You could read every marketing book that comes along — or you could just rely on me to read them and recommend the best ones to you. :)

Here are five of my faves, with an eye toward those I most often recommend to small business owners.

Dawn Verbrigghe, Founder & CEO, Jottful

1. The 1-Page Marketing Plan: Get New Customers, Make More Money, And Stand Out From The Crowd by Allan Dib

I looked a long time for that one general marketing book I could recommend to new business owners. And this is it! This book is highly readable and covers everything from foundational strategic stuff to an overview of channels and tactics. No matter where you’re going — start here.

2. Duct Tape Marketing: The World’s Most Practical Small Business Marketing Guide by John Jantsch

The title is certainly audacious, but this book does deliver on helpful marketing tips that are geared toward small business owners. Think of it as a long-form version of the kind of tips you get in this blog.

3. Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable by Seth Godin

A classic by marketing guru Seth Godin, this book talks about the power of being remarkable (having a brand that’s worth talking about) and will get you thinking (hard) about how your business could become more so.

4. Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen by Donald Miller

If you’ve chatted with me about marketing any time in the past year, you’ve probably heard me talk about the “hero’s journey” and how to incorporate storytelling into your brand. This book was a real game-changer for me and I highly recommend it to anyone looking to build not just a business, but a brand.

5. Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne

I read this book several years back out of pure obligation: it was on the reading list for a university course I was teaching. But it became one of those books that changed the way I think about creating new products. It will challenge you to find a “blue ocean” market that isn’t oversaturated by competition.