Thank You Gary Vaynerchuk

Dear Gary,
I just wanted to say, Thank You. 
You see, 16 years ago I had my first job in Youth Ministry and my greatest ministry tool at the time was AOL Instant Messenger. I didn’t see it that way at the time because I thought it was more of a toy than a tool, but as I look back it’s very clear. Quickly that tool changed to MySpace and then Facebook. When Facebook opened up their ad platform I did what I always do and experimented. We saw our college ministry explode on pennies spent on these ads and I began getting a lot of attention in the ministry space.
Then I read your book Crush It.  Well first, I watched this video:

After watching your video and reading your book, I saw a bigger picture. You spoke my language, but opened my eyes that this wasn’t a fad or trend that had the attention of teenagers. This was a fundamental shift in our culture that would only grow. I did what you often recommend and I doubled down and went all in. 
That investment has paid off. Some financial as I’ve written a book, and had the privilege of speaking at conferences around the United States. Mostly in terms of ministry impact as the lessons I have learned from you in terms of social media directly translated into exponential ministry impact at Community Bible Church and for the ministries I consult with. 
I could tell you many stories and I would love to some day, but for now I just want to say thank you. Thank you for generously sharing your wisdom through your books, your YouTube videos, blog posts, podcasts and anywhere else that you are able to. I have purchased many copies of all of your books to both read and give away. I initially did this as a way to say thank you to you for your investment in me, but your books in turn provide even greater value to me. Your books that I have given away have turned into clients paying me thousands in return for a $15 book that I gave them of yours. Your books have proven to be a way better sales pitch for me than I could ever do myself. 
I just recently purchased many copies of #AskGaryVee and plan to buy many more. I recommend it to anyone and everyone that I can. I actually recently attended one of your events in New York and unexpectedly got to meet you (see above). This was the first time I met you face to face, but a couple years ago you were also gracious enough to do an interview for me here:

So, while I’m admitting publicly to stalking you, I know you’re okay with that. You are passionate and generous and through that generosity changed many lives like mine. I’m thankful for your generosity and transparency, as it has dramatically changed my life. That might sound strange to many that a cursing marketer changed a pastor’s life, but that’s quite honestly the truth. You spoke my language which allowed me to better communicate to church leaders the critical value points of social media and the new digital world that we find ourselves in. I wish more pastors would pay attention to your message, but I’ve taken it on myself to help translate it for you in their language. 
I wish I could give back to you way more than a few book purchases and a blog post, but for now I’ll simply say thank you in the best way that I know how. Publicly… online…over social media. If there is ever anything that I can do for you beyond buying a bunch of books, I would be honored. 
Thank You,

Nils Smith


P.S. If you haven't yet bought Gary's new book I can't encourage you enough to click the link below:

#AskGaryVee: One Entrepreneur's Take on Leadership, Social Media, and Self-Awareness

The Future of Books

I love to predict the future when it comes to technology.  I'm not always right, but I love the conversations and dreaming of what's possible.  With the speed of technology we no longer have to wait decades for these new technologies by often only a couple of years or maybe months.  Over the next few days I will look at several areas affected by technology and share my predictions and would love to hear yours.  Know that these are only my opinions and predictions and not fact. Let's start with books.  Since I just released my first book, I've been studying this quite a bit recently.  So what's my prediction?  Here you go: I think they're going digital.  Okay, I'm joking as this HUGE shift has already taken place and will continue to grow and expand.  Paper books will never go away, but will continue to diminish at a fast rate as more and more readers adjust to reading books digitally.  It's simply cheaper and faster making it more appealing to a greater mass.

The shift to digital continues to open up exciting opportunities to new authors in writing a book.  You no longer have to use a publisher to release a book or spend great amounts of money to print it.  You simply upload it to Amazon and the book is available to millions.  This shift is dramatically changing the publishing industry as your online platform to reach an audience as a publisher becomes far more important than your equipment to print in mass quality.

The next major shift that comes from books going digital is the opportunity for them to become social.  I love BookShout and the experience they have created allowing users to add friends and as they read books they can see the notes and highlights from their friends.  It's a digital book club and adds community to the reading experience.  I expect Amazon and others to catch on to this soon and create a similar experience on the Kindle and other reading applications.

What do you think?  Do you agree or disagree?  What do you see ahead for the future of books?

Virtual Book Tour now available On-Demand starting this week!

Social Media Guide for Ministry
Social Media Guide for Ministry

A little more than 2 months ago I released my first book, Social Media Guide for Ministry.  It has been such a blessing to hear so many stories from ministry leaders who have been encouraged by the book and implementing the principles discussed.  In releasing the book we held a Virtual Book Tour and I'm excited to now share the videos from this tour with you to watch whenever you want with whoever you want.  I pray these training videos will be a blessing to you and the ministry that you lead.  Check back here at every day this week as a new video will be released daily over the next 5 days.