BOOK REVIEW: Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk

ABOUT THE BOOK (from Amazon):

New York Times bestselling author and social media expert Gary Vaynerchuk shares hard-won advice on how to connect with customers and beat the competition. A mash-up of the best elements of Crush It! and The Thank You Economy with a fresh spin, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook is a blueprint to social media marketing strategies that really works.

When managers and marketers outline their social media strategies, they plan for the “right hook”—their next sale or campaign that’s going to knock out the competition. Even companies committed to jabbing—patiently engaging with customers to build the relationships crucial to successful social media campaigns—want to land the punch that will take down their opponent or their customer’s resistance in one blow. Right hooks convert traffic to sales and easily show results. Except when they don’t.

Thanks to massive change and proliferation in social media platforms, the winning combination of jabs and right hooks is different now. Vaynerchuk shows that while communication is still key, context matters more than ever. It’s not just about developing high-quality content, but developing high-quality content perfectly adapted to specific social media platforms and mobile devices—content tailor-made for Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and Tumblr.


If you use social media to promote a business or a product, this book is a great resource for you as you develop your social media strategy.  Gary Vaynerchuk covers just about everything you need to know about marketing on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr, and he provides examples of good and bad marketing attempts on each of these networks.  He also briefly covers what he calls “emerging networks” – LinkedIn, Google+, Vine and Snapchat.

Vaynerchuk mentions a few times how quickly things change in the world of social media, so it is no surprise that some of the things he talks about are already outdated just two years after publication.  This is a reality when it comes to social media marketing, but it does not affect the overall points he makes about presentation on each individual network.

My only criticism of this book is that I don’t like the two column layout on each page.  It is pretty, but I found it a little awkward when reading.

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Author Role Model – Jon Krakauer

Jon Krakauer is well-known for his writings about adventure, wilderness, the outdoors and particularly mountain climbing. A number of his non-fiction books have become bestsellers, including Into the Wild, Into Thin Air, and Under the Banner of Heaven.

Krakauer’s Instagram account, which he named “krakauernotwriting,” is very impressive. Although he may not be writing when he’s doing the things he’s posting on Instagram, every one of his posts is subtle and well-crafted promotion of Krakauer himself, his brand and his books.

His photos range from climbers in Alaska to a horse in Iceland to splitboarding in Rocky Mountain National Park. They tell the story of his mountaineering adventures as well as the research he does for his articles and books. With over 17,000 followers on Instagram, it is clear that Krakauer knows how to engage his target audience.

Do you know of an author who shines on any particular social media network? If so, please share in the comments below!

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Hashtags, hashtags, hashtags! #Instagram

In his book JAB, JAB, JAB, RIGHT HOOK, Gary Vaynerchuk says about Instagram, “Hashtags matter here, maybe even more than they do on Twitter.”  He goes on to explain that hashtags are the way people will find your content on Instagram.

I had read this book on the way home from a recent trip to Los Angeles, California.  On that trip, I had visited a restaurant which is well known for a reality show featuring its staff.  I had posted a photo to Instagram of me with the restaurant manager who is a star on the show, so I pulled up that post and added hashtags for the name of the show and name of the restaurant.  Sure enough, a number of people I didn’t know clicked the heart button on Instagram to “like” the photo.

A few days later, back in my home state of Colorado, I posted a picture of a beautiful view in the mountains and added the hashtags #Colorado and #mountains.  Again, the post was liked by a few people I wasn’t already connected with.  When I clicked on their profiles, I could see that they shared similar interests.  For example, one of the Instagrammers who liked this photo had posted numerous photos taken in Colorado – mountains, landscapes and other beautiful views!

It’s hard to go wrong with any tip from Gary Vaynerchuk – he certainly knows his stuff.  But this is one tip you must not forget if you plan to use Instagram (successfully) to promote your book.

First of all, your content itself must be good, but then the hashtags you use will help you connect with people who share similar interests.  If there are only one or two hashtags you want to include, you can add them to the end of your caption, but if you want to include more hashtags, you can add them as a comment on your photo and it will have the same effect. The more hashtags you use, the more you increase your exposure to people who are searching those particular hashtags.

Some books/genres make take more creativity than others.  If you have published a book about gardening, for example, the possibilities for photos and hashtags are nearly endless.  If your book is fiction, though, you may have a harder time coming up with ideas, but think about all of the visual pieces from your story that you can put together for your readers.  Then start taking those photos and posting them to Instagram along with as many hashtags as you can come up with.

Tomorrow I will share some examples of authors who use Twitter to promote their books.

If you want to make sure you don’t miss it, subscribe to my blog and new posts will be delivered right to your inbox!

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Getting Started with Instagram

On its website, Instagram describes itself as “a fun and quirky way to share your life with friends through a series of pictures.” Created in 2010 by Kevin Systrom and Mike Keiger, Instagram was acquired by Facebook in 2012 for $1 billion.  As of December 2014, there were 300 million active users on Instagram.

How to Get Started With Instagram

If you do not already have an Instagram account, you can set one up in just three easy steps:

  1. Download the App: First, you will need to download the Instagram app onto your phone (from the Apple App Store or Google Play store depending on which device you have). Currently the app is only available to iPhone and Android users.
  2. Create Your Account: Select “Sign Up” and enter your email address. On the next page, create a username and password and then you will have the option to enter your full name and phone number if you want.
  3. Connect with Friends: The next two pages will allow you to find friends from your Facebook account and/or the Contacts saved on your phone. I highly recommend that you connect with as many people as you can at this point since these are people who already know you, are already on Instagram and are most likely to follow you back and begin engaging with you.

Once you have completed these three steps, Instagram will make recommendations on people you may want to follow. Take a few minutes to poke around and see if there are any people or topics that interest you so you can begin following them. The Instagrammers you choose to follow may or may not follow you back, but as you begin posting photos on Instagram and engaging with other people’s photos, you will likely notice a return on your engagement.

To post your first photo, you can snap a photo from within the app or choose a photo from your photo library that you want to share. You can then edit/optimize the photo, add a caption, tag people, select your location and share your photo to any of the following: Facebook, Twitter, foursquare, Tumblr or Flickr.

Congratulations, you are now part of the artsy Instagram crowd!

Want to learn how to promote your book on Instagram?

Stay tuned. I’ll cover that later this week.  If you want to make sure you don’t miss it, subscribe to my blog and new posts will be delivered right to your inbox!

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BOOK REVIEW: Platform by Michael Hyatt

 ABOUT THE BOOK (from Amazon):

Michael Hyatt, one of the top business bloggers in the world, provides down-to-earth guidance for building and expanding a powerful platform.

To be successful in the market today, you must possess two strategic assets: a compelling product and a meaningful platform. In this step-by-step guide, Michael Hyatt, former CEO and current Chairman of Thomas Nelson Publishers, takes readers behind the scenes, into the new world of social media success. He shows you what best-selling authors, public speakers, entrepreneurs, musicians, and other creatives are doing differently to win customers in today’s crowded marketplace. Hyatt speaks from experience. He writes one of the top 800 blogs in the world and has more than 100,000 followers on Twitter. His large and growing platform serves as the foundation for his successful writing, speaking, and consulting practice.

In Platform, Hyatt will teach readers not only how to extend their influence, but also how to monetize it and build a sustainable career. The key? By building a platform. It has never been easier, less expensive, or more possible than right now. . . The book includes:

  • proven strategies
  • easy-to-replicate formulas
  • practical tips

Social media technologies have changed everything. Now, for the first time in history, non-celebrities can get noticed―and win big!―in an increasingly noisy world.


I have been a fan of Michael Hyatt for many years, so I already knew before reading this book that I was going to enjoy it.  Every time I visit his blog (, I get sucked in and want to read post after post after post.  He writes on topics like productivity, leadership, social media and personal development, and every post is inspirational in some way.

When I think of a “platform,” I think of a comprehensive presentation of a person or brand, particularly online, that is constantly growing and adapting.  When I think of Michael Hyatt, two things typically come to mind: blogging and Twitter.  Not surprisingly, those were the two biggest themes in this book.  He does talk about Facebook, which he admits that he doesn’t really like, and some other things, but I felt the book could have been a little more comprehensive.

Despite that minor critique, this book is a must read for anyone who blogs or wants to develop their online platform in order to promote a particular product, service or message of some sort.

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