Amy Harris/Invision/AP

If you don’t know who Gary Vaynerchuk is, it’s not because he’s hard to find. Vaynerchuk has been creating daily content since 2006, when he launched his Wine TV series on YouTube. Because of his online marketing, he grew his family’s wine business from $3 million to $60 million.

In 2011, he walked away from the business to start VaynerMedia, a social media focused digital agency. The company provides social media and strategy services to Fortune 500 companies.

In the midst of running a company, that grosses over $200 million in sales annually, he somehow finds time to create content on every available platform: He’s written New York Times bestselling books, he hosts a successful podcast, he has a popular YouTube channel, and he obsessively posts on social media.

I had a chance to chat with Gary at ComplexCon, a hip hop and sneaker convention, where he was promoting his own line of sneakers, The Gary Vee 003.

Since Gary has been successful on social media for over ten years, I asked him for some advice on how to grow an audience on social media:

  • Obsessively Create Content: “What I’ve done well is documenting my day-to-day. I’ve done such a good job of creating content because when I’m in between meetings, and I go to the bathroom, I can go on Twitter. I can reply to a DM. Tonight, when I’m on a flight back to New York, I can go live for seven minutes. I can reply to 84 DMs. I can send three tweets. I am in constant motion,” Vaynerchuk said.
  • Give, Don’t Take: Gary focuses on giving first, before he asks for something. He stated, “For me, it’s give, give, give, ask. Giving with expectation is manipulation. Giving without expectation is letting karma be practical . I think the more talented you are, the more capable you are at giving. I’ve always known how to make money. So, I don’t need anything from anyone else. So, my ability to give is easy.”
  • Don’t Take Your Audience For Granted: “Say you’re a great tattoo artist. You’re teaching people, creating value, etc. Then all the sudden you’re hawking every tattoo t-shirt out there. Your audience is going to care less and follow the next girl or guy who’s giving. Giving and taking is a delicate balance and I’d rather be on the giving side,” Gary said.
  • Be Yourself: Gary Vaynerchuk is an entrepreneur, a Jets fan, a YouTuber, a hip hop head, an investor, and a million other things. Many experts would say that’s confusing to an audience. They’d suggest focusing on one subject to create content around. Gary disagrees. He said, “I think everyone can do it successfully (showing multiple sides of themselves online) as long as you’re true to yourself. If I went to a surfing conference, and tried to be in it, it wouldn’t work. If you’re not about it, you’re finished. I think anyone can be anything they want, as long as it’s their truth.
  • Don’t Focus On Follower Count: Vaynerchuk said, “If followers are your KPI, then you’re finished. You have to love your process. I did WineTV for 18 months because I loved making wine videos. No one gave a f—. I was losing money on the wine business. No one gave a s—-. But I kept doing it, while I was honing my craft. I liked it. And even the one nice comment (on the video) fulfilled me. You’ve got to love your process and not focus on getting something from your process. If you’re trying to get something out of your process, you’ll always lose because you won’t be patient. You’re like, ‘Why don’t I have a fat watch or a million followers yet?’”
  • Be Patient: “Everyone out there has ‘lottery ticket’ mentality. They think that they’re going to make a single YouTube video and it’s going to go viral and Will Smith’s going to DM them and life’s going to change,” states Gary. Life doesn’t work like that. Slowly growing an audience is the way to become successful.
  • Put In The Work: “You should be putting content out every day, for seven years, without worrying about one vanity metric. People are like, ‘But Gary that’s hard.’ No s— it should be hard. If you don’t want to do it, go work at Walmart. Why should something remarkable be easy? You want people to pay you to go to Bali and take a picture on a beach? That’s remarkable. So, don’t focus on the 13 people that are doing that. Pay attention to the 30 trillion that aren’t, and realize the ratio, and go put in the work and be patient,” advises Vaynerchuk.
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