Book Summary: Crushing It by Gary Vaynerchuk

Are you looking for a book summary of Crushing It by Gary Vaynerchuk? You have come to the right place.

I jotted down a few key insights from Gary Vaynerchuk’s book after reading it.

You do not have to read the entire book if you don’t have time. This book summary provides an overview of everything you can learn from it.

Let’s get started without further ado.

In this Crushing It book summary, I’m going to cover the following topics:

What is Crushing It About?

The book Crushing It explains why having a strong personal brand is crucial to business success. 

After writing the best-selling book Crush It in 2009, the author draws on both his own and readers’ experiences to explain why having a strong presence across multiple digital-media channels is essential to success.

Who is the Author of Crushing It?

Entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk has built his career on his personal brand and his mastery of social media and digital marketing. Formerly known for growing his family’s wine business, VaynerMedia is a social and digital agency. He is the author of several books, including Crush It! as well as The Thank You Economy.

Who is Crushing It For?

Crushing It is not for everyone. If you are the following types of people, you may like the book:

  • Entrepreneurs looking to expand their business
  • Employees seeking increased career opportunities
  • Those who recognize how digital and social media are changing the world

Crushing It Book Summary

Introduction

It’s a different world now. It used to be that if you wanted to become an actress, you may have to move to Hollywood. And for business? You might have to go to business school. Broadcasting to millions? The competition for primetime TV and radio slots was fierce.

In effect, social media and the internet have all but removed the barriers to success for entrepreneurs, performers, or anyone else producing content. Millions listen to top podcasts every day. YouTube and Instagram are excellent resources for discovering actors, artists, and creative professionals. Across the globe, entrepreneurs are becoming aware of the unparalleled benefits of social media in communicating directly with their customers.

The idea of cultivating your personal brand via social media is an accessible means of success, as you will see in this book. 

There are many ways to monetize your sense of style, whether you’re an accountant frustrated with your salary, a food enthusiast eager to share your favorite homemade preserves with the world, or a fashionista trying to monetize your sense of style.

Lesson 1: The key to entrepreneurial success is building a strong and personal online brand

When you ask a kid today what she wants to be when she grows up, she’s likely to answer, “I want to be a YouTuber.” Adults might say, “That’s not a real job, sweetheart.” But those kids might have a point.

A game changer, social media has paved the way for anyone to reach a mass audience through broadcasting.

Let’s take a look at some statistics.

Every day, more than 1.25 billion hours of YouTube videos are viewed worldwide. Instagram users post 66,000 images and videos per minute. Facebook accounts for 20% of the time people spend on mobile devices.

We can all make money from a personal brand because of the scale and power of social-media platforms. Just from posting two times a week, someone can earn $5,000 on Instagram with just 1,000 followers.

Not bad for a side gig, is it? What if you posted more often?

People who are truly interested in monetizing their brands will find that the potential is unlimited.

Think about Gary Vaynerchuk, the author. From a $4 million company to a $60 million operation, he transformed his family’s wine business. Through direct interaction with customers, he developed a powerful personal brand.

A video blog he ran gave frank advice and did tastings to the camera. On Twitter and Facebook, he spent hours every day responding to all of the messages. By helping people, he was liked, trusted and bought by them. As a result, he was able to build personal relationships with each of his customers – something that, previously, could only be achieved among small, neighborhood stores.

Then what? He advised others about online marketing. As of today, Vaynerchuk runs a major digital marketing agency with offices in London, Los Angeles, New York, and Chattanooga.

He was able to do this because he understood the power of his brand.

Lesson 2: A personal brand can lead to financial and personal success

An artist who is frustrated, a wine retailer and a fashionista mom have something in common. To live a more successful life, they all built strong personal brands.

A product – wine – was sold through the author’s brand. Many people are successfully monetizing their personal brand despite not having an obvious product.

As Brittany Xavier’s Thrifts and Threads blog and Instagram started out, they were simply a way for her family to display photos of their lives. In spite of that, she noticed that other accounts similar to hers were tagging brands, and so she followed suit. 

She charged brands $100 for a mention of them in her posts after six months and 10,000 followers. The jewelry business’ proposal for a single blog post and Instagram post for $1,000 revealed that she had set her sights too low. As of today, Xavier focuses full time on her lifestyle brand, earns plenty, travels a lot, and has a lot of fun.

What if you wanted to improve your life instead of revolutionizing it? Do personal brands still matter in this case? Definitely.

A frustrated artist and full-time art teacher, Louie Blaka taught at the local community college. While he didn’t wish to quit his job, he would like to sell more of his artwork in his spare time.

In light of Vaynerchuk’s experiences, he began to think about alternative ways to market his work. Posting pictures of his wine and paint classes on Instagram, he hosted free classes. Initially ten people attended a class, but it grew to up to 100 people – thanks to the word of mouth and Instagram.

What are the results? It used to be that he sold paintings for $200, but he plans to sell $30,000 this year. You’re a full-time teacher with a pretty good side hustle there.

With a personal brand executed on social media, you can achieve riches on the side or make some extra money.

Lesson 3: When creating social media content you should follow these seven principles

Your social media content will fail if it is built on weak foundations.

What is really important? To nail it, you need to grasp seven principles.

First, there is authenticity. Don’t disrespect your audience; they can always smell a fake. Be honest.

You must also be passionate about what you do. Whether it’s for your product, your life or the process of becoming an entrepreneur, it’s your passion that will sustain you through the tough times.

According to the old saying, patience is a virtue. In this case, it is absolutely true. It is what it is.

Is there anything else virtuous? Working hard. Watching cat videos on YouTube during lunch or watching Walking Dead during the evening won’t help you crush it. Join Twitter and start networking!

It is important to pay attention to the world around you and move quickly. Do you know what the latest trends are? What are the latest platforms that you should check out? Be proactive and don’t wait.

Lastly, you must have the right intent.

A common characteristic of great entrepreneurs is that they’re not just interested in money.

The opposite is true, despite what may seem counterintuitive. The most successful entrepreneurs and influencers are all altruistic. They value teaching and helping others, and they are driven by providing service and value. Hear from Jenna Soard, founder of You Can Brand, an online brand-advisory service. When she helps people solve a problem, her “truest love” is to see their “ahas” go off as she solves it.

If you have self-serving intentions, customers won’t refer their friends and won’t buy from you again.

Altruistic values should guide your activities. Ask yourself how you can provide help. Long-term success is only possible through that strategy. Oh, and you get to enjoy it as well!

Lesson 4: Document instead of creating content

It might seem impossible to create engaging social media content. Yes, you enjoy sports cars. Is your knowledge about them deep enough to run a weekly video blog on YouTube?

It’s okay if you’re hesitant, but don’t let that stop you. Instead of creating, focus on documenting.

Rich Roll, a 39-year-old overweight lawyer, stopped eating junk food and embraced veganism before starting to run. Later in life, after he became an endurance athlete, he thought it might be fun to share his training with others.

Thousands of people watched his five-minute YouTube videos, demonstrating his training or discussing his diet. In turn, he landed a book deal as a result of his CNN interview. Besides creating a successful podcast and blogging like a madman, he kept youtube-ing. He is now considered “an influential’s influential,” having a second book deal and speaking engagements with Goldman Sachs, among others.

This is an important lesson to learn. There was so much interest in Roll because he didn’t wait until he had everything. People enjoyed following along with him on his journey, watching him make progress and learn.

In other words, rather than worrying about how you can create unique and creative content, embrace the reality that you are that content.

Vincentchuk employs a videographer to record everything he does at work, including bathroom visits and confidential meetings. His videos serve as great learning resources for other entrepreneurs.

Why not share your world regularly through Snapchat, Instagram stories, or Facebook Live? Whether you’re moving into your new apartment or brewing your first batch of homebrew, document the event. You might not be able to earn $50,000 a year through advertising, brand endorsements, and affiliate marketing, but you might build an audience that does. Your book might even be published.

Let’s look at the platforms that you can utilize to build your own brand now that we’ve seen the potential for creating your own brand.

Lesson 5: Snapchat provides a genuine test of your branding skills in an unpolished environment

On a jet ski in the dark, DJ Khaled lost his way in 2015. Snapchatting as he struggled to reach shore in the dying light, he shared his disorienting experience until finally reaching shore and safety. Since then, his brand has exploded.

Authenticity is what Snapchat is all about, and Khaled was one of the first Snapchat stars.

Khaled didn’t overthink things, didn’t edit too many times or strive for a perfect shot. He was simply himself. Despite the goofiness, the content was real. Snapchat has the advantage of offering an authentic peek into a person’s life, as opposed to Instagram, which is often overly curated.

Marketers may find Snapchat a little challenging because of this. Nonetheless, if you already have a following on other platforms, Snapchat is a great opportunity to show your human side. It’s where realtor Sarah, despite eating a healthy diet, admits to having a weakness for french fries. And where Shaun, a sports-store manager, is pictured playing foosball with his children.

It’s not just the difficulty of Snapchat that makes it such a great training ground for marketers.

Snapchat offers no discovery features due to its lack of hashtags and sharing. To be successful on Snapchat, you’ll have to offer something valuable.

It isn’t enough to post a picture of your cappuccino. When Lauren posts a picture of her iced coffee on The Skinny Confidential, a lifestyle blog, she gives some content as well, stating things like, “I’m enjoying an iced coffee on this hot day.” “I put cinnamon in my drink because it helps with blood sugar levels, and I have a silicone straw because it doesn’t contain BPA.” Snapchat makes you put a little effort in, to show your personality, to add some value – and that’s good!

Snapchat is ultimately a place where people can be themselves. While you may not make a lot of quick sales there, your personality might be revealed a little bit. What could be better than that?

Lesson 6: Twitter is an excellent way of getting noticed with a targeted audience

In the past, gossip about popular TV shows or news would be exchanged around the water cooler. People are chewing the fat on Twitter now, and the conversation is ongoing 24 hours a day, with contributions from every corner of the world.

There’s more to Twitter than just chatter. You can also use it to get noticed.

How come?

On Twitter, you have a greater chance of sparking a buzz: on Instagram, people do not post 50 times a day, but tweeting fifty times? That’s fine.

Additionally, retweeting is a wonderful way to increase awareness. Imagine that you’ve mashed up Drake’s work into a video. Regardless of whether you tag him in it, he’s unlikely to see it. Share your tweet on Twitter anyway, and if it’s good, Drake will see it and retweet it.

Twitter is also an excellent tool for building a specific target audience profile.

It may have always been your dream to be a sports presenter. Here are some ways you can make this dream come true.

Check out the trending sports topics first. Next, you can tweet: write a quick comment, or post a short video. Make sure your tweets are found when someone searches for the right hashtags. Take part in discussions. Respond to some influential people and ask them if they’d be interested in checking out your blog.

On the first day, nothing will happen. You will tweet all day and nothing will happen. Don’t give up. After day five, you might be retweeted by a journalist. Within a month, you may receive 200 new followers and be invited to write a guest post for a sports blog. A local sports station may reach out to you after you have done this daily for a year to see if you’d like to come in for a chat and a possible job.

Having a successful Twitter account takes a ton of effort. Putting in these hours will open a lot of doors for you. 

Lesson 7: YouTube is the best tool for creating wealth and opportunities, and you should use it right away

Watching YouTube videos at prime time is more popular with young adults than watching TV? NBC is not going to air your show anytime soon, but you could be on YouTube today.

People hold back from using YouTube because they believe they are not experts, and by the way, they aren’t that interesting.” You should get rid of such notions.

It’s as interesting to document as it is to create. There is no need to be an expert in whisky to start a whisky vlog. Create a “learning whiskey with Bob” vlog so you can share what you’re learning with your audience – anyone put off by snobby experts who drink $200 malts.

YouTube is a great place to find an audience regardless of your interests. Garage sales are a great example. Sounds boring, right? On YouTube, however, there are videos of garage sales with 400,000 views!

Start creating on YouTube – that’s the best way to get noticed. Don’t worry about the quality of your videos. Your mom is the only one who is going to watch them. As time passes, they will get better. Regardless of whether they do or not, you now know it isn’t for you, and you can try something else.

A great piece of content, on the other hand, usually cuts through.

Dan Markham is an example. The father and son decided to look inside a baseball when his son needed a school project idea. In addition to uploading the video to YouTube, they filmed themselves cutting the ball open. After a year, Dan realized people were watching it – enough to generate revenue from advertisements.

He and his son decided to make some more videos where they cut things open. The rattle of a dead rattlesnake, a football, a Rubik’s cube! The videos have been viewed over 550 million times. They have collaborated with brands such as Nike and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

For a school project, this is pretty awesome!

Lesson 8: Facebook still dominates the market through clever distribution and innovation

You might have heard someone recently criticize Facebook, saying it’s just for baby boomers to show off their grandkids and the younger generation doesn’t use it. Well, in truth, Facebook still has the most users. That’s two billion active users a month.

The greatest advantage of Facebook from a business perspective is its ability to handle both content and distribution.

No other platform offers the versatility that Facebook does. Do you want to write a blog post of twelve paragraphs? No problem. A 10-second video? No problem. Certainly. How about a twenty-minute video? Not a problem. A few pictures? Post them!

In addition, it offers a wide range of targeting options. Would you like to target skateboarding enthusiasts in the downtown California area who are between the ages of 18 and 25? That’s no problem. By spending $12, you could reach thousands of people with your awesome skate T-shirt design.

All that is great, but is there anything really innovative you can do with Facebook? Yes, you can use Facebook Live.

Your followers can see your live broadcast in real time, ask questions, and respond in real time.

Now, it may not be for everyone. It’s hard to do live TV shows, which is why there are so few. Video, however, can be incredibly powerful if you are experienced.

In the stuffy old industry of personal finance, Brittney Castro of Financially Wise Women brings a fresh approach to a tired brand. Her first promotion was a rap video about finance – the opposite of what you’d expect in a financial advisor’s marketing.

She’s now a hit on every channel. However, Facebook Live is her favorite. In addition to providing women with a service they can trust, she is able to talk directly to her potential customers while answering their financial questions live. She’s also reaching a huge audience by doing Lives with brands such as Chase Bank.

Facebook is still innovating, despite all the doubters. You should too!

Lesson 9: Instagram’s mix of content and high discoverability makes it more important than ever

Too much beauty rarely causes people to complain. However, Instagram was unable to solve this problem until it added its Stories function, where people can share spontaneous photos and videos for a day.

With Instagram you don’t have to worry about too polished content – it mixes curated and ephemeral.

As soon as Stories launched, CEO Evan Spiegel admitted he had not posted for six days because “nothing seemed special enough.” Now, users can post stunning shots for posterity and snap their morning coffee with a cheerful caption and upload it to Stories, knowing it’ll disappear in 24 hours. 

Users are now taking advantage of Stories to show some behind-the-scenes personality.

One of the reasons the site is thriving is its new balance. In fact, Instagram offers us some simple ways to do business development that we can take advantage of.

The following success story illustrates the point:

A clothing store in Kansas City called EnAvant is run by Tom, an ambitious manager. Tom frequently posts to Instagram. All of his photos are nicely filtered, including clothing on hangers, shoes on shelves and customers wearing new outfits. 

There is a hashtag for every photo – #EnAvantwear #Kansasfashion #falltrends #fallfashion. In the lunch hour, he starts reaching out to stylish locals by searching for “Kansas City” and seeing who pops up. Directly messaged some popular and fashion-conscious individuals, he said, “Hey EnAvant loves your style! Come on in for a 25 percent discount.”

He reaches out to about forty people and six of them post details about this nice guy who compliments them and helps them out on social media. The next night, Tom invites his influential locals in for a fashion night with a discount of 30 percent, and makes the event so much fun that no photos are required: the guests upload themselves to Instagram using #EnAvant.

Tom’s brand is doing well – and so are his sales. Where does he go from here? Launch a clothing line? Create a blog? He has the option, thanks to Instagram.

Lesson 10: Check out spoken-word media now while it’s hot: you won’t regret it

Trying to clean your bathroom while watching a video? That’s no easy feat. What about listening to music? No problem. Multitasking makes spoken-word media a huge market, because it sells the convenience of multitasking.

Finding and nailing your niche can be easy with podcasts.

John Lee Dumas enjoyed podcasts and wanted to be an entrepreneur. However, he was unable to find a podcast that discussed the experiences of entrepreneurs. He then thought, “I may as well do it myself.”.

Starting out, he spoke to entrepreneurs who were relatively unknown. He learned quickly and developed a following by running the daily show Entrepreneurs On Fire. His show generated more than 100,000 downloads in a matter of months. 

His guests improved. He began getting conference invitations, adding to his credibility. With his podcast, branded products and services, he’s become the successful entrepreneur he always wanted to be.

You may be thinking, “Good for John, but the podcast market is crowded now.” The good news is that a brand-new platform is emerging, and it is growing rapidly. Digital assistants, such as Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant, will deliver content in super-short, spoken briefings in the future.

Subscribe to a daily flash briefing produced by the author. You can listen to his daily motivational message before brushing your teeth by asking Alexa, “give me my flash briefing.”

There is therefore a new platform that has tremendous potential and only a few influential users as of right now. Take a landscaper, for example. Why not give your business’s brand a little boost with Ted’s Daily Garden Tips, a one-minute video? It won’t be easy to launch quick audio updates in five years unless you market them hard. For now, put together something interesting, and you might see big success.

How long will it take for you to make your decision? Let’s go and get it done.

Final Summary

Having the courage to change something, whether it’s a job you don’t like, or a business that doesn’t seem to be growing, can save your company. It does not matter if your passion is fashion, custom-made tree houses, garage sales, or helping people learn about it – whatever it is you truly love. 

Create a YouTube channel to document your journey. You can also use Twitter to find fellow treehouse enthusiasts. Use Facebook and Instagram to share your fashion ideas. Don’t forget to stay on top of the latest social media platform.

Influencers – those with an extensive social media following – are a great way to develop collaborations and gain advice. So don’t be afraid to contact them. However, make sure that you offer something meaningful in return. Consider what else you can trade if you cannot offer exposure. 

In exchange for advice, offer to create some custom filters if you are a graphic designer. Would you like to make pizzas? You can offer to make them for free. Although this method can be time-consuming – you’ll have to send a lot of emails before you get a single reply – it’s why many people will not persist. Keep at it, and you’ll win.

Further Reading

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