When asked what you all want from me, Eugene Nayvelt answered:
I'd be really interested in some of the last few bullet points that you mentioned, specifically how to attract and convert ideal customers and the strategies you use and implement, which books have helped you the most with your methods, and what you see as the most worthwhile blogs for this type of work.
Looking forward to reading all the material on the site.
First off thanks for being a regular reader and commenter here Eugene. I really appreciate it.
In this post I'm going to address the part of your comment where you said “which books have helped you the most.” I try to read a book a week so I've got a ton of them. Grab your coffee and your Amazon Prime account and let's get to the list.
These are in no particular order as I feel they are all important for a business owner. Even if you don't own your own business if you do marketing or business, which is just about everyone, you should read all of these.
The categories they cover are business, sales, marketing, and a lot of psychology.
Ok with that preface let's get to the list.
Dan Kennedy – Just About Every Book He's Written
I'm not kidding here. The books from Dan Kennedy have shaped the way I sell and market. Dan is huge in direct marketing, and if you don't measure every single bit of marketing you do then you're not doing it right. And, if anyone tells you that you can't measure social media, slap them in the face for me as that's a bunch of crap. But I digress…
The books I recommend from Dan are as follows, by category (there are that many):
- The Ultimate Sales Letter: Attract New Customers, Boost Your Sales
- No B.S. Price Strategy: The Ultimate No Holds Barred, Kick Butt, Take No Prisoners Guide to Profits, Power, and Prosperity
- No B.S. Sales Success in The New Economy (NO BS)
- No B.S. Direct Marketing: The Ultimate, No Holds Barred, Kick Butt, Take No Prisoners Direct Marketing for Non-direct Marketing Businesses
- The Ultimate Marketing Plan: Target Your Audience! Get Out Your Message! Build Your Brand!
- No B.S. Marketing to the Affluent: The No Holds Barred, Kick Butt, Take No Prisoners Guide to Getting Really Rich
Business / Entrepreneurship
- No B.S. Time Management for Entrepreneurs
- No B.S. Wealth Attraction in the New Economy
- No B.S. Ruthless Management of People and Profits: The Ultimate, No Holds Barred, Kick Butt, Take No Prisoners Guide to Really Getting Rich
- No B.S. Business Success in The New Economy
If you're in marketing then you MUST learn as much about human psychology as possible. It is highly underrated.
Use these books as a starting point:
- Brandwashed: Tricks Companies Use to Manipulate Our Minds and Persuade Us to Buy – Martin Lindstrom
- We Are All Weird – Seth Godin
- Zero Moment Of Truth – Google
- Influence: Science and Practice (5th Edition) – Robert B. Cialdini
- Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us – Daniel H. Pink
If you own your own business you need to know how to sell. In fact I'll go as far to say that if you have a job and talk with customers at any point you need to know how to sell.
These books will help you get over any mental blocks you put up for yourself that keep you from selling and start getting you paid:
- Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal – Oren Klaff
- The Irresistible Offer: How to Sell Your Product or Service in 3 Seconds or Less – Mark Joyner
- CA$HVERTISING: How to Use More than 100 Secrets of Ad-Agency Psychology to Make Big Money Selling Anything to Anyone – Drew Eric Whitman
- Words that Sell: More than 6000 Entries to Help You Promote Your Products, Services, and Ideas – Richard Bayan
- The Adweek Copywriting Handbook: The Ultimate Guide to Writing Powerful Advertising and Marketing Copy from One of America's Top Copywriters – Joseph Sugarman
You're on the blog of a marketing firm so I'm going to go out on a limb and say you want to know more about marketing. Here are some of the books I've read that helped me.
This category covers social media, SEO and general marketing principles.
- Welcome to the Fifth Estate: How to Create and Sustain a Winning Social Media Strategy – Geoff Livingston
- Zarrella's Hierarchy of Contagiousness: The Science, Design, and Engineering of Contagious Ideas – Dan Zarrella
- Launch: How to Quickly Propel Your Business Beyond the Competition – Michael A. Stelzner
- Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business – C.C. Chapman
- Attention! This Book Will Make You Money: How to Use Attention-Getting Online Marketing to Increase Your Revenue – Jim F. Kukral
- SEO Fast Start 2009 – Dan Thies
- The Art of SEO: Mastering Search Engine Optimization (Theory in Practice) – Stephan Spencer
While much of the marketing we do is paid in time rather than money, sometimes the most efficient use of your time is spending money to get results. Here are some of the books on advertising that I've used to generate success for my clients:
- Scientific Advertising – Claude C Hopkins
Business & Biography
Just as with marketing if you're in business you need to learn as much about business as possible. And the best way to do that outside of just doing it is reading about the greats.
I consider every person on this list an unofficial mentor.
Here's what I recommend:
- Different: Escaping the Competitive Herd – Youngme Moon
- fruITion: Creating the Ultimate Corporate Strategy for Information Technology – Chris Potts (not just for geeks)
- Trump Never Give Up: How I Turned My Biggest Challenges into Success – Donald Trump
- Think Big: Make It Happen in Business and Life – Donald Trump
- Winning: The Ultimate Business How-To Book – Jack Welch
- Straight From The Gut – Jack Welch
- Winning: The Answers: Confronting 74 of the Toughest Questions in Business Today – Jack Welch
- Who Says Elephants Can't Dance?: How I Turned Around IBM – Louis V. Gerstner
- The King of Madison Avenue: David Ogilvy and the Making of Modern Advertising – Kenneth Roman
- Business Stripped Bare: Adventures of a Global Entrepreneur – Richard Branson
Economics & Global Issues
If you don't understand the world around you and how it operates you won't get as far ahead as you can. Economics is one of those things you should just pay attention to. Here's what I've learned from outside of business school:
- Griftopia: A Story of Bankers, Politicians, and the Most Audacious Power Grab in American History – Matt Taibbi
- Freefall: America, Free Markets, and the Sinking of the World Economy – Joseph E. Stiglitz
- Hot, Flat, and Crowded 2.0: Why We Need a Green Revolution–and How It Can Renew America – Thomas L. Friedman
- Fareed Zakaria GPS – Fareed Zakaria (CNN) – not a book but a must-watch weekly show
Because I'm told you need to be well-rounded. I prefer to think these books help to keep me sane and get a lot more done in a day, and can help you do the same.
- Think And Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill
- Do the Work – Steven Pressfield
- The Success System That Never Fails – W. Clement Stone
- Making Ideas Happen: Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality – Scott Belsky
- Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age – Clay Shirkey
- The Renaissance Soul: Life Design for People with Too Many Passions to Pick Just One – Margaret Lobenstine
- Our Iceberg Is Melting: Changing and Succeeding Under Any Conditions – John P. Kotter
- Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work – Matthew B. Crawford
- Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard – Chip Heath
- Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time – Brian Tracy
- The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right – Atul Gawande
You need to read these books because they are awesome. Read them and you will see what I mean.
- The Complete Art Of War – Sun Tzu/Sun Pin
What's On Your List?
What have you been reading lately that's helped you in business or in life? Please share it with us in the comments below.