Video Transcript

00:09 Gary Vaynerchuk: This gentleman over here. This gentleman over here. Ha, ha, ha, ha, 36, but can't remember shit.

00:14 Audience Member: Hey.

00:16 Vaynerchuk: What's your name, my man?

00:16 Audience Member: I'm John and...

00:17 Vaynerchuk: Nice to meet you, man.

00:18 Audience Member: Hey, nice to meet you, too. You're awesome.

00:19 Vaynerchuk: Real pleasure, thank you.

00:19 Audience Member: Hey, so, one of my goals was to figure out the social media... Yes, I appreciate your words... I own a newspaper company.

00:24 Vaynerchuk: Okay.

00:25 Audience Member: So, my biggest concern is, how do you monetize the content? Content is good, but how do you... As a media company, how do we look at that?

00:32 Vaynerchuk: Guys, listen. Media is a commodity now, it's the truth. Listen, some dude bought 1,200 horses the day before Henry Ford created the car. He fucking lost, right?

00:44 Vaynerchuk: I mean that's just the way it is. Business doesn't give a shit. Innovation doesn't give a shit about you, me or anybody. What you need to do is take that brand equity, and while you've got some eyeballs there, and start understanding how to convert them into something else. I mean that's just the truth. Holding on to what emotionally feels good is a really good way to go out of business. I mean that's just the way... That's the truth of the matter. It's gonna be very hard for you or any of the smart people here to sit around in a brainstorming session and say "Okay, who is reading newspapers in 12 years?" And you're a young dude! So, I would take that brand equity and I would start siphoning, like the way you siphon gas, as fast as you fucking can to get them to go to some other platform.

01:22 Vaynerchuk: Monetizing content is extremely difficult. However, look at a site called Refinery29. It's a fashion site. It's a competitor of Ideeli's. They've done a really good job with content and commerce. You've gotta really rethink this man. I mean there's nothing cute about it. I mean we know that the music industry got disrupted, right? Clearly, your industry did, but I promise you, the thing that this room is underestimating is communication has been disrupted. How many of you have children, nieces or nephews that are between 12 and 18 years old? Raise your hand. So, you guys know. I loved this debate three years ago when I heard parents, my friends that were in their 30s and 40s saying, "I'm never gonna text with my child. They want me to text? Only phone call." How many of you remember having that thought? Yeah. How many of you now are texting only with your children? Exactly. So, the fact of the matter is, is that communication has being disrupted.

02:13 Vaynerchuk: Content is a commodity. It's a commodity. Anybody can do it. Everybody is gonna cry about the journalistic quality. Great! If you're so fucking good, win! If it's so good, if it's such good journalism, then win. And so, it's tough, man, every 48 hours. I mean that's just the truth of the matter. And the way distribution is done, it's just been disrupted. And so, what I would tell you to do is take the last equity or all the equity that you have there and really think about what you're doing with it.

02:41 Vaynerchuk: Yeah, question? Yep, right here? What's your name, my man?

02:47 Audience Member: I'm Jacob Dallek.

02:49 Vaynerchuk: Hey, how are you?

02:50 Audience Member: Good, how are you doing?

02:51 Vaynerchuk: Good. Were you about to introduce the rest of your team?

02:53 Audience Member: This is my partner, Aaron, also brother.

02:56 Vaynerchuk: How are you, man?

02:57 Audience Member: We own a company called Cheap Ink and we sell ink cartridges and toner.

03:01 Vaynerchuk: Okay.

03:01 Audience Member: And we are launching our e-commerce website, and we know that it's a field that is pretty saturated. And we are very focused on doing a lot of things to differentiate ourselves in it. We've been in it for nine years. So, we're familiar with it.

03:15 Vaynerchuk: Yeah, you know it.

03:15 Audience Member: My question is, we're trying to do things on Facebook and use social media to market ourselves, but ink cartridges and toner are not the sexiest of products, and I'm sure...

03:27 Vaynerchuk: I don't know, I'm having a boner about it. It's pretty exciting.

03:31 Vaynerchuk: Ink is the shit, man!

03:32 Audience Member: Hey, me, too. I mean...

03:33 Vaynerchuk: Honestly, like... Turn that frown upside down. I mean like, ink could be the shit!

03:37 Audience Member: No, no, it's not a frown. I mean I have some ideas about it, but...

03:40 Vaynerchuk: No, but I get it. I'm making a joke. Fair enough, go ahead.

03:45 Audience Member: My question to you is, how do I make it interesting or do I have to, in social media?

03:48 Vaynerchuk: I'll tell you exact... Literally, if we ran into a coffee shop and I was giving you 20 minutes advice, I've got the piece right now. Map everybody who you know is the buyer in office, right? Let me ask a better question, how much of your business is B-to-B? Like how much is it, the buyer or the office manager, it's not the individual, right? That must be a long...

04:06 Audience Member: It is, it is a mixture of individuals and also small and medium-sized businesses.

04:09 Vaynerchuk: What's the mixture?

04:11 Audience Member: What's the mixture?

04:12 Vaynerchuk: Yeah.

04:12 Audience Member: It's more B-to-B.

04:14 Vaynerchuk: How much?

04:16 Audience Member: 60-40 probably.

04:17 Vaynerchuk: Okay. So, one thing I would definitely use is a combination of LinkedIn and Twitter and Facebook. Map your entire consumer base, right? So, how many people do you have in your customer database right now?

04:30 Audience Member: I mean, right now... We're relaunching our product right now...

04:35 Vaynerchuk: You've got customers, right?

04:36 Audience Member: Yeah, we have about 50 to 100.

04:38 Vaynerchuk: Oh, so, it's really... It's like a small group of people.

04:41 Audience Member: Yes. I mean we...

04:42 Vaynerchuk: So, first and foremost, how much "Thank You Economy" stuff are you doing with those 50 to 100 people? Because honestly, I'd be at their house, shoveling their fucking driveways, throwing salt...

04:52 Vaynerchuk: You know what I mean? So, first things first. Eye poppa, that was just a little fun, but first things first, I highly recommend that you go really deep, emotionally, with that small of a customer base. I'm dying to know when the last time you talked to them, casually in a non-business way, has happened with those 50 to 100. Hey, brother, stand up. How many times?

05:14 Audience Member: We talk with our customers on instant message, all that, pretty regularly, actually.

05:18 Vaynerchuk: I would highly recommend trying to shift into some sort of emotional center, right? So, like, a good example is one of the people we were working with at Quaker, a client, he mentioned something really subtly, that he played high school football for one day because he went from soccer to football and he was trying to blitz as a linebacker, and this offensive tackle threw him into like the next state. And he mentioned a player, and it was actually a player that played for the NFL. When we got back, I ordered that player's jersey and sent it to him. There's ways to have real relationships with people. When you have a small of a customer base as you guys have, those 50 to 100 people, literally, need to become your best friends.

05:53 Audience Member: Yeah, and we're trying to grow that significantly as part of the...

05:56 Vaynerchuk: Of course, but guess what? When you have 600 of them, those fuckers need to be your best friends too.

06:01 Audience Member: Yep.

06:02 Vaynerchuk: You know what I mean?

06:02 Audience Member: Absolutely.

06:03 Vaynerchuk: So I think that's one thing to understand and by the way, you should map who they are, socially. Back to my Jay Cutler story, you should email them and ask them who they are on Facebook and Twitter, and friends with them and watch what they are talking about. You'd be stunned. In "Thank You Economy", my book, there is one Tweet where somebody complains about a phone service, somebody jumps in, helps them and lands a $250,000 gig based on one tweet. You know what I call that? ROI.

06:28 Audience Member: Yeah. I was thinking that we could even add it in when we are asking them to sign up and things like that so that they know that we're actively engaging with them and beyond.

06:36 Vaynerchuk: That's good but push that human element... I mean you're sitting in such a great spot, as a business, to be that small of a customer base, you could really push the envelope. Going through a survey is not human. You calling and being like, "How's your day going? What other needs can we have? Noticed that your power went out, on Twitter, I'm coming over with my generator." That's how you keep somebody for the rest of their lives.

06:58 Audience Member: It's true.

06:59 Vaynerchuk: And that data is being put out now that it wasn't 10 years ago. And you know why people aren't gonna do it? 'Cause it's fucking hard and people are dicks. But if you are a good guy, you can win. [laughter]

07:09 Audience Member: And that's what we are trying to do. We wanna be as close to our customers as possible to make them happy and easy to use.

07:13 Vaynerchuk: So then, do it.

07:15 Audience Member: Just one more thing.

07:15 Vaynerchuk: Yeah.

07:16 Audience Member: We're from Chicago. Easy on Jay Cutler.

07:19 Vaynerchuk: Alright, one more and then I think I gotta do the book signing. Yes sir, what's your name?

07:23 Audience Member: My name is Jeff. Thanks for taking my question.

07:26 Vaynerchuk: Sure, man.

07:27 Audience Member: It was good stuff. Liked what you had to say.

07:29 Vaynerchuk: Thanks.

07:29 Audience Member: Talking about... When you were kind of talking about what would you do for your mother, and then for your brother and then for a complete stranger.

07:37 Vaynerchuk: Yeah.

07:38 Audience Member: I started a company called Red Monkey Foods. We do gourmet seasonings and spices. So, since I am a complete stranger, would you mind Tweeting about it to your 900,000 friends?

07:51 Vaynerchuk: Good hustle. I'm obsessed with hustle, right? But see, what I find interesting is even though I just gave a really passionate talk, you went for the 19 year old dude move, right? [laughter] You tried to close on our first transaction. And so that gives you a big fucking "no". But... [laughter] But I do love your swag and your hustle, and that's why you're sitting in the room. You go and hedge that... Guys, I told you my first business was lemonade stands 'cause I really didn't want to tell you what it really was. My first business was really four-and-a-half. I used to go to people's yards, rip their flowers out of their yard, ring their door bell, and sell it back to them.

08:36 Vaynerchuk: So, I'm like you. I'm gangster, right? I'm sales. I'm not up here "Mother Teresa, love your fifty people." I only remember, you forgot 'cause it was an hour ago. I only do this because it's how business is going to be done. I'm only interested in this stuff because it converts and it's going to be the only thing against the amount of noise that's going to be going on in the world. So, what would have been more interesting is when I talked about the steak I was having, for you to like suddenly say, "Hey, I saw you at Inc 500, and I'm sending you a little spice that would go really great with that." And then I would say "Ah, good 'Thank You Economy' tactic. Let me re-Tweet it. But now you fucking blew it. But there's a lot of other... [laughter] But there's a lot of other pretty girls out there so that next time you go into the social media bar, don't be a douche bag, roll deep. Thank you.