July 24, 2008

First, stop crying... Gary Vaynerchuk is the zany broadcaster from WineLibraryTV and a successful discount wine retailer. Small Winery Marketer reports on one of his recent business presentations. His call to action should be heard by all small cafes and restaurants: "If you’re not using new media to promote and control your brand, you’re going out of business, but you don’t know it. Your margin is gone! Ghost!" His declaration that winemakers need to have a blog and update it daily, should be active on Facebook and MySpace, and should patrol other wine blogs contributing comments and “being part of the conversation” led some to wonder where all the time and energy was to come from. “First step, stop crying.” Vaynerchuk said. “Don’t be scared. It’s your business.” Taking risks, putting your self out there has virtually no downside, he said. “The people you think control the game are about to lose it anyway,” so you’re better off taking control of your message. He went on to say that being genuine and truthful made up for not being a great writer. He warned against thinking that daily observations from your vineyard or winery weren’t important enough to interest people. If you tell people about yourself and don’t preach or sell, they care, he said. “You need to go direct to the consumer,” he said. “if you don’t, you’re dead.” You either spend money, or time to promote your product. Five years ago, there were no free marketing options (blogging, Facebook etc) except talking face-to-face - spending was the only way to reach a crowd. Now, more and more consumers trust their fellow eaters on Yelp and Eatability before they trust the authority guidebooks. Participate or wither... Here's Gary - you may not love his style, but don't ignore his message!

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