People often ask us what books and resources we recommend – because we read a lot. Here’s our shortlist of favorites that got 5 glowing stars and a big tip of the hat for excellent advice on copywriting, marketing, creativity, storytelling, branding and everything in between. .
Influence, Persuasion and Engagement
- The Secret Language of InfluenceThe Secret Language of Influence teaches you how to use language to influence, persuade and convince more people to say yes. You’ll learn what to say to potential clients, how to say it so they agree, and why it works so well. Then sit back and watch your sales grow.
- Savvy marketing entrepreneur and Dragon’s Den expert Arlene Dickinson explains how to persuade people in an ethical, natural way that’s on board with good values. You’ll gain a fresh perspective of marketing from Persuasion: A New Approach to Changing Minds, and be set to attract customers with class.
- The bible that should be on every copywriter and marketer’s bookshelf, Influence by Robert Cialdini is packed full of smart consumer and sales psychology that gives clear insight on how potential customers think, what they need to hear from you and how to create a persuasive message that convinces them you’re awesome.
Freelancing, Business and Entrepreneurship
- Ever wonder whether or not you should launch that product? Start that business? Raise your rates? Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work by the Heath Brothers will change the way you make decisions in your career – and in your life. A special favorite we *loved*, this book is a must-read for any entrepreneur.
- Laura Vanderkam is a favorite author of mine, and she changed my life with her book 168 Hours: You have more time than you think.You can read a review here, but take it from me: after reading this book, you’ll never look at time the same way again.
- Not just for businesspeople and entrepreneurs, everyone can learn how to build habits that help you live a better life from The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and BusinessThe Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in life and Business by Charles Duhigg.
- The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding by Al Ries and Laura Ries. Just about everything you need to know to brand your business in a way that stands out from the competition and gets clients bursting through your doors.
- Rework by Jason Fried. This easy read teaches you better, smarter, easier ways to reach your entrepreneurial goals. Open it at any page to get a straightforward, no-fluff, bite-sized piece of worthwhile (and damn smart) advice that helps you succeed. We loved it, hands down.
- The Wealthy Freelancer. Need we say more?
- This book gives you so much more than a how-to guide on managing your time. Dan Kennedy’s No B.S. Time Management for Entrepreneurs is the kick in the arse you need to value every minute of your day and know it’s worth its weight in gold. You’ll stop putting in more hours for less pay, stand up for what you’re worth and shed time-sucking obligations that leave you feeling burnt out and poor.
- A Whack on the Side of the Head by Roger von Oech. Discover cool tricks, tips and advice on unleashing your creative genius. Packed full of cool exercises and smart techniques that get your creativity flowing (and your productivity going), you’ll be ready to smash out that next blog post and make it a win.
- Chris Guillebeau knocked it out of the park with The $100 Startup, a practical and useful guide on how you can start your micro-business with next to nothing and grow it into a successful empire. An inspiring book that contains compelling stories and intriguing examples, it’s a well-written read we recommend.
- Made to Stick by Chip Heath and Dan Heath. These guys took viral storytelling to the max and they teach you how to bring stories into your business so you can convince, compel and engage your prospects.
This book knocked our socks off for straightforward writing advice that gets you going, keeps you on track and tells you where to focus (and what to leave out). Highly recommended, A Writer’s Coach: The Complete Guide to Writing Strategies that Work by Jack Hart comes packed with tricks you’ll seriously appreciate.
- Wired for Story by Lisa Cron is the perfect book to understand how fiction affects your brain and how writers can use this information to their advantage.
- When you write for a living, you need time and space to produce the words. Kelly Stone put together one of the best resources I’ve ever read. It’s called Time to Write, and it’ll help you carve hours out of your week. Happy writing!
- If you write sales letters and landing pages for your business, then this book is the most complete I’ve found on the subject yet. Check out Web Copy That Sells: The Revolutionary Formula for Creating Killer Copy That Grabs Their Attention and Compels Them to Buy by Maria Veloso.
- Short, sweet and like a bullet of advice to the head, Stephen Pressfield takes creative blocks to battle in The War of Art. Everyone who has ever struggled with writer’s block needs to get a copy of this.
- Need to write for websites? Then you need to grab a copy of Letting Go of the Words: Writing Web Content that Works by Janice Redish. It teaches you what people really need to see on web pages… and it’s not huge chunks of text.
- A master of writing chilling words and penning bestseller books, Stephen King lays out the craft in On Writing. A must for those who enjoy creative fiction and descriptive language. No adverbs, please!
- Natalie Goldberg teaches you how to get real about your writing in Writing Down the Bones. If you get stuck, jammed up and suffer from writer’s block, you’ll enjoy finally finding your release!
- I love persuasive writing, so when I read Joe Vitale’s Hypnotic Writing: How to Seduce and Persuade Customers with Only Your Words, I grinned. It’s not the best writing in the world, but it has great techniques you can put to good use!
- So many people struggle with writing voice that Laraine Herring wrote a book about the battle. Check out The Writing Warrior: Discovering the Courage to Free Your True Voice. Then get out there and win the war!
- A top copywriter, Robert Bly knocks it out of the park with his step-by-step guide to writing copy that gets results with The Copywriter’s Handbook, Third Edition: A Step-By-Step Guide To Writing Copy That Sells.
- Kick-ass Copywriting in 10 Easy Steps by Susan Gunelius. Need to learn to write web copy fast? This 10-step guide takes you there.
- Many top bloggers swear by speech-to-text software, and I’ve used it myself. All you need to do is talk at your screen and watch the words magically appear thanks to Dragon Naturally Speaking.
- Want speech-to-text but hate Windows? Are you a diehard Mac user? You got it. MacSpeech Dictate does it all – just talk away, and the words appear on the screen. Enjoy!
- THE ultimate course on how to guest blog your way to success, brought to you by the most epic writer I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting, the famous Jon Morrow.
- Available in both Mac and PC versions, Scrivener is a world class approach to writing novels, screenplays or any other type of document, allowing you to keep all your writing and research in one place.
- The best writing course for businesspeople, Damn Fine Words provides you with a wash, rinse, repeat writing system you can use for any type of content you need to create for your business. This 10-week course comes complete, and you’ll finish it with clear evidence you’re a better, faster, more confident writer… one who knows how to get results from words.