Book Review: Crush It!
Web maven and wine connoisseur Gary Vaynerchuk has got a new book out, and it’s not about wine. Gary’s latest book provides an overview of building a personal brand and how to start killing it online. Gary’s book, Crush It!: Why now is the time to cash in on your passion, is great for anyone still scratching their heads about the world of social media.
This book review is best described from the viewpoint of my grandmother and small business owner, Seattle Sutton. She started her diet-delivery business in 1985 with the sole goal of paying her grandkids’ college tuition. After her 5 children begot 14 grandchildren, she knew she had to hustle. (For the record: she’s met her goal. Thanks, grandma!) But the Internet is unlike many other media she’s had to interact with throughout her life. Just as her business grew up with radio and television, her customers are growing up with the Internet and have a different set of expectations. She’s confused by this world and needs a primer. Crush It! is the perfect primer for her.
@garyvee, Distilled into 120 Pages
For those that follow Gary Vaynerchuk’s exploits online, this book will be redundant. For my grandmother, this book is a great play. Whether at the recommendation of HarperStudio or an attempt to reach outside of Gary’s large core audience, the book seems to have more mass appeal than Gary’s typical message of crushing it mostly online.
Someone savvy to Gary’s message already knows the content of this book backwards and forwards. They know that Gary will respond to every email. They are familiar with his in-your-face approach to teaching this stuff.
Buy This Book, but Not for Yourself
For me, this book didn’t present any new information. But I live online. I’ve had conversations with Gary. (I owe him $300, but let’s not get into that right now. Vegas. The Wynn. Bad luck.) My family members, however, don’t know Gary Vaynerchuk and they are the ones that need to hear his message the most.
Gary’s swan song is quite the amazing tale that many small business owners can learn from and relate to. Growing up in Belarus, Gary quickly learned the value of working hard for a living once moving to the States. After assuming control of his parents’ liquor store, Gary identified the Internet had an untapped potential and he’s been rocking it ever since. People like my grandmother, the 70-something year old Seattle Sutton, can appreciate Gary’s tale and the advice he instills onto the reader.
By far my favorite point contained within Gary’s message is that social media is just a tool on the Internet. There is no magic. There is no get-rich-quick aspect to it. Every successful thing online takes plenty of hard work, or “hustle” in @garyvee terminology. If your relatives read this book for no other reason, what Gary has to say about that point would be it.
This book is a great first step for those unfamiliar with the inner workings of online marketing and interaction. Gary signed a 10-book deal with Harper, so we can expect 9 more books in the future.
The next time, I’d like to see Gary focus more on the depth of certain tactics. For focusing on something inherently visual, this book needed a few figures or screen caps to illustrate exactly what he was talking about.
Gary is very aware that social networks come and go, and he definitely addresses things from a general practice approach in most places. He needs more explanation concerning his arguments for TubeMogul and ping.fm, especially the why of each service. I’m also not quite sure I agree with the shotgun blast mentality of each service.
These are all fairly minor critiques and Gary will definitely continue to crush it next time. Because I’m overly familiar Gary’s message, this book isn’t for me. But Gary’s smart for making it that way. Buy this book for your friends and family members involved in small- and medium-sized looking to decipher the world of every-expanding online media, or for yourself if you’re still scratching your head about social media.