One of my Superheroes asked for book recommendations the other day.
She’s been working her way through the marketing masters, and is nearly at the end of Dan Kennedy’s 35,296 (bloody excellent and readable) books.
She wants to know who to read next.
Good question, and I have a bunch of suggestions for her — including books that aren’t necessarily marketing based.
They’ll be valuable suggestions, too, because I’ve noticed something recently.
Something really bloody frustrating…
The proliferation of homeopathic information.
That is, information diluted to the point of uselessness based on a system that’s complete bollocks.
That is, wet-behind-the-ears n00bs “doing marketing” for 3 minutes, skimming the surface of a bunch of a books, then regurgitating that information totally out of context and with no actual real-life experience.
Dangerous shizzle, that — because if you’re a business owner who’s great at what you do, but totally confused about marketing, how do you tell?
How can you be expected to know if the shiny, expensive branding is a mere facade hiding shallow, rehashed, half-understood marketing ideas or if the peddler in question is the real deal?
You can’t always know just by looking.
Sometimes you get burnt.
(I still fall for this occasionally, by the way. I put out a podcast, but I’m not a Podcast Expert. So I bought a course. Which turned out to be surface-level mush at a very high price. You live and learn.)
Anyway, my suggestion is this: before you commit any serious (or even semi-serious) amount of money to learning from an expert, read the good information out there that’s available at a low price or free. There’s loads of it.
Start with books — here’s a starter for 10, in no particular order, from the grand masters of sales and marketing:
- Commonsense Direct Marketing by Drayton Bird (and all his other stuff)
- The Ultimate Sales Letter by Dan Kennedy (and all his other stuff)
- Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins (available free on the internet — it’s out of copyright)
- The Ultimate Sales Machine by Chet Holmes
- Grow Your Business Fast by Jon McCulloch
- The Brain Audit by Sean D’Souza of Psychotactics
- Tested Advertising Methods by John Caples (4th edition if you can get it)
And a whole bunch more, but this is enough to be going on with.
Get on the lists of marketers and copywriters who know what they’re doing: Ben Settle, John Carlton, Sean D’Souza, Kim Krause Schwalm.
Learn the basics. Learn what you need to know before you hand over your cash to people promising to teach you stuff.
Learn to identify homeopathic information, and ignore it.
And while you’re at it, my 49 Ideas email series is a pretty great place to start improving your marketing too:
Vicky Fraser is a copywriter, author, and entrepreneur. She really did run away with the circus… but when she’s not swinging from a trapeze, she’s showing other copywriters and small business owners how to work with better clients, make more money, and stop missing bathtimes, first words, and dinners with angry partners. In fact, she wrote the book on it. Get your copy here.