Photos by @byard_inspired
Gary Vaynerchuk who founded Vaynermedia in 2009 took to the stage in The Round Room of The Mansion House yesterday to deliver a masterclass in social media and building a business and to promote his new book #AskGaryVee.
— Mark Dalton (@TheMarkDalton) March 21, 2016
The social media practitioner had the 750 strong crowd almost fighting over the mic to ask him a question during his Q&A session but before that he spoke for around an hour about business and social media.
He said that it starts with attention. Before you tell people what you are good at and how good you are, you need to get their attention. If you are not living in the area of attention then you have a vulnerability.
This is something I have been thinking more about recently, living in the area of attention and for myself it relates to a particular platform called Snapchat. This is a platform that I would have once written off as a waste and I still believe that in the early Snapchat days that there was not perhaps as much value in it as there is now.
However my problem is that once I had that closed off view I never really went back to it, I never looked at the platform after my initial impressions and I took a very narrow minded approach to it. Early this year I went back to Snapchat and started looking at it in a different way, mostly because of how Gary himself uses Snapchat.
This approach gave me a better understanding of what it could be used for, what businesses could use it for and what personal brands could use it for. Snapchat is growing and growing, the reality is that so much attention is now on Snapchat and so much content is being consumed there that we have to play in the space where content is being consumed. A personal goal of mine this year is going to be going in hard on Snapchat and upping my game considerably.
Gary spoke about self awareness, something which he speaks about with a passion. We all need to self aware and this is also something I am trying to figure out for myself. Audit yourself and understand what you are good at, what you are bad at and who you are. As he said during his talk yesterday, “Nothing is more important than understanding who YOU are.”
— Jenny Brennan (@JennyBrennanMe) March 21, 2016
Gary says social media as a ‘slang term’ which describes the current state of the internet at the moment. Clicks on Google Adwords are down by 15%. People’s attention is shifting elsewhere, we now watch TV on our own time, not on the networks time.
“Your smartphone is now the TV and the TV is now the radio.”
He also talked about execution. We all have ideas and that had me thinking that he is right. What idea is ever 100% original? None! We all have ideas to make money and ideas for big life changing products but that doesn’t mean shit. Execution is the game, nobody steals your idea — they just execute it better than you. In response to someone during the Q&A session he said that:
“If somebody is better than you then they deserve to better than you and more successful! You just need to be better than them if you want to be the best.”
He said that over the next decade some of the biggest businesses will be built from scratch. Businesses like Uber and AirBnB. At the moment we are living through the biggest cultural shift of “age downification” of society — nobody wants to get old! 35–50 year olds are now going to start downloading Snapchat because they want to be in the game!
The Q&A section of the talk was packed full of value. One thing which really resonated with me in particular was when an attendee took to the mic and confessed to working a 50–60 hour week and wanted to know how much time he should spend on social media.
Between my job that pays bills, writing work and social media work I spend somewhere around 60 hours a week myself. Gary’s reply was:
“Great, so you have at least 20 extra hours per week to spend on social media.”
Yep! The time is there, I just need to be using more of it in a strategic way and that is something I am definitely going to be doing.
Coming back to Snapchat, Gary was raving about how Snapchat as a social network and live video streams are the present for content. Not the future, but the now. He gave some great tips on how to leverage the Snapchat network for business.
“Storytell your day, your business on Snapchat. Don’t expect that your community are going to be on every social network so spread that story across multiple channels. Get to grips with Snapchat and don’t assume it’s for 12–25 year olds only. This is the biggest thing since Facebook!”
This may be the platform that many initially struggle to get used to. It is different, it is fun and relaxed. Jump on there trying to sell shit like some people do on Facebook and Twitter and it will go really wrong for you. You need a different approach, Snapchat is all about telling your story, not selling your shit directly.
I am a big Gary Vaynerchuk fan, seeing him live was a treat and I enjoyed every second of it. His talk gave me plenty to think about in terms of where I spend time promoting my contenting and connecting with users. I also have plenty to think about in terms of time management and some of my current strategy tactics. There was phenomenal value for anyone who attended and with what I took away from yesterday I am excited to tackle 2016 and after.
Finally a massive thank you to the entire Leading Social team for putting on such a fantastic event. They did an absolutely fantastic job.