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

Tor Refsland – Award-winning blogger. Was featured on 158 top blogs in his first 14 months of blogging.  Created the course, How To Blog Outreach Like A Boss

Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Robert Kiyosaki – Teaches the real difference between liabilities and assets. It shows how wealthy people are able to leverage their assets to work for them to grow their business and life.


Robert RoseCo-founder of Content Marketing Institute and co-author of Experiences: The 7th Era of Marketing (

The Seventh Sense: Power, Fortune and Survival in the Age of Networks, Joshua Cooper Ramo – It’s a VERY powerful history lesson and insight into global changes and the power of networks
The Business of Belief, Thomas Asacker – This is one of those read this book and “wake up” kind of things.
Daring Greatly – Brene Brown –Just an unbelievably great gook about how vulnerability helps you lead and change the way you look at life.


Ted Rubin – Author of Return on Relationship (with Kathryn Rose) and How to Look People in the Eye Digitally.  Check out his video on #RonR

How to Win Friends & Influence People, Dale Carnegie – The ultimate relationship building book. It’s the best social media book ever written (even though it was published in 1936!)
Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill – Still the standard bearer for attitude, perspective and mindset.
Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand – A MUST read!


Mark W. Schaefer – Keynote speaker and author of The Content CodeThe Tao of TwitterSocial Media ExplainedBorn to Blog and Return On Influence.

I loved Entrepreneurship and Innovation by Peter Drucker, who was my teacher and mentor. It presents a method to really institutionalize innovation.


Neal Schaffer – Is a Social Media Author, Strategy Consultant, International Speaker, and Innovator. He’s CEO of Maximize Your Social and Co-Founder, Social Tools Summit. Author of Maximize Your Social, Maximizing LinkedIn for Business, and Maximizing LinkedIn for Sales and Social Media Marketing.

Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, Paul Kennedy – While required reading in college, its application to business is unmistakable. It helps me better understand the rise and fall of the popularity of social networks. It’s a constant reminder that nothing in business lasts forever.
Reengineering the Corporation, Michael Hammer & James Champy – This was required reading at the Japanese semiconductor company where I worked at early in my career. It provides fresh thinking about examining the processes and infrastructures of companies. It’s served as a backbone for how I look at my own social media operations.
Solution Selling, Michael Bosworth – As a sales professional, it was required reading. This book helped me tremendously as a sales professional and a consultant.


Marcus Sheridan –The Sales Lion. Author of They Ask, You Answer.

How to Win Friend and Influence People, Dale Carnegie. This was the best sales / marketing / communication book ever written. By far.
The First American: The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin—to me, Franklin demonstrated the ultimate model of entrepreneurism, education, communication, and “giving back.”


Stephan Spencer – SEO expert. Founder of SEO agency, Netconcepts. Author of The Art of SEOSocial eCommerce, and Google Power Search.

Rules of the Game, Neil Strauss – This book about the underground world of PUAs (pick-up artists). It taught me a ton about influence and persuasion. Among the key topics were Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP), calibrating, rapport-building, social proof, peacocking (essentially sticking out in a crowded market), and never looking at a “No” as failure but only as information.
The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Marie Kondo – If it doesn’t spark joy, it’s clutter. Using Kondo’s techniques, I’ve purged hundreds of books from my library, reams of paper from my files, half of my wardrobe, and much more. Clutter shows up in your marketing too; you just aren’t seeing it! [Editor’s note: This book helped me too!]
The Diamond Age, Neal Stephenson – It’s rare for me to get into a fiction book. But this book is near-term science fiction. It got my creative juices going, thinking about coming technologies and how to leverage them. It’s hard to pick just one book by Neal Stephenson. I loved Snow Crash too. So read both!


Jim Sterne – Founder eMetrics Summit and Board Chair Digital Analytics Association. Author of 12 books on digital marketing, advertising, email, social media and metrics dating back to 1995). Most recent are The Devil’s Data Dictionary and Social Media Metrics: How to Measure and Optimize Your Marketing Investment (2010).

Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind, Al Ries and Jack Trout
The Elements of Style, William Strunk
Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, Steve Krug


Carson Tate – Working Simply, author of  Work Simply.

Getting Things Done by David Allen. Allen offers a tangible, actionable workflow management system that resonates and works well for many people.
Switch: How to Change When Change Is Hard by Dan and Chip Heath. A simple, yet powerful approach to driving individual and organizational change.
Thinking Fast and Slow By Daniel Kahneman. An insightful exploration of the two systems that drive the way we think and how these systems impact not only corporate decision making, but also, our own predictions of what will make us happy in the future.


Laura Vanderkam – Author of I Know How She Does It168 Hours.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by the late Stephen Covey was the first productivity book I read, and it remains the one all others are measured against. In all my time management speeches I mention his simple but profound line about putting “first things first.” All of time management really comes down to that.
To The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf is my favorite novel. I re-read it once a year as a reminder of what prose can be, and how a writer can create a world that draws you in.
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