Not that I need social media help really, but I stumbled across Crush it by Gary Varnerchuk by planned accident.
I did the super uber nerdy reader thing in January and went to one of those “50 Books You Have to Read” for business people.
What can I say, I was a little tired of re-reading my current collection and really don’t like snuggling up with a good blog before I go to bed.
From that list, beyond the Richard Branson books I already had (being a card carrying Fanson, you know I had to have them!) I chose an unremarkable number of books- 6 to be exact. The rest were either woefully expensive or looked woefully salesy.
We’re talking “come here so I can beat you to death with my sales pitch little lady! Shazam- can you tell I made my fortune from selling this to suckers like you?!” woeful.
We’re talkin’ neon fluoro red circle surrounded by giant arrows fashioned out of 80 foot gorillas named Bubba who may revert any time now to their previous form just to thump you if you don’t give the books in question a look-e-loo.
The kind that makes me want to take up the crossbow and pay top dollar for front row seats at an Anthony Robbins seminar so I can shout “Dance monkey, dance! Oh you have a lot to answer for you naughty monkey!” whilst shooting flaming arrows into the floor surrounding his feet.
In summary, just plain bile inducing awful.
But out of the pile of 6 popped a slim little book with a hard cover and “Crush it!” written on its sleeve.
Admittedly, I have no idea if it was a recommendation on Amazon, the run down or a bit of peeking under the bonnet via Google that got this particular book into a box, winging its way to Australia, but it did.
And I have read it… I seriously don’t think it’s a book for business. Or for social media help per se.
I think it’s a book that should be given to 15 year olds who still secretly hold onto dreams of being astronauts right through to the ones who secretly pick their nose and eat it, pee in the shower and haven’t generally got a clue that their future is actually fast approaching.
It’s a book for living, for removing the excuses out of our tired mouths and a book for deflecting “well meaning” people who tell you to play it safe rather than follow your dreams.
Crush it! is a book that gives you not only a reason to be passionate, but validation at the same time. All whilst written in such a conversational way it reads more like an invested and caring mate who has met you for a beer or a coffee to talk about your dreams earnestly.
Hats off to you Gary Vay-ner-chuk. Your social media help book is sock rockingly awesome.
Here are some highlights in summary.
- Build a personal brand and attract people to you using a combination of who you are and what you are passionate about.
- Be yourself and stay true to that. I make a living out of putting truth and creativity back into marketing and could not agree more!
- You have to be honest about you and your products because people share too much these days to be conned, silent or happy about having the wool pulled over their eyes.
- “It’s never a bad time to start a business unless you’re starting a mediocre one”- jam that in the pipe of any naysayer who keeps talking in terms of downturn, unemployment, job insecurity and so on when you share your dream with them.
- If people are open to suggestion, this represents opportunity.
- Aim for quality with your internet content. I particularly like this point because I often inherit clients who have been with other agencies and/or go to seminars where the “golden rules” of internet content are trotted out- “Tweet every two hours, Facebook every day, blog every day, put your left foot in and your right foot out, write content for the sake of it and spew it all about…” SCREW THAT! It’s like saying to people they should go to networking events and talk endlessly about nothing for the sake of filling the room with the sound of their voice. If you want people to listen to you, share stuff that is engaging. Writing a “just because” blog post is super dumb.
- How to tell if your idea is a good one- ask yourself if you could think of 50 blog topics right off the bat. If you can, you are on a winner. And I do enjoy how he says it doesn’t matter how obscure or niche your idea is. If it is your passion, follow it.
- When someone RT’s you on Twitter, it means you are worth listening to.
- Twitter is press releases, customer care, research and development, commerce, conversation and a blog lure all in one.
- Get smart about using Twitter searches, blogs, podcasts, YouTubes to help you promote you. The kind of social media help you get is through contributing and working with people. Consumer content to make your content better.
- It doesn’t have to be high end to be effective. In other words, you don’t need to shoot on Red Camera to make a good YouTube or build a custom site to make a good online impact.
- Don’t pay lip service to hard work. This really spoke to me. I do get a bit tired of people saying “oh it must be wonderful keeping your own hours, working from home” as though I’ve just jetted off to Pixie Land with a pot of magic coins in my pocket and do sod all for a living. Conversely, people keep informing me “You work too hard!” when I state I work 7 days, on holidays and have been known to do 90 hour weeks. Look, some people have kids, sport, shopping trips, dinner parties, girlie chats, TV, movie marathons, overseas holidays, volunteer work, arts and crafts, trips to the circus and post graduate studies and a whole host of other things to keep them vibrant, engaged and fulfilled. I have a Labrador, a love of live music, a hairy guitarist, puppet making and work to keep me dancing in the streets with unbridled joy. Work gets the lion share of attention, but that’s because it’s my passion. I do this because I love it and I work hard at it because I want it to succeed and it’s my personal crack. Got it? Good!
- Greedy, entitled people come last.
- Creating community begins with creating conversation.
- Customer service is an art.
The book itself comes with some awesome tips for social media help, sites to submit your business/brand to, how to use search better to find customers and a whole host of really useful stuff. For that alone it’s worth owning.
“Crush it!” is written so it works and it isn’t hard going. So much so, Gary basically gives you a two page overview of what to do to get going at the end as summary and his email address so you can clarify anything you need along the way.
If you are truly passionate about your dream and you can’t nail this book in 3 days and take something massively important away from it, you are either not as passionate as you thought, or a walrus.
You can rent my copy of “Crush It!” on Open Shed. I know you’ll end up buying it anyway.