Guess what boys and girls? It’s time to share our favorite business books of 2012! I love books. I love putting this post together. I love sharing my favorites with you! AND don’t forget to check out our list from last year!
SO download the eBook to your Kindle or iPad, snag a copy of the audiobook for your iPod or smartphone, OR do it the old fashioned way and buy a copy to have and to hold! Here are our favorite business books of 2012:
In The $100 Startup, Chris Guillebeau shows you how to lead of life of adventure, meaning and purpose – and earn a good living.
Still in his early thirties, Chris is on the verge of completing a tour of every country on earth – he’s already visited more than 175 nations – and yet he’s never held a “real job” or earned a regular paycheck. Rather, he has a special genius for turning ideas into income, and he uses what he earns both to support his life of adventure and to give back.
There are many others like Chris – those who’ve found ways to opt out of traditional employment and create the time and income to pursue what they find meaningful. Sometimes, achieving that perfect blend of passion and income doesn’t depend on shelving what you currently do. You can start small with your venture, committing little time or money, and wait to take the real plunge when you’re sure it’s successful.
In preparing to write this book, Chris identified 1,500 individuals who have built businesses earning $50,000 or more from a modest investment (in many cases, $100 or less), and from that group he’s chosen to focus on the 50 most intriguing case studies. In nearly all cases, people with no special skills discovered aspects of their personal passions that could be monetized, and were able to restructure their lives in ways that gave them greater freedom and fulfillment.
Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business
- Leverage social media and social tools to get your content and ideas distributed as widely as possible
- Understand why you are generating content—getting to the meat of your message in practical, commonsense language, and defining the goals of your content strategy
- Write in a way that powerfully communicates your service, product, or message across various Web mediums
- Boost your online presence and engage with customers and prospects like never before with Content Rules.
A practical, put-it-to-work-now guide for understanding, building and fostering a Fiercely Loyal community of clients, customers and raving fans.
Building and sustaining a fiercely loyal community of clients, customers and raving fans is critical for success in today’s turbulent marketplace.
Organizations, both corporate and non-profit, that are thriving have discovered a secret – the underlying DNA shared by all wildly successful communities. Fierce Loyalty unlocks this secret DNA and lays out a clear model that any organization of any size can follow. Business strategist Sarah Robinson helps you break down the process and gives you clear, specific steps for creating and maintaining a fiercely loyal, wildly successful community and put it squarely in the center of your business plan. Drawing on her own extensive experience as well as her research into the inner working of some of the most successful communities around, Sarah de-mystifies the process and gives you exactly what you need to make Fierce Loyalty happen in your organization.
The Fire Starter Sessions is an apathy-kicking, integrity-infusing guide to defining success on your own terms.
As the creator of DanielleLaPorte.com–deemed “the best place online for kick-ass spirituality,” Danielle LaPorte’s straight-talk life-and-livelihood sermons have been read by over one million people. Bold but empathetic, she reframes popular self-help and success concepts:
- Life balance is a myth, and the pursuit of it is causing us more stress then the craving for balance itself.
- Being well-rounded is over-rated. When you focus on developing your true strengths, you enter your mastery zone.
- Screw your principles (they might be holding you back).
- We have ambition backwards. Getting clear on how you want to feel in your life + work is more important than setting goals. It’s the most potent form of clarity that you can have, and it’s what leads to true fulfillment.
- Offers a complete resource for anyone who wants to market and recruit on the world’s largest professional network
- Features hands-on tutorials, case studies, examples, tips, and tactics
- Reveals how to monitor and maintain a vibrant LinkedIn presence
- Includes effective tactics for recruiters, job seekers, and entrepreneurs, as well as legal, real estate, and nonprofit professionals
- Incorporates an exploration of the LinkedIn advertising platform, API, and mobile platform
This soup-to-nuts guidebook for tackling every stage of the LinkedIn process ensures your online presence will get noticed.
The path to success is littered with great ideas poorly marketed. Don’t let yours be one of them.
“A little book with a very big message. Your idea is worth a great story, well told.”
SETH GODIN — Author of All Marketers Tell Stories
Make Your Idea Matter is a call to action for entrepreneurs, emerging brands and anyone with a great idea, who knows that to stand out in today’s noisy world they need to tell a better story.
It is full of bite-sized business and brand storytelling ideas originally sparked on Bernadette Jiwa’s award-winning business blog TheStoryofTelling.com.
Use this book as both inspiration and guide to help you tell the best stories you can tell about your business, your ideas and the work that matters to you.
You don’t have to start on page one and work your way through, or even read it from front to back. Each topic stands on its own so dip in and out. Reawaken a thought or an idea you’ve already had. Spark new ones. Discover different ways of thinking about your business, what you do and how you tell your story. Then go make your idea matter.
To be successful in the market today, you must possess two strategic assets: a compelling product and a meaningful platform. In this step-by-step guide, Michael Hyatt, former CEO and current Chairman of Thomas Nelson Publishers, takes readers behind the scenes, into the new world of social media success. He shows you what best-selling authors, public speakers, entrepreneurs, musicians, and other creatives are doing differently to win customers in today’s crowded marketplace. Hyatt speaks from experience. He writes one of the top 800 blogs in the world and has more than 100,000 followers on Twitter. His large and growing platform serves as the foundation for his successful writing, speaking, and consulting practice.
In Platform, Hyatt will teach readers not only how to extend their influence, but also how to monetize it and build a sustainable career. The key? By building a platform. It has never been easier, less expensive, or more possible than right now. . . The book includes:
- proven strategies
- easy-to-replicate formulas
- practical tips
Social media technologies have changed everything. Now, for the first time in history, non-celebrities can get noticed—and win big!—in an increasingly noisy world.
The Power of Unpopular: A Guide to Building Your Brand for the Audience Who Will Love You (and why no one else matters)
Every successful brand in history is inherently unpopular with a specific demographic.
Somewhere along the way, people felt they had to be popular in order to be successful, when in fact, the opposite is true. The brands playing in the space you want to dominate have already figured out the inherent power of being unpopular. In The Power of Unpopular, you’ll discover the difference between flash-in-the-pan brand tactics and those designed to place you miles above the competition.
- Brand Personality: What’s yours? Explore the importance of taking a stand and why brands become road kill without a distinct personality.
- Community: It’s the number one thing that unpopular brands have figured out—learn how to build yours.
- Brand Advocacy: It knows no scale and your fans don’t care how big you are. A guide for businesses on the proper care and feeding of their biggest asset.
Erika Napoletano’s irreverent yet never insincere tone takes readers on a colloquial and actionable journey, producing concepts that readers can immediately graft onto their existing business strategies. Complete with case studies of businesses from across the country, this is the book that couples theory with practice, creating pathways for business owners of any size and age. Change the way you do business and live your life—become unpopular.
Each year Americans start one million new businesses, nearly 80 percent of which fail within the first five years. Under such pressure to stay alive—let alone grow—it’s easy for entrepreneurs to get caught up in a never-ending cycle of “sell it—do it, sell it—do it” that leaves them exhausted, frustrated, and unable to get ahead no matter how hard they try.
- Plant the right seeds: Don’t waste time doing a bunch of different things just to please your customers. Instead, identify the thing you do better than anyone else and focus all of your attention, money, and time on figuring out how to grow your company doing it.
- Weed out the losers: In a pumpkin patch small, rotten pumpkins stunt the growth of the robust, healthy ones. The same is true of customers. Figure out which customers add the most value and provide the best opportunities for sustained growth. Then ditch the worst of the worst.
- Nurture the winners: Once you figure out who your best customers are, blow their minds with care. Discover their unfulfilled needs, innovate to make their wishes come true, and overdeliver on every single promise.
Renegades Write the Rules reveals the innovative strategies behind the social media success of today’s top celebrities, brands, and sports icons, and how you can follow their lead.
Author Amy Jo Martin is the founder of Digital Royalty and the woman who pioneered how professional sports integrate social media. In this book she shows how to build a faithful following and beat the competition clamoring for people’s attention by continually delivering value – when, where, and how people want it. People want to be heard, to be involved, to be entertained, to be adventurous, to be informed.
- Reveals the winning strategies for using social media to achieve dramatic results
- Shows how to gain influence with social media that requires an unprecedented (and potentially uncomfortable) level of accessibility and ongoing affinity
- Filled with illustrative examples of social media successes (including Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal, and Nike) that show how humanizing a brand through social media leads to monetization
- Explores how Amy Jo Martin and other successful entrepreneurs are becoming renegades by using social media to innovate their personal and professional lives
The book reveals one of the basic rules of digital media success: Humans connect with humans, not logos and creative taglines.
Be Your Own Boss. Work Happy. Live on Purpose. Join the movement that’s taking the world by storm!
From the Founder of SheTakesOnTheWorld.com (listed on Forbes’ Top 10 Entrepreneurial Sites for Women) comes a brand new book for one of the most powerful demographics on the planet -women entrepreneurs.
Packed with powerful business and life lessons, a savvy plan for success in our digital age, and the engaging real-life experiences of successful women entrepreneurs, She Takes on World: A Guide to Being Your Own Boss, Working Happy, and Living on Purpose is a business book like no other!
With sparkling clarity, honesty and humor, Natalie provides the perfect balance of inspiration and practical strategies to build your business, smartly tailored for the times.
- Your customers are communicating with each other via social media; making purchasing opportunities available on social media sites adds convenience for your customer and opens up new sales opportunities
- This step-by-step guide explains social media commerce and shows what you can accomplish
- Helps you determine the sites where your business should have a presence
- Demonstrates how customers can help promote your brand as they recommend products and services to others on their social networks
- Author Marsha Collier is the undisputed expert on eBay and a recognized authority on social media marketing
Social Media Commerce For Dummies helps you offer your customers better service while giving them the opportunity to share information about your product with their social media contacts.
- Exploring your motivations to profit from your passion
- How to nail a one-page business plan to launch your idea with clarity and confidence
- Finding the money to get going, perfecting your revenue and pricing
- Making social media (and other free tools) profitable for you
- Mastering sales without cringing at the thought of asking for money
- Detailed strategies for every aspect of your start-up and tactics to hustle for ongoing small business success
A revelation for small business owners: creating a profitable business is possible without getting into a slash-and-burn price war with your competitors.
Many small business owners feel pressure to discount their products and services, especially when times are tough. After all, how else will they keep up with the low prices offered by their discounting competitors? What they don’t realize is that discounting is the last thing they should be doing if they want to win big. Sarah Petty and Erin Verbeck are here to show you that there’s a radically different way to run a small business– one in which the owners focus on creating specialized offerings and an over-the-top customer experience, not on matching the prices of their competition. Worth Every Penny encourages you to explore and use this model, which is designed to maximize your advantages over the big-box stores and other discounting competitors.
You’ll learn how to:
- Build a brand that lays the foundation for you to charge what your offerings are worth.
- Create products, services and high-touch customer experiences to achieve healthy margins and an outspokenly happy and loyal client base.
- Understand how to use a pricing strategy that allows you to create demand and attract the right customers instead of discounting.
- Throw traditional advertising to the wind and implement a boutique way of marketing to excel in this competitive business environment.
- Learn the relationship-based sales skills needed to close every sale and have your clients clamoring for more.
The authors’ strategies are enhanced by real-life business experiences and vivid anecdotes from all types of business owners–restaurateurs to contractors to professional service providers and photographers. With the advice in Worth Every Penny, you will be inspired to live your passion and pass your enthusiasm on to your customers. The result: a profitable business that avoids succumbing to the pressure to discount.
Melissa Stewart is the founder of SheOwnsIt.com. She is a Purveyor of Possibility, Entrepreneur Advocate and Coffee Addict. She believes that behind every successful woman is her story. What’s your story?