when i was in high school i wanted to play in a band for a living. in college i switched my focus to poetry and later i expanded to video, but esentialy i kept the same goal: i wanted to “make a living” from my art, so i can spend my #rare time alive on what i believe in and what makes me hapy. for the past two years i’ve worked particularly hard at making that hapen. i’ve been sucessful by my definition (yayy!), and one of my bigest guides along the way has been gary vaynerchuk
if you’ve seen many of my videos at all, u have probaly seen clips of gary (here, here, here, here, here). gary’s message is rooted in a strong awareness of YOLO: you only live once, so do what you love. much of gary’s work is teaching specific ways to make it possible to do what u love, he talks about how to build a folowing and community around your work online. much of my aproach to social media community building—how i run my twitter, livestreams, etc—has been adapted from gary’s ideas
the core of gary’s marketing philosophy is to CARE—to be there for your folowers, actualy respond to them, say thanks when people share your work, check out their work in return, make friends and be part of the comunity. this works because when you give back (or give first) so generously, your folowers tend to get more enthusiastic and help share your work. equally simple is gary’s philosophy of personal brand, which is basicaly be yourself.. gary says “there are no damn tactics: be who you are, talk about shit you love”
today i got to interview gary! often gary addresses the concerns of big brands, but this interview is directed at young artists who are trying to build a folowing and eventualy make money from what they love
(back-up mp3 link if the player isn’t working: click here!)
take-away points (SPOLIER ALERT)
- if you’re considering pursuing your art/passion, dont focus on concerns about whether you’ll have success or security within 5-10 years—focus on whether you’ll be 70 years old and have regrets that you never tried!!
- when you eventualy release a book/album/etc and you need your community to actualy follow thru and support you, you should just ask them for what you want, don’t fear rejection.
- when you do IRL events like shows or readings, make the most of any turn-out by giving your full heart and soul to the attendees. connect personaly w/ each person there. then those few ppl wil be the ones to help u get many more ppl out next time
- don’t beat yourself up for sucking at 99.9% of things, just go super hard at the 0.1% you are realy good at!! build around what u are good at
if you like this interview i recomend gary’s book CRUSH IT, and this video of him click here!! his upcoming book this fall is called Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook! u can also follow him on twitter and facebook, and look thru his website garyvaynerchuk.com
Steve Roggenbuck has sampled Gary Vaynerchuk’s videos for an extremely long period of time. For a long time Gary has served as a sort of guide to young Steve Roggenbuck. Many of the inspirational quotes from Gary Vaynerchuk have inspired Steve to set off into the world. The tour of the United States, East Coast and Best Coast, has been due to Gary’s ability to inspire Steve that ‘YOLO’.
Art can support people. This is hugely important. Gary wonders why passions are sort of ‘simmered down’. Structured systems create this feeling that art is too risky. Picking another career path is what is generally suggested. Doing this is a bit of a downer however. For those artists who give up there is the sense of regret. Life should not be a series of ‘What Ifs’. Of course that will happen, one cannot do everything. Life desires passion. By giving up on this passion and resigning one’s fate to just a job, a job that’s not loved, is the saddest thing possible. Going for it, and even failing, is life. It is okay to fail. If someone fails that means they at least tried. Not even doing that can be such a sad occurrence.
Story telling depends on the medium. Multiple online platforms exist. Here Steve asks Gary about shares for sites that allow it versus sites those that do not. Functions of sharing are inevitable. Gary states that people find ways to pass on information. Long ago the share-ability of songs came from cassettes, CDs; MP3s. Things have taken on since then. Platforms are forced to share. Twitter used to lack a re-tweet function many years ago. Now thankfully such a thing is made possible. The will of the end consumer will prevail over this lack of sharing.
Money from art is important. Gary suggests getting someone to help with sales can help. Some artists like ‘Beach Sloth’ do occasionally ask for money by asking readers to paypal: firstname.lastname@example.org. Yes it can be that transparent. Business requires this in order to sustain the art. Through giving lots of stuff away for free artists can feel worried when they ultimately have to ask for money. However if the art can be monetarily sustainable then the art can last quite a while.
Videos of Gary on YouTube get Steve ‘pumped’. The IRL events are for everyone. Gary states that even small exhibits can improve turnout. If eight people show up then that’s worth it. Showing those eight people an amazing time can result in a greater turnout the next time. Bigger audiences do not mean better. What a bigger audience means is those smaller audiences beforehand helped to improve everything.
Tapping into self-awareness is extremely important for Gary. Parts of this came from his upbringing. Gary lives life pretty hard. Honestly though Gary feels he is terrible at most of what he does. For that 0.1% though he rocks it hard. Everyone is special at something. Nobody can be perfect at everything. Mastery of one skill is critical.
Finally it ends with the sort of question and answer session that needs to be heard to be believed. Everything that came before the last question becomes crystal clear by the end. Honestly Gary and Steve come across as two similar souls on this epic phone interview.