Thanks to Twitter Diva and KW Realtor Karen Goodman, I recently attended a St. Louis book signing event for Gary Vaynerchuk and his new book Crush It. It is a must read and a great Christmas or holiday gift for those interested in or just starting using social media. For a great review of the book signing event, visit Karen Goodman's Arch City Blog.
If you aren't familiar with @garyvee and Wine Library TV, you may just want to take a look. He is a pioneer at leveraging his passion for wine and social media to build a brand, grow his business, and create a strong community of followers. Now, I have watched his vBlogs and have heard speakers mention his name as an example of a social media success story. The rumors of his being a great social media evangelist are in fact true. In a few minutes while signing books, he gave some great tips such as "Don't edit your video", "Get out there", and "Stay current on the next trend - as the mediums change so must your business."
Now, the book "Crush It" is a short 140 or so page. However, his message and rules for success in business in life are similarly short and to the point:
- Love your Family
- Work Super Hard
- Live Your Passion
In the book, Gary Vanynerchuk provides a roadmap for building a social media strategy. It is a pretty simple and concise guide. Here are the steps:
Step 1 - Identify your Passion - “Passion is everything.”
Gary Vaynerchuk lives and breathes wine and is very passionate about it. So, the first step in developing a social media strategy is identifying your passion and developing a niche.
Step 2 - Develop a Great Product or Service - “It’s never a bad time to start a business unless you’re starting a mediocre business.”
Gary Vaynerchuk next describes how you have to work hard at your business and to develop a great product or service. The key to developing a successful social media strategy is first to develop great content that showcases your passion for your business.
Step 3 - Communicate Your Passion to Others -“Story telling is by far the most underrated skill in business.”
Gary Vaynerchuk points out that great content is just part of the equation. The other key components are: selecting the fight platform, finding like-minded people on forums and websites, and repeatedly interacting with your audience. The goal is interaction (not advertising).
Step 4 - Take a Long-Term View. - “Be patient. In time, if you continue to hustle, you’ll grow your presence and improve your skills to the point where the fish – really, really big fish, will be jumping straight into your hands.”
Gary Vaynerchuk is quick to point out that any social media strategy to be successful must have a good strategy and must have good execution. However, he focuses on the importance of the quality of the interaction with his followers and community, not raw numbers like the number of followers.
Step 5 - “Anything is better than zero.”
Gary Vaynerchuk knows that you need to focus on the interaction. The quality of your content will improve with time. However, it is the follow-up comments and willingness to provide assistance are what create great interaction with your followers that in turn generates business.
Step 6 - Aim for Excellence - "Legacy over Currency"
Gary Vaynerchuk is quick to point out that it is important to focus on the big and small details. His message is that there are no shortcuts. It is important to focus on your legacy and the quality of your work and not the short term economic gain.
Although I have organized a few points from the book into a "how to" guide about developing a social media strategy, this book isn't a "how to" guide. It is more about the importance of passion and energy for what you do and is a great story of how passion and energy can and does breed success as you define it.
If you are looking for a last minute gift, "Crush It" is a great addition under the tree and is a gift that any entrepeneur will appreciate as they develop and implement their social media strategy in 2010.