The power of the human connection.
The importance of building valuable relationships.
The revolution in ways of interacting in today’s awesome technology.
These have been the forefront of my mind recently after reading one awesome book by mastermind of this new economy, Gary Vaynerchuck. No matter what is said about Gary from one extreme to another, I am crazy about him. It takes only watching him on stage (my favorite piece by him) once to fall in love and I don’t mean a sexual romantic love. I mean loving another human being and thanking the heavens above for his existence.
Gary exudes passion from his every pore; he is a dynamite in action who lives and breathes his brand and his message and his humanity every day. Keeping up with him alone gives you a headache and you might very well wonder if he is normal. His energy is borderline to hysteria but thanks to his sheer intelligence and his massive and super well-deserved success, you know better than to ever label him as such. He is a hard-working genius who he has figured out the golden nuggets of this new era, and has unraveled the value behind the era of this dizzying social media and this instantaneous world at our finger-tips, and he calls it Thank You Economy.
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Why I loved Thank You Economy
“How everything has changed except human nature.”
That phrase alone makes me love this book. The world turns and technology wakes up with a new makeover every day and we can even revolutionize the way we live work, and play but one thing is the same: human nature. It is the one constant in all the ages. People will always flock to people they like and trust (affiliate). How we do things does not change what we want in the end. This is the core of Gary’s message as he takes us down the history lane to show us how the consumer has now regained a position of influence and power in the game and all without having to resort to mass media, television or the law.
Through case studies of how various businesses use and abuse social media, he debunks assumptions about why smart businesses do not use social media. Bottom line: Use it and use it well; use it to listen, use it to have a conversation, use it to not exert power or influence your brand so much as to show that you care as a business about the happiness of your customers.
Don’t worry, he also draws the line for customers who abuse and for strangers who ask for too much but that is far and few in between. The majority of customers have good intentions and so should we as business owners.
Smart takeaways from Thank You Economy
Why social media is so crucial for a successful business:
- Empower our customers to complain to our face and not behind our back; we can acknowledge and counteract that publicly in kind.
- Learn everything possible from our angry customers. Learn what they ask us not to do and what to do better. Then decide which to use and which to discard but definitely listen and learn.
- Care about our customers. I mean, really care from the bottom of our hearts. Care and show it in such a way that leaves no doubt in their mind about it.
- Play to the emotional center and not to the middle – do not play it safe, you will not be memorable. Go out on a limb and find a way to be original and authentic.
- Don’t make contacts on social media; make connections. Have the right intentions.
- Treat every customer as though they are the most important person in the world. Every single one. Believe this so you can mean it in your actions.
- Use whatever medium your customers and connections use. Go to them. Platform is irrelevant. What matters is that you connect.
- Refuse to become one of those companies or businesses that didn’t think it was worth the effort and couldn’t adapt to the changing times. Yeah, not good.
“It’s not the number of followers… , it’s the strength of your bond with your followers that indicates how much anyone cares about what you have to say.”
Even Tolstoy Gets a Critique From Me
The book gets a lot of praise but I hardly leave any book without suggesting at least one way that it could’ve been made better in my view. I do believe I even had bold suggestions for my favorite book of all time, Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina. Of course my specific pleas to Mr. Tolstoy were of an entirely different nature where I told him how I ached to know, in his magic prose and not using my imagination thank you, the details around the most private moments between Vronsky and Anna K., how could he go on about Anna’s little hands for pages on end and not divulge a word about the sweetness of the kisses or the intensity of the lust between these tortured lovers is beyond me but alas, I seriously digress!
So just in case Gary stops by here, as I know he reads every single review of his book on Amazon, I do not want him to feel bad about my constructive critique because I dared criticize even the supreme soul in fiction, Leo Tolstoy. That and because the overall message conveyed in the book still rocked.
What Was Not So Stellar About the Book
It became a bit repetitive. The first few case studies were brilliantly positioned in driving his point home and a great point it was too – all about using social media in innovative and smart ways to build our relationships with our customers and our peers. But I would have loved to get to know more details around Gary’s own approach and what he has done right and wrong and what continues to be his main winning points. I wanted to know his painful mistakes and how he struggled to overcome them. I wanted to know the depth of his worries and fears even in a perfect Thank You Economy and what he does to overcome them.
I guess I wanted to know more.
Perhaps I am asking for too much. After all, every situation is different and what may work for Gary will not necessarily work for all of us. Or perhaps it simply goes to say that the book leaves me wanting more and that is a good thing.
And so does Gary.
“The stars in this business era will be those who are consumed by their work (and happy about it) and have the patience to pursue one small victory at a time.”
Are you going to be a star in this brave new world?