Imagine you own a small business with a few employees, and you’re just starting out with social media. You start looking for the best strategies for fast growth and come across Gary Vaynerchuk – marketer, influencer, and self-professed leader of the Millenials. His content is everywhere, and his engagement numbers are through the roof. How does he do it? You dig deeper and come across the Gary Vee Content Model. Great! This is exactly what you’re looking for. Except, as a small business, there are so many reasons this won’t work. It’s just simply isn’t practical for most people. Fortunately, once you understand why the Gary Vee content model isn’t possible, you can design a content plan that works better for you and your business.
Why It Won’t Work
Gary Vee is a powerhouse. There’s no doubt that his model, if applied, would be really effective. In fact, if you can do it, congratulations, you’re in the 1%. But the reasons it won’t work are numerous. Let’s start with this:
You Don’t Have The Time
The Gary Vee Content Model is incredibly time-consuming. Yes, Gary is able to repurpose a single event into 30 or more pieces of social content. But in order to do so, he has to:
- Book the talk
- Take time to travel to and speak at the location
- Analyze all the video he collected for the right tidbits
- Edit them in video and photo editors while meeting the specific requirements of every platform
- Post to every platform (many don’t have any way of scheduling content)
- Respond to users
Everything I just described is at least 2 days out of your workweek. For Gary this isn’t a problem. But for you it is, because:
You Don’t Have A Big Enough Team
Unless you’ve really taken the plunge on social media, it’s highly unlikely that you have a team large enough to cover every discipline you need. When Gary was doing everything on his own, there’s absolutely no way he was keeping up with this intense level of content repurposing. You need videographers, photoshop experts, copywriters, strategists, social media managers just to get started. Sure, you can learn all of that on your own, but taking an hour-long video and chopping it up is nothing short of time consuming. Those two days you’d need to dedicate just to content? They could easily turn to three on editing alone.
You Don’t Get Enough Speaking Engagements
Even if you were able to take the Gary Vee content model and follow it exactly, you still wouldn’t be able to keep up because it requires a constant stream of speaking engagements. Gary tends to speak at a huge number of conferences. And so he benefits from those talks when it comes to his own content. It’s highly unlikely you’re involved in nearly as many speaking engagements.
You Aren’t Making Money On Your Content Before It Ever Goes Online
As I’ve established by now, Gary speaks at a lot of events. He also makes a minimum of $75,000 for each engagement. So before he even shows you the content from his last speaking engagement, he’s already made money on it. Can you say the same? No! You’re creating to build a presence so that future people want to work with you. You aren’t being paid to develop content.
So, what did we learn? the Gary Vee content model is great and no doubt effective, but it lacks practicality for most people today. That said, the concept is right – push as much content as you can and establish yourself as the authority. How? That’s next.
The “Make More Money Than Content” Approach
As established, content is important to build your presence on the web and get more visitors. But you still need time to work on your business, not just marketing. So let’s take the conventional wisdom and adapt it to the practical abilities of a small business.
Conventional Wisdom: Blog 16 times a month (or around 4 times a week).
Reality: Are you kidding? Do you know how long it takes to write quality content? Obviously, the reason for this is to encourage more content on the site, which improves exposure for SEO purposes. But if you’re solo this is an impossible task on its own without even considering the rest of your commitments on social media.
Conventional Wisdom: Video content performs better than images on most social media sites
Reality: Unless you understand video editing software already, putting together videos every few days is time-consuming. Try for something simple in this space. Personally, I know video’s importance, but similarly, don’t have hours and days to commit to creating the content. That’s why I create “Marketing Minutes” – these videos have the same intro and outro. The only thing I need to do from video to video is exchange the subject matter (i.e. me talking about the new topic) and updated the subtitles. I shoot 6-9 of these videos at a time, edit them over the course of a few days, and distribute them over the next weeks or months. Consider a similar approach – short punchy video that’s easily filmed, easily edited, and easily shareable.
Conventional Wisdom: Post images that relate to your brand at least daily (possibly more, depending on the platform)
Reality: On this point, I have to agree. If you can put up more pictures of what you’re doing, then post away. You need a way for your customers to relate to your brand, and research shows that putting human faces in your content can drastically increase sales. Similar to video, you can do this in bulk, and distribute it over time.
Before the wisdom: If you don’t know what a story is, it’s a post on Instagram or Facebook (originally taken from Snapchat) that disappears in 24 hours. You’ll see them at the top of the page whenever you visit the site.
Conventional Wisdom: You must have an Instagram Story at least every 24 hours.
Reality: Instagram Stories are relatively easy to produce, and they appear at the top of the page. Because of this, it’s much easier to stay in front of your audience. But creating a new story every 24 hours can nonetheless be difficult. Unless your story is pushing your other content. Then all you need to do is create a graphic that tells people there’s a new video, and provide a link to send them there! That takes care of the majority of your stories, and you can fill in the rest with real content.
Conventional Wisdom: Curate as much content as you can so people see you as the source of this type of news. But also create content yourself.
Reality: Sometimes, you just have to make choices based on the time you have available. If I had to let something slide off my plate, this would be the first to go. It can be valuable to share news in your industry and talk about it, but it’s also largely true that people seeing the linked content you provide are navigating away from your post to the article itself. So they might see your wisdom, or they might not. The focus is on the article and not you. You need the focus to be on you. You need to be the thought leader.
Conventional Wisdom: Post anywhere and everywhere.
Reality: Most social media sites don’t provide the ability to schedule content, which means you need to either post in real-time (which is also a huge time-suck) or you need a social media scheduler (we’ll dive into those next). The truth, though, is that unless you’re a superstar, as the Gary Vee content model assumes, it isn’t practical to post everywhere. You need to post where your audience is most likely to be. If you’re in a B2B space, you might consider LinkedIn and avoid Instagram. If you’re selling products to consumers, it could be the opposite. Find the number and type of platforms that work for your business, and focus there.
Use A Scheduler
Conventional Wisdom: Use a scheduler and save yourself time!
Reality: I agree to a limited extent that this is a good idea. Something to be very aware of, however, is that all schedulers have their limitations. For instance, it’s currently not possible for any scheduler to publish to IGTV. Nor is it possible to publish native video to LinkedIn. And since, in the case of LinkedIn, you aren’t able to schedule your content directly to the platform either, you have to take the time away from your normal activities to post it at the appropriate time. That said, I still believe you should consider schedulers. Because the best ones (like AgoraPulse) will also allow you to track performance, respond to any question or comment on any platform inside their scheduler, and will even help you decide what to talk about next. Ultimately, schedulers save you a lot of time, even with all these particular platform limitations.
Do What You Can
The main difference between the Gary Vee content model and the “make more money than content” approach is this: Gary wants you to do everything. I want you to do what you can. At the end of the day, your business still floats based on the work you do, and word-of-mouth will always be the strongest form of advertising. So if you’re doing bad work because you’re focussed on content, that will come out too.