I listen to the audiobook of Crush It every year. Is it the greatest book ever? Probably not, but it’s very good for what it is. Crush It is a guidebook to building a personal social media presence online, told from the perspective of the author, Gary Vaynerchuk.
Vaynerchuk is fascinating. He was born in the former Soviet Union and at the age of three Gary and his family were allowed to leave under an arrangement where the U.S provided wheat if the Soviets would allow a small population of Russian Jews to immigrate to the United States.
Once they arrived, Gary’s father started working for his uncle’s shop, Shopper’s Discount Liquors, which according to Gary “looked exactly like you would imagine a store called Shoppers Discount Liquors would look.”
A few decades later, Gary’s father owns the liquor store, which has now been renamed to Wine Library, and Gary is in charge. Back in the days before YouTube was the primary place to post an online video, Gary starts a web series where he reviews wines using his own colorful comparisons.
“I can really taste the Big League Chew on this one.”
“Are you getting the sweaty sock on this one?”
Even though you probably haven’t heard of Wine Library TV, it was the start of something big for Gary Vaynerchuk. Fast forward to 2019 and Gary is the biggest name in social media marketing.
His main piece of advice for utilizing online presence? Be yourself online, and do it often, because everyone can spot a fake.
Crush It is all about finding the thing you are passionate about and talking about it online. By becoming associated with a topic and building the trust of people who get more familiar with you over time, you can become the go-to voice in the space of your choosing.
While content drives online media consumption, the conversation around that content becomes content itself. Don’t believe me? How many times have you tuned in before the Super Bowl to watch four guys talk about the Super Bowl that hasn’t happen yet? Or better yet, how many times have you turned on the cable news channel of your choice, even after you know everything there is to know about what happened, just to find yourself mesmerized by four talking heads doing the same thing as the Super Bowl guys, but for politics?
With enough time and consistency, anyone can develop an online brand using the social media tools we all have at our disposal. Do you like knitting? Start a podcast talking about all the different techniques that interest you. Do you have a subject that you can’t stop talking about? Why not shoot a video with your thoughts and post it to YouTube?
Do you want to help people build their freelance business? Start writing blog posts with all the things you know that can help the little guy get ahead. Or, you could do what I did and just start writing about business books for the heck of it until you’re ready to bite the bullet and start doing that.
For me, this book is a good guidebook for what I’ve been trying to do for years. I’ll admit, I haven’t done a fantastic job building an online presence. My social media habits have online directly garnered me less than $1,000, but every time I start a new project I learn something new that helps. Maybe I’m not a member of the internet’s favorite a cappella cover band, maybe I’m not a successful family vlogger, but every time I dive into a new online project I learn a little bit more.
For now, I’m a guy who’s finishing his MBA in preparation for taking the CPA later this year who happens to squeeze out a couple quick blog posts every week in between side hustles. I’ve also been told I have a very amusing Instagram Story habit.
If you’re interested in building an online presence, Gary Vaynerchuk has written several other books, including a sequel to Crush It called Crushing It which profiles people who applied the concepts of Crush It over the last ten years. #AskGaryVee is a catch-all book detailing Gary Vaynerchuk’s responses to years of viewer questions from his web show of the same name. If you’re looking for a straightforward guide to social media, you might try The Art of Social Media by Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzgerald.
Crush It is the tenth book I’ve read in 2019. If you’ve got any suggestions for other books, I would love to hear them since I’ve decided to read 100 books again this year. If you want to see this year’s list so far, just check out revengemethod.com
Keep it real.
Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion
Crush It! 2.0: The Audiobook: Read by Gary Vaynerchuk, this audiobook version contains additional material not found in the best-selling hardcover edition.
Do you have a hobby you wish you could indulge in all day? An obsession that keeps you up at night? Now is the perfect time to take that passion and make a living doing what you love. In Crush It! Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion, Gary Vaynerchuk shows you how to use the power of the Internet to turn your real interests into real businesses. Gary spent years building his family business from a local wine shop into a national industry leader. Then one day he turned on a video camera, and by using the secrets revealed here, transformed his entire life and earning potential by building his personal brand.
By the end of this book, listeners will have learned how to harness the power of the Internet to make their entrepreneurial dreams come true. Step by step, Crush It! is the ultimate driver’s manual for modern business.