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17 Groundbreaking Marketing Books Small Businesses Can’t Ignore

Don’t fall behind in the new decade. Improvise, adapt, and overcome any market conditions.

Small businesses often bear the brunt of tougher economic climates. With uncertain times and plummeting world stocks, this might be the best time to get started with learning new methods your business can rise above the rest.

That’s why we say that small businesses need to pay attention to these new books that are rising in popularity this year. With new advice, captivating stories and examples that applicable to small businesses, these books are our top picks if you want to kickstart your new marketing strategy.

This contribution was made by Debra Jason from The Write Direction

Millionaire Marketing on a Shoestring Budget by Debra Jason

Small businesses want to achieve top-of-mind awareness in the marketplace and have a steady stream of loyal, raving fans flocking to them. However, many are frustrated, thinking they have to spend a lot to get that exposure. Did they pay a lot of money to design a website, thinking If I build it, they will come? Are they worried because now they’re sitting there with no inquiries, no sales? If they answer, Yes to these questions, Debra Jason understands their concerns. It can be overwhelming to invest in your business and spend a lot to get yourself up and running, only to scratch your head wondering, Why isn’t anyone calling me? There’s got to be a better way. And the good news is, there is. You can market yourself and your business–in more ways than one–without breaking the bank. This book is your road map to gaining exposure and achieving success using cost-effective, business-building strategies. Use it as your marketing guide, one step at a time.

This contribution was made by Amber Romero from A Creative Co.

Crushing It! by Gary Vee

If you have heard of Gary Vee you know that he cuts through the fluff and gets straight to the point. This book is no different. From beginning to end, Gary gives actionable tips and real-life anecdotes to help business owners create a winning content and social media strategy. For small business owners, especially solo-entrepreneurs, this book will transform the way you present your business online.

This contribution was made by Abhiraj Tulsyan from Stockarea

The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Al Ries

This books still teach the very core principles of marketing, giving real-life scenarios of different companies. Tim Ferris recommended this dated edition on his podcast and it is certainly worth the read.

This contribution was made by Nika Lawrie from NikaLawrie

The 1-Page Marketing Plan by Allan Dib

As a Business Strategies, part of my job is to help my clients create a clear, easy to follow marketing plan which is designed to help build awareness and increase revenue. The 1-Page Marketing Plan is my favorite book to assign as homework, as it is packed full of great tips, tricks, and tools you can easly implament into any business at any stage. Reader finish the book with an outstanding marketing plan that fits on just one page.

This contribution was made by Anh Trinh from GeekWithLaptop

Start with Why by Simon Sinek

Starting a small business is a lot of work. You have to make deals at a disadvantage and you have to court employees to work for your small company. This requires a lot of people skills and the ability to inspire people to follow you. This book tells you exactly how to do that as well as inspire your current employees to work for you during times of crisis. Read this book, it will be a big help to any business owner.

This contribution was made by Anh Trinh from GeekWithLaptop

How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie

You need to cooperate with tons of people to run a successful business and you won’t be able to do this if people don’t like you. If you are an introvert or a person who lacks social skill, this book will help you learn some basic skills to make friends quickly. Of course this isn’t just for introverts, people who are extroverted can also reinforce or polish up their skill. It may be old but the knowledge in this book is still applicable up to this day.

This contribution was made by Anh Trinh from GeekWithLaptop

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

One of the most important people you need to manage as a CEO is yourself. This book shows you how you can improve yourself and be a better person. You can also use this book when coaching other people. So if you have potential employees you want to train, give them this book.

This contribution was made by Osama from outfitrs

Starting a Business QuickStart Guide by Ken Colwell PhD MBA

I have read this in the past few days, and is probably one of the best books for starting a small business. This book talks about all the necessary information you will need. I would definitely recommend this book.

This contribution was made by Ali Ubaid Rajput from Decrum

Get Scrappy by Nick Westergaard

This is a fantastic book that helps all Organizations Members. In this book, the author describes the importance of Digital Marketing and give tips and ideas for Marketing.

This contribution was made by Ammar Shahid from SuperheroCorp

Engagement Marketing by Gail F. Goodman

This book gives valuable solutions to the significant difficulties that most small business people face typically to market their company. It even teaches various applicable marketing tactics to attract and retain profitable customers.

This contribution was made by Tonya Aiossa from Entreprising

Building a Story Brand by Donald Miller

Dozens of marketing books will have you start by defining your customer avatar/persona. It’s good advice that falls flat when you continue to use messaging that’s all about you. In Building a StoryBrand, Donald Miller teaches you how to write your brand’s story – starring your customer. Make your customer the hero, and watch your business grow.

This contribution was made by Bridgette Norris from EcoSecretariat

Selling the Invisible by Harry Beckwith

Business self help books are usually a combination of humble brags and motivational dialogue, this book breaks the mould and thank god it does. Harry Beckwith has written a concise masterpiece, as entertaining as it is helpful; it looks at the unique characteristics of services businesses offer and their characteristics. Businesses are often told to find their USP to market to potential customers, this book shows how to identify others, and in turn how you find your own. It covers enterprise businesses too, but it’s focus on smaller, quirkier type businesses is why it very helpful for small business owners. Smaller businesses often have more scope to develop their own personality, the insights in this roll up your sleeves, jargon free and accessible book allow you to achieve just that

This contribution was made by Kelly Roberts from Book Blop

The Power of Broke by Daymond John

Like many of us small business owners, Daymond, started off with not much to his name. Unlike other entrepreneurs, who often come from upper-middle-class households. He does a great job of motivating the reader and showing examples of how we can use our background to our advantage. The book guides us through his life and shows us how he built his small business into a multi-million dollar empire. It also describes the experience of other small business owners in completely different industries.

This contribution was made by Shiyang Gong from AILaw.Inc

Local Small Business Marketing by Alex Genadinik

This is the best book for those who have a local small business and want to know the strategies for promotion. Local Small Business Marketing is a book that helps to learn the most effective online and offline marketing strategies that every business owner should use to generate leads that eventually convert to clients. The author explains some of the top online marketing strategies like SEO, the right way to do social media marketing, and some best offline marketing strategies like flier marketing, business card marketing, and many additional strategies for small businesses.

This contribution was made by Aga Cejrowska from Pulno

Lost and Founder by Rand Fishkin

Because it is a true-life story. Rand knows what he is writing about because he has been there. There are enough colorful and fancy books on the market but they are often full of empty words. This one is honest and that why it is so valuable. There is advice. Starting and running a startup is not an easy task and Rand doesn’t pretend it is. There are blood, sweat, and tears. I love how painfully real is Rand’s experience.

This contribution was made by Adam Hempenstall from Better Proposals

Content Inc. by Joe Pulizzi

The book teaches you the fundamentals of content marketing and why it stands out in the era of traditional ads. Besides learning all about the ROI of content, you will also learn how to set up a content marketing strategy and where to start when it comes to creating content as a small business owner. Overall, it’s one of the best pieces on content marketing in general and it’s written by one of the top industry experts.

This contribution was made by Mason Culligan from Mattress Battle

Traction by Gabriel Weinberg

A marketing book that I recommend for small businesses is Traction: A Startup Guide to Getting Customers by Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares. This book provides marketing techniques to gain traction utilized by existing major companies which helps business owners identify what marketing strategy suits their business the best. These will jumpstart your small business to grow. The authors’ in-depth outline of these marketing strategies includes interviews from notable founders of major companies such as Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia, Alexis Ohanian of Reddit, Sam Yagan of, and many more, on how these strategies helped their businesses gain traction. What small business owners can take away from this book is: your attention must be on both sides — product development and traction. The product reflects your brand and traction helps improve it through customer feedback for example. Do not outweigh the other as they go hand in hand in developing a viable business. Again, I appreciate your time reading about my favorite marketing book for startups. This is a great premise and would love to see what others have to say. Feel free to reach out to me if you have further questions and clarifications.

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Written by Zak Parker

Journalist, writer, musician, professional procrastinator. I'll add more here later.

One Comment

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  1. Thanks a million Zak for including me on this list. I’m honored to be in the company of such amazing authors & speakers like Simon Sinek, Dale Carnegie, Donald Miller and Joe Pulizzi. #gratitude

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