Thank-you Gary Vaynerchuk
Last month I felt like I needed a little “pick me up”, so I invited a customer to join me at a business seminar day in Philadelphia. As a Philadelphia Eagles fan, the real draw for me was the Super Bowl Champions Head Coach and our MVP winning Quarterback, Nick Foles. Although there was a full slate of speakers, including some extremely famous names, there seemed to be great anticipation for the scheduled 11:30 keynote. Honestly, it seemed that I was the only one in a crowd of over 5000 who did not know of him. He was a very passionate, authentic and motivating speaker . I had never seen, heard, or read a thing about or by him, but I knew within two minutes what he was all about. His delivery was concise, direct, and colorful. My take away;
This is the greatest time in the history of the world to be alive and we all have the opportunity to be relevant if we put in the work. There are no more powers of selection thanks to the internet. By leveraging the three methods of communication; written word, audio, and video, with great content, your cost to gain the attention of your audience is very low (for now). All companies should consider themselves a Media Company first. The Social Platforms are just “channels” . Our opportunity? Produce and distribute content strategically.
I got it. It was very clear we were missing the boat and not only was I not on the dock, I wasn’t even near the water. The speaker? His name was Gary Vaynerchuk.
Is it too late? No. Within days I was reverse engineering my outcome, producing content, and scaring my team and family with my excitement and plans. We were going on “offense” with social media.
I had been crippled in the haze of the corporate barriers, not able to “see the forest through the trees”. Until you allow yourself to think like a very small business or a 19 year old “ninja entrepreneur” you will never see it. Too often the questions regarding ROI or what’s in it for us crushes the potential of digital marketing and its branding power. How can we monetize it we always asked?
I have been liberated from this thinking.
Maybe there is a reason I was often so mesmerized by the movie; The Social Network. I watch it every time it is on my TV. I watch it for one scene; when Sean Parker explains to Mark Zuckerburg and Eduardo Saverin that it is too early to sell advertising for FaceBook. “we don’t know what it is yet — all we know is that it is cool”. Smart move. Big payoff.
My good fortune to attend this business seminar completed the circle for me. I completely get it. Every company, product, and business person needs to follow the basic principles of the FaceBook strategy . Provide free content, value, and empathy for your customers and followers and the loyalty will pave the way for the payoff in the long (long) run.
Like most fifty something corporate sales and marketing leaders you “only know what you know”. When a marketing department team member or an outside source started talking about social media, I ran from the conference room, probably referencing my kids and saying something like; “whatever you think is best”. Even the brands I was personally invested in, I only watched (followed) from a distance.
Isn’t Facebook just a place where people show off? Instagram, where I my kids share photos and videos? My 77 year old parents have more followers than I have on all of my accounts combined. I only have had a Facebook page so I could follow my children and “grab” photos from their albums for my wife and me. I had made one tweet, two Facebook posts (in 10 years), and I was only on Linked-In because it seemed like it was mandatory at my company.
Don’t get me wrong, I am a hustler and have played a key role in developing several businesses successfully, but wow, what could have been?
This is the first “blog” I have ever written. I am addressing this to my hundreds of friends and customers I have worked with through the years. I invite you to watch me stumble through the process of implementing what I have learned. Maybe you will join me in my quest for relevancy for me and my brands?
It is not my role to explain to anyone the details of Social Media and its incredible power to build relevancy to a brand, business, or an individual, as there is plenty of information out there. One Gary Vee video will teach you more than I can ever explain here. I don’t intend to show you how or even convince you why. You can google it. That’s what I have to do.
I’m just going to do it.
I heard it clearly from that presentation and have connected the dots from further study. I am diving in. You too can learn it, but will you honestly apply to your business, and will you take the crazy and humbling journey of putting yourself out there? I am committed; for both myself and my company.
This is going to be extremely hard work. It will be a 5 year project with no immediate return but I am EXTREMELY confident in the reward for executing this strategy. I expect to appreciate the fruits of my labor in the years to come, however, — I am more excited about the process and the journey.