I think most social media marketing books a tell very different story than Gary Vaynerchuk’s Crush It! does. Using personal experiences to educate, influence, and motivate others to brand themselves in the most successful ways in order to achieve total fulfillment in life, Gary Vaynerchuck tells the world how to “cash in on your passion.” This book is in no way academic, and does not provide any thought provoking, deeply insightful business strategies that were unknown before reading it. Instead, Crush It! aims to inspire the creativity and passion in every individual in a very practical and straightforward manner by broadly defining the ropes of the social media environment.
The audience for Crush It! is very broad and because the book is very personality focused, it serves as more of a motivational piece than an informative piece. Therefore, readers could take away a variety of information concepts that relate to their lives specifically.
I think that Vaynerchuck’s main emphasis in this book is how “everyone knows the internet represents one of the biggest cultural shifts since the printing press, but I think society has been slow to recognize that it represents the biggest shift in history in how we do business” (pg 11). His simple guidelines are meant to serve as inspiration for normal people to get out and make themselves their own business priority. “Personal branding is what gives everyone an unprecedented shot at joining their ranks” (pg 30). Emphasizing how internet presence through social network sites has replaced that of the resume, he says that your latest Tweet, comment on Facebook, and recent blog post are your resume now. “Thats how you are going to announce to the world your ideas and opinions, the very things that make you unique and reveal why a firm- or better yet, a passionate entrepreneur cherry picking top talent to build a whole new kind of investment company- would be dumb not to hire you” (pg 38).
Vaynerchuck’s ideas directly relate back to authenticity and how that will reflect upon your community and the relationships within that said community. Emphasizing the fact that self fulfillment and the ability to create what you want to create are the most important things in life besides the love from your family. He says that “too many people ignore their DNA, however, to conform to what their families or society expects of them” (pg 20).
Once the content of a person’s desires is decided upon, Vaynerchuck advises to get on the internet and start producing content. “The first generation built their brands on television and movie screens, radio, magazines, and newspapers, and the new one will do the same online at a much lower cost, with no need for a gatekeeper’s approval. The field may be different, but the game is just the same” (pg 31). Important things to take note of when producing content is that the producers need to be avid supporters in their topic, as well as experts in the field, hence creating authenticity with their audiences. “Consumers want you to tell them the truth. Sure, they want quality and service and value and entertainment, but above all they want to know that the person they’re dealing with is being honest” (pg 33).
A user that is inauthentic is easy to spot out. He says, “embrace your DNA, be yourself, put out awesome content, and people will be interested in what you have to say. Believe me, if you’re that good, people are going to find you, and they’re going to follow you, and they’re going to talk. And getting people to talk is the whole point” (pg 36). He uses the terms “lure and lasso” to explain the process of garnering a community. The luring part is the actual creation and posting of the content, and then allowing people to discover your content. The second part of the process is to “use it as a lasso through comments on other people’s content that relates back to yours, inserting yourself into existing conversations and actively creating reasons for your audience to come to you.”
People who read this book may be inspired, but could be stuck in a phase where they never are able to decide exactly what content their DNA was meant to produce for the internet. Vaynerchuck is very enthusiastic about his internet success, but the reality is that even if everyone has unparalleled determinism and enthusiasm for their subject, not everyone can or will be successful with it. His main points about authenticity and community reign true and coincide with many academic pieces from throughout the semester.