Marketing and Entrepreneurship Lessons Learned By Analyzing Gary Vaynerchuk
In today’s IT era doing business has become more dynamic than before.
There are new ways of conducting your business, which has opened a way to many resourceful people, who managed to use their knowledge and the way this system works to create their own forms of business and gain great wealth and respect of other people.
That alone motivated a lot of young people to become entrepreneurs and turn their own business ideas into reality.
Of course, that process is not a pet walk and it requires a lot of hard work, commitment and in some cases, abnegation from some things in your life.
But, as they’ve always said, hard work eventually pays off, so all the sacrifice wouldn’t be for anything. You would have your own firm and perhaps your own brand.
And that feeling of fulfillment is something no one else could take away from you.
Today, we want to help you achieve your goals by presenting you some advice from one of the most influential people in entrepreneurship and marketing nowadays, Gary Vaynerchuk or Gary Vee, how people like to call him.
First, we will introduce you to who Gary Vaynerchuk is and why he is so important when it comes to modern marketing and entrepreneurship.
After that, we will present some of the most useful marketing and entrepreneurship lessons he tends to give to other people, so they could succeed in life just as he did. So, without any further due, let’s begin!
WHO IS GARY VAYNERCHUK?
Gary Vaynerchuk was born in 1975 in Babruysk, Soviet Union, which is now part of Belarus.
At the age of 3, he immigrated to the United States and lived with eight other members of his family in a very small apartment in New York. Later he moved to New Jersey.
Ever since the young age, Gary Vaynerchuk showed great potential to be a successful entrepreneur.
At the age of 7, he developed a very successful lemonade business, which helped him earn a lot of baseball cards, worth thousands of dollars.
At the age of 14, he started working in the family business.
During the ‘90s he recognized how useful the internet could become and transferred his father’s company there, to become one of the first e-commerce businesses out there.
That turned out to be a huge success since he had managed to increase the sales from $3 million to $60 million per year.
During that time he also started his very first YouTube show called WineLibraryTV, which was just tip of the iceberg of everything this young man has managed to achieve since then.
The turning point in his career was the speech he gave at Web 2.0 in 2008 in New York. That speech inspired HarperCollins to publish his first book “Crush it!” in 2009, which turned out to be an international bestseller.
That along with his other influencer work, helped him gain some money and invest in companies like Facebook, Twitter, Uber and couple more.
In 2009 he decided to found VaynerMedia along with his brother AJ, and in only 9 years, the company has grown to have around 800 employees and works with some big clients such as PepsiCo, Chase, Johnson & Johnson and GE.
In 2017, the company acquired PureWow, which is woman magazine, which allowed VaynerMedia to enter publishing space.
Despite growing his business, Gary Vaynerchuk continued to do media work he originally started and released several more books that have become the most looked books when it comes to the public speaking and influencing topics.
Apart from that, he had also started the online show #AskGaryVee that helps new entrepreneurs with their everyday business issues.
This show quickly grew into Gary’s very own vlog, introducing him and his CEO life to other people.
As you can see, Gary Vaynerchuk can be very inspirational to some people, with whom they can relate and who could inspire them never to give up on their dreams, because if you work hard enough, everything is possible.
MARKETING LESSONS FROM GARY VAYNERCHUK
With the rise of digital marketing and social media platforms nowadays, it is important that new entrepreneurs understand not just marketing lessons of old, but also these new marketing systems because, without that knowledge, it would be hard to keep up with the competitors.
One of the most influential people when it comes to this topic is, of course, Gary Vaynerchuk, the person who used the internet to boost his father’s business and transform it into the multimillion company in a matter of years and became one of the top influencers when it comes to modern marketing and entrepreneurship topics.
That’s why it is only suitable that we take a closer look at his work and present you with the most important marketing lessons you can learn from Gary Vaynerchuk.
1. No Excuses!
You have probably found yourself in a position where you had to do something but didn’t manage to do it on time.
When that happens, most of the people try to make some excuse just so they could feel better about themselves.
People would often complain to Gary about the problems they faced and his favorite answer on that kind of questions is simply “And?” because not just they are facing those problems, but they are common for most of the entrepreneurs.
So he would just answer them with “And? What are you going to do about it?”, which is exactly what we should all do.
We should spend less time to complain about problems and more time to try to find the solution to them.
This can also be applied to marketing as well.
If you notice that your marketing strategy does not produce wanted effects, then do not try to blame it on something or someone else, but instead, try to work your way around it and explore all possible options that could be used to overcome that issue.
That is the difference between successful and average people.
Successful people do not make excuses. They tend to analyze the situation and see what the problem is, no matter whom or what caused it.
They work very hard to solve their problems and improve their business.
They do not focus on the cause, but the solution.
You won’t hear them say that, for example, marketing strategy was bad because it was designed by a person X, but instead, you will hear them explaining what are the reasons that strategy didn’t produce wanted effects and they will try to introduce the best possible solution that could be used to fix the marketing strategy, so it could produce very positive effects.
2. Be Energetic
When it comes to working in the marketing department or being a sole entrepreneur, it is very important to be energetic about what you do, to seize every good opportunity that comes in your way in order to maximize the efficiency of your marketing strategy.
Every little thing may turn out to be very useful, so that is why you need to be focused on your work and put your all into it in order to expect positive results.
Most new entrepreneurs tend to fail because they don’t do that.
They found a small business, do some work and when they get tired of it, they just abandon it and fail, which is not the right way to be a successful entrepreneur.
You have to really commit to what you want to do, to put a lot of effort into making it happen because if you don’t do it, no one else will do it for you.
Of course, it is important to have support on the side, like family or friends, but eventually, it is up to you to make your business successful and live your dreams.
So, that is why hustle is so important here.
Without it, people just fail and get even more depressed when the hardship hits them.
Of course, this applies to the market as well.
Being energetic in this regard means that you should always be opened to new things because you never know when you might hit that gold vein that would make your business skyrocket.
The great example for that is “You can still Dunk in the Dark” situation that Oreo found itself in during the Superbowl blackout.
People from Oreo managed to use that unfortunate situation to make something hilarious, which was recognized by a lot of people out there.
They managed to do it because they were energetic about it and used the situation that presented itself in that very moment.
3. Be Ready to Specialize
The basic concept of how free trade works is that companies and countries try to find out what are their comparative advantages and then focus on those advantages to make products and services and export them to other countries who don’t have comparative advantages in that area.
So, basically, we are talking about specialization here. Comparative advantage means that you can do something much more efficiently than your competitors.
That way you can focus on doing things you know you can do efficiently and let others do the same with things they are efficient in.
That said, you do not have to be afraid to find the field in which you are good at and focus on expanding your business in that field.
Of course, that doesn’t mean you should pass on the opportunities to expand into different fields if such opportunities present themselves to you.
You should weight the possible positive and negative outcomes and decide would it even be profitable for you to do it and if it is, then, of course, you should.
What specialization means though, is that you should try to create a brand for yourself in the area in which you have comparative advantages.
For example, Gary Vaynerchuk did it with his father’s company.
Gary was and still is known as “the wine guy” because he started in that field and managed to boost very small business to become very successful.
So, you should find the field that suits you, in which you know you could have very positive outcomes and in which you could probably be better than your competitors.
When you manage to do that and seize that market, then you will have a stable position in business.
After that, you should try to expand your business in both your respected field and new ones.
So, do not be afraid to enter new markets and new fields, because it is always good to have your businesses dispersed in case of some serious crisis.
4. Divide and Conquer
In his book, “Jab, jab, jab, Right Hook!” Gary focuses on what strategies you could use to soften up the defenses your customers have towards your products and services in order for you to successfully sell your product to them.
In this book, he says that it is not a good idea to immediately start with a bunch of sales messages, because that might turn off people even more, especially if your brand is new and you do not have a lot of customers.
What you should do is try to soften your customers, make them feel important and then try to sell your products.
For example, you can give some free samples, so they could try out your product and see if they like it or not.
This is probably more important with internet-based businesses.
For example, if you focus on online seminars, otherwise called webinars and stuff, then you should try to make some of them accessible for free instead of spraying your website with dozens of expensive videos and courses.
A couple of great examples are the websites for e-learning, like Coursera or EdX that offers a lot of free courses to everyone.
The catch is that if you want to get a certificate, you have to pay a certain amount of money.
Apart from that, a lot of free courses are simply the basics in certain fields, so you can choose to pay for other courses that continue and upgrade what you have already learned in some free courses.
As you can see, it is very important to think about your marketing strategy thoroughly, to make your customers feel important and try to bring them closer to your products and services, so they would feel more opened and more willing to spend money on your products.
5. Never Give Up!
One of my favorite quotes by Vince Lombardi is “Winners never quit, and quitters never win”. It represents how you should do everything in your life.
There will be times when you will feel depressed, bad and unwilling to move on with your business, but that is the time where you have to be strong and do not quit and abandon your dreams.
It is probably one of the most important features of successful people.
When they would face a problem or a series of problems, they would not just give up and shut down their company, but instead, they would try to find the solution to their problems and overcome the issues they have.
Sometimes it is hard, yes, but without some effort and sacrifice, you cannot hope to become a successful entrepreneur.
Gary used to talk that sometimes he wished his business would fail, just so he could do it all over again.
What is he saying right here, is not that you should try to sabotage your own business just to make it work for the 2nd or 3rd time, though?
What he means is that no matter how hard it is, no matter how desperate you feel about all the problems that might have hit you and your business, you have to get up and keep moving and work towards resolving those issues.
When you notice that your marketing campaign is not going well, you should try to look for what caused the problem and resolve it.
Sometimes though, it is not possible to just move on with the same campaign, so you might have to start over and think more thoroughly next time.
The important thing to remember is never to give up!
Because if you don’t find the way, no one else will do it for you.
ENTREPRENEURSHIP LESSONS FROM GARY VAYNERCHUK
Let us now see what we can learn about entrepreneurship from Gary Vaynerchuk.
He managed to boost his father’s business and expand it even further, so he has been through a lot of both good and bad things concerning his company and the public speaking business he has been conducting as well.
Taking everything that has been said so far into the account, Gary Vaynerchuk is more than the capable candidate to share some advice and personal experience, and the following will be the most important entrepreneurship lessons he has to show you.
1. Be Aware of Yourself
The very first thing to do before starting your own business is to be aware of yourself and your personal skills so you could be able to choose what field you want to specialize into.
Self-awareness is also very important when it comes to creating a competent team for your company.
By knowing yourself, you can see what are your strengths and weaknesses, so you could find people who complete you, people whose strengths are your weaknesses and vice versa.
Some people have a problem to be like this, to be aware of themselves.
Those people often tend to choose to develop businesses that are not suited for them, and that is when the problems occur because once the avalanche has started, it is hard to evade it.
That’s why it is better to prepare yourself and do the research of your inner self, so you could really focus on things that matter to you, the things you are good at.
People who do that tend to become very successful entrepreneurs and they tend to resolve their business issues much easier, which is very important because it is always easier to deal with issues if you know what are your capabilities and what can you expect from other people.
2. Talent is Nothing Without Hard Work
“This is ten percent luck, twenty percent skill,
Fifteen percent concentrated the power of will,
Five percent pleasure, fifty percent pain,
And a hundred percent reason to remember the name.”
As the lyric of this song suggests, you may have the talent and even some skill, but without working on yourself and your abilities, then it will all be in vain and all that talent could go to waste.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you need to work for 20 hours a day without having a decent amount of sleep and rest.
That is definitely something you shouldn’t do because it might hurt your health and then the business would not matter much.
No, it means you should work as energetic as possible, without slacking and postponing important things and decisions because it could become a habit.
And when it becomes a habit, then it usually transfers to your business results as well.
Customers could become angry, your annual results would suffer and eventually, you would have to shut down your company or completely change the way you are working, which in some cases might not help since you could lose a lot of reputation because of your past actions.
That’s why you need to work hard, follow the schedules, try to keep up with everything and your business could eventually become what it is supposed to be.
3. Quality Over Quantity
Nowadays, the businesses have much larger competition than before, due to the effects of globalization and the internet, which both changed the way the business is done and created a much more dynamic business environment.
So, in order to succeed in today’s markets, you will have to think carefully about how you want to conduct your business.
More precisely, would you rather be hungry for money and not care about your customers or would you rather think carefully about what your customers want and how you could satisfy their wishes.
People often say that the customer is always right, and that is completely true.
You may not like what your customer wants, but if there is a demand for something, you should take advantage of that. Because without those customers, you have nothing.
So, you need to be able to communicate with your clients and customers, offer them the best possible support and listen to what they are saying because feedback is very important for every business in any type of field.
Another very important thing to note here is that honesty is very important in business.
Yes, you can cheat and get some money, but it cannot last in long term. You have to think wider and consider future benefits.
If you are being honest, your customers will put more trust in you and you will have an easier time communicating with them and they will show less resistance to what you have to offer to them, which is very important in the customer relations area.
There you go, folks! We have presented to you who Gary Vaynerchuk is and what are the most important marketing and entrepreneurship lessons he has to offer.
Now, what remains is that you get out there and use this knowledge to become a successful entrepreneur and live your dreams.
In Palo Alto we talked with venture capitalist Alex Taussig about the investment process and …