There are two people that ultimately inspired me to start D4 Music Marketing. Gary Vaynerchuk (or Gary Vee) is one of them.
For those who don’t know, Gary Vaynerchuk is a successful American entrepreneur, marketing expert and online personality. When it comes to entrepreneurship and the current climate of attention, Gary’s rhetoric and outlook are spot on.
As a music marketer, my core approach to my blog content and developing my personal brand is heavily influenced by Gary Vee. Although his marketing strategies and approach to business are not unique to him, Gary does an excellent job of communicating it in such a clear and practical way that I believe all artists should listen to what he has to say if they want a good chance at making it in the music business.
In a way, this post is a tribute to him and acknowledgment of his role in the creation of my blog, but also to convince artists like yourself why you should listen to what he says.
Why Should Artists Follow Gary Vee?
Do you ever struggle with marketing yourself as an artist? Do you find making a living as an artist difficult and need the motivation to pursue your passion? Gary Vee is a valuable resource for artists who want to be successful and stay motivated on their journey. If you want to be successful in the music industry, I truly believe you’ll have the best chance if you listen to Gary Vee and put into practice what he has found works.
I’m saying this as someone who has been in the online marketing industry for the past several years. There’s no one out there that breaks down the road map to navigate the current state of business and the internet better than him. The big reason why I even bothered putting this blog together is that some of his content caters to music artists directly (videos listed below).
Not only is he very practical, honest and clear with his approach to success, he actually spends a lot of time talking to other artists and providing relevant advice for those in the music industry.
For some, he may come off as annoying (that was actually my first opinion of him), but he grew on me. The funny thing is, even though he is very good at what he does, it is common for people not to like him at first. He has a very loud and energetic personality that comes as very arrogant and obnoxious. But, I think once you hear his story and really get to know Gary, you’ll love and appreciate him. His energy is contagious to the point where it gives me confidence and motivation when I listen to him.
What Makes Gary Different?
To be honest, I’m personally not very fond of many other top entrepreneurs and motivational type of people, but Gary Vee is different to me.
When I first came across Gary in the spring of 2016, I did not like him. Like many other people, I was immediately turned off by his personality and his “hustle, hustle, hustle” ethic. Luckily, I continued to listen to him, and as I consumed more of his content, I learned that he’s not what he seems.
He doesn’t flaunt or really talk about wealth or buying expensive things. He’s not trying to sell you on a lavish lifestyle as he lives modestly for someone with his wealth and success. His message is about pursuing what you are passionate about and putting in the necessary work at a pace that you are comfortable with.
Gary practices exactly what he advocates. All his content is basically free and readily accessible. He’s not trying to sell you master courses or programs that cost hundreds of dollars. Occasionally, he’ll put out a book. His fans usually support him because he’s given them so much value that they feel the need to reciprocate the love.
He’s honest and transparent with his approach. He knows that people in our quick fix, instant gratification society want to speed up the process or find shortcuts, but he knows that in reality is it takes a long time and hard work to build a successful business. No one likes to hear or accept that fact, but Gary isn’t afraid to stand behind it. That doesn’t sell in the marketing world, but he’s true to the process and what it really takes to succeed.
By now you are probably wondering what some of his key messages and advice are. I’ve summarized some of his signature themes and best sayings for you below.
Here are some of Gary Vee’s signature themes and sayings:
For me, this message was what convinced me. It was that simple. You don’t want to look back at your life and regret not giving that one thing you really loved a shot and never knowing if you could have been successful. You really don’t know if something will work or not until you try. The fact is, you only have one life and you will die. Even it doesn’t work out, at least you know you’ve tried and you can be content in the fact that you have no regrets.
As an artist pursuing your passion, you are doing something many people are afraid to try so it’s something to be proud of, regardless if you make it or not.
Gary believes the most important thing you can have to be successful is self-awareness. For him, self-awareness is needed so you can be honest and objective at identifying what you’re actually good at. This allows you to make the right moves to put you in a better position for success, rather than wasting time doing things you’re not good at. He’s about going all-in on your strengths and punting your weaknesses by working with others or paying people to do what you’re not good at.
Gary hates people who complain about not seeing the results they hoped or expected. Because of the internet, we have much more control over our ability to succeed, so complaining or blaming others is a sign of failure. Sure, there are things that happen that are beyond our control, but you still have control over how you react and deal with those issues. Often times, people who complain are either impatient or not hustling hard enough.
To make it as an entrepreneur and artist, you have to be willing to put in the time and work. As he says, “Hardwork is the most controllable aspect of entrepreneurship and business.” People tend to view hustling as the cool thing to do, but it’s the practicality that matters to Gary. If you have big aspirations, there’s a certain level of work you need to put in to get where you want to be. In other words, the problem he sees is that many people’s ambitions don’t match their actions.
Some might interpret ‘hustle’ as an unhealthy practice, especially when you see how much Gary works each day. He still believes in getting enough sleep and having a work-life balance that you’re comfortable with.
Eat Shit (Don’t Get Fancy)
Building a business (like a music career) takes a lot of hard work. The problem Gary sees is that many people do things for the wrong reasons and get fancy before they make it. When people start buying expensive things for themselves early on, he believes you’re wasting money by not reinvesting into growing your business. If you really want to win, eat shit for the first 5 or 10 years so you can set yourself up for success. You have to pay your dues. He’s not judging what people do with their money, it’s only when people complain about not making it yet and they are the ones splurging money on unnecessary things that don’t grow their business. This way of thinking relates to the last point and ties into the next theme.
Love the Process (Patience)
The other big thing Gary preaches is patience. You have to play the long game if you want to be successful. You have to love the process and the struggle. If you only care about the end result, you already lost. Those who succeed love the grind and the journey.
Many people want short cuts and quick tactics because they don’t want to put in the work. They are impatient. They complain. In order to win and be successful, you need to have the right mindset and it starts with patience. As Gary Vee puts it, religion over tactics.
Succeed with Positivity and Kindness (Optimism Always Wins)
Despite his loud, aggressive persona, Gary is all in on optimism and positivity. We live in a very opportune time that there’s enough for all of us to win. Don’t waste time by putting others down, or as he puts it, tearing other people’s “buildings” down. This applies not only to how you treat others, but yourself as well. If you make a mistake, learn from your losses, but don’t dwell on them. Gary has been wrong and made many mistakes, but he doesn’t let that stop him.
Quality Content is Key (It’s a Numbers Game)
Gary’s number one advice for artists is to put out free music as often as you possibly can. It’s about building leverage by giving more than what you take and having the ability to redirect that attention you have from fans.
How many songs can you make a year and create a plan around that? He uses the example of the artist Russ (who he did an episode with) who put out a new song every week for 33 weeks straight. With the oversaturation of free content out there, attention is a commodity. To be able to grow an audience, you need to be able to put out consistent quality content like new music. Since it’s numbers game, there’s no guarantee you’ll make it because of all of the factors involved. Each new song you put out gives you one more chance to get noticed.
Provide More Value (51/49)
Give more than what you take. We tend to focus on what’s in it for us more than the other person. As an artist, you always want to be giving your fans more value than they give you. Why? This gives you leverage down the line when you really do need them for something. Obviously don’t have expectations, but know that people tend to reciprocate. This means doing things like offering your music for free, responding to comments, answering questions and taking photos to bring value and build your brand.
Authenticity Wins (Don’t Fake it Until You Make It)
In this age of social media, people tend to use it to present the best PR version of themselves. It’s harder to trust what’s real online, which is why authenticity is so valued nowadays. As Gary likes to say, “You can trick all the other losers, but the winners will see right through you.”
Gary’s Music Marketing Content
Gary has so much free quality content that it’s hard to go back and find the best ones for you to check out. Since this is a music marketing blog, I curated his music-related content for you to check out.
What Gary is most known for nowadays is his online series The Ask Gary Vee Show where he answers people’s questions with various guests from all types of industries. Even though he covers a lot of topics, his content is applicable to any industry. Here’s a collection of videos that are specific to music artists. You can also listen to all of these videos as podcasts.
Gary Vee’s Podcast: https://www.garyvaynerchuk.com/podcast/
My Youtube Playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLUZsZCakBrh25gMN5yS4fsKdU-IJPVC7a
Be sure to follow Gary on social media: