Crushing It!: How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence-and How You Can, Too

Let me start this by being very honest, I’ve always kind of ignored any books that Gary has put out, reason being is because he even says in his podcasts that a lot of what he says is just straight out of his podcasts, and since I am a podcast enthusiast, I figured I had already consumed whatever information could be in this book. It wasn’t until I was bored at Target waiting for my wife that I decided to thumb through a copy of the book. While quickly looking through the book I realized that this was probably worth my time, and decided to give it a read.

A lot of this book is case studies from people who have read his original book Crush it! While it almost reads like a giant ad for his media company (which most marketing books are) there is actually quite a bit you can learn from the mindset and drive of each of these case studies. The first half of this book is designed to motivate you and show you the possibilities that are now attainable through social media. After laying out the foundation, Gary spends the next half of the book on an overview of strategy for each platform.

The problem with a lot of marketing books specifically based in the digital realm, is that by the time the book is printed, you can bet that something has changed about the platform, negating something you said. Gary gets around this by focusing more on the mindset you should approach each platform with, allowing someone like me who has been very plugged in to the digital marketing world for the past five years to still learn some things. One thing I learned was to not be afraid to spend some time on brand new or even dying platforms, it’s like running a tv commercial on a tv show that may only be around a season two. You should do this because there aren’t as many people there with content, so what you have to offer is more likely to be seen. I thought that was pretty brilliant.

Gary draws a distinction between conversion based sales people (short term) and branding and marketing people (long term), Gary has always focused on teaching people to think long term, so building a brand and knowing how to market it long term is the focus here. This is where the examples used are very encouraging and more than just an ad for Gary’s past work, because being genuinely engaged and interactive with your audience takes time, a lot of these stories were at least two years in the making. Just like my Instagram article, this stuff really does take time, no it isn’t back breaking work like ditch digging, but it does take some planning and patience, there isn’t a simple five minute trick to get 100,000 followers.

When it comes to specific tactics and skills needed to do a lot of what is needed to be successful on social media, I would not recommend this book, and instead point you in the direction of a recent Udemy or Skillshare class. Like I stated earlier, it wouldn’t be wise for Gary to go into the weeds explaining Facebook Pixels or how to link Google Analytics to your website, because all it would take is a new Facebook or Google algorithm change to make the book completely pointless.

Gary does go over some tactics that as far as I can see, will most likely be pretty timeless, and are tactics I have used myself. For instance, Gary explains how to get major influencers attention on their smaller platforms. If someone has 200,000 followers on Instagram and only 2,000 followers on Twitter, reach out to them on Twitter. There are less people trying to get their attention there, and although they may check it less frequently, when they do, they are way more likely to see you.

Getting out of a job you hate and into what you are passionately driven towards is also a big theme in this book. While Gary doesn’t encourage a unhealthy lifestyle, he does encourage a system I found interesting. If you’re unhappy with your job, Gary makes the case that you may want to consider cutting a couple hours of sleep each night, and using that time developing your side hustle. What you do between 9pm-1am is something Gary talks about frequently in his podcasts as well, and it’s a system I’ve been doing for a few years.

Before I wrap this up I want to point out one more important point with this book. Gary mentions that within 18 months of the book’s release (January 30, 2018) the cost of advertising on Facebook will go up. I’ve heard him mention this many times before, his theory is that within the next couple years major corporations like Budweiser will find more value on social media, and invest major dollars in it, raising the cost for everyone else. When someone who actually is close with Facebook, and is a consultant for Budweiser recommends that you prepare for this, I think it’s wise to listen to the warning he is giving you of what’s coming down the pipe.

To wrap this up I am going to break this down as simple as I can: Do actual work and don’t be a slimy scam artist. Don’t copy and paste the same comment all over Instagram, don’t make an auto responder with the same stupid message to message any new follower you get on twitter, don’t send random Facebook messages pretending to care about someone you haven’t talked to in 5 years just to pitch them your insurance company. No. Just be a real person who genuinely wants to engage and learn about people who may one day be your customer. Yes that takes time, yes that requires some more thinking and work, but that’s just a part of the filter process to success. If you just want to railroad over everyone and push your agenda, maybe it’s for the better that you don’t make it…