(This post is written by Viralogy Founder Yu-kai Chou. To find out more about him, visit Chou’s Power Coaching Blog)
Tim Ferriss and Gary Vaynerchuk have opposite Celebrity Styles
If you have been on the internet for awhile, chances are you’ve heard of Tim Ferriss, author of the best selling 4-Hour-Work-Week, and Gary Vaynerchuk, founder of Wine Library TV.
Even though they are both pretty famous online, they have radically different celebrity styles in terms of engaging and dealing with their fans.
Gary Vaynerchuk is known for his authentic, passionate and caring style, while Tim Ferriss is idolized by many for his demonstration of Lifestyle Design and making his own life as efficient as possible.
While I think there is nothing wrong with either one of their styles, I believe that Gary Vaynerchuk has the edge in terms of being respected on the internet.
Tim Ferriss’ book and ideas are incredible and I highly encourage all of you to get familiar with it, but I believe that people mostly care about how Tim Ferriss’ ideas can make their own lives better, while Garyvee fans really care about him as a person.
Tim Ferriss vs Gary Vaynerchuk – Hotshot & Coach
One big difference between Tim Ferriss and Gary Vaynerchuk is that Tim acts like a hotshot, while Gary behaves like a coach.
It is well known that Gary Vaynerchuk will respond to you if you email him. Sure, his responses aren’t too long, but he demonstrates the mindset that since an individual took the time to type out something to him, he should respect that by putting in some time of his own too.
He also always helps his fans by teaching them how to monetize their passions. Here is one of his classic videos that demonstrates his style of helping people pursue their passions. In this way, Gary acts as a coach that tries to take care of everyone on the team and push them forward.
Tim Ferriss, on the other hand, acts like a Hotshot of a company or team. His style is more like “Look at the great results I am producing. You should try to be like me!” He would always tell you how he used the shortest time to accomplish the greatest things and how you can do it too. Yes, that link looks very appealing. That’s why he is so successful.
With his cool and cold personality, a lot of people idolize him and really do want to be like him, but when it comes to engaging him as a fan, he makes it very clear that he outsources his emails, he’s not going to follow many people on Twitter, and he would only respond to money making or prestigious opportunities.
Tim Ferriss’ “be like me, but don’t bother me” style is definitely radically different than that of Gary Vaynerchuk’s “it’s about caring and engaging your market!”
Tim Ferriss vs Gary Vaynerchuk – Craft & Authenticity
Gary Vaynerchuk is well known for how authentic he is. He doesn’t like to edit out things in videos, he publicly criticizes what he thinks is wrong on the internet while giving credit for good efforts, and he always puts his personality out there whenever he can.
This is a classic example of it. Gary makes a comment about ESPN’s layout, and a “watcher” writes to him and tells him to “STFU” and calls him a “used douche bag.”
Being a respected celebrity on the internet, most people would delete this comment, ignore it, or address it with a very “crafted” message saying, “Thank you for pointing these things out. Either way, my points are still valid. And there is no need for you to be so rude.”
However, Gary REPOSTS this message as a new blog post so more people can pay attention to it, and responds with this:
“JAMES IS 1000000% right, I am super wrong, I didn’t know that this was a one day play and I feel awful, I just wish it was more obvious so I didn’t jump the gun, but like James said I am in the wrong for jumping the gun, Sorry Man!”
That’s Gary Vaynerchuk for ya.
On the other hand, Tim Ferriss is always about looking as successful as possible and crafting out a slick image. Sometimes when his blogposts are not as successful as he thought in terms of people caring and commenting, he would take it down. He wants everyone to only see his impressive results.
For the longest time, Tim also declared that he will follow 0 people on Twitter while having 5 digits worth of followers. He made it clear that Twitter was not a tool for him to listen to people, but something that allows his fans to stalk him better.
That way he really looks like a super-idol. After-all, it doesn’t look as “celebrity” when you are following 60% of the people that are following you.
Also, Tim Ferriss’ book says you could live a four-hour-work-week. But when people look at his life, they question how he seems to work way more than 4 hours a week. In fact, for that very book he has been hustling a lot, making friends with bloggers (and their family members) and writing all day when he says he hates writing.
He then defines “work” by saying it is “something you do for financial reasons or you would prefer to do less”. So supposedly the book does not apply to people who work 90 hours a week on a job they love doing. The whole concept is that is is much cooler to tell people “I only work 4 hours a week” so that everyone wants to be like you, instead of literally live a lifestyle where you only do four hours of work a week. His original book title “Drug Dealing for Fun and Profit” also stays true to that style of making things sound/look easy.
I can’t say which style is better in terms of being authentic or crafted. However, it appears that Penelope Trunk hates Tim Ferriss partially because of Tim’s style. Although it is also true that Penelope Trunk can write a long blog post about how she hates anyone. I would like to see her write a post about Gary Vaynerchuk actually.
Tim Ferriss vs Gary Vaynerchuk – Fast Rise & Solid Advancement
How Gary Vaynerchuk and Tim Ferriss gain their popularity is actually a very interesting thing to explore too. Even though Tim Ferriss has been trying out numerous things in a few different countries, his rise to popularity was relatively fast considering his one book became an instant hit and brought him onto the celebrity scene.
Gary Vaynerchuk took a different route. He started Wine Library TV as the first video show about wine on the internet, and for a long time there weren’t a lot of people watching (I mean, I still don’t get how people watch a show just about wine daily. I’m just a Gary fan, not a wine fanatic). You can see his modest first show here.
However, even though it started off slowly, Gary persistently did it for a few years, and very slowly people started recognizing him and invited him to make keynote speeches about pursuing one’s passion and social media. That’s how he gained his status today.
This key difference is not very surprising, because Tim Ferriss’ always teaches about how to use the easy shortcuts to accomplish great things. He tries something, lets it go, tries something, lets it go, until something goes big.
And that’s actually smart for entrepreneurs. You want to throw as many things on the wall as possible and see which one sticks. As you can see, Tim Ferriss’ teaching is definitely very appealing for people who have no patience in slowly progressing in this fast moving world. AKA Everyone.
Gary does it another way. Gary says, “Do what you are passionate about. Keep doing it. Do it better than everyone else on the internet. And then money and success will follow.”
So in that sense, it is natural to want to be like Tim Ferriss, but it is easier to respect Gary Vaynerchuk.
Gary Vaynerchuk vs Tim Ferriss – Consistent vs Double Standard
OK, this is mean to say, but I want to point this out because it is very important in looking at Celebrity Styles.
Based on things I addressed above, Gary Vaynerchuk is very consistent with how he treats people. He obviously enjoys large opportunities, but he tries to care about and listen to everyone. More importantly, he works hard to hold the same standard for himself than everyone else. That’s why he can apologize when he says something wrong. That’s why he reciprocates time spent when people contact him. That’s why he is Gary Vaynerchuk.
Tim Ferriss on the other hand, takes the celebrity stance of “I am famous so I play under different rules.” The respectable thing about him, is that he admits to that from the start. He pretty much says, “Yea, I am an asshole, and I choose to be one to make my life more convenient and efficient. But I have a lot to offer so people can follow me if they want.”
I actually really respect that compared to posers who try to tell people they care about everyone, but all they want is to secretly make their lives more convenient.
A lot of people would publicly say “Yea, I can help you with this and I can help you with that!”, but when it really comes down to helping, they pretty much ignore you. Tim Ferriss just says, “unless you have something valuable to offer, I will ignore you.” I respect that. The fact that I can write this post owes that to him.
However, besides the fact that he thinks having oversea workers schedule 20 dates for him close to his house in 3 days (note: this is outsourced date-scheduling, not outsourced dating as he claims) is not being inconsiderate of his dates’ time, there are times when he is plain out double-standard.
In one of his articles, Tim Ferriss talks about how you can get anyone, including the CEO of Google or the US President on the phone (note how all these links are very attractive to click on). His method is pretty much to stay consistent, be bold, don’t give up, and sooner or later they will see your eagerness and drive and give you a chance. In the post it says, “You won’t believe what you can accomplish by attempting the impossible with the courage to repeatedly fail better.”
Good tips. However, in another post about How to outsource your inbox and never check email again, he teaches about how to get oversea workers to managed all your emails. He claimed that the key to making this successful is to have a very clear manual for the workers so they know how to behave with various situations. Again, good tips.
The double-standard part comes in here. In his “rules”, Tim tells his assistants that he would only respond to income or prestigious opportunities like from Harvard or top people in various industries. He then says that if people are declined and persist, the assistant should then “archive future requests” followed by saying “Some people don’t know when persistent turns into plain irritating.”
That’s clearly a double standard. You can contact people as much as you want and never give up, but when others do that to you, you should tell your assistant to archive it because they have no sense.
However, again, most celebrities are forced to have such double standards, and I give him props on being so open with it.
Tim Ferriss vs Gary Vaynerchuk – Who’s more popular on the internet?
So with these drastically different styles, who is more popular on the internet and has more influential power?
As part of the Viralogy method, I used stats like Linkbacks, Compete Traffic (they should install our Viralogy script to get more accurate results), Comments per post, Followers on Twitter, and Retweets to get some insight on who is more influential and popular online.
I added those stats for Gary’s personal website as well as his Wine Library TV. Even though Tim somewhat has a personal site, it has almost no traffic so I mostly just considered his four-hour-work-week site.
The results were interesting. The Compete Traffic for both of them were almost identical, with Gary Vaynerchuk having 218,000 combined visitors last month and Tim Ferriss having 212,000. Not a big difference, considering Compete.com is not always accurate.
Both of their sites has tons of comments too. Tim Ferriss has approximately 150 comments per blog post. Even though Garyvanerchuk.com only has about 30 comments on average on his personal site, his Wine Library TV has gathered up to 190 comments on average. Overall, it looks like Gary’s crowd is slightly more engaging. It’s still not a big difference in terms of how popular they are though since it may just be the topic or niche.
When I looked at Link backs, I was slightly surprised. I really thought Tim Ferriss would win on this end because I hear people point to his articles all the time. However, a quick search reveals that Gary has 6940 linkbacks to his sites, while Tim has only 3240, less than half of what Gary has. There seems to be more people wanting to link to Gary than Tim.
Other than their websites, the most telling factor relating to social influence is Twitter followers. Tim Ferriss has an amazing Twitter Ratio of 230 followers for every person he is following. 41,000 people follow him, while he just follows 178 of the people he likes. Props to you if you happen to be one of the 178 reading this!
On the other hand, Gary Vaynerchuk’s Twitter Ratio is “only” 49 followers for every person he follows. With that said, he really brings home the crown with 410,000 followers, 10 times more than Tim Ferriss.
With all that factored together, Gary Varynerchuk’s “V Score” is a lot higher than Tim Ferriss’, making him the more influential person in Social Media in our books.
It seems apparent that more people are fans of Gary Vaynerchuk and wants to follow him as a respectable celebrity figure, whereas people like and want to learn Tim Ferriss’ tactics, but in comparison don’t care about him as a person as much.
Tim Ferriss vs Gary Vaynerchuk – Who do you like better?
Tim Ferriss or Gary Vaynerchuk. Who do you like better, and why? I look forward to the 41,000 Tim Ferriss fans to bash me in the comments. Maybe that’s another good way to tell who has more supporters.