Entrepreneurship

Scaling like GaryVee: 6 Tactics You Can Copy For Your Shopify Brand15 min read

GaryVee is an entrepreneurial celebrity. He is a rock star and leader of the digital marketing and social media industry. He created and scaled an empire from scratch.

The result? An inspirational success story (btw: have you checked out our Zara story?). GaryVee is one of the most influential and motivating business Gurus of all time. However, his story is much more than a young man’s tale of luck. It’s also more than him taking over his father’s small-time wine shop and using digital marketing to skyrocket annual sales from $3M to $60M.

gary vaynerchuk
GaryVee, the CEO of VaynerMedia. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Marketers worldwide look to GaryVee for ideas. He’s an inspiration. The biggest lesson he teaches? Life isn’t a sprint but rather a marathon. Also, he reminds us there is no such thing as an overnight success in business. His story is the epitome of what digital marketing can do when you commit yourself. He inspires marketers to focus on your strengths to make your brand stand out. He simplifies it all to just being yourself.

“Even if your ambitions are huge, start slow, start small, build gradually, build smart.” — GaryVee

How did GaryVee scale his businesses? Want to learn and copy his most successful tactics to scale you own? This post is the perfect place to get you started and inspired to crush your goals.

Here are the things that we will go over in this post:

  • Who is GaryVee?
  • From humble beginnings in Queens…to becoming a King
    • Wine Library TV: Building an empire from scratch
    • VaynerMedia: A non-stop profit machine
    • GaryVee practices what he preaches…
    • The #AskGaryVee Show
    • Get your DailyVee dose
    • Hacking the holidays with Shopify Plus
    • Chasing the dream…
  • Lessons on Scaling Business
  • Favorite GaryVee Quotes
  • Other impressive facts and stats about GaryVee
  • Hustle, hustle, hustle.

Who is GaryVee?

Gary Vaynerchuk, is better known as GaryVee. He is the CEO and founder of VaynerMedia, a full-service digital agency. VaynerMedia services an impressive list of Fortune 500 clients. However, there is much more to his success than what he accomplishes. GaryVee’s success is all about how he accomplishes his business goals. He is a social media rock star.

Gary Vee
Top social media personality and influencer: GaryVee. Source: Twitter

By Googling “Gary Vaynerchuk wiki” you will see the story of a young 3-year-old boy. In 1978, Gary immigrated to the United States with his family from Babruysk in the Soviet Union. His story is one that’s built on dreams and ambition. This set the little boy on a path. He would one day become the top social media personality and influencer: GaryVee.

From humble beginnings in Queens…to becoming a King

When the Vaynerchuk family arrived in the US, they settled in Queens, New York. There, 9 family members lived in a cramped studio apartment. At an early age, the entrepreneur in Gary began to blossom. He took the typical “business ventures” most kids do to new heights. Gary had unparalleled work ethics. He successfully juggled running a lemonade stand and trading baseball cards on the weekends. The latter earned him thousands of dollars a week. By the age of 14, when most kids spend their free time hanging out at the mall or shooting hoops, Gary had other plans. He joined his family’s retail-wine business.

Immediately after graduating from college in 1998, Gary took over the day-to-day managerial tasks of his father’s wine business. Also, he renamed the shop to Wine Library. Gary soon grew revenues from $3 million to $60 million in just 5 years. How? He had a breakthrough idea. To harness the power of authentic social media and eCommerce.

Wine Library TV: Building an empire from scratch

GaryVee’s serial entrepreneurial success can be attributed to his creative communication style. He has a knack for spotting unique opportunities at their nascent stages. This can be seen from his early adoption of YouTube. He used it as a marketing platform long before the YouTube influencer medium picked up. In 2006, around one year after YouTube was launched, Gary created a 20-minute daily webcast on YouTube. He called it Wine Library TV.

Gary Vee
GaryVee first made his mark as a social media influencer with Wine Library TV. Source: Screenshot Wine  Library TV 

For GaryVee, YouTube was the perfect platform to indirectly promote WineLibrary.com. He offers visitors everything. From ratings, reviews, tasting notes, to recommendations, and information on the latest wine trends.

Wine Library TV was a success. Soon after, Gary appeared on the cover of the December 2008 issue of Mutineer Magazine. His show started to attract the attention of celebrity guests.

Wine Library TV, also known as WLTV or The Thunder Show, aired from 2006 to 2011. There were a total of 1,000 episodes.

VaynerMedia: A non-stop profit machine

Built on the marketing success of Wine Library, Gary set out to found VaynerMedia. He built it with his brother AJ Vaynerchuk in 2009. It’s now a top digital agency. VaynerMedia focuses on implementing personalized social media strategies. Its portfolio includes impressive Fortune 500 clients. Here are some more facts about VaynerMedia:

Gary Vee

GaryVee practices what he preaches…

By creating and nurturing his online presence Gary grew his own brand. It’s all about being your true, authentic self. And, over the years, he has continued to expand his empire.

In the beginning, Gary published content about the wine industry trends. The content was valuable and informative to his target audience. Today, GaryVee’s followers still look to his raw unedited online videos casting his opinions. What they like most? Gary never sugar-Coates anything. He keeps it real. This is how he built his reputation. As Gary says, “Your personal brand is your reputation. And your reputation in perpetuity is the foundation of your career.”

He explains the top strategies for building your own personal branding online with some core principles. Gary stresses having good intent, being transparent, and most importantly, being yourself.

To build a solid reputation, you need to know what you are talking about. Gary uses the tactic of keeping his opinions limited to his areas of expertise. He stresses not overselling yourself. How? Simple. He reminds marketers to be authentic to their own unique set of skills and talents. For example, when Gary started Wine Library TV, he was true to himself. He described wine he tasted as “Whatchamacallit bars” and other unheard of terms.

“I’ve talked a LOT for the past decade. But within a very narrow area. I haven’t talked about healthcare or geopolitical issues. I haven’t added my two cents to every pop culture situation.” – Gary Vaynerchuk

Gary also credits his success to being smart about how and where he distributes his content. GaryVee’s winning marketing strategy?  It’s straight forward. Distribute high-quality content. Below we’ll go into the specifics on how every marketer can scale their business like GaryVee.

The #AskGaryVee Show

Another one of the successful Gary Vaynerchuk businesses is #AskGaryVee Show. The show airs on YouTube. Launched in 2014, it takes direct questions from Gary Vaynerchuk’s Twitter and Instagram feed. In the show, Gary offers spontaneous, non-scripted responses. Some of the topics he talks about are entrepreneurship, family, and, of course, business.

Gary Vee
Source: Screenshot #AskGaryVee Show

“Snapchat is a gold mine of opportunity for any team that wants to create real relationships and build loyalty with its young fans.” — GaryVee. Source: #AskGaryVee: One Entrepreneur’s Take on Leadership, Social Media, and Self-Awareness

Quick tip: Gary literally tries to respond and deliver value to every single message he receives. So, just get on Twitter and send a tweet using @garyvee like our friend did in the example below:

Michael@veganswolemike

Gary teach me the mug life flip life, what’s the technique?

Gary Vaynerchuk

@garyvee

Go to garage sales and thrift stores and buy mugs for $1 and under and then list them on eBay for $5-7 + and charge shipping and do that 100-1000 times and make some side $ to help your life

23 people are talking about this

Get your DailyVee dose

GaryVee is perhaps most famous for the way in which he stands out from the crowd of social media Gurus. In the wise words of the man himself: “If you want to be an anomaly, you gotta act like one.”

Gary Vee
GaryVee launched DailyVee on YouTube in 2015

No doubt that this philosophy was GaryVee’s motivation to create DailyVee. DailyVee is just what it sounds like. It is a daily, video-documentary series on YouTube. Gary launched it in 2015. The series gives a glimpse into Vaynerchuk’s life as a businessman. He uses a live feed of everything from interviews to broadcasting investor meetings and strategy sessions at VaynerMedia.

Gary also uses the series as a platform to demonstrate how he uses social media strategies. One, in particular, he focuses on is Snapchat.

Hacking the holidays with Shopify Plus

Collaborating with Shopify Plus, Gary brings eCommerce marketers another insightful podcast. “Hacking the Holidays” is an eCommerce-focused mini-series. In it, Gary highlights how to develop a rock star Black Friday eCommerce marketing strategy. He also talks of how to both organic and automated tools to boost conversions. The podcast has 6 episodes with interviews of the top minds in eCommerce. It has tips to help entrepreneurs take holiday marketing strategies and ROI to the next level.

Chasing the dream…

It’s hard to imagine that GaryVee has goals still unfulfilled. However, he does. He has stated on many occasions that his biggest life goal is to one day buy the New York Jets. It is his favorite team since the age of 5. And it’s not something he is giving up on.

Lessons by GaryVee on Scaling a Business

On his blog, GaryVee states: “My content strategy is predicated on a ‘reverse pyramid’ model.” So, what exactly does that mean? Luckily GaryVee has built his brand by sharing his wisdom. He constantly shares his stories on marketing strategies, and techniques at creating high-quality content.

Gary Vee
Scale your business like GaryVee. Source: Twitter

GaryVee’s strategy is quite straight-forward. Repurpose and reuse. It’s all about duplicating or “repurposing” something you write. Gary uses the example of one of his keynotes. He creates the keynote. Next, his team gets creative. Really creative. They turn it into 30+ pieces of unique content that helps drive awareness back to the original content. The last step is distributing the related content on social media platforms to reach every targeted audience. That’s the secret to Gary’s success.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the key components and lessons you can try to scale your business.

Lesson #1: Content counts, but content alone won’t make you King

“Content is king, but marketing is queen, and runs the household.”– GaryVee

In all of his videos and speeches, GaryVee emphasizes how important it is to create and distribute relevant content to your target audience.

Key tactic: Write down your key customer persona and his/her daily digital habits. Some examples are the sites/apps/blogs/social media he/she uses. Design a plan of posting for every medium. The goal is to expose your customers to your content even if he/she switches mediums.

Lesson #2: Practice is your best friend

Gary is a freak when it comes to repetition and nonstop hustling. His philosophy is a perfect example of why an eCommerce manager should insist on trying to continuously optimize his or her marketing tactics with a can-do attitude. It’s the only way to become an expert. Not only in business, but in every area of life.

Key tactic: Write down all your different mediums/channels you use at your brand’s marketing. Set a timetable to test the results of daily posting on each one. Afterward, compare the results and keep the best-performing ones. Then read and practice to get as good as possible at them as you can.

“All your ideas may be solid or even good…But you have to Actually EXECUTE on them for them to matter.” – GaryVee

Lesson #3: Running experiments is the key to growth

A core repetition in Gary’s marketing success is one he repeats all the time: Experimenting with the unknown. Gary’s first “experiment” is an example. He used the internet and Google AdWords to promote his father’s wine business. That’s how he arrived at his greatest talent. The talent for harnessing the tools of the Internet to build a personal brand.

Not all experiments will succeed. Gary believes to actually have the possibilities to learn things and get positive results, you need to try out new ideas.

Key tactic: Redesign your company processes. Embed into your DNA the concept and reality of running experiments. Set as a goal to run a different experiment each month.

Lesson #4: Automation of processes will make you scale

Gary uses automation and personalization when it makes sense to use it. He doesn’t believe that automation is a replacement for a unique, personal human touch.

He explains this concept on his blog, garyvaynerchuk.com. Gary has a unique relationship with automation and personalization for his own business.

“We use it at my wine store Wine Library. When your order is confirmed, we send an email that says, ‘Hey, your order is ready.’ That is automated. But the email isn’t claiming to be from ‘Gary at Wine Library,’ or ‘Brandon at Wine Library’. It’s just from Wine Library.”

Gary is keen on using email marketing as part of a responsive marketing strategy. In fact, on #AskGaryVee Episode 35: Email Marketing in Today’s World, Gary says that email is “definitely not dead”. He also states that it is a “killer app”.

Gary Vee
Gary Vaynerchuk Email marketing prediction: “It’s in play, it’s a channel, it’s not going anywhere.” Source: Screenshot #AskGaryVee Episode 35: Email Marketing in Today’s World

Responsive email marketing campaigns can boost your brand’s conversions. Using pop-up messages, automation and personalization help marketers save money and time by creating a more direct channel to engage with your audience.

Specifically, a solid marketing automation platform benefits marketers. It allows you to track and target your audience with relevant, valuable content. And, that content is based on your audiences’ previous web behaviors.

Key tactic: Scale your business using automation and personalization. How? Try GaryVee’s philosophy on automation and personalization. Gary says: “When it can and should be done by a human, use a human”, and when it makes sense, use automation.

Lesson #5: Hire someone who is better than you to do the job

One main focus GaryVee emphasizes is not obsessing over the things you are not good at. His plan is straight forward. Rather, focus on nurturing your talents and being true to yourself. What does that mean in the business world? When you need help, go out and find it.

Key tactic: Write down the tactics/moves that could help you scale. Then, prioritize them by quantifying them. Identify the task(s) you can’t or don’t know how to do. It’s that simple. If the task(s) are at the top of your list, this should be your next hiring!

Lesson #6: Subscribe to GaryVee’s Youtube channel

Gay Vee has racked up over 2 million YouTube subscribers to his channel (2,087,632 to-date to be exact!). Why? His videos deliver so much value, and not only in terms of inspiration and motivation. Also, the videos offer pure business knowledge. This drives marketers from around the world in every type of business to follow his channel. What a lesson on getting subscribers. That’s how you do it.

Key tactic: Subscribe, watch, try to copy.

Our favorite GaryVee Quotes

GaryVee is one of the most motivational and successful entrepreneurs on the planet. Get inspired. Ready? Here are our favorite GaryVee quotes:

“Hustle is the most important word ever.” – GaryVee

  • “Saying hello doesn’t have an ROI it’s about building relationships.”
  • “Put out quality content every day and engage around it.”
  • “Brand storytelling is not about pushing advertising, it’s about bringing value.”
  • “The best marketing strategy ever: care.”
  • “Social media marketing is a 24/7 job.”
  • “The brands that connect with clients in a real way, will win.”
  • “When is all comes down to it, nothing trumps execution.”
  • “I think the biggest mistake we make is we hope who we are instead of auditing who we are.”
Gary Vee
Source: GaryVee’s Instagram

Other impressive facts and stats about GaryVee

GaryVee is a viral entrepreneur. He is also much more. He is a motivational speaker, social media superstar, and best-selling author. The list of his accomplishments is endless. That’s because he understands that marketing is about moving beyond constraints. Gary thinks outside of the box. He gets creative. He hustles. Here are some impressive facts about GaryVee:

Gary Vee
GaryVee, best-selling author
  • Gary Vaynerchuk books: Author of 7 bestsellers
  • Book Deals: $1 million 10-book deal with HarperStudio
  • Net worth: roughly $160 million USD
  • Makes between $3 to $5 million per year in speaking fees
  • Youngest retailer ever to receive Market Watch magazine’s prestigious Leader award in 2003, at age 28
  • 1 new episode of the GaryVee Video Experience airs daily
  • GaryVee Video Experience airs on YouTube channel, Facebook Watch Page, and IGTV
  • Publishes daily podcast GaryVee Audio Experience
  • GaryVee Video Experience distributes on iTunes, Overcast, and Stitcher, and other social media platforms
  • Gary’s team creates “micro-content” from his daily podcasts
  • The microcontent continually posts and distributes to Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Quora, etc

Hustle, hustle, hustle.

GaryVee inspires marketers. He motivates them to be doers and creators of innovative marketing plans.

Gary Vee
Try some GaryVee marketing tactics. Source: Screenshot #AskGaryVee Show

GaryVee uses ground-breaking YouTube videos and attention-getting email marketing campaigns. He breaks barriers to create an expanding empire. His success is proof that relentless work ethic and the ability to communicate authentically counts. It is key to connecting with your audience and building an online brand. Don’t waste another day. Act now. Start today. Make your marketing aspirations a reality. Try some of GaryVee’s tactics we’ve showcased above to inspire and “hustle” you. You’ve got this. Now, hustle.

This article was originally published by our friends at ContactPigeon.

About the author

Steve Hutt

I'm obsessed with entrepreneurship, commerce, and Shopify. If you have the desire to implement what's working today for direct-to-consumer brands on Shopify, I'm excited you're here! Get the Shopify help you need. This industry blog and podcast is my digital brain where my guests and I share cutting-edge marketing strategy, must-have Shopify apps, and marketing platforms that will help you build and scale lifetime customer loyalty. To do this, I'm part of the Merchant Success Team at Shopify Plus and host of the eCommerce Fastlane Podcast.