I just finished reading the book Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion.
Before I give my review I want to share how I discovered this book, because it’s a lesson in marketing all on its own. I was watching a Jake and Amir video with a character that I had not seen before. The guy was energetic and polished and the skit was funny. I was curious who this guy was, but wasn’t going to spend any time Googling him. The next day, and this is where my memory fails me, I saw something about Gary Vaynerchuk and his new book “Crush It”. I realized that was the guy in the video, and now the whole skit conversation made sense. I watched the video again, and then saw a “related video” that was a video review of Gary’s book. I watched the review and he gave it a good rating. Later that day someone I know on Facebook said they just got done reading Crush It and that they really liked it and it was going to change how they did business. That was enough for me to order the book and see if there was anything in it that I could incorporate into my business. It was an interesting series of events that lead to me buying the book, which I would have to argue proves the point of some of the things Gary says in the book.
I’ll start my review by disclaiming that I’m definitely not the perfect market for this book. I didn’t purchase the book for the reason that the book was written. I have a successful business, I’m not trying to turn a passion of mine into a new venture, I’ve already done that. Having said that, I still felt that the book was rather weak when it comes to giving people help in starting their crushing new venture. Most of the book is spent convincing you that you can make money off of your passion, instead of telling you how you can do this. Even when Gary does talk about how, it’s mostly pretty vague.
So what did I like? Gary made some very good points about using social networking sites to expand your personal brand (or your business brand). His book discusses creating your personal brand, but it’s easy enough to see how you can extrapolate that into your business brand. Before reading the book I wasn’t really on board with using sites like Twitter to do anything. I knew people used it, it just wasn’t for me. I use Facebook but mostly just to see what other people are up to. I had read some tweets of poker pros during the 2009 WSOP and found that most of them used Twitter too poorly to be worth my time. But Gary’s point is that you can build your brand by engaging in conversations that are related to your passion. Not just by posting links to your site. If you sell flower arrangements you can have conversations online with people who love flowers. Through these conversations, and profile links back to your site, you can expand your brand and increase your coverage. You become someone who people recognize on forums, blog comments, and Twitter feeds. This did lead me to realize how Naming Force could use Twitter to update users (and anyone else watching) when naming assignments get upgraded to larger awards, and how this would be better than just emailing registered users. The social sharing aspect of sites like Twitter increases the power and value of your message. Now I can acquire new users on Naming Force because their friends are following us on Twitter, and they start following us on Twitter – and using the website.
The book also drove me to finally use this domain name for something. I always thought I could probably find some good topics to blog about, but the book showed me I had a reason to do so. You don’t have to answer the question, “Who cares what I have to say?” you just have to realize that you have things to say on topics that individuals are interested in. That in itself can lead to you expanding your personal brand, and your business brand(s).