Each year thousands descend upon Austin, Texas for South by Southwest Interactive (SXSWI), a five-day festival showcasing top emerging technologies and startups from the digital community. Presentations and panels offer attendees the opportunity to hear and interact with some of the brightest minds in the marketing and digital industries.
One of the biggest names in attendance at this year’s event is Gary Vaynerchuk. Perhaps best-known as the co-founder of the social media brand consulting agency VaynerMedia, Vaynerchuk is also a top speaker and author on the topics of social media, brand building, and e-commerce. He has written three New York Times Best-Selling books including, “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right-Hook.”
Read on to find out what Vaynerchuk said are the steps you need to take to make sure your business wins.
1. Be Self-Aware
Audit yourself and your business. What is it that you are good at and how can you use those strengths to help others? Too often people worry about improving their weaknesses instead of putting themselves in the best position to succeed.
Hone in on your craft and strategically construct ways you can maximize that talent and quickly spread its value to as many people as possible.
2. Be Empathetic
Ask yourself, in what ways do you show your customers you actually care about them and not just their money? Shortly after graduating from college in 1998, Vaynerchuk grew his Father’s liquor store (now known as WineLibrary) from a $3 Million to a $50 Million business by 2005. One of his keys to success? Empathy.
To this day, each customer that makes a purchase from WineLibrary is thanked for his or her order by an actual employee that simply picks up the phone and calls that customer. No gimmicks or tricks.
Just think about it. That person chose your business over thousands of others that probably offer a similar product or service. That’s a pretty big deal. Go the extra mile for your customer and make it clear to them that you are invested in their well-being and success.
3. Be Willing to Change Your Mind
The world around us is constantly changing. Social media is a great example of that. In just the past decade, tools like Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat have completely altered the social media landscape.
The same applies to your business. If you are not willing to adjust to the way in which people communicate with one another, learn about your product, and buy your product, your success will be short-lived.
4. Stick to Your Word
This point goes back to a pretty simple idea: how can you expect customers to place their trust and loyalty in your business if you are not trustworthy yourself? We live in a world where everything is documented. Social media has the ability to capture the good and the bad.
Live up to your promises and slowly begin building a community of customers that not only remain loyal to your brand, but also are willing to spread word of your excellent product or service to their own network.
5. Hire Team Players
Many of you have probably come across this dilemma. You have that one employee with amazing skills and experiences, but for some reason he or she can’t get along with the rest of the office. Do yourself a favor and get rid of them.
If they don’t play nicely with your employees, chances are they aren’t going to leave a good impression on your clients either. Look for employees that have the humility and empathy needed to function effectively with the rest of the team you have.
6. Protect Your Employees
There are things in life that are simply out of our control. The death of a family member or an unexpected car accident. When these things happen to your employees, make their lives easier by having their back.
This type of understanding will go a long way toward creating a strong reputation about you and your business as a great place to work. In addition, you’ll be amazed to see the extra effort employees are willing to put into a business they are proud to work for.
Did I Miss Something?
Did you get the chance to hear Vaynerchuk speak at SXSWI? Comment below if you think I missed an especially important point from his keynote!