The Lab; Portnoy Media Group Blog

Gary Vaynerchuk at Vromans


I got the chance to check out Gary Vaynerchuk (AKA @GaryVEE from, Crush It!). The event held at Vromans in Pasadena was part of his Crush It book tour. It was a great time since it was the same day as the book debuted on the NY Times/Wall St. Journal’s bestseller list. Plus I got to hang out with the guys from RadarLA (@monkeysplat and @mattwarren)

Having just been in Vegas for BlogWorld my mind has been swirling with future possibilities and futuristic views of the web. Gary Vee’s talk was just further confirmation on many of the thoughts I came away from BlogWorld with. I’ve read his book “Crush It” and I’d recommend it. Gary is a guy full of passion and it’s allowed him to bring a new view to media in general (traditional or new)

A little Background:

In 2006, Gary started filming a 30 minute podcast about wine in his office at the Liquor store that he owned. It was raw, one take and whatever happened during that 30 minutes was recorded. The podcast eventually became the immensely popular Wine Library TV and Gary became one of the loudest examples of how hustle, passion and drive can propel anyone to the forefront of new media entertainment. The part that I find the most compelling is that his business was doing well, he didn’t turn to social media tools because it was a last ditch effort. In truth, he actually lost money by spending time filming WineLibraryTV. He told us that during the first month of creating the podcast it was the first month in over 4 years that the business didn’t make a 20% increase over the year before.

Seeing that kind of change happen even when the status quo would’ve been to focus on the business and keep running it like clockwork. But Gary knew that change was brewing, he could see the wave coming and wanted to be ahead of it. I couldn’t help but think about Jack Welch, former GE CEO, during the 80’s when Wall Street started calling him “Neutron Jack” and “Jack the Hack” because of his business restructuring when most felt that the entire industry was running like clockwork.

It’s always inspiring for me to hear success stories in social media, the funny part is there’s about to be a lot more. The dotcom boom and then bust will pale in comparison to what’s about to happen on a global scale in social media. There’s a fundamental change in the way that we are communicating and receiving information. Gary said it’s fun to hear about all the guys that were pitching cable television 20+ years ago as a game changer are now the one’s yelling the loudest because the market changed again and they’re on the wrong side now.

So what does this mean for you and your business?

For starters:

You’ve got to be in the digital space.

There’s no requirement to be in every social network possible but I’d pick 3 (facebook, Twitter, YouTube) and go with it. These are the 3 with the largest user base and most diversity.

If you’re business/organization isn’t creating video, it should be.
Even if it’s as simple as a CEO/executive director monthly update. It’s crucial to show who you are and build that relationship. Talk frankly about the state of affairs in your business. What are your concerns? What’s on the horizon? It’s amazing how much of a response the prganizations that are doing this are catalyzing new customers and/or their donor base to activity. The crucial piece is to address the audience in a one-to-one ratio. Viewers will be watching the video by themselves so you’re not addressing a crowd and shouldn’t talk as if you are. That personal touch will make your company and the one hosting the video look like a champ. These videos should also be podcasted to show a digital archive. Give your audience the option to receive the information the way they want to. (Examples: Watch Gary Vaynerchuk’s Wine Library TV, Andy Bales updates from Union Rescue Mission)

Start Today.
Setting up the accounts can be done by anyone and it’ll take less than an hour. Try to get the same name for each account (,, it’ll help with your branding. Then get into the habit of updating each of these frequently depending on which account. (For starters – Twitter is real time so it should be at least daily, Facebook weekly and YouTube Monthly. As you build a critical mass updates should be more regular)

Make the content audience sensitive.
Nobody likes it when they sign up for an email list, get the podcast, twitter feed and become a fan on facebook and get blasted the exact same message 6 times in about an hour. Diversify your content so it’s appropriately accessible for that digital space. (A YouTube Update can then become a quote with a link on Twitter.)

Strategy to consider.
Where is your audience? Where are your customers? Are they on one social network over another?


Portnoy Media Group uses the influence of social networks to expand your organization's voice and tell your story. We connect people with your mission and enable your brand to be shared, discovered, and connected. Work with us as we empower your organization to dramatically extend your online presence and increase donations.