VaynerMentors is our way of helping small-medium businesses (between $3M – $25M) accelerate to their next stage of growth. Kind of like McKinsey or Bain, but without the millions of dollars in fees.
It goes way beyond Facebook and Instagram tactics — we dissect your entire business from the ground up, and help you shortcut your way to explosive growth.
In this case study, our team interviewed Amanda Martin, CEO of Lindsey’s Suite Deals Furniture— a retail furniture company that used creative branding strategies to grow their business after VaynerMentors.
For some more context, check out this consultation we had with them where I get tactical on how to build brand:
This case study is super exciting for me because Amanda was also the first female CEO we worked with! Hope you enjoy 😉
What were your expectations when you started the program?
I thought it would be very much about social media. I’ve been following Gary’s content for a while and I know that’s a really big part of it, especially Facebook and Instagram advertising.
We also read online that there would be a “deep dive”, so we thought we’d be talking about the day to day in our business, and what sort of issues we could fix.
It ended up being so much more than that.
What surprised you about the program?
What surprised me is how hands-on you guys are.
The team is always there and always accessible whenever I need anything. When reached out to Mark (SVP at VaynerMedia), Sid (Brand Manager for Gary Vaynerchuk), or Sabir (SVP of eCommerce at VaynerMedia), I got the feeling that they actually cared about my business. They cared about helping me.
Even outside of business, I feel like we’re all friends. That’s something I really appreciate.
Another thing that surprised me is the level of depth we went into when it comes to branding and separating ourselves from other businesses. We talked about very “experiential” things to do in the store to set us apart from other people – things like building a cafe, hosting events, etc.
We talked about using the in-store experience to create a unique brand, and that’s something I’d never thought of before.
When you started the program, what kind of problems were you seeing in your business?
We didn’t have a proper marketing or sales system in place.
We had an advertising campaign going, but it was very traditional. We were doing a lot of direct mail, commercials on local TV, and radio ads.
The biggest issue we had was reaching people in our town. People were calling and asking basic questions like what our hours were, and where we were located. It was confusing to me. I was thinking “we’re on TV all day! We’ve been on radio a ton of times! How do they not know who we are?”
Our challenge was that we weren’t reaching as many people we thought we were reaching. We didn’t have the visibility that we thought we were having.
Our marketing and sales was very “old school”, and I knew we had to catch up with the times.
What was the most impactful part of your VaynerMentors experience?
Honestly, it was our initial kickoff meeting where the team asked us so many great questions about our business.
When you’re running a business day in and day out, it becomes second nature. It’s easy to get “complacent” and not question the way you’re doing things. But you realize where the holes are when you explain it to someone who has no idea what your business model is. It makes you ask yourself, “why the hell have I been doing this for this long?”
For example, one of the key things we talked about was keeping consistent images and messaging across all our marketing materials to make it easier for customers to remember who we are.
Another really impactful part of the experience was learning about branding strategies we could use to separate ourselves, and how we can align our own values with the company.
For example, I always thought that we had to stay open 7 days a week to get as many sales and as many customers in the door as possible. Now, I realize that staying closed on Sunday for family time will really resonate with other customers who also believe in taking time for family. I’m thinking more along the lines of “how can I align our values with others?”
VaynerMentors also helped us run an incredibly profitable campaign for our “July 4th” sale.
We gave your team a $2500 budget for a Facebook ad campaign. Our goal was to hit $6000 in sales.
Instead… we ended up making $115,000+ in that one week! So many people came into the store after seeing the Ad, saying that they’d never heard of us before.
// Note from Sid (Brand Manager for Gary Vaynerchuk):
This is the winning Ad we ran for the July 4th campaign:
A few reasons why this worked:
Image of the store: A big value proposition was that customers would get to visit a store that had a giant variety of options.
Targeting people who lived locally: We geo-targeted people within a 15 mile radius interested in similar stores but were not following Lindsey’s on Facebook. Most of them hadn’t heard of the store before.
Clear attribution: We attributed in-store visits to the Ad by asking customers to ask for a special gift that we only mentioned to those who clicked through on the Ad.
Were there any quantifiable effects of your brand on your business (i.e. sales)?
For September 2018, our sales are up 23% vs September 2017.
More importantly, business has been a lot more consistent. The steadiness of customers coming into our store on a daily basis is way better than before VaynerMentors.
In terms of reach, comments, and engagements on social, we’re probably seeing a 100x improvement from before from the brand building strategies we’ve been implementing. For example, normally in November we’d do a blowout sale for our anniversary. We might free food to get people in the door, but that’s it.
Now, we’re going to help fund hurricane relief (for Hurricane Michael that hit our local area in October 2018). We’re still selling, but we’re raising money to give back. A portion of our sales is going out to help people.
This “mindset shift” is making a big difference in how we think about promotions.
In your view, what kind of business is a good fit for the VaynerMentors experience?
Honestly, anyone. Anyone who has the will to succeed and the desire to step outside of their comfort zone.
I don’t think there’s a company that this wouldn’t be a good fit for.
How VaynerMentors Can Help…
At VaynerMedia, we’ve worked incredibly hard to become world-class in areas like influencer marketing, e-commerce, emerging technology, IoT, and voice.
Normally, we take those skills to and work with big brands like PepsiCo, Mondelez, or Chase.
But eventually, we got so many requests for help from SMBs that we decided to add a new service to help them.
We genuinely believe that we could add a ton of value for businesses in the $3M – $25M range that are looking to unlock real, meaningful growth and scale.
Here’s what will happen if you get accepted to VaynerMentors:
We’ll start by dissecting your business, understanding your strengths, weaknesses, and business model. From there we’ll do a complete topline audit of your business model, organization, product, distribution, sales, marketing, advertising, paid media, creative, and operations to analyze every imaginable unlock to help you scale and grow.
We’ll put together a step-by-step growth plan specifically for you, and help you execute.
You’ll get access to our rolodex of fortune 500 companies, brands, and executives to help you scale. And you’ll have subject matter experts from our team accessible at all times.
This isn’t just about Facebook and Instagram advertising.
There’s been tremendous interest since we announced — so much that we stopped accepting new clients for 4 months. There were literally zero openings.
But now, we’re opening up applications for new clients.
Check out this page to learn more.