The Passion of Gary Vaynerchuk

Gary Vaynerchuk

I’ve known Gary Vaynerchuk for a bunch of years now, pretty much a few months after he started making a big splash. As he just pointed out to people on a stage in Norway, we’ve really only shared physical space together for a few hours tops. But we’ve stayed aware of each other’s lives and presences via Twitter and Facebook and emails and texts and whatever for a while. And I’m going to make a confession.

Sometimes, it’s easy to tease Gary.

He is SO passionate, and he’s such a great hustler (his language, but I’m bought into it), and he’s the first to tell you that he’ll shamelessly sell what he’s selling as hard as he can. That’s easy to tease about. Gary swears like a sailor, no matter the context. That’s so easy to tease about. I can follow Gary, not swear, and feel smug that the audience thinks I’m more of a professional.

And if you’ve teased Gary about this too? (And maybe you have.) It’s okay. First, Gary doesn’t give a shit if you tease him (cursing for you, Gary, but then again, Julien curses, too). Second, Gary’s right, no matter what we think. More often than not, Gary is right.

Gary Vaynerchuk is Right

Moments ago (when I typed this), Gary was talking about a person in the board room who was hounding him, “What’s the ROI of social media? What’s the ROI? What’s the ROI?” Gary’s answer, when he’d finally had enough? “What’s the ROI of your mother?”

The audience, mostly Norwegians, laughed appropriately. (And let me give you context: Norwegians are wonderful and smart and nice and have senses of humor, but it’s not very Scandinavian to laugh out loud, I’ve come to observe.)

And he’s right. Gary goes on to say that ROI will be coming. I’m sitting beside Avinash Kaushik, who is pretty close to this answer. I think Olivier Blanchard has some insights on this. But it’s still kind of early. And Gary’s not wrong even when the definitive answer comes out, our mother has a strong ROI that’s hard to put on paper, and that’s what he’s saying about social media.

Gary Doesn’t Have to Give You the Answers

One mistake people make with keynote speakers is that they, the audience, often criticizes a keynote speaker for not giving details. I hear it all the time. Scroll down on my professional speaking page to the GenBlue speech and watch it (if you’ve got a minute). I give a few details, but mostly, I paint with a broad brush.

Gary doesn’t HAVE to mention the details. He’s pushing the emotion down your throat and into your gut. He’s selling the emotion so hard that I (someone who’s been involved in social media since 1998) feel like jumping up and screaming “Hell yeah!”

Instead, Gary’s giving us the context. He’s setting up the stage so that we can learn what we have to do with it. And that’s what is and will be important. He is ending with this message: “You will not catch up with money, because the people who have the emotional relationship will stay ahead.”

Say What You Will

I’m a fan of passion. I’m a fan of people who humanize business, and Gary is that 100%. No matter what, Gary is human, and so, I’m a fan. Thank you, Gary.

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  • http://mikecandoit.com MikeRohrig

    That is the best answer I have heard yet. What are they going to say?

  • http://twitter.com/acemaker Jay McGillicuddy

    He is definitely passionate about his beloved NY Jets and as a Pats fan I just loved following his antics this year as the Jets crushed the Pats in the Playoffs. I look forward to another football season so I can razz Gary again, so let’s hope there is a football season this year.

  • http://www.prolificliving.com/blog Farnoosh

    Gary is all about passion – scary, over-the-top, screaming, are-you-with-me, never-relenting passion and I love it. I am not big into wine but I’d watch a tv channel if he were talking about wine. I cannot stand football (do forgive me) but I follow his tweets on his favorite teams winning or losing. His passion is contagious and loud. Yours, Chris, is consistent, subtle but firm, professional yet fun and original, reliable and well, still contagious in a different way. Mad about you both, frankly!

  • http://mattiasgronborg.com Mattias Gronborg

    “What’s the ROI of your mother?” That one is so good! Because it’s the truth. Gary is coming to Stockholm soon. I really want to go!

  • Anonymous

    Gary is all about passion and sales and he tells it like it is, which is great!

  • http://www.slymarketing.com Jens P. Berget

    Gary Vaynerchuck is awesome, I’m here as well. And I’m very impressed of his seminar yesterday and what he delivered today. He’s very passionate.

    I’m looking forward to your presentation tomorrow.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      Here’s hoping I can be helpful. : )

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      Here’s hoping I can be helpful. : )

  • http://www.garyvaynerchuk.com garyvaynerchuk

    CB- Thank u, I am at the airport in Oslo as I read this and it will make this 4 flight 18 hour journey i am about to go on “taste” a little better after reading this, really……. THANK YOU!

    • http://noahfleming.com/ Noah Fleming

      Good ‘ole GV!

    • http://profiles.google.com/q2results Sam Ingersoll

      Oh, please!

      You better be able to quantify the ROI of social media.

      You could quantify the value of your mother if you wanted to – think about the hourly cost of babysitter, cook, cleaner, teacher, tutor, driver, personal shopper, project manager, therapist, etc…

      Most small businesses and entrepreneurs should be able to add up the hours spent on social media and the list of clients brought in through those hours.

      Isn’t saying “What’s the ROI of your mother?” intellectually lazy?

      • http://www.garyvaynerchuk.com garyvaynerchuk

        Sam I think you are taking it out of context, it was just one line in a point, i am sorry you got so emotional about it in the other direction, i read all your comments and I think we agree on a lot more than we disagree on, wish u well

        • http://profiles.google.com/q2results Sam Ingersoll

          u too Gary. I’m sure we do and I really wasn’t pointing at You as the problem guru. You’re obviously not lazy about this stuff.

          Some people like me should stay away from social media since how we write often doesn’t convey who we are or what we really think in context.

          I have some other responses above but they are probably held up for moderation. I’m a fan of focusmanifesto dot com if that explains anything.

          My own personal and family history is pretty bizarre and because “I can hear the flowers singing” I don’t fit anywhere and still haven’t found my own Blue Ocean Strategy or passion.

          Well, I love babies.

          We have a son with Down syndrome (14 years), adopted daughter (7 years) and a 20 month old (we call Death Wish) and I stayed/am staying home with all of them while doing “Business Architecture and Internet Marketing General Contacting” part-time.

          But, my wife cut me off at 3 and won’t allow me to work for $6.50 an hour at the local daycare so…so much for that : )

      • http://twitter.com/cjtheisen Chris Theisen

        Sam speaking of lazy I would look at your websites. I was on both q2 and your personal url and some of the tabs didn’t work at all while some of the links that should’ve taken me to a specific page pointed back to your home page. Not sure if it was my Chrome browser or what but before you jump all over people who are good at what they do I would look at some of your own things. Great testimonials from some big time names on your site can only turn into ROI if people can figure out how to pay you.

        • http://profiles.google.com/q2results Sam Ingersoll

          hah hah. it’s not your Chrome browser.

          I can’t make up my mind about what I want to be when I grow up – nor do I need to since I work primarily by referral through a very small number of relationships – so I’m always screwing around with themes.

          Most of the client work – the best stuff – is under NDAs since they and I are all too aware how easy it is for a competitor to see what my clients have done, then find me, then find other clients and then duplicate the strategies.

          Imagine that – a stealth internet marketer.

          You’d really love my business card. It has my logo and says, “Please Don’t Contact Me.”

          Sigh, that’s all about to change.

  • http://raulcolon.net Raul Colon

    I had the opportunity to meet and talk with Gary for a few seconds a SXSW Samsung Blogger Lounge. I got a copy of his new book autographed by him but I was amazed on the energy he projected.

    I think his passion emits from every part of himself. His personality is genuine and you can read it so you are willing to filter out the swear words and focus on the core message.

    Listening to his SXSW KeyNote he helped me change my mind and understand a few things which I was not clear regarding humanizing business like for example how the Old Spice campaign is not as social as I thought.

    In only a small amount of time he made me change my perceptions on many things. I have to agree that Gary is an awesome and genuine guy just like a few other like you Chris and Olivier Blanchard.

  • http://twitter.com/NancyD68 Nancy Davis

    Gary is from Jersey like me. This makes both of us automatically cool. I would buy wine from Gary if I drank, because he knows what he is talking about, and it is clear he loves it.

    I don’t care what product you have, if you love it that shines through, if you don’t that also shines through. Think about it, our best shopping experiences always come from someone who actually loves the product they sell, no matter what it is.

    You can’t fake passion, and there is nothing fake about Gary.

    • http://www.margieclayman.com Marjorie Clayman

      But neither of you are from Ohio, Nancy, so you can’t be as cool as me :) heehe :)

  • http://twitter.com/NancyD68 Nancy Davis

    Gary is from Jersey like me. This makes both of us automatically cool. I would buy wine from Gary if I drank, because he knows what he is talking about, and it is clear he loves it.

    I don’t care what product you have, if you love it that shines through, if you don’t that also shines through. Think about it, our best shopping experiences always come from someone who actually loves the product they sell, no matter what it is.

    You can’t fake passion, and there is nothing fake about Gary.

  • http://ajleon.me ajleon

    Chris, I couldn’t agree more. Gary is awesome. No matter how many times I hear him speak, his passion is intoxicating. :)

  • Anonymous

    Ok, Julien swears WAY MORE than Gary. Shit does not count as a swear word in the house I grew up in.
    What Gary proves to me is that Passion + Focus = Success.

  • http://twitter.com/Chris_Eh_Young Chris Eh Young

    He bleeds passion out his eyeballs and he knows his shit. Pretty good combination. The fact that he speaks of execution a lot is huge too. Most people make ripples in social media, Gary makes a splash. The he gets out of the pool and does it again and again.

  • http://www.margieclayman.com Marjorie Clayman

    What a lovely tribute.

    You know, if you should ever wish to leave Social Media behind, I think you could get a circuit as a professional eulogizer. I don’t know if there is such a position, but heck, make your own game, right? :)

    Seriously though, a lovely tribute. Lovely lovely.

  • http://www.retirepreneur.com Donna Kastner/Retirepreneur

    What’s the ROI of your mother? Now THAT line made me laugh… out loud!
    Just read GV’s Thank You Economy… more good stuff.

  • http://www.retirepreneur.com Donna Kastner/Retirepreneur

    What’s the ROI of your mother? Now THAT line made me laugh… out loud!
    Just read GV’s Thank You Economy… more good stuff.

  • http://dannybrown.me Danny Brown

    Funny quip, yet probably another reason why so many people have a hard time investing in social media.

    Sure, it’s great to have a smart one-liner; yet that doesn’t pay the bills, staff the office, pay the rent. Businesses need to know there’s ROI – quantifiable, measurable, ROI – and there is. And it’s easy to measure. And it’s easy to integrate into your existing strategies.

    Nothing wrong with smart quips; but sometimes the audience doesn’t need smart quips to see whether you’re worth investing in or not.

    • http://twitter.com/cjtheisen Chris Theisen

      Danny whats the return on investment of the couch in the office or chairs in the waiting room? Do companies actually measure whether each employee has a positive ROI on the company? Do companies measure how much money an employee makes (or saves) by having a company paid cell phone? People invest and spend money all the time in business without a clear picture on the ROI or an understanding of how to truly measure it. If you deal with companies who are that dilligent then congrats to you but they are few and far between. Not every companies website actually generates them a positive ROI but almost all companies have one now and thats where social will be in the near future. Social campaigns can be measured and should to an extent but companies will start treating social like websites, they know they need to have one or do it so they will. It will be a part of doing business.

      • http://dannybrown.me Danny Brown

        Hi Chris,

        If any company isn’t measuring what effect their employee has – whether that’s relationships with clients/customers, morale on the team, relationships with management, or actual financial revenue – then they’re not running their business properly.

        Why would you invest in having 100 employees when your measurement can show you either only need 98 to do the job, or more to make sure you’re not missing out on your customer/client needs?

        I’d also suggest every campaign – social or not – should be measured. Otherwise how do you know it worked? Because you got more feet in the door? How do you know that was down to your radio or TV ad; your web banners; your Direct Mail flyer; or your social campaigns?

        Measurement is key in anything if you’re looking to make amendments for future projects based on intelligence, as opposed to just an educated guess.

        • http://twitter.com/cjtheisen Chris Theisen

          Danny while I agree that would mean they arent running it properly there are so many more that dont run it 100% properly than who do. I stated social campaigns, or others, should be measured. Im saying alot of companies have a website without knowing how much revenue was generated from it, its just something a business feels they have to do. Should they measure it? Absolutely. Should they measure a social campaign? Yes, but the context Im taking from the post was a company who doesnt want to invest anything at all in social. Most companies should have a social presence and then measure individual campaigns off of that, not say well we dont want to participate in social media at all. Im not sure what you do but do you measure the ROI on your time reading Chris Brogans blog and commenting? In the same way that you realize the value gained from reading, commenting and interacting a company should realize they need to be in social, then measure from there.

          • http://dannybrown.me Danny Brown

            Hi Chris,

            Sorry, I misunderstood. I thought when you said “to an extent”, that meant only if it’s necessary (whereas my take was/is all measurement is necessary).

            Do I measure blog reading and commenting time? Yes – I have that scheduled into my day and know that if I allocate X amount of time, it will return Y amount of results – extra knowledge, new viewpoints, overviews of people, etc.

            So there’s always a measurement in place – otherwise I’d just be wandering all over the place and hoping I get that project out the door. ;-)

            Cheers for the clarification, Chris.

          • http://twitter.com/cjtheisen Chris Theisen

            Glad we found some common ground Danny but there is no way you can actually give a clear measurable return to your time spent reading and commenting on blogs. Unless you say, I read this blog and used this tactic I read about and it generated this much revenue, then you cant truly give a hard measure of ROI. The soft ROI you get, and measure, from your blog reading and commenting is the same kinds of soft ROI that social provides outside of specific campaigns. Hopefully our back and forth hasnt put you over your alloted time for the day.

          • http://dannybrown.me Danny Brown

            If you’re talking financial, Chris, maybe not. Although having said that, our company has had clients come on board from blog comment conversations and solutions/ideas left in the comments. So compare that hour on a blog comment break versus my hourly rate and you can see the ROI.

            Same goes for me gaining intelligence for my company and clients. If I can take feedback or views from a comment stream about a product or service, and use that to improve processes which then results in my company or client saving 15% of spend? Then there’s ROI there. ROI is everywhere – you just define what you need to class as return for whatever investment you’re putting in.

            And as you can see by the later response, no, you didn’t put me over – I put this in the “come back later” category.

          • http://twitter.com/cjtheisen Chris Theisen

            I can buy what you are selling. Kudos to you for measuring your time and efforts to this degree. When you implement a new process based off blog comments do you mark it down as coming from a blog so you can track it back to that? If so then you are on it. Here is another question, Do you calculate in the time it takes to measure and track your ROI efforts when figuring in your final ROI? If it takes you x hours to measure and track do you add that in?

          • http://dannybrown.me Danny Brown

            Hi Chris,

            Sorry, I misunderstood. I thought when you said “to an extent”, that meant only if it’s necessary (whereas my take was/is all measurement is necessary).

            Do I measure blog reading and commenting time? Yes – I have that scheduled into my day and know that if I allocate X amount of time, it will return Y amount of results – extra knowledge, new viewpoints, overviews of people, etc.

            So there’s always a measurement in place – otherwise I’d just be wandering all over the place and hoping I get that project out the door. ;-)

            Cheers for the clarification, Chris.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      The quip is interesting to me because it points to the passion. I’m not debating the knobs and buttons, Danny. I’m connecting with the human passion.

      You’re right. Sometimes, we all have to act like grown ups. But whatever. When you’ve been there just gritting your teeth and feeling nuts because you’re talking to some marketing manager who really doesn’t want to even be there, this response is just one of those boiling passionate moments that come to the top.

      • http://dannybrown.me Danny Brown

        I agree the quip shows passion, Chris, and God knows we need more passionate people as opposed to the drones who seem to hold great business back.

        I just wonder if there aren’t better ways of showing passion than being blase (and potentially insulting your hosts)?

        • http://www.garyvaynerchuk.com garyvaynerchuk

          Danny i always respect, I dont think I am ever insulting, I always come from the right place, I am sorry you feel that way, the day before I spent 3 hours with 20% of the crowd and did a 3 hr detailed session that went into details, I think CONTEXT is a powerful word and I think here is a place where the context might have helped and thats on me not CB who wrote a super kind post, thank u CB

          • http://dannybrown.me Danny Brown

            Hi Gary,

            Sorry, didn’t mean to make it sound like I think you insulted the host (or the person in question) – not the case.

            Agreed, context plays a huge part in anything, and the fact you spent the time to go over in more depth is great. My point was just more from the angle of sometimes the funny quip can be taken way out of context, and maybe not the right approach to use.

            It’s not just this example – every day on the web, people are replying to genuine and relevant questions with a quip as opposed to actual useful information (not saying that’s the case here).

            And after a while, it gets tiring and makes you question a lot of those people’s business acumen. Again, you’ve been there and done it – so kinda a different deal. But when you see more people relying on smart quips as opposed to business sense, then you have to ask what value they actually offer. ;-)

            Cheers for replying, sir, hope you’re enjoying your travels.

          • http://www.garyvaynerchuk.com garyvaynerchuk

            Understood pal and thank u for keeping this conversation going :)

  • http://mattreport.com Matt Medeiros

    I just spoke about social media business human passion at UMass Dartmouth. I also recorded my first video cast thanks to your inspiration (to which inspired one of my own followers to make his) and compared myself to Gary.

    Wow.

    Even his off the cuff recordings makes me look boring at best. I’m going to keep trying to improve!

  • http://www.sevendegreescommunications.com Jessica Levin

    I thought about my reply to this post for some time. It might get an interesting response, maybe no one will care. Hopefully Gary will. I am working on my own growth, forgiveness and all that stuff, so I want to tell my Gary story. I used to be a big fan. I live in Edison, New Jersey and actually really like shopping at his family’s store. A few years ago (before his first book) I asked Gary to speak to my local networking group for marketers. I didn’t really know Gary, other than some superficial Twitter interaction, but the co-founder of my group, Sally Glick, knew Gary and had once nominated his family for a prestigious award which they won. When we asked Gary to speak we offered to do it around his schedule. We offered to have our meeting at his store so they could get business from our attendees. We were flexible in the time of our meeting to respect his schedule. When he agreed we were so excited. We promoted the event to our group and I couldn’t wait. A few weeks later I received an email from one of Gary’s people saying that he changed his mind and would only do it if we bought 500 copies of his book, Crush It. Well, to say the least, I was the one who was crushed. Not only was I disappointed that Gary cancelled, but he made me look bad to my group. I was also upset because I admired him a lot, used him as a case study in my speaking engagements and felt let down.

    I see Gary on the Today Show, in magazines and all over the internet. I see his passion and I admire that. However, I still have a hard time believing in someone who let me down. Since I am an open-minded person who realizes that, as you said, Gary is human. I’m not sure that I am ready to become a fan again yet, but I invite Gary to try and convert me.

    Thanks Chris for writing this. It gave me a chance to share my thoughts. I feel better now.

    • http://profiles.google.com/q2results Sam Ingersoll

      What works for the gurus often works because of their particular skill sets and personality and leaves a false impression that “anyone can do it.”

      Getting inspired about breaking out of the box is about as useful as believing in faries if you don’t have a plan and tools that match your resources and abilities.

      Thanks for sharing a contrary view.

      • http://www.garyvaynerchuk.com garyvaynerchuk

        Sam I didnt build a 60 million dollar business with faries … thank u

    • http://www.garyvaynerchuk.com garyvaynerchuk

      Jessica I am really surprised by this story, as u can imagine if this is how I “rolled” i would be in a very different place today, can u please email me and show me the emails, clearly I wasnt the one who responded ..I am petrified by this response and as for Sam I below I am really sad you have a negative feeling towards me, I am far from a guru and would never treat anyone poorly, I eat my own dog food, I am beyond interested in how thus could happen, I promise I wasn’t behind this and want to know who my “person” was :(

      • http://www.sevendegreescommunications.com Jessica Levin

        I doubt I still have the email chain, but will email you to continue the conversation offline and thank you for the response. I assure you that I didn’t imagine the experience.

        • http://www.garyvaynerchuk.com garyvaynerchuk

          Jess pls email me, I swear on my life I would never do something like that ( knowingly clearly based on what you said above someone else got involved and at the end of the day thats my fault ( my asst, book people, PR) I have learned from this post and I thank you, I must tighten things up because this post made me vomit on myself and crushed me, I will be going through emails of all people to see if we committed or if there was a lost in translation situation, I assure you I believe you, But I must know what happened. I have been offered over 1K events through the last few years and I assure you this is the only time I have ever heard such a thing :( I am crushed, pls email me gary@ vaynermedia .com

          • http://twitter.com/drewdagostino Drew D’Agostino

            This is the Thank You Economy at work :)

          • http://profiles.google.com/jlevin7 Jessica Levin

            So to follow-up for the record, I have emailed Gary offline to continue our conversation. I now believe that Gary wasn’t involved in making the decision to cancel, although I think he understands that even those people who we trust most to manage our brands can’t always do the same job that we would in protecting our brand (he mentioned that in his comment above).
            I’m still hoping to connect with Gary via phone because, as we all know, email communication doesn’t always truly express all of our thoughts and feelings.
            Gary has offered to try and make it up to me and the people who really wanted to learn from him. I am hoping that we can make something work in the future.
            I am glad to have had the opportunity to have an open conversation and very much appreciate and respect Gary’s quick response not only in the public forum, but in our offline conversation.
            There are a lot of lesson in relationship building and communication here!

  • http://www.jasonleister.com Jason Leister

    Good teachers don’t TELL you what to do. The great ones don’t give you specifics that will build walls around how you think something should be done. Good teachers help you understand what’s possible and point you to the tools to do something great yourself.

  • http://www.jasonleister.com Jason Leister

    Good teachers don’t TELL you what to do. The great ones don’t give you specifics that will build walls around how you think something should be done. Good teachers help you understand what’s possible and point you to the tools to do something great yourself.

  • Johnny Russo

    Ok, that ROI and mother quote has to be the best social media related quote ever. As always, Chris (and Gary) you Crush It!

  • Johnny Russo

    Ok, that ROI and mother quote has to be the best social media related quote ever. As always, Chris (and Gary) you Crush It!

  • Kradr2

    In regards to speaking and specifics, bare in mind the majority of what you hear will before gotten rapidly ; not to mention misinterpretation and so forth…

    “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
    — Maya Angelou

    The best a speaker can do is inspire you to go home and crake a book and teacher yourself.

  • http://paynelessadvice.com/ Donald Payne

    I like Gary Vee. He keeps it real and doesn’t try to be more than what he is. I am not a wine drinker, I learned about Gary through social media. ,His passion for social media is what got my attention. His book “Crush It” changed my perspective into this community. He is raw and uncensored but if it gets the job done, so be it. Nice Post!

  • http://twitter.com/ed_han ed han

    Chris, that’s fantastic, I wasn’t even aware you knew one another! I only learned of Gary somewhat recently, but it’s gratifying to know that his passion, which is what I noticed right off the bat, is just as clearly his chief defining trait for someone who’s known him for some time.

  • http://www.mikeslife.org Mike CJ

    I’m not so sure I like the “ROI of your mother” retort, but I can hear Gary saying it! Like you have been recently, I’ve been working with European businesses for some time helping them with their social media marketing, and I get the ROI question all the time as well.

    I usually reply with “What’s the ROI of your current magazine advertising spend?” Which usually leaves people floundering. If I need a next step, I often go with “If you were meeting with someone from The Times newspaper to discuss advertising in their paper, would they be able to give you specifics like “A 5cm by i column advert will result in €750 worth of sales?” Of course not, and neither can I.”

    This is priceless and something I will use many times: “You will not catch up with money, because the people who have the emotional relationship will stay ahead.”

    • http://profiles.google.com/q2results Sam Ingersoll

      So how do you help them measure ROI?

      I tell my clients if they can’t measure the ROI of their magazine or email marketing, then they shouldn’t do it – because it’s not working.

      The introduction of Google Adwords was brilliant because it let us measure down to the penny the cost per customer acquisition.

      • http://www.mikeslife.org Mike CJ

        ….and that’s exactly the issue. We’re thinking like WEB people, because we’re used to being able to measure the cost of customer acquisition. But BUSINESS people aren’t used to it, and marketing on social media isn’t any more measurable in that respect as magazine or radio advertising.

        I’ve asked the first question in my comment above a hundred times, and nobody has ever been able to answer me with: “We spend €5,000 a year on magazine X and that gets us 55 customers who spend an average of €1200.” At best I’ll get a vague “Well we get a lot of business from those adverts.” But honestly, nobody has ever been able to quantify it.

        And it’s the same with social media. I can tell you I make money every single day via my travel blog as a result of my interactions on Twitter. But I can’t quantify it accurately. Did Mr Kent who just hired a car from us do so because he found us in search, or because I answered a question from him on Twitter three weeks ago and he now follows me? Or maybe he heard our radio advert? The answer is probably a combination of all three, with my work on social media proving I’m a nice, helpful guy and someone he’d choose to do business with. How do you put a price on that?

        • http://profiles.google.com/q2results Sam Ingersoll

          Ask him where he found you? Ask him what convinced him to hire you? Divide the time you spent on that activity by the $ you made. : ) See, that was easy.

          As for the companies you talk to, I’ve been in that position before. I tell them for example, “Well, why the hell are you spending your money there? Or, change your advertisement so you can track the results with a unique 800 number or URL. Or, if not, then put the money into ordering big boxes of Fairy Tale brownies for your current clients so you’ll stay top of mind and they’ll refer you.”

          Sheesh.

          If they don’t get simple ROI then I fire them.

          • http://www.mikeslife.org Mike CJ

            You’re missing the point Sam. I DO know how Mr Kent found our service – of course we ask in our initial response, and he answered truthfully with “Google search.”

            But having having connected with him on Twitter when the lead came in, I then invested 20 minutes of time helping him out with answers to questions about his impending vacation here on the island. He subsequently hired a car from us (and as it happens bought an excursion as well). The bare facts are that our brilliant SEO strategy delivered the lead. But I have a strong suspicion that he wouldn’t have done business with us without the Twitter intervention.

            As a businessman, I can’t honestly put that business down to my use of social media, but have a strong belief that’s what tipped the balance in my favour.

            I’m impressed that you fire clients who don’t get ROI. I couldn’t do that, as I wouldn’t have any clients. So I’m either much lower down the totem pole than you in terms of the type of business I work with, or we’re just not very sophisticated on this little desert island in The Atlantic.

    • http://dannybrown.me Danny Brown

      Agree, Mike, you can’t catch up with money but you van measure traditional media. Vanity URL’s as a call to action gives you analytics to work to. Measure that by the ad spend versus the people that visited the site as a percentage of the readership (and then who bought from your landing page, or downloaded your coupon, or signed up for updates, etc) – all measurable, then gauge if that publication is worth it.

      • http://www.mikeslife.org Mike CJ

        It all works if you’re sending potential clients to a website, Danny. But most businesses don’t with their adverts.

    • http://dannybrown.me Danny Brown

      Agree, Mike, you can’t catch up with money but you van measure traditional media. Vanity URL’s as a call to action gives you analytics to work to. Measure that by the ad spend versus the people that visited the site as a percentage of the readership (and then who bought from your landing page, or downloaded your coupon, or signed up for updates, etc) – all measurable, then gauge if that publication is worth it.

  • http://roogoyle.wordpress.com Roo

    Fascinating…and the ROI joke is right up my alley.

    I’m falling into the early stages of building a career in social media. I’ve been in the digital world for years to promote and spread the word about a summer camp for geeks I help run…but since it cost nothing to promote I convinced myself the value of the work was the same…nothing.

    The thought that the payoff (whether financially, or just career wise) is something that’s coming is very exciting. The fuel right now (both for the summer camp, and for my current internship in the music industry) is entirely passion. I’ve not earned a penny for doing this yet, and I’ve been doing it for year.

    Passion is the key…if you don’t love doing it, what’s the point?!

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  • http://ariherzog.com Ari Herzog

    The irony of Chris’ words above and everyone’s comments about the “What’s the ROI of your mother?” line is it’s nothing new. He’s said it for a while. I first heard him say it in an online video about a month or two ago.

    But it goes beyond the mother. What’s the ROI of a company’s email? How many studies have they conducted to ascertain email provides a positive return? So, why ask about ROI on anything else? ;)

    • http://dannybrown.me Danny Brown

      That’s what clickthrough rates and action points are, Ari – great thing about emails, you can measure them, and get the ROI.

      • http://ariherzog.com Ari Herzog

        You refer to email newsletters, email marketing. No disagreement there, Danny.

        I refer to email itself. Substitute a fax machine if you prefer. Substitute any form of what we call communication in 2011. When email was introduced way back when in an organization, did the manager ask about the ROI of email? Or was faith involved?

        • http://dannybrown.me Danny Brown

          You’d have to ask the manager at that time, mate. ;-)

          But what if you compare the time spent sending an email with an “Alert When Opened/Read” tag that takes a minute to write, versus 10 minutes on a phone call, or walking round to a supervisor’s office, or the cost of a fax versus the cost of an email? And count that up over the course of a year.

          Is it worth saving time for someone on $100 an hour when you compare a one minute email versus a 10 minute phone call?

          • http://ariherzog.com Ari Herzog

            Semantics.

            It comes down to ROI. What is the ROI of social media, Gary is asked. He responds the ROI of social media is the ROI of your mother. The ROI of email. The ROI of faxing. The ROI of tying your shoelaces.

            ROI is important but focus less attention on what it is. Focus more attention on building the relationship with whoever – a prospective client, or your mother.

          • http://ariherzog.com Ari Herzog

            Semantics.

            It comes down to ROI. What is the ROI of social media, Gary is asked. He responds the ROI of social media is the ROI of your mother. The ROI of email. The ROI of faxing. The ROI of tying your shoelaces.

            ROI is important but focus less attention on what it is. Focus more attention on building the relationship with whoever – a prospective client, or your mother.

  • http://ariherzog.com Ari Herzog

    The irony of Chris’ words above and everyone’s comments about the “What’s the ROI of your mother?” line is it’s nothing new. He’s said it for a while. I first heard him say it in an online video about a month or two ago.

    But it goes beyond the mother. What’s the ROI of a company’s email? How many studies have they conducted to ascertain email provides a positive return? So, why ask about ROI on anything else? ;)

  • http://ariherzog.com Ari Herzog

    The irony of Chris’ words above and everyone’s comments about the “What’s the ROI of your mother?” line is it’s nothing new. He’s said it for a while. I first heard him say it in an online video about a month or two ago.

    But it goes beyond the mother. What’s the ROI of a company’s email? How many studies have they conducted to ascertain email provides a positive return? So, why ask about ROI on anything else? ;)

  • http://ariherzog.com Ari Herzog

    The irony of Chris’ words above and everyone’s comments about the “What’s the ROI of your mother?” line is it’s nothing new. He’s said it for a while. I first heard him say it in an online video about a month or two ago.

    But it goes beyond the mother. What’s the ROI of a company’s email? How many studies have they conducted to ascertain email provides a positive return? So, why ask about ROI on anything else? ;)

  • http://ariherzog.com Ari Herzog

    The irony of Chris’ words above and everyone’s comments about the “What’s the ROI of your mother?” line is it’s nothing new. He’s said it for a while. I first heard him say it in an online video about a month or two ago.

    But it goes beyond the mother. What’s the ROI of a company’s email? How many studies have they conducted to ascertain email provides a positive return? So, why ask about ROI on anything else? ;)

  • http://ariherzog.com Ari Herzog

    The irony of Chris’ words above and everyone’s comments about the “What’s the ROI of your mother?” line is it’s nothing new. He’s said it for a while. I first heard him say it in an online video about a month or two ago.

    But it goes beyond the mother. What’s the ROI of a company’s email? How many studies have they conducted to ascertain email provides a positive return? So, why ask about ROI on anything else? ;)

  • http://ariherzog.com Ari Herzog

    The irony of Chris’ words above and everyone’s comments about the “What’s the ROI of your mother?” line is it’s nothing new. He’s said it for a while. I first heard him say it in an online video about a month or two ago.

    But it goes beyond the mother. What’s the ROI of a company’s email? How many studies have they conducted to ascertain email provides a positive return? So, why ask about ROI on anything else? ;)

  • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com @kylereed

    Yes thank you Gary.

    He is one of my favorite communicators.
    I love his passion and you cannot help but get excited when he talks.

  • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com @kylereed

    Yes thank you Gary.

    He is one of my favorite communicators.
    I love his passion and you cannot help but get excited when he talks.

  • http://210consulting.com/ Jeremy Blanton

    I think you are spot on with your description. Even though I’ve never met Gary in person, his passion and zeal can never be questioned.

  • http://210consulting.com/ Jeremy Blanton

    I think you are spot on with your description. Even though I’ve never met Gary in person, his passion and zeal can never be questioned.

  • http://210consulting.com/ Jeremy Blanton

    I think you are spot on with your description. Even though I’ve never met Gary in person, his passion and zeal can never be questioned.

  • http://profiles.google.com/q2results Sam Ingersoll

    Oh, please!

    You better be able to quantify the ROI of social media.

    You could quantify the value of your mother if you wanted to – think about the hourly cost of babysitter, cook, cleaner, teacher, tutor, driver, personal shopper, project manager, therapist, etc…

    Most small businesses and entrepreneurs should be able to add up the hours spent on social media and the list of clients brought in through those hours.

    Saying “What’s the ROI of your mother?” is intellectually lazy.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      You’re talking about value, but that’s a very simple ROI equation. More than “value” goes into the equation.

    • http://www.garyvaynerchuk.com garyvaynerchuk

      Sam I would love to spend sometime over a tea…i am not sure I did a good job executing the thought if this is your response, wish u well!

      • http://www.robertpickstone.com Robert Pickstone

        What is the ROI of this very conversation, Sam? Why are you investing in it? What is your return?

        Some things can be measured, some can’t.

        Keep going Gary! Some will find it funny, some won’t, but your point is strong.

      • http://SocialVideoLabs.com Steve Elerick

        Once again, your integrity continues to shine!

      • http://SocialVideoLabs.com Steve Elerick

        Once again, your integrity continues to shine!

    • Anonymous

      wow – I thought this post was right on. Yes, Gary and Chris are friends of mine, but my mother is absolutely unquantifiable and I hope my kids would say the same.

      To say they could replace me with a housekeeper, taxi driver, etc is emotionally lazy, in my opinion. When I lose my mom someday, I will not be able to replace her with a ‘hire’ of any sort.

      As a businesswoman (a very profitable AND very social one) – I’d say I know my ROI – as far as to say there IS one…but to be able to say dollar for click how much it is – IMPOSSIBLE.

      The post was about passion. The ROI was a side note. And since tea with Gary would NOT have a good ROI for you quantifiably — I’ll take him up on it instead and to heck with the cost, the return or anything else. I know the return would be huge in human value.

      • http://profiles.google.com/q2results Sam Ingersoll

        I have a problem too with people running around counseling other people to “live your passion” but that’s another topic. (Appreciating where we are and taking pride and joy in that place would serve more people better.)

        I didn’t say they could “replace you” with a housekeeper, etc…and of course you aren’t going to know your value down to the click but still…

        ….we all quantify our time. I’m sure you get paid x dollars for your time. Well, if your time with your children is priceless and unquantifiable … if the value of building relationships is unquantifiable …. why aren’t you investing all your time there?

        …because all of us have decided that we need to spend x time doing y things that will earn z dollars, and, I daresay, that many of us have most certainly made a judgment that our ROI in work time is more important than the ROI in relationships with our kids, friends, and family.

        • Anonymous

          Hey Sam :) thanks for the response…. I agree that I don’t counsel folks to
          live their passion either. I suggest they get passionate about their life
          and FIND a purpose in their skill set, etc. (Whole other topic on another
          day)

          I am super passionate about relationships period :) But my ROI with my
          family is WHY I work at home…that’s why I built my brand (The Barefoot
          Executive)…so that I can absolutely have max ROI in ALL areas at all
          times.

          Love the contrarian view – sure keeps things interesting. I absolutely
          applaud those that are defying labels, questioning the ‘thought leaders’ and
          making their own path! Cheers!

        • http://SocialVideoLabs.com Steve Elerick

          We could look at it this way Sam. In order to give our loved ones the items they need first the wants later, we have to place ROI above, or it becomes cold when the heat is shut off and the lights go to dim.

          I’m sure we all want our kids to have continued education and to be able to have the savings in order to help with the expense? After all those loans add up in a hurry.

          It’s a difficult balancing act sometimes I will agree.

      • http://profiles.google.com/q2results Sam Ingersoll

        I have a problem too with people running around counseling other people to “live your passion” but that’s another topic. (Appreciating where we are and taking pride and joy in that place would serve more people better.)

        I didn’t say they could “replace you” with a housekeeper, etc…and of course you aren’t going to know your value down to the click but still…

        ….we all quantify our time. I’m sure you get paid x dollars for your time. Well, if your time with your children is priceless and unquantifiable … if the value of building relationships is unquantifiable …. why aren’t you investing all your time there?

        …because all of us have decided that we need to spend x time doing y things that will earn z dollars, and, I daresay, that many of us have most certainly made a judgment that our ROI in work time is more important than the ROI in relationships with our kids, friends, and family.

    • Anonymous

      wow – I thought this post was right on. Yes, Gary and Chris are friends of mine, but my mother is absolutely unquantifiable and I hope my kids would say the same.

      To say they could replace me with a housekeeper, taxi driver, etc is emotionally lazy, in my opinion. When I lose my mom someday, I will not be able to replace her with a ‘hire’ of any sort.

      As a businesswoman (a very profitable AND very social one) – I’d say I know my ROI – as far as to say there IS one…but to be able to say dollar for click how much it is – IMPOSSIBLE.

      The post was about passion. The ROI was a side note. And since tea with Gary would NOT have a good ROI for you quantifiably — I’ll take him up on it instead and to heck with the cost, the return or anything else. I know the return would be huge in human value.

    • http://www.hippiespelunker.com lisamariemary

      You could quantify the value of your mother if you wanted to…

      Seriously?

    • http://profiles.google.com/q2results Sam Ingersoll

      @ Chris, it seems that the question executives are asking is about specific value of x for doing y – yes a simple ROI equation.

      @ Robert, There is no ROI for me in this conversation…probably not even a backlink : ) so yes, basically it’s a waste of time.

      @ Gary, Tea with Gary in NYC! No wine? lol I can quantify my investment as billable hours (lost) and travel expenses. The quantifiable return should be a connection that pays off in x $, an autographed book copy, etc… That’s all.

      Businesses have poured money down the marketing and advertising rat-hole for years conned by the design shops saying, “We can’t measure the results.”

      I don’t like it when social media consultants do this. Too many are, or are overstating the value of how most people engage in social media.

      Usually it is because the consultant or vendor is just hawking their technology or service outside of the context of whether that thing is really going to produce a ROI or dollar value for the business – or whether or not the business owner even has the skills, interest, and/or personality to do it.

      Way to many social media consultants are running around telling people to do what would be the equivalent offline of spending their time at the movies, the dog pound, and the children’s museum.

  • http://www.thedynamiclife.com Hu

    Great post, Chris. I wonder how many more people would have read it if you titled it, “What’s the ROI of Your Mother?”

  • http://flatratebiz.com Genuine Chris Johnson

    What’s the ROI of a human connection? IF you have ~150 people that know you, 50 people that like you and 50 peopel that trust you…and if they are the right people, you’ll have plenty of business.

  • http://www.scottcofer.com Self Improvement Tips

    Gary is the man, and “Crush It” radically changed the way I view my blog and online activities. Details are details, and we can learn that information virtually anywhere as long as it is a trusted source. However, passion is what gives you the desire required to want to learn the information, and Gary is a master at getting down into your gut and firing the engine.

    Best,
    Scott

  • http://twitter.com/jmitchem Jim Mitchem

    I don’t particularly like Gary’s pitch and think he sometimes leans too much on the expletives for effect. Plus, I don’t drink, so maybe that’s part of it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that using expletives is bad – I use one in almost every post. Not for effect though, but because when you’re speaking (or writing and thinking) passion sometimes bursts out of you. And there’s no denying Gary’s passion.

    That said, I absolutely rely on passion to propel me forward in life. In fact, I probably rely on it too much. As a writer, I feel things pretty deeply, and so I consider my own gut to show me where to go in life. I learned long ago that the only thing I know to be true is my heart. So I listen to it, and let it lead me in most things. I’m hopeful that depending on my heart/passion to is the right thing to do. Even though at times (when I look around to see my peers doing things differently) it seems futile, it almost always feels right.

    Jiminy Cricket once said, “Let your conscience be your guide.” I consider this quote every day. And when people ask me about passion, I like to say, “Passion is a wolf in your chest clawing its way out. And if you think that sounds painful, try denying it.”

    • http://www.garyvaynerchuk.com garyvaynerchuk

      Jim hope we can meet in person, as for the cursing I wish with all my heart I didnt do it, it just is something that happens to me on stage, will explain why its been bad for me over a drink :) where do u live?

      • http://twitter.com/jmitchem Jim Mitchem

        Yeah, I live in Charlotte. And I don’t drink – but used to. A lot. In fact, I came to in NYC 20 years ago. I get the cursing. I have to bite my tongue daily. And it hurts. And to be fair, I have only seen a few videos of you, and it just seems like you use Fuck for a shock effect. If it’s sincere, and it obviously is or else you’d not be as popular as you are, then I’m sure it’s effective and just part of you. Don’t misunderstand – I admire sincerity. Also, to reiterate, I don’t really know much about you since i’ve never followed.

        let’s definitely hook up next time you’re in the queen city. i’ll buy you a coffee.

        • Anonymous

          hafta give Gary props — when I’m around, he curbs it (and I’ve never asked him to, he just knows it’s not my thing and totally respects it) — love that about him.

          such a sweetheart under all that shouting ;)

  • http://twitter.com/jmitchem Jim Mitchem

    I don’t particularly like Gary’s pitch and think he sometimes leans too much on the expletives for effect. Plus, I don’t drink, so maybe that’s part of it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that using expletives is bad – I use one in almost every post. Not for effect though, but because when you’re speaking (or writing and thinking) passion sometimes bursts out of you. And there’s no denying Gary’s passion.

    That said, I absolutely rely on passion to propel me forward in life. In fact, I probably rely on it too much. As a writer, I feel things pretty deeply, and so I consider my own gut to show me where to go in life. I learned long ago that the only thing I know to be true is my heart. So I listen to it, and let it lead me in most things. I’m hopeful that depending on my heart/passion to is the right thing to do. Even though at times (when I look around to see my peers doing things differently) it seems futile, it almost always feels right.

    Jiminy Cricket once said, “Let your conscience be your guide.” I consider this quote every day. And when people ask me about passion, I like to say, “Passion is a wolf in your chest clawing its way out. And if you think that sounds painful, try denying it.”

  • http://twitter.com/jmitchem Jim Mitchem

    I don’t particularly like Gary’s pitch and think he sometimes leans too much on the expletives for effect. Plus, I don’t drink, so maybe that’s part of it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that using expletives is bad – I use one in almost every post. Not for effect though, but because when you’re speaking (or writing and thinking) passion sometimes bursts out of you. And there’s no denying Gary’s passion.

    That said, I absolutely rely on passion to propel me forward in life. In fact, I probably rely on it too much. As a writer, I feel things pretty deeply, and so I consider my own gut to show me where to go in life. I learned long ago that the only thing I know to be true is my heart. So I listen to it, and let it lead me in most things. I’m hopeful that depending on my heart/passion to is the right thing to do. Even though at times (when I look around to see my peers doing things differently) it seems futile, it almost always feels right.

    Jiminy Cricket once said, “Let your conscience be your guide.” I consider this quote every day. And when people ask me about passion, I like to say, “Passion is a wolf in your chest clawing its way out. And if you think that sounds painful, try denying it.”

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  • http://becky-johns.com Becky Johns

    I dig this. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve caught crap about “sipping the Gary V Kool-Aid”, and the Brogan Kool-Aid, too, for that matter. People getting hung up on the ‘ROI of your mother’ comment are latching onto one soundbite example and missing his point entirely. I once heard Gary answer the ROI question once with “What’s the ROI of smiling at customers behind the counter?” which might be a much better example of what he means. There’s an element of karma in ROI that can’t be overlooked.

    Customers were typically valued in terms of transactional value – how much money they were willing to spend as a result of seeing an ad/hearing a message. But now there’s the influence value as well – whether they’re willing to pass messaging or a favorable opinion along to their friends, which is just as important, if not more important than what they’re worth individually as a customer in transactional value. Gary is perhaps one of the best guys in the business for understanding this and showing how it’s helped him grow his business.

    During SXSW, he had requests to do high profile interviews, had a packed schedule, a million people after his attention, book signings, party appearances and in the grand scheme of things, a lot of better offers to worry about. But I asked him to meet up with me for a half hour and shoot a short interview for my blog, an audience of a few thousand readers. He made time for it. We’ve tweeted back and forth a few times, I’m only slightly above lurker level on his wine communities, I’ve purchased a handful of his books, so in transactional value, I’m an extremely low-level customer. But his investment of a half hour of his time will result in me recommending his books, wine info, blog posts, conferences, etc to others who are ready to buy because it matters to me how much he cares. Does the ROI of that make sense to the naysayers?

    Good post, Chris. Really enjoyed it.