Online Marketing Rockstar Gary Vaynerchuk

Words to video below for the hearing impaired

(upbeat music) – Awesome. Morning, morning Hamburg. First of all, I’d love to interact with you guys quite a bit. I’m pretty obsessed with Q&A, so if you guys wanna roll, I’m ready to go. There’s a lot of different things I’d like to talk about but the thing I probably want to most talk about is what is up here which is, when I come and speak at conferences, I’m always trying to bring the most value that I can to the audience and the thing that’s difficult when you speak at a conference of this size is what’s the make up of the audience. Are these founders, are these executives, are they in digital marketing, are they B2B, are they B2C, are they trying to build a personal brand? There’s a lot of different things that everybody in this room, in this conference is trying to accomplish so what I think is a very good place to start is attention.

I don’t care what you do in this room, I don’t care about what you’re trying to accomplish, the key to all of it is trading attention. Attention is the asset. Before you tell me how great your B2B SaaS social media product is or how your great your fuck you’re gonna t-shirt is or how great your sneakers are or great you are as a tastemaker in bottled water or fashion or yoga, before anybody in here gets to say what they’re about, they need the end person’s attention.

Attention is what we’re all trading. What Boz’s whole talk really was about was attention. Once you have the attention, all the action starts. And the way I really think about this is a framework of you know, who you are, how you’re going to talk about it and where you’re going to talk about it, WHW, right? What are you going to talk about? So many of you in this room have not started. Whether you’re talking about yourself or your product, you’ve not started the process of actually communicating what you’re all about. What is it? What is your manifesto? What is your product bringing to the table? Why should I give a shit about what you’re up to? Now the reality is, so many of you are at such an early stage that manifesto should actually just be your mission, right? You haven’t done anything yet, this whole fake it ’til you make it brings no value to anybody.

You need to tell me what you’re gonna do which is very scary ’cause you actually have to execute on. The next part that so many of you have to think about is how. I’m very concerned that most people feel that whatever the current thing is, is what you have to do. So as many of you know video is massively over indexing in the game right now. Facebook video, YouTube crushing it. But there’s so many people in here that shouldn’t be producing video because that is not the best way they communicate. Only a decade ago, if I was speaking here all I would be talking about is blogging.

Which was one of the few platforms that I never got involved with in the last 20 years because even though I’ve written four New York Times best selling books, I can’t write for shit. I can’t put three sentences together that make any sense, if I didn’t have a ghostwriter, I would have zero books. Yet, there are people in this room that are caught up by picture and video communication and they are tremendous writers and they don’t realize that blogging or posting on Medium or even my favorite little hack right now, if you’re a good writer and you want to build up a profile for your business or for yourself, I actually highly recommend you start blogging inside of Facebook and Instagram.

I literally mean writing 7, 15, 25 sentences, three, four, five paragraphs of written content within your feeds that people will absolutely consume. See the reason I know that is another theme before I get into the last W of where, the reason I say that is because the other thing I wanted to speak about this morning is something that really matters to me which is the following, we’re living through and this room is filled with them and the whole world is filled with them, we’re living through the greatest era of headline readers. The amount of people in this audience who have their own ideas about Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, blogging, podcasting, SEO, SEM, programmatic, whatever it may be, the amount of people here that have strong opinions on the ROI of these things, yet they’ve never executed a single ad on Snapchat or executed more than three or four campaigns on these platforms is startling to me.

I am stunned by the lack of practitioner-ship in our space. You have so many people pontificating about what’s going on, yet they’ve never done anything. There are people rolling around with Amazon Alexa voice skills points of view and they don’t have an Echo in their home. They’ve never written a skill, they have no idea. They’ve read a Business Insider article, they’ve read a TechCrunch post, they’ve read something once, their best friend is good at technology and said something that they now parrot.

But we are living through ungodly amounts of people who read a couple of headlines and have a point of view and just roll. The amount of people that congratulated me yesterday because I was an early investor in Snapchat that don’t realize that I have to wait six months before I get to sell my stock and who gives a shit about what it does on day one, I still have five months and 30 days before anything actually happens is interesting to me. It was an interesting, I was, I got 3,000 congratulations and I replied not yet, not yet, not yet. We’re living in a world politically, we’re living in a world socially and we are definitely living in a business world, practically that is absoutely not in the trenches. The best way I articulate it is the following, we have a whole lot of people that want to be architects and we have very few plumbers and masons in our industry. And so what does that mean? Why am I fascinated by that? It speaks to the last of the WHW. Once you know what you’re going to say, your manifesto, your promise, your words, your mission of the product, once you know how you’re going to say it and that matters, video, audio, written word, they all work.

Podcasting reemerged in the last three years after voice wasn’t winning, video clearly dominating, written word still very strong, way too many people here disrespecting it, but the next part is where. How do you get people to actually know what the hell you’re up to, what you’re about, what your product and service is up to, especially when you have no audience. I love when people say, Gary it’s easy for you now. You have a million followers plus on all these platforms. Great Rick, I had zero ten years ago asshole, I worked. Right? (audience laughter) And so what I want to remind everybody is, in 2007 when I had zero audience, I spent 12 hours a day on the where part, and that part at the time was using a site called, which was later Twitter Search, and I searched every single person that mentioned the word wine and I replied to them. And that was my hand-to-hand combat of arbitrage. Today, every single person here has a product and service, a mission, something that brought them here today.

Everybody wants the world or a certain part of the world to know what they’re up to and there’s incredible ways to get that awareness around what you’re doing. For example, it is stunning to me how many people want to build their Instagram audience and they don’t do the two core things that build an Instagram audience. Number one, they don’t use 10, 15 or 20 hashtags to be discovered, because that’s the plumbing of that ecosystem. Number two, they don’t spend two to three hours a day direct messaging until Instagram stops them all the individuals that have the awareness that they aspire for and ask them for awareness for what they’re doing by offering that person something in return. You’re not gonna DM somebody who has 837,000 followers on Instagram and they’re just gonna post your picture. You need to pay attention to what they care about, DM them with something that matters to them, and return, hope, that they’ll give you awareness. And you need to do it for two or three hours a day because one out of every 97, one out of every 336 is actually gonna do it for you.

But here’s one way I promise you that you will not build your Instagram profile. By not doing anything, by sitting and having a beer with your friend and complaining that it’s so hard to build your profile. Actually, you know what? Can I spend a second on complaining? Come here, can I spend a second on complaining? You want to do this with me? Let’s talk about complaining. There are only two people, two groups of people that will actually listen to your complaining. Are we doing a selfie? Two groups. (audience laughing) Thanks. One, the four to five people that love you the most, your mother, your spouse, the people that have to. (audience laughing) The other group of people that will listen to your complaining are your other loser friends. (audience laughing) Yeah, that’s, actually, I’m done, thank you. (audience laughing and applauding) I’m glad some people clapped on this because I am blown away by the people that are trying to aspire, you know, I’m fascinated by how many of you, and when I say you I don’t mean this room, I mean fuckin’ the world, how many of you have your mouth, your ambitions, the things you say you’re gonna do so far ahead of your actions.

So many people telling me that they’re gonna build 10, 50, 100, $200 million companies and they’re scared to work 12 hours a day. We are not catching up in our actions to our ambitions. And what it leads to is a whole lot of complaining. Of course, it’s supposed to be hard. People are like, “Gary, it’s so hard.” No shit, asshole, you want to make millions of dollars and live your perfect life, why should that be easy? Makes no sense. Do you know that most people in this room, with their ambitions for their startups or careers, are actually projecting to a 1% life? Do you know how that math actually works out? We’re completely disconnected from reality and, and as a lot of people in here that maybe have a couple of gray hairs or losing their hair like I am know, we’ve lived through a very good global economic period over the last seven or eight years.

I want to remind everybody here who’s be in tech for 20 years about the late ’90s early 2000s and 2007 and ’08. My friends, if I can leave this trip to Germany with one thing, I’m gonna leave you with this, please, and I mean please, forget about the inspiration and the awesome fuckin’ DJ and the good speakers, forget all that, I’m asking you to do one thing for me. Please get practical, please get practical. Let me tell you why. If you have a startup in this room and you’re losing money each month ’cause you’ve raised capital, you’re in deep fucking shit. Let me explain why. It doesn’t take a hero or a successful entrepreneur to lose money each month. And when inevitably, whether it’s tomorrow morning or 24 months from now, but I sure know when we go seven or eight years of economic growth, we’re just a few minutes away, again, I don’t know if it’s tomorrow, I don’t know if it’s four years from now, but it just can’t go another seven, that when that money dries up, when that money is gone, you actually have to make money.

Over the two cycles of tech innovation and this space that I’ve been in, what happens is everybody here goes from saying entrepreneur and founder into their Instagram to working at Bank of America or GE. It is, right now, let’s do a call to arms. Let’s use this remarkable event to not only get inspired and rah-rah and cheer ourselves up in our bullshit ecosystem, let’s use today for everybody to look in the mirror and ask themselves if they’re being practical about what they’re doing because it can’t go great forever. And the best way to survive it is to be practical. How many people have a startup or an entrepreneur running their own business? Raise your hands.

I implore you to get very serious about what I’m talking about. For the rest of you and the rest of us, it is time to trade attention. We are living through the greatest era of business ever. It is remarkable that this has become the remote control of our lives. There’s nothing, nothing more important than this. When I hear the word social media, I know so many people think of that as a sprinkle, as an afterthought, as an emerging kind of thing. To me, it is every minute of what people spend on this device outside of utilities and games.

It is the foundation, it is the foundation of our society. This is the remote control of our lives, and over 50% of our time is spent on one of these seven or eight social networks. To me the term social media is the slang term for the current state of the internet. And I implore you, and I promise you, that if your strategy around communicating on those seven, eight, nine websites that matter is not the first thing on your mind, you will have zero relevancy over the next decade. And, most importantly, and this matters, what scares me quite a bit is that most of you, when you see these logos, you think of a piece of content that you make and you think of those five channels and more as places where you distribute it. These are not just distribution channels. These are channels where you have to natively story tell in the context of the platform. The videos that work on YouTube versus Facebook are different.

You don’t take the same video and just post it for distribution. The picture on Instagram and Facebook is different. You are disrespecting the psychology of the user, even if it’s, that dude right there with the white hat and the Hustle Mode t-shirt, when he’s on Instagram and he’s on Facebook, he’s a different dude. His mindset’s different, he follows different people. He’s on those channels for different reasons. It is imperative that not only do you start thinking about your content strategy on these platforms for your business. How many people here are in the B2B business, B2B? Higher. Perfect. B2B friends, you are disrespecting how much B2B business is happening here.

Facebook allows you to target the employees of customers. You could make a three minute video that says does the CFO of your company know and then send it to all the employees of and then all of a sudden, that CFO is getting 50, 60 emails from employees from his or her company making them aware of your SaaS product for the CFO. This is what I’m talking about, about headline readers versus practitioners. Headline readers don’t think that B2B is happening here. Practitioners are exploiting it and making real money. Headline readers think that you have to make short videos on social media. Practitioners are making 20, 30, 40-minute videos telling their story, compelling people into their world, remarketing to the people that actually want in on it and close it and close those sales by remarketing. If somebody watched 37 minutes of your video about you or your business, when you remarket that view with a call to action, you don’t think you’re gonna convert them? My friends, we are looking, we are living through this incredible era of massive opportunity. Yet, everybody’s talking and reading and nobody’s fucking doing. Start fucking executing. Don’t read about how to win on Snapchat.

Download the fucking app and do something, dick face. (audience applause) Right? I don’t know you six at all, but I promise you this. You’re not sitting there because you postured or pondered or thought about it. You fucking executed somehow, right? – Yeah. – I mean, you didn’t think you’d be really fucking rad to throw a conference. You fucking did it. You didn’t dream about fucking spinning. You fucking practiced and got better. Your grandparents, my grandparents, they had it shit compared to us.

We have the internet. I don’t know if you’ve heard about it. It’s really fucking good. And what it does is it allows us to be practical about having a much better life if we choose to put in the work. You could actually work your 9 to 5, pay your bills, come home, have a beer and then start working on what you want because the infrastructure exists. Your grandparents had to have their job. They couldn’t open their other business ’cause it was at night and like, this is a remarkable era to be around and yet we are completely wasting it. Let me actually throw you for a complete curveball. You know what you all need to do? You all need to go and volunteer at a senior citizen home. If you want to do one thing, if anything besides being practical and start making money instead of losing money is what you remember from this talk this morning, please make it that you need to go to a senior citizen home and volunteer for one day.

Here’s what I want you to do. Spend one day at a senior citizen home and I promise you you will leave with the following. You will leave that the scariest thing in the world, the scariest thing in the world to human beings is regret. What you will see in those 80 and 90-year-olds, some will be happy and they’ll be content, but you will see something at scale that scares the living shit out of me. It’s called regret. The amount of people that wish they did things is scary and let me promise you something. When you’re 93, it’s hard to pull it off. We are so fortunate. We live in an era right now where mainstream media in every part of the world is pumping down nothing but negativity yet every piece of data shows you that this is the greatest era to ever be alive in.

I understand we have problems. We all have massive problems but they’re not as bad as they used to be. As bad as Brexit or Trump or terrorism, as bad as anything you think is depending on your points of view, it’s better than the Black fucking Plague. We have to put things into context and if you’re fortunate enough to be here today, to know to be here today, to afford to be here today, you are sitting in an incredible spot of the billion people on Earth and I just don’t understand why you wouldn’t take full advantage of it and it starts with something very basic, which is actually start understanding how this is all working deeper, not wider. You don’t need to know in theory how AI and Alexa voice and VR and social media work.

You need to start understanding how one of those things work deeply. I’ve gotten here today because I didn’t come to conferences and talk or make videos or build a personal brand for the first 15 years of my career. Let me remind many of you. Long before I was GaryVee, I was Gary Vaynerchuk building a liquor store by being good at email marketing, at Google AdWords, at banner retargeting, at YouTube marketing. I was a fucking practitioner and then once I built something from zero to, three to 60 million with no money, once I built something, then I had a little audacity to come and talk to you about how I did it. The amount of 23-year-old business coaches and marketing gurus who haven’t done dick shit in their fucking life that’s out there on Instagram right now is startling. It is time to do and less talking and more fucking doing. (audience applause) Right? – Yeah, I try to do. – You agree, right? – Random shit, Instagram influencers. Instagram influencers right now today for doers, is probably only behind Facebook ads, the single best arbitrage in marketing.

The fact that you can reach out to people that have 300, 3,000, 30,000, 300,000 and 3 million followers and trade with them for exposure for your product and service is remarkable. Especially ’cause 80% of them don’t know how to price themselves and they’re grossly underpriced. 10% of them are so overpriced because they think their followers of a lot of followers means that they’re valuable. So you have to be careful of the top end. But when you start getting into that 30,000 to 400,000 followed people, the remarkable value of just giving ’em the product or giving them 100 bucks to give a shout out on a product. So many peoples’ businesses and careers would be in a much greater place today if they spent three to five hours a day, DM’ing Instagram influencers and business developing with them, and building exposure for their brands. Yet most of you will hear this, you’ll be like yeah, you might do it for a day. I said three to five fucking hours. You may do it for a day, you may do it for a week, you may not do it at all. And then in four years from now, you’ll look back and regret it.

How many people have been doing digital marketing or business in the internet world for 15 years or more? Just raise you hands, just curious. High, please raise it high, just curious. A lot of you who’ve raised your hands know that if I was giving this speech when I was building Wine Library in 2001 and I was talking about Google Adwords, and they were five and 10 cents a click, a lot of you with your mindset would still be trying to figure out what the ROI of that was. Why direct mail was better, or newspapers were better. That most people weren’t on search yet and why would people go to Google, Yahoo! was the leader. That’s what you would debate.

Yet we all sit here 10, 15 years later, regretting that we didn’t spend all our money on Google adverts ’cause the arbitrage was unbelievably phenomenally underpriced. I’m saying this now not for the 5,000 of you, I’m saying what I’m about to say for myself ’cause I’m selfish because DRock’s somewhere here and I’m gonna use the clip for myself in five years to prove to everybody that I was right. As we sit here today, if you are not spending the majority of your money on your marketing, on Facebook ads, on Instagram influencers, you are making a massive mistake. In 36 to 48 months all of you will be spending three, four, five, six, 10, 15 times more money to achieve the same goal that can be achieved today.

So I implore you, if you do not know how to do Facebook advertising at scale, if you do not know what’s going on in the influencer marketing specifically on Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat as well, that there’s an incredible website that you can go to that will help you figure out every little detail of what I can’t get to in here over the next five minutes. So I know some of you like to write down sites, I see some of you pulling out, I’ll spell if for you. G-O-O-G-L-E. (audience laughter) You like that one? It’s good right? – I know that one. – Yeah I mean it’s remarkable me how many people ask me well Gary how do I do that zip code or that’s employees of Facebook ad? You google how do I run Facebook ads against employees of companies? Enter, 600 fuckin’ thousand results on how to do it.

Practitioner-ship. I’ve been in this game for 20 years right now and I promise you from the day I met Boz 10 years ago, it is very simple. 99% of people talk, pontificate, read and think and 1% do. The more you can push yourself to do, the more you can take risks. The fact that not every person in the world wakes up every morning, opens their Apple or Google phone, looks at the top 100 apps on either one of those platforms, and then downloads any app that they’re not aware of, whether that’s Marco Polo, or Anchor,, or House Party today, or SnapChat and Instagram three or four years ago, blows my mind. You will always know what’s coming by just looking at the data. People always say to me, you’re always so right. People are like how do you know the future? I’m like listen I’m not Nostradamus. This is very simple. I do the work. I wake up in the morning, I open my Apple phone, I go to the App Store app, I go to top 150 free apps in the world, I go to the bottom first, and anything I’ve never seen before that’s hit the top 150, I click it, I read, if it’s a social network, I download it, I taste it.

Yes, I do understand consumer behavior maybe a little bit better than most, but I would’ve never gotten there if I didn’t download it, read it, used it and put in the work. And what I know is for every Plurk, for every SocialCam, for every Vine, for every Marco Polo or other things that doesn’t make it, all you have to do is go 1 out of 50 for it all to be worth it. I’m willing to put in the work, I’m willing to be a practitioner, I’m willing to be practical. I think about the WHW, the what the hell am I gonna say, how am I gonna say it, and where am I gonna say it, and I do it over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over. And I will do it for the rest of my life. I will become a billionaire. I will buy the New York Jets, and I will win Super Bowls, thank you. (audience applause and cheers) (upbeat music)

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