When VaynerMedia was in its early days, our website was garbage.
In fact, it almost looked as if we were going out of business. And I know that. At that point in time, we didn’t need to showcase the work we were doing, or the clients we working on, or any accolades we could have shown off. We just needed to focus.
I barely talked about VaynerMedia for the first three years it existed. As someone who is always out there promoting, it must have been weird for people to go to our website and see nothing. But I was in a classic David and Goliath scenario, and I needed to make sure we won. I didn’t build up our website and I made sure our social presences spoke only to company culture, not to the work we were doing. Why? Because I was David. And when you’re David, you don’t play Goliath’s game. I needed to make sure that the bigger agencies didn’t know how big we were actually getting. That was my competitive play.
This can be an enormously helpful strategy to a company trying to achieve similar goals. You can put out great content, consistent media, but keep your business operations quiet. When I advise companies to make content that relates to their industry, it doesn’t have to about your business. Get it? You can lay low and play the mysterious side, while also establishing yourself as an authority, a place for people to convene on a topic.
There were definitely some challenges in approaching our website and online presence this way. I had my own personal brand, and people knew me as this “social media guy” or “the guy with the wine show”. To be honest, I had plenty of doubters who thought I was just going to snake my way into getting clients without have a substantial business to back it.
Guess they were wrong, huh?
Now that VaynerMedia is a bit bigger, I’m putting us out there more because we have the leverage. David working towards becoming Goliath.
The bottom line is this: the actions that you put out to the world need to replicate the mission you’ve set out to capitalize on. This isn’t a one-size-fits-all game. You need to understand what you’re looking to do, and then do whatever it takes to get it done.
The point here is that everything I do (and everything that you do) needs to have strategy behind it. The strategy for Vayner when we first started was for us was to stay low and be quiet; to focus on what we were doing internally, and focus on the energy that we needed to create to build an incredible business. So that’s what we did. Maybe that’s not exactly what you need to do. It all boils down to strategy and the mission at hand. That’s what you need to focus on.
What are you trying to accomplish? What image do you want to have for your business? Are you David, or Goliath?