I have been a fan of Gary’s for years – and he is someone who has mastered the art (and science in many ways) of establishing a unique brand voice and presence within the industry. I think there are many people who can see how he’s grown and created his own opportunities – essentially disrupting the market and industry as a whole on what is to be expected from a personal brand.
I wrote a book review of Gary’s #AskGaryVee book nearly two years ago, and I feel I need to write one for his latest book, Crushing It!. Here are some takeaways I had when I finished reading Gary’s latest book:
Strong emphasis on personal branding and influencer marketing. These two aspects of business and social media are at the forefront of what people are talking about across industries. Whether you are in sports or business or even in another industry such as academia (which is where I am), you see these aspects being emphasized everywhere. Gary starts off the book with these two concepts at the very beginning – which is good and the message of having the power to control your path is key. The path is indeed yours when it comes to personal branding and influencer marketing – but you first have to determine what these are for yourself and how to invest in them for the long term.
There are still aspects that have not changed with the evolution of social media. YES. Thank you Gary for pointing this out! There are still some fundamental practices we, as professionals, still need to invest in. Intent is one of them – what is your overall purpose and why? What are your goals and what do you want to contribute to the larger community? We sometimes forget this, when instead, we have to come back and look at things from both a larger perspective and for the long-term. You also got to love what you are doing, so passion is key here as well. There are going to be some things we have to do that may not be fun, but we also have to persist and fight for the things we love to do. I tell my students I love what I am doing as their professor because I am able to mentor and help others, continue being a student of the industry, and constantly adapt my own understanding and skills to be marketable and relevant in the profession. What is also important is speed (how fast you are able to do this) and putting forth the work and foundation for where you want to go. So important – success doesn’t happen over night. I have to sometimes educate others who are interested in teaching social media the fact there were a lot of roadblocks, challenges, and even failures I had to address before I got to where I am today.
Document, Don’t create. I actually share this video and concept w/ my classes to illustrate the point where you have to have a balance between sharing content (and creating it) to demonstrate your expertise and interests, but you also have to let people know the journey you have been a part of. As Gary says, documenting will keep you honest on where you are, and where you have been, but also show the journey you have been on. I have been documenting my journey not like Gary has with video over the years, but with my own website and even this blog. With 12+ years of blogging and over 20 years on digital, I’ve seen the evolution in my own brand, and it reminds me of where I have been, and the potential of where I can go. Having this perspective is very important to have so you can show others your story, and how you evolved to the person you are today.
Specific strategies on certain platforms. I do like the fact Gary discusses how to strategically approach each platform in unique ways. I felt the one chapter that connected with me the most was of course Twitter, and how to use it strategically and the game plan for how to engage others and set up your own schedule for what you can do each and every day on the platform. Second, I really liked the biz development suggestions Gary had for Instagram (I was surprised to see it was one of the last chapters listed in the book when I thought it could have been presented a little earlier). All of these chapters would be good to show students and give them some suggestions on how to approach each platform, but again, it is still important to make sure to tailor them for your own personal brand. What may work for Gary may not necessarily be appropriate for your own brand.
So, what are some things I wished were in Gary’s new book, Crushing It? Here are a few things I thought could have been great to have here in this book (and something to keep in mind for the future):
- Pictures for Stories. The stories that are showcased in the book are great, but we really don’t get to see examples or even the face behind these brands with each of these stories.We are able to see them and get a sense of who they are – and want to motivate to connect with them. I only knew of a few people who were selected and would know who they looked like, so this could have been something to add in for this book.
- Diversity in story selection. I also saw in some of the reviews on Amazon people already knew of the stories of Pat Flynn, Amy, and even Lewis. You do want to make sure you are highlighting people who have not been showcased yet, but also recognize there are some people whose story would be relevant to hear. For example, the testimonials on the back cover are amazing (The Rock and Casey Neistat?! How cool!) Why are their stories not integrated??!! I would have loved to have heard about what The Rock had learned about his journey in social media. I think seeing these stories here would have been great.
- In relations to the two additional points, reach out to other industries. There are all sorts of industries that are highlighted here, except one, and that’s education. This is 2018, and while I know where Gary stands on higher education, it would be nice to have some connection here to what we are doing in and out of the classroom for educators. Not all educators are “out of date” – instead, we are seeing more professors becoming social connectors and bridging the need for practice into their classes. So, Gary – if you want to chat w/ someone or others who are helping mentor the future generation of employees and professionals in the field, I would love to chat. I’m easy to get in touch with on social media.
- Supplemental pieces of work. What I loved about what Mark Schaefer did for his book Known was have a workbook. This was amazing!!! I wish Gary had something to supplement Crushing It so you could 1) walk through these chapters and steps yourself for your personal brand and / or 2) include these as exercises to teach others (ex. clients, students, colleagues, etc) about these concepts. Not everyone may understand how to apply these concepts, and I think there could be a real market for a supplemental workbook. It could be a downloadable sheet or even a hardcopy, but I think in today’s time, more authors are doing this, so Gary may want to note this for the future to have a stronger competitive edge.
In summary, as someone who recommends books to students, professors, and others in the community, I do think Gary’s new book “Crushing It” would be a great addition to have for classes and share w/ students. Here’s the link to his book on Amazon. Congrats Gary on the success of this book and for #5 on your list!
Hope you all are having a great day!