Gary Vaynerchuk’s Secret: Side Hustle Is Marketing Machine For Main Event


Those who follow Gary Vaynerchuk are better and more motivated for it. He’s the relentless Tony Robbins for a social era, with one critical difference: Gary Vee’s core business/income isn’t from his social and motivational efforts.

Sure he makes six figures for a single speech, publishes best-selling books, and monetizes his ubiquitous daily content in all kinds of other ways. But these activities are all a think tank and marketing machine for his core business, Vayner Media, a giant ad/marketing agency with clients like Chase, Toyota, GE, Pepsico, Unilever, and ABInbev.

The tactics he uses on his daily Garyvee accounts across the social web are many of the same tactics Vayner Media deploys at scale for these global clients, and the visibility — and credibility — he gets from Garyvee activities is the marketing machine for the core business.

I’m noting this because, despite even the mastermind himself saying this regularly, I still hear many people aspiring to model their long-term plan after “his career as a social personality.”

It’s true that you can in fact be a social personality in this era, and some succeed. But it’s rare, and this conversation Gary recently had with James Altucher gets at why:

Gary Vee: There’s a big difference between optimism and delusion. Optimism is practicality.

James Altucher: That’s why most self help books are by authors and not by successful people.

The point here is that anyone can come up with a rap that works for awhile on social or in publishing, but only the chosen few can make a full career out of sheer personality. The rest have to do what Gary does, which is to use social as your marketing machine for your core business. If you’re an expert in your core business, you’ll never run out of ideas or credibility for your social/publishing activities.

And the social activities will make you better at your core business because you are constantly experimenting to see what works and what doesn’t. Plus you’re engaging and developing new relationships all the time.

The challenge of course is how the hell do you have time do do both? This is the crux for most, and why so many are inclined to say they’re going to quit their job to do what Gary and others do. And of course Gary has an answer for that too:

Don’t create because creating is too slow and you get bogged down in the perfection and polish of it all. Instead just document. Here’s his notes on this concept (emphasis mine):

There is ZERO excuse not to be creating content around your brand, your product, your service or your business. If you don’t have something to say, document. It’s the advice I give to my entire community. Create a podcast, start a blog, do a Q&A show. All of it works.

Show me your day-to-day process, interview your employees, interview your mom. Create a selfie on Instagram. Write three sentences about the news in your industry. Share and re-share other’s posts. All you have to do is start.

If you are thinking like a media company and or a publisher, then you are going to start prioritizing brand. And don’t get me wrong, no amount of marketing is going to sell a sh*t product. But brand is everything if you are trying to create a business of value.

The sad thing is that we’ve been growing up in a world, where for the last 70 years, every business has been selling to us, with every single word out of their mouth. And the reason for that is because they only had one right hook. It used to cost a lot to produce a commercial. It used to cost a lot to do a billboard. It used to cost a lot to do a radio ad.

But now in the modern digital landscape, you can produce SO much more content. You have access to volume while still maintaining quality.

This opportunity alone, has created an entirely new way of marketing to consumers. Instead of trying to sell, now you have the luxury of creating entertaining or utilitarian content as the gateway to the long term sale. This is the difference between building a brand vs being in sales.

This is the key. No sale required.

Below are a couple good links on these concepts. And I’ll expand shortly on how companies (rather than individuals) can do this—it’ll be a warm up for a talk I’m giving at Zillow’s big annual forum in Vegas next week. But needed to document this part of the discussion first. Cheers to Gary for pushing all of us all the time.
All brands must have a media company mentality (Gary Vaynerchuk)

10 Things I Learned From Gary Vee (James Altucher podcast)

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