One great way to provide value to your team is to help them grow. Whether it’s growing their career or growing their book of business, sharing resources that have helped you may help them, too.
Books can be very inspiring—I’ve confirmed this many times in my life. For example, on two separate occasions, I’ve tasked assistants with organizing my business library. Just from reading the titles (and perhaps some skimming), these assistants were motivated to ask me how they could start their own businesses!
Most firms don’t think about creating an office library, but books are still a very budget-conscious and effective way to share knowledge. Reading is a top strategy for many industry leaders. That’s why they’re always asked, “What are you reading?” during interviews. Take a tip from the most successful people on the planet and encourage your team to read more!
To begin building your library, ask your team members to suggest books that they have found useful. Next, ask them what’s on their “wish list” of books—maybe they have been meaning to catch up on the latest business best sellers. You’re sure to have lists of your own, right? There you have it: the beginning of your very own office lending library.
Below is a list of my favorite insightful branding and marketing books. They are best when read and their tips acted upon.
- Brand Intimacy: A New Paradigm in Marketing (by Mario Natarelli and Rina Plapler)
Most advisor brands either don’t exist or haven’t changed since the last century. Is it time to bring your firm’s brand to life? Authored by two people who have decades of combined experience working with corporate giants, this is a great book that helps firms of all sizes to grow their brand visibility and stand out from the crowd.
- Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen (by Donald Miller)
In the past, branding for small businesses consisted of a logo, business cards, and stationery. Today, prospects want to hear crystal-clear messaging from your company. Learn how to do that and create the story around your brand and services. Selling the Invisible: A Field Guide to Modern Marketing (by Harry Beckwith)
Crafted by the founder of a successful marketing firm, this is an excellent read for business owners who market and sell services versus products. The title alone will probably catch the eye of your team.
- Guerrilla Marketing Remix (by Jay Conrad Levinson)
If there was one marketing book to purchase, this would be the one. It contains budget-wise ways to market with step-by-step instructions. For more than 10 years, I’ve used this book and a few other books he penned as references. There are many great target marketing tips to choose from!
- Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers into Friends and Friends into Customers (by Seth Godin)
The author of this one is somewhat of a celebrity in his own right due to years of insightful works. This book is just as eye-opening as it explains how marketers can effectively use an important best business practice, the concept of permission marketing.
Building your office library is fun. As the owner, you can even purchase additional copies of your most beloved books for each of your team members. (Some people like to write notes in them as they think of brilliant ideas!)
- Buy books offline from your favorite local bookstore. Consider upcycling by purchasing used books, too. The prices are often low enough that you can purchase two copies of each book (just watch those shipping costs). Below are my favorite upcyclers who offer business books:
- Ablebooks.com – nonprofits selling books online.
- Thriftbooks.com – they buy books from nonprofits to sell and give books to various nonprofits.
- Ebay.com – people and companies selling for profit as well as nonprofits selling books.
- Your Local Library – check out their “friends of library” book sale dates. Often there is a table or two of business books.
- In general, having a local library card is a very good thing! Libraries offer business owners numerous marketing resources you can use from the comfort of your office. Read this article to learn about all the free resources located right in your “backyard” or computer here.
(c) 2019 Elevating Your Business