I recently got round to picking up a copy of Crush It! by Gary Vaynerchuk after it was recommended by numerous people such as Pat Flynn on his Smart Passive Income Podcast and several of the guys on the Entreprogrammers Podcast. Given it had been mentioned so many times I just had to check out what this book was about.
Gary Vaynerchuk is a larger life character and certainly from my perspective one of the unlikeliest candidates for a Wine Connoisseur, he shoots from the hip and takes no prisoners. What Gary is preaching throughout this book is that success is not something reserved for those with wads of cash or just those with the marketing and advertising clout. With the power of social media at our fingertips the world is our oyster. All we need to be armed and primed, is a laptop, social media, a gem of an idea and enough passion to fill a small stadium.
There are plenty of people Crushing it, so to speak, on the internet and winning with their ideas and their brand. This book explains how people are doing that and making a living (and a good one) from doing something they absolutely love. This book strongly resonates with a lot of the core principles I've learned about getting yourself and your brand out there. It's pretty clear Gary knows what he's talking about. He has successfully built million dollar businesses from very small if any internet presence.
Choose your channel
Gary recommends you choose a social media channel that works for you and works for your content. For example, if your subject topic is dry and difficult to convey in an interesting way in a particular medium of choice then use a different medium. Basically, choose the right medium for your content. If you're particularly camera shy but you feel you have a great “Radio voice” you could choose to put your ideas out there using podcasts and screencast form only.
Alternatively, you could transform that boring uninteresting content so that it can be re-purposed and used on any medium of your choosing.
A lot of people argue the Be Everywhere strategy is key to building a strong brand. It stands to reason, if people can find you in multiple formats, blog, podcast and video it almost seems to add more credibility to your brand and your message. This I find is certainly true.
In addition, by seeing and hearing someone it gives you more of a connection with them and makes you feel like you know them as a person. It also improves your sense of trust in their message. If people like you as a person they'll be very trusting in your message.
When we're conveying our message we want to appear sincere. Endorsing products we don't totally believe in or behaving in ways that appear inconsistent or at odds with our character are sure fire ways to ensure people turn off.
Always make sure you are true to yourself and always be honest with your audience.
If you recommend a product do it because you believe in that product. Be balanced though, some products aren't great for various reasons so make those reasons clear for your readers.
Always Consider the Value
The most important point of the entire book. Always ask the question of what value you think you're providing. You want to be known as the guy in that niche - make sure everything you say is adding some value somewhere and people will see the value in following you.
When you come up with an idea of a new product what problem are you trying to solve. Many people come from the perspective of doing something because they are good at it - but if there's noone hankering for the answers you won't get very far.
Although this is a great book in explaining how Gary built the empire he did and showing you some of the techniques for how you can do it yourself, it is slightly lacking in some areas and it wasn't quite the book I expected to read when I picked it up.
Not all of us are fortunate enough to be in a position where we can leave the jobs we hate for the passions we love tomorrow. I won't lie to you, to produce an income that matches (and exceeds) your current salary is going to be insanely hard. In this area Gary pulls no punches. If you aren't prepared to put in the effort, put down the book and get on with your life.
I felt it would have been an improvement had Gary explained a bit more how you can transition from a full-time job into your ideal job. Vaynerchuk was lucky enough that he worked for his parents in an area he loved and built an online business out of us. For most, we're a slave to our circumstances and some of this advice will come a lot harder to us than it will to Gary.
However, there's still a lot to pick up from it. After putting the book down on the last page consider your butt well and truly kicked.
Just Crush It!
Action is always better than planning so what are you waiting for? Stop planning to take action and coming up with grand schemes and JUST DO IT. People always claim they have that million-dollar idea but the fact of the matter is it's 1% idea and 99% execution. Without the execution your idea amounts to nothing.
Here's a great TED Talk by Shia La Beouf. Thought it was pretty applicable to this review
So what's stopping you from ”Crushing It“?
Interested in reading Crush It! ? Purchase a copy on Amazon