How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence – and How You Can, Too
Does Gary Vaynerchuck really need an introduction? Serial entrepreneur. Investor in Twitter, Snapchat, Uber, and Venmo. CEO of a 150 million USD media company, called “VaynerMedia”. Gary seems to do so many things at the same time. Above all, Gary is considered a top expert when it comes to social media marketing.
Now, for those who didn’t know, this book is Gary’s follow-up on ‘Crush It!: Why Now is The Time to Cash in on Your Passion’. The book was written in 2009 and explained how social media could turn you into a superstar. Gary calls his new book a celebration of all the people who have put the Crush It principles to work. Therefore, those who believed in the power of social media and executed are now “crushing it”.
However, it’s NOT too late. You can still crush it. Let me tell you how.
2) SPEAK YOUR TRUTH
Gary’s first message in this book is that a personal brand has become for everyone. Through strategically using social media, you can build up any business using your personal brand. As he says:
“The path is all yours as long as you commit and are willing to execute.”
Gary lists 7 factors that are crucial in building your personal brand.
If you have great intents, are authentic, passionate, patient, move fast, work hard and follow the attention of people, you are on your way to creating a strong personal brand.
Nevertheless, there is one piece missing…
Gary calls this the “eighth essential”. This will truly allow you to monetize a personal brand into a business. The keyword is CONTENT. You will need to push out great and consistent content on the various social media channels. If you want more specific knowledge on this, I recommend reading the summary of Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How To Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World. This book offers a more practical approach to managing and creating content online.
Nevertheless, here is where most people get it wrong: they care too much about the aesthetics. The lighting, the design, the format, the way they look on camera. Although these things matter to some extent, they are all secondary.
According to Gary Vaynerchuck, you need to speak your truth. This is what matters to your audience. He calls this “documenting rather than creating”. Document your life and let people learn who you truly are. This is the best way to start building a real connection with your audience and create a following.
Let’s take DJ Khaled, the now-famous Miami-based DJ, and producer, as an example. Khaled started on Snapchat in the fall of 2015, sharing inspirational videos and his so-called “keys to success”. In just 2 year’s time, he has built a humongous audience with over a few million people watching his Snapchat stories every day.
In his book, “The Keys”, Khaled wrote:
“It’s not about the angle, lighting or editing. It’s about getting real with your fans. Authenticity is key.”
The way to document your journey is to use Snapchat, Instagram stories, YouTube videos, and Facebook Live a couple of times per day. Share the world through your eyes. Be authentic. This is how other people will start acknowledging your work. Before you know, they will be coming to you with new ideas or partnership deals.
3) USE SOCIAL MEDIA TO YOUR ADVANTAGE
Now, you might ask yourself: “Where do I begin?”.
Gary’s first advice is simple: start with creating a Facebook business or fan page. As he says, Facebook is the number one cost of entry to build a personal brand. It’s the primary, most-used social media platform on the planet and therefore can’t be ignored.
After you crafted your content strategy and designed a Facebook page, it’s time to get discovered.
If you’re starting from zero with no money, Gary recommends two main strategies:
- Use relevant hashtags. Make a list of all hashtags relevant to your niche and use them on the available platforms such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to promote your content.
- Look for collaborations and partnerships. Direct-message people over social media. Give them something valuable in return for their attention or money. As Gary says, this is still the number one way to grow fast if you don’t have a lot of influence yet.
If you’ve implemented these 2 strategies, it’s a matter of using the various social media channels to your advantage. Gary recommends keeping an eye on the following eight platforms:
Musical.ly is an emerging creative platform that is popular amongst a younger, teenage-like audience. The channel allows people to make and upload original music, comedy skits, and educational videos.
Gary recommends using this platform if you’re a born entertainer, like a singer, comedian or dancer. How do you use it? Simple: work those hashtags and collaborate!
According to Gary, Snapchat is still one of the most underestimated platforms amongst marketers. Contrary to Facebook and Instagram, Snapchat is the best platform to post unfiltered, raw content. Gary calls it one of the best platforms to truly differentiate yourself and scale your personal brand. This is because Snapchat forces you to show your true personality.
Therefore, the way to grow your audience is simple: speak your truth, share your story and collaborate with other people to grow your audience.
Gary calls Twitter “the water cooler of our society”. It’s a place where everyone goes to get the latest update on any event or subject. He describes it as the most conversational platform out there.
As Gary says, the key to be successful in this medium is to listen very carefully. Follow the conversations about your niche closely and connect with the people who are passionate about what you have to say. Jump into the conversations!
As you probably know, YouTube is the number one platform for video creators. What’s remarkable is that You Tube’s daily viewership is gradually closing in on TV’s 1.25 billion hours per day. Instead of flopping on the couch in front of the television, more and more people now grab their mobile device and watch YouTube content.
Gary’s recommendation is simple: you HAVE to give this platform a try, even if you think you’re not camera-worthy. Start simple. Make an easy vlog, document your life and improve the quality along the way.
Up to today, Facebook is still the biggest social media platform in the game. If you’re serious about building and monetizing a personal brand, you have to have a Facebook page.
As Gary argues, the big advantage of Facebook is that it is flexible and serves as a distribution channel: you can post and share any piece of content, from a blog to a video or a podcast. It’s also the best platform to target your audience if you have a small budget. Last tip: use Facebook LIVE! Video is emerging on Facebook, so you need to get good at this as soon as possible!
Since Instagram launched its story function, the platform has blown up. No longer is Instagram a place where people go for beautiful pictures only. They now visit the platform to watch videos, stories, and highlights of people’s lives.
Gary stresses the importance of using Instagram as a business development tool by capitalizing on the DM-function. If your profile looks good, and you offer value upfront, people will be willing to connect and do business with you.
According to Gary, podcasting is a great marketing tool for one major reason: people are busy. Podcasts sell time. It’s much easier for people to listen to something while they’re commuting or cooking rather than watching a video.
Gary recommends doing a podcast if you’re a very introverted or shy person. This is because podcasts don’t require you to be in front of a camera. He says that the best way to brand and market your podcast is to be consistent and create the best content possible.
Will voice be the future of interaction? A big ‘YES’ according to Gary. Smart devices such as Amazon Echo and Google Home now allow you to control actions such as calling a friend, playing music or gathering information, simply by using your voice.
So, if you’re serious about building a personal brand, you should develop your Alexa skill. Here is how you do it. Follow the instructions and get started.
If you’re serious about building a brand for yourself and/or your business, you can do it. The tools are there. It’s up to you to put in the work. As Gary would say: “Succeeding is about eating shit for a long time. Nothing valuable comes quick.”
Now, let’s get out there and make it happen.