There isn’t really a whole lot of magic in Onethings. People ask us all the time how they can better market their business, what they should do to bring more people in, and how they can make the experience better. The answer, aside from understanding your audience really well and knowing what types of things that they would like, is to simply “do stuff.” “Do Stuff” is a phrase that is a direct descendant of “Saying Stuff,” a phrase coined by Jon when we talked about the awkward 12-15-year-old range when you are still trying to figure out how to interact with people and in the lack of having anything of substance to say you just start “Saying Stuff.” When we tell clients to do stuff, we’re essentially telling them to stop acting like their awkward inner 12-year-old, figure out what people want from their brand, implement it, and stick to it until you can measure if it is working or not. If it’s not working, tweak it, or do other stuff. Well, there’s a king of planet “Do Stuff” – his name’s Gary Vaynerchuk.
If you are half-interested in the internet, half-interested in wine, or a fan of Conan O’Brien, you know who Gary Vaynerchuk is. He’s the wine guy who chops down snooty wine shops, snootier wine magazines, and the snootiest vineyards and tasting rooms with his great internet axe that is winelibrary.com. Gary and his crew do a lot of things right. He’s done 5 episodes of the Wine Library TV video podcast per week since 2006. He doesn’t rate a wine highly simply because others do. He’s constantly out there – the TODAY show, the aforementioned Conan appearance (<a href=”http://tv.winelibrary.com/gary-vaynerchuk-on-late-night-with-conan-obrien/” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>it’s worth checking out here), Mad Money, etc. He sends daily specials to his email list. The list of things that Gary does to promote his company, build his brand, interact with his customers, and, ultimately, create happy, satisfied loyalists of Wine Library each week is longer than what most business owners do in 5 years (ourselves included, though you’re reading one of our attempts to address that). His dedication to his brand is palpable, and if Gary V. has a Onething, it’s his willingness to do stuff.
A couple Onethings highlights:
- Taking an alternate approach: The Conan moment really was a watershed moment for Wine Library. Conan saw how dedicated Gary was to wine, and he couldn’t help but get caught up in his excitement. Sure, it was planned, but I doubt they thought that it was going to go as far as Conan chewing, then choking, on a cigar in a Conan vs. Gary dedication-off. Besides, who would you rather buy wine from – the guy talking endlessly about some obscure olallieberry note in the wine or the guy who just shoved socks in his mouth to talk about a wine’s earthiness?
- Acknowledging mistakes: A few months ago, Gary tried to combine the marketing of his book with the marketing of his wine store, and people balked. He immediately saw that his people weren’t happy and he offered the special on the wine sans-purchase of the Crush It book. He appeared on Diggnation, and the loyal diggnation viewers thought he ruined the episode by talking too much (and too loudly). He went into the diggnation forums, apologized, and told them he deserved the beating he was getting in the forums. It takes a lot to run a successful business, and not everything you do is going to work out as you planned. Gary acutely understands this and is quick to jump out in front of a problem rather than running away from it.
For the average business owner, Gary V. is a great role-model. He’s essentially a two-trick pony – love what you do and dedicate your life to getting what you love in front of as many people as possible regardless of how silly you might look from time to time – but they’re two pretty good tricks.