Gary Vaynerchuk is the man.
He was at the RISE conference last week and he literally stole the entire show, on and off the event. He is indeed a social media expert, my Facebook and Twitter feed is flooded with posts about/with him.
For those who don’t know him (well, unlikely to read this post though), Gary is the startup icon. Basically, he is the modern day Tony Robbins, a marketing dude who preaches inspirational messages to startups. Essentially the Millennial and after.
And gosh do they love him.
Just a quick search on the Internet, you will find all these amazing quotes from him. And during the process, he has turned (branded) himself into this startup sensation. Sure, somehow startups seem to be the industry who is most desperate for motivational messages, although I would argue a 50 year old holding onto his dear old job can be as, if not more, difficult than a 20 something trying to start a business these days. But give him the credit, there are a lot of people out there trying to do the same thing. And he stood out from all of them.
The guy knows his stuff.
If you listen to his speech at RISE, you can tell he literally made it up as he went along (there is no such thing as a script for him). And he can talk for minutes on something very generic yet interesting (try to figure out exactly what he said in the first minute you will understand RISE CONFERENCE GARY VAYNERCHUK KEYNOTE| HONG KONG 2017). All in all, he is a marketing genius. If he sells a pencil for a 1000 dollars, most people (including the sponsors for RISE) will pay.
But there is one small problem.
I have never heard anyone who loves him have said they have actually changed because of what he said. Everyone loves him because they ‘agree’ with what he’s said (usually about others). Typical barnum effect. And this is the beauty of his work. He gives what people want (things they already agree) – and it’s usually about ‘others’ too – so no hard feelings for anyone even he is often preaching tough love.
He makes you feel like you are Gary Vaynerchuk.
He understands the Internet age is about personal opinion. And an opinion, even as good as Gary is, doesn’t really count. What he needs to do is instead carefully craft messages, usually critical ones, and make them resonate with people. He knows people love to criticise. He knows people love to justify themselves. He knows people want to talk like him (not necessarily be like him).
Sadly this is a big problem we have in this world right now. It’s never about changing or improving ourselves. It’s about getting recognition for our empty little opinion.