Best Business Books: 50+ Marketing Experts Will Make You Smarter

Henneke Duistermaat is the founder of and a regular contributor to Copyblogger. She’s on a mission to stamp out gobbledygook, and she helps business owners become confident writers and find their voice, so they can attract the right clients to their business.

The Path, Michael Puett. For anyone who’s tired of the “follow your passion” advice because they don’t know what their passion, this book is refreshing. Packed with advice from old Chinese philosophers – surprisingly relevant in the modern age.


Nathan Ellering – CoSchedule. Author of How To Create A Social Media Strategy. The Know-It-All’s Complete Guide To Launching Social Media For Monumental Growth

Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? Seth Godin – “You can train yourself to matter.” If you want inspiration to never stop learning, trying, and growing, this is the book for you. This book pushed me to fight the resistance and favor shipping over perfection.
The Score Takes Care of Itself: My Philosophy of Leadership, Bill Walsh. As a new manager, I needed to learn how to translate my thoughts into frameworks the team could help execute. Bill Walsh advocates a standard of performance to help your team learn what to do so well they could operate without you.
The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, Charles Duhigg. Maintaining status quo produces status quo results. You can push yourself—and your team—to modify existing habits to refocus your efforts and dramatically increase your productivity.


Eric EngeStone Temple Consulting. Co-author of The Art of SEO (With Stephan Spencer and others.)

Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand – This is the story of a society that goes completely communist/socialist and takes away the concept of earning more if you contribute more. While the moral issues in this book can be tricky to navigate, it’s a great read.
StrategyH. Liddell Hart – This book about military strategy taught me much about flexible thinking and opportunism. [Editor’s note: Many marketing and business executives use Sun Tzu’s The Art of War in the same way.]


Brian Fanzo (aka  iSocialFanz) – Co-Founder of Summit.Live and Co-Host of SMACtalk Live Podcast & Event Show

Start with Why, Simon Sinek – This is the only book I’ve read cover to cover more than once. Why? We live in a world over run with noise. Nobody cares about what other people care about, why other people do what they do, and why it matters.This book ties that all together.


Rand Fishkin – SparkToro. Author of Lost and Founder: A Painfully Honest Field Guide to the Startup World

Good to Great by Jim Collins made me think hard about the aspects of building a company that correlate with successful outcomes
Powerful by Patty McCord has some awesome stories from Netflix’s early years that resonated with me
Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely opened my eyes to the idea that while people aren’t logical, their lack of logic does follow patterns that can be recognized and optimized for


Allen Gannett of TrackMaven. Author of The Creative Curve.

Creativity, Inc.,  Catmul is one of the co-founders of Pixar, and his book is a deep dive into the creative culture at Pixar. It’s extremely engaging. If you’re interested in the artistic process and innovation, this book is a must read.
The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz  This is a fantastic book that takes an honest look at the difficulties of building a business from the ground up. It’s filled with honest, hard-nosed, and—most importantly—valuable advice for entrepreneurs. Pick up a copy, you won’t regret it.


Chris Guillebeau – World traveler, author of Born for ThisThe $100 StartupThe Art of Non-Conformity

Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder – do everything you can to help others
Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl showed me how to find purpose in anything, no matter how difficult the circumstance
A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami. There’s something you have to find, even if it takes over your whole life


Ann Handley – CCO, MarketingProfs; author of Everybody Writes and Content Rules.

The Elements of Style, E.B. White (& William Strunk) – This is the book that taught me how to write. I still re-read it every year or so. Plus, E.B. White and I both loved/love Maine. So I’ve always felt a kinship with the guy.
The Essential Don Murray: Lessons from America’s Greatest Writing Teacher, Don Murray – Don is under the radar, but all of his books are like water wings for non-swimmers. At first they help you float, but they also get you to try a few moves on your own and before you know it… you’re writing! And swimming!


Jeffrey Hayzlett – Television host of C-Suite with Jeffrey Hayzlett and Executive Perspectives. Chairman of C-Suite Network. Author of Think Big, Act Bigger: The Rewards of Being Relentless, Running the Gauntlet, and The Mirror Test.

Selfish, Scared & Stupid, Dan Gregory & Kieran Flanagan – Outlines the 3 most common human traits: selfishness, fear and a need for simplicity. To effectively increase influence and performance, whether at work or home, Dan Gregory & Kieran Flanagan break down these traits and provide implementable solutions and real-life examples that stem from extensive research and an impressive combined body of work.
The Barefoot Spirit, Bonnie Harvey & Michael Houlihan – Barefoot Wines founders use universal business principles, and their never-say-die outlook despite facing one seemingly insurmountable hurdle after another. Those hardships, that hustle, and their heart, are the essence of the Barefoot Spirit.
The Power of Broke, Daymond John – The author has practiced the power of broke ever since he started selling his home-sewn t-shirts on the streets of Queens. With no funding and a $40 budget, Daymond had create out-of-the box ways to promote his products.


Erika Heald – Content Marketing Consultant

Now, Discover Your Strengths, Marcus Buckingham – This book gave me a language to talk about my work style. It also helped me think through the primary traits that come through in others in the workplace. This book has helped me to better think through creating marketing personas and the related content to meet different prospect needs and preferences.
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