10 Things Lawyers and Other Entrepreneurs Can Learn from Gary Vaynerchuk
On January 10, 2014, I had the privilege to meet Gary Vaynerchuk at the Life on Fire in San Diego, an event designed for entrepreneurs, online marketers, and anyone who wants to have a profitable business/brand that dominates the corresponding market. Vaynerchuk was the keynote speaker and he rocked the room as expected. Being a forward-thinking and passionate visionary, he spoke from the heart about his new book, and due to the small size of the audience, we had an engaging chat. After the event, I had a chance to sit down with Vaynerchuk in private and had a great discussion about new technologies and innovations.
In this blog, besides a few things I absorbed from my one-on-one meeting with Vaynerchuk, I have included some social media marketing tips from his latest masterpiece Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World (JJJRH) and his recent online posts.
Here are the 10 things lawyers and other entrepreneurs can learn from Vaynerchuk:
1. At the mention of a keynote speaker, the generalization would normally be an industry expert, or someone important, pulling up a PowerPoint presentation and going on to speak for an hour. But that’s not how Vaynerchuk sees it. In his recent LinkedIn post Why Q&A Should Be the Future of All Conferences, granted the convenient existence of social media and everything online, content is only a searchable keyword away; therefore, conferences and keynote speeches should redirect the spotlight onto “access and engagement”. It’s the “fresh thoughts” coming from the audience during Q&A sessions that are the “value proposition of a conference”. If you have ever been to a conference, you will agree that connections and lessons hide in between breakfast croissants and evening cocktails.
(That’s not something you would like to see at your conference.)
2. If your view of social media is so narrow that all you care about is the number of fans, tweets or views on YouTube, then you’re missing the whole point. What matters is who cares and how much you convert.
3. Instagram is going to be huge in 2014, if not huge enough already. Unfortunately, most people cannot fully comprehend the abilities of Instagram; they treat it like any other social channel. The best way to use it is like print media in the early stages – large, beautiful images with thought-provoking taglines. Seeing Instagram like traditional print is an amazing way to distribute content.
In JJJRH, Vaynerchuk encourages you to ask yourself a couple of questions before posting on Instagram:
– Is my image artsy and indie enough for the Instagram crowd?
– Have I included enough descriptive hashtags?
– Are my stories appealing to the young generation?
4. Point number 4 ties back to number 3. There is not a “market segment that is not accessible through modern platforms,” says Vaynerchuk in Youthification. It’s a Word Now. The term youthification refers to the current phenomenon in which the demographic with the buying power is being influenced by their children, and their children happen to all be on the uprising platforms, such as Instgram and Snapchat. This new trend once again alerts the marketers to get out of their comfort zones and always stay vigilant.
5. In a lot of Vaynerchuk’s posts, podcasts, interviews, and books, he emphasizes that being a professional who deals with social media on a daily basis, you must distinguish yourself from the general public and their cavalier attitude. Ask yourself why your audience chooses to be on this particular platform, not the other one. For example, when it comes to attracting eyeballs on Tumblr, you may need to make a cool animated GIF for your audience.
6. Vaynerchuk did a Twitter Q&A recently in Making an Old Brand Cool Again, where he answered a lot of mostly asked questions. One of the many things I learned and it happens to be my firm belief as well: You can speak the law, dress like a serious lawyer, and be the most authoritative CEO; however, your brand must “speak in memes, and make infographics and animated .GIFs”. Why? The market is totally buying it. Later on, I will also write about my own success story of standing out by using memes on Enchanting Lawyer’s Facebook page.
7. The other day I got asked by friend to help him with his company’s social media handles. I was very excited to see another small business owner with a sightly old-fashioned mindset deciding to cash in on possibly the most profitable marketing strategy. After bombarding him with a series of basic questions, such as his budget and his expectations, I came to a disappointing conclusion that he had no idea what kind of human resources, talent, or patience social media would need to consume.
Vaynerchuk cannot stress enough that social media is all about give, give, give, and ask. Don’t focus on the number of followers – contribute worthwhile content and the real visitors will convert (see Number 2). In retrospect, it was probably wise that my friend decided to give up after our consultation – because go big or go home.
8. There’s constant discussion and debate on the “Next Big Thing”. Whenever I get a chance to talk with a social media expert, I tend to ask that question as well. But I never worry about any new fad falling off the “Hot Shelf” in a year or two. A lot of business owners spend way too much time on predicting an expiration date for Snapchat while opportunities slip through their fingers. How about enjoy the moment and use that time and energy to create something advantageous. Read about Gary Vaynerchuk’s notion here in Strike While the App is Hot.
9. Social media calls for business leaders and CEOs to start thinking and acting like small town shop owners. They must allow the soul of the people who help run the companies to shine and show. Trust your people. Nurture a culture of openness. Let employees blog and tweet as much as they like while keeping it authentic and honest.
10. Last week on Enchanting Lawyer, I talked about how being nice and helpful got me to where I am today. I was happy to read about Vaynerchuk’s similar perception of giving and being generous in The Leverage of Being a Good Person. Well, Vaynerchuk’s generosity has definitely paid off with me. I am a loyal fan who promotes his blogs, sites, and books everywhere I go. So, it does work! Give, give, give, and ask.
Of course, there is a lot more to learn from one of the most ferocious social media gurus, Gary Vaynerchuk. Learn more about Gary Vaynerchuk and read my review of Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World.