Becoming a master content creator really boils down to how much you are willing to invest in honing your skills and knowledge.
And no, I don’t mean investing money or buying expensive camera equipment. I’m talking about investing your time and attention.
Taking the time to read, take courses, or join a small mastermind group will not only hone your skills but will make you sharper, more efficient, and more confident. All of which is important to the growth and success of your company and important to your own growth and success.
So, to help you crush it in 2021, I’ve compiled a list of the seven books I believe every content creator and marketer needs to read. Happy reading!
Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us
World-renowned marketing guru and author Seth Godin reveals in this book why today’s successful brands need to form tribes around their cause to grow and advocate their ideas and products.
“The secret of leadership is simple: Do what you believe in. Paint a picture of the future. Go there. People will follow.”
“Leaders have followers. Managers have employees. Managers make widgets. Leaders make change.”
Hook Point: How To Stand Out In A 3-Second World
Consumers today are bombarded with so much information you have to grab their attention quickly. Realistically, you only have 3-seconds or less. That’s what a “Hook Point” does.
With anything you post online, you need to include a Hook Point, which attracts the attention of your ideal customers and makes you immediately stand out from the crowd.
“Digital and social media have reshaped our world into one of micro-attention. Knowing how to use Hook Points properly helps you become a more effective marketer and communicator. It gives you a nucleus upon which to scale your business and become a world-class brand.”
“A great Hook Point will not only allow you to capture people’s attention in three seconds, but it will also help you hold that attention to get your audience to take specific actions for years to come.”
Primal Branding: Create Zealots for Your Brand, Your Company, and Your Future
Primal Branding reveals seven definable assets that together construct the belief system that lies behind every successful brand, whether it’s a product, service, city, personality, social cause, or movement.
Hanlon outlines how to implement these seven assets, known as the primal code, and shows how to use and combine them to create a community of believers in which the consumer develops a powerful emotional attachment to the brand.
Primal Branding presents a world of new possibilities for marketers of every stripe—and the opportunity to move from being just another product on the shelf to becoming a desired and necessary part of the culture.
“It is not enough to create a flag. You must have a nation willing to follow it.”
“Do you want to be just another product on the shelf, or do you want to become a meaningful and desired part of the culture?”
Conversation Marketing: How To Be Relevant And Engage Your Customers By Speaking Human
Conversational Marketing details why it is critical for brands to move beyond service and price and connect with the hearts (not just the minds) of their audience. Kevin Lund explains how today’s customers want a conversation with your brand before they act.
This book will show you how to earn your audience’s attention, how to provide value at every touchpoint, how to tell a memorable story, how to listen (not sell), and change your tone to get better results. Lund outlines the rules brands should follow to increase sales and establish a lifelong connection with their customers.
“Remember you’re dealing with short attention spans, particular online. It’s not a tome. It’s content using storytelling technique.”
They Ask, You Answer: A Revolutionary Approach to Inbound Sales, Content Marketing, and Today’s Digital Consumer
The author provides a revolutionary approach to inbound sales, content marketing, and how to connect with today’s digital consumer. The author explains how the traditional sales funnel is no longer effective. Instead, brands should focus on buyers’ questions and problems and address them honestly and as thoroughly as possible. If you want to the top of the search results, your content strategy should answer the questions that thousands of potential buyers have.
“Honest & transparent content is the best sales tool…in the world. Period.”
Superfans: The Easy Way to Stand Out, Grow Your Tribe, and Build a Successful Business
Superfans helps brands and businesses grow their tribe from scratch. It is a step-by-step guide to reach the top of what Pat Flynn calls the Pyramid of Fandom. Superfans not only lets their readers climb up the Pyramid to the top but also helps them figure out how to stay there for good.
From dodging the hidden traps at the top to avoiding any unwanted recognition, and above all, for visiting safe, Superfans suggests ways to survive the dark side of building superfans by sticking to the famously revered principle with a twist: with great fans comes great responsibility.
“Learn the language your audience uses—especially how they describe their pains, problems, and needs—and put it into action.”
Alchemy: The Dark Art and Curious Science of Creating Magic in Brands, Business, and Life
Why is Red Bull so popular, though everyone—everyone!—hates the taste? Humans are, in a word, irrational, basing decisions as much on subtle external signals (that little blue can) as on objective qualities (flavor, price, quality). The surrounding world, meanwhile, is irreducibly complex and random. This means future success can’t be projected on any accounting spreadsheet.
To strike gold, you must master the dark art and curious science of conjuring irresistible ideas: alchemy. Rory Sutherland makes a case for irrational thinking in a world enraptured by logic. Sutherland argues that the world is far too complex to be viewed through a single lens. To solve everyday problems, we must move past superficial analysis and open ourselves up to even the most seemingly nonsensical ideas – which often turn out to be very powerful. Only then can we be true alchemists.
“Irrational people are much more powerful than rational people, because their threats are so much more convincing.”
“Not everything that makes sense works, and not everything that works makes sense.”
Blindsight: The (Mostly) Hidden Ways Marketing Reshapes Our Brains
With eye-opening science, engaging stories, and fascinating real-world examples, neuroscientist Matt Johnson and marketer Prince Ghuman dive deep into the relationship between brains and brands. In Blindsight, the authors highlight how marketing taps every aspect of our mental lives. You may not be aware of these details, yet they’ve been influencing you all along. Every time you purchase, swipe, or click, marketers are able to more accurately predict your behavior.
These days, brands know more about you than you know about yourself. We like to think of ourselves as independent actors in control of our decisions, but the truth is far more complicated. Blindsight is here to change that. This book helps you see marketing in a whole new light. You’ll learn how the brain works and how brands design for it, and you’ll find a sharper image of your psychology reflected in your own consumer behavior. Blindsight will change the way you view not just branding but yourself, too.
“We navigate life by making decisions that maximize pleasure and/ or minimize pain.”