Here's a new guest post by a young marketer, Brenden Delarua
Lately I have been on a bit of a "bender" reading quite a lot of books. Mainly books about business. Reading them back to back really puts a spotlight on the ones that stand out. This article won’t mention the obvious books to read such as How To Win Friends and Influence People, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People or The 48 Laws of Power, which are a "must read" if you are trying to run a successful business. Instead, this article will highlight the 5 best books to read to learn how to market your business best and ultimately grow a long lasting company.
#5 Ogilvy On Advertising - David Ogilvy
This book really shows how writing perfect copy can sell more of a product. Even though this book was written in the 60’s it seems far from dated. Ogilvy’s methods work and there is no need to try to fix them. Keep in mind this book was written before the Internet but you can translate his methods to online advertisements very easily and effectively. It's not about what you say but how you say it and with the fewest but most impactful words. Throughout the book there are examples of Ogilvy’s ads, almost like a picture book. That makes this book a very enjoyable read but with information that is crucial to know if you are selling anything to anyone.
#4 The Everything Store - Brad Stone
This book is essentially a biography of Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com Jeff Bezos is now the richest man in the world and he also came from very humble beginnings. The book shows the history of Amazon, from just selling books to now selling almost everything imaginable. Jeff always had a big vision for this company and knew he eventually wanted to sell everything. He would fire people who told him it couldn’t be done and hired people who shared his vision. It is important to begin with the end in mind and work backwards from the big goal. If you take the lessons and Bezo’s dedication that is outlined in this book and incorporate it into your own business, your business can start running like a well oiled machine.
#3 Principles: Life and Work - Ray Dalio
Coming in at number 3 is Ray Dalio’s Principles. This book is a blessing from the heavens. Ray Dalio is one of the richest men in the world and he runs a large investment firm called Bridgewater. Bridgewater is the only investment firm that didn’t lose money during the market crash in 2008. Ray Dalio has always had a love for investing and the book speaks about how he automated his investing decisions by making an algorithm on his computer about which companies to invest in and which ones to not. Till this day bridgewater still uses that algorithm and it is reported to only need to be manually overridden 2% of the year. Making these types of automations to your business will not only grow your business but also surpass your competition by miles. On top of the business ideas Ray’s book will give you, this book outlines the life principles every successful entrepreneur needs to live by.
#2 The Designer’s Guide to Marketing & Pricing - Ilise Benun & Peleg Top
This is the most underrated book for entrepreneurs. After completing a full undergraduate education in marketing, I learned things that are not taught in school and can only be learned from experience.
It is a must read for anyone starting out in the service industry, but it is very helpful for any business owner that is having trouble getting clients. This book shows the very blueprint to follow to get clients, what to charge them, how to craft the perfect proposal, and close the deal.
After reading this book you will wish you found it sooner because it really does outline everything for you to start getting clients and you will come off as an expert in your field even before you get your first client. This book does not give you vague tips to follow, it breaks down every step and holds your hand through them all. Once you read this book you will be much more confident running your business, getting clients, and becoming a category leader in your field. (Find Ilise's 6 other books here.)
#1 Building A Story Brand - Donald Miller
The first place prize of this book competition goes to Building A Story Brand by Donald Miller. I "read" this book on Audible first and I liked it so much I bought the paperback version and read it again!
This book really makes you rethink the positioning of your products or services and gives you the best insight on how to get more sales just by the way you present your products to the public. The methods in this book can be seen with all the biggest companies in the world (Apple, Amazon, etc.) and once you read it everything will start to make sense to you and you will see what you’ve been doing wrong. I don’t want to give much away about the book because I truly believe you NEED to read it if you hope to become a successful entrepreneur. However, one of the main concepts is to position your product as the sidekick to the customer’s (or hero’s) story. This shows potential customers how your product can get them where they want to go and it will explain that your product is the perfect fit.
All these books are worth more in value than a full marketing education in a public university, in my opinion. I love how books can teach you everything you want to know and books have figured in the stories of every successful person. Elon Musk read books for hours every day when he was young. Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world, made his fortune by selling books.
Plato states in The Republic that the ideal king would be a philosopher or one that thinks about everything in different ways. Books spark higher thinking and reflection and give insight to how to get where you want to go. These 5 books I’ve mentioned will give you just that. Hope you enjoy reading them!