Gary Vaynerchuk at Legion of Talk

Tonight is the first in what will hopefully be a series of guest speakers for Legion of Talk, a Legion of Tech. event. Gary V. is in town for his book tour at Powells, and we were lucky enough to snag him to talk to us about how he has used social media to grow his family wine business.

Here are my raw notes from the event:

Gary would like to meet every human on earth, and it looks like we’re bringing him about 150 people closer to his goal at this event.

He comes from a traditional retail background in the family wine business. His original passion was selling baseball cards, but when he realized that people collect wine, and he could bring those passions together.

He went from running the company to walking away and spending 18 hours a day working with the online wine community, but he loves it. If you aren’t loving what you do right now, you need to embrace your DNA figure out what you want and do it now. Figure out what you want to accomplish and work backwards from the goal. Right now we are in a gold rush – the early adopters will get the gold. By sitting and talking about what he knew, he’s been really successful with his book deal, speaking engagements, consulting and more. If you really do what you love, you can work the ridiculous hours it takes to win. 99.9% of people out there don’t know what Twitter is. It isn’t over. It’s just getting started. Email is over (especially with the younger crowds), but social media is really just starting.

You need to be patient. He loves his community, and he answers a thousand emails a day. It isn’t scalable, but he loves the community more that he loves himself. When people ask a question that he doesn’t know, he researches it and finds the answer. He really likes people and what he does. Giving back is in his DNA.

Go to the niche of what you love, and really narrow it down. Get specific. Put out awesome content, but the show isn’t important. Content is king, but marketing is the queen and the queen runs the household. After you publish the content, It’s all about building the community and spending as much time as you need. If you love it, you’ll be doing this anyway. Become part of the conversation for what you love, and then really attack it. This works for your brand (as a person) or your corporate products. Be good to the consumer and build businesses by word of mouth. Word of mouth is out of control right now with existing social media tools. The conversation will happen, nothing is hidden, and you have to completely embracing it. Bring your dark secrets out on your terms before someone else does.

The long tail is way longer than we know. Twitter, Facebook, Pounce, and other social products will continue to grow, and everything is at our fingertips. There are so many cool and interesting things that people are doing with technology that you can embrace if you are passionate enough about it. Make it about you. Gary talks about wine, and the NY Jets, and WWF, and … You need to look for excuses about how you can, not how you can’t.

The platforms now are basically free. It isn’t about the platform, and don’t chase other business models. If you do something really good and unique, people will watch it. You have to be authentic and real to build your personal brand. It all comes down to how good you are. It’s all about the advertising and monetizing around your passion. Advertisers are moving into it slowly, but they are moving into it. It is about the patience. Tier 1 advertisers have to die and the tier 2 advertisers are going to move into this area and be successful. You have to hustle to make the money. Look at Google ads to see who is already purchasing advertising on your keywords. Talk to people about advertising.

Don’t look at where the money is; look at where your passions are. Doing something because there is a lot of money in it won’t be authentic. He missed the whole blogging thing because he doesn’t like to write. He saw Lazy Sunday, and knew he had to do this video show.

People are people. It’s about the people and having a clear message that is authentic and not over-polished. He wants people to be real, authentic rats. Don’t worry about whether it is new media, old media, whatever.

Force the world to come to you.

The most important question is “how can I help”. The reason he is here at Legion of Talk because Raven worked with him to donate wine to iPhoneDevCamp. You get a lot back when you give to people. Give 80% to every relationship & that 20% that you get back will be so delicious that you won’t need anything else. You have to give back to your community.

He pumped out 200 shows before he started getting much interest. Stop consuming content and start producing. He doesn’t have time for reading or TV. He’s popular because he puts out.

A side note / insight from Gary: Naked women on the internet is good business πŸ™‚

Want to see other cool people talking to the tech community here in Portland? If you know of any other big names in the tech community coming into town for other events, Let us know, and we’ll try to schedule them into a Legion of Talk event.

14 thoughts on “Gary Vaynerchuk at Legion of Talk”

  1. Thanks for the notes, Dawn! Bummed I couldn’t make it, sounds like Gary gave quite an inspiring talk.

  2. MediaChick, Don & Mark,

    Gary was one of the most amazing and dynamic speakers I’ve seen in a long time. He was very generous with his valuable time; I think we left around 10:30, and there was still a huge group of people standing outside W+K with Gary V. If you ever get a chance to see him speak at an event, I recommend that you take it!

    We should have full video of the event up soon. Check the Legion of Tech blog for updates:

  3. Thanks so much, as always, for your meticulous notes. I was there and I still learned some stuff reading your recap. (Added it to my links, too!) πŸ˜‰

  4. Loved it! Thanks for helping put this together, and the great summary.

    One little thing — might be worth mentioning that “rats” are “real, authentic, transparent” … not rodents and/or used car salesmen. πŸ˜‰

  5. Dawn, thanks to you, Todd, Raven, W+K and LoT for putting on such an inspiring event. I was so inspired that I could hardly sleep!

    Thanks also for your support of naked women on the internet!

  6. Peat,

    Thanks! I was frantically taking notes, and as you know, Gary is a whirlwind, so I had a hard time keeping up. I’m sure that I missed a few other things, too.

    For anyone else who attended – feel free to clarify / add notes / make corrections here in the comments!

  7. Mark,

    Always happy to support a friend πŸ™‚

    It was really inspiring, and it made me feel even better about my decision to leave the full-time corporate world to pursue my passion for communities and social media through my new consulting practice. However, it was a long evening for us organizers, so I didn’t have any problems falling asleep (slept like a rock)!

  8. i was there, and it brought the thunder. gary was en fuego as usual, and was truly inspiring. i can’t wait to see what type of avenues people begin pursuing if they apply the concepts that gary has been spreading the word about. it’s going to be a fun ‘gold rush’ in personal branding for those that decide to be the pioneers. thanks again to everyone who put the event on, and a huge thanks to gary for being gary.

  9. Thanks for the awesome notes! I’m finding this post to be a great resource for getting back in to the momentum of that evening. It was a very motivating talk with lots of good little nuggets.

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