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2014 Small Business Summer Reading List

Small Business

2014 Small Business Summer Reading List image SMB Summer Reading

Summer is here.

And while you may not be able to spend your days sitting on the beach, it’s still a great time to learn something new to improve your marketing, and help you do more business.

In addition to the great resources we have available here on the blog, we’re always on the lookout for new resources from marketing experts, entrepreneurs, and other people who share our passion for helping small businesses succeed.

If you’re looking to pick up a new book this summer, here are a few we highly recommend:

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Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World — By Gary Vaynerchuk

Gary Vaynerchuk is well-known for using his experience as an entrepreneur to inspire and educate others to help them reach their goals.

In his latest book, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, Gary provides a hands-on look at some of today’s top social networks, focusing on how you can successfully tell your brand’s story in the context of each platform.

In addition to sharing valuable insights based on his experience, the book also includes a ton of easy-to-follow case studies so that you can learn from the success of other brands — both large and small.

Epic Content Marketing: How to Tell a Different Story, Break through the Clutter, and Win More Customers by Marketing Less — By Joe Pulizzi

By now, most small businesses are familiar with the term, “content marketing.”

You’ve probably even received the advice that the best way to engage your fans on Facebook or to get people to open and read your emails is to simply create great content.

But as you’ve probably found, creating the right content isn’t always as easy as it looks.

In Joe Pulizzi’s latest book, Epic Content Marketing, he presents a new way of thinking about content marketing that starts with telling a different story through the content you create. Full of actionable advice and helpful examples, Epic Content Marketing has plenty to offer marketers of all levels.

Show Your Work! 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered — By Austin Kleon

You know you need to get yourself out there, but you don’t want promoting your work to take away from what you do.

Sound familiar? This is a dilemma Austin Kleon tackles in his latest book, Show Your Work.

In the book, Austin outlines 10 ways to share your creativity and get discovered, and introduces a new philosophy of marketing that can be summed up in three simple words: show your work.

Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months: A Month-by-Month Guide to a Business that Works — By Melinda Emerson

If you haven’t started your business already, but want this summer to be your jumping-off point, Melinda Emerson’s book, Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months can help.

Melinda is the founder of The Quintessence Group and consults Fortune 500 companies and small businesses on social media strategy and content development.

Her book provides a month-to-month roadmap to help get your business off the ground.

Blogging the Smart Way: How to create and market a killer blog with social media — By Jeff Bullas

If starting or growing a blog for your business is on your to-do list this year, Jeff Bullas’s Blogging the Smart Way can help. In his book, Bullas shares his experience, as someone who has built a blog that now receives more than 4 million visits per year, and offers practical advice for taking your blog to the next level by leveraging the power of social media to get more readers.

If you want some insight into the type of marketing expertise Jeff Bullas is known for, make sure to check out his blog to learn more.

The New Relationship Marketing: How To Build A Large, Loyal, Profitable Network Using The Social Web — By Mari Smith

For small businesses, relationships are one of the biggest advantages you have over your largest competitors. By focusing on building strong relationships, you’ll keep customers coming back, and have more opportunities to reach new customers through the power of word-of-mouth.

In Mari Smith’s book, The New Relationship Marketing, she provides a new perspective on the value of relationships for your business, and provides guidance for how to use the social web to build a large, loyal, and profitable network.

She also provides a valuable introduction to “online etiquette,” so that you can avoid potential pitfalls of marketing your business online.

The Secrets to Writing a Successful Business Plan: A Pro Shares a Step-by-Step Guide to Creating A Plan that Gets Results — By Hal Shelton

For nearly a decade, Hal Shelton has dedicated his life to helping small businesses succeed.

As a SCORE small business mentor, he has worked with more than 1,000 small business owners and has learned firsthand the importance of having an effective business plan.

In his new book, The Secrets to Writing a Successful Business Plan, Hal shares many of the lessons he’s learned from working with these business owners, and offers an easy-to-follow guide to writing your first business plan.

Hal is also a regular contributor on the Constant Contact Blog.

Facebook Marketing For Dummies — By John Haydon

Whether you’re someone who’s just getting started on Facebook, or you’re looking to learn more about the tools Facebook has to offer — John Haydon’s Facebook Marketing for Dummies can help.

With his best-selling book, John Haydon has created a manual for small businesses to use to set themselves up on Facebook, start building an audience, and start turning social engagements into real results for your business.

In addition to Facebook Marketing for Dummies, John has a ton of valuable Facebook resources on his website that you can take advantage of.

What the Plus! Google+ for the Rest of Us — By Guy Kawasaki

If there’s one social network that has left many business owners scratching their head in the last few years, it’s Google+. Despite its rapid growth in size and engagement, there still seem to be some questions about how this platform works, and whether or not it’s worth investing your time in it.

In his book, What the Plus! Google+ for the Rest of Us, Guy Kawasaki provides an insightful introduction to Google+, and shares his thoughts on why he believes this is one of the most exciting platforms out there. If you’ve been on the fence about Google+, give this book a shot.

Additional resources for building your summer reading list

As you can see, we’re always excited to find great resources to help small businesses and hopeful entrepreneurs succeed!

In addition to our recommendations for summer books, we thought we’d share some of our other favorite resources for small business advice:

  • THE Small Business Expert Blog: Small business expert, Susan Solovic, is a constant source of helpful resources to help market, run, and grow your business.
  • KimGarst.com: Kim Garst’s award-winning blog offers helpful advice for all of the top social media networks.
  • RebekahRadice.com: Get the advice you need to build a successful social media marketing strategy, and much more.
  • PegFitzpatrick.com: From visual marketing to blogging, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Pinterest — Peg Fitzpatrick keeps you updated on the latest online marketing trends and provides easy-to-follow advice to help you try something new.
  • Top Dog Social Media: Melonie Dodaro, founder of Top Dog Social Media, has been recognized as Canada’s #1 LinkedIn expert. In addition to great tips for using LinkedIn, Top Dog Social Media offers helpful advice for building a successful social media plan.
  • J Campbell Social Marketing: Julia Campbell uses her experience as a digital marketing strategist to help nonprofits succeed with today’s online marketing tools.
  • Small Business Bonfire: When you need actionable advice to help spark change in your business, make sure to check out Small Business Bonfire.
  • OhSoPinteresting: Read expert advice, or listen to Cynthia Sanchez’s Pinterest podcast, Oh So Pinteresting, to learn more about how to use Pinterest to effectively market your business.
  • Duct Tape Marketing: From blog posts to eBooks to podcasts, and plenty of other marketing resources, Duct Tape Marketing has a wealth of helpful content to support you in building a remarkable brand.

What are you reading this summer? Let us know your recommendations in the comments below!

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