I recently read an interesting book by New York Times Bestselling author and social media expert Gary Vaynerchuk, titled ‘Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook’. Right from hearing the book’s title, I was quite intrigued as to what his message would be, and from what angle his entrepreneurial advice would be delivered.
The book didn’t disappoint, this is particularly remarkable considering that the book was published in 2013. Despite the fact that we’ve fast-forwarded 6 years ahead, and also the fact that the book is about social media (which is extremely fast-paced), I found that the book was spot on in its recommendations.
The principles founded in this book are timeless, and are essential for all marketers and small business owners who wish to have a successful career.
The title ‘Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook’ is a metaphor that stems from boxing. In boxing, a series of jabs are used to set up a solid right hook punch. Vaynerchuk compares this series of actions to the way marketers should consistently engage with their customers before trying to selling to them.
In the book, Vaynerchuk emphasizes how important developing this connection is, and how often it is ignored by companies who want to go straight to the right hook punch. Vaynerchuk puts it this way: “The right hook gets all the credit for the win, but it’s the ring movement and the series of well-planned jabs that come before it that set you up for success.”
What does this mean for entrepreneurial-minded creatives? There is no shortcut to success. You must build momentum and trust with your consumers. You must give, give, give – before you can ever start thinking of taking something or gaining any profits. It’s a proven, simple formula that must be followed, and it works when you devote the time to executing those consecutive jabs. Consumers are not stupid, and they can easily spot someone who is just trying to make money quickly without first offering anything of real value.
The way we market our products and services as changed over the years. In the beginning, brands would essentially have a one-way conversation through mediums such as television, print and outdoor marketing. Consumers accepted it, because it was all they knew. Today though, social media has completely shifted things, opening up a massive two-way conversation between consumers and brands. Marketers now have to put in more effort to warm consumers towards their offerings, and they have to spend a lot more time jabbing before landing their right hook.
When it comes to using social media to build engagement, small businesses can really have a lot of fun. Small business and fledgling entrepreneurs have a lot more freedom to experiment and express daring opinions compared to large corporations with censorious legal departments.
They can answer back in real-time and make decisions quickly; they are unrestricted in creating posts that reflect their unique sense of humour and humanity. Anyone one with a Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or Snapchat account can create a personal brand and powerful story that captures the attention of curious customers.
As Vaynerchuk brings out in his book, great storytelling is founded on emotion. A great story creates an emotion that motivates consumers to do what you want them to do. Getting people to hear your story on social media requires understanding the context and adapting your micro-content to the particular platform. You must know the ways your consumers are already using the platform, and how you can creatively join the conversations that are going on.
When it comes time to throw your right hook, you want to make sure that your call-to-action is properly placed. One of my favourite aspects of the book is that it shows you many examples of social media ads, highlighting what works and what doesn’t. Through these examples, a theme that’s consistently emphasised is that a call-to-action should be clear and simple. You don’t want to overload and confuse your customers with multiple call-to-actions. They won’t know what to do, so they won’t do anything. A clear and simple call to action gets results.
A great quote from the book is: ‘”Though your business’s micro-content will vary wildly every day, it must consistently answer the question, “Who are we?”’
Micro-content is different from other types of content like website articles or eBooks. Micro-content is what companies in our day and age use to forge a direction connection between their community and their brand. This micro-content comes in the form of educational or entertaining tidbits shared on various social media platforms.
As Vaynerchuk explains, micro-content comes together with community management to result in effective social media marketing. When brands pay attention to conversations and current events, and are able to cleverly tailor their message in a way that reflects their brand values, they will stand out. Though the micro-content varies from platform to platform, the implementation of a good marketing strategy will result in a consistent and clear brand image. It can be very powerful.
Overall Jab, Jab, Jab Right Hook is a super helpful book that can help entrepreneurs analyse their social media game and figure out what they can do to make it shine.
The book will make readers aware of any mistakes they might currently be making and how a few tweaks here and there can make a big difference.
It’s already motivated me to experiment more with my social media posts and find more creative ways to engage with consumers. Jab, Jab, Jab Right Hook is packed with actionable advice that remains evergreen. If this book is still new to you, why not pick it up here on Amazon and give it a read. It's a cool book that has many applications, even outside of business. The lesson is simple: do the work and demonstrate charisma before asking for what you want.
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