Business has changed.
It may just be at the beginning of that change, but it has happened. Have you noticed? If you have, hopefully you’re working hard to take advantage of it!
If you haven’t noticed, don’t fear. There is still time to take advantage of this change. And there’s more good news.
It’s going to really make your life as a business person way more fun.
So this change. Gary Vaynerchuk saw it coming years ago, and busted his butt to be at the front of it. He now has a thriving multi-million dollar business, a job that lets him drink wine every day, and over 870,000 followers on Twitter.
This guy knows what’s up, and in The Thank You Economy he spells it out, and shows you why you need to jump on board, and how to succeed in this new era.
First up, let’s talk about the author, because he’s a really fantastic guy.
I’m very proud to say that Gary Vaynerchuk single-handedly got me interested in wine. I never liked the taste, and visited both France and Italy without tasting a drop (to my great regret). But I stumbled across Wine Library TV many years ago, and saw Gary Vaynerchuk literally shouting with excitement about it. I said to myself “If this guy is this pumped about wine, there must be something to it” and I set out to discover it.
Well, I did, so I personally owe Gary a pretty big thank you. ;)
But I’m not sharing that story to tell you about wine, because there are better places you can go for that. I’m sharing it because I want to show you that this guy is remarkable. His passion for everything he does is inspiring. Literally. It gets you up out of your seat and makes you do something.
Helping people is another passion of his as well. You read this book, and you know he wrote it to help, not to simply profit. He cares, and that makes me want to listen.
He also cares enough to give tons of interviews. He gave a great one, with specific advice for photographers, over at the photography blog, Tiffinbox. Check it out!
These days he has a new wine show, The Daily Grape, and a consulting firm, VaynerMedia. He has written a previous book, Crush It, that we highly recommend checking out if you’re interesting in your passion becoming your job.
But today we’re talking about The Thank You Economy, so let’s get to it.
Gary is a big supporter of “social media”. And by that, he’s talking about Twitter, Facebook, and any other platform that lets you have a one-on-one conversation with your customers.
These sites have become major powerhouses of the internet, and yet many are still wary of their power for business success. They say that the numbers just aren’t there for the “return on investment”. So Gary wrote this book to prove just how short-sighted that idea is, and why you have to get in on social media if you want to get ahead.
The Thank You Economy is filled with solid business advice, shown through the lens of social media.
Because of Twitter and Facebook and all other forms of social media, the great big world has become something that resembles a small town. All of a sudden we are put face-to-face with our customers, technologically speaking.
You can now communicate and listen to your customers on a level that was never before possible. Even the smallest companies can have hundreds of thousands of loyal fans; numbers that were only possible for huge corporations in the past.
But with great power comes with great responsibility, and Gary’s commitment to that concept is why this book is so valuable.
If your organization’s intentions transcend the mere act of selling a product or service, and it is brave enough to expose its heart and soul, people will respond. They will connect. They will like you. They will talk. They will buy. —Gary Vaynerchuk in The Thank You Economy
It’s so simple. Care about your customers, take the time to truly help them, and you will succeed.
Such a simple idea, but it seemed like many just didn’t get it. So The Thank You Economy fills in the gaps, and shows you just why you need to have caring in your heart to make it work.
And you can make it work like magic. If you have great intent, and a great message, here’s what Gary thinks it can do for you:
It’s as though social media has given all its users an equal platform on which they can build not just their careers, but their dreams. —Gary Vaynerchuk in The Thank You Economy
Sound good? Great. Read on! Now it’s time to take a look at the lessons for photographers in The Thank You Economy
Lessons For Your Photography Business
I’m going to repeat this phrase forever. You’ll have heard us say it before, and here it is again.
If you want to succeed as a photographer, you have to genuinely care about your clients.
There’s no getting around this. If you don’t have a lot of caring in your heart for the people you work for, do yourself and everyone else a favour, and stop.
Start showing how much you care via your blog, your Facebook account, and your Twitter profile. Do that, and win.
Mind Your Manners
You gotta use your manners. Your mother taught them to you for a reason.
Manners—real manners—indicate that we care about other people’s feelings, and about their experience when they’re around us. —Gary Vaynerchuk in The Thank You Economy
Just because you’re online doesn’t mean the manners go out the window. In reality, you need to work doubly hard to be as polite as possible on the internet.
Considering the poor showing humanity is doing of this, being polite online will make you stand out an awful lot. Don’t know what I mean? Just check out the comments on a YouTube video. It breaks your heart.
Think Long Term
You can’t go into business thinking short term. You need to act with your legacy in mind, and that goes for every single thing you do.
About to tweet something? Think of how that will reflect on you long term.
About to deal with a client? Think of how that will affect your business long term.
Gary goes a lot more into detail about this stuff, but just that slight mental shift will make a big huge difference in your business.
Quality Over Quantity
Many photographers start Twitter or Facebook pages, only to be discouraged by small numbers, and they give up.
One of the best lessons of this book is that it is about the quality of your followers, not the quantity.
In this game, the one with the most real relationships wins. —Gary Vaynerchuk in&
nbsp;The Thank You Economy
Honestly, doesn’t that make you excited about business again?? You don’t need to be sleazy, you just need to develop great relationships! Fun!
Word Of Mouth Wins
We’ve talked about the importance of word of mouth, and how a Referral Program is a great way to take advantage of that.
Well, Gary agrees. So do the numbers.
When Nielsen conducted a study on what drives consumer trust, the results were clear: almost 70 percent of people turn to family and friends for advice when making purchasing decisions. —Gary Vaynerchuk in The Thank You Economy
Every single interaction you have online can affect your word of mouth power as a business person. Act accordingly. Treat your customers, and fans, like gold. Or even better. Like platinum. Or diamonds.
Treat your customers like platinum covered in diamonds.
Don’t Freak Out
When you go online, you might be afraid of making a misstep, and getting negative feedback. Don’t be.
Mistakes and snafus aren’t something to hide; they’re a great opportunity to get more information on how to do better next time, and to connect with people. —Gary Vaynerchuk in The Thank You Economy
If you have good intent, and you care, you can just use those as opportunities to show how wonderful you are.
Engagment Over Advertising
It’s been talked about in the photography industry for years, and now it’s time to put the nail in the coffin.
Print advertising just doesn’t return on the invesment.
You pay thousands for an ad in a bridal magazine, only to see yourself in a sea of ads. And you never get any bookings. You might never even get a single inquiry!
Stop throwing your money away. Take the cash, and put it towards thanking your customers, and putting effort into connecting and helping them online.
The difference between how people respond to search engine results or a banner ad versus how they respond to Twitter or Facebook feeds parallels the difference between how people respond to advertising and how they respond to word of mouth. One is a random, faceless encounter that is easily forgotten; the other is a meaningful exchange worth passing along and sharing with others.—Gary Vaynerchuk in The Thank You Economy
Engage, don’t advertise.
Success doesn’t come in minutes, hours, days, months, or sometimes even years. It, like all good things, takes time.
You need to have patience to see your efforts in business, and in social media, pay off.
The stars in this business era will be those who are consumed with their work (and happy about it) and have the patience to pursue one small victory at a time. —Gary Vaynerchuk in The Thank You Economy
So have patience, and keep at it. You’ll get there.
This book is absolutely chock full of value. It’s about new business, and great business. It will make you excited about getting out there, and sharing what you do with the world. It’s easy to read, and filled with Gary’s unique energy.
We highly highly recommend it for any business person, and photographers in particular.
Photographers care. We’ve seen it over and over again. You are the perfect kind of people to take the message in The Thank You Economy and run with it.
Win A Free Copy of The Thank You Economy!
Now, are you itching to get your hands on this book?
Good! We’re giving away a Kindle copy to one lucky commenter!
(Don’t worry, you don’t need a Kindle, just a computer. Check out this post to see why we think the Kindle App is a better way to read)
CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED! Congrats to our winner, Ken, who is now going to rock this new way of business!
If you didn’t win, you should go now and get The Thank You Economy. It’s worth every penny, and so much more.