3 Marketing Books Every Small Business Owner Should Read

3 Marketing Books Every Small Business Owner Should Read


Three marketing books every small business owner should read because they'll help you build your business.

Table of contents

Updated: February 21, 2023

Over the past 10-15 years, I have read countless books on marketing.

Unfortunately, most of them were a waste of time. They could have easily been blog posts or even newsletter emails. (Or they're just a long opt-in to a product/program 😒).

Instead, I encourage you to give these three a read.

They're well worth the time.

Book #1: Cumulative Advantage, Mark Schaefer

I first read this book in 2021 after loving another of his books, Marketing Rebellion.

And here's why you'll love it:

You need to rely on momentum when you're a small business with limited resources. This book is a masterclass on generating momentum.

Like his other books, Schaefer doesn't hold back. Follow the lessons, and results will come.

Book #2: The Minimalist Entrepreneur, Sahil Lavingia

This book was recommended to me on Twitter, of all places. Sahil Lavingia is the founder of the e-commerce platform Gumroad.

Here's why I think you'll love it:

Lavingia's story is compelling. When he started Gumroad, he intended to become a funded unicorn with a parachute. When that didn't work out (epically/catastrophically), he embarked on a new path — becoming a minimalist entrepreneur.

Although not a 'marketing book' per se, Lavingia's chapters on selling to your first hundred customers and how to market by being you are SOLID GOLD.

Book #3: Everybody Writes, Ann Handley

Finally, I think everyone should read this book, even if you hate writing and don't consider yourself a content creator or marketer or you think AI writing tools are amazing (they're not).

And here's why I think you'll love it:

It's funny.

And, despite what the AI robots say, marketing is about two things: storytelling and relationships.

Master both, and your business becomes unstoppable.

Not Much of a Reader? Get Ongoing Training & Support You Can Trust

Based on my 1:1 marketing consulting work and contracts with Prosper Portland and Xcelerate Women, I've created a marketing support system called the Strategic Marketing Membership.

The membership addresses four critical areas:

  1. A coach or advisor to answer key questions and demystify marketing
  2. Time to execute marketing goals
  3. Accountability to reinforce follow-through
  4. Marketing training for business owners (not practitioners) to make informed decisions

If you're an overwhelmed self-marketer running a service-based business who's tired of going it alone, I've got you.

Special introductory rate of $25/mo. or $250/year. Questions? Hit reply and ask!

💌 That's a wrap.


You enjoyed the newsletter, please share it.

You have a question or comment (or want to say hi!), hit reply.

See you again next week.

Have a great day,


P.S. Ready To Work Together? Here are 3 ways to receive support...

  1. Marketing Coaching, confidence-boosting guidance with a patient teacher, action-oriented goal-setting, and accountability in a safe, confidential space.
  2. Get a Digital Marketing Audit of your web, apps, and backend marketing.
  3. Attend a monthly Marketing Training or Content Party.

Jen McFarland

Founder, Women Conquer Business. Marketing pro. Leadership nerd. Project strategy innovator. Obsessed with creating solutions that help women-led businesses lead, strategize, and market confidently.


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