Gary Vaynerchuk discusses social media and passion


By Kaycee Toller

What does a 33-year-old wine expert, entrepreneur and social media celebrity value the most?

Believe it or not, it’s not the seven figure income he’s getting from his book deal with HarperStudio or the millions in revenue that his wine business generates.

Gary Vaynerchuk values doing something he’s passionate about more than any amount of money.

Vaynerchuk spoke today in the Alkek teaching theater to about 400 Texas State students and faculty members.

His presentation, Making a Name for Yourself With Social Media, focused on how social media can be used as a tool for people to create a career that they are passionate about.

Vaynerchuk said that the Internet offers a powerful but underestimated form of mass communication.

“It has allowed everyone in this room a platform at zero cost,” said Vaynerchuk, who pointed out that his business generates more revenue from his Twitter posts than from traditional advertising.

Vaynerchuk said that Twitter is the greatest word-of-mouth tool at this time.

He currently has over 850,000 followers on the site.

He attributes his success not only to his use of social networking sites, but to hard work and doing something he’s passionate about.

“You need to do what you like,” said Vaynerchuk.

Adjunct lecturer John Zmikly agreed with Vaynerchuk’s message.

“It’s all about passion and doing what you love to do,” said Zmikly. “ There’s no reason to be in a job that you hate.”

David Nolan, a senior lecturer at Texas State, said that students should take Vaynerchuk’s advice about being passionate in their careers.

“I ask my students what they love to do and I tell them to find their own way to go do it,” Nolan said.

Vaynerchuk’s way of doing what he loves includes a heavy use of social media, including Twitter, Facebook and his video blog, Wine Library T.V.

Vaynerchuk ignores criticism by those who do not approve of social media as a marketing tool, and sees his use of these technologies as a competitive advantage.

Cindy Royal, an assistant professor at Texas State, uses Vaynerchuk’s success as an example in her classes of how students can use social networking as a self-marketing tool.

“I talk about Gary in all of my classes,” said Royal. “His passion is contagious, and that was obvious today when you saw everyone’s reactions around the room.”

Royal said that Vaynerchuk’s informal attitude has gained attention for his business and himself worldwide.

“He really is a heavy weight in the social media space,” said Royal.

After the presentation, students crowded around Vaynerchuk for autographs and handshakes.

Vaynerchuk is a living example of his advice to students to use hard work and technological resources to create a career out of something they love.

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