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"I went from 14K on IG to over 20K in about eight days. That’s 6K in one week. And the momentum is still going because I’m finally getting consistent."
Last Friday, current no-gi world champion Kendall Reusing got some highly coveted time with social media savant Gary Vaynerchuk. During their 15-minute discussion, Gary gave important insights on how jiu-jitsu athletes can grow their following. In a sport that desperately needs more attention, Gary Vee has a lot to offer. Shoutout to Kendall for putting together this incredible breakdown with one of the best marketing experts in the game today.
The Full 15 Minute Conversation with Gary Vee (Start at 34:23)
Kendall's 3 Main Take-Aways From Her Call With Gary Vee
We reached out to Kendall to recap what she learned from her talk with Garry; here were her three main takeaways;
1: Comparison is the thief of joy.
"I am not less than because I experience different results than someone else."
"While comparing (anything - content, jiu-jitsu skills/accomplishments, financial success) can be 'smart' to study others and get inspiration/good ideas, it should NOT be used to put ourselves down or emphasize our fear and insecurity. Someone else’s success does not take away from my own. If anything, it can inspire and lift me up if I let it. There is plenty of success to be had for everyone. Our world is abundant. I am not less than because I experience different results than someone else."
2: Embrace Your Uniqueness
"Marketing our uniqueness is far more powerful than marketing something that looks and sounds like the perfect package."
"I was considering changing all of my handles to 'Kendall Marie' because I thought it made me more marketable. In fact, Kendall Reusing is more marketable because my last name doubles as Re-Using (like reusable - lol). It’s easy to remember, easy to spell, funny, and can be used in conjunction with a lot of other brands. Gary said it would be awesome and hilarious to be sponsored by Good Will and Salvation Army, for example. He compared this to any other thing we see as our downfall or scarlet letter (disability, scar on your face, weird birthmark, etc.). Marketing our uniqueness is far more powerful than marketing something that looks and sounds like the perfect package."
3: Content Content Content
"You can’t complain about not getting eyeballs when you’re not putting yourself in front of peoples’ eyes."
"Don’t worry if your TikTok gets three likes, because it’s only a matter of time until your 32nd post blows up to 1.2 million views and then you’re off to the races. But we let the fear of looking stupid, unpopular, and 'uncool' get in the way of putting ourselves out there. Twitter, TikTok, FB, IG, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Periscope, Twitch… and more. Take one great piece of content that packs VALUE, AUTHENTICITY, AND HONESTY (whether it entertainment/humor, self-help, jiu-jitsu, whatever), and turn that one piece into 30 pieces that can be distributed across all platforms. Go to Twitter and search 'jiu-jitsu' and respond to all of those tweets. You can’t complain about not getting eyeballs when you’re not putting yourself in front of peoples’ eyes. Most of us haven’t done shit that REALLY matters to the world yet, so we can’t be so entitled to think that we 'deserve' some amount of attention. You have to go get it. And it is a 'job' for a reason. It’s hard work - just like anything else that brings great rewards."
What can Jiu-Jitsu Athletes Learn from Gary Vee’s Model Of Marketing?
"The only way to build a reputable brand is to be valuable to your audience consistently over a long period of time."
"Of course, in the combat world, there are outliers like Gordon Ryan, Conor McGregor, and Henry Cejudo who get very big very fast due to their dominance in the sport, use of 'loud' social media, and ability to build attention and suspense around fights and events. But that isn’t the norm. And even with those outliers, there is typically at least 10-20 years of preparation that has gone on behind the scenes.
"Even for them, the attention (and, in return, sponsorship deals and lots of $$$$) didn’t just magically show up. They earned it - one way or another, because they bring $$$$ value BACK TO THE COMPANY.
"DO be consistent. Post 30 pieces of content per day. Every single day. On all platforms. This could look like: 2 on IG feed, 8 on IG stories, 2 on TikTok, 15 Tweets, 1 Post LinkedIn, 3 posts on FB, you get the point. And these can all be generally related or chopped up from ONE PIECE OF CONTENT."
"DO be consistent. Post 30 pieces of content per day. Every single day. On all platforms."
"Again, if you are not doing everything you can to get in front of peoples’ eyes on their screen and bring them value, then you don’t deserve their time and attention. And it may take a LONG TIME. GaryVee has built a multimillion-dollar empire and has 8 Million followers on IG, and fifteen years ago he ran his parents liquor store and no one cared about him at all.
"It didn’t matter how smart he was because no one knew him. Don’t let the entitlement of, “Oh, but I won a World Championship” or “Oh, but I beat so and so” or “Oh, but I am attractive and funny AND good at Jiu-Jitsu” get in the way of realizing that building a big following is actually a lot of WORK."
"The more engagement, the more $$$$ sponsors want to pay you because you will bring more value back to THEM."
"My following isn’t huge by any means, but I barely started *actually* trying to grow my platform by following Gary’s advice like… 2 weeks ago (after listening to his content for the last few years). I went from 14k on IG to over 20k in about 8 days. That’s 6k in one week. And the momentum is still going because I’m finally getting consistent.
This is one of my main goals - especially in the department of women’s health, body image, etc. and, like GaryVee told me, it is 100% going to happen for me with consistency and patience. Don’t rush your empire and then give up because you didn’t get it in 18 months."
FTW 142: Kendall Reusing vs Gabi Garcia
Kendall will have the ultimate chance to step into the spotlight at FTW 142 which she will take on ADCC champion, Gabi Garcia. Kendall Reusing takes on Gabi Garcia May 29th in Dallas Texas. Be sure to tune in live on flograppling.com.