Over the last few months I’ve heard and read a lot about Gary Vaynerchuk (Pronounced Vay-ner-chuk).
For those who don’t know Gary, he spent years building his family business from a local wine shop into a US national leader taking sales from $4m a year to $50m in just 8 years.
Crush It!: Why Now is the Time to Cash in on Your Passion is the story of how Gary leveraged social media tools such as Twitter and Facebook to promote Wine Library TV, his video blog about wine.
Although Gary started with a succesful business which his father gad built up, Gary has been instrumental in taking the business to this much higher level.
Gary is very much the early adopter, having taken launched Wine Library’s retail website in 1997 and Wine Library TV in February 2006.
His lesson and thoughts on the use of social media and growing your personal brand are well worth looking at.
Gary starts with his 3 rules:
1. Love yout family
2. Work superhard
3. Live your passion
Ok, so we can’t argue with that as they are pretty good rules to live by. Gary talks about building a brand and basically being out there on all social media sites you can think of.
He’s a big fan of video blogging (which suits his personality) – apparently he’s dyslexic, so video works well for him and is very much an extension of his personality. What works for Gary may not work for you, and unless Gary’s style is your natural sytle, certainly don’t copy it. If you’re not being yourself you won’t look natural and you’ll look false and awkward. Gary’s videos work well and he generates a huge following by being himself, but there are lessons here which you can (and should) adopt.
He gives some great tips about how to build link juice and reveals his formula for building traffic post to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and every social networking platform and keep doing it (i.e. rinse and repeat)
Interestingly enough he talks about delaying monetising your site, which considering most people turn to the Internet thinking that they are going to make their millions is well worth considering.
He splatters his text with some great examples of the opportunities that arise from just one visitor. In fact he’s very much of the build the community one step at a time approach, which is very much in keeping with being social.
He shares a great story from his work at one of his wine stores where a customer ordered a bottle of wine for Christmas but it had missed the delivery run. So Gary took it upon himself to drive to the customer’s house some 3 or 4 hours away just to deliver the bottle of wine. Do you think that the customer told all her friends about the service? You bet she did.
Gary prides himself on answering all his emails personally. He doesn’t hide behind assistants, which is an amazing work rate for anyone.
Is the book worth buying? It’s certainly interesting and has some great nuggets to take away so on the whole yes. You can read it in an evening or two and one of the nuggets may pay big dividends for your business.
For example I would never have set up a Facebook Fan Page for The Big Red Tomato Company if it hadn’t been for Gary.
You can find Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion on Amazon.