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Business & Marketing Book Review #2

I’ve had planned to get this post out during the first week of October but then some business travel got in the way. During travelling I still prefer to read rather than write. I should maybe try and do something about that and get stuck into writing whilst travelling!

These are the books I managed to read in September:

1. The Science of Marketing: When to Tweet, What to Post, How to Blog, and Other Proven Strategies by Dan Zarrella

This is Dan Zarrella’s fourth book and by far the best one. I was glued to it and couldn’t put it down. The social media scientist is all about analysing data, millions of data, and his findings are very clear. Even though the Hubspot employee’s main focus is on US data, I believe that his results would have a very similar outcome in the UK and the rest of Europe.

The book is full of actionable insights, being split into the following areas

  • Content: including E-books and Webinars
  • Channels: SEO, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Blogging
  • Middle of the funnel: E-mail marketing, Lead generation
  • Analytics

It’s a small book and should be on every online marketeer’s desk, we sure have a copy of it at Serps. Definitely a great reference for anyone who needs a bit more guidance about when, what and why for their digital marketing strategy.

Dan Zarrella blogs here  or follow him on Twitter Dan Zarrella

Rating: 5 out of 5


2. Webs of Influence: The Psychology of Online Persuasion by Natalie Nahai

The book is structured in 3 parts:

  1. Know who you’re targeting
  2. Communicate persuasively
  3. Sell with integrity

I have to say, I was fascinated with the first part of the book, which focused a lot about cultural differences outlined by the Dutch psychology professor Hofstede. If you are a international digital marketer then alone for this part the book is worth getting.  Nahai outlines various cultural quirks for various countries and how best to target them online. Each section has a case study and a tips or round up section called “Make this work for you”. If in a rush, you could just read those. Chapter 2 focuses on usability, images, colours, monetisation and social media. In chapter 3 she touches on how to build trust and credibility online, increase sales and customer service.

In overall I have to say that Part 2 and 3 are fairly basic for seasoned digital marketers but definitely a must-read for anyone who is starting or is still at the beginning of their digital marketing career, account managers in design agencies or client side marketers.  You can tweet here for a free download of the intro and chapter 8.
You can read Nathalie Nahai’s blog The Web psychologist or follow Nathalie Nahai on Twitter

Rating: 3.5 out of 5


3. …And death came third by Andy Lopata and Peter Roper

I originally got this book, as I had to do some public speaking, which apparently isn’t only for me rather unappealing. According to an American study the top two fears of people are walking into a room full of strangers and speaking in public. Death was only mentioned as the third fear. Interesting, isn’t it. As a business owner you will at some point have to at least attend a networking event, if not even speak in public and for either this book is a fantastic guide to overcome any anxiety. The Networking and presentation parts of the book are divided into tools and techniques sections.  They include everything from planning your networking strategy, how to make an impression to keeping in touch. The public speaking tips are also easy to follow and focus on why you are invited to speak, getting out your key message, close, open, as well as body language.

I definitely can’t recommend this book enough. Even though the contents are all common sense, it is really useful to have very clear steps and a focused approach for networking and the preparation for public speaking. This book is a fantastic reference guide; you can dip in and out of to clarify certain areas.

Read Andy Lopata’s Networking blog & Peter Roper’s blog here and follow Andy Lopata and Peter Roper on Twitter

Rating: 5 out of 5


Are you reading any interesting business or marketing books at the moment? I’m always on the look-out for new reading material.

This month I’ve been reading The Psychology of Price, Value based Fees and Rework.

You can find me on Twitter or LinkedIN or just email me! I’d love to hear from you.

Business & Marketing Book Review #1

Books and books

It’s Friday! The weekend is looming round the corner and you might have been thinking that you’d like to get some reading done.

I’m an avid reader and also take part in the Goodreads Book Challenge for 2014. Currently I’m 13 books ahead of my reading goal of 52 books. Blimey! So I thought I’d share my views on the business and marketing books I’ve been reading lately.

  1. Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind

Volume 1 of the soon three volumes by 99u, the blog on how to make ideas happen by the guys from Behance, the show case website for designers and creatives.

This book focuses on being as productive as possible in a dynamic and specifically creative workspace. It contains advice from 20 different creative minds, such as Seth Godin and Scott Belsky and is broken down into four main sections, such as:

  • Building a rock-solid routine
  • Finding focus in a distracted world
  • Taming your tools
  • Sharpening your creative mind

I found a lot of the advice quite useful, even though it wasn’t necessarily ground breaking if you have read any other books on productivity. Still each chapter finishes with key takeaways with tons of actionable tips that will enable you to become more productive, even if you’re not in a creative role.

Read more articles on productivity on 99u’s blog or follow 99u on Twitter

Rating: 3 out of 5


    2. “Difference: The one-page method for reimagining your business and reinventing your marketing” by Bernadette Jiwa

Bernadette Jiwa takes another look at differentiating yourself from other businesses. Her stance is that you shouldn’t continuously trying to mimic your competitors or try to stay ahead but instead try to give your customers a reason to choose you? Jiwa talks you through how you can establish this through a one-page method to reinvent your marketing, which consists of the 5 Ps: principles, purpose, people, personal and perception. The focus is on developing products and services that people want and that talk to the individual rather than the mass market. Jiwa also includes a template and several case studies on various companies’ 5 Ps.

I think that the book certainly has helped me to rethink how we market and build our brand but I believe it only captures a part of the overall brand building exercise.
You can read Bernadette Jiwa’s blog The Story of Telling or follow Bernadette Jiwa on Twitter

Rating: 3 out of 5


3. “How to be a Productivity Ninja. Forget Time Management: How to Get Things Done in the Age of Information Overload” by Graham Allcott of Think Productive

I’m personally a productivity addict and have also written a post on the Top Productivity Tips for Agency & Business owners earlier this year. Although I did originally read this book in May, I keep picking it up every so often to actually practice what Allcott preaches. The book is packed with actionable exercises and I keep returning and refining my own processes. Without a doubt the best read this year for me so far. Once I started reading it, I couldn’t put it down. Apart from it being written in a very accessible way, each chapter contains exercises and clear instructions on how to implement the theory in real life. I wouldn’t say that all of his suggestions are a must but the book covers all areas in office life that might require some ‘ninja productivity’ from how to bring your inbox to zero (which I managed from around 3500 emails!) to how to structure your day and how best to manage meetings. It’s an absolute must-read for anyone who is in dire need of getting organised and more productive.
Read the Think Productive’s blog here and follow them on Twitter

Rating: 5 out of 5

Are you reading any interesting business or marketing books at the moment? I’m always on the look-out for new reading material.

You can find me on Twitter or LinkedIN or just email me! I’d love to hear from you.

Image credit Kara Harms