There’s often no better way to learn about a subject than to read a good book. This is certainly true when you’re looking for marketing tips, tricks, and strategies your small business can use. In fact, small business marketing books can provide you with huge financial gains for a minimal investment.
Of course, some small business marketing books will undoubtedly be a waste of your time and money. They may provide no actionable information or simply contain bad advice. To help you find the best marketing books for small businesses, we’ve compiled this list of the top 16.
1. The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing
In The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing: Violate Them at Your Own Risk, authors Al Ries and Jack Trout set out a list of rules that all small business owners need to follow to create a successful brand. Both authors are marketing strategists and use their own experience to provide expert advice. Even though the book was first published in 1994, all the advice is still highly relevant today.
2. Building a Story Brand
Another book that sets out clear rules to follow is Building a Story Brand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen. Author Donald Miller lays out seven universal story points that you can use to make your products, services, and brand as a whole more compelling to prospects. Learn why customers choose to make a purchase and how to use this to your advantage by improving your messaging in all types of communication with users.
3. Expert Secrets
Russell Brunson is the co-founder of ClickFunnels and a hugely-successful entrepreneur. In Expert Secrets: The Underground Playbook for Converting Your Online Visitors into Lifelong Customers, he teaches readers how to best turn leads into loyal customers by using the right message in funnels.
4. Hug Your Haters
Customer service is now more important in small businesses marketing than ever before, as to stand out from the crowd, you need to offer a great experience. In Hug Your Haters: How to Embrace Complaints and Keep Your Customers, Jay Baer explains how to maintain good customer service under the most difficult circumstances: when you’re faced with haters.
5. Predictable Prospecting
B2B businesses have completely different needs to consumer brands. Learn all you need to know about developing a successful lead strategy by reading Predictable Prospecting: How to Radically Increase Your B2B Sales Pipeline. Marylou Tyler and co-author Jeremey Donovan take you through the steps for effective prospecting, starting with identifying prospects and ending at generating regular revenue.
6. The Ultimate Small Business Marketing Book
Everything you need to know about marketing for small businesses is in The Ultimate Small Business Marketing Book. As author Dee Blick has worked with small businesses in all sectors, you’ll find that you can apply the tips from this book to your business no matter your industry or niche. As well as actionable information, the book includes case studies to show how the tactics have worked in the real world.
7. The Lead Machine
If your struggles lie in digital marketing, you’ll find great information in The Lead Machine: The Small Business Guide to Digital Marketing. Rich Brooks lays out what he calls the BARE Essentials of Digital Marketing: build, attract, retain, and evaluate. The book is easy enough to understand even if you have no experience in digital marketing and the information is applicable to any entrepreneur who wants to start a SEO, social media, or email marketing campaign.
8. The Power of Broke
You’ll probably know Daymond John from Shark Tank, but you may be unfamiliar with the story of how he became successful. The Power of Broke: How Empty Pockets, a Tight Budget, and a Hunger for Success Can Become Your Greatest Competitive Advantage details John’s journey from selling T-shirts in the streets to developing a multi-billion dollar brand. The book also tells the stories of other entrepreneurs who started out broke and made it big.
9. The Zen of Social Media Marketing
When you think of social media marketing, zen is probably the last thing that comes to mind. Author Shama Hyder is here to show you why you’re wrong. The Zen of Social Media Marketing: An Easier Way to Build Credibility, Generate Buzz, and Increase Revenue teaches readers how to take the stress out of social media marketing and benefit from the full potential of social platforms.
10. Millionaire Marketing on a Shoestring Budget
Do you ever feel like the top marketing tactics are too expensive for your business and wonder what you can possibly do? You’ll find the information in Millionaire Marketing on a Shoestring Budget: How to Attract a Steady Stream of Happy Clients, Make More Money and Live Your Dream extremely valuable. Debra Jason outlines numerous cost-effective ways to market your business, all of which are simple enough to put into practice immediately.
11. Content — The Atomic Particle of Marketing
Nothing is more important than content in digital marketing. However, implementing a content strategy is one of the most challenging aspects of marketing for small businesses. Rebecca Lieb, author and industry thought-leader, uses her in-depth research and interviews to bring you expert advice in Content — The Atomic Particle of Marketing: The Definitive Guide to Content Marketing Strategy. You’ll not only learn how to use content to your advantage, you’ll also find out how content should be a part of your broader marketing strategy.
12. Small Business Marketing for Dummies
The For Dummies series has gained huge popularity because it is easy to understand even if you have no prior knowledge of the subject. Small Business Marketing for Dummies is no different. Barbara Findlay Schenck provides business owners who are just starting out with all the information they need to pull off a successful marketing strategy.
13. The PR Masterclass
Author Alex Singleton worked as a journalist before becoming a PR trainer. In The PR Masterclass: How to Develop a Public Relations Strategy That Works!, Singleton teaches small business owners and entrepreneurs how to implement a PR strategy, no matter their budget.
14. Growth Hacker Marketing
Growth hacking involves a completely novel approach to marketing and has proved effective for some of the biggest names today, including Facebook, Uber, and Udemy. Ryan Holiday explains how you can use such tactics in Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing, and Advertising. The book also includes case studies of small businesses that used growth hacking to their advantage.
15. Crushing It!
Influencer marketing can take your brand from unknown to social media superstar. In Crushing It!: How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence — and How You Can, Too, you’ll learn how to develop your personal brand to grow your business or idea. Author Gary Vaynerchuk has some unique tips to help you.
16. 20 Simple Shortcuts to Small Business Success
If you want a quick read, 20 Simple Shortcuts to Small Business Success: Marketing, Mindset, Money and Productivity Tips to Help You Run Your Business Better is a great choice. Using her personal experience, Kelly Exeter provides marketing tips that involve no complex strategies and nothing expensive or time-consuming but allow you to run your business in a way that matches your lifestyle.
Bonus: Audio Books and Podcasts
If you find that you retain information better through listening than reading or if you have no time to sit down with a book, you can always listen to small business marketing audio books. You’ll find almost all the above small business marketing books on Audible. You can then listen at times such as on your commute. If you’re really strapped for time, you could even use an app like Blinkist, which summarizes books in 15 minutes.
Another alternative to reading small business marketing books is to listen to podcasts. The benefit of this is that information is always current and you’ll always have new episodes to listen to. Some top small business marketing podcasts include:
- Marketing Over Coffee — Every week, the hosts discuss the latest trends in marketing.
- Online Marketing Made Easy — Discover new ways to market your business online. Each episode features actionable advice, aimed specifically at small businesses.
- Social Media Marketing — A podcast Social Media Examiner, listen to interviews from experts, learn about new strategies, and hear case studies about small businesses like yours.
- The Science of Social Media from Buffer — Another release from a top name in digital marketing, the Buffer team uses this podcast to answer listener questions about small business marketing.
- Marketing Companion — Learning about small business marketing doesn’t have to be serious all the time. This podcast uses comedy to teach you everything there is to know about digital businesses.
All these top small business marketing books were written by experts in the field and provide invaluable advice. Whether you are just launching your small business, you want support overcoming a particular marketing challenge, or you’re just looking for some inspiration, you can find exactly what you need in the best small business marketing books.