When 11:FS got their $100,000 session with Gary Vaynerchuk

 Laura Watkins photo
Laura Watkins Executive Producer
5min read

David Brear and Jason Bates were put through their paces when they met Gary Vaynerchuk who gave them one of his famous $100,000 sessions.

Among other things, Gary took David and Jason through building authentic content, being the first mover and finding the best way to connect with your audience. Above all, he emphasises the importance of having a voice and using it, and in doing so, growing your audience. Check out some of the highlights below!

DB: most people don’t think they have an audience. I guess that’s the challenge, right?

Yes, most people don’t feel like they deserve it, right?

DB: Yes. But if you start, and a video gets 14 views...we’ve been very lucky, I think, with what we’re doing. So, we kind of feel like we’ve got a right to go out and talk to people.

Yes, but the first episode you didn’t.

JB: No.

DB: Exactly. Well, and that’s the thing, it’s momentum, isn’t it?

Of course. Nine people watched the first episode of Wine Library TV. Like, nobody gave a shit, for a year and a half.

I was on YouTube before anybody knew what YouTube was. Like, I-, I-, listen, I’m in a funny place. I do things before the medium’s even respected.

JB: Yes.

It’s one thing now to be scared to have to go on YouTube. It’s a whole another thing when, nobody’s even there, and believing in it. I get it man, I’m very, very, very empathetic. It’s what makes me a good salesman. I understand why people won’t do anything we’re talking about here. I just want to remind those people that that then eliminates their ability to complain, because their actions aren’t speaking, and so they would rather sit with their loser friends and share a beer, and say how everything is bad, than do something about it. And by the way, that’s fine, too.

DB: So how do you find people? Because obviously you guys are building up lots of different companies. How do you find people who take that ethos forwards? How do you recruit the right types of people?

By firing, more than overthinking about hiring.

By going on intuition, and then when we’re wrong, helping them exit, doing the right thing. We have something called the alumni programme, where we help them get other jobs. We’re not trying to be bad. I don’t want this to sound crass, it’s not, ‘Hire! Fire!’ It’s not a machine. I’m emotional about this stuff. It takes me four months to fire somebody, you know, I’m terrible at it, actually. I dwell. It’s a real weakness of mine, actually. So, I’m crippled by it, but it still doesn’t take away the fact that there’s no way to know.

Everybody is their most PRed, most façade version during the interview process, and I have really good intuition, and EQ, and I’ve not been able to be anywhere close to perfect, so I definitely don’t believe anybody in my team has it down. Everybody has this pride of, like, ‘I’m so good at it.’ You’re so good my ass.

JB: So, the scaling the business, does everybody want you?

Sure, [but] there’s nothing that we indicate that means you’re getting me.

A lot of people want the company, because, where we get most of our business from is either me giving a speech, or me doing an interview, and it leads to biz dev, then they want me in the first one, but I make it very clear, this might be the only time you ever see me. And so, if that’s what we’re doing here, pay me $150,000 to give a speech, we can do that. But now, the far majority of our business comes from clients that go to other places, and want Vayner to work with them, because they know Vayner’s good.

DB: And that’s the thing, that’s sustainable, isn’t it, in terms of doing it.

Yes, that’s what you dream of, right? That’s the only reason I built it, because I knew that was achievable.

DB: So how do you actually fit all of this in, then? Because it sounds like you’ve got maybe four or five different jobs, and you’ve got the media side...

I have one job. I’m the CEO of VaynerMedia. What I think I do well is, I document versus create. So when DRock’s following me around, I have a vlog every day, that’s big. When the team watches the whole video and takes 11 of my quotes out of it, and sends me a text-, I mean, I’ll literally show you, you’ll find this fascinating- I really think that we have figured out how to produce content at an efficiency that hasn’t been seen before, because we’re making it up, but literally, this is what happens. I will get a text from somebody on the team, and these are literally 11 things that I said, right?

JB: Nice.

Because everything’s been captured. I, then, approve only 5, 8 and 11 of the 11. So, only three of them I like enough, as I would say them on Instagram. Then, a couple of hours later they come through. And then this gets posted by my hands, on my Instagram, and then I engage. That’s a big deal.

So I think what I figured out was the paradigm of, if I vlog everything, then I’ve got the top of funnel creative, then I’ll build an infrastructure that allows it to bleed down into the creative micro pieces, and then I know how to use distribution, things of that nature, and when I say that, very quickly, it just means, I just believe in Instagram and Facebook, more than you do. There’s just nobody listening right now that believes in it more than I do. I believed in it earlier, I believe in it harder, and when I see something working, I go all in.

How many podcasts do you guys do? Once a week? Once a month?

DB: Three times a week.

Right. What’s wrong with five? Right? And by the way, that was really impressive, because that’s a lot, that’s super impressive. I’m a little bit pissed because I was trying to make a point, and you fucked me up. Thank God there’s five days in a week. I would have hit you with a seven if you gave me that.

The punchline is, that’s fucking cool, man, and that speaks, probably, to why so much good stuff is happening, and people are like, ‘Oh, my podcast is not working.’ I get that email, ‘Gary, you said podcasts are a big thing, the next thing. My podcast’s not working.’ Once in a blue moon, out of 100 of those, I’ll go look at it, I’ll click it, and be like, ‘Okay, you’ve done four in nine months.’ So I’ll write back, ‘Bro, you’ve done four in nine months. By the way, I listened to the first three minutes, you kind of suck.’

Here’s a good strategy. Become a world class singer. It’s a good idea, and financially smart, to become a massive popstar. I think you should become Beyoncé and Rhianna. That is a good strategy. Now what? Right? That’s what’s happening with entrepreneurship. You don’t get to become a successful entrepreneur because you put it on your business card. This is execution and talent. The key is self-awareness, and figuring out what you’re good at, and what you like enough to do it every goddamn day. That’s the real secret to this whole thing. And so, I like being a businessman, and that’s why it’s actually working.

JB: It’s been amazing to have our $100,000 session. We’ve got loads of big banks that listen, and the decision makers there. How do they connect with you, or with VaynerMedia? What’s the problem that you solve for them?

We’re reverse engineers. The problem we solve for them is their problem. Chase is a client of ours, in the US, right? They’re huge, they have a million problems, and when I say problems, the truth is, and I’m sure you guys feel this way, they have a million opportunities.

DB: Sure.

Right? Do they want people to open up bank accounts? Great. There’s a strategy for that. Do they want to recruit talent? You know, when I think about the $150,000 audit that we’re selling, because we’re not Bane or McKinsey yet, and what I’m about to tell you, we would sell for $150,000. A bank, listening, would reach out to us, and say, ‘Hey, we want you to audit our ability to acquire better talent for our bank, from a technology and innovation [background] , not developers, but marketers and executives who have digital DNA, so that our bank can survive this inevitable death blow that- whether it’s cryptocurrency or Apple and Google and Amazon and Facebook’s foray into their world- is going to happen to them.

Well, when I think about the $150,000 package we play for the audit, and then the output, and the advice, and the presentation, that is ridiculous ROI. I also am empathetic to why they don’t see that, and then I’m excited for them to not buy it now, but buy it for a million dollars in four years. But, that’s something I think a lot of banks and b2b companies should be hiring us for. And then the video output. Right? I just think nobody makes the modern-day commercial better than my company. If you want to spend $300,000 to make something happen, I think our $150,000 video, and our $150,000 Facebook ads, and influencers on Instagram, will give you a better chance than any Google or programmatic, any commercial, any print. So, that’s what we strive to do.

Listen to the full interview with Gary Vaynerchuk on Fintech Insider.

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 Laura Watkins
About the author

Laura Watkins

Heading up the 11:FS media team, Laura leads 11:FS' content creation from the Fintech Insider podcast to video documentary series and live events to make financial services more accessible to everyone.