Crush It! is a book that explains the power of the internet. Plus, how it can change your life. The internet has now made it possible for people’s passions and interests to be turned into real businesses. If you have a hobby you want to indulge in all day, this book is for you. Gary built his business doing what he loves by building his personal brand. This book is the ultimate manual for creating a modern business.
About Gary Vaynerchuk
Gary is a Belarusian-American entrepreneur. He has been highly successful in multiple areas. Firstly, he is a Times bestselling author. On top of this, he is an in-demand public speaker and internet personality. He started his career as a wine critic who expanded his family’s wine business considerably through using the internet. Gary is now more well known for his groundbreaking use of digital marketing and social media.
Build Your Personal Brand
To monetize what you are passionate about, it is vital to develop a personal brand. The business marketplace is always highly competitive. Multiple companies will be vying for the attention of the same customers as you. However, the thing that can set you apart is a personal brand. If you have a personal brand that keeps bringing customers back to you, you are destined for success.
One way to build your personal brand is to create authenticity around your product and content. Doing this will help customers trust your work more and feel more comfortable in recommending you to people they know.
As well as helping you develop a strong reputation, your personal brand should offer guidance on which social media channels you ought to utilize. For example, podcasting and video are ideal for somebody who is outgoing. However, if you are shy and lack confidence, you could use writing as an opportunity to build your personal brand.
The easiest way to start developing your personal brand is to think about how you are different from other companies. You should be able to sum this up in a sentence. When you have this sentence, apply it to the way you develop your personal brand.
Create Content That Draws People In
“To everyone who is freaking out because they fear the noise and distraction of all the additional content on the internet, you can relax. Quality is a tremendous filter. Cream always rises, my friends, no matter how many cups of coffee you pour.” – Gary Vaynerchuk
Monetizing your personal brand is reliant on two fundamental pillars: your product and your content. You need each of these to be of high quality. Plus, they must complement your personal brand.
“Great content is what you’re going to pump into your social media networks to draw eyeballs to your blog. It exists as a result of passion plus expertise, so make sure you can talk about your product like no one else.” – Gary Vaynerchuk
Your product needs to be something that you would feel comfortable talking about forever. It needs to be a genuine passion for you. If you have a genuine passion for your product, it will shine through. Then, your potential customers will hopefully develop the same passion themselves.
“Storytelling is by far the most underrated skill in business.” – Gary Vaynerchuk
A useful approach to creating content is to weave a story. Humans are always looking to form a connection between things, and they learn better through stories. Tap into humans’ innate drive and create content that people will connect with. Storytelling is the most underrated, valuable business skill. The key to selling is showing someone the value in something that other people are missing. Certain brands are ingrained in people’s minds, and no matter how much others sell to them, customers will stick to their brand. You want to become one of these brands. Loyal customers are vital to success.
“You can monetize any passion, but the level at which you can monetize will be affected by the size of your niche and whether you are able to differentiate yourself enough from the other players in it.” – Gary Vaynerchuk
Although any passion can be monetized, you should also think about the content and product you create. Some passions will be easier to make large amounts of money. Find your niche and become the best at what you do.
Your Passion is the Most Important Thing
“I measure my success by how happy I am, not how big the business is or how much money I’ve made.” – Gary Vaynerchuk
Gary outlines three golden rules for success. These are:
- Love your family
- Work super hard
- Live your passion
This section focuses on the last of those three. To be truly successful, you have to be happy. You have to love what you are doing and want to live and breathe your business and personal brand. Suppose you choose a business niche that you can honestly say these things about. In that case, you will set yourself apart from your competitors who are just in it for the money.
You need to ask yourself the following questions: 1) Am I sure my passion is what I think it is? 2) Can I talk about it better than anyone else?
Be Patient and You Will Succeed
“Someone with less passion and talent and poorer content can totally beat you if they’re willing to work longer and harder than you are.” – Gary Vaynerchuk
Building a successful business will always take time. If you are passionate about your business and authentic in your approach, there is only one way you won’t be successful: a lack of hard work. It is possible for people who have no passion for a field to be more successful than you, and that is only if they work longer and harder than you. If you aren’t willing to work hard, there is no point in monetizing your passion. Hard work is the foundation of all success.
Build a Community
“Creating community—that’s where the bulk of your hustle is going to go and where the bulk of your success will be determined.” – Gary Vaynerchuk
You should be working hard in all parts of your business. However, the majority of your hard work should go into developing a strong community. This is how the internet has changed the way we view the business world. The internet is the reason so many people can monetize their hobbies and passions. We can now build communities without ever having met them. Being able to build communities rapidly is extremely powerful.
One way to start developing a community is to engage with those who are showing interest in your product/content. If somebody contacts you or replies to your content, then make sure you reply. Talk to them in a personal way and get to know them. Additionally, you should comment on blogs or social media pages that are similar to yours. You can utilize these comments as a way of linking back to your content. Often communities will have already been developed, and you can become part of those communities. You have a ready-made customer base waiting for you in these communities.
As with a lot of things in life, it is about quality, not quantity. If you can develop a high-quality community of people who are equally passionate about your product, you are destined for success.
Accept Your Limitations
We all have strengths and weaknesses. Don’t try and adapt to a business area where you are weak. Stick to your strengths. Choose a business that will help you utilize your strengths and you will see two benefits: Greater happiness and success.
In the book, Gary describes how he knew blogging would become a huge business. However, he was honest with himself at the time. He accepted that writing isn’t his strength and left that for other people. This choice isn’t showing a lack of ambition; it is a smart decision. Gary knew he would always be playing catch-up in a field where he was currently weak. He also decided against having a ghostwriter as he wanted his content to be authentic. Gary wanted his content to show his passion. Hence, he waited until he found a medium that spoke to him: video blogs. Gary is now a multi-millionaire. Waiting for his strengths to guide him helped him become the successful entrepreneur he is today.
Choose the Correct Social Media Platform For You
The social media platform that you utilize will have a significant impact on your reach and engagement. Think about your business and which platform will best represent your personal brand. Also, think about which platform your target audience will be using.
In the book, Gary describes a personal test of advertisements. He conducted a test of different mediums for advertising his wine company. The results were as follows:
- Perfectly placed Billboard: 170 orders
- Radio: 240 orders
- Direct Mail: A little over 300 orders
- A Tweet: 1700 orders
The old approaches to advertising only suit very specific companies. If you are a local business, the radio or a billboard might work for you. However, if you want to make a massive impact through your company, you should be harnessing the power of the internet.
Legacy is Greater Than Currency
“This is why every decision I make is weighed in terms of currency and legacy. Will this business deal make me money? Yes? Good. Will I be proud of how I made that money? Yes? Okay, then, let’s do this. If the answer is no, I don’t go there, ever. Legacy always wins.” – Gary Vaynerchuk
When you are monetizing your passion, you want to make money. However, more important than this is your legacy. You should not trade your passion for more money. For example, you should always avoid the opportunity to go against your morals to obtain more money. You will be successful if you stick to your morals and passions.
This point is particularly important in the modern world. Although the internet is vital to your hobby becoming a business, it also poses risks. For example, using the internet as a business means that you are in the public eye. Therefore, you must be very careful about how you interact and respond to people. This means that the internet is not very forgiving. To account for this, you should always think about the long-term. Think about how your business decisions will impact you and your business in the future.
Success Is about Happiness Not Money
When Gary speaks about success, he is not talking about economic prosperity. Instead, he is talking about happiness. Of course, money can make people happy in some ways, but there are so many other things that make us happy. Therefore, we should not measure our success by how much money we make. If you are not happy, then there is no point in making all this money. Instead, it is better to be making less money but doing something that you love. Anyone can get a job with a decent salary. So, you might as well find a way to obtain a decent salary doing something you love.
Additionally, you might be undecided about whether to quit your job and pursue a business related to your passions. Gary suggests asking yourself the following questions:
- Are you genuinely passionate about your job?
- Do you moan on Monday mornings?
- Are you allowed to develop a public persona online while doing this job?
If the answer to any of these is a no, then your job is holding you back from being happy.
The most important thing is to do what makes you happy. If you can find a hobby you would enjoy doing all day, including Mondays, then you have a business that can make you happy. Find a way to monetize this business and show your passion for it. Show your customers that you care and you will be successful.
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