Marie: Hey, its Marie Forleo and you are watching MarieTV, 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 and we just want to know to 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 best selling author. Recognizing the importance of ecommerce in 1997, Gary launched winelibrary.com and helped grow his family business significantly from three 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, PepsiCo, Hasbro and the NY 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 MarieTV. Thank you so much for making the time to do this. 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 freaking love this book. I went through it when your team sent it over and I was making notes; 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.
Lets start off. What does Jab Jab Right Hook mean in this context?
Gary: decided to use the boxing metaphor because I think when people think about social media, and I’m talking about the whole world, I’m not talking about just the people in the know, they think about it as is this real, does it have actual business value, it seems like there’s a lot of noise, it seems like people just throwing stuff at the wall and hoping it’s going to be okay; social media experts and gurus and mavens, 80% of them used to be real estate agents when the real estate boom was good.
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 the VaynerMedia has gone from 20 to 300 employees in two years. There’s a reason I’m executing. I said at one point, “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 like 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. 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 and so if you’re always throwing right hooks, people duck; they know what’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 upfront 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 it’s 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, “I’m social media 301.” Most of the books are 101, but I’m 301.
Marie: 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 are 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. Gary: I want to say something because I think in this gorgeous setting it’s fun to be like ‘let’s get emotional.’ That matters to me.
I’m like a contradiction; I equally care what everybody thinks about me and I could care less what anybody thinks about me. I recognize my bravado on stage in my public figure, but I have a lot of pride in that I’ve actually been able to execute, and this is that book for me.
Marie: I absolutely love it. I am so excited for everybody to get it and we’ll keep talking about it the whole time. The other thing I want 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 MarieTV, people always ask me “how are you making money?” We sell one big product a year but the rest of the time its like we 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, and more goofy because that’s really me. I think, similarly, sometimes people will write off and say “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.
I was born in Edison and I know that’s where you had- Gary: At JFK. My brother AJ was born at JFK Hospital.
Marie: Digging in, social media can be so overwhelming for folks; I hear that all the time. It can be overwhelming for us and 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?
Gary: I wish everybody could be in my seat right now and understand how much goes into this, how many amazing people, and the structure, there’s a dude rolling stuff right now; real stuff going on.
I think 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 efforts 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, and 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 is so hungry to get to the right hook, ‘buy my book, buy my product, go to my conference, and try my wine’; everybody’s putting effort into their right hooks.
99% of people are not putting any time or effort into their jabs, so I think what they’re doing wrong is they’re not jabbing. For example, in the context of this, there’s also what I call the DJing of content. 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 us together and my quote will do better than if you just use Facebook as distribution to awareness to that show.
Marie: Done. Louise is taking notes. This is actually going to happen and that’s genius.
Gary: Let me give you another one.
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, when we do that, take that moment, turn us dancing into an animated gif, post that on Tumblr and link out because on Tumblr, animated gif is the slang. I almost call this Slang Marketing because that’s what it is. In Pinterest, make it a little prettier and make it 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 could be tied into the copy of something that happened here and then post about this instead of saying 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’s good at it, everything’s wrong.
Marie: I got to tell you, I don’t blow smoke up anyone’s ass. When I was reading this, preparing for this interview, I was reading it literally twelve or one o’clock in the morning and I’m taking notes and I realized we care so much, we care more than anything, we will do everything; we’ll give customers money, we’ll send them gifts, anything possible to show that we genuinely care about people. We do that because that’s how I am as a human being and that’s the only way I want to operate.
Gary: A funny thing happens when you care about other people; they start to care about you.
Marie: 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- Gary: Because it’s not about caring; it’s why I wrote this.
Thank You Economy I wrote as a call to arms of 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. I’ve watched people from afar like you and your team and everybody else who do care. 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.
It’s the talent of knowing what to do. I think you really hit a chord and that’s why I jumped in and said it mattered to be. I realized people think I’m successful because I’m funny on stage; are you guys out of your mind? Do I have to remind you that I built a $60 million business before I even started one episode of Wine Library? I needed this book for myself as much as anything else and I really wanted to empower people. This is utility. This isn’t a rant; this is a textbook.
Marie: I love it too. One of your talents, which I think, is just awesome your ability to offer constructive criticism to not hold anything back, but at the same time, it’s incredibly respectful. I just think it’s amazing. Gary: Even when I said to Lil’ Wayne that he was the first person to turn Facebook into MySpace?
Marie: It’s fucking funny.
It’s hilarious. That was a laugh out loud moment for me. Content versus context, which is a big theme in this book.
Gary: Everything 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. It’s bandwidth; you take one picture and you want to put it on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest everybody thinks of social networks as distribution channels to bring you somewhere else; I think of them as places to natively tell stories. 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 at a 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 PM at night? Why is she on Pinterest at all? Because the data shows analytically, 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.’ What you’re putting out so 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 were at a conference on a Saturday night at two in the morning in Las Vegas is different. The context of the room requires us to act different even though we still are ourselves.
Those subtle things, what wittiness on Twitter that’s required, that beautiful picture or authentic picture on Instagram, you have to respect the context of the room in which you’re storytelling.
Marie: That was such a huge thing for us because I know it for me. You mentioned the word “bandwidth” and this was a big question I had for you because I know so many people in our audience, they could be a one woman or one man shop, they’re just getting started, they’re 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 can really tell my story effectively,” like 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?
Gary: 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 spending on dumb shit and apply it to have a second platform because this will actually work. 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 but I don’t do it thus I don’t have it, so 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. 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. I get 50 emails a month saying, “My life is different. You changed my life,” but meanwhile on Amazon, there’s a slew of negative reviews because they didn’t want to do it. Cool. 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.
You actually 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 or Forbes-
Marie: Can you share because I think it’s so freaking useful.
Gary: 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. It takes me time sometimes to dig into are they unhappy people, are there other things going on, did I do something wrong by accident because I had 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 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 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. 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 you should be seriously paying attention to Medium, there’s two ways to build the biggest building in town. One, you just build it; you build the largest building. 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 was one of the first video bloggers ever. I love sitting here knowing video bloggers have gone further from 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 not me being on a defense of everybody else. That’s not me saying, “That’s not good”; that’s me being on the offense. That’s how I look at it. 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. 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. My contemporaries are baffled by my effort towards this negativity.
Marie: I have to say when I read the piece that you wrote, it was a little short piece and it was about respecting your haters, it was saying “if you actually listen to them and say ‘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 tired of hearing, our flagship program is called B-School, and she was like, “I’ve heard all these great things, but I also heard XYZ 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 you’re right on this and you’re right on this and you’re right on this, but I also have to say you got to be balanced and look at XYZ.” She came back and she was so thankful and grateful. We heard her, we acknowledge where she was 100% correct, but we also we were like 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.
Gary: 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.
Marie: I think one of my favorite parts of the book, obviously the case studies are incredibly instructive, but I love chapter nine about effort and I know it’s just three pages, but it feels like when I was reading that, I’m listening to you talking directly to me and 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. What’s that like? You’ve never built a company with 300 people before.
Gary: It’s interesting. It’s so weird and I can’t believe that you putting 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 that when you score touchdowns, 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 I don’t even think of it that way.
Marie: I can totally understand that. If you look on that wall, do you see “everything is figureoutable?” That’s how I live my life. Any time we have an idea or I have an idea and I’m like I’ve never done that because everything I’ve done that’s cool I’ve never done before, so 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 that was look, oh cool –
Gary: That’s a whole other story for another day, which is that 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 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, we have one HR person who I would not call senior or 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 1000- or 5000-person company, so I feel if I instill the heart and DNA into these 500 or 700, 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 might 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.
Marie: What I can feel from you as you’re saying that is I love that energy and everything in here, it’s like the perfect testing ground for you to continue to evolve and obviously I’m really thankful that you’re doing it because I have someone who’s leading the charge, who we can pay attention to, and obviously we’re going to try and figure things out on our own.
I love knowing that you’re in the world because it makes a huge difference.
Gary: I appreciate it and it’s a funny thing for me to think about, which is “look at me, I’m so great, I was able to make this detailed book.” No shot if I didn’t have this company.”Thank You Economy is my life. It’s my 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 when 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 posts and I see everybody like “that’s exactly right”; that’s how I felt about Crush It and that’s how I feel about this.
In the three of four years, seeing that same thing, everybody is going to understand that’s the game; I like that feeling of being ahead of it. I have that feeling with this. Marie: I think it’s incredible. One more question about your team. Do you hire a lot of people through your connections on social media or people that follow you?
Gary: It happens. 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 softie that I want to give people that at bat and what you start learning is you don’t do the right thing by them.
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 vets.
Marie: Some of my best people that I love and I do consider them family, they’ve come through being a customer and been it’s been amazing, so I was just curious.
Gary: Customers are totally different.
Getting customers that knew me or fans or social, they have been great. When you come into the inside, I’m trying to be the best and so at some level, 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 with the structure of what I’m trying to do for you to be able to bring value. Sometimes there’s not a perfect match.
Marie: Do you use your gut a lot for those decisions?
Marie: Only your gut. Me too. Sometimes things look like on paper and there’s something inside that’s just going “no freaking way.” Gary: But the truth is my gut’s been wrong.
Marie: Like 30%? 50%? Couldn’t even say.
Gary: I don’t even think about it because I don’t care because it’s what I wanted to do at that moment. Maybe 25% has been wrong. Employees is a crapshoot. It really is. With my wife, it was 100% so I think I trust my gut. 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.
It’s wrong. Yobango didn’t work out; I lost money.
Gary, this has been absolutely amazing. 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. You know what we like to do on MarieTV that we like to give people a challenge in the comments to really take everything we talked about and not just say those are great ideas, but take action and do it.
Gary: 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 create at the end of the show the question of the day, which was really creating a real community. I’ve spent four years reading every one of them so I’m all in on the comments section. Here’s what I think I want to do: when you get a chance to get the thesis, and there’s 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 and say “this is my right hook” or “this is my jab” in the comments section and I promised that I was going to jump in and audit and take a look and I’ll reply to some of the comments and tell them if they’re doing a good job or not.
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 the objective is and then create a piece of content, it could be just copy on Twitter if you’re not good and Photoshop or a one person shop, leave your link to it and if it was a jab or a right hook.
Marie: Thank you so much for making the time especially during the book launch and it drops today which is fantastic. I really appreciate you being here. Put some thought into it and as always, the best discussions happen after the episode over at MarieForleo.com so 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 from 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 MarieTV.
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