In Crush It! describes the author – a wine expert, video blogger, and social media consultant – how he created his personal brand by leveraging social media tools, and how you can do the same.
I didn't like this book, it's more fluff than stuff, and hence a waste of time.
Passion Is Everything
Are you willing to do whatever it takes for the chance to live entirely on your own terms?
You may not have connections, or an education, or wealth, but with enough passion and sweat, you can make anything happen.
I measure my success by how happy I am, not how big the business is or how much money I've made.
Live your passion. What does that mean? It means that when you get up for work every morning, every single morning, you are pumped because you get to talk about or work with or do the thing that interests you the most in the world. You don't live for vacations because you don't need a break from what you're doing – working, playing, and relaxing are one and the same. You don't even pay attention to how many hours you're working because to you, it's not really work. You're making money, but you'd do whatever it is you're doing for free.
It's never a bad time to start a business unless you're starting a mediocre business.
Everyone needs to start thinking of themselves as a brand. It is no longer an option; it is a necessity.
Success Is in Your DNA
There is no excuse for anyone to slog through his or her entire life working at jobs they hate, or even jobs they simply don't love, in the name of a paycheck or a sense of responsibility.
There was one spring when I cut the flowers in my neighbors yard, then rang her doorbell and sold a bouquet back to her.
Storytelling is by far the most underrated skill in business.
Build Your Personal Brand
Developing your personal brand is key to monetizing your passion online. Whether you're delivering your content by video, podcast, or blog, it's the authentic you, the one thing that is guaranteed to differentiate you from everybody else, including those who share your niche or business model.
Quality is a tremendous filter. Cream always rises, no matter how many cups of coffee you pour.
No matter how you shape and color your personal brand, honesty has go to be at your core.
You'll crush it as long as you concentrate on being yourself.
Don't put on an act to try to imitate me or anyone else who's had some success with social marketing. You will lose because people can sniff out a poser from a mile away.
Embrace your DNA, be yourself, put out awesome content, and people will be interested in what you have to say. 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.
Leveraging social networking platforms into effective conduits for your personal brand is all about building word of mouth.
A Whole New World
Create Great Content
To monetize your personal brand into a business using social marketing networks, two pillars need to be in place: product and content.
You can hustle and market and network all you want, but if your sports drink tastes like trash, or if you're putting out bad information, you're going to lose.
Most people talk themselves out of success before they even start.
Communicate with me, because whoever is the best communicator will win.
If you cannot answer both of those questions – "Am I sure my passion is what I think it is?", and "Can I talk about it better than anyone else?" – with an emphatic "Yes!" you are not going to win.
You can monetize any passion, but the level at which you can monetize will be affected by the size of your niche and whether you are able to differentiate yourself enough from the other players in it.
Know yourself. Choose the right medium, choose the right topic, create awesome content, and you can make a lot of money being happy.
Choose Your Platform
To my mind the most effective content medium is video. It's just easier to grab people's attention and draw them in, especially a public who reads less and less. I also think letting people see you is a major plus when you're trying to sell a personal brand.
Your website is for communicating logistics and facilitating sales; your blog is for communicating the essence of your brand.
You're in business to serve your community. Don't ever forget it.
Keep It Real... Very Real
No matter how big or small you want to go, your authenticity will be at the root of your appeal and is what will keep people coming to your site and spreading the word about your personal brand, service, or whatever you are offering.
If you live your passion and work the social networking tools to the max, opportunities to monetize will present themselves.
You can still make plenty of good money if you're fourth best in a category, or ninth best, but if you really want to dominate the competition and make big bucks, you've got to be the best.
Someone with less passion and talent and poorer content can totally beat you if they're willing to work longer and harder than you are.
No one makes a million dollars with minimal effort unless they win the lottery.
Create Community: Digging Your Internet Trench
Creating community is about starting conversations.
Building and sustaining community is a never-ending part of doing business.
The Best Marketing Strategy Ever
Make the World Listen
As soon as you start focusing on monetizing, by necessity you will start to pay less attention to your content and your community.
Anything is better than zero. That doesn't mean you should do anything to earn a buck, but neither should you walk away from dollars if you don't have any.
Even if your ambitions are huge, start slow, start small, build gradually, build smart.
Roll with It
Nothing in life ever goes exactly the way you think it will, and that goes for all of your carefully planned entrepreneurial dreams and goals.
Thanks to social networking platforms, your story is going to get told, unfiltered, whether you like it or not. You can no longer control the message.
When you know what people are saying and thinking about your brand, you can address it. If you see falsehood, you can correct it. If you see praise, you can show appreciation. If you see confusion, you can inform.
Legacy Is Greater Than Currency
When you mess up or things go wrong, there's no longer anywhere to hide. The public can be forgiving when it wants to be, but rather than test its generosity, I urge you to start training yourself to think through the consequences of every business decision you make before you actually make it.
Will I be proud of how I made that money?
Making connections, creating and continuing meaningful interaction with other people, whether in person or in the digital domain, is the only reason we're here.
The Time is now, the message is forever
The greatest paradox surrounding the internet is that as much as it allows us to isolate and limit ourselves only to what we believe is immediately relevant to our specific needs, so does it allow us to connect at unprecedented levels and extend ourselves beyond our farthest horizons.
True success – financial, personal, and professional – lies above all in loving your family, working hard, and living your passion. In telling your story. In authenticity, hustle, and patience. In caring fiercely about the big and the small stuff.