Gary Vaynerchuk’s winelibrary.tv is brilliant. If you sell something that people are intimidated to buy, create a TV show about it. Educate people. Let them know that you personally want them to be happy with their purchase. He’s basically taking the sales methodology of old (trust, passion) and applying it to the modern world with the new method that is social media. Like him or not, that’s pretty damned beautiful.
Gary has a new book called Crush It: Why Now Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion. I haven’t read it yet, but I’m guessing he’s trying to show other salespeople and marketers how they can use social media to build flocks around their brand. As Hugh MacLeod might put it, you make your product a “social object” to bring people together in good ways. This is how people should make their livings–not in cubicles staring at stock prices, scheming how to squeeze more out of customers.
So various bloggers are mad because Gary’s PR people pitched that they interview him. The letter was a form letter sent to many other bloggers, many of whom expressed their offense on a BlogTalkRadio show Gary was on. An excerpt from the letter reads “He’d love to do book giveaway contests, interviews, Q&A sessions, an interpretive dance summarizing a chapter, really anything that you think your readers would like to see”.
Why does this make you mad? Because it wasn’t geared just for you? It’s not about you–it’s about your readers. Who cares how the email was addressed. Use the opportunity or don’t. Just offer a unique interview that others couldn’t offer as well.
Talking about social media is very easy. Anyone can be “an expert” and dictate etiquette that doesn’t really exist. Actually making money with it is very hard. I’ve succeeded and failed with it. Sure, you can get attention for your brand, but actually producing income is a different story. Gary Vaynerchuk sells wine online. Do you know how effing hard that is? Do you know how many state regulations and shipping costs come into play? It is VERY HARD TO CLOSE SOMEONE BUYING WINE ONLINE. The fact that he’s succeeded and made a brand for himself doing it is very exceptional and I have no doubt that Gary works his tail off.
Well Gary, I work for Interspire, who sells a shopping cart license and a hosted shopping cart called BigCommerce. I’ve worked in ecommerce for a long time, and I would love to interview you. I would love to do book giveaways. Why? Because I love watching people succeed at selling what they love online. It is so satisfying to see people who were former slaves at a company actually thrive when they open their own online store. I’ve also seen people with beautiful ideas and products pour their hearts and souls into a business and completely fail. It is completely heart-breaking. So if you want, send me your form letter. I’d like to share your advice with people who may be struggling to sell something they really love and know a lot.
Hold off on the interpretive dance though. I doubt that is your forte.