#AskGaryVee Episode 48: Ignoring the Competition, Niche Marketing, & Swagger

#AskGaryVee Episode 48: Ignoring the Competition, Niche Marketing, & Swagger


– On this episode I talk about
Navy SEALs, swagging products and what would happen if all
420 of these people quit? (bass music)
(cheering) You ask questions and I answer them. This is the #AskGaryVee Show. (bass music) Hey, everybody. It’s Gary Vay-ner-chuk. And this is Episode 48
of the #AskGaryVee Show. Before we get into today’s show, I just wanna talk about
glorious things on this Monday. I hope all of you had a
tremendous Thanksgiving week. I’ve decided, guys, that Thanksgiving week is now
my favorite week of the year, meaning it really has
become Thanksgiving week. By Tuesday late afternoon
people were pretty checked out. I just had an amazing Thanksgiving at my parents’ in Huntington County, stopped by the Wine Library,
a bunch of definitely, I tweeted. Did you see I tweeted? Got the wine bug again.
I got the wine bug. Actually, let’s go
right into a right hook. It’s Cyber Monday. If you’re capturing this
in time let’s link it. I guess you can’t link it here because it goes to Wine Library but in the comments section
we have a sick deal. Check that out. Let’s link the Wine
Library Cyber Monday deal. It’s a $110 wine for $40, so, for all of you looking
for gifts and stuff like that or for yourself. I’m getting very itchy
about the Wine Library. A bunch of you saw the Pappy photo. Let’s put that up.
(bell rings) Take over to the, my little
Pappy photo at Wine Library. So that’s pretty fun for me, and then just enormous
time with the family, all of the grandkids for my mom and dad Wednesday through Sunday, and then tonight the Jets
play the hated Dolphins. I’m excited about that. I’ll be going to that Monday night game. Let’s get into the show. (strong, beating music) – [Voiceover] Blue Stripe Creative asked, “How much, if any, time should
be spent on your competition? “Or should you just be focused
on making your own path?” – Blue Stripe, I’m super
pumped you asked this question because I was talking
with my dad all weekend about Wine Library and with that bug, and I reminded him, and AJ
was there to kind of talk about what I’ve done with Vayner
over the last three months, I literally spend (clicking
sound made with mouth) Robert Parish, double
zero on my competition. I could care less. I spend all of my time on people, my team, where we’re going. Do I know what the competition is doing? At some level, a little bit, contextually, but I never go deep. It’s all headline reading. I know who’s making some
buzz and some noise. But I gotta tell you, I truly believe that the biggest mistake so many companies and entrepreneurs make is looking around them. We’ve talked about looking
back, seeing who’s behind you. I just don’t do those things. It’s full steam ahead. I feel like if I take
care of my domain, I win. As a matter of fact, I also do it as a little
razz, as a little sizzler. Like, people are pissed. My competitor are mad. When they meet me in social
settings, and I’m very cordial, I’m a good guy, even though
I wanna slice their neck, you know, in a business
sense, not real life, they actually, if they speak
to me for five or 10 minutes, somewhere in that 10 minutes realize I don’t know what they’re up
to, and it kind of hurts them. I find it to be a competitive advantage. I really find not paying
attention to your competitor as a competitive advantage in a world where many of you
who are watching this right now and think it’s a weakness
to not know what’s going on, I’mma flip. I’mma flip, my friends. I’mma flip. (strong, beating music) – [Voiceover] Jamie asked, “Who would you recommend
pitching an app idea to? “What steps would you recommend?” – Jamie, this is an awkward question. Let’s get an awkward alert here. (bell sound) I don’t know what you’re
gonna come up with, guys, (laughter) but I’m excited to see it. On my awkward alert, I don’t
even know what this means. I mean, this is such a basic question. I don’t know why Steve loves this. He was like, “I love this question.” I don’t love this question,
meaning, I don’t know? Who do you recommend pitching an app to? Well, first, if you need money, you pitch it to money
people: angel investors, VCs. If you need press to get
awareness because now you’re out, you pitch it to the media and press opportunities, influencers. (laughs) Listen, we know how much I love
the reverse engineer thing. Actually, I want to make
this crazy link up episode. Link, don’t we have like four? This is gonna take you a
while to get up, DRock. The Cyber Monday wine is
gonna be completely sold out by the time this episode gets up. (laughs) Let’s put up the reverse
engineer hoodie specifically, because that’s the one
I rock, to the page. Who do you pitch it to? Whoever you need at that moment. Everything you do in business life needs to be really strategic, meaning it’s gotta make sense. Who do you pitch an app to? You have an idea but you can’t code or
create an app for crap, so you need to pitch a
co-founder or a dev shop that you don’t want to
charge you a lot of money to actually build it. Then you need money. I
already answered that. Then you need to get it out
there. I already answered that. Then you need to sell it, so then you pitch your
app to a strategic buyer. This is a very, very, and I don’t wanna pick on you. This is more … Show Steve. This is more on, more on– – Can I defend myself?
– [Gary] Yes. – Okay, you were just on Seth Meyers because you invested in Delectable. So, if somebody thinks, “Well, gee, have a really cool app idea. “Gary invested in apps.” I think that would be why
they would ask the question. Right? How did Delectable
come to your attention? – A VC pitched Phil, who vets my deals. It’s obviously in the wine
space, so it came with context. Steve is saving himself
and it’s pissing me off, (someone laughs) so I’ll answer this. It’s very strategic to
understand ones history to predict their future. Obviously coming from the wine world made me more susceptible to
be interested in Delectable. That’s the real answer. (exhales loudly) – Hey, Gary Vee, Scott Wisotsky here, CEO and co-founder of Campus Pursuit. I run a college marketing business, and I wanted to ask you
about niche marketing. In Wine Library did you market
to people interested in wine, specific niches within
the wine community– – Yes. The answer is “yes” and “yes.” One thing in marketing
that I’m a very big fan of is broad and narrow. Tanks and bombers and Navy SEALs, there’s a purpose for both, so we marketed to wine lovers. Then we focused on Burgundy lovers, and especially when SEO came
along and email segmentation in the early 2000. We were buying keywords on not just wine. I always famously talk about owning wine. What I don’t talk about is
what happened the next year: Cabernet Sauvignon, Silver Oak, Burgundy, Chateauneuf du Pape. So we started going narrow. All of us who’ve ever done any
SEM know about the long tail. That’s where all the magic happened once there was supply and demand that’s happening in social now, long tail. And so, (thinking with mouth)
the answer is “yes” and “yes.” You’ve got to really recognize
the tactic dictates– (phone rings) Oh, look at that. I didn’t have this off. The tactic really dictates the purpose. But you’ve always gotta
go broad and narrow to have a complete picture, in my opinion, and so we did both, and
I continue to do both. And I will always do both because they all have a mission at hand. There’s a reason U.S. government
military has Navy SEALs and Green Berets, because
sometimes you can’t just go big, you’ve gotta go narrow, niche, surgical. Facebook dart posts,
18 to 55-year-old males because you’re selling some male thing, and then 18 to 19-year-olds in Texas who like the rodeo and wine. Got it? Both, both, both. (strong, beating music) – [Voiceover] Ruke S, “What would you do “when all of the 420
wonderful, amazing people “quit VaynerMedia?” – Ruke, that’s good work. I like this question a lot. As a matter of fact, if
we can figure it out, let’s clip right now to the
moment where I kind of ranted. I know DRock, four hours editing. I wonder, the right word in that question is “ordinary person,” right? Was that an ordinary person? Yeah.
(clicking pen) And I think that’s the
interesting part of your question, which is this whole
notion that pisses me off that I don’t believe that the far majority of people right now who claim that they are
entrepreneurs are entrepreneurs. You know, I don’t get to claim
that I’m an NFL quarterback and then I just am one. And that’s what’s happening, right? A lot of people that
don’t have the skills, you put that word “ordinary”
in for a very specific reason, and it’s the reason I
want to rant on this, which is the ordinary person, aka, the person that’s not
meant to run a business, can probably only handle one punch, right? I mean, that’s just what it comes down to. You know what my answer is? Unlimited. You can punch me in the face 8,000 times. I’m here to get punched, right? I really do think of it
like a UFC or a boxer. Have you ever watched
a UFC or boxing match, and literally watched
and thought to yourself, “Holy crap. If I took one of those punches “I’d be in a coma for
the rest of my life?” They’re meant to be in the octagon. I am not. (laughs) On the flip side, you show me a world where all 420 of these wonderful, amazing people quit VaynerMedia, and I know exactly what
to do the next day. That’s how I roll. Those are
the punches I can handle. Top 10 clients quit? Cool. Can’t ship to a state at
Wine Library anymore? Cool. I can handle unlimited punches because I’m purebred 100% entrepreneur. And so from me to the person
that is a wannabe-preneur, who, first punch in is like,
“Uh, I’m gonna go get a job,” from there, everybody fits
somewhere in between that, and that’s your answer. (quick swishing by) Alright, so obviously
I put myself out there and I said that I was going
to be able to handle it, no problem. Punch me. I can handle it. First thing I would do is
take a step back and wonder, “What the hell just happened?
(laughter) “Why did that happen?” But, theoretically, if it
was in a positive standpoint, what I would do is I would take advantage of everything I’ve learned
for the last five years, and I would decide, “Do I want
to build back up VaynerMedia, “or do I want to do something else?” And what I mean by that, and this is why this is gonna go a little
bit deeper philosophically, I would not make an emotional decision. If it happened in a way
that hurt my feelings, I wouldn’t go the route
of, “I’ll show them,” even thought that’s what I
referred to in the last episode, and then go out and
rebuild it and start over. I may want to do that, to stick it back and
show that I could do it, but one of the things I
take enormous pride in is that I am capable of taking a step back and not making the emotional decision. This is the real answer, Ruke: What I would do is I would say, “Okay, what do I wanna do now? “Do I wanna go and rebuild VaynerMedia? “Do I …” I’d probably call it
“Chuk Media,” C-H-U-K, just to get the heebie-jeebies
out of the 420 leavings. “Or is there something else on my plate “that I’ve learned from now?” I would just be reacting to the
best opportunity for my time getting close to 40, wanna buy the Jets. “What’s the best use of my time?” If I was to rebuild all over again I feel very confident that I could do it. That’s just how I feel. (strong, beating music) – [Voiceover] Sean asks,
“How do you instill “soul and swagger into a
physical product you create?” – Sean, this question is
phenomenal for so many reasons. One: The Wednesday before Thanksgiving I met with a bunch of new
employees at VaynerMedia, and so many of them
talked about this notion of loving it here three months in because that’s usually
when I see somebody, two to three months in. They’re blown away by how
competitive and great everybody is but not at the expense of others. Whereas every other agency they worked, you know, you’re killing each
other politically to move up. You’re like climbing the
dead bodies to the top. And they’re caught off guard by what we have here. My answer to them is,
“Everything stems from the top.” And I really believe that. I’ve said four or five times on this show, “Everything that is wrong at
VaynerMedia is 100% my fault “because I’m the guy.” And I’m empowering Steve
if things are screwed up or anybody else behind me, and so I have a very big belief
in what I’m about to say, which is products take the
byproduct of its leader. So if she has got swag and flavor, then her product is gonna
have swag and flavor. I truly believe that
physical products, right, that physical products
take the personality of the people that are dictating it, that literally, in essence,
the soul, the swag, the vibe, the DNA, is
extracted out of the person and put into the product. And I’ve seen it 100 times because I think when you pay attention, a lot of brands change, and ebb and flow, and a lot of times that
coincides with the CEO, the CMO, the people really dictating the product’s course. You’re making decisions. Humans are the variable. This doesn’t come alive; it’s the people behind
it that instill that. So the answer to your question is the humans behind the
product dictate its outcome, period, end of story. I truly, truly, truly believe in that. Question of the day: I’m gonna ask Steve to ask
the question of the day. (Steve and Gary laugh) – How was your Thanksgiving? – That was very sweet. (laughter) You keep asking questions. I’ll keep answering them. By the way, quick little
question of the day: Give me your Jets, Dolphins prediction. If you’re right you can get drunk. Oh crap, wait. Subscribe. (mouth sounds for multiple
subscribe buttons popping up) I need subscriptions because I can’t push this
many regular in social, so subscribe!

Author: Stephen Pender

92 thoughts on “#AskGaryVee Episode 48: Ignoring the Competition, Niche Marketing, & Swagger

  1. Fins over Jets 24-10 and QOTD – Steve come on man, you could have asked anything 😉  but it was great and filled with family.  

  2. Great episode – being a CEO and entrepreneur, you are on the money with advice about people=products. Hope the Jets win and you have a great time tonight!

  3. Great show G. The Dolphins are my boys so Fins 33 Jets 13.  Question for you G. A childhood friend of mine played LB for the JETS from 2002-2004 and wore #56.  Who is he? Off the top of your head…no research.  If you research, that's the devil. 🙂  Enjoy the game bud.

  4. I really liked your comment on ignoring competition. That being said…instead of focusing on competitors how about employees. How much do you rely on feedback from your employees to help shape Vayner Media?

  5. #QOTD: Thanksgiving was really nice (and snowy) in Massachusetts, yours? Also, Would love to try that wine, Gary…I'm going with Jets on this one. -Abbey

  6. QOTD Thanksgiving: amazing. Bit different, first ever 'Friendsgiving" where I didn't travel to see extended family…but spent the day with a different sort of family. Very enjoyable, relaxing and rewarding. The shiraz helped too 😉 

  7. Another great episode. I'm in Australia and so we don't celebrate Thanksgiving. Glad to hear that you had a lovely Thanksgiving, surrounded by loved ones. Have a fab day :-)))

  8. Gary,

    420 Employees, eh? Any reason for that specific number?

    I am disappointed in your ringtone….

    You have people taking off clothes in the background….Trying to increase views?

    #QOTD: How was your Thanksgiving? AND, what's your Jets vs. Dolphins prediction for tonight's game?
    Steve… Lame…. But, it was good. The orange rolls where amazing as usual.

    Prediction: Dolphins 27 Jets 6

    p.s. I am loving the longer shows!!!

  9. btw, this length for an episode is perfect (and you'll probably laugh when I say why) I usually like watching something while I eat lunch, and this perfectly fits in with how long it takes me to finish eating my meal. Like I probably finished eating lunch 20-30 seconds before the end. If I watch something an hour long, I usually will finish watching the whole thing, wasting about 40 minutes just because I don't want to stop watching half way. And other things will be too short, meaning I have to combine a whole bunch of other videos to watch while I eat… just my two cents lol

  10. #QOTD  Jets win. Fingers crossed! (I have no idea of how the pointing system works 😐 🙂 )  

    Ps. I love the 'follow-up' by Ruke on my question from e.46.  Nicely played 🙂  

  11. Jets will win 28-14. I think I'm starting to understand what kind of questions you like. Still trying to get on and I'll keep tryin. 

  12. My Thanksgiving was great. (It was a month ago though. Canada…)
    I smoked a turkey in my old school charcoal smoker. Can't describe how amazing it was for fear of being banned from YouTube… The leftovers were even better!

  13. Gary,
    I just watched the Jets lose…Oh well. I like your jabs with the wine bottles, looking forward to the Right Hook. I think your statement about taking on shipping problems contradicts with something you said in a prior interview about why you quit Winelibrary.com. Wondering if I misunderstood. I hope you start a wine show again, would love to join you on an episode.
    Cheers!

  14. Had a great Thanksgiving in Ireland but miss the family back home in the U.S. Great episode– especially the part about products embodying the personality of the founder. That's a good reminder to really put myself out there and let my personality show in what I do. 

  15. I felt more American at Thanksgiving because of following the show. Just the 9 of us this year, 2 American wives, their English husbands and half n half kids. What was weird was England for the first time ever had Black Friday sales all over.  We have never had them before and people seemed to like the concept. 

  16. Hey Gary – really loved question #5's answer {How do you instill soul and swagger into a physical product you create?} I never really considered this question and I also dig the concept of taking responsibilities for your products successes & fusing who you are into them (I think that can sometimes take a lot of bravery). Cool question & answer. Love it. Always diggin' the show! Thanks for all you do!

  17. My holiday was awesome.  I gotta say, I'm a bit disappointed with your response to the question about pitching an app for two reasons. 

    1. You left out the most important aspect which is: First, did they validate the app? (is there a market for it..if not, it's a total waste of time)
    2. It was a valid question and your interest in answering it was extremely low and slightly condescending. 

    I did however LOVE the comment on competition.  

    BTW…D Rocks video editing is badass!  

  18. GREAT episode.. one of the best in the past couple weeks.

    QOTD: My Thanksgiving was great, I really enjoyed going home to KY and spending time with my family.

  19. Thanksgiving was great! But ready to finish up the last month of 2014 strong :-}
    Thanks so much for your insight on competition. Focusing too much on what other people are doing isn't serving me. Exactly what I needed to hear today!

  20. Question of the day: Thanksgiving was good. Got together with family over at Mom's house. Got real fat, then had to leave to go to work. 

    Gary's question of the day, too late to answer that one. Game's over. Sorry for your loss. And I saw on your Instagrahm video how miserable it was

  21. QOTD: Good. Traditional foods for lunch at work, non-traditional lasagna dinner with some church friends later on. Traditional pies for dessert though. 😀  Hope all of yours were good, too!

  22. Loving the longer shows Gary! Also for everyone else, if you think the show is too long, there's a speed setting on certain browsers (safari and Chrome as far as I know) so you can play the video at 1.25x speed, 1.5x (my preferred speed) or 2x speed if you're really short on time and can listen that fast pretty comfortably.  Saves you time in the long run which as we all know is the most important asset! 😉

  23. I'm Portuguese and I think as a country develops it gets softer and softer probably out of fear of liability. People just start over protecting themselves.

  24. I really enjoyed having time to dedicate to those around me, but honestly I feel that in '15 or '16, Thanksgiving will no longer be a real holiday because it will be surrounded by sales that eventually will remove the holiday from the calendar. 

  25. I just realized that last shot in the intro before the title is Gary sitting next to Dave Ramsey & Seth Godin. What a ridiculously epic panel! Does anyone know what talk that was?

  26. Hey Gary ! Can we get that blond lady who was walking in the background at the very end of this episode on the show?

  27. My Thanksgiving was a quick 3 hours since my 80 year old Dad was driving and is known for not wanting to visit anybody for very long!

  28. Thanksgiving went well. Thanks for asking! So glad that you put up the hoodie link! Appreciate the portion on thinking strategic in relations to where you are at in life and in time. Question- What's after the Jets purchase? 

  29. Love the idea of focusing on the "Broad and Narrow." Plenty of folks in the universe enjoy a good laugh and then there are those who prefer a specific type of comedy. I'll start keeping a pair of binoculars AND a magnifying glass on hand from now on. Thanks Gary!

  30. Gary, I couldn't agree more with you about ignoring the competition.  Far too many people compare where they are at with others who are at a different stage.  When you are just starting out why are you comparing yourself to someone who has been busting their ass for 10 years to build their business?  Apples and oranges…  By the way,  you said awhile ago that this was available as a podcast on Stitcher and I can't find it for the life of me, what I am I missing?  I'd LOVE to be able to listen to these (much more convenient for me, I like to listen on my commute).

  31. Dig that Steve takes a stand for his point!  Kudos to you Gary for allowing fair play!  We look to you for insights on topics like how to bring an app to market because most of us have little-to-no exposure to the realities involved and you Gary, are at the front of the pack!!  It's why there is such as thing called Vaynernation.  I enjoyed your sigh of defeat after answering that question in full 🙂

  32. speaking of niche marketing… I'm a complete newbie to any marketing.  So please excuse me if my question sounds harsh. But what are all these marketers incentive to help new marketers? Everywhere I read about niche marketing, I also see the “let me help you.” Is marketing to opportunity seekers more lucrative than product affiliate marketing? Obviously emotion is a big factor in buying.  I wonder if  "hope" the biggest seller.

  33. Gary I've been watching your videos. Your information has been very helpful with building my business. Thanks for the content keep the vids up!

  34. #QOTD My Thanksgiving last year was great. I spent it with my family and a really good friend. My family and I do a full on turkey dinner every year and this year was no different.

  35. Just wanted to give another THANK YOU for this show. I have my undergrad in Business #ASU so on paper that can get me in the door BUT the boots on the ground knowledge – well this is one of the places that is (in your words) CRUSHING IT!

  36. Hi I love this video, particularly your advice  about online business niches
    . A product I also found useful for niche business ideas
      is Elumpa Keyword Tool Alchemist – if anyone is interested search on google

  37. Hey Gary, Good show. I liked how D-roc linked up with the rant from the previous show. Good editing shout out. Tanks and marines is a cool analogy, broad and narrow. Dark posts, etc. Being objective and having a tank view of what you want to do if your peeps jumped ship is good awareness for us viewers to not get caught up in the small stuff that trips up so many people on the pathway to the larger picture.

  38. Gary, I'm 3 weeks into YouTube video producing. How do you suggest I gain organic view & subscribers? I understand reaching out locally is vital in growing myself in Photography & Video. Should I reach out farther though my transportation is public in the Philadelphia suburbs.

  39. some people watch Lost, some the Game of Thrones, I'm binging on AskGaryVee, because that's the medicine I'm needing now, whilst learning on my crowdfunding mistakes.

  40. Another Great one GaryVee! I'm having a blast reviewing all your older content. Even though i'm a few years back it's still all relevant to what I'm building. Thanks for always keeping it real #the50yroldman!

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