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The Web has changed the business world big time. You no longer need to spend millions of dollars to get decent exposure. In fact, with a relevant market plan, you can reach whoever you want to reach at ridiculously low costs. Moreover, you can measure your efforts.
Some companies still can’t let go of big billboards or TV commercials that the average customer has grown used to ignoring. It is their loss and your win; since it got a lot cheaper to get more efficient, and social media is a big part of it.
The increasing popularity of social media meant getting rid of traditional costs of publishing, which enabled pretty much anyone to publish whatever, whenever. But the bad news is, there’s a lot of competition in almost any area. So you need to learn how to make the best use of social media.
The three books we selected are great for two reasons: they are filled with great advice and they’re as engaging as good fiction.
Six Pixels of Separation – Mitch Joel
“In the digital world, there are no degrees of separation between you and your customers. You’re connected.”
Mitch Joel’s a blogger and the president of the interactive media company Twist Image. His book is praised by Chris Anderson (author, The Long Tail) and Seth Godin (marketing guru, creator of Squidoo). How did Mitch establish himself as such an authority that not only his company made huge profits but he also got a book deal?
The book’s title is a fun twist to the “Six Degrees of Separation” theory, which basically suggests that you need about 6 people or less to reach anyone. But social media eliminated those extra steps. You can directly reach anyone, no matter how influential or famous they are. Joel’s book explains how you can do just that, by presenting examples from different areas of business.
He talks about building value, trust and relationships. He explains the importance of community and talks about how you can take your online community offline and vice versa. And of course he includes Google, blogging, the benefits of offering your services for free, viral marketing, leadership, being transparent and more.
The New Rules of Marketing & PR – David Meerman Scott
“The new rules are to participate in the discussions going on, not just try to shout your message over everyone else. Done well, Web content that delivers authentic thought-leadership also brands an organization as one to do business with”.
David Meerman Scott is a blogger, best-selling author, marketing speaker. He knows a thing or two about developing direct relationships with your target audience. This best-selling book was born from his blog posts, interaction with his readers and later the free e-books he created on the subject.
Scott’s book is spot-on for entrepreneurs of all areas and sizes. He presents the knowledge in a way that both marketing newbies and veterans can learn a lot from. He presents the old rules, the new rules and how smart business owners made the best of these new rules. He teaches you about writing the most efficient way, getting found and how you can create a viral message.
Crush It – Gary Vaynerchuk
“There is room for everyone in the world of social media, which is the same thing as saying that there is room for everyone in today’s world.”
Gary is a businessman, wine expert and a video blogger. All these titles are connected and a part of the strong personal brand he created. This brand landed him a spot on Conan O’ Brien’s show.
While Scott and Joel emphasize what can be done with your existing businesses, Gary also focuses on why you should choose your passion as your business area.
Gary talks about personal branding, how social media works, how you can create a relevant and exciting business that can survive bad economy. He starts from the very beginning of his own story, so that you can see where he is coming from and you can’t find any excuses for failure. He also teaches you the importance of the quality of your audience and not the quantity.
Crush It is a rare book that teaches you about becoming the best businessperson you will ever be, while never ignoring your passions and family.
The Bottom Line
You don’t need massive resources to make your voice heard, your products sell and your messages go viral. And the tips and guidelines offered in these books don’t exclude any industry. So don’t be surprised about learning that alternative rock band Radiohead is using social media as vigorously as McDonalds (which are both covered in Joel’s book).