Since my son and 4th child, Luke was born, I have not had a chance to keep up with my reading list. So I have been keeping a list of books I wanted to read in my head for the past 8 months. Now that he is starting to show signs of a slightly more regular schedule, I am ready to start reading again in earnest.
The good news is that in the last couple of years, there have been some amazing books written by some truly wonderful people I have had the pleasure to get to know. I don’t personally know all of the people on the following list, but they are each knowledgeable and passionate about their subject.
And the ones I do know, I have the highest regard for. I have fully disclosed any relationships I have with individual authors below even though most have been purely virtual. And I assure you none of the links are affiliate links.
So grab your flip flops, a towel, your e-reader and head to the beach. Let me know what additions you would like to make in the comments below. And welcome to the Summer of 2012!
Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business (new updated paperback edition) - by Ann Handley (@MarketingProfs) and C.C. Chapman (@CC_Chapman). Ann is truly one of the best people you could ever meet (or hear speak, or read.) And this book covers all the basics. Now I am also honored to call C.C. my newest friend. So one book by two of my favorite people (who happen to really know what they are talking about) = summer reading list recommendation #1. I recently stated that I “worship at the ‘Content Rules’ altar” and I meant it.
Return on Influence: The Revolutionary Power of Klout, Social Scoring, and Influence Marketing - by Mark Schaefer (@MarkwSchaefer). I met Mark in real life earlier this year and after hearing him “wow!” an audience, I put this right at the top of my own list. Mark stated that “it is not enough to have great content. You have to have influence” to help your ideas spread and get a return on your marketing investments. I am reading it now and I have to say, three chapters in, it is not disappointing. Mark has an easy (and humorous) writing style that make this book a summer must-read!
Managing Content Marketing: The Real-World Guide for Creating Passionate Subscribers to Your Brand – by Joe Pulizzi (@juntajoe) and Robert Rose (@RobertRose). Following on from his 2009 success in “Get Content. Get Customers,” Joe, the founder of the Content Marketing Institute teams up with Robert Rose to write this practical guide for how to manage content marketing within organizations large and small. Joe and Robert are really great guys and you will find it tough find any better authority on the topic of content marketing. For more on this topic, you can also check out the simply titled “Content Marketing” by Rebecca Lieb (@LiebLink) who is also a respected analyst from the Altimeter Group.
The New Rules of Marketing & PR: How to Use Social Media, Online Video, Mobile Applications, Blogs, News Releases, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly (new paperback edition) - by David Meerman Scott (@dmscott). Just an oldie-but-goodie, that is also in a new paperback edition making it perfect for the beach. If you haven’t read this yet, make sure you start here. David helps paint the business case for change in marketing today and shows how we need to focus on getting the right message to the right person at the right time – without too much “marketing gobbledygook.”
The Introvert’s Guide to Success in Business and Leadership - by Lisa Petrilli (@LisaPetrilli). Lisa explains that being an introvert can be a true advantage in business and leadership. Lisa was one of my earliest friends on Twitter and I’ve been following her ever since I attended one of the #LeaderhipChat sessions she co-hosts. As a “sometimes Introvert” this is on my list and should be on yours too if you’ve ever scored as one. (I’m an INFJ by the way but have scored as an “ENFJ” once in my twenties.)
Optimize: How to Attract and Engage More Customers by Integrating SEO, Social Media and Content Marketing - by Lee Odden (@LeeOdden). This is one of the most recent books on the list. Lee and I are totally on the same page. We write basically about all the same stuff except that he is truly an expert in all three of these topics – SEO, Social and Content Marketing! I cannot wait to get my hands on this one so I can add to the 5-star reviews Lee is getting for this book.
The Thank You Economy - by Gary Vaynerchuk (@GaryVee). I wrote about this book in The Most Important Words in Social Media (oh – they are “thank you” if you are wondering.) Gary is such an amazing guy with an amazing story himself and I just love that anyone wrote this book, let alone someone with the success and credibility Gary has. He talks about how it is the company who cares the most about their customers and makes them feel like they have a personal connection with a brand that will succeed.
Marketing in the Round: How to Develop an Integrated Marketing Campaign in the Digital Era - by Gini Dietrich (@ginidietrich) and Geoff Livingston (@geoffliving). I don’t know Geoff but have been following Gini for some time. Her unique sense of humor and approach is educational, inspiring and always entertaining. In the book, they talk about the difficulty companies and marketers are having in dealing with the newly-empowered customer. They provide the historical context of the change that social media has brought to the business landscape and then detail the approaches you can take. It’s a great read!
Social Media ROI: Managing and Measuring Social Media Efforts in Your Organization - by Olivier Blanchard (@thebrandbuilder). This books seeks to answer the question in every executive’s mind. What is the ROI of Social Media and how can my organization achieve it? It is not about whether we should be doing social media, but how to do it well. I am looking forward to reading Olivier’s take on this important topic and to hear his answer to the “social media ROI?” question that I have been asked to answer many times.
The NOW Revolution: 7 Shifts to Make Your Business Faster, Smarter and More Social - by Jay Baer (@jaybaer) and Amber Naslund (@AmberCadabra). Jay and Amber are some of the most influential and well-liked people in social media. In this book, they explore how we win and lose customers instantaneously, in real-time. And they talk about how our organizations need to be re-tooled to adapt and meet this need. I believe this revolution is coming and looking forward to hearing Jay and Amber’s tips on how to get there.
The Hidden Wealth of Customers: Realizing the Untapped Value of Your Most Important Asset - by Bill Lee (@bill_lee). Margie Clayman (@MargieClayman) pointed me in this direction. The book is not yet released but can be pre-ordered. I really wanted to get the customer perspective included here because it is so important. But if you’re looking for a book you can read right now and has been widely and popularly reviewed, check out The Referral Engine: Teaching Your Business to Market Itself - by John Jantsch (@ducttape).