Sep 21, 2021
On August 27th, 2021 at 5pm EST (that’s 1pm my time in Cali), Gary Vaynerchuk went live on YouTube and Instagram (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FlcsdCsBR3U) to announce a 24-hour only opportunity to his millions of fans and followers...involving NFTs in exchange for book purchases.
By the following day, his new book Twelve and a Half: Leveraging the Emotional Ingredients Necessary for Business Success was the #1 bestselling book across all of Amazon around the world (while on presale). It sold so many that Barnes & Noble broke for a lot of us trying to buy.
As I record this in mid-September, the book is no longer #1 in all of Amazon, that’s how the rankings work -- they change almost hourly -- but there is a lot we authors can learn from what Gary did to write and promote his book.
But let me backup and define a few things for you…
Who is Gary Vee?
Gary Vaynerchuk is a Belarusian-American entrepreneur, author, speaker, and Internet personality. He is a co-founder of the restaurant reservation software company Resy and Empathy Wines. First known as a wine critic who expanded his family's wine business, Vaynerchuk is now more known for his work in digital marketing and social media as the chairman of New York-based communications company VaynerX, and as CEO of VaynerX subsidiary VaynerMedia.
NFT: Non-fungible token
You may have heard this term floated around a lot lately. It’s all the rage in the cryptosphere. Skeptics call it “buying jpegs. My in-laws call it a ponzi scheme.
But what it really is is a digital collectible tied to a smart contract that cannot be destroyed.
Who bought it first (called minting)?
Who sold it and when?
What price did the 3rd owner pay?
All this and more is recorded on the blockchain, which is a digital ledger of transactions recorded on multiple computers around the world so that no one person or entity can alter the records.
Oh, and non-fungible is just a confusing way of saying unique. If you trade 1 US dollar for another 1 US dollar, you have not changed anything. Dollars are fungible. If you trade 1 cryptopunk for 1 curiocard, you have very much changed things. These are non-fungible...they are unique.
It’s all a big deal. It’s the wave of the future, if you ask me.
If this is your first time hearing about it, I really think you should put in some hours to research and learn more.
It will (and already is) affecting everything we do in life. Don’t be an old fuddy duddy and say it’s all just a silly trend kids these days are into. It’s not.
To help, for this convo, to make what an NFT is more clear, let’s look at a few examples.
Are pieces of digital art of apes with different facial expressions, backgrounds, and accessories. The cheapest one as I record this is 33.5 ETH, or about $117,000.
There is no utility -- or ability to use the token -- that I am aware of. However, owners of BAYC tokens get ‘airdropped’ (aka rewarded with) additional tokens that also have value because they are in demand by the market.
The leading conference on the topic of NFTs is held each year in New York City, and, as we would expect, the ticket to get in is an NFT. Using NFTs as tickets into an event in real life is an easy example to wrap our heads around potential ‘utility’ of a token.
Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, recently said on a podcast interview that tickets to all games would soon be tokenized.
Gary Vee jumped into the NFT space in May as well. His project is called VeeFriends and it comes with access to his new VeeCon conference in 2022, 2023, and 2024, which gives it real utility. Some tokens also have direct access to him in groups or in one-on-one sessions like courtside Nicks games.
But where the big promise from
Gary lies is in the I.P. of the characters. He plans to turn the
drawings for the tokens into the next “disney.”
Imagine if you owned the original drawing of Mickey Mouse...think that would be worth something today?
So, back to our story about Gary selling over 1 million books in 24 hours.
Starting in early 2021, Gary told his followers to buy up ETH when it was about $1400 to $1800. Then, for months before launch, Gary educated his audience on NFTs, the blockchain, what wallets like MetaMask were and how to set them up to be ready to buy NFTs, and more.
Then Gary launched his VeeFriends in May of 2021. For the majority of the 10,255 tokens that he sold, you could buy them for 0.5 to 3 ETH (that’s about $1750 to $10,500 in today’s value with ETH around $3500).
As I record this 4 months later, the cheapest VeeFriend is 18ETH (or about $63,000).
That’s a 36x return...and Gary swears he’s just getting started…
Flash forward to the book offer.
Gary went live on a Friday afternoon in the summer to say that for ever 12 books someone purchased in the following 24 hours, she or he would receive 1 surprise NFT after the books ship in November.
The exact details are unknown.
However, after seeing what he did with VeeFriends in just 4 months, true fans jumped at the chance to buy up lots of books and be eligible for multiple surprises in November.
Hence, selling over 1 million copies in 24 hours.
I personally don’t have as big an audience as Gary. Likely you listening don’t either.
So maybe selling 1 million books in 24 hours is something unattainable for us right now.
Nevertheless, we can employ his tactics to a scale that works for us.
...Gary created a Discord (like a giant chat room) where he shared these special tips and info completely for free, but only with true fans who took the time to join it
...Gary went out of his way to make sure true fans got first crack at his NFT drop (before whales with big bank accounts could swoop in and buy everything up)
...And he’s been working to make VF grow in value already
...Gary doesn’t just promote and ghost, he stays actively involved...this builds that know, like, and trust factor
...Gary has been building rapport and trust for yearrrsssss...he didn’t just emerge out of nowhere and expect people to trust him.
...You have to have patience and build.
...Gary is jumping on the wave of crypto and NFTs early.
How can we make our books themselves NFTs?
Could someone buy our book as an
NFT and be able to sell it later?
Could you offer “gold ticket” NFTs with special access to you...say a yearly coffee meeting or bowling trip?
There is so much to be learned by watching Gary and following in his footsteps when it comes to books, business, and NFTs.
If you want to learn and see more, I’m attaching links to all that I mentioned in here about Gary’s incredible book frenzy.
And if you're wondering...I will
have a crap ton of books in my garage come
When Gary speaks, I believe.
When you speak, I hope your audience believes too.
Share with me your thoughts on
this episode or any probek you are working on! I’m at LaptopLaura
on the socials. Or shoot me an email at Laura@CopyThatPops.com!
Also, I’ll be speaking at ShePodcasts Live next month in Scottsdale, Arizona!
My talk is
How to Easily Turn Your Podcast Into a Bestselling Book [And Truly Position Yourself As a Leader]
Hope to see you there, if you
are a fellow podcaster! :)
In the meantime, keep finding ways to write copy that pops!