Top 4 Thought Leadership Lessons From Observing Gary Vaynerchuk

He’s hailed as “the king of marketing,” and although this title mostly seems to be repeated by those who have never done marketing a day in their lives, it carries weight.

With Linkedin posts that get hundreds of thousands of reactions, and a gigantic media team that follows him everywhere, Gary Vaynerchuk makes wave after wave in the marketing space. So how does he do it?

Lie all the time

If you’re looking for those huge levels of engagement, you need to be lying at least 80–90% of the time. Don’t have time to check your social media comments? Doesn’t matter. Get up on stage and tell the audience that your social media followers mean the world to you, and that you often reply to them. No one’s gonna check.

It also doesn’t matter where your wealth came from. It’s yours —whether you’ve earned it or not — and thus you get to attribute it to your hard-working attitude. Speaking of which, tell people you work 120 hours a week. There’s no way to verify this, or anything for that matter. Just say whatever sounds cool. You got this.

Pretend empathy is why you’re a jerk

You can literally say whatever you want to somebody as long as you make a concerned face afterward and explain your comment as empathy.

Get off your ass, stop being lazy, stop being an idiot, and start making money. And I say this because I’ve been there, I know what it’s like, brother.

No one can counter this. You always come out on top. They just have to nod and say that they agree with you, even though you’ve offered 0 value, which brings us to the next strategy:

Offer no actual value

It doesn’t matter if Zig Ziglar and Tony Robbins already said everything cool already. No one remembers that shit! Say it again!

But here’s the real strategy:

“Aha” moments don’t just work upwards. As in, you don’t have to say something above someone’s level of understanding in order to elicit that “aha” reaction. It also works when you say something below their level of understanding and they have to connect the dots.

Them having to connect those dots, doing some reasoning to catch up with your train of thought, means that you are smarter than them no matter what.

Example: A true thought leader, if speaking about going up a flight of stairs, might share tips, takeaways, and insights gained from experience.

You, on the other hand, should dial back the complexity. “Going up stairs is cool, but you need to focus on the step that you’re on before you can progress to the next step.”

“Hmm,” your audience will say, and this is because of how smart you are.

Going up stairs is cool, but you need to focus on the step that you’re on before you can progress to the next step.

Be broad instead of deep

Depth is cool. Depth is helpful. Depth is what people are searching for, but ignore it for now.

Instead, focus on being loud, being present on every platform, and saying literally whatever is on your mind without putting any thought into it, or god forbid whether or not it’s helpful.

Think you need a book or even a blog post on a topic in order to be considered an expert? Think again. If you have an idea about psychology or quantum mechanics or marketing, just say it. Every reaction you get is a good reaction, because of how smart you are.

In summary

Take everything you know about marketing and turn it on its head. You don’t need to be an expert in order to have an audience. And you don’t need to treat your audience well or provide any value in order to seem like a thought leader.

Just be yourself — specifically the worst version of yourself. You’ll be fine.

Thanks to Ashley Jurius for the photo.

!!! This article is satire, obviously.




Writing briefly and unprofessionally about personal topics, mainly addiction.

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Jack Virag

Jack Virag

Writing briefly and unprofessionally about personal topics, mainly addiction.

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