It’s hard to avoid GaryVee.
You might not like his intensity, his never-ending talking or his being literally everywhere.
You might admire his work ethic, follow his content, get input from him.
Whatever camp you’re in, you can learn a from him if you want to build a monetizable, engaged audience.
If growing an audience is your sorta thing, keep reading.
(DISCLAIMER: I’m not claiming these are a comprehensive breakdown of GaryVee’s strategy. You need to nail a LOT of others things as well to create a brand as strong as his. Anyhow, these are 5 potentially transformational techniques Gary uses to grow his audience—and net worth 😉 )
Gary Technique #1: The New York Jets
You know storytelling is the most effective way to do marketing. There are entrepreneurs, marketers, gurus, dog owners and hot sauce aficionados on the internet telling their stories with varying success.
Why is Gary’s story so addictive to his audience?
He announces he’ll buy the New York Jets—a multi-billion-dollar sports franchise.
Buying a sports team doesn’t seem key to building an audience. But every successful story has a „New York Jets“—a specific goal the hero needs to achieve before the story can end.
Let’s look at successful stories and their „Jets“.
Harry Potter: Defeat Voldemort
Star Wars: Defeat the Empire
The New Testament: Eliminate sin
Robin Hood: Restore justice in England
The American Civil War (as told by enemies of the confereracy): Abolish slavery
Breaking Bad: Make sure the family is cared for before death
Red Riding Hood: Bring food to her grandmother
(Disclaimer: I’m not saying all these stories are fictional and I’m not saying the real turn of events really was that way. But I’m talking about storytelling—not historical or theological facts.)
NOTE: Storytelling is much more complicated. I’m keeping it simple here.
Every successful show, movie or book tells a story—every story has a hero—and every hero has a „New York Jets“.
How you can use this:
This one’s pretty simple:
What’s your tangible goal? What’s your „New York Jets“?
For me, it’s working closely with two clients on long-term retainers so they don’t have to worry about their sales copy and focus on what they’re good at.
What’s your tangible goal?
Be open about your mission and your story just got better.
The next one is closely coupled with this technique.
Gary Technique 2: Don’t tell a finished story
Has Gary Vaynerchuk bought the jets? No.
Weirdly enough, this makes his fans more engaged. It SHOULD be logical that you need to reach the goal for a good story.
For long-term engagement, the opposite can be true.
A predictable story is boring. The reason you don’t re-watch most movies is because you know how they end.
Conversely, the reason you can’t stop watching a show is because you NEED to know what happens next. Does the hero reach their goal? How does the story continue?
How YOU can use this:
The reason you keep watching or reading a story is because it’s not finished yet—for you.
Whenever you stop reading a series of books or a TV show, it’s because you decided the story is over.
Maybe a plot ends and a new plot (you don’t care about) is introduced. Then the story can be over—for you.
If we reverse this, we get a powerful, yet simple strategy.
If you’ve figured out your New York Jets (see technique 1 for the explanation), you will attract people who care about your journey to that goal.
Document how you move closer to that goal and people won’t stop watching—just like you with your favorite show.
Done well, people can’t stop following your story. They NEED to know if you reach your goal.
Gary Technique 3: Repetition, Repetition, Repetition
Gary Vaynerchuk is everywhere. Snapchat, YouTube, Instagram, Medium, Facebook, his Email list, etc.
Repetition is so simple, it shouldn’t work. Yet it does. Staying in people’s heads with your message has a few very valuable effects:
- The human brain perceives repeated information and actions as proven. Getting a message perceived as good and helpful might take a few repetitions, but it happens eventually.
- You can’t be forgotten. This is self-explanatory. If you have a market and solve their problem(s), their brain will bring you up first if they feel that problem.
- You filter for real fans. If you post/email daily (or more frequently), everybody but your most dedicated fans will unfollow you. Their unfollowing leaves you with a hyper-engaged audience who always wants to see more from you.
If persuasion was a toolkit, repetition would be a sledgehammer: Blunt, Effective and straight-forward…
…but hard to wield.
One problem with repetition is: It takes hours every day if you want to produce original, high-quality content for several channels daily.
There’s a reason Gary Vaynerchuk pays people to manage and create the content for his personal brand.
But don’t worry, here’s a few time-efficient tactics you can use:
How YOU can use this:
The easiest way to use repetition is obvious and you might already use it. When you post content, use it in various channels: Post your blog articles on Facebook. LinkedIn, etc.
Another tactic is posting short highlights of previous content. Almost no extra work for you, but it allows you to stay in people’s minds.
To increase potency of repetition, cross-reference channels. If your posts on one network direct your audience to another network, they’re exposed to your message even more often.
Let’s get to the next tactic:
Gary Tactic 4: Be controversial
GaryVee built one of the biggest marketing agencies in record time—and he’s nowhere near to being done. He openly badmouths the advertising establishment. He curses and doesn’t care what you think.
He’s lost a bunch of fans because of these facts. Even gained haters.
One thing is certain: Controversy draws attention. You can leverage attention in many ways:
How YOU can use this:
Controversy is a hard technique to use. Creating controversy for controversy’s sake is damaging.
Controversy draws people who agree with you closer—and repels those who disagree. That’s clear.
If you create a controversy just for controversy (without actually believing in what you stand up for), you can’t keep those you pulled towards you.
When they came to you, they expected to follow somebody who thinks like them—but they were disappointed.
That way, you repel your entire market—at the end of the day, you’re alone.
You have to be consistent in your values.
To his audience, Gary looks like the guy who „tells it like it is“. He’s a hero figure to his audience.
If you want to leverage controversy, you need to become a hero figure.
Have opinions contrary to the popular opinion? Simply create controversy by voicing them—some people will follow you.
Gary Tactic 5: Have skin in the game
Plenty of people build audiences on a BS foundation. They pretend to be something they’re not, get very outspoken and blast their message over social media.
They can make money. Usually, they perish. They don’t last—which can have many reasons: They get called out by real experts, they don’t have the passion to keep going, people realize their impostors etc.
The way Gary avoids this is by reporting on things he actually experienced. He speaks from experience.
You can disagree with Gary, but you can’t say he’s not authentic.
How YOU can use this:
Having skin in the game goes deeper than using a marketing technique. To speak from experience, you must have experiences. Having to gather experience means taking risks, seeing what works, reporting on it.
But, more importantly, you’re going to take a lot of risks which DON’T work out in your favor.
It’s part of having skin in the game.
BUT, if you do have skin in the game, you’re guaranteed an authentic voice that stands out. Simply because nobody has made the same experiences you’ve made. That way, you can truly be unique and stand out.
A little challenge…
From my own experience, I know 99% of articles don’t inspire action.
I won’t claim my content is so transformational that you can’t do anything but act on it and get rich.
But I want my content to be.
Any helpful advice you get only does anything for you when you act on it. If you’re only consuming, not acting, that’s called procrastination. Hiding from the real work you need to do.
So what I want you to do is comment which tactic you’ll apply. I’ll follow up with you in a week to see where it got you.
So stop being a procrastinator, be a doer!