The summer months are a great time to catch up on your reading. Over the last 3 plus years my library has grown to include several business books. Sometimes I read them from cover to cover, others just the relevant chapters. I’ve put together a quick list of my top 10 books.

In no particular order here are the books I recommend;

  1. 101 Ways to Advertise your business & 101 Ways to really satisfy your customers by Andrew Griffiths. Both of these book are easy to digest and have practical tips with varying levels of impact. Every business and industry is different, and techniques to advertise are not a ‘one size fits all’. 101 Ways to Advertise your business will not only help you to think differently about advertising, it also includes smart advertising words and phrases that can help you craft the best eye catching content. For those in the service industry, the main difference between you and your competitors, is how your customer feels when they buy from you. 101 Ways to really Satisfy your customers provides great advice on attracting new clients and retaining your current ones.
  2. The Art of Social Media by Guy Kawasaki & Peg Fitzpatrick. This book includes more than 120 power tips on taking your social media marketing to the next level, encompassing twitter, google+, LinkedIn and more. Of course, he also touches on using canva (the online design service that he holds the position of Chief Evangelist). This book will explain tips such as Be Thankful, Be Sly and Using the right tools.
  3. Web Marketing that works by Adam Franklin & Toby Jenkins. Adam & Toby founded the Australian based marking team Bluewire Media, and always provide valuable tips, content and even checklists. Purchasing this book was a no brainer for me as they have proven themselves time and time again to provide quality content. They are not new to the online marketing world and this book is another great resource that has helped my business grow online. It’s a book I refer back to from time to time.
  4. Oversubscribed by Daniel Priestly. If you are looking to grow your profile and in turn business, this book is a great read. This is my summer reading book, and I’ve found it hard to put down at times. It includes practical tips and real life examples to reinforce the message. If you follow me on twitter, you will know I’ve shared several quotes from this book, and there are more too come! Daniel doesn’t promise the book will have people lining up to do business with you after reading it, but if you adopt new strategies you can take your business to the next level.
  5. The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs by Carmine Gallo. The more I read about Steve Jobs, the more I learn that not everyone sees him as a positive role model. In this book you will learn the 7 principles of innovation that were inspired by Steve Jobs. While this book does include snippets into Steve’s personal life, it is not a biography. The snippets are used to explain a principle or strategy and why Steve chose to do things “Steve’s Way”. Each chapter ends with an iLesson, encouraging you to practice what was discussed during the chapter. This book, taught me to think differently and appreciate innovation in different ways.
  6. Leading the Starbucks Way by Joseph A. Michelli. This book explores why Starbucks is successful. Culture, leadership, passion, and customer experience are all covered by Joseph. Think about the title of chapter two; If you don’t have passion for your product, why should your customers? Are you passionate about your business? Do your customers see and feel that when they do business with you? Do your staff have the same passion for their role in your business?
  7. Likeable Social Media by Dave Kerpen. Dave is also the author of Likeable Business & Likeable Leadership. (I have them all and have read them). Dave doesn’t use marketing jargon, and his ‘angle’ is quiet simple – Be authentic, Listen to your customer and prospects, and deliver value and surprise. Using this formula – you will become likeable and people will want to do business with you. He gives examples on how he was surprised and created new partnerships. Dave is active on most social media platforms and you will learn from him, just by following him on your preferred platform.
  8. Unselling by Scott Stratten & Alison Kramer. This is one of my favourite books on building relationships with your clients. Scott & Alison use some wonderful examples to highlight the importance of looking after your clients after the sale. The sales process is less about selling and more about creating a relationship with clients turning them into loyal and repeat buyers. The story of Joshie is a heart-warming example that hits home the message of ‘unselling’.
  9. Maximise your social by Neal Schaffer. In this book Neal offers strategies for you and your team to improve your social media efforts. He talks about the importance of social media policies and guidelines for your team, as well as determining your ROI of social media. This book was first published in 2013, and therefore discusses mostly Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn & Google+.
  10. The Suitcase Entrepreneur by Natalie Sisson. This was my summer reading 12 months ago, and is a book about creating freedom in your business and life. Yes it could encourage you to hit the road, and work from anywhere in the world. (Bucket list item right there!) But Natalie helps you understand that you don’t actually need an office to run your business (maybe this book isn’t for everyone!) or even traditional trading hours. Following Natalie’s strategies, you can work with a virtual team from anywhere in the world and enjoy your life.

The last book, the Suitcase Entrepreneur I have as an electronic version on my kindle and the Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs I borrowed from my local library. So remember, you don’t have to spend a fortune to enhance your personal development via reading.

If you have a kindle, or electronic reader, checkout the free ebooks you can add to your device. My kindle currently has 187 books, and I believe I’ve only paid for a handful. Of course some are more worthwhile than others, but when they are free you can afford to download them without too much thought.

If you have a favourite book, we’d love to hear about it. Please share it in the comments below.

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by Sam Spence – Founder & Principal Executive Assistant, Executive Virtual Associate.

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