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How Gary Vaynerchuk Practices Empathy

Gary Vaynerchuk – or Gary Vee, as the kids call him – is one of the most recognizable faces on social media. He’s got millions of followers on Instagram, Youtube, Twitter, you name it, where he cranks out posts, videos, and articles on a daily basis.

He’s parlayed this social media expertise into a digital marketing agency, VaynerMedia, which he grew to $100 million in annual revenue within just five years. Before that, he took his father’s wine business from $3 to $60 million per year in sales – while he was still just fresh out of college.

So, what are Gary’s secrets to success? Let’s take a look at a few of his most important habits – and how you can apply them to your own life.

The Power of Empathy

One of the first things that strikes people about Vaynerchuk are his abilities as a salesman and overall communicator. In short, the guy can talk. Not only does he put out quality, impactful content, he puts out a lot of it.

But while many great marketers, when asked to share their insights on their craft, will turn to sales psychology, storytelling, and other concepts, Gary traces his own approach to something a little different: empathy.

I do so many different things, but ironically, for me, they’re actually just a heavy reliance on empathy.”

By understanding and relating to other people, identifying what they’re about and what they’re looking for, he’s able to be a more effective salesman, to better analyze the market and various opportunities, and to create content that people find especially valuable.

What a lot of people don’t understand about empathy is that it’s not just about being caring, but it’s also the ability to understand people on a higher level. It has allowed me to easily create mutually beneficial relationships in both business and my personal life.”

As Gary points out, having greater empathy isn’t just a tactic to make more sales – though it definitely helps with that – it also improves his personal life, both in his relationships and how he finds fulfillment.

How to Practice Empathy like Gary Vee

So, how can you practice more empathy in your own life, while realizing both higher sales and stronger connections with the people around you?

By applying the small habits below, that’s how.

Listen (and Watch)

Gary Vee has a knack for identifying trends. For starters, he’s been an early investor in numerous tech giants, like Facebook, Twitter, Uber, Tumblr, and Snapchat. And he always seems to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to the next hot item or new platform.

Does he have a crystal ball? Nope, it’s a lot simpler than that.

How am I first on everything? Because I listen.”

Of course, “listening” on social media often involves a lot of reading and watching as well. Unlike some social media influencers, Vaynerchuck reads all of the comments that people send him, whether good or bad.

He’s also paying attention to other platforms, whether it’s what other social media pages are doing, or the latest news on his favorite tech sites. And with that, he constantly has his finger on the heartbeat of the market and is able to anticipate where our attention will go next.

Try listening more in your own life, starting today. Read every comment or message that people send to you.

Engage and Make Connections

Of course, if all you do is listen, you’re just a consumer. Listening will give you an insight into who you’re talking to and what they’re thinking, but ultimately you have to act.

For instance, Gary doesn’t just read the comments people leave on social media, he replies to them. In fact, he built much of his initial following on platforms like Twitter by replying to every single comment he received.

And people who don’t do the same are a major pet peeve of his.

If you are trying to build a big audience and you’re not replying to the people who give a f*** about you right now, you’re a f***ing idiot.”

Whether you’re trying to build a strong business brand, get subscribers for your Youtube channel, or create better relationships in your personal life, you have to engage with people and make connections.

That means not just replying to the messages you receive, but reaching out to other people proactively, whether it’s to create a relationship or just to give them encouragement.

Give Value First

Whether online or off, so many people today are more focused on what they can get than what they can give. They’re more concerned with how to sell than on how to provide a better product, service, or content.

Gary takes the opposite approach.

“‘How do I have leverage with the end user?’ The best way to do that is to provide value first. I always say whoever asks for something first is in second place. I love paying forward first.

As he often points out, providing value to people is both a sound business strategy and a more fulfilling way to live life. The value you give eventually comes back in the form of more money, more opportunities, and better relationships.

You’ll also establish yourself as someone who knows what they’re talking about, someone who people can turn to and trust.

Start applying this “value first” method to your own life and business. One simple and straightforward way to do this is by giving out free, informative content – whether it’s an article, video, or ebook – on your website or social media.

But in general, it’s a total mindset shift, from a focus on how you can take value to how you can provide it.

When you provide value upfront, you win.”

Add these daily habits to your list

  1. Read the comments and messages you receive every day – learn to better understand others and the world you live in
  2. Reply to every comment and comment on other pages in your niche – building a community of people that you can count on
  3. Spend time each day creating and sharing free content that provides value – establish yourself as an asset and an expert

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