In my most recent Tech Beat article I included a  reference to Gary Vaynerchuck’s Crush It! It was sort of a mini-review within a longer article. I thought I’d give the book  more thorough treatment here where word count is not an issue.

If you are looking for a blueprint for building a successful online business, you should consider reading this small (148 pp) book. It’s both inspiring and cautionary. If you can absorb both of those feelings and take them to heart you can also follow Vaynerchuck’s recommendations on how to build a personal brand and thereby create a variety of income streams both on and off line.

Vaynerchuck begins the book with his “secret to success”: “Love your family, work superhard, live your passion.” Then he proceeds to tell his personal story to illustrate how he as followed those 3 rules to build a $60 million business.

The inspiration

Briefly, he began working in his father’s local liquor store in New Jersey. He started out as a stock boy and cashier, but he eventually found a niche by reinventing how wine is reviewed and sold. Eschewing the enigmatic language with how wine was described and marketed he decided he wanted to make wine accessible to the average buyer. This helped him greatly expand the liquor store sales. But it was when he went online with his unique approach that things really exploded.

And here is where his story will be of most interest to the online entrepreneur. Vaynerchuck lays out a set of steps if you want to follow his model for building a personal brand. If you watch his videos on or elsewhere on the web you may not think you can or want to turn yourself into another GaryVee. He is well aware that his story and personality may not be a fit for everyone. And he provides some alternative paths. He also throws out some quick examples of people in other professions who are following their passions and even offers ideas for other businesses you could pursue.

But be warned, it ain’t easy!

But the cautionary thoughts are also woven throughout the book: Don’t attempt this if you do not have a real passion for the product, service or concept you want to market because while the online tools are free or relatively cheap, the true cost is the investment of time you will need to make in order to succeed. You have to truly “live your passion” because outside of your family it will become your life. You can’t approach this casually. But if you believe in what you are doing, the work should be fun. Follow the steps outlined in the book. Do many of them over and over again. In fact, you don’t even have to buy the book. Just find a copy and memorize Appendix A where he lists 21 steps. To quote a few:

  • Post your content.
  • Start creating community by leaving comments on other people’s blogs and forums and replying to comments to your own comment.
  • Search to find as many people as possible talking about your topic, and communicate with them.
  • Use to find more blogs that are relevant to your subject.
  • Join as many active Facebook fan pages and groups relating to your blog topic as possible.
  • Repeat steps 12 through 16 over and over and over and over and over.
  • Do it again.
  • Do it again.

Not a complete how to

This is a book to read to get you to turn off the TV and get busy. However, if you’re looking for specific instructions on how to use the various social media tools such as Facebook or Twitter you will need to look elsewhere. I plan to review other books and resources on social media and other topics here in the future. So check back.

Apparently there is also a Vook (video book version), too.