Words: Rebecca Haddad

Gary Vaynerchuk showed signs of successful entrepreneurship from a young age. He successfully franchised lemonade stands while he was still in school. After college, Vaynerchuk took over the day-to-day control of his parents' wine business, growing it from a $3 million-a-year to $60-million-a-year biz in six years. These days he's the head honcho of digital media agency, VaynerMedia, and it's sister company, The Gallery. In short, Gary is a guy who knows his shit.

And because he knows his shit, Gary is regularly invited to speak at conferences, seminars and other events all around the world, sharing his wisdom. He's so in-demand that sometimes he needs to appear at certain events in hologram form, like at the first of the National Achievers Congresses in Sydney earlier this year. Here's what Hologram Gary Vaynerchuk told me about digital marketing success. 

Lesson #1: Seek attention, THEN work out how to keep it
Always be that dramatic sibling vying for attention. Back when Gary kicked-off his lemonade stand empire, he spent less time behind the counters and more time walking up and down the streets to watch the direction of cars to determine how best to capture eye contact of drivers. Be that person who moves from behind the camera/website/social channel/print ad, to where your audience is. See what they see. Determine the best way to catch their sight. 

Lesson #2: You've got to eat a few poison berries to get to the good parts
Be patient. Embrace failure and obstacles, and audit yourself regularly. Learn from challenges.

Lesson #3: Focus on what is big right now (said every fashion editor, ever)
Understand why things are popular. Smartphones are huge, because they are extensions of ourselves - our social schedules, our memories, our connection to the world. Maximise on the things that are big (mobile content FTW!)

Lesson #4: Content, not ad money, ultimately drives business
So what if you've put thousands of cash monies towards boosting posts and digital ads? At the end of the day, content is the thing that will keep your audience interested. It's not about the reach or impressions you make with content, but rather the impact: get people to go from considering your brand to actively preferring it. 

Tom Murray