I hate when people say they have the “Secret to Success.” If you believe this, you need a reality check. There are no secrets. Stop looking for the “secret sauce” and start looking for opportunities to use your talents and knowledge to help you build your brand or your business or product.

There are no secrets to success. Promise. Stop looking for secrets and start looking for opportunities.
There are no secrets to success. Promise. Stop looking for secrets and start looking for opportunities.

The internet and even the new Social Media platforms like Vine and Snapchat make it possible to meet and build relationships with virtually anyone if it is a two way street. Why does it matter to me? I’m obsessed with the ability to connect and network with people through the Internet. I love meeting and learning from experts in their field. On the flip, I want people to know who I am and what I’m passionate about because I’m competitive by nature. I’ve met people in real life who follow me on my blog, Instagram, and Twitter, who I’ve built friendships with on those platforms. It’s amazing to me.

One of my favorite and probably one of the most intuitive people on using “Social Media” (which is a huge percent of internet traffic) to help you build your brand is Gary Vaynerchuk. Gary is an incredibly successful entrepreneur who started working at his dad’s wine and liquor shop when he was just a kid. He got passionate about wine, later took over the store, tasted wine for his viewers on WineLibraryTV, and started selling wine on the internet when e-commerce was merely a suggestion. Gary now runs VaynerMedia, a Social Media Consulting group.

I was first introduced to Gary through his 2011 INC 500 Keynote Speech (below). My initial impression was that he was obnoxious but SO RIGHT I couldn’t ignore him. There is a line in his speech where he is trying to explain to someone the ROI of Social who just refuses to agree, so Gary finally replies “What’s the ROI of your mother? Because mine is everything.” I loved this because even when I was working for a Restaurant Company in Atlanta a few years ago and part of my JOB was Social Media, I was laughed at and told Twitter was a waste of time. So hearing this lit a spark inside of me.

Gary recently posted this article about using Snapchat to grab your customer’s attention and has been Snapchatting with his followers for the past couple of weeks. With over 900 mil followers on Twitter alone, I imagine it would be tough to get his attention. That’s when a box of Nilla Wafers he posted a picture of looked a lot less like cookies and a lot more like opportunity to me. (Keep reading, but I’ll be so grateful if you take this poll and tell me how you feel about Snapchat. Please? Thank you. 🙂

Know your audience and get creative

The comments below the Nilla Wafers Gary posted indicated that they are a client of VaynerMedia’s. A few months ago I watched an old WineLibrary video on “what wine pairs best with cereal”. So, when Gary Tweeted that he was taking Questions via Snapchat, the wheels in my head spun. I’ve sent him a few SC’s before that he hadn’t opened, so I knew I needed to poke the box. I went to Vons, grabbed a Nilla Wafers box, and took a video on Vine asking Gary “what wine pairs best with Nilla Wafers?”, furthermore setting the box of cookies on the shelf next to the Clicquot, Landmark Chard, and Riesling, the three wines he picked a few years back that go with cereal. Later I realized you can barely tell what the wines are in the video, so I doubt he noticed, but that was certainly intentional. I uploaded the video to Vine and tagged Gary, and then sent him a  Snapchat posing the same question.

A few hours later, Gary like my video on Vine and no more than twenty minutes later, sent me a Snapchat back.

For one second imagine someone you follow, you are a fan of, or you are inspired by, sends you a text message just to shoot the shit. That’s basically how I felt.

It was five seconds long. That’s all it took for me to get excited that he noticed the video, & that my creativity worked. My goal was to get a reply and I did. So now if I ever meet him in person, I can tell him I was the girl who asked him what wine pairs best with Nilla Wafers, and maybe, just maybe, he’ll remember me.

We are building brands, names, and products. Your brand is yourself. How will YOU be remembered?

So… What IS the Value of a Snapchat?

Gary has a new book coming out called Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, about how to tell your story in a noisy, social world. It won’t be out until November but it is up on Amazon at a lower pre-sale price. After the Snapchats that day, I decided to preorder my copy. I would have eventually ordered it, anyway, but I know how much he wants to be #1, so I wanted to help.

Gary sent me a Snapchat for free. What is the ROI on that 20 seconds of his life? Whatever he makes on the sale of one book, plus another connection and follower whose respect for him just grew.

You may have seen that Nilla Wafers box and just saw a cookie. I saw an opportunity. And Gary saw another book sale.

By the way, the wine that pairs best with Nilla Wafers? It’s Sauvignon Blanc.

Gary’s Keynote Speech: (warning: there’s a little…err…a lot… of cursing.)