Crushing It!

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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.

Crushing It!: How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence-and How You Can, Too

When it comes to people looking to pursue their own dreams and reject a career in the corporate world, there are plenty of entrepreneurs who have not only built thriving businesses but continue to do better on a yearly basis. For people looking to follow a new path, Gary Vaynerchuk delivers new inspiration and lessons on how to crush it as an entrepreneur.

In Crushing It!: How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence-and How You Can, Too, Vaynerchuk not only shares stories from people who have found success outside of the corporate world, but he also shares his own secrets to success.

From breaking down the importance of social media platforms to offering advice that is both tactical and theoretical, Gary Vaynerchuk is all about offering new entrepreneurs the information they need to get their business going, while also giving seasoned professionals a look at tweaks that can enhance their own businesses further.

How Crushing It! Can show you the road to being a successful entrepreneur

In Crushing It! Gary Vaynerchuk takes a look at the way successful entrepreneurs have used social media to achieve their success. He also looks at the accessibility of this form of advertising in getting an entrepreneur’s message out to the world.

From looking at a father and son duo who “cut things in half” to looking at how Snapchat can be utilized to train people in marketing, this book is all about finding ways to achieve entrepreneurial success with the help of a tool everyone has access to - social media.

Key Points

  • Success as an entrepreneur requires an online brand that is personal and strong

With social media blowing up in a big way, it has become a game-changer for entrepreneurs who can now broadcast their message to a much wider audience.

According to statistics pulled together by Vaynerchuk, 1.25 billion hours of YouTube content are watched around the world. And every minute there are 66,000 videos or pictures posted to Instagram. Plus, on average, about 20 percent of the time people spend on their mobile devices is dedicated just to being on Facebook.

It is because of this apparent dedication to social media that entrepreneurs can earn money with their own personal brand. Vaynerchuk suggests that an entrepreneur with just 1,000 followers on Instagram who shares just two new posts per week could potentially earn up to $5,000 in a year.

As far as a side income, this is definitely a nice number, but the potential to make even more money is there if one is willing to invest more time into utilizing social media.

Vaynerchuk himself took his family business from $4 million to $60 million by building a strong personal brand. He did this by talking directly to customers.

On a blog, he would do wine tastings and tell the customers his honest thoughts. He would also respond to every single comment posted to Facebook and Twitter, which took hours every day.

Vaynerchuk made people like him and trust him, and built one-on-one relationships with his customers. He then took his experiences and helped other people build up their brand via social media.

  • Personal and financial success can be achieved by building a personal brand

While Vaynerchuk was using his personal brand to sell a product, for some people there is no obvious product that they have to sell. However, even with no product to sell, many people are able to make money using their personal brand.

For Brittany Xavier, Instagram was originally a way to share pictures of her family and their life. However, she saw that other accounts similar to hers were tagging brands, which she began doing as well. After six months she had amassed over 10,000 followers and started charging those same brands $100 per post where she mentioned them.

Xavier learned that she was underselling herself when a jewelry company offered her $1,000 for a single Instagram and blog post.

Another example of utilizing one’s personal brand comes courtesy of Louie Blaka. Blaka was not only a teacher, but also an artist. He did not want to give up his job, however, he did want to find more success when it came to selling his artwork.

After seeing Vaynerchuk’s method of interacting with followers, Blaka planned out a way that he could market himself and his art differently using social media. This led to him hosting free paint with wine classes, which he then posted pictures of on his Instagram account.

From one class of 10 people to multiple classes with hundreds of people, Blaka was able to use both Instagram and word of mouth to build up his personal brand. Where he once sold a painting once in a while for maybe $200, now he is looking at the possibility of $30,000 in a year.

Ultimately, these two people were able to see that taking their personal brand and building it up using social media can lead to an increase in revenue.

  • There are seven principles to be aware of when it comes to utilizing social media

It is important to have a solid foundation even when building your social media presence. This means being aware of seven key principles to success.

Principle number one is authenticity. Be real and never disrespect your audience by being fake.

Next, you need to be passionate. No matter what your personal brand is, what you are selling, or what you are posting in general, you should be passionate about it. Passion can keep you going, even when life gets hard.

Patience is important. Whenever you are building something new, it takes time. This is why you must remember to be patient.

Next, it is important to be a hard worker. This means spending time making connections, posting, and doing what you need to do to get work done.

Paying attention is also crucial to success. This means watching trends, checking out the latest platforms, and always looking forward. This is about not wasting time.

The right intent is also extremely important. For all of the greatest entrepreneurs, it is not all about the money. While this might seem like the opposite of the goal, it is still about being altruistic. It is about wanting to provide the best value and service while helping other people and teaching what you know.

If a customer sees that you are more invested in yourself than them, they won’t come back and they won’t tell other people about you. Being altruistic will bring you more success in the long run.

  • It’s not all about creating content, document things too

It can be daunting to realize that you need to create new content for social media. However, if you think about it as documenting rather than creating, it can be a better way to move forward.

Sometimes it is about going on the journey with you, rather than just creating continuous content. When your followers can see the progress you are making, while watching you learn as you go, then they will come back to follow along with you.

Rather than worrying about creating new content, look at it as you being the unique content. Vaynerchuk has a videographer who films many of his meetings, which in turn allows him to create content that can be used as a learning tool for other entrepreneurs.

In order to find success through social media, try posting to Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and any other platform that allows you to reach a larger audience. You can document everything from moving to a new place or even brewing something for the first time (like Cold Brew). No matter what happens, it could potentially lead to building a loyal audience that can earn you up to $50,000 per year with the help of affiliate marketing or brand endorsements.

  • Snapchat can be the true test to help determine your ability to brand yourself

Snapchat is all about being your most authentic self. And this has been proven by such people as DJ Khaled, who used to Snapchat in 2015 when he got lost in the dark on a Jet Ski.

DJ Khaled used Snapchat to document his experience which led to his personal brand expanding even further than it was before because he was his most authentic self.

While posting his experience, he did not try to get the perfect shot, nor did he overthink things or even edit too much of what he posted.

Snapchat can offer people an authentic look at a person’s life. While this can make things tricky for marketers, it can also be a chance to show a more human side to the business.

Another downside to Snapchat for marketing is the lack of discoverability because there are no hashtags and no sharing can happen. It is all about actually offering value in order to make a difference. This means adding a little extra to every Snap in order to add actual value.

Snapchat lets you bring your personality to others. It is a platform where a brand can be more human. While you may not bring in a bunch of sales quickly, it does let you bring more personality to your brand.

  • Twitter lets you get noticed by a targeted audience

Twitter is a great place to chat about a wide range of topics 24/7 with people from around the world. At the same time, this is a great platform to use to get your brand noticed.

Twitter can help a brand with word of mouth advertising. And unlike a platform like Instagram, it is not uncommon to see someone post up to 50 times in a single day without any issues.

Retweeting is another great tool as it can help generate even more attention. The more something is retweeted, the more likely it is to garner widespread notice.

Twitter can help a brand develop a profile that works with a target audience.

Using hashtags on Twitter can help expand your reach, and the more you add content that matters, the more likely you are to be noticed. Even if it takes a lot of time and energy, using Twitter can be beneficial in building a personal brand. Ultimately, it can open a lot of doors.

  • YouTube is the platform where you can make the most money and find the best opportunities

It’s important to remember that documenting things is just as important as creating new content. And YouTube can help you in documenting your brand and experiences.

Many people shy away from YouTube because they do not think they are “that interesting.” However, Vaynerchuk believes people should get rid of those negative thoughts.

Whether you learn things right alongside other people and video it, or you can take your interest, no matter how niche, and find an audience.

The best way to utilize YouTube is just to get on it and start uploading videos. Even if your initial videos are not the best, you will get better with time and practice.

If your videos never really attract watchers, you can always change focus and find a new topic to cover. Either way, you are helping to build your brand. And even for new people, great content will eventually break through and garner views.

For Dan Markham, when his son needed to do a school project, they did a video cutting open a baseball. They uploaded the video to YouTube and within a year, it had been viewed so many times that it ended up being monetized. This led to them cutting open more things and doing a series called, “What’s Inside.” Since then they have worked with brands such as Nike.

  • Facebook is still one of the most important platforms thanks to clever distribution methods

Of all the social media platforms, Facebook is still “the biggest show in town,” even if people tend to criticize it. However, there are around two billion users taking advantage of Facebook.

Business-wise, Facebook allows for flexibility in terms of both distribution and content. It is also very versatile, as you can post anything from multiple paragraphs to videos, and just regular photos.

You can also select your target audience when sharing content. You can choose the area where the people you are trying to reach live or how old they are, or even their specific interests.

And if you want to be even more innovative, there is also Facebook Live, which lets you broadcast to your followers in real-time.

  • Instagram offers a chance to be discovered, while also allowing a mix of content

Since launching their Stories function, Instagram allows more people to be spontaneous with their videos and photos since the Stories only stay up for 24 hours. This also allows Instagram to be more real and less polished.

This platform allows users to offer both curated and temporary content. While one’s Instagram feed might be all about really special moments, in the Stories section, things that a user may not want to have on their account for a long time can still be shared. In fact, it is a great way to show a behind-the-scenes look at people and a brand.

Instagram offers a chance to do business development in some of the easiest ways. And one of the best ways to do this is by utilizing all of the right hashtags. As your audience builds, they will, in turn, use your hashtags, building your following via social media word of mouth.

  • Spoken-word media is the latest trend that businesses should be utilizing

Spoken-word media allows people to multitask while listening to a program. Podcasts are a chance to find your niche and then perfect it.

Even with a little bit of experience, you can offer people something they may not have heard before.

While the spoken-word market might feel crowded and even potentially saturated, new platforms are opening up to give entrepreneurs a chance to get their word out there. One of the next big things is “super-short, spoken flash briefings,” which allows a business to share a brief message that their audience can subscribe to.

Summary

Whether you do not like the job you are in, or you feel that your current business is staying stagnant, there are options to allow an entrepreneur to make changes. Social media can allow you to reach a wider audience in a variety of unique and interesting ways.

Reaching out to fellow influencers can also help a business to get their message out to the world. It is all about making the correct decision in terms of platforms and connections.

And with new platforms and trends always on the horizon, it is important to pay attention and keep an eye out for the next big thing.

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