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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion (Hardcover) » User review

The Basics of "Personal Branding" through Social Media

  • Dec 6, 2009
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I first learned of Gary by accident, around June of 2008. I was chatting with cute girls via my myspace account (yes I have a bad reputation lol), when I saw an interesting looking “friend” avatar on one of the girl’s pages. It was of a chap called Alejandro Reyes, from SuccessFool.com. He teaches about marketing and Social Media through his website. I thought his Success Fool concept was pretty savvy, and read a little of what he had to say. Impressed, I found myself sending him an email after watching a great video where he featured Gary Vaynerchuck. I was very impressed at the quick, and personal reply I received from Alejandro. He believes in, and practices the types of things that Gary talks about in his book.. and guess what, it works!

Since that time I’ve watched many of Gary’s videos, and heard many speakers discuss him at Social Media events, not to mention the references elsewhere online. It seems to be a general consensus that Gary induces strong emotions in people, who either love him or hate him. Personally, I think he’s genuine and inspiring. I’ve seen him speak in person, and chatted with him briefly. He works hard, speaks with passion, conviction, and comes across as genuine in the way he presents himself. In addition though he has a warmth and caring for people. I saw this first hand.

Okay.. this is NOT a review about Gary.. it’s a review of his book, right? Yes, and no, since this book IS his personality. As stated in the prior review this is not a technical how to guide, although it does point you to all the tools, and websites that Gary has used, and continues to use to promote and build a roughly $60 million a year business.

I don’t think that Gary intended to create a technical “how to.” I think he intended to spread the word that in the world of new media everyone has a chance to succeed, with easy access to build their brand. To network.. to create community, and to interact and care for new and existing customers. He does this in an honest way. It is an unprecedented time in modern history where the media gatekeepers are not in control anymore. Many people already know this, but my experience with small, medium, and local businesses (the SMB market) is that people (read business owners) have absolutely no clue about the power of leveraging self branding through such tools. They are stuck in a mindset of advertising in the yellow pages. They think that a website is effective when a friend’s son botches something together for them.

I have provided Social Media coaching, and online services for many local businesses, during down time from my engineering work, and other projects. This has given me some real insight into how such business owners operate. I have also met many successful internet marketers, who quit their day jobs, and now make money online. I had the opportunity to meet these individuals through my journey of developing my own online information business. Internet marketers though are “typically” not building a business for the long term. They often over hype product releases to generate short term gains, from information products with very short product life cycles. It is often, but not always, a sleazy business. In “Crush It” Gary promotes the exact opposite of such practices.

Who will benefit the most? Anyone who is interested in learning about developing genuine connections with others online will benefit. Those who already have a business where they either sell products or services online. Those with a bricks & mortar store will definitely be better prepared for increasing sales, and improving customer loyalty after reading this book. However, if you are seeking a get rich quick scheme, then realize anyone of substance will never promote such a thing.

If I were to categorize Crush It, then I would have to say it floats somewhere between; biography, self help, business, and a beginners technical guide. Few people who read even the best self help books achieve great success. This is due to the myriad of distractions, and influences in human behaviour, and not due to anything lacking from the content.

In no particular order, here are my favorite parts of the book:

1) The honesty in how Gary drives home the point that to be successful here requires HARD WORK, and passion. This is honest because most self help books are high on the motivation and lacking on the reality of what it takes. The only exception being “Body for Life,” by Bill Phillips, where he compares reaching your fitness goal to ‘crossing the abyss.’

Why the passion? Ah, yes the overused meme that if you follow your passion you be successful. Again, Gary is being honest. In the words of Steve Jobs:  Building a successful business is difficult. It’s really hard, and if you’re not completely passionate about it you won’t succeed, because you will just quit. If you’re sane you will quit, because you are normal, and who wants to put up with all those difficulties in building a business. The passion allows you to push through those difficulties, and provides the intrinsic motivation to keep going.

2) Learning about Gary’s background, family history, and his own motivations.

3) The simple, yet effective principles of doing good business, and building interest for that online.

It’s a very quick read, written in down to earth language. Gary himself says he’s not a writer, he’s a talker. In that vein he dictated the entire book. Obviously, I’m a supporter of Gary’s work, and I have have only written in favor of the book’s good points. I’m not rating this a 5 star though, only for the fact that for more seasoned business types it may prove too elementary.
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More Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time... reviews
review by . November 17, 2009
 I seem to have read a spate of books like this recently: a 2 page concept crammed into 142 pages. Beyond the extensive biography of the author and his enthusiasm for social media, the basic concept is a technological rehash of "do what you love" and doesn't really go much beyond that.       To say it's light on the 'how' is like calling a drowning victim 'wet'. If you're looking for a guide to using social media to improve your business or brand, instead …
review by . March 09, 2010
Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion by Gary Vaynerchuk is one of those books I see coming up repeatedly on blogs I follow and with people I follow on Twitter. So, in order to find out why this book is so popular, I got a copy from our local library and gave it a quick read. And at only 142 pages, it *is* a quick read. But what Vaynerchuk has to say can, if taken to heart and practiced, make a significant difference in your life, career, and passion.    Content:  P …
review by . December 10, 2009
Build a business around the one asset where you have the most control - yourself.    Lots of practical tips, techniques and resources to use Social Media to boost your personal brand and build a business.    Required reading for the modern entrepreneur.
Quick Tip by . December 07, 2009
This looks like a good investment. Can't hurt and may help give that boost for $ independence! Give it a go
About the reviewer

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http://askjdog.com - I'm an engineer, an artist, a hobbyist musician.. and lead a rather unusual life. Having a Masters of Engineering in Microelectronic Systems and Telecommunications, I worked on some … more
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The Story Behind Crush it!

Everything has changed. The social media revolution has irreversibly changed the way we live our lives and conduct our business. There are billions of dollars in advertising moving online, waiting to be claimed by whoever can build the best content and communities. Despite this change, most people keep working at jobs that don’t make them happy and businesses continue to ignore the major marketing and public relations benefits that can be found online.

Myth #1: I’m not passionate about something sexy or popular like wine so these lessons don’t apply to me.

The internet has drastically decreased the costs of building communities around niche subjects, allowing for even the most obscure subjects to draw enough eyeballs to command advertising attention. Starting a video blog about tortilla chips may seem farfetched until Doritos gives you a call and offers 40,000 a year to sponsor and advertise on your blog.

Myth #2: My business already has a Twitter account and a Facebook page, we’re set in the social media department.

This is the equivalent of claiming twenty years ago that just because your business bought a TV spot and a few ads in the newspaper, you didn’t need to pay attention to your advertising department. Social media isn’t about joining in, it’s about being involved.

Myth #3: I’m happy at my job so this book is irrelevant to me.

First of all, congratulations on ...

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Details

Author: Gary Vaynerchuck
Genre: Business, Entrepreneurship
Publisher: HarperCollins
Date Published: 2009
ISBN: 978-0-06-191417-1
First to Review
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