As we sit in class day to day, studying hard, taking all the required courses to earn a degree in Business, there are people out there making a name for themselves simply through social media. People like Gary V. This self-made social media expert is the type of person I have always aspired to be. If I had read his book four years ago, I cannot promise I would be where I am today. I would like to think I’d be in a big city, doing social media or PR for a brand name company, because that is what I am most passionate about.
From lemonade to liquor:
Gary V has always had a hard-working and self-fulfilling attitude. From the early age of 8 years old, he’s been a working businessman who managed 6 lemonade stands around his neighborhood and sold baseball cards at local malls. When High School began, he started helping out at his parents’ liquor store. Bored, he found himself picking up the wine magazines and books more often. By the time he had read the entirety of books around the store, he was in college, commuting every weekend to work at his parents’ store. He moved on to reading about Social Media and marketing strategies. The books he read and the efforts he took, helped to shape him into one of the most successful Social Media Marketers in the business.
After some time, in 1997 he realized there was a technological shift in consumption; e-commerce was on the rise. Being smart, Gary took advantage of the early years of e-commerce and created a website called winelibrary.com, which ultimately helped his family grow from $3 million to $45 million in 2005.
From Justin Bieber’s “Beliebers” to Lady GaGa’s “Monsters”, today it is not uncommon for figures in the limelight to have a stapled name for their fans. But who knew some average Joe from New York could create such a following? After the launch of winelibrary.com, Gary V took to the content world with his flipcam and started posting personal reviews about wine on YouTube; He was attracting over 100,000 views per day on his reviews. Eventually, his fans and followers were so dedicated to his posts, they became known as “Vayniacs”.
Gary stays humble about his success. He has close to 1 million followers on Twitter, speaks at conferences, and organizations around the country, has two books on the New York Times bestseller list, and was voted in BusinessWeek’s top 20 people every entrepreneur should follow. In his book Crush It! He explains how to take something you are passionate about and make it into a living. Most people say you can’t make money in today’s economy without a college degree. Three years ago, I would agree. But with the rise of technology and media outlets, it is easier than ever to reach consumers. As business students of East Carolina University, we are ahead of the rest with the knowledge of how to manage and market a business. From what Gary tells us, all you have to do is start creating content, sharing it with the public, and participating in the activities you receive back.
Gary Vaynerchuk is one of the most entertaining people to watch and listen to. He’s extremely active and reactive on Twitter. He likes to get involved with his followers. He makes it easy for organizations, companies, and students like us to reach him by providing links to contact him about coming to speak and interviewing him face to face. Below is a link to a video he posted ranting from a plane that’s been one of his most buzzworthy content posts. The video will give you a glimpse of his “out there” personality.