I am extremely lucky that I’ve heard some of the best business minds in the country speak over my last decade in business. Gary Vaynerchuk is one of those minds. Though his message isn’t rocket science but the way he presents the information is compelling and moves people to action. In person, he’s a bit like Lassie on Red Bull – frenetic, hyper, happy, and wagging his tail because he’s got an audience. Though, to be fair, he did tell us that he would be just as jazzed to speak to 10 people as he was to speak to the 500+ people in the audience last week.
Big props to our local Village Books for bringing Gary in. Some of the high points, in my mind:
* SEO is going social – Google has changed its search algorithms to include social media (this blog, my Twitter stream, Quora – any open systems. Hint: Facebook isn’t open). This means that Google, the largest search engine in the world, will be looking for relevancy. It’s not just about putting a bunch of key words on your page. It’s about who is talking about you, what you said about XYZ product in the last 2 days and on what medium. Keeping up to date and relevant in consumers’ minds remains key for business success but romancing the Google machine will mean that you need to remain active in social media spheres.
* Winners do it til the job gets done. – Never. Ever. Quit. Ever. Period. Even in this “new” economy, hard work still has a place. It still matters. It always has. It always will. There is no substitute for a work ethic and tenacity that won’t quit.
* Shepherd your new customers. Tend to your old customers more. – Yes, it’s about attracting new customers but more importantly, it’s about saying ‘Thank You’ more frequently and retaining your old customers. Getting new customers costs a lot of money compared to retaining your current customers.
* It’s not just about transparency; it’s about authenticity. Never be selling. Always be helping. – Gary talked about how he uses search.twitter.com He just goes on there, sees who is talking about wine and is helpful about wine selections. He doesn’t pimp his own products or website (though he easily could) but rather, he just jumps in and is helpful. And in the end, that will eventually garner him new customers and loyal repeat customers. The art of reciprocity is alive and well.
I thought this series of photos was funny – you can see that Gary is extremely focused on whatever is in front of him. Notice he’s moving away while I’m still stuck in the moment, happily smiling for the camera. When he’s focused on you, he’s there 100% but when he’s done, he’s intensively focused on the next person. His charisma is palpable and his smile is quick to materialize. If you haven’t heard of Gary, here’s his website. And, if you’re interested in his new book “The Thank You Economy” (I bought it – I can’t wait to read it!), more information is here (Amazon) or locally (Village Books).