Gary Vaynerchuk, a Belarusian-American entrepreneur, is a New York Times bestselling author, speaker and internet personality. He is a co-founder of Resy and Empathy Wines, the chairman of VaynerX, a communications company, and CEO of its subsidiary, VaynerMedia.
As someone who started his rise to fame on YouTube talking about wine, Vaynerchuk was an early believer in the power of the internet to grow a personal brand. After all, in 2006, YouTube was only a ghost of the dominant social media platform it would become. Sensing the future of social media, He started VaynerMedia in 2008 with his brother, AJ Vaynerchuk. Their market was Fortune 500 companies that did not yet understand the power of social media.
Vaynerchuk became one of the earliest “influencers,” even before the title was in use. How he took that mantle is a model for all those who want to be an influencer. His unique approach to influencing differs from how some people think they need to accomplish that role today.
He does not require much of his tribe, other than being attentive to his social media presence and interacting where possible. While he might promote a book he wrote, Vaynerchuk is not out there peddling a $1,000 course for his followers to buy. Rather, he asks his audience to exercise consistent grit and perseverance in their lives as they go after their dreams and goals.
Throughout his writings and postings on social media, Vaynerchuk tells others that if they develop a personal brand for recognition or ego, they will fail. His philosophy is that how people feel about you is what makes your brand. There is an element of trust in this process, and if you try to become an influencer, you must be careful of your reputation, as it becomes the baseline for your career.
Vaynerchuk believes that you must be in the influencing arena for the long haul. If you sacrifice that for short-term sales, you will be like a meteor that shines brightly and then burns out quickly when it hits the atmosphere.
There is more value in being creative in how you communicate with your growing tribe than if you agonize over how many followers you have. Patience is the watchword here, as most “overnight successes” only occur with a lot of work.
Both examples and Vaynerchuk’s advice show that he also believes that you need to be yourself. Facades and exaggerations of who you are and your accomplishments will catch up with you in the long run. Do not be afraid to show the unique facets of your personality and talents – that is what will set you apart from others vying for the same audience you want.
Finally, it takes a lot of content to make an impact on social media. This could be your full-time job if you were to allow it. Vaynerchuk suggests not getting hung up on having the best, most polished, social media posts.
Record your journey in all its realism and get it out there for people to see. Create content that is appealing and educational. Use what resources you have to broadcast it and to drive an audience to your material, even if you must do some selective advertising in the beginning.