Below you can find my most recommended books for marketing and business building. Please note that these books have a focus on persuasion, marketing, advertising and brand-building, and less so on other aspects of business.
1. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
Complete overview of what you need to succeed in business and in life. Helps shift your mindset, and reveals the motions you need to go through to be successful. You will understand how to nurture desire, self-belief, faith, and all the other virtues that will take you from where you’re at today, to the success you’ve always envisioned. Autosuggestion and visualization, as well as writing your goals and doing affirmations are at the heart of this.
2. The Millionaire Fastlane by MJ Demarco
3. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini
This book is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand persuasion. Cialdini breaks it down into 6 principles and then explores how each can be used to persuade. Since we’re always persuading when we interact with others, and interaction is at the heart of marketing, to be effective you need to learn these principles and use them… and also be careful that they’re not used against you!
4. This is Marketing by Seth Godin
5. Positioning by Al Ries & Jack Trout
What you offer your customers is less important than how that offer is positioned versus the competition. Because in all likelihood, most of your customers already heard all the claims. It’s not enough merely to claim that you’re different, you need to POSITION yourself in such a way so that you create a new category or position yourself against the category leader. Read this book, it will show you how.
6. Made to Stick by Chip & Dan Heath
Communicating effectively is key to both attracting attention and standing out. This book shows you how to craft messages that stand out and people care about. It’s key to all the marketing and promotion that you will be doing, and it is a must-read. Above all, it showcases the importance of clarity & simplicity in communication.
7. Building a Storybrand by Donald Miller
8. Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk
Marketing at its heart is formed of thousands of little engagements with your audience. This book is supremely important because it drives this point home. You can do everything else right, but if you’re not consistently engaging with your audience in a way that provides values for most of your time, you will struggle to build a personal brand, charge higher prices, and grow.
9. Kick-Ass Copywriting Secrets of a Marketing Rebel by John Carlton
This is my favorite copywriting book of all time, because John tells it like it is and he is a real magician. Will teach you all the principles of copywriting, AND more importantly than that, you get to see John’s copy in action. One of my biggest takeaways from the book is don’t be afraid to be real, nonapologetic and controversial.
10. Breakthrough Advertising by Eugene Schwartz
This book sometimes retails for $1,000, but it is worth every single penny. Eugene Schwartz teaches you how to understand market dynamics and adapt your copy and messaging to the state of the market. He also teaches you about the importance of channeling (rather than creating) desire and the differentiating power of having a unique mechanism.
11. Alchemy by Rory Sutherland
Rory Sutherland was a guest on my podcast, and he is a real magician. Some of the biggest lessons in this book are about our overreliance on science, and the mistakes we can make when we have just a superficial understanding of statistics. It will also teach you the principles of magic – how it’s all about perception, not reality, and perception can be manipulated. Great book!