How much did I like it? 7/10
It was Ok, but the man has much more to deliver that what's inside this book.
What's stick overall, is this phenomenal moment in history we're all in, the beginning of the Internet Era.
It urges you to launch your personal brand buisness if you didn't do it yet. Be authentic in all what you do.
The book is almost 12 years old now, and abviously outdated for some part. Other parts are good reminders still relevant today.
Here are my favorites:
"Everyone—EVERYONE—needs to start thinking of themselves as a brand. It is no longer an option; it is a necessity."
"Developing your personal brand is the same thing as living and breathing your résumé every second that you’re working.
Your latest tweet and comment on Facebook and most recent blog post? That’s your résumé now."
"Too many people ignore their DNA, however, to conform to what their families or society expects of them.
That’s how someone born to design bikes winds up becoming a lawyer, or someone who cannot go a day without jotting down some ideas for their next poem spends most of their time at the helm of an emergency IT department. To me that’s insane.
it drives me crazy to know that there are still people out there who haven’t figured out that they don’t have to settle."
"I knew from my experience with the baseball card business that people want to be told what’s good and valuable, and that they enjoy feeling like they’ve been turned on to something not everyone can appreciate.
Storytelling is by far the most underrated skill in business."
"To everyone who is freaking out because they fear the noise and distraction of all the additional content on the Internet, you can relax. Quality is a tremendous filter. Cream always rises, my friends, no matter how many cups of coffee you pour."
"He probably should be talking about something else, something that makes him shine, that gets him excited, that allows his personality and his passion to burst through your monitor and demand that you pay attention no matter whether he’s an introvert or an extrovert."
"(Twitter is) the pulse of society"
"if you tweet “Is there a PowerPoint expert out there?,” you’re reaching out to thousands of people.
Twitter is a two-way street that takes you really far, really fast."
"There’s nothing scripted and nothing staged about my blogs, and I always, always do only one take. No redos, no tweaks, nothing. No redos, no tweaks, nothing.
whatever happens during filming is what my audience will see."
"I hate to disappoint, but if you’re looking for an easier time here, you’re barking up the wrong tree. you’ll be bleeding out of your eyeballs at your computer."
"And now it’s no longer a special interest story if you make it big without family connections or money or an education, because everyone can do it. The only differentiator in the game is your passion and your hustle."
"Creating community is about starting conversations.
join every single online conversation already in play around the world about your topic. Every. Single. One."
"The day you see that one person is reading or watching or listening to you is a day to celebrate."
"I’ve repeated over and over that in order to build a winning business you have to go whole hog with your passion. True. I’ve said that if you don’t plan ahead and decide exactly what you want and where you want to see your business end up, you’re broken. Still true. But what is also true is that as committed and obsessed and goal oriented as entrepreneurs need to be, they also have to be willing to practice what I call “reactionary business,” which at heart is about being willing and able to adapt and change."
"We’re all in the public eye now, swimming around in a clear glass fish bowl of our own making."
"Successful entrepreneurs are like good chess players; they can imagine the various possibilities ahead and how each one will trigger their next move."
"you’re building more than just a business, you’re building a legacy.
I am always hyperaware that everything I’m doing is being recorded for eternity."
"She hadn’t received her case of White Zinfandel. It was December 22 and there was no way FedEx was going to deliver the wine in time for Christmas.
I threw a case of White Zinfandel in my car and drove three hours in blinding snow to the woman’s house."
One - Passion is everything
How badly do you want to crush it? Is it an all-consuming feeling?
You’re lucky because you live in an age of unmatched opportunity for anyone with enough hustle, patience, and big dreams.
I don’t think enough people have yet grasped just how much society and business and even the Internet have changed.
If you want it badly enough, it can become your story, in a lot less time and for a lot less money.
You may not have connections, or an education, or wealth, but with enough passion and sweat, you can make anything happen.
- Love your family.
- Work superhard.
- Live your passion.
what you need to know
- How to correctly channel your passion into a blog followed by thousands of people interested in consuming your personal brand.
- What real hustle looks like.
- Why building a personal brand through social media is crucial to professional survival and advancement, no matter what your field.
- Why you should make plans to grow a business around your personal brand and leave your current job even if you’re happily employed.
- The best marketing strategy ever.
the game has changed
Everyone knows the Internet represents one of the biggest cultural shifts since the printing press, but I think society has been slow to recognize that it represents the biggest shift in history in how we do business.
where there is an audience, advertisers are eager to follow. They used to spend their money on traditional media—radio, television, newspapers, and magazines. Those platforms are losing eyeballs to the online world by the second, and many media companies never implemented the leaner, meaner business model they needed to stay alive. They’re dead. If the survivors in the traditional media don’t adjust to this new competitor, thirty years from now our kids will examine them in museums with the same curiosity they now reserve for dinosaur bones and fossils.
I don’t care if you’re in sales, tech, finance, publishing, journalism, event planning, business development, retail, service, you name it—you will still need to develop and grow your personal brand. Everyone—EVERYONE—needs to start thinking of themselves as a brand. It is no longer an option; it is a necessity.
It takes a lot of time, effort, and focus, but not a lot of dollars, if any. That, my friends, is the game changer; everyone has a shot, not just those with extra cash.
This means you
let’s say you love to fish, and you happen to know a load about worms. In fact, you’re embarrassed at how much you like worms and like to talk about worms. But there’s no way you can make money on worms, right? Wrong. You can use the Internet to build a platform where you can talk about worms to your heart’s content. Passion is contagious.
If you channel it into creating amazing content and distribute that content using the social media tools I discuss in this book, someone like me who rocks at business development will eventually find it and become a fan.
It's up to you
Do what makes you happy. Keep it simple. Do the research. Work hard. Look ahead.
Keep that in mind as you start to put your dreams and plans into action. The tools we’re going to discuss in this book will spread your ideas and give your personal brand more traction in far less time and for far less money than you might have been able to do otherwise, but they are only as powerful as the person who uses them.
Turn water into wine
Quit whining, quit crying, quit with the excuses. If you already have a full-time job, you can get a lot done between 7:00 P.M. and 2:00 A.M. (9:00 P.M. to 3:00 A.M. if you’ve got kids), so learn to love working during those predawn hours. I promise it won’t be hard if you’re doing what you love more than anything else.
You can turn water into wine—you can transform what you love into a legacy-building business that makes a crapload of money, and still be true to yourself.
you will only be limited by how far you want to sail. Social media tools—Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and all the rest—are modern-day galleons that will carry you to the new world, allowing you to share your passion, differentiate yourself from your competitors, and deliver your brand to the broadest possible audience.
Two - Success is in your DNA
No one believes in himself more than I do, yet I’m well aware of how unimportant I really am. I couldn’t care less what people think about me, but I do respect and pay attention to what they say.
You gotta be you
Too many people ignore their DNA, however, to conform to what their families or society expects of them.
That’s how someone born to design bikes winds up becoming a lawyer, or someone who cannot go a day without jotting down some ideas for their next poem spends most of their time at the helm of an emergency IT department. To me that’s insane.
it drives me crazy to know that there are still people out there who haven’t figured out that they don’t have to settle.
The Internet makes it possible for anyone to be 100 percent true to themselves and make serious cash by turning what they love most into their personal brand. There no longer has to be a difference between who you are and what you do.
I’m of the opinion that hardship shapes us.
I’m convinced, in fact, that if things had been a little easier for my family in the early days, I never would have gotten to where I am now.
Coming to America
We never took medicine, only tea; and if you were really sick, you rubbed vodka on your chest. I never wanted to tell anyone I had gotten a cut or burn on my hand because they would immediately suggest I pee on it.
Rise to the entrepreneur
My brain was telling me this was a terrible idea, but my gut said, “Go for it,” and I’ve always listened to my gut.
By the time I got home and told my dad and mom what I had done I was almost in tears, but true to form, they didn’t throttle me, even though I’m sure they wanted to. Instead, my dad said he hoped that losing the money would be worth the experience.
I went to my room determined to show him that I wasn’t in this just for the experience. The fire was burning, and there was no way I was going to lose.
I had just learned one of my first lessons in business—scarcity breeds desire.
My strategy was simple, I’d buy sets that weren’t mentioned in Beckett’s and promote them to create a market. You’re thinking, jeez, Gary, what a scam artist you were. Not at all. I was an optimist. A pessimist would have seen the cards were unlisted and assumed they were worthless.
Learning the trade
I knew from my experience with the baseball card business that people want to be told what’s good and valuable, and that they enjoy feeling like they’ve been turned on to something not everyone can appreciate.
Storytelling is by far the most underrated skill in business.
Changin the wine world
I came onboard full-time after graduating in 1998 and grew the business from about 4 million to 10 million in a year with 0 percent of that in online sales. By 2001, we were doing about 20 million. Not bad. Not bad at all. Life was good and business was booming.
Then, on my thirtieth birthday, November 14, 2005, I was driving along the New Jersey Turnpike on my way to work thinking about my day, and I realized that as perfect as life seemed, I wasn’t entirely happy. I knew deep in my soul that there was no way I was ever going to buy the Jets if I stayed on the retail path. It was time to go big.
It was there, on the New Jersey Turnpike, that I had my aha moment. I wasn’t going to use video blogs to sell wine; I was going to use video blogs to build a whole new world for wine, and for myself. I waited to get the store through the holiday season, and then launched Wine Library TV in February 2006, three months later.
Three - Build your personal brand
Wine Library TV was never about selling wine on the Internet. It was always about building brand equity.
Developing your personal brand is key to monetizing your passion online. Whether you’re delivering your content by video, podcast, or blog, it’s the authentic you, the one thing that is guaranteed to differentiate you from everybody else, including those who share your niche or business model.
The thing that most people don’t realize is that in today’s world your business and your personal brand need to be one and the same, whether you’re selling organic fish food or financial advice or just your opinion.
The first generation built their brands on television and movie screens, radio, magazines, and newspapers, and the new one will do the same online at a much lower cost, with no need for a gatekeeper’s approval.
Building my brand
Watch me for two seconds and you know exactly who I am and what I stand for. Authenticity is key.
my colorful language. I’m loud, I’m over the top, I’m hyper. But I am who I am. I’m for real, and overall people like that. People watch, and they liste.
To everyone who is freaking out because they fear the noise and distraction of all the additional content on the Internet, you can relax. Quality is a tremendous filter. Cream always rises, my friends, no matter how many cups of coffee you pour.
Opportunity lies in transparency
Consumers want you to tell them the truth. Sure, they want quality and service and value and entertainment, but above all they want to know that the person they’re dealing with is being honest.
Trust your own palate
You’ll crush it as long as you concentrate on being yourself.
everything was going to have to come straight from me, unfiltered and unpolished. Creating and disseminating my content would be the only thing that I absolutely could not and would not delegate.
So I waited until I found a medium that spoke to my DNA—video blogs—jumped on it, and never looked back.
Embrace your DNA, be yourself, put out awesome content, and people will be interested in what you have to say. Believe me, if you’re that good, people are going to find you, and they’re going to follow you, and they’re going to talk. And getting people to talk is the whole point.
Word of mouth on stereoids
the Internet and social networks—and the instant access to online communities (and the millions of people who will eventually join them) they provide—have pumped word of mouth up like it was on steroids.
The consumer is no longer limited to talking about her experience with your personal brand to the people in her immediate circle or even in random encounters during her day.
Ten minutes, give or take. It’s mind-blowing, and every day more and more tools are being created to carry your personal brand further.
Everybody's doing it
You may not have started your business yet, but there’s a good chance you’ve already created a personal brand without even realizing it. You become one the second you create any kind of Internet account that puts you in the public eye.
Developing your personal brand is the same thing as living and breathing your résumé every second that you’re working.
Your latest tweet and comment on Facebook and most recent blog post? That’s your résumé now.
Through your content you’re making sure that people can get to know you personally and professionally.
Four - A whole new world
Business in the future is going to be a field day for everyone with talent because they’ll no longer be forced to exist within the confines of old-guard institutions.
"because as we all know, money follows eyeballs"
the game is changing, and your opportunity is huge if you take it.
It’s a whole new world; build your personal brand and get ready for it.
Plan your future now
If you don’t plan ahead and decide where you want to go, you’re in big trouble.
as long as you’re working for someone else you will never be living entirely true to yourself and your passion.
as long as you’re creating content and building your brand you’re building future opportunity.
Five - Create great content
Know your stuff
make sure you can talk about your product like no one else. Do your homework. You should be reading and absorbing every single resource you can find—books, trade journals, newsletters, websites, as well as taking classes and attending lectures and conferences.
You can even make the learning process part of your content. Think of all those cooking blogs that chronicle disastrous culinary experiments.
Can you think of at least fifty blog topics that you’re amped to write about it? That’s about the minimum number of posts you’ll need to give yourself enough time to get a feel for the situation.
That said, I’m convinced that if something is your true passion you can find five hundred things—five hundred interesting things—to say about it.
Tell a story
Tell me the story of the town, not just the home you want to sell.
Tell me about the trends you’re seeing.
your favorite persuasive technique, your most interesting clients, and your biggest challenges.
Tell me your story, and if you’re good, I’ll come back for more.
Communicate with me, because whoever is the best communicator will win.
Don't lie to yourself
When you start thinking about your livelihood and your passion and the content you want to create, may I suggest looking in the mirror and having the following conversation with yourself?
“Is technology (or candy or marketing or soccer) my ultimate passion?
"Am I good enough to be the best blogger about tech (or candy or marketing or soccer) in the world?"
You can monetize any passion, but the level at which you can monetize will be affected by the size of your niche and whether you are able to differentiate yourself enough from the other players in it. There are a lot of pockets out there today, however, that can sustain a nice forty-to-seventy-five-thousand-dollar-a-year business.
Choose your medium carefully
We’ve all watched and read and listened to boring blogs. Most of them out there, in fact, are really boring.
The problem isn’t that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about, it’s that he’s talking about it at all. He probably should be talking about something else, something that makes him shine, that gets him excited, that allows his personality and his passion to burst through your monitor and demand that you pay attention no matter whether he’s an introvert or an extrovert.
If you watch an engineer talking about engineering, and it’s boring, one of three problems is in play: he’s talking about the wrong topic, he’s using the wrong medium, or both.
There are people who belong in front of a camera, there are people who belong in print.
Know yourself. Choose the right medium, choose the right topic, create awesome content, and you can make a lot of money being happy.
The lure and the lasso
You’re going to work your content in two ways. The first is as a lure, creating it, posting it, and allowing people to come to you as they discover it. The second is to use it as a lasso through comments on other people’s content that relates to yours, inserting yourself into existing conversations and actively creating reasons for your audience to come to you. Of course, you have to give people a place to find your killer content, so let’s go there next.
Six - Choose your platform
To keep people coming to this home, you need to be constantly reaching out and interacting with the online community of people interested in your passion who are also your potential constituents.
The difference between promoting your brand via traditional marketing and advertising mediums and doing it via social networking platforms is like the difference between sending a message by Pony Express and chatting on Instant Messenger. Sure, you could use the former, but there’s a good chance the recipient will have moved on and forgotten about you by the time the message arrives at its destination.
Wordpress and Tumblr
Instead of spamming "Buy my book" on social media, put such a button on your home page.
Some people react to Twitter with disbelief. “Who the heck wants to know that I’m on my way to get a pedicure, or that I’m thinking fish sticks for dinner?” But the day I saw it I knew I was staring at the pulse of society; it was the most game-changing website I’d ever seen prior to Facebook.
Here’s what I know: many people do want to know all the details about what you’re doing and thinking, they just don’t want to admit it. We’ve all got our voyeuristic tendencies; Twitter has just given us permission to cave in to them. But the fact that you can share your dinner preferences with thousands of people instantaneously is not even in the top five reasons Twitter is perhaps the most powerful brand-building tool in your toolbox.
First, it has incredible endorsement power. When someone re-tweets what you say, they’re saying you’re smart and worth paying attention to. That comes with a lot of value. The re-tweet enables anyone to spread whatever content they find profound or solid or funny or good throughout the world in a very quick and efficient way. Tumblr has the tumble option, which is similar, but Twitter is sizzling hot and mainstream and there are way more eyeballs on it
For example, as soon as I read somebody’s post that my shipping rates were too expensive, I was immediately able to reach out and address that person’s concern.
The real beauty of Twitter and Facebook (and all the other social networking sites) is that they offer a massive opportunity for every entrepreneur and business to keep constant tabs on what their customers are thinking about them. This kind of interaction with the consumer should be happening in every business every single day.
Google and YouTube are reliable ways to get information, but they’re one-way streets.
You can send out e-mails, but then you’re limited to the immediate group of people you know. But if you tweet “Is there a PowerPoint expert out there?,” you’re reaching out to thousands of people.
Twitter is a two-way street that takes you really far, really fast.
The best use for Twitter, though, is to lure people to your blog. Make your 140-character tweets compelling and thoughtful and quality enough to convince people to find out more about you and consume your content.
I think it’s more efficient and effective to link tweets to your blog.
Use Twitter the same way you use your cell phone or a map or a GPS—it’s one more tool to get you closer to the people and places you need.
For inspiration go to Chris Brogan’s “50 Ideas on Using Twitter for Business”: http://www.chrisbrogan.com/50-ideas-on-using-twitter-for-business/
Twitter allows the consumer to tell every person in his world what he thinks is cool or crappy or interesting.
get the attention of people with deep pockets. Ten years ago it would have taken you months if not years to generate that kind of word of mouth. Today it takes seconds.
I want to share with you the best business tweet of all time:
“What can I do for you?”
You’ll be amazed at the response you get. You’re in business to serve your community. Don’t ever forget it.
Search.Twitter.com is the most important site on the Internet.
You can now see that twenty people in the last three minutes have used the word headache in their tweet, including a woman named Jillian who writes, “Terrible headache. Someone hand me a sledgehammer.” You can click on the button that says “Follow.” If they choose to follow you back, you can now privately direct message (DM) her or publicly send her an @reply
If I do a search right now, I find that fifteen people in the last twenty-three minutes have said they’re thirsty.
you cannot DM them otherwise. It’s the equivalent of extending your hand and allowing someone to choose whether to shake (you can certainly use @reply, but to me that’s like yelling, “Hey, you!” instead of offering a handshake; it’s just a little less polite).
If your blog is your home, platforms like Twitter and Facebook are your vacation homes. You can’t do long form content on these sites (well, you can, but it’s not effective and I don’t recommend it), and you need someplace that is a free place to do business where people don’t have to be members to see you. Your content permanently resides on your blog, and you use these platforms to distribute your brand and bring eyes back home.
Any platform that has loads of search capabilities is an important place to find market opportunity, and there are millions of people searching on Flickr.
You can post photographs so that when people click on them they find out who you are and then follow your link back to your blog, or you can click on other people’s photos and leave comments that intrigue people enough to link back to you.
Youtube / Viddler
Viddler is much smaller, which allows you to see and be seen with greater ease.
It’s a platform that allows you to launch live video, but the cool part is that it also has a chat function that allows you to interact with your audience in real time, much like a radio call-in show.
Ustream is another classic example of an Internet platform that costs the brand and product nothing to use yet provides amazing return on investment.
Natasha Wescoat is an artist known for her candied landscapes and whimsical characters. She is rising in popularity as a result of using social media tools to connect with her audience and engage with her collectors and potential buyers. As a result, her business has grown 50 percent in six months and her business network 80 percent. In addition to Twitter, she uses Ustream.tv to livestream her painting in the studio. It began as an experiment but within a week she had viewers buying directly from her LIVE online. Since then, she has used it as a tool for studio sales and auctions. By allowing her viewers to watch her create something, it inspires them to buy directly, then and there.
you should try every platform to see which ones work best for you.
Ping.fm to upload to multiple platforms.
TubeMogul, to upload video once, and distribute it everywhere.
I use analytics very rarely and I urge you not to rely too much on them either, especially if you’ve got good business instincts.
It’s not about how many viewers you have, it’s about how passionate they are. If you must use them, analytics should remain a minor-league detail.
For more, checkout:
Seven - Keept it real, very real
being authentic, and being perceived as such by your audience, relies on your ability to ensure that every decision you make when it comes to your business is rooted in being true to yourself.
For a businessman like me, that number is intolerable. I desperately want to change the opening of my show to something a little calmer, more refined, something that won’t scare people away. But I can’t, because that yelling, screaming, superexcited guy is who I am.
Invest in the most important stuff
I tape on a $150 Flip Cam and they look fine. I only invest effort and thought into what I care about.
I could clean it up (my desk) to look more professional and polished, but it seems wrong to do that just because the Flip Cam is running. There’s nothing scripted and nothing staged about my blogs, and I always, always do only one take. No redos, no tweaks, nothing.
whatever happens during filming is what my audience will see. I’ve filmed posts from balconies, hotel rooms, the street, even my editor’s office—anywhere an idea strikes me. Sometimes the sound quality sucks. Sometimes the light is bad. As long as I get my point across and feel like I delivered the message in an authentic way, I don’t care.
Once upon a time the most popular celebrities were boxed up in such slick, sleek packages it was almost impossible to get a feel for their real personalities. Every move was choreographed, even their love lives, and even when they weren’t on the red carpet they were red-carpet ready. Those days are long gone. The celebrities of today, the ones who are making it huge by connecting with their fans, whether on the screen or online, are all about keeping it real and being themselves.
No matter how big or small you want to go, your authenticity will be at the root of your appeal and is what will keep people coming to your site and spreading the word about your personal brand, service, or whatever you are offering.
If you want to dominate the social media game, all of your effort has to come from the heart; and it can’t come from the heart in the passionate, irrational, wholehearted way it needs to if you’re trying to be anyone but yourself. Authenticity is what will make it possible for you to put in the kind of hustle necessary to crush it.
I’ve said over and over that if you live your passion and work the social networking tools to the max, opportunities to monetize will present themselves. I’ve also said that in order to crush it you have to be sure your content is the best in its category.
if you really want to dominate the competition and make big bucks, you’ve got to be the best. Do that, be that, and no one will be able to touch you.
With one exception. Someone with less passion and talent and poorer content can totally beat you if they’re willing to work longer and harder than you are. Hustle is it. Without it, you should just pack up your toys and go home.
I hate to disappoint, but if you’re looking for an easier time here, you’re barking up the wrong tree. you’ll be bleeding out of your eyeballs at your computer.
The cool thing about hustle, though, is that it’s one more thing that equalizes the playing field.
And now it’s no longer a special interest story if you make it big without family connections or money or an education, because everyone can do it. The only differentiator in the game is your passion and your hustle.
The passion and love for what you do will enable you to work the hours necessary to succeed. You’ll lose track of the time, go to bed reluctantly, and wake up in the morning excited to do it all over again. You’ll be living and breathing your content, learning everything you can about your subject, about your tools, about your competition, and talking nonstop with other people interested in the same thing you are.
Ninety percent of the people I hear from are in complaint mode, usually to the tune of, “I’m working hard and I’m crushing it and nothing’s happening. What gives?” So I ask, how long have you been at this? And they’ll usually answer something like, “Six weeks.” Six weeks? You don’t build businesses in six weeks, or two months, or six months.
When I started developing the idea for building Wine Library TV, and later Garyvaynerchuk.com, I knew that I would have to use the same kind of patience and methodology to learn the social media business as I did to learn the wine business.
Eight - Create community: Digging your Internet trench
A lot of people get wrapped up in designing their blogs and writing or taping their content. But creating your content is the easy part.
What you do after you tape a show or write or record is the whole game. Creating community—that’s where the bulk of your hustle is going to go and where the bulk of your success will be determined.
Creating community is about starting conversations. When you move into a new house, you meet your neighbors by going out in the evenings and shaking hands with people walking their dogs or taking their runs, complimenting people on their gardens, introducing your kids if you notice a family playing in their yard with children of the same age. If you go to a conference, you meet your fellow attendees by introducing yourself and shaking hands with everyone else who’s milling about. You trade anecdotes and information, hand out your business card. Creating community online works exactly the same way.
o create an audience for your personal brand, you’re going to get out there, shake hands, and join every single online conversation already in play around the world about your topic. Every. Single. One.
Every subject, no matter how small, has an Internet trench.
Every night after taping an episode of my show, I’d spend the next eight or nine hours in the Internet wine trenches, digging up as much information as possible about who was talking about wine and wine-related subjects.
At a certain point, your business will start gaining eyeballs and your community focus will change. Whereas at this point you’re initiating contact with anyone who might have an interest in your passion, later you will spend these late-night hours responding to the people who have responded to you. Building and sustaining community is a never-ending part of doing business.
I would read hundreds of blog posts and leave comments on many of them. I’d spend time on wine forums and read what other people said and then comment on those comments.
You’re going to do exactly the same thing. Here’s how:
First, create your blog post and distribute it through TubeMogul (video) or Ping.fm (links) so that your content appears on every social networking platform available.
Next, start paying attention to other people’s content. You’re going to use the tools we discussed in the last chapter, like Twitter Search, to seek out every mention of your topic on the Internet, and you’re going to comment on every single blog and forum post and tweet that you can find. Now, you’re not going to say something just for the sake of saying something. You’re an expert, right? You love your topic and you’ve been doing your research. So you leave expert, intriguing, thoughtful, provocative, intelligent comments with your name and a link back to your blog.
Last, you’re going to capture. If you’re as good as you should be when you’re talking about your passion, people are going to be intrigued by what you have to say. Even if they don’t follow you immediately, if they see you appear on their site often enough, they may get curious enough to follow you back to your blog. That’s when you’ve got them.
You just brought someone who’s interested in your topic to your blog devoted to that topic. What you do now is exactly the same as I used to do when someone would walk in looking for a bottle of wine and I’d send them home with two cases—you monetize the heck out of every interaction. In this case, you’re not giving people something to drink, you’re giving them something to think about, and ultimately, to talk about. If your content is smart and interesting and eye-catching and entertaining—and if you’re the best, it should be—most people who come to your blog will be happy to become regular readers, viewers, or listeners. Make it easy for them.
- Subscribe—allows people to opt in to getting an e-mail every time you post a blog
- Follow Me—keeps viewers apprised of your tweets and status updates
The power of one
How do you know when you’ve built a community? When one person is listening. Wine Library TV had five viewers at first.
Don’t get obsessed with how many friends or fans are following you—the stats are only marginally important. What’s important is the intensity of your community’s engagement and interaction with you. At this point the quality of the conversation is much more revealing than the number of people having it. If your content is making people talk enough so they start to make some noise, I guarantee you’re going to see more people show up to your party. As long as you’re seeing your audience grow, even modestly, over the first four or five months, you’re doing what you’re supposed to do.
The day you see that one person is reading or watching or listening to you is a day to celebrate. It’s an amazing thing to know someone gives a crap about what’s going on in your world, your life, your brain. Don’t take people for granted. The word-of-mouth power in one interested person has unbelievable reach. Believe me, one day you’ll miss your small, intimate community where you could carry on sustained conversations and get to know people really well. I know I do.
Nine - The best marketing strategy ever
Ten - Make the world listen
Any topic can be turned into a profitable, sustainable social-media-driven business.
If that sounds tedious or repetitive, just close this book and go do your best to enjoy the life you’ve got because you’re not cut out for this. If you’re willing to hustle, though, you’ll find you don’t get tired of the hunt because every conversation you start up is another opportunity to talk about something you love more than anything else. What’s boring about that?
Eleven - Start monetizing
One of my favorite websites is loaded with affiliates but manages to do it in a truly classy way. Check out www.uncrate.com.
Twelve - Roll with it
I’ve repeated over and over that in order to build a winning business you have to go whole hog with your passion. True. I’ve said that if you don’t plan ahead and decide exactly what you want and where you want to see your business end up, you’re broken. Still true. But what is also true is that as committed and obsessed and goal oriented as entrepreneurs need to be, they also have to be willing to practice what I call “reactionary business,” which at heart is about being willing and able to adapt and change. This is where most companies and businesspeople lose the game, by refusing to admit their mistakes or neglecting to look ahead to see what could negatively impact their business. Nothing in life ever goes exactly the way you think it will, and that goes for all of your carefully planned entrepreneurial dreams and goals. Reactionary business allows you to make a couple of crucial moves when the landscape starts to change.
Be ready to adapt
Put out fires
Shape your story
Being reactionary means that you’re always thinking about the meaning behind cultural change.