Gary Vaynerchuck is an influential person, no doubt. But what is his message? That’s what we’ll dive into in this review of his book The Thank You Economy.
What I Believe To Be The Core Message of The Book
“Add value” is a common phrase in business and marketing circles. But
what is value and who defines it? Here is where I think a lot of people get confused.
Value is not determined by the number of words or quantity of information. I’m reading a book now called On Writing Well that talks about removing clutter. Say as much as possible with as few words as possible. This is truer than ever before in an ADD culture with an abundance of distractions.
What does this have to do with The Thank You Economy? Well, adding value is the essence of the book. I believe that Gary’s message goes something like this: add value without expecting anything in return and you’ll eventually get more than enough back.
The Social Media Revolution
The Thank You Economy revolves around social media. I have mixed emotions about social media. It’s one of the biggest enemies to focus yet it’s a powerful marketing tool. But how do we use social media for marketing?
Talk with them, not to them. Do not use social media as a billboard; instead use it as a message board. Engage with your followers instead of mainly tweeting about discounts without any personal interaction. That’s the main thing I got from this book regarding social media marketing.
In the book, Gary responds to common counterarguments to social media marketing. One of them being the difficulties of measuring the ROI. He points to statistics regarding happy customer support. We all know that happy customers are the ones that will be repeating customers. How do we make them happy?
Gary’s answer is: through one on one engagement. I understand if people are opposing these ideas. I’m a customer that is mostly interested in what the product or service can do for me.
Let’s say you had to choose between an excellent product and mediocre customer support—or a mediocre product and excellent customer support. What would you choose? Personally, I would go with the excellent product. The counterargument from Gary is that social media works both ways. He expects that you’ll have an excellent product or service.
It’s worth mentioning that Gary does not completely disregard traditional media. He’s just urging business owners to get on the new train. He gives case studies of entrepreneurs that have succeeded by following the core principles in the book.
My Thoughts on the Book
I believe that The Thank You Economy is a book that is worth reading. It’s not the best book I’ve read, but still, it contains valuable ideas. The book is written with a strong voice, and it did influence me. Will I go and tweet 20 times a day now? No, but the importance of building relationships instead of yelling about a product will probably stick forever.
But having thousands of followers that have a good feeling about you does not have to mean that you’ll make a lot of money. You can’t just give stuff for free and then expect that money is going to appear magically. You have to know how to receive, and you need a channel for it. This channel could be a product or service of yours that you mention from time to time.
Will the receiving part turn off some people? Yes, but you want quality customers, so it doesn’t matter. A quality customer is happy that you’re willing to offer them premium stuff that not everyone can get for free. Let’s go over two ways of funnelling people into an offer.
The Right Way and The Wrong Way
The Wrong Way: I remember how I typed in a “how to” question on Google. I clicked on a video with this text, and it was a screen cast video from an older woman. She immediately started telling me that the solution to the problem was to buy her stuff. Talk about “how to” video. I think this video had 99% dislikes.
The Right Way: Let’s say I type in “How to surf” on Youtube. I get a video of a guy that is giving me free tips and advice. The video is 10 minutes long, and I’m grateful for all the information. At the end of the video, he says, “by the way, make sure to check out our website for more information about surfing. There you can also find some of the best surfboards that I’ve ever tried. The best one is (name of the board). I’ll throw a direct link to it in the description below.”
The second example is called content marketing. The first one is just a great way to irritate and waste the viewer’s time. Will everyone buy the surfboard? No, but chances are that they will return to the channel if they enjoyed the content and perhaps buy on another occasion.
A Friend Or Authority?
People will buy from people they trust. Who do they trust? The answer is a friend or authority. Our goal should be to be both.
The Thank You Economy is perfect for establishing you as a friend. But it’s even better for establishing you as an authority. By answering people’s questions, they will start to trust you—similar to how they would trust the answer from a doctor.
Gary is living proof of this with his #askgaryv show and book. People come to him for answers and some also come to him for premium answers.
Conclusion of The Thank You Economy
The Thank You Economy is a book worth reading if you’re looking for information about how to get raving fans. As a fan of Tim Ferris, and the 80/20 rule, I question the efficiency and effectiveness of everything. Call me lazy, but hey! That’s one of the reasons why we’ve invented stuff like cars, washing machines, elevators, etc.
I think that the answer from Gary would be “I work smart and hard.” Well, that proves the point I’m trying to make. Find out how to work smart first by testing small or seeing what works for others and then scale it by working hard. It’s not fun to do something efficiently that need not be done at all.
Gary says that he’s more focused on depth than width. Still, I get a stressed out about all this talk about how we should be on Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter Facebook, etc. So I’m self-aware now by stating that I wouldn’t enjoy it. It might change but for now, blogging is the most enjoyable way to give content.