challenge in the comments to really take everything we talked about and not just go, "Ooh, those are great ideas." But take action and do it.
This makes me so happy because for a lot of you that don't know me, in 2006 when I started Wine Library TV, I created at the end of the show, the Question Of The Day, which really created a real community. The comment section is a place I've ... I mean, I spent four years reading every one of them, so I'm all in on the comment section. Here's what I think I want to do.
When you get a chance to get the thesis, and there's a chapter, a free chapter on my website if you decide not to buy it. But once you get the thesis, put a link to your jab or your right hook. Put a link in and say, "This is my right hook," or put a link and say, "this is my jab," in the comment section. I promised that I was going to jump in and audit and take a look, and see and see ... and I'll reply to some of the comments and tell them if they're doing a good job or not.
So, give some thought. Try to figure out what you're selling, what you're trying to get across to the world. You might be trying to raise money, it's not about selling something. Whatever your objective is, and then create a piece of content. It could be just copy on Twitter if you're not good at Photoshop, if you're a one person shop. But leave your link to it, and if it was a jab or a right hook.
Awesome. Gary, thank you so much for making the time, especially during the book launch. And it drops today, which is fantastic. Really appreciate you being here.
Thank you so much.
So, put some thought into it and as always, the best discussions happen after the episode over at marieforleo.com. Go there and leave your comment now. Did you like this video? If so, subscribe to my channel and of course, share this with all your friends. If you want even more great resources to create a business and life that you love, plus some personal insights for me that I only talk about in email, get yourself over to marieforleo.com and sign up for email updates. Stay on your game and keep going for your dreams because the world needs that special gift that only you have. Thank you so much for watching and I'll catch you next time on Marie TV.
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There is our wrecking ball right there.
I'm going to swing the [crosstalk 00:28:45]. It's the crab. This is my go-to [inaudible 00:28:49]. A big hit at the bar mitzvah scene in the '80s.