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10 Business, Marketing, and Social Media Books to Put on Your Summer Reading List

Summer’s finally here, and for many of us, that means spending our free time lounging by the pool or on the beach with a cold drink in one hand and a good book in the other. Instead of reaching for a mystery or romance, why not crack open a book that’ll help you manage and grow your business? After all, it won’t kill you to learn a something new this summer. To that end, here are 10 business, marketing, and social media books that you’ll want to put on your reading list this summer.

The Startup Owner’s Manual: The Step-by-Step Guide for Building a Great Company by Steve Blank & Bob Dorf

Whether you want to sell online or offline, this guide will walk you through the Customer Development method developed by co-author Steve Blank. The two-step process, which includes the Customer Discovery step and the Customer Validation step, has been used by many a successful startup to get, keep, and grow customers. To get even more out of this book, you can use the Founder’s Workbook, the companion online tool that helps you monitor your progress through the manual.

Do It! Marketing: 77 Instant-Action Ideas to Boost Sales, Maximize Profits, and Crush Your Competition by David Newman

This quick read offers plenty of ideas to attract, engage, and convert prospects into customers. Working on the premise that it’s action that leads to results, the book also covers the five marketing moves for success, and includes a 21-day launch plan that will get your marketing up and running in just a few weeks.

The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business by Josh Kaufman

Why invest a lot of time and money in getting an MBA when you can learn much of the core principles in a book? In The Personal MBA you’ll use “mental models” – Kaufman’s term for foundational business concepts – to create a sound framework that will help you boost your business skills and make good decisions. The author’s website expands upon the information found in the book, and has been visited by readers all over the world more than 2 million times since its 2005 inception.

Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Tony Hsieh

The CEO of online retailer Zappos shows how creating a corporate culture of happiness can actually be good for the bottom line. Hsieh dishes on what he has learned over the years, from starting a worm farm to the sale of Zappos to Amazon for more than $1.2 billion. His employee- and customer-centered outlook should serve as a model to any business owner who wants to develop a happy, successful corporate culture.

Likeable Social Media: How to Delight Your Customers, Create an Irresistible Brand, and Be Generally Amazing on Facebook (And Other Social Networks) by Dave Kerpen

Though it’s over two years old, this book offers timeless advice on how to make the most of social media for word-of-mouth marketing. From responding quickly to bad comments to inspiring your customers to share their stories, you’ll learn how to genuinely talk to and engage with customers so that they’ll be eager to spread the word about your business. If you like this book, you might also want to check Kerpen’s other book, Likeable Business: Why Today’s Consumers Demand More and How Leaders Can Deliver.

Book Yourself Solid Illustrated: The Fastest, Easiest, and Most Reliable System for Getting More Clients Than You Can Handle Even If You Hate Marketing and Selling by Michael Port (Jocelyn Wallace, illustrator)

Based on the system outlined in Book Yourself Solid, this book allows the reader to learn the concepts more easily with engaging, playful illustrations. It’s organized into 4 modules: your foundation, building trust and credibility, simple selling and perfect pricing, and the system’s 6 core self-promotion strategies. Want more of the Book Yourself Solid system? There’s also a mobile app that enables you to do all of the exercises in the book on any device.

500 Social Media Marketing Tips: Essential Advice, Hints, and Strategy for Business by Andrew Macarthy

As its name promises, this book offers a plethora of tips on how to market your business on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and more. The advice given is straightforward and easy to put into action, allowing you to quickly establish your social media presence so that you can start engaging with current and future customers. The author provides more social media tutorials, how-tos, and videos on his website.

The Customer Rules: The 39 Essential Rules for Delivering Sensational Service by Lee Cockerell

If you want to succeed in business, you need to make sure that every customer experience is the best it can possibly be. This book offers 39 indispensible rules for incorporating efficiency, consistency, sincerity, and excellence in customer service. This easy-to-read guide is applicable to businesses of all types, from large to small, startup company to well-established firm. The rules laid out within will ensure that your customers are happy – so happy that they’ll keep coming back for more.

The New Inbox: Why Email Marketing Is the Digital Marketing Hub in a Social & Mobile World by Simms Jenkins

Email marketing seems to have been shoved aside in the marketing world in favor of social media, but that’s a mistake, and Jenkins explains just why in this book. Here you’ll learn how email marketing can work successfully with social media marketing, as well as information on how to grow your email list, create more engaging emails, and how to get more customers and sales with email. With this book, you can be sure that your email marketing program will be able to meet the challenges of an ever-changing digital world.

Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind by Jocelyn K. Glei

If you’re like most entrepreneurs and small business owners, you’ve got plenty on your plate, with never enough time in the day to get it all done. With contributions from 20 of the world’s brightest thought leaders and creatives, Manage Your Day-to-Day will help you manage information overload, set aside distractions, and accomplish your daily goals with ease. The tools and advice within this book will help you deal with the challenges of today’s crazy workplace.

Got any other reading suggestions for the summer? Let us know in the comments below!

About Lori Mattern

Lori Mattern

Lori Mattern is Content Manager at bMighty2, where she writes for our blog, helps manage our Facebook page, and develops content for clients. She lives in Indianapolis, Indiana, and received her bachelor's degree at Purdue University and her master's degree at Ohio State University. When she's not hunched over her computer keyboard typing furiously away, she enjoys reading, working out (yes, really), and boning up on her mad WordPress skillz.

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