If you have been paying any attention to the social-media movement in the last decade, then you will know the name Gary Vaynerchuk (Gary Vee). Vaynerchuk has had a pillar-like presence in the marketing, social-media and brand-building space for the last 10 years. He’s always been known for reaching into new realms of possibility and leading by example. Now, he’s doing it again with blockchain technology.
Although Vaynerchuk’s brash and straightforward point of view might rub some people the wrong way, the wisdom he’s acquired through success, and failures, has been a beacon within the entrepreneurial world. He does this by openly sharing what he thinks will work and then documenting the journey — a radical approach compared to that of other brand builders in the industry.
When Vaynerchuk started getting loud about blockchain technology, crypto and other such innovations around 2018, many people failed to take it seriously. Now, in 2022, you see him leading the pack by example, showing creators what’s possible in this new age of digital ownership.
He’s doing it again with two powerful demonstrations of NFT technology, Vee Friends and a creative book launch.
Vee Friends and a creative book launch
To fully grasp the plan that has been executed by Vaynerchuk in the last nine months, you need to see all the puzzle pieces and how they’ve been guided into place by him and his team.
Vee Friends is an NFT collection launched by Vaynerchuk and his team at Vayner Media in late April of 2021. It is a collection of “art” hand-drawn by Vaynerchuk himself and is unique in its value, not because of the quality of the artwork, but because of the utility, community and originality behind the project.
While there is an endless supply of opinions about Vaynerchuk’s artistic ability, the project gained an immediate foothold because of a singular reason: community support. On top of that foundation, he added the immediate value of coupling it with a ticket to a live event called VeeCon for the next three years. So, despite the coffeehouse napkin-doodle vibe, he added his own personal brand and value to each NFT, and the prices have skyrocketed.
To add even more clout to this NFT, his collection of the original drawings sold at Christie’s Auction House for a staggering $1.2 million. It certainly wasn’t the most expensive item to sell at the auction, but considering the art and that it was executed in around six months from launch to sale at a blue-chip auction house, it’s quite impressive. Not many artists can claim that level of success during that short period of time.
With the most recent launch of his book Twelve and a Half, Vaynerchuk executed what most of us could only dream up. One of his most accurate lines is “Everybody has good ideas, execution is the key,” and he has demonstrated his ability to execute well.
The book itself is written to address the changing culture of emotional intelligence in the corporate and working-class world. The older way of running things is outdated: not treating your subordinates with respect because you only answer to the individuals above you or not taking responsibility when things go wrong, but taking all of the credit when things go right.
Younger people are walking out on jobs and pursuing their dreams instead of settling for a “steady” 9-5. Vaynerchuk’s book directly addresses how you can be the change in your workplace as a leader and inspire others to stay instead of leaving it all behind.
To add some rocket fuel to the launch, Vaynerchuk promised one free NFT to anyone who purchased 12 books. This subsequently created a feeding frenzy, and he sold more than 1 million copies in a 24-hour period.
In requiring the purchase of 12 books for one NFT, Vaynerchuk put two powerful forces in motion: an insane demand for the book and a guerrilla-marketing army that many creators could only dream of. To add to the luck or genius of the book launch, a large portion of the books were delivered just before Christmas, so his customers were able to give them away as thoughtful presents while earning an NFT in the process.
How to apply this to your own business
What Vaynerchuk did is impressive. When you narrow it down and look at each step, it’s brilliant. Not just because of the foresight about new technology, but also because of the way he executed it.
You may not have the same following as Vaynerchuk, but you can tap into the same strategies and tactics in order to deliver value for your patrons, followers and customers. The key is to deliver valuable products or services to your consumers and help them make changes to better their quality of living in some way. Now, you can couple digital ownership with the value that you already provide in order to drive more sales and serve more customers.
In a basic sense, Vaynerchuk leveraged the value he’s known for providing in a high-ticket item coupled with multiple forms of utility. He rallied a community that drove the value and market for that item and then followed it up with a lower ticket item that was coupled with his book launch for one of the most impressive feats of book sales and guerrilla marketing the industry has ever seen.
With creativity and a heavy dose of execution, you too can leverage these tools and strategies to deliver life-changing results for your customers.