Gary Vaynerchuk in LA with “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook” book

Gary Vaynerchuk and Niklas Myhr
Gary Vaynerchuk and Niklas Myhr

Always energizing to meet dynamo Gary Vaynerchuk as he always brings it all to the table as he shares his insights on social media marketing, personal branding, and on entrepreneurship either by speaking or with his book. The latest and, according to him, the final installment in his trilogy is named “Jab, jab, jab, right hook” using boxing analogies to illustrate the importance of two kinds of social media postings. Jabs are those updates intended to help, connect, and flirt with customers “in a romancing way” as he calls it, while a “right hook” is when you are going for the close or the knockout punch with an unashamed plug for whatever it is that you would like people to buy whether it is a product, service, event, idea, etc. His first book “Crush it!” was predominantly focused on going for the close in a rather aggressive manner while his second “The Thank You Economy” was all about jabs and building and sustaining long-term relationships.

Gary Vaynerchuk speaks at Book Soup bookstore
Gary Vaynerchuk speaks at Book Soup bookstore

In “Jab, jab, jab, right hook,” Gary suggests that marketers on social media have overcompensated and become overly cautious and he challenges the mantra that you should only share and be helpful on social platforms. The art of “the ask” should not be forgotten and Gary means that there is nothing inherently wrong with asking people to buy what you have to offer but only if you have first developed a trusting relationship with the customer through a number of jabs. 

Gary Vaynerchuk speaks more at Book Soup bookstore
Gary Vaynerchuk speaks more at Book Soup bookstore

Gary Vaynerchuk shied away from a question in the bookstore on how many jabs you need before you are allowed to go for the right hook. It all depends on the company, the relationships you have, and the product you sell. For example, if you have a fantastic product, you can right hook much more than if you have a product that is inferior. 

The strength of the book is that it not only stays at the strategic level but that it also provides 86 detailed case studies of how real-life companies do things right or wrong when it comes to the right hooks. Gary has not made assessments about companies’ overall social performance but rather audits individual social media updates that he thinks clearly illustrates both good and bad practices when it comes to their effectiveness.

Gary Vaynerchuk excited seeing Calvin Lee a k a @mayhemstudios
Gary Vaynerchuk sees Calvin Lee (a k a @mayhemstudios)

Gary begins his critiques with Vayneresque quotes like “Oh my God, why did you even bother, Smirnoff?” but then he continues to explain what he would have done differently. One big pet peeve for him both in the book and in the way he runs Vayner Media is that content, or “micro-content” referring to individual posts, should be native to the platform on which it is posted. That is, the way you present an update differs in style, tone, and voice, depending on whether it is on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, etc, and the book shares some of the unique characteristics of each platform with the reader. For example, photos of poor quality or in the wrong size, or the use of language not suitable for the platform in question.

Gary Vaynerchuk gets David Myhr CD "Soundshine"
Gary Vaynerchuk gets David Myhr CD “Soundshine”

In conclusion, in the whirlwind pace that social media platforms and consumer behaviors are shifting if not on a weekly but at least on a montly basis, it takes sincere effort to stay current and what held up as good advice last year is often no longer sufficient as others continuously up their games. Given this, and the fact that Gary Vaynerchuk is passionate about staying current as evidenced by his talk and by his book, I strongly recommend you pick up a copy of “Jab, jab, jab, right hook” as your holiday reading :)

Soundshine by David Myhr
Soundshine by David Myhr (


  1. says

    Enjoyed the summary of your evening and observations about all 3 books. I think that sometimes a person can jab (give) so much that the right hook just comes back without ever trying. When that happens it’s magic :-)

  2. Lori Johnson says

    wasn’t sure if i wanted to get the book. after reading your review, it’s now on my “must read” list! thanks for the review!

  3. says

    Great review, Niklas! I really liked the “native platform” concept and I loved the color commentary.

    What’s interesting is a lot of the core of what Gary is talking about is basic human principles. eg. people reciprocate. It’s natural – you do something good for someone, they often want to return the favor.

    What’s fascinating is he did the exact same thing with wine. He took something complex and made it simple. His boxing analogy with social media couldn’t make it any more simple. Such jargon is the basis for describing how we should act on social media.

    Great stuff!

    • says

      Thanks for your comment and kind words, Matt, appreciate it! Yes, I agree that the principles are more universal way beyond social media and I am sure Gary would agree.

      The thing regarding the reciprocity that he brings up is that he is not so comfortable leaving it all to chance that people will reward you for being good but that you should earn your right to go for the sales pitch and when you do so, not have a reason to be shy about it by embedding your ask in a convoluted semi-helpful / semi-selling message where your ask simply may get lost.

      Simplicity yes! With wine, life, and everything, the KISS principle of “Keep it Simple S—-d” applies!

      • says

        I really liked that you affirmed the “ask”. Actually, you just blew my mind.

        I guess I knew that, but I never understood the power of the ask and how you should be rather upfront/own the ask when you do it. I’ve read his book and seen several video interviews with Gary and for some reason, this still didn’t click. Thanks for saying that! Definitely makes sense.

        • says

          Yes, I see it as a happy marriage between being “relentlessly helpful” and sometimes also making it abundantly clear and simple how others can help you back should they feel so inclined. The important thing to keep in mind, though, is that whenever in doubt, it is likely better to err on the side of generosity.

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