12 Books Every Freelancer and Solopreneur Needs to Read
I talk to a lot of early stage entrepreneurs and freelancers who do great work, but don’t necessarily have a ton of success selling themselves or their services.
That’s a problem.
A failing sales effort is symptomatic of a failing business. After all – the number one reason businesses shuts down is a lack of customers.
Whether you’ve just begun your journey into self-employment or you’ve been at it a while, the books on this list are a must read if you want to increase sales and grow your business year over year.
These books cover a wide range of tactics and practical marketing wisdom that can be used to make your very first sale or to help you convert that big fish you’ve been chasing for years.
The Ultimate Guide to Opening Sales Conversations and Filling the Pipeline by Leveraging Social Selling, Telephone, Email, Text, and Cold Calling
“Fanatical Prospecting gives salespeople, sales leaders, entrepreneurs, and executives a practical, eye-opening guide that clearly explains the why and how behind the most important activity in sales and business development—prospecting.
The brutal fact is the number one reason for failure in sales is an empty pipe and the root cause of an empty pipeline is the failure to consistently prospect.”
The Fastest, Easiest, and Most Reliable System for Getting More Clients Than You Can Handle Even if You Hate Marketing and Selling
“Book Yourself Solid reveals why self-promotion is a critical factor to success, giving you a unique perspective that makes this guide much more than an ordinary “how to” manual for getting more clients and raising a business profile.
Book Yourself Solid enables you to adopt the right promotional perspective and provides the strategies, techniques, and skills necessary to get more clients and increase profits. Through verbal and written exercises, you’ll discover the keys to developing a strong marketing plan and brand image.”
Available on Kindle
The Fast-Track Strategy to Make Extra Money and Start a Business in Your Spare Time
“Buy Buttons focuses on marketplaces that already exist, where you can put your expertise, time, and assets up for sale or rent. There are hundreds of platforms that you can add your “buy buttons” to.
You don’t have to build a customer base from scratch, design a website, or even worry about payment processing. Each platform already has an eager audience of buyers looking for what you have to sell.
These platforms are the “gateway drugs” of entrepreneurship. They’re easy to get started on, to get the high from your first sale, and to keep coming back for more.”
7 Simple Steps to Start Your Freelance Writing Business and Earn Your First $1,000
“In Make Money as a Freelance Writer, Gina Horkey and Sally Miller will give you only the [steps] you need to start a freelance writing business from scratch. Nothing more, nothing less.
Best of all, you’ll discover how to land your first paying client – even if you’re starting from zero. And by following the seven steps listed in this book, you can be earning $1,000 as a freelance writer in as little as 30 days.”
Available on Kindle
A Spirited Entrepreneur’s Guide to Having a Love Affair with Work and Money
“Amanda has helped countless young professionals make more money and actually keep it. By combining her business background recruiting for Fortune 500 companies with her positive psychology approach, Amanda walks readers through game changing mental shifts and practical action steps they can start implementing right away.”
Available on Kindle
How Entrepreneurs Use Content to Build Massive Audiences and Create Radically Successful Businesses
“In Content Inc., one of today’s most sought-after content-marketing strategists reveals a new model for entrepreneurial success. Simply put, it’s about developing valuable content, building an audience around that content, and then creating a product for that audience.
Notice a shift?
Author Joe Pulizzi flips the traditional entrepreneurial approach of first creating a product and then trying to find customers. It’s a brilliant reverse-engineering of a model that rarely succeeds.”
The Proven Path From Blank Page to Published Author
“In this conversational and action-oriented book, Chandler Bolt presents a proven solution that will take from blank page to published author in 90 days.
In Published. you will find:
– Four launch strategies you can use to successfully launch your book… even if you don’t have an audience or any marketing skills
– How to keep book sales going after your launch
– Easy ways you can use your book to drive sales of your product & service offerings”
Available on Kindle
How to Test Your Next Business Idea So You Don’t Waste Your Time and Money
“Stop rushing into businesses born from half-baked ideas, misguided theories, and other forms of self-delusion. A lack of proper validation kills more businesses than anything else. As Joel Barker says, ‘Speed is only useful if you’re running in the right direction.’
Chock-full of practical suggestions you can apply to your business idea today, Will It Fly? combines action-based exercises and real-world case studies with anecdotes from the author’s personal experience of making money online, hosting successful podcasts, testing niche sites, and launching several online businesses.”
Time the Marketplace, Ride the Wave of Consumer Demand, and Become Your Industry’s Big Kahuna
“For most small business owners, the true cash cows seem to be reserved for lucky people who were in the right place at the right time.
In his newest book, Surge, prolific small business author Mike Michalowicz shares the 5-step process for identifying trends in your marketplace. After reading his from-the-trenches stories and no-nonsense approach you ll realize you don’t need to wait for a lucky break. You can make it yourself.”
Making Users Awesome
“Imagine you’re in a game with one objective: a bestselling product or service. The rules? No marketing budget, no PR stunts, and it must be sustainably successful. No short-term fads.
This is not a game of chance. It is a game of skill and strategy.
And it begins with a single question: given competing products of equal pricing, promotion, and perceived quality, why does one outsell the others?
The answer doesn’t live in the sustainably successful products or services. The answer lives in those who use them.”
Available on Kindle
Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It
“Gerber walks you through the steps in the life of a business—from entrepreneurial infancy through adolescent growing pains to the mature entrepreneurial perspective: the guiding light of all businesses that succeed—and shows how to apply the lessons of franchising to any business, whether or not it is a franchise. Most importantly, Gerber draws the vital, often overlooked distinction between working on your business and working in your business.”
20 Years of Practical Business Wisdom from the Trenches
“This book presents Dave’s playbook for creating work that matters; building an incredible group of passionate, empowered team members; and winning the race with steady momentum that will roll over any obstacle.
Regardless of your business goals, you’ll discover that anyone can lead any venture to unbelievable growth and prosperity through Dave’s common sense, counterculture, EntreLeadership principles!”
Struggling to Drive Sales in Your Business?
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7-Day Sales Challenge
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