Brand Story, Episode 6

Zain Gaziani

Cultivating Social Community

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Episode Summary

Zain Gaziani’s career was going well, and then a single question changed his life – “Do you want to move to New York?”

He’d been following Gary Vaynerchuk (aka “GaryVee”) for a few years, and as a moderator of his Facebook community, he was able to attend a keynote Gary was giving. His goal was to get a selfie with GaryVee and thank him for the positive impact he’d had on his life. At the start of the keynote, Gary announced that there would be a Q&A and encouraged people to get in line to ask a question. Although he wasn’t sure what he’d say, Zain got in line and soon found himself at the mic.

He told Gary about the impact he’d had on his life and about the joy that being a moderator for his Facebook community brought him. And that’s when Gary asked him – “Do you want to move to New York?” Saying yes to GaryVee’s offer changed Zain’s life in an instant, and in this episode, he shares the lessons he’s learned in his career – from trusting your instincts to tips for social media and why you should never stop learning.

Episode Highlights

Find what makes you happy, then figure out how to go for it. Zain found that after a few years working in HR, he didn’t enjoy the work. After realizing how inspired and excited he felt when volunteering as a Facebook community moderator for Gary Vaynerchuk, he sought out a career that gave him that same exact feeling. He took advantage of an opportunity to meet Gary, and everything changed.

If you don’t know how to do something… Use YouTube, Reddit, and Google. Sometimes you’re assigned a new project that you may not know how to execute. Zain says that instead of getting stressed, meet the challenge with enthusiasm. When Gary Vaynerchuk announced a new NFT launch, Zain dove in and started learning. He could have responded in frustration, but instead, he went headfirst into learning more. He immersed himself in countless YouTube videos and information he found through Reddit and Google. In a short amount of time, he got up to speed, and now he manages a community of over 150,000 people in the VeeFriends Discord.

Just be yourself on social. Zain utilizes multiple platforms personally and professionally and recommends being your authentic self on each of them for the best results. People often behave too professionally on LinkedIn, but he advises to approach connecting with others on LinkedIn the same way you would in person – ask yourself how would you act to a new contact if you met them at a conference? Relax and let your true self shine through, and you’ll make stronger, more meaningful connections because of it.

Ask yourself: What’s the risk? What’s the reward? When faced with a tough decision, Zain recommends asking yourself what’s the risk versus the reward? Imagine the worst-case scenario – how would that affect your life? Then imagine the best-case scenario. If the potential reward is great, Zain says go for it. Otherwise, you may regret it.

Culture starts at the top. When you’re part of a fast-paced team, overcommunication is key – that way, people know what’s going on and may be able to help. Zain says that when mistakes happen, step back and look at the bigger picture.

It’s all about those you serve. While Zain loves the creation process for social media, his favorite part is reading and engaging with the commenters. Even if a post doesn’t perform as well, seeing that the content created may have helped someone gives Zain a sense of fulfillment.

There is good in social media. Many news reports harp on the negative side of social media, but Zain says that in his daily work he sees the positive side of social media. He often sees connections made online that become connections in real life, as people find others who share similar passions and build communities from them.

Organic content is king on LinkedIn. Zain advises sharing your original content on LinkedIn because it has a better organic reach than many other platforms. Start now, because social media algorithms change frequently, and now is the time to take advantage of it.

A photo tip: go vertical. Because most people view social media on their phones, Zain recommends designing your content to be mobile-friendly. Share images and graphics that are vertically oriented because it takes up more of the phone screen and could lead to higher engagement.

About Zain

Zain Gaziani

What he does

Zain Gaziani is Head of Community & Social Media for VeeFriends. He manages the online community for VeeFriends and is part of a team that produces a tremendous amount of original content each week.

Company

Gary Vaynerchuk/VaynerMedia

Words of Wisdom

“Not everybody is going to connect with you, but just be yourself, just be who you are.”

About Steve

Steve Gilman

As the President of Gravity Group, Steve is passionate about helping brands reach their goals through honest, creative marketing and powerful brand stories.

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