Gary Vaynerchuk is the chairman of VaynerX, a modern-day media and communications holding company, and the active CEO of VaynerMedia, a full-service advertising agency servicing Fortune 100 clients across the company’s 5 locations.
In the late 90s, after identifying “the internet” as a land-grab opportunity, Gary transitioned his father’s local liquor store into one of the first wine e-commerce platforms resulting in growing the family business from $3-60MM in sales during a 5-year period.
Gary is considered one of the leading global minds on what’s next in culture, relevance and the internet. Known as “GaryVee,” he is described as one of the most forward thinkers in business – he acutely recognizes trends and patterns early to help others understand how these shifts impact markets and consumer behavior. Whether its emerging artists, esports, NFT investing or digital communications, Gary understands how to bring brand relevance to the forefront. He is a prolific angel investor with early investments in companies such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Venmo, Snapchat, Coinbase and Uber.
Gary is an entrepreneur at heart — he builds businesses. Today, he helps Fortune 1000 brands leverage consumer attention through his full service advertising agency, VaynerMedia which has offices in NY, LA, London, Mexico City, LATAM and Singapore.
In addition to running multiple businesses, Gary documents his life daily as a CEO through his social media channels which has more than 30 million followers across all platforms. His podcast ‘The GaryVee Audio Experience” ranks among the top podcasts globally. He is a five-time New York Times Best-Selling Author and one of the most highly sought-after public speakers.
Ian spent a day with GaryVee and his team in Vayner’s Los Angeles alongside David Moeller, the founder of Keep Technologies. In this two-part episode, we talk about how that experience came about and what it was like meeting GaryVee.
Watch the episode here
Listen to the podcast here
Meeting With GaryVee – Part 2
A Behind-The-Scenes Look Into Our Day With Vaynermedia
This is part two of my meeting with Gary Vee. If you have not read part one, and you are confused as to why I’m meeting with Gary Vaynerchuk and his VaynerMedia team, I would stop now and go back and read part one. If not, we pick up where we left off, where we are getting direction on all the different social media platforms and how they are different, how we have to create content that is unique for them. We dive into our actual meeting with Gary Vee and what it’s like when that guy comes rolling into the office.
Gary Vee got a series of books. One of his books is called Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, which I’ve read. What he talks about, a lot of that, is it’s probably a few years old at this point. It’s not going to be up to what he said. TikTok, I don’t think it existed yet. The point is understanding where you are, understanding the message, cultivating the message for people who were there, and making sure that you are built in a way that the audience is going to be able to find you. I advertise online too. Understanding the medium is critical because if you put the wrong message in the wrong medium, you’re never going to get hurt.
Going through that, we learned a lot about the different channels and how you have to be nuanced. A big mistake a lot of people make is they’ll make one ad or they’ll make one post, and then they’ll have someone put it on all of them. That doesn’t work at all. You have to tailor the message the way people expect it to look on those different sites, or you’ll fail on different sites.
Trying to do what you’re doing on TikTok on LinkedIn won’t work. LinkedIn does better with writing, with copy, with those kinds of things. Whereas TikTok needs to be a little more reverent, less produced. That’s more of what people are looking for. They dove into TikTok a little bit because TikTok is largely getting blown off.
One thing I loved that Gary and everyone around to talk about is, as an advertising firm, they look at arbitrage. The way Gary explained it is, “I look to see who’s adding the most new users and adding the least amount of businesses advertising there. That’s where you get the best price. That’s where you get the lowest cost per advertising. Right now, TikTok is the most downloaded app in the world. It’s the most trafficked in the world. It’s bigger than Facebook and Instagram. It’s where all the attention is. Yet all the businesses that I work with roll their eyes and say, ‘That’s a bunch of eight-year-old kids doing dances.’”
He’s like, “That tells me that they’ve not spent any time on it because that’s not what it is anymore.” That’s what it started as. It is very different. LinkedIn started as a place where you put your resume, and that was it. It’s very different than that now. There are videos on it, feeds and images. I didn’t know much about TikTok, and Gary challenged David and me. He asked us how much time we spent there. Even though they had already done some modules on TikTok, we’re not there at all. “Why?” We were like, “It’s the same reasons you said. Most are not there. We think it’s a bunch of people like my daughter, who’s an eight-year-old, who lives on TikTok dancing.”
The only homework he gave us the whole time was, “I want the two of you to go set up an account and spend fifteen minutes a day there.” We were asking him about influencer campaigns. We can get into that at some point, but he believes influencer campaigns could be huge for us rather than one big bang, get yourself a whole bunch of micro-influencers. My question to him is, how do we know who to choose?There's just something so powerful about being vulnerable, just admitting that you need help will go a long way. Click To Tweet
Let’s get to that in a minute. I want to spend a little bit more time on this. I am part of a mastermind network. I talk about it all the time, and people always talk about social media. Let’s talk about some of the tips and tricks you talk about. Each one of the big five and then we let’s move into the next piece, which is specifically for keep. On TikTok, why did he challenge you to spend fifteen minutes a day on it? What was the guidance? How do you build a following on TikTok?
Part of this, he’s asking everyone, “Where are you active? What are you doing?” I’m active and had success on LinkedIn. I spend more time there because I’ve been successful. Gary’s team is making the argument that you’re successful there because you spend a lot of time there, and you know what works, other creators that are doing well, and what people like to see on LinkedIn. You know the people that spend time there what they want and you give it to them in the way they like to consume it.
Let’s tackle LinkedIn since we’re talking about TikTok next. This happens fucking daily. Ian and I are putting things out on LinkedIn. These are little hacks that we’ve learned. I’m guessing we’re going to cover some of these and talk about it with Gary. This is how you get attention on LinkedIn. This is important, and he knows it better than me.
I’m going to start it, then I’m going to let him curate what I say. They want native content on LinkedIn. They don’t want to have a video that takes you to a different website. You need to put something that gets people engaged on LinkedIn and doesn’t take them somewhere else. In addition to that, what LinkedIn looks at is your engagement within the first hour.
What happens in a lot of instances when Ian and I put out a video, we keyword it, we don’t take anybody anywhere, we leave them on LinkedIn, and we try and get at least twenty likes and comments within the first hour. We’re not super in floors like a Gary Vee. He gets going to get way more than that but what ends up happening is if we are able to get twenty-plus reactions in the first hour, our videos tend to get more than a thousand views. What ends up happening is we are native to the site. We capture it, we gain momentum, and then we get a lot of views. The biggest views that Ian and I ever had are into the 5,000 to 10,000 range. They all caught fire early. Ian, what other hacks do you know about LinkedIn? This is cool to talk about.
With all the different social media, it’s similar. I am very consistent. I post something every morning. Getting your audience whoever follows you conditioned that you are going to post something at a certain time. If that’s once a week or Mondays, this show is like that. This show comes out on Monday morning. People are used to getting our show on Monday mornings.
Be consistent when you post. For me, with LinkedIn, it’s every morning. Every social media platform is not a fan of sending you to another one. If I post a link on LinkedIn, I could write the same copy, but if I then attach a link to YouTube, that’s sending someone off LinkedIn, and they don’t like that. They’ll share it with a lot less people. There are algorithm hacks that you can do. They want viral content. They want things people are talking about, engaging with, the more people that can talk about it in the first hour, the better.
The first hour I respond to everyone’s comments. When someone sends me a comment, I respond to it. I write it back to them. A little hack that I do after an hour, I log off of LinkedIn. I click out of all of them, and LinkedIn doesn’t like that. LinkedIn wants me to come back. LinkedIn will start sending me emails. If I click out of it saying, “This person commented, people are engaging. Ian, come back. Your article is doing well.” I found out that if you leave the platform after an hour, it will send it to more people to get more people commenting and then remind you to come back and comment with them because it wants me on it all day.
Post, comment as much as you can, be consistent when you do it. LinkedIn is about copy and not about sending to other links. If you’re going to post, post something that’s native there that will live on LinkedIn forever. We upload an actual video that can be found on LinkedIn or a picture on LinkedIn. Then anytime we send someone to a link, we put it in the comments because the comments won’t hurt you as much as sending someone off as if you put it in the body of the post.
One of the things with YouTube that we’ve learned you can get away with a little bit more in regards to movie clips, soundbites, and things along those lines. Facebook is like the Gestapo with that, so you can get away with some of this stuff, but you’ll start to learn by posting regularly what is and what is not allowed. Let’s move off of LinkedIn. Is there anything else to add to LinkedIn before we get to a different platform?
I don’t think so.
Let’s talk a little bit about Facebook. I want to talk about Facebook from this perspective. Facebook is a browse. It is not a search, almost all of it. There is some search component of Facebook, but usually, it’s browse. There’s a guy who’s in my network, which is incredible. He’s got perfect hair. He’s becoming one of the faces of real estate. He’s been on BiggerPockets. YouTube has reached out to him. He’s got two million-plus following on TikTok.
He said something in a meeting that I thought was incredible. He goes, “Nobody has ever gotten Facebook famous. Facebook is a place for grandmas to go or for you to be one away with that. That’s how things work on Facebook. It’s a little bit similar on Instagram since they’re both owned by Facebook. Why don’t you talk a bit of Facebook and Instagram on what you learn going in or what they confirmed or helped you with when you were there?”
Even though Facebook owns Instagram, one thing that they know well is that they’re better than any social media. If you’re using paid advertising, they have an algorithm that is crazy good. If they know more about you, they know more about what you like, what your friends like, what your spending habits are. If you are an advertiser on those platforms, the algorithm will find your buyer. It usually takes 45 to 60 days.
One thing that Gary was talking about is too many people quit on Facebook right away. He would argue with you that it’s a place for grandmas. He had some data that said that’s total bullshit. That’s people that have it wrong. Grandmas spend more time scrolling on it and screwing around because they’re not on some other places, but young people are still all over Facebook.
They’re using it differently. No one uses Craigslist anymore. It’s become obsolete. The Facebook Marketplace has taken its place. Facebook has a place where young people go to buy things, almost like an Amazon. They’re used to getting advertisements there. If you have consumer products similar to what David and I have, it’s a good place to advertise if you’re selling.
Facebook Marketplace is a big place where the return is still good on investing dollars. Instagram is a little bit different. Even though Facebook owns it, it’s still all Zuckerberg. Instagram is trying to drive their stories. If you look at your Instagram, if you get it on an iPhone, there’s the feed that you can scroll through your timeline. If you go to the top, there’s a whole bunch of little circles and those are Stories.
What Instagram is trying to do is capture the way TikTok works. They want more video. The video keeps you there. Instagram used to be a picture-sharing site. That’s how it started. No one is saying that anymore. They want to be a video site, so videos perform better. People who use the stories section are getting a lot more engagement and get seen by a lot more people.
If you’re trying to decide as an advertiser or company, “How do I do this? Do I post a picture? Do I post a Story?” The Stories are doing much better. They work. They’re like a mix between TikTok and Snapchat and that the Stories go away. They last for 24 hours and then the Stories are gone. That’s a little bit different. One thing that I like that Instagram has is the Instagram Polls.
Gary Vee talked to us a lot about listening to customers on social media and how to use it to see what’s important to people. They’re using Instagram Polls more to get data about their customers to learn about different things. He challenged us a little bit where he was asking us about our price. Our price is $299. Gary was like, “I don’t know if it’s $50 people will pay or $300.”
He challenged us to be smarter about how we’re getting customer data. He was talking about the different polls that you can use and the different A/B tests. I’ll get into more about how you can do that but that was one thing that I took away from it. He also talked about how many owners of companies have an Instagram page and then have their individual page, but the truth is people want to follow the individual more than the company page.
The company pages normally don’t do well on these. Elon Musk is way more exciting than Tesla to most people. He has such a big following because his life is fascinating. They got into a little bit of the personal branding there. On Instagram, it’s about videos. You have to change that mentality if you’re not using Stories because they are pushing everything to Stories and less about images and regular feed.
I want to read you something cool. This came up from somebody who has studied these things, and I had to dig it up while you’re talking, but you talked about how the ads are so incredibly great with Instagram and also Facebook. This is why. Especially Facebook, they use what’s called like. If you go out and your heavy liker of things, listen to this, if you do ten likes on Facebook, Facebook knows you better than one of your coworkers.
If you do 70 likes, Facebook knows you better than a friend. Seventy knows me and can anticipate my buying and my tendencies more than Ian if I liked at least 70 things. Ian and I are both old. I don’t think I’ve liked 70 things on Facebook, but to that end, most young kids can be incredibly well-targeted because they like that. If there are 150 likes, Facebook knows you better than your parents. If there are 300 likes, they know you better than your spouse.
It shows you the ability and how smart they are at taking these things in cross-referencing. For heavy Facebook users, if you do enough likes, Facebook knows you better than yourself. An example of this. I tend to buy tons of clothes on Facebook. I tend to buy shoes or clothes or the things that I tend to buy. My brother-in-law came over and he’s not a sure clothes guy. He buys guns and things that are in the woods. He’s an outdoorsman. He’s got four-wheelers. He lives on some acreage and he loves it. I asked him, “Where do you always find this stuff?” He goes, “I just find it on Facebook or Instagram.”The more vulnerable you are in these classes, the more you're going to learn. Click To Tweet
Ian tends to wear cool T-shirts like ‘80s t-shirts. I asked him where he had found them. I’ve never seen the ad. It’s on Instagram. These things are really great at understanding who you are, what it is that you are, and what we tell people. Netflix is famous for this. Netflix says, “People tell us they want to watch documentaries.” You’re full of shit. We see the data. You tell people you want to watch documentaries. You’re dumb. They know who watches it. It’s incredible with that little bit of information how great they can be in marketing.
It’s not what you like, Frank. It’s what your friends like. If you like your specific people, you could have 500 friends on Facebook, but it knows your friends and knows how you’re scrolling and watching most of their scrolling attention. It’s going to use their buying habits to give you ads because if your best friends might like it, if I like some nice t-shirts, Frank might start seeing some nice t-shirts that I’m getting the same ads for. If a good friend of mine in Virginia bought an aluminum baseball bat for his kid, I might get that same ad.
It’s so crazy how much the web works. I want to come back to this, though. With the Facebook and Instagram thing, this thought of, “Don’t be on Facebook,” because just grandmas is so untrue. Young folks are all over the Facebook Marketplace. They like that. They go there because Facebook shows them new things, and they like to find new things. Facebook is good at introducing new advertisements to you based on your buying history. That’s where they find new stuff.
It’s fascinating. You said something that is also incredibly critical, and it’s the migration to video. Do we want to talk about this now or do we want to hit that when we get to YouTube or TikTok?
We might as well talk about TikTok because TikTok who’s pushed them all into this world. Right now, they are the center of the social media universe. Whether you think it’s stupid or the videos are ridiculous or for little kids, you can think what you want, but the data would say you’re wrong. There are two things they talk about at Vayner.
There’s free reach, and there’s viral reach. Free reach means how many people saw what you posted or looked at. That’s from your network. That’s from you creating something good. Viral reach, they consider something gifted to you by the platform. Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn are so mature that the viral reach is not great because they’ve been around for a long time.
You have to earn all of the engagements. You have to put something great up. It has to be interesting and connect. TikToK is still trying to bring lots of new people into the fold. They’re in a place where they’re giving people viral reach. That means people outside of your network and your network’s network because there are so many new people coming on.
If you’re a producer, they’re adding people faster than they have content getting added if that makes sense, and they don’t have a lot of advertisers on there. Vayner said, “There’s nowhere else to go right now where you get as much free viral reach that’s gifted to you by the platform to bring on new people.”
Your friend who’s got two million TikTok followers probably grew that a lot faster than he could have grown two million Facebook followers because TikTok has given away viral reach right now because they’re trying to get everyone. They want to be Facebook and they’ve pretty much become Facebook. They’re more popular right now with the young folks, which means those are the people in five years, they will be buying my car alarm because they’re going to have a car.
The free reach and the viral reach are terms I’d never heard of before. That’s a big deal, and I’ll restate it, in case you missed it. The free reach is something you’ve created. The viral reach is the reach where the platform helps you with this.
They looked at it as a gift like, “Here you go, I’m going to put this in front of another thousand people that aren’t even in your network because it’s new. We’re trying to get you going.”
When I worked at Ryan Homes, I would sell two houses a month for two reasons. The advertising that they did in the Washington post and because of the model home with all the signage. People just show up. That is a viral reach because I work there and it reached out to them. That makes a ton of sense, the inverse relationship between advertisers and users and understanding this.
I started getting clued into social media, probably 2006 or 2009. I met Gary Vee for the time in a conference in 2009. Tony Robbins put on this huge conference at $5,000 and he had all these incredible names. He had Gary Vee there. I could go through the list. It was insane with the amount of talent. It was three days.
It was super cheap for what you got. Gary Vee was a line guy back then. He was doing Wine Library TV, he was on YouTube and Twitter, and he was talking about it. The brand of the week tends to change. Twitter was really hot. Facebook was hot. TikTok is currently hot. What you understand is if you can get on this platform early and be an early dominator to the platform, what tends to happen is you get a lot of momentum, and then you have to move. These things tend to go away, but I’ve seen it 6, 7, or 8 different times.
TikTok is the hot commodity at the moment because it’s the newest. Instagram was a hot commodity at the moment a while ago. When Facebook bought them for $1 billion, Gary Vee came out and said they stole Instagram. Everyone was like, “You’ve got to be kidding me. WhatsApp traded for multiples of that and it was not nearly the footprint a couple of years later.” These things are always evolving and changing but knowing where you are in the cycle, how it works and what you can get out of it are big. What do you want to say about YouTube? What did you learn? What did they tell you?
There are two other things that I say when I stay on TikTok. I learned that I’m not an active user. Someone who’s on TikTok would know about these, but #Challenges. Have you ever heard of these, Frank? They have these #Challenges and more big brands are starting to use them. A #Challenge as an advertiser, you have to pay for this.
You create a #Challenge and it’s basically a way of getting people to use your product. An example they used for a campaign they read with Olay. Olay has got a bunch of stay-at-home products. Their #Cchallenge was the stay-at-home-spa challenge. They did this right in COVID. They saw more people on TikTok who were creating these stay-home spas because there were no open spas at the time.
They built a $200 bundle of products like eye creams, masks, or whatever someone would need for a stay-at-home spa. They created this challenge where the winners will get a free bundle if they get a viral video of them creating a little spa in their house. These got thousands and thousands of views. People spend a fortune on these stay-at-home spas for Olay. It was something that the two of us started thinking hard about, doing a little #Challenge of protecting your car or something around security, safety, or something of that nature. I want to be on that fascinating deal.
I would like to be the first participant in 2021 when I buy my meat and fish for Thanksgiving, Christmas. Hopefully, I don’t get ripped off.
Maybe you get another roast rip-off, some kid ride around on a bike. That’d be a pretty funny video. That shit would go viral. Some kids rolled around back to his neighborhood with a roast on his back. That was good. They also talked a lot about the trending hashtags on TikTok because it is hot and it’s the most trafficked social media site.
The hashtags, their what’s trending, and looking at that helps you tap into something that’s important and makes your product fit within something that everyone is seeing right now. I’ll give you an example of something that worked for me on LinkedIn. I did a little gag post, and you didn’t know much about it, but there’s this thing that started on TikTok, where people are walking on egg crates like pyramids and falling bursting their heads open.
Most of them were in the hood and I saw one from Snoop dog. I posted a picture of a bunch of crates going up and down. I made it a little business post on LinkedIn. It did wildly. It did over 10,000 views, and people were commenting all over it. It’s little ways like that you can hack into the social consciousness of what’s hot right now that they talked about and how to use TikTok for your brand.The best weekly calls you can have with management teams are the ones where they're saying that something isn’t right. Click To Tweet
We were talking about this guy that I’m friends with from CG. His name is Ryan Pineda. If you look him up, he has about 4,700 friends on Facebook. If there are no duplicates, roughly 5,000 to 10,000 people he’s touching on YouTube. His YouTube following is 150,000 subscribers. On TikTok, he has 885,000 followers and 12.2 million likes.
That’s a viral reach right there. That’s what that is. It’s the same content and same guy. I imagine he’s posting as much on all those sites as he is, but TikTok has given him a ton more eyeballs, spending time getting to know his brand.
I wanted to bring that up for that exact reason. We’re diving into something cool. Most people don’t know this stuff. I’ve been brushed against it. Ian is saying it is crystallizing it for me, but that’s a perfect example. This dude knows what he’s doing. He has a course on how to allow the internet and social media help you, and you can see the reach. I thought that was important.
Think about that from us if we want this show to be bigger. We’re on LinkedIn and we should be on LinkedIn because we’re a business show. Young people are interested in business as well. They’re interested in careers as people that are doing it on TikTok. You and I could be getting a hell of a lot more reach on TikTok. If the goal is to get listeners, we are ignoring TikTok at the peril of this show.
It’s not like it’s going to die but if we want to get more reach, we should have a TikTok strategy. I left there thinking I’ve got to quit being a dick saying that those are a waste of time. It’s a bunch of eight-year-olds. I also got to quit thinking that Facebook is just old people. I learned a lot that those are all terrible thoughts that are wrong. TikTok is a place where we could be performing better.
We put self-conceived prejudices on it, and they’re wrong because we don’t understand how to use them, so we’ll make something up and then sit on the couch and watch the Dodgers game. One of the things that I have in the notes is that Jerome is going to be here. I’m going to ask him, how do we build TikTok videos? What works? What doesn’t? Ian and I have support staff. We’ve each got people who we talk to and work with, and we’re being lazy. What we’re going to do is we’re going to figure out how to do that and capitalize on it. For me, it’s TikTok.
I went this route, and this is where Gary Vee cut me off, said, “No, don’t hire us. Don’t hire an agency. Don’t spend money. Get your ass on TikTok for fifteen minutes.” He then pointed at both David and me. It’s like, “I get it. You guys are successful businessmen. You run a company. Spend fifteen minutes a day on TikTok. You can’t outsource this if you don’t know what’s going on and how it works. I would be so happy if you guys sent me an email in three months and said I was on TikTok fifteen minutes a day and here’s how I’ve started.” He also said that’s how you find influencers. He’s like, “Don’t let me pick your influencers. Why don’t you spend time and say, ‘That guy won us. I like him. I’m going to DM him and say we want to work with you, buddy.’” That’s how you find an influencer. It’s someone you’re okay with.
I need to clarify. I’m not going to ask you how to use TikTok. I’m going to ask you how to use my phone and show me how to post it on TikTok. I want to know that process.
Over and over, he said, “A big mistake people make as they lose their voice, and they try to spend a bunch of money in social media, and it doesn’t work. You’ve got to be engaged, or it comes across as flat.”
This topic is bent on gaslighting that we talked about, cutting edge from the 1940s. The Wright brothers were not well-funded, and they are the ones who ultimately got the newspaper in the last century and a half, invented flight. There were all these government agencies that had tons of money. These guys had no money. They made bicycles and they had a passion. Sometimes everyone, especially people of our age, means to be reminded. I’m not your freaking slave and do it yourself. Let’s talk a little bit about YouTube.
What does the most popular search start with? What two words?
You nailed it. The most popular search on YouTube is always going to be how to. If you’re building something on YouTube, it should be answering that question. They talked a lot about different content strategies. I loved one of the thoughts that came out of this. I don’t know if Gary said it or the head of Sasha Group, but the best way that they build content is they tell people, “Go into your inbox and read the customer questions.” What are the last hundred questions you’ve answered for our customer? Go build videos on it. Build videos around how to do it and comparisons. Are people asking about the price? Are they asking about how it works, how it’s installed, and how to fix it? How do I use it in a different application?
If you don’t have that in your inbox if you do have one social channel that is doing well, what are the questions people are asking in the comments? That’s your content. One thing Gary Vee said that I liked, he said that he doesn’t think about the business where the customer is always right but the customer’s customer is always right. What he means there is, his job is marketing. His job is to help you spend your money to get as many sales as you can. He said most companies are good at building widgets or good at building houses like Frank or you and I are good at talking about certain business things, but we’re not great marketers.
He’s a great marketer. A lot of times, his customer will come and be like, “Here’s how I want to market. I want to go run a TV ad campaign. We’re going put a couple of ads in the New York Times. Usually, my customer is wrong when it comes to marketing. I’m listening to my customer’s customer. What do they want? What do they want more from you? What are they listening to?” Out of all my takeaways of stuff that Gary Vee said, one of the things that I liked the most was thinking about the actual consumer of a product more than the executives running the company from a marketing standpoint.
He also talked a little bit about the YouTube page, how most people don’t set it up right. People will leave quickly. A YouTube page should look like a table of contents. If you go to Gary Vaynerchuk’s YouTube page, it’s great. It’s broken down by content. What are you here for? What do you want to look at? Do you want to look at advertising? Do you want to talk about inspiration? Do you want to talk about mindset?
He’s got broken down into lots of different categories. When you come there, you can choose what you want to talk about. This is the opposite of how Frank and I have our YouTube page. We have 60 episodes listed. None of it is broken out by the table. One thing Frank and I are doing we’re talking to a friend of his that is better than us at this.
We’re going to go set up our YouTube page a lot different than it’s set up but it crystallized it for me listening to Gary talk about it. Before you think about your content, you need to organize your site that people don’t get there and say, “I want to leave.” It needs to be organized and they need to have choices of, “I’m here. What do you have to offer? Scroll down? I like this. I’m going to stay in this category.” Break it down by categories.
There’s a couple of things. Our YouTube channel has 44 subscribers with 54 videos. We have more videos than we have subscribers. The only two that come up natively are our most recent two episodes. Someone else gets in front of us in line, which is terrible. I want to go through this real quick. Episode number nine, Changing Your Life Through Small Habits, but renaming that How to Change Your Life Through Small Habits? How to build a presentation that doesn’t suck?
All this is, we have good stuff, and people aren’t finding it. The goal of this show was to talk a little bit about what are you learned. I got excited halfway through this becoming less than a quarter way into it because I’m like, “Ian was just with one of the foremost experts on this information. I want to learn while I’m here. This is my time too.” That’s why we got into the sidetrack of what we’re talking about because this is valuable. It’s valuable for me. At the time, for me, I’m guessing the probable for you if you’re reading.
In essence, we spent $10,000 a ticket. $2,000 was knocked off because COVID hurt their demand a little. We are getting a little rebate from the initial $12,000, but we spent $20,000 and we talked about it. We were at ground zero. That’s the Mecca of social media marketing. No one does it better than Gary Vee. He’s got bigger followers. He makes a ton of money on there. He’s good at it across all channels and huge agency. I took a lot of things away from it, but let’s start with the YouTube page. The fact that you didn’t even know how to find it. Let’s talk about that a little bit. Frank and I have completely outsourced the YouTube page. We outsourced it to Podetize, which is our podcast marketing firm.
We’re not involved in the images they choose to put on the thumbnails. We are not involved in how it’s named to be smart. We’ve spent nothing on marketing. They get posted. I wouldn’t know how to find it either. I have not been to our page. I’ve been to our page once but we’re not funneling any way there and we’re not talking. This comes down to, “You can’t outsource 100% on social media.” If we want our YouTube page to be better, Frank and I need to spend some time on our YouTube page. We need to look at it, pay attention and listen to it.
The lessons across all of it are like, “Where am I doing good in social media? It’s LinkedIn. That’s where I spend my time. Where did I do good before that? Quora. It is where I was spending my time.” Where I don’t spend my time, I do shitty because I don’t know anything about it. I don’t even know how it looks to other people, let alone me. If we want to be better on YouTube, and we do, from everything I learned, that’s where people are searching. That’s how they’ll get to our show. We need to do a lot of things different from what they were talking to us about. I took that away too. The titles, the organization and the way the content is laid out, all of that matters.
This is a show about business. Let Me Speak to A Manager is a play on words because Ian and I are managers. We are active managers. We are not infallible humans clearly. Even though by reading, you probably think we are, but we think we are. The point of this is we both know that you need to master something first. We’ve talked about it here before you can outsource it to others. My takeaways from Ian’s trip besides I wish I was at the Dodgers game that I love.
The point is we need to get a little bit granular. At the end of every one of these, we say, “We joke about the dozens of readers.” The reason we have dozens of readers is that we suck. I don’t think we do, or we’re not doing a good job. We suck at marketing and we’re not spending time on getting granular with it. That’s where the effort needs to go, continue to put out a product, talk about things that are relevant, get great detail, and then talk about how to get it out there.
Another assurance that we suck at it is we’re not experts. We’re several months into this. We’ve been honest with everyone on this show. We never started this as a business. We started as a fun little thing to do because neither of us understood podcasts. Let’s do one, and we think we have good ideas. Let’s see. We never thought of it as a business. We’ve gotten good at creating content. One thing that I took away from everyone at this.
The hardest part is creating content. Marketing is about putting your attention there a little bit more. The people that were at the table, all of them were saying, “When do I find time to create content? I can’t come up with content.” I was sitting there thinking like, “That is not a problem for me. Coming up with content and creating content when it comes to this show with anything. If I want to create content, that’s a matter of scheduling the time and doing it.”
I’m going to have to do that with the key but the car alarm, but you and I are already doing a lot of that. We’ll get into Gary Vee’s specific segment in a minute, but wrapping up YouTube and all of the different social channels, videos are everything. Every one of the channels wants video and not pictures. Other than LinkedIn, which likes people reading, but reading is similar. LinkedIn has a lot of copy. It’s the same. It takes you a few minutes to read a long form. They want you on there as long as possible. That’s how they can learn like a scroll. Video has to be there. The story mode is very big. How do you organize it as big?
The content you produce on each one needs to be what people expect on there. There are different expectations in each. The only way to know that is a spend time there. Those were all the big ones that I took away. We haven’t even talked about Twitter, but Twitter didn’t get a lot of attention on there. Gary’s big take on Twitter is it’s a great place to learn from feedback and to get into conversations. Don’t worry about content. Get into conversations and learn what you should post in other places.Work with people who understand this better than anybody. Click To Tweet
We are getting along in a tooth on this episode and there’s a couple of things we need to talk about. We should have two major subjects and then put a wrap on this. The second to the last one I want to talk about is Gary Vee himself. You met him. How was that? What were some of the major takeaways?
David and I were talking about this morning. He is so deliberate about his presence. We’ve got a few meetings in the morning in his beautiful LA office. Everything you would think from an office and advertising agency, and big exposed roof. Everything is an open loft. It’s a very cool place, a huge kitchen where we were sitting around where the presentation was taking place. Gary comes in a little bit after lunch. The guy comes into the office with two camera dudes following them in like everywhere. He’s a reality show that goes 24/7. He’s always got camera guys with him. He’s got his camera guy, DRock, with them. Before he even meets with us, he’s got like multiple people on a couch.
He is shaking their hands. They’re recording this. He’s doing a little 10 to 15-minute get-togethers. There was a famous rapper in the office that I don’t know who this rapper was. He’s a young hip-hop guy that I’d never met. Gary spent some time with this hip-hop guy on camera, talking and coaching him on some things that he could be doing with his social media presence.
This whole agency revolves around Gary’s personality and how much he cultivates everything. David called it a circus. It’s unbelievable. He had multiple wardrobe changes the time we saw him. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s similar to when you and I changed shirts when we’re doing two episodes on one day. It looks like it happened on a different day, but I saw him in multiple outfits while he was there.
If you follow him at all on social media, he’s a positive guy and gregarious. He’s all of that. The people that work for him are all very similar in that they’re high-energy and good people. He’s everything you see on social media. He looks you in the eye when he talks to you. He has a big smile and very good listener. I was impressed.
He sits down at the table with us. He sits down with the head of the table and he’s got an hour and a half to spend with all of us. There’s a guy who was a dentist, and he’s building a business on the side of video programs for other dentists to do veneers and other things. Then there’s me and David, which are totally different.
There was a mortgage broker who had a team of twelve people in a growing business. There was a guy who owned four restaurants in Vegas. This is interesting. Jim Brown’s wife was there as one of the paying advertisements. She’s building Jim Brown’s brand getting all his old footage and creating a media company. She was a very impressive individual.
Did Gary jump all over that?
I’m talking to her at lunch. She wants to start a podcast. She’s telling me all about it. I’m listening. I’m like, “I got a show.” I was giving her a few ideas of some things that like get started, that it would be easier than she thought, and she’s telling me what she’s doing.
She’s like, “We’re doing a documentary on African-Americans in lacrosse. We’re trying to get exposure out there to the sport because we love the sport.” She kept saying, “We and African-Americans, I don’t know if you know this, they’re underrepresented in lacrosse.” I’m like, “The most famous lacrosse player ever is Jim Brown. He’s probably the best one.”
She was like, “That’s my husband.” She was so humble. She didn’t even lead with that. She was there half the day. I didn’t know Jim Brown was her husband. She was great. In general, it’s a very diverse group of different companies. Gary was great. He went around to everyone at the table and said, “What do you get? This is not your time to be overly humble. You paid for your time with me. Ask me direct questions. Go through this.”
This was funny. I don’t know if David is going to read this, but he might kill me, but we were playing a little bit of 3D chess. Gary also has a venture capital business. He’s invested in a number of tech startups. Not only are we there to ask like Facebook or Instagram, but we also wanted to get him a little bit interested in the company. When we do, our Series A, wouldn’t be bad if we got Gary to invest in this if we had that megaphone.
Similar to when we went to get consulting from Shaq, but wouldn’t hate it if Shaq wanted to be an equity partner. More than all the other companies, David spent a little more time on his background and building the company, and then we pulled the device out. David is looking back on it. He was kicking himself. He probably spent too much time on the back story. Do you remember in the Christmas story where Ralphie and his brother wait in line to see Santa for like three hours, and then Santa says, “You’ll shoot your eye out?”
Before he says, “You’ll shoot your eye out.” He asks him what he wants, and he goes blank. He says, “I want a football” Santa kicks him in the face, and he goes down. He’s crying goes back up.
David’s part is literally that. David’s focus on the, “Get Gary’s attention. Get his interest in our product. Maybe he’ll invest in us. He’s invested in early-stage Twitter, Uber, Facebook. All the big ones he’s invested in.” Part of us is thinking we’d love to work with Gary at some point and have him invest in our company. David spending a lot of time on that.
He gets to a question, and Gary blurts out like, “One thing you could do is hire an artist, have them draw ten pictures of cars, and then do an NFT auction.” NFTs are non-fungible tokens, which is one of the few things I’m not totally on board with Gary of the future of, and I’ve been vocal with David that I’m not into NFTs.
That’s all he says. The moderator is like, “Let’s go to Russell, who’s with a mortgage.” I’m like, “The Ralphie thing happened that David spent his whole ten minutes talking and then got one answer from him, which pretty much shot your eye out. God damn it.” This is the whole day. It was all of this. I saw David’s face. He’s so pissed that happened. It came around, and at the end of it, I grabbed the monitor. I’m like, “I got a couple more questions.” He was in a hurry. He was like, “Go ahead.” Gary was great. He could see that I wanted to follow up. David needed to set it up, show the device, explain it a little bit and see what we were up to.
I told Gary, I said, “We’re in a little different position than most people. We have raised money. We have a lot of capital. We’re not in a place where we’re trying to bootstrap our marketing. If you were me and you had this product coming out, you know what it is, in May or June of 2022 and you had $1 a million or $1.5 million to spend on marketing, what would you do to get as much attention as you possibly could?” This was where his brain is great to watch. He was like, “I got 4 or 5 things for you.” He started talking fast. I was taking a lot of notes. That was where the magic happened. He got into an influencer campaign.
He got into starting to build a Facebook group of our own. He’s like, “You can get into other people’s Facebook groups, you can try to mooch around and creep on them or you can start your own to get some energy-based around it.” He was big on going after some micro-influencers and testing as many as you can. I asked him, “Do we go with small influencers? Do we go with one big one?” His idea was you want to spread your bets around when it comes to influencers. That’s where he got into, “I want both of you to spend as much time as you can in TikTok until you find a few people that are like, ‘That person’s one of us.’”
Start to build. Reach out to them. They’re going to charge you. They’re going to have an agent if they’re big, but the smaller ones will be cheaper than the others. That’s a way that you could get some people to do some comparisons and products. Let them be your creatives because they’ve built a following because they’re creative. That’s what an influencer is. Their following is ride or die with them because they like their creativeness. Don’t force your creativity on their audience. Let them see it and figure out how I am going to be creative because they know what their audience wants more. When we finally got around to it, it was awesome. We got through it.
He was talking to us about cartoons and animations, and we told them that we had a cartoon explainer video, and he was like, “Here’s my email address. I want you to send that to me. I want to take a look at it. I’m going to give you some thoughts.” I sent him an email with our explainer video on our website that night. It’ll be interesting to see what he responds to on that or if he gets it or responds to it.
It was fun when he finally got around to diving in on a couple of different things that we could be doing and some specifics when you broke down to it. Where I was most impressed without knowing any background on five very different businesses, he did the same thing for everyone. He was like, “Here’s something you should think about. Here’s something I would be doing if I were you.”
On one guy, he said, “You said you should be on Quora. You should be answering questions on Quora for other aspiring dentists who want to do veneers. You should be answering questions and then steering them with paid advertisements. The folks that are following those types of questions because they’ll, you can niche down in Quora,” which he’s right. I took a few notes on that. When he went to the mortgage guy, he had some very specific stuff he was doing there. One other thing he did that is good for us, he said, “A lot of times, people keep making more content.”
One guy, you could tell he was overwhelmed because he’s like, “I’m running a business. I’ve already done so much content. I don’t know when I’m going to find time to make more content.” He’s like, “How many of these have you done?” The guy, by that time we were done talking about it, he probably had 100 hours of content.
He’s like, “You don’t need to make another piece of content for five years. Refurbish, go back through, find a good editor that can be creative about it. Take something you said a few years ago, put it on the left side of the screen, take your phone, flip it around and say, ‘I talked about this in 2017. Let me tell you why it’s still relevant. I predicted this.’ Don’t create more if you’re not sharing what you have.” I was taking a lot of notes specifically for this show because we have 60 episodes now, and we talk a lot about these. We have 60 hours plus of you and me talking. We’ve probably shared two hours of it.
We have a lot more than 60 hours. We can’t stay within 90 minutes.
That’s true. He’s like, “You are taking a little bite of steak and throwing the rest away. You’re not even repurposing. You’re not using what you have. You’re not being creative about getting it in front of people.” I took that away of like, “How many clips do we have? If we’ve even created the clips, we haven’t even shared 80% of the little marketing clips that I’ve created. Who’s pushing those out there? Where are we putting them?” Even TikTok, how many of those little clips would do well? We don’t know how those will go. To me, I took a lot away from him, that of quick creating new content. If you’re not even sharing the old stuff if you want to grow.
This is where I’m at. This was an epic thing. Was it something that had a happy accident? The timing worked out better now than it did before. You ended up having a cool experience because you prioritized two things. You prioritized, experienced and also invested in yourselves. What I’ve learned with these things is you don’t often know where they’re going to go. The legs on this can be incredible. In 2009, Gary Vee said things to me that I didn’t know were going to help me that was helping me.
I went to a Tony Robbins event in 2004, and I’m structuring something with the business owner now where I’m going to charge him a huge fee, six figures, plus points on their business. Tony Robbins talked about how he used to coach people. No one would have paid me that no four, but now they are. You never know where these things are going to go. Let’s wrap this one up. We did a bunch. Is there anything here you want to leave as a takeaway?
A lot of people pass on things like this, which costs what feels like a lot of money. It’s like Frank’s $140 shirt. Too many people pass on investing in themselves and they don’t think about it as an investment because they can’t see an immediate return on investment. I totally agree with something you said in that. Our return is going to be multiyears.
There are going to be some big returns we get out of it, lots of little ones. A lot of things we already knew were confirmed by being there. You have to take those swings. If you want something big, you have to get those outside opinions, those outside experiences. If we want this to be a unicorn, a big billion-dollar company, we’re not going to do it with our thoughts.
You have to get other takes and other inputs. There are so many different ways that I got out of it. The floor is so much bigger than I had a fun trip to California, went to a Dodgers game, and met Gary Vee. That was great. That was fun to meet him. I probably wasn’t as a fanboy as everyone else in meeting him. Some of them were star-struck, but it was like, “He’s another guy. He’s good at a certain thing.”
I was impressed with the way he handled the group. I was impressed with the depth of knowledge he could get into and very specific businesses. I took a lot of different things away that we’re going to use in keep, in this show and 514 Group. Every business I’m in, our real estate fund, all of this stuff I’m sharing with you, I’m sure I’m going to use bits and pieces of it over time that I’m going to get a return.
Ian got some free reach and he got some virtual reach. The reason he got both is he got himself in the room. If he had not been in the room, he still would’ve had a great life, but this is going to give him something that has legs for a while. Because our YouTube channel sucks, don’t forget to sign up and comment below five stars and subscribe here on your favorite platform.
Subscribe to us. One thing I know that has reached is that chicken net V neck that you’ve got from several years ago. That’s got great viral reach.
No doubt. Are you ready to go have a uniform change?