Special Guest: Andy Krainak

The Bosses are always talking about the importance of branding and marketing and using your personal brand to its fullest. So, we wanted to talk to a trend-setting expert on the subject. We’re excited to welcome special guest Andy Krainak – brand manager for VaynerMedia. (Yup, as in Gary Vaynerchuk’s right-hand man!) He’s sweet, humble and offers some killer branding advice to our listeners.



Takeaways

Quick Concepts from Today’s Episode

  1. Today we interview Andy Krainak Marketing Director for Gary Vaynerchuk.

  2. Andy started with VaynerMedia as an intern for the book Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook.

  3. His career with Gary Vee began with a tweet.

  4. He’s now part of a 35 member brand-team and has promoted two additional books including Crushing It.

  5. Andy tells us how he got started with Gary and what he did to get his attention and

  6. Andy’s moms’ reaction to the whole thing is classic.

  7. Andy talks about the progression of social media over the last six years.

  8. He stresses the importance of community management and talking to customers.

  9. Andy talks about the various social media platforms and how to choose the right ones for your business.

  10. Which platform best lends itself to your skill sets and who is the audience it best reaches.

  11. Andy talks a lot about Key Performance Indicators or KPI of social media.

  12. Testing is the key to finding the right platform.

  13. Andy is a big fan of Instagram but is also quick to point out that it’s over-valued.

  14. We also discuss predictions for the future of social media and how influencers will become the mainstream celebrities of tomorrow.

  15. Content is king but quantity can bread quality.

  16. Andy tells us about new platforms like Tic Tok and how voiceover actors can maximize their social media engagement.


Referenced in this Episode

Direct links to things we brought up ++


Andy’s Twitter shows his social media skills
Andy is also active on instagram
Check out Gary Vaynerchuk’s Website
One of Anne’s favorite books from Gary is Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook
Another favorite is Crushing It!
The Bosses get their kicks with K-Swiss.
Check out these kicks in BOSS blue!
Recorded on ipDTL

Transcript

>> Today’s voiceover talent is more than just a pretty voice.

>> Pretty voice.

>> Pretty voice.

>> Pretty voice.

>> Today’s voiceover talent has to be a BOSS.

>> BOSS.

>> A BOSS.

>> A BOSS.

>> Join us each week for business owner strategies and success with your hosts Anne Ganguzza and Gabrielle Nistico, along with some of the strongest voices in our industry.

>> Rock your business.

>> Rock your business.

>> Rock your business.

>> Like a BOSS.

>> Like a BOSS.

>> Rock your business like a BOSS.

>> Rock your business like a BOSS.

>> A VO BOSS.

>> A VO BOSS.

>> A VO BOSS.

Anne: Hey everyone, welcome to the VO BOSS podcast. I’m your host Anne Ganguzza along with my VO BOSS bestie, Gabby Nistico. Hey Gabby.

Gabby: Hello.

Anne: Gabby. [laughs]

Gabby: [laughs]

Anne: I am so pumped.

Gabby: I know.

Anne: Super pumped –

Gabby: Me too.

Anne: – for today and honored to have such a special guest with us. He is the brand director for marketing and media mogul Gary Vaynerchuk and Vayner media. He started back in 2013 as an intern for Gary to promote his book, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, which of course I own, and I know you do.

Gabby: As do I.

[both laugh]

Anne: He entered into this starting with a tweet which I’m so excited to hear that story. [laughs] He’s then grown a 35-member brand team to include software developers, videographers, engineers, analysts, branding community managers, and have promoted two additional books, Ask Gary Vee and Crushing It – of course I have that as well – and three K-Swiss sneaker brands. Woo-hoo.

Gabby: Wow.

Anne: Welcome to the show Andy Krainak.

Andy: Thank you so much. Thank you for that wonderful introduction. I’m excited to be on the show with you guys. This is awesome.

Anne: I would love to hear the journey of how you got involved with Gary, with the tweet, because I think that’s a boss move in itself. [laughs]

Andy: Of course. Yes. So I first learned Gary Vee or Gary Vaynerchuk through Wine Library TV at – I was at Virginia Tech, and I took a wine course. And at that wine course, I had to watch his Wine Library TV videos as part of the curriculum. We had to take quizzes on how Gary described Chardonnays. At the time I wasn’t into wine that much, and I wasn’t a Jets fan so I didn’t think much of Gary’s wine room. 

[Anne and Gabby laugh]

Andy: Then after I graduated, I started developing more and more of an interest for pursuing my own business and marketing, and then I rediscovered Gary. I just randomly followed him on Twitter, and the things that he was saying really, really resonated with me. You know, I don’t think that there were many people in 2010 and 2011 talking about the impact social media was going to have on businesses and brands at the time. So I was trying to pursue my own entrepreneurial pursuits. I decided I would be better off trying to learn from someone who had been in the game, been doing it themselves, and I saw one day Gary tweet, “what can I do for you?” And I looked at that tweet, and I saw someone had said “Gary, I’m hungry.” And then he asked what his address was, and then a couple of minutes later this guy had responded with a photo of a cheeseburger arriving at his apartment door.

Anne: Wow. [laughs]

Andy: So I was like this guy is really responding to people. This is a good opportunity to take him at-bat. So I responded to his tweet of “what can I do for you,” “a chance to work for free.” Lo and behold, within 30 seconds, I got a response back –

Gabby: Wow.

Andy: – that said expand? And I said, “oh shit I got to – 

Anne: [laughs]

Andy: I was like “I’m just looking for a project that I can prove myself. I’m hungry and I want to learn.” He responded back “email me. Gary@vaynermedia.com.” I said “all right, Andy. You have to write the best email of your life and you have to write it really, really quickly.”

Gabby: Wow.

Anne: [laughs]

Andy: So that’s what I did. I sent the email. It’s funny, my mom came home that day after I had decided that I wasn’t going to pursue the business that I was trying to develop. She was on me to apply for some more jobs, and she was asking, “Andy, how’s the job hunt going?” I was like “oh Mom, I’m good. Gary responded to my tweet. Gary Vee responded to my tweet.” She’s like, “child, what’re you talking about?” 

[Anne and Gabby laugh]

Anne: Yeah, that would be me.

Andy: After the first week, I didn’t get a response back, and I figured that was it. I was like, ok, I guess my email didn’t hit home, but then three months later, literally at midnight, my phone dinged, and there was an email from Gary Vaynerchuk, and he had responded to my email. And it said “how little are you willing to work for, where do you want to live?” And I’m fortunate enough to have an amazing older brother who lived in New York City at the time. So I knew that he would accept me with open arms to go sleep and crash on his couch. So I immediately just responded, “I’ll work for free and I want to live in New York City.” He responded right then and CC’ed his assistant and said, “Nate, there’s something about this kid. Maybe he can intern for the book.” And the book at the time was Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook. So Nate called me the next day, and we had a two-minute conversation, and then he said “well, why don’t you come up to New York in a week?” And the rest is sort of history.

Anne: Wow.

Gabby: I just adore how many stories of entrepreneurial success start with, “so I was sleeping on somebody else’s couch, and.” 

Anne: [laughs] Wow, and so then you started interning and then obviously did an amazing job[laughs] because then you progressed to [laughs] – 

Andy: Yes.

Anne: – brand director.

Andy: It is fun looking back at it. You know? I mean, I’ve worked for Gary six years now. And it has gone by so fast. And the rate of change that has just developed in my industry is unbelievable. When I started working for Gary, Facebook didn’t have ads. Facebook didn’t have videos. Instagram was barely popular. I spent most of my time my first five months, we had created a book Twitter handle called @jabjabjabrighthook, and so I was the community manager for that. Anyone that was tweeting at Gary, I would jump in on the conversations and introduce myself as Gary’s new book. So if Anne tweeted at Gary and was like “hey, Gary. Saw your podcast the other day, I loved it,” I would respond like “hey Anne, it’s Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, Gary’s newest book. Have you heard of me, winky face?” People loved it. People were like “oh my God, Gary, you’re genius. Your book has a Twitter handle?” But it was really good. It gave me a really good sense of what community management is, what it’s like to just interact with customers, and try and build contacts and Gary’s whole philosophy of “jab, jab, jab, right hook.” In that instance I’d give the winky face because it’s more playful. I was never always asking, “hey, buy this book.” You’re just navigating trying to bring awareness to the book. So yeah, that book was a success, and then from there on, I was put into the machine of Vayner media, if you will, for six months, working for several clients that we had as an entry-level community manager. And then Gary decided to bring me back on his team full-time to try and be the head of just growth and overall audience develop for him, while we had just hired his newest videographer.

Anne: Yes, he has been with Gary for quite some time too.

Andy: He started maybe six months after me.

Anne: You were like on all of the platforms. [laughs] All the platforms. There’s so many –

Andy: Yes.

Anne: – for entrepreneurs and getting out your personal brand statement. How do you choose what platforms? 

Andy: Yeah, I think it’s the perfect marriage of what first feels the most natural and comfortable to you to use. Which ones are you actually going to be opening up every day and creating and posting content for and sharing your story, matched with which one is actually going to deliver the value or business KPI or objective that you’re trying to achieve by spending your time on that platform. Now you can be on every platform, because I would argue that a lot of these platforms can bring you awareness or business results depending on what you’re trying to achieve. We can all rank and prioritize them accordingly based on what skill sets lends itself – which platform best lends itself to your skill sets, and then which platform has the audience that you’re most trying to reach.

Gabby: Anne and I were talking about this before we got on the line with you. You know, for voice actors, it can be really difficult sometimes to try to just get a handle on KPI and where we belong and what those key performance indicators are. I mean, what do you recommend for somebody who’s kind of in that, in a very, you know, niche industry, very specifics skill set and trying to figure out where do they belong? 

Andy: It’s a test. The one thing I’ve really learned from Gary, and you’ll learn through him by being close to him as a proxy, is just how fast he moves. You know, the value of you all deciding, ok, I’m going to try TikTok. I’m going to try posting five, 10, 15 times a day on LinkedIn. I’m going to try posting three or four times a day on Instagram. I’m going to try doing a weekly podcast, you know, all of those things, you could do in one day’s time and get a feel for the value that it brought you and the difficulty it was to do that. Testing and learning and then just trying to create feedback loops for how successful that’s going.

Anne: Do you have any personal favorite platforms that you use, or is it all dependent on I guess the brand and the message? 

Andy: Yeah, personally it’s Instagram. I love Instagram. But I think it’s overvalued in general, Instagram is. I think there’s a lot of people that should be spending a lot more time on LinkedIn, or Facebook, or Twitter, or TikTok. But they value the branding or the objective nature of trying to have more fol