On Friday, March 10th Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO of VaynerMedia, participated in a live Q&A at SXSW Interactive. Members of the audience were able to wait in line at a microphone to ask the digital marketing and social media guru questions, which he answered in his typical quick-wit, expletive-filled fast-talking way. As always, Vaynerchuk had social media channels directed at him throughout the session, and he provided plenty of memorable one-liners of no-nonsense advice.
Vaynerchuk pointed out that when he began in the wine industry and then in digital media and marketing, he was typically uneducated compared to major corporations that had been in existence or more well established. Instead of looking at that as a negative, Vaynerchuk focused on how this left him with no preconceived notions about the way things are supposed to work. Without baggage from the agency world, this allowed him to focus on doing things his own way, and not relying on traditional methods to get results. Vaynerchuk also doubled down on his assertion that Facebook advertising is currently “underpriced” which is why he values using that platform so much.
Some of his more memorable quotes included discussing how when he first attended SXSW in 2006, he was the “weird guy,” as people at the conference were focused on making products to save the world and he was just like “I’m gonna sell shit!”
He also emphasized being aware and patient, and to “listen and try things,” insisting it is okay to take chances and to not be afraid to fail. In fact, he claimed to love failing, calling it “the cost of entry to the game.”
When he suggested to someone they should start a podcast to help place themselves as a thought leader in their industry, he was sure to reemphasize the value in patience:
“You want your very first podcast to be number one on iTunes? Who the fuck are you?!”
That is classic Gary Vee for you. Earlier in the day, Vaynerchuk played a few games of pickup basketball at the local YMCA with some lucky fans. One of those fans, Russell, also was able to ask Vaynerchuk a question during the live Q&A. I caught up with Russell in the convention center to talk to him about his experience interacting with Gary Vee at Interactive. Check it out below!