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Book review: Crush It!: Why Now Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion

Crush It!: Why Now Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion Crush It!: Why Now Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion by Gary Vaynerchuk


My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Gary Vaynerchuck is widely considered a web celebrity and social media expert. He used social media and online video (WineLibrary TV) to gain incredible exposure and propel his wine business to unprecedented success. Gary's secret isn't social media, however; it's his passion. Social media is just the tool he uses to share his passion and connect with others. As he states in chapter 9, the best marketing strategy ever is simple: care.

The main premise is that life is too short to do work that you don't enjoy; you need to follow your passion. Thanks to modern social media, you can connect with others who share your passion, no matter how obscure it is. Participate in the community around the topic you're passionate about, and with time, your personal brand will be valuable enough to monetize and do what you love full time.

Of course, it's everyone's dream to follow their passion; to do the work that doesn't even seem like work because they love it so much. Sadly, only a small percentage of people are able to make a living that way. By following the advice and examples from the life of Gary and others in this book, I really believe it's possible to "cash in on your passion."

I read this book to learn how to build my personal brand and promote OptimWise with social media. I feel like I've gained a better understanding of the overall role of social media in branding and community-building. Gary also motivated me to keep up my efforts, warning that it takes a lot of time and hard work to see results.

Speaking of hard work, Gary states several times that he spends hours a day online, reading blogs, tweets, and forum posts, and responding to email. He believes it's necessary to put this much time into community participation, and says there's plenty of time for it if you stay up until 2 or 3 AM. This is one place Gary's being unrealistic; most people are not able to function on so little sleep, let alone have enough energy to "crush it".

I highly recommend this book to anyone ready to stop working for The Man and start creating their personal brand. Gary doesn't just wax poetic about social media or his life story; he provides practical tips to follow. Chapter 10 and the appendix contain checklists for building a personal brand, and they walk you through identifying your passion, creating your personal brand, creating online accounts, becoming part of the community, and monetizing.

A great summary of the book comes from the end:
"True success - financial , personal, and professional, lies above all in loving your family, working hard, and living your passion. In telling your story. In authenticity, hustle, and patience. In caring fiercely about the big and the small stuff. In valuing legacy over currency."


Notes

Branding
• You need to develop your personal brand, regardless of your job or industry.
• Use the Internet to build brand equity, not just to sell.
• Personal and professional brands are merging; don't try to maintain separate personalities. Be honest, trustworthy, and transparent. Think of personal branding as a friendly lunch interview where you share both the personal and professional parts of your life.
• Brand building is a marathon, not a sprint. It can takes months or years to see results; don't give up too quickly.

Content and community
• Embrace your DNA (your passion; what you were born to do) and create awesome content. People will find and follow you.
• Storytelling is the most underrated skill in business. People want to be told what's good and valuable, and that you can give them something not everyone can appreciate.
• Great content results from using the right medium (text, audio, video) and the right topic (what you're passionate about and expert in, told as a story).
• The best business question of all time: What can I do for you?
• Become a part of your topic's community by finding and participating in online conversations.

Websites and social media
• Your website should include call-to-action buttons to encourage people to connect with you, and share buttons to share your content with their friends.
• Treat your blog as your home, and use social media to lead people to it.
• Automatically post to multiple platforms using Ping.fm and TubeMogul.

Monetizing
• Don't monetize until your brand has attention and stickiness, and you have a community.
• Monetize with advertising, speaking, affiliate programs, retail, selling articles, and consulting.

View all my reviews >>

Comments

Eric said…
Hi, I am the Marketing Director at HeySpread.
Thanks for this good article.
That is true, Tubemogul is one service.

But you should really have a look at HeySpread for Professional Video Analytics and Video Distribution - http://bit.ly/5mD1CL. Far cheaper, with exclusive features such as YouClone (copy/paste your YouTube videos to any other platform automatically and in one shot), powerful and user-friendly interface, REST API for an easy and fast white label integration.

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Would you miss this blog if I discontinued it? Please leave a comment.