Social Media Book Crush It

Gary Vaynerchuk on Social Media

I specialise in social media for brands and business, but Gary Vaynerchuk is the master of social media for individual entrepreneurs. He started as a baseball card collector and grew a multi million dollar wine business.

Gary the Wine Guy
Gary Vaynerchuk explodes off the screen on YouTube the Wine Guy.

Gary’s presentation in 2008 at Web Expo 2.0 was a turning point in the discussion of social media in business. There are lots of other people who can give you advice about ‘how’ to use social media, but no one but Gary can tell you so forcefully ‘why’ to use social media.

If you have a colleague, boss or client that is resisting social media then send them a link to this video. In his presentation, Gary is like a human social media grenade. I’ve always believed in the power of presentations and story telling. Gary reminds us that a presentation can be compelling just because of the sheer force of personality that comes through on stage.

His new stuff, since the presentation in 2008 is even more applicable to a business context. He’s recently been working with big-boy brands like Pepsi and Blue Mountain Coffee. You can find some of his more up to date presentations on YouTube. But the 2008 Web 2.0 Expo is still the benchmark. I drew out a couple of key points from the presentation:

One to one marketing

Both Gary and I believe that your grandma knows more about how to succeed at social media than you do. This is because she grew up when business was done one-on-one. The corner store, the local shoemaker, the neighbourhood bakery. Your grandma knew them individually by name.

Word of mouth

She also knew about word-of-mouth. If she liked something she told people, and they listened. Gary shares my belief in the coming humanisation of business. As I wrote about in relation to Icebreaker, you can have word-of-mouth around a product. If you want to drive word of mouth around an entrepreneurial idea then you also need to be part of that word of mouth yourself.


Most people treat social media like a singles pick-up bar. Trying to close on the first date. They forget that social media relationships are like real-world relationships. They take time and effort to nurture. Gary calls this effort ‘hustle’. It’s a slightly New Yorker phrase for the way that small actions and effort every day create momentum. Rappers, salespeople and bar tenders all have to hustle in New York to survive. Hustle is the millions of tiny pushes that you need to make to be successful. It’s the blog posts you write, the conferences you attend, the industry events you speak at, and the YouTube videos you make.

The book

Gary put the best of his presentations and advice into a short book called Crush It! (2009, Harper Studio). There is also an excellent Audiobook version on iTunes. His experience in the wine trade, building relationships and creating content really shines through.

Social Media Book Crush It
Crush It! by Gary Vaynerchuk is all about how to bring your personality and passion into social media.

The book ‘Crush It!’ should really have been called ‘Kill It!’ or ‘Hustle!’, because that’s what Gary wants you to do. Gary’s book isn’t quite as good as he in person, but it’s a practical set of steps that help you put his energy into action in your life. It’s a nice talisman on the bookshelf to remind you to ‘kick ass’ every time you log on to Twitter, YouTube or your blog.

Gary also has a new book out called the Thank You Economy. It’s a more grown up approach than Crush It’! But I’d start with Crush It! because it’s a classic.

Find a niche you love, start a blog today. Keep your day job, but hustle, hustle hard.


2 thoughts on “Gary Vaynerchuk on Social Media”

  1. Gary’s new book covers the broader context of the changes that social media is bringing to business. It’s still got the same great Angry Gary tone.

  2. Yep, Gary has been strong on my radar the last couple of weeks. He’s got incredible passion and energy, but it’s his staying power and consistency that’s so impressive.

    One interesting point I heard Gary make recently was about his objection to print and billboard advertising. I thought he would have been flat against it, but he said that he’s all for it, it’s just the price for those media that he’s turned off by – that they need to come down significantly to reflect real consumer behaviour…

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