Book Club #25: Crushing It! How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence and How You Can Too, Gary Vaynerchuk

Gary Vaynerchuk

Image Courtesy of Gary Vee IP, LLC

If you haven’t heard about Gary Vaynerchuk, here’s the short version: immigrant from Belarus who started in entrepreneurship while he was in grade school in lemonade stands and baseball cards and graduated to growing his family’s liquor store business from a 7 figure business to an 8 figure one by being one of the early YouTube personalities; Gary now runs a social media empire and has multiple business investments, including being one of the early investors in Twitter and Uber, with sizeable holdings in Facebook.  His (current) life aspiration is to own the New York Jets.

You could get all that information from reading this book, but you’re just as likely to have gotten it from all the social media platforms Gary and his team have a presence on.  Before he wrote Crushing It!, he wrote a book way back in 2009 called Crush It! which detailed exactly how to excel on social media and why it is so important in the first place.  Crushing It! is an updated form of that book packed with case studies of people who read the first book, applied what Gary taught, and built everything from fun side hustles to enormous businesses.

Social Media Bewilderment

A lot of our sellers here at Apex are a bit bewildered by social media.  We get it.  Many of our team of brokers came up in business when your Yellow Pages spend was always a big part of the marketing discussion.  Obviously times have changed but many people seem not to understand what social media can do for their businesses.

In this book, as he did in the first version of the book, Gary explains what social media is at a granular level.  Yes, there are cat videos and celebrity photos.  But there are also people asking, “who knows a good plumber?” on Facebook and people asking, “how do you buy a business?” on places like Twitter and Quora.  There are people sharing their thoughts and advocating for ideas on LinkedIn.  There are companies showing off their work for clients and sharing fun on Instagram and TikTok.  

What do all of these interactions have in common?
They scale human interactions.  

Many people think of “doing business” as going to a networking event or having one-on-one coffees, and for sure, those will always be opportunities for “retail business.”  But there is a limit to the hours of your day and there’s also a limit to how many people you want to meet and interact with in a given week.  Everyone needs private time not just to relax but to get work done.

Social media works while you’re asleep.  It works on your behalf.  It brings people to you that could never have met you otherwise.  But just like going out to networking events or having one-on-one coffees, it requires work.  You have to be willing to put in the time on social media in order to get social media results.  

Just a few examples Gary shares in the book include:

  • Interacting with people on Twitter: answering questions, posing them.  Staking out business positions you believe in strongly but aren’t necessarily popular.
  • Sharing on LinkedIn: all things considered, people prefer to do business with people they know and trust.  A way that people can get to know and trust you is by your interacting on LinkedIn by adding value: share links to articles and podcasts you really enjoyed and give a one paragraph summary of why someone would find this content valuable.
  • Creating articles on platforms like Medium or answering questions on Quora.  People are always looking for good content and taking the time to share your knowledge will pay dividends.

In all these cases Gary is pointing out that social media, like business (and often, life), is about leading with value.  If your social media strategy to this point has consisted of “hey look at me” or “hey buy my product” or “hey use my services” and you’re bewildered as to why “social media” “doesn’t work” “for you” it’s because you’re doing it wrong.  

Social media is not a digital version of the Yellow Pages, where you unabashedly list your business and wait for the leads to roll in.

Social media is your business, digital and at scale, for the entire world to come and learn about and interact with.  It’s your opportunity to earn business.  That’s going to take effort on your part.  This book not only shows you how, it also shows you people who’ve done it and continue to do it.

Would you like some help with your social media?  We aren’t gurus but we know people who are and would be happy to refer you.  Give us a call!