Building your audience with Gary Vee’s Jab Jab Hook Strategy

Chris Esh

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Building your audience and inspiring action via social media has never been more critical. As our audiences are all stuck at home, organizations and small businesses are realizing that a strong online presence is no longer a “one day maybe” sort of project. It needs to happen now.

But where to begin? One of my favorite examples is Gary Vaynerchuck’s Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook strategy. If you haven’t heard of him, Gary V. is a well-known (and very New Jersey) entrepreneur and social media guru.

What is the Jab Jab Jab Right Hook Strategy?

A jab is a quality piece of content that stimulates emotion. It can be positive or negative, humorous or sad, as long as it creates emotion. Jabs should be attention-grabbing and always high quality (otherwise people won’t notice or engage). And jabs should be thrown as often as possible. This is how you build your community and die-hard fans on social media.

A right hook is your value pitch, your call to action. It’s when you directly ask your audience to DO something. It could be buying a product, becoming a member, signing up for a conference, ordering your service, make a donation, etc.

The thesis of JJJRH is simple: throw a bunch of jabs that create goodwill with your community. They get free value, free entertainment and free content, and you build a community of loyal fans. Now that you have a community of loyal fans that have received a ton of value from you, you are entitled to throw a right hook. To ask for something in return for all the value you’ve given them.

What makes a good jab?

A good jab is an action or a piece of content that your audience resonates with. It’s that simple. We don’t have to box a jab in and say that it has to be funny (no pun intended). A jab can be sad. A jab can be happy. A jab is anything that invokes emotion.

But your jab can’t invoke emotion if it isn’t seen. A jab has to catch the attention of your community. And that starts with quality content.

If you are posting a picture on Instagram, that picture should be of high quality! If you are posting a tweet, it should be well formatted so that it’s easy to read.

Remember, people are scrolling through social media a mile a minute. They are not going to engage with your content if it isn’t high quality. A good thing to ask yourself before posting a piece of content is: would I engage with this if I had no vested interest? If the answer to that question is no, then you should not post it.

How many jabs should I throw before I throw a right hook?

So how many jabs do you need to throw before swinging a hard right hook?

According to Gary, you should only be throwing a right hook every 6 months or so. But that seems more relevant to his business. He releases a book once every year or so.

I see plenty of businesses on social media throwing well-timed right hooks multiple times a week. The only difference is that they are also constantly delivering jabs multiple times a day. If you’re only posting on social media once a day, you may want to space out your right hook to once every week or so. Use your own best judgment to determine the timing of your hooks, every business is different.

In my opinion, a well-timed hook does four things:

  1. It matches the tone of your jabs.
  2. It doesn’t seem like it’s coming out of nowhere.
  3. You don’t throw it too often that it becomes annoying or sales-y.
  4. There should be no hesitation. You don’t have to tread around the question. Be truthful and upfront about what your goal is. And just make the ask.

What if my right hook doesn’t convert?

If your right hook doesn’t result in sales, signups, donations, clients, etc. it’s not the end of the world. It can take a long time to dial in the right offer for your audience, but that comes down to understanding your audience.

This is where your jabs come in. Every jab is like a mini-experiment. Go back and reflect on if your jabs had the same tone as your right hook. Make sure once again that the right hook doesn’t come out of nowhere. And ask yourself if your jabs were providing the right information in order to drum up interest for your right hook.

For example, if I was selling coffee, some of my jabs might look like this:

  • High-quality picture of my morning coffee on Instagram
  • Blog article on the benefits of drinking coffee on an empty stomach while intermittent fasting.
  • Tweet thread about the dangers of coffee bean harvesting and why fair trade (which my company uses) is a more sustainable option.

Obviously those are really simple ideas, but when you’re constantly creating content, you’ll start getting a better idea of what your audience enjoys and what fails to drum up engagement. Soon you’ll develop a voice and a tone of speech that resonates well with your community. Simply implement that same tone during your right hook and continue to adjust accordingly. A high-quality right hook should look natural on your social media timeline, and it should almost be expected. After all, with such high-quality content, who wouldn’t want to support you?

Remember that this is a long term strategy and not a short term social media “hack.” It may take months or even years to see the fruits of your labor, but there’s something truly valuable about building a community on social media that welcomes your jabs AND your right hooks.


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