1-Sentence-Summary: Crushing It is Gary Vaynerchuk’s follow-up to his personal branding manifesto Crush It, in which he reiterates the importance of a personal brand and shows you the endless possibilities that come with building one today.
Read in: 4 minutes
Favorite quote from the author:
Last January, Gary Vaynerchuk launched the 2017 Flip Challenge. It was an effort to get people to stop complaining and start taking their lives into their own hands by starting the simplest business in the world: picking out cheap and rare items from their home or garage sales and selling them on eBay. Thousands of people jumped on the opportunity, having been unaware of the potential behind selling their unused stuff.
As the challenge went on and success stories piled up, he started showcasing some of them on Medium, which ended up influencing his next book. Crushing It is a case study collection of people, who’ve taken up Gary on his advice from Crush It back in 2009 to build a personal brand, mixed with his latest take on how to achieve exactly that today.
Here’s are 3 lessons that are both practical and philosophical at once:
Gary was right in 2009, yet most of us still haven’t started putting our lives online. Do you really want to risk waking up to him being right again ten years from now, not having done anything? Didn’t think so. Let’s do this!
When you have a restaurant or brick and mortar store, a personal brand seems like an obvious move. After all, you can use your social media clout to fill the seats or make more sales. But what if you have neither a service nor something to sell? Well, ask Brittany Xavier from Thrifts and Threads.
Initially, she just documented her life as a young mom for fun on Instagram. Eventually, she noticed similar accounts tagging brands in their posts, so she started doing the same. Soon, those brands began reaching out and once she hit 10,000 followers, she began to charge for advertising them in her posts. Now, Thrifts and Threads is a full-fledged family lifestyle brand, focusing on cheap, yet stylish outfits, decor and more.
Like a startup, a personal brand doesn’t need a business model right from the start. You can figure it out as you go. As long as your content is high quality, the money will inevitably follow.
Gary has a few themes, both in business and in life. They’ve changed little to nothing throughout the years, because they’re virtues of who he is as a person. As such, they’re a big part of how he’s grown his own businesses and personal brand to such massive levels. Here they are:
Regardless of whether you start a brand or not, if you centered your life around these values, I think that’d make a pretty good life.
The part where most people get hung up on, the main reason why they never start creating a personal brand, is that when they sit down to publish, they freeze. “What do I talk about? I don’t have anything to say!” That’s because we look at the process like it’s an artist’s work. But it’s not.
Originally, no social media platform, not Facebook, not Twitter, not even Instagram, was built to share a stylized highlight reel of your life. They were always meant to just live your life, but do it online. So instead of handcrafting each post, just start by documenting what you do anyway. Record yourself practicing soccer tricks, tweet your thoughts about a book, or post old family photos.
Gary, for example, runs a multimillion dollar business. As a CEO, he’s always in meetings or traveling around. That’s why he hired videographer DRock to follow him around all day and then has a team of people who use that video content to create Youtube videos, quote pictures, blog articles, podcasts and more.
Most of us can’t afford that, but we don’t need to, because we can just use our phones. Document, don’t create.
I love Gary. He’s one part inspiration, one part strategy, and one part tactics. So is this book. It’s easy to understand, showcases different social media platforms and how they work, as well as presents lots of examples of people Crushing It. If you want to check out some more of his books, I’ve written summaries of Crush It, The Thank You Economy, and Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, as well.