Like chips and cereal, sometimes our ideas for engaging with our clients can get a little, well, stale. If you find yourself struggling to figure out a way to shake things up, here are some great February reads to help you rethink your latest strategy.
Do/Open: How a simple email newsletter can transform your business (and it can) by David Hieatt
Published in 2017 as part of The Do Book Company’s pocket guides for entrepreneurs, Do/Open covers the journey of David Hieatt, Hiut Denim, and the transformative power of a newsletter. (Yes, a newsletter.) In 2012, Hieatt and his wife launched their luxury denim brand Hiut Denim. In the months prior the launch, Hieatt and his team did an incredible job of promoting their fledgling company. So much so that, when they opened their doors, they found themselves overwhelmed by too many orders. In a bid to try and catch up, they did the unthinkable: they shut down their website. By the time they had caught up on orders and relaunched their website, they had a problem – no one was thinking about them any longer.
After trying and failing with usual marketing techniques to regrow their client base, they got creative. They decided they were going to try something new. A newsletter.
Do/Open does a wonderful job of walking readers through the power of learning to reengage with clients in unexpected, interesting ways. Both visually arresting and chalk full of fun tidbits, the book (and Hieatt) do a wonderful job of pitching the idea of giving people the best thing you as a company have to offer: sincerity. At 128 pages, it’s a quick read that benefits even the most seasoned marketer.
Pre-suasion by Robert Cialidini
Professor and writer Robert Cialdini has spent the better part of three decades positioning himself as a top thinker on the art of persuasion. Pre-suasion, backed by his knowledge in marketing and psychology, is no exception. Full of riveting case studies, interesting anecdotes, and Cialdini’s engaging style, the book is a gripping must read that answers everything from effective communicators to wartime propaganda. All with an eye towards giving the reader useful advice and information they can apply to their own lives and businesses.
The book was both a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller, and was named a “Best Business Books of 2016” by the Financial Times. And there’s a reason why. If you’re looking for a way to upgrade your sales or marketing pitch, this is a must read.
Winning the Story Wars: Why Those Who Tell (and Live) the Best Stories Will Rule the Future by Jonah Sachs
While Winning the Story Wars was written all the way back in 2012 (which is, shockingly, nearly a decade ago), the book still stands as a wonderful love letter to the heart of marketing: the power of telling a story. Sachs, founder and CEO of Free Range Studios, seamlessly weaves the old with the new, teasing out the deeper meaning in myths and legends and showing us the value of using those timeless messages in today's marketing.
Instead of focusing on the latest trends, Sachs encourages businesses to dig into the larger, universal truths that tie humanity together to help create brand stories that last. Thoughtful, provocative, and comprehensive, Winning the Story Wars is a great book for anyone to sink their teeth into.
Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant
Like we said, it can be easy to find your thoughts on client engagement stuck in a rut. Which is why Adam Grant’s Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World is such a breath of fresh air. A gifted writer, Grant uses the book to show us the potential and power in treading paths unknown to find success. Championing novel ideas, new techniques, and the unexpected over well-worn traditions. With a myriad of studies and an array of stories that range from politics to television, Grant encourages us to think outside the box, form alliances, elevate other voices, and find alternative ideas.
While the book focuses more on organizations as a whole, the same ideas and principles can be applied to how we think about ourselves, our clients, and our strategies.
This is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn to See by Seth Godin
Seth Godin is, well, Seth Godin. From Purple Cow to Tribes, he’s been inspiring entrepreneurs and changing lives for decades. And the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller, This is Marketing, is no exception. From the fine art of positioning to permission-based marketing, Godin covers a sweeping range of topics with insight, clarity, and purpose. But, at its core, This is Marketing relies on a powerful premise: that marketing is about honest, genuine engagement and telling thoughtful, sincere stories. Moreover, he proposes that we can use the power of marketing to make the world a better place, championing empathy and understanding in the way we approach our businesses and our clients.
Have any book suggestions? Let us know in the comments!