Crushing It!: How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence—and How You Can, Too
Four-time New York Times bestselling author Gary Vaynerchuk offers new lessons and inspiration drawn from the experiences of dozens of influencers and entrepreneurs who rejected the predictable corporate path in favor of pursuing their dreams by building thriving businesses and extraordinary personal brands.
In his 2009 international bestseller Crush It, Gary insisted that a vibrant personal brand was crucial to entrepreneurial success, In Crushing It!, Gary explains why that’s even more true today, offering his unique perspective on what has changed and what principles remain timeless. He also shares stories from other entrepreneurs who have grown wealthier—and not just financially—than they ever imagined possible by following Crush It principles. The secret to their success (and Gary’s) has everything to do with their understanding of the social media platforms, and their willingness to do whatever it took to make these tools work to their utmost potential. That’s what Crushing It! teaches readers to do.
In this lively, practical, and inspiring book, Gary dissects every current major social media platform so that anyone, from a plumber to a professional ice skater, will know exactly how to amplify his or her personal brand on each. He offers both theoretical and tactical advice on how to become the biggest thing on old standbys like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat; podcast platforms like Spotify, Soundcloud, iHeartRadio, and iTunes; and other emerging platforms such as Musical.ly. For those with more experience, Crushing It! illuminates some little-known nuances and provides innovative tips and clever tweaks proven to enhance more common tried-and-true strategies.
Crushing It! is a state-of-the-art guide to building your own path to professional and financial success, but it’s not about getting rich. It’s a blueprint to living life on your own terms.
This books is about how technology has leveled the playing field for publishers of content by removing industry gatekeepers. Social media gives business owners and entrepreneurs vast unprecedented opportunity to connect with their customers at scale. No matter what it is you do, you can use social media to your advantage to build your personal brand.
- Social media is a game changer that has exploded. Anyone can now broadcast to a mass audience.
- In 2018, 1.25 billion hours of YouTube videos are watched every day. 66,000 Instagram posts are made every minute. And 20% of all mobile usage on average is being spent on Facebook.
- An instagram influencer can earn $5000 per year while only having 1,000 followers, and making 2 posts per week.
- Gary Vaynerchuk gained his popularity and success when he transformed his $3 million wine store business into a $60 million business. He did this by creating a brutally honest, wine tasting vlog on YouTube, targeted directly at his customer base. He personally responded to every single question and comment from his audience on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. In total over 1,000 episodes of “Wine Library TV” were made.
- Gary was using social media to sell his product, but you don’t need to have a product in order to monetize your personal brand. You can start tagging brands in your posts, and once you get upwards of 10,000 followers, you can start charging $100 or more per post to companies to promote their product. Such was the case with Brittany Xavier’s Instagram blog. She just wanted to showcase of her family life at first. After she eventually started getting $100 per post from brands, she made the leap to $1000 per instagram post combined with a blog to a Jewellery store. She now travels the world and runs this lifestyle business full time.
- Social Media doesn’t have to be a full time gig, but can be used to make some money on the side. Louie Blaka was an artist who would occasionally sell his painting for $200. He followed Gary’s social media example and started hosting wine and paint classes which frequently had an attendance of up to 100 people. He is now able to approach $30,000 in sales on his art on the side. This became a solid boost to his income as a full time teacher.
- Be real with your audience. People will be able to tell if you are not true to yourself on social media.
- Be passionate, because that’s what will keep you going when it gets tough.
- Be patient. It takes time, a lot of time, to build something new from scratch.
- Be hardworking. You may need to drop watching TV and random YouTube videos, and instead spending 2 hours or more at a time engaging with people on Twitter and Instagram, every single day.
- Pay attention. You need to constantly monitor which direction the world is moving in, experiment with new platforms and start using the promising ones as soon as you can.
- Have the right intent. True entrepreneurs are not in it just for the money. They are into helping people, creating real value, and giving people value by teaching them or giving them great service. It feels good to be altruistic and is the only strategy sustainable in the long run.
- Document the process instead of trying to create perfect content. Rich Roll was an overweight 39 year old lawyer who decided to pursue a more healthy lifestyle. He became an endurance athlete, training for the Ultraman World Championships. His successful series of five-minute YouTube videos landed him a CNN interview, which led to a book deal. He continued podcasting, blogging and YouTubing. He is one of the worlds top influencers today.
- Rich Roll documented his climb while he was still vulnerable, and people really enjoy seeing the struggles and the vulnerability. He was the unique content, and it didn’t take any overly unique recipe to create the content he was making.
- Gary has a full time videographer and personal brand crew that film every minute of his professional career, aside from confidential client engagements.
- Snapchat is a platform where sharing your unpolished reality is the norm.
- DJ Khaled once got lost on his jet ski in the dark in 2015. He documented his whole experience, in trying to find his way home. This led to a rapid increase in popularity on his already popular snapchat account. DJ Khaled was always authentic, and it contributed to his success on Snapchat.
- Snapchat often makes Instagram look fake, because of how visually polished Instagram can be. Snapchat can be used to show a little weakness, or casual situations.
- Snapchat has no discoverability or hashtags. Because of this, your content sometimes has to offer extra insight for people to find it valuable. For example, you can annotate your picture with explanations on why you are doing whatever you are. You can be witty, entertaining or informative.
- Snapchat is not a place where it’s easy to make a lot of sales, but it’s a place to be truly human and show your real personality.
- Twitter is the water cooler of our society. It’s a place where you can get directly involved in a discussion on any topic, and get noticed doing so.
- It’s perfectly normal to post 50 tweets per day, as opposed to Instagram.
- Retweeting is a mechanism that raises awareness exponentially IF your content is worthy of attention. You may make a video targeted at a celebrity or famous figure in the space, and it may have to get retweeted a hundred times, until they and everyone else finally notice it.
- If you want to make the most on Twitter, first check which topics are trending. Use these trending hashtags to tweet a comment or a post about that topic. Write a blog about the topic. Then find large influencers on this topic and reply to their posts. Then ask them if they would like to check out your blog on the subject.
- Don’t expect quick results on Twitter. It may take a week of intense, every-day twitter activity to get a retweet from a journalist. Retweets from people with followers will give your follower count a boost. It may take you upwards of a year of every-day twitter effort to get to a significant milestone, such as a radio interview, a job offer or a request for a guest appearance.
- YouTube has no barrier to entry, but it gets watched more than prime-time television by young adults. But most people will be afraid of getting onto YouTube because they think they’re boring or they are not enough of an expert on any subject. But remember, you just have to document your journey, and be sincere and passionate.
- For example, you could review Whisky malts on YouTube and brand it as: “Learning Whisky with Bob”.
- YouTube has an audience for every single niche, no matter how narrow or how boring at first glance. Believe it or not, there are videos about garage sales on YouTube that have over 400,000 views.
- You don’t have anything to lose when it comes to YouTube. The worst that will happen is nobody will watch your videos. You can try to adjust them, or decide that you are no good at it. In order to cut through the noise, your content has to be truly great.
- Dan Markham and his son made a YouTube video of cutting in half a baseball to see what’s inside, for a school project. A while later, he realized that people were actually watching his video. They made some more videos, and now they have amassed over 550 million views, making them one of YouTube’s top partners. They have worked with the likes of Nike and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
- Facebook is still the most important social media channel with two billion monthly active users. Facebook’s main strength is its versatility. You can produce long-form, short-form Video, Blogs, Photo Galleries, or single photos. This is combined with an incredible ability to target ultra-specific combinations of niche and demographic combinations. So, for a $10, you can get your niche product or content seen by tens of thousands of people who match your exact targeting criteria.
- Facebook live is hard to pull off, because it’s hard to film high quality live video, but it can be a great engagement tool to communicate with your followers and get their reactions in real time. This is an innovative feature from Facebook that’s particularly good at engaging with your audience to answer their questions in real time or give a unique, fresh and real feel to your content.
- Instagram has a good mix of polished and unpolished content between it’s wall posts and stories. Stories only last for a day and are often used to show some “behind the scenes” personality. Because the content disappears in 24 hours, there is less pressure on the content you produce, knowing that it will not be immortalized for all time. Instagram’s balance is what makes it thrive as a social media platform.
- Here’s a recipe on how to succeed on instagram as a local business. First set up a crisp page full of beautiful and high quality visual content of your store or products. Research and use all the right hashtags, which include your town and city. Start taking pictures of attractive customers wearing your product, with their permission. Then find local influencers in your geographic area by their hashtags, and offer them 30% discounts in your store, inviting them to visit. This is done using one-on-one direct messages. Do this 50–100 times, and 10 people who show up will post on their own instagram and use your hashtags, to raise awareness of your business. This snowballs, giving you room to expand into other forms of social media and product offerings.
- Spoken word media, such as Podcast are the future of social media. The reason it’s so advantageous is it does not require undivided attention to consume. Start small, by interviewing lesser known people in your niche, and gradually increase your podcast listenership and the caliber of guests you interview. The Podcast market is getting more crowded but it doesn’t hurt to gauge the supply and demand of podcast content within your niche, and give it a try.
- Amazon’s Alexa Skills are the best new opportunity for audio content creation. You can make a voice activated “flash briefing” 1-minute long daily message that people can listen to in the morning while getting ready to go out. You can make a one-minute informational update in any niche right now. This area will be crowded in 5 years, but is currently a great opportunity.
- You need to figure out how to give value to people, and sometimes you have to get creative about that. Your product or service can be used as leverage to get publicity from influencers, help from average people, or lasting collaborations from other content creators.
“Gary is a masterful entrepreneur with a gift for communication that cuts through all the bullshit that can often hinder one’s success. We share the same simplistic business philosophy which is why we’ve become good friends: Be willing to put in the hard work. And always be grateful. Crushing It! is a must-have for all individuals who want to be the best at what they do.” (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson)
“The name GaryVee has become synonymous with motivating an entire generation. No one understands the power of social media better than Gary, because none of what he preaches is theory—it’s an understanding born from his deep experience in business and in life.” (Casey Neistat)
“Gary is helping to calibrate the desires and expectations of a new generation searching for a way to break through the noise. He’s loud, he’s high energy—and he’s exactly right.” (John Mayer)
Vaynerchuk identifies the most important components that contribute to successful online marketing in a personable, lively way. Going beyond simple “how-to” guides for the various platforms, he gets at the heart of what it takes to succeed in a competitive environment. Recommended for anyone looking to get started online or increase their media currency. (Laurel Tacoma, Fairfax Cty. P.L., VA)
From the Back Cover
#1 New York Times Bestseller
“You’re going to hear the stories of people who were scared, just like you. Who had obligations, just like you. Who were told they were being foolish, or reckless, or irresponsible, or immature. They did it anyway and reaped the rewards. If there’s anything this book should teach you, it’s that the only thing stopping you from achieving lasting career and life happiness is you.”
In his 2009 international bestseller, Crush It!, Gary Vaynerchuk insisted that a vibrant personal brand was crucial to entrepreneurial success. In Crushing It!, Gary explains why that’s even more true today, offering his unique perspective on what has changed and what remains timeless. He also shares stories from other entrepreneurs who have grown wealthier—and not just financially—than they ever imagined possible by following Crush It! principles. The secret to their success (and Gary’s) has everything to do with their understanding of social media platforms and their willingness to do whatever it takes to make these tools work to their utmost potential. That’s what Crushing It! teaches readers to do.
In this lively, practical, and inspiring book, Gary dissects every current major social media platform so that anyone from plumbers to park rangers will know exactly which platforms to use as their pillar content. He offers both theoretical and tactical advice on how to become the biggest thing on old standbys such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram; younger upstarts such as Musical.ly;
audiocentric platforms such as Spotify, SoundCloud, iHeartRadio, and iTunes; and newcomer Alexa Skills. For those with more experience, Crushing It! illuminates some little-known nuances and provides innovative tips and clever tweaks proven to enhance more common, tried-and-true strategies.
Crushing It! is a state-of-the-art guide to building your own path to professional and financial success, but it’s not about getting rich. It’s a blueprint for living life on your own terms.
Originally published: 30 January 2018
Genre: Self-help book