This list contains books about marketing, motivation, self-development, and remote work— all of which are topics of interest for the self-employed folks.
We’ll start off with a marketing classic by none other than Seth Godin. Whether you’re a freelance writer or web designer, marketing is something that you need to stay on top of if you want to be your own boss and make money freelancing.
Seth Godin’s bestseller This is Marketing offers a game-changing approach to marketing your services. This book will teach you how to build trust with your target audience and influence your prospects’ decision to buy (or in this case hire you). Most importantly, you’ll learn how to position your services on the market and incorporate storytelling into your strategy.
Next up is Pocket Full of Do, a book by Chris Do that gives you an insight into his life and thoughts as an entrepreneur. This book includes Chris’ observations on the challenges of running a business, as well as his thoughts on more personal topics such as relationships and mindset.
Pocket Full of Do is filled with many great ideas that you’ll want to write down and remember further down the road. Chris’ story will inspire you beyond words so don’t hesitate to pick this book back up again a few months after reading it. It will leave a different impact on you as you progress in your own freelance career.
Value Proposition Design is a technical book that will help you shape your offer in the best way possible to exceed your clients’ expectations. In order to run a successful freelance business, you need to learn how to deliver value to people.
This book will show you exactly that—and more! It explains what your value proposition is and how it impacts your business and success rate. Most importantly, it will teach you how to position your services to solve your customers’ problems and satisfy their needs.
Indistractable is one of those freelancing books that you absolutely must read at some point. This is a guide on how to stay focused and cut out the noise in a world full of distractions. Nowadays, everything is designed to catch our attention and divert our minds from the things we should be focusing on.
Looking past all those distractions can be difficult, especially for freelancers who do most (if not all) of their work alone. Indistractable by Nir Eyal will help you get on the right path and learn how to control where your attention goes, even in our age of social media.
Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath is a book about ideas that are understandable, memorable, and effective. In other words, it’s a book about ideas that stick. This is a great one for creative freelancers who like reading books that inspire and shift mindsets.
In short, Made to Stick covers the six principles of stickiness, that is, the formula that makes ideas revolutionary and life-changing. Your ideas will play a major role in your clients’ businesses so they better be good!
Back to marketing your own services, Copywriting Secrets by Jim Edwards will completely change the way you think about writing copy. Instead of being this dull, time-consuming task, copywriting will become the most exciting task on your to-do list after you finish this book.
Jim Edwards, an expert in influencing people through copy, did a fantastic job in structuring this book. Although it features a simple and conversational tone, this book reveals some of the most serious secrets about writing copy that every small business needs to implement. That’s what makes it one of those business books you can’t miss out on!
Whether you’re a full-time freelancer or you’re just transitioning to this type of lifestyle, you can’t go wrong by picking up Simon Sinek’s Start With Why. It’s one of those books that every business owner eventually picks up to see what the fuss is all about.
Sinek goes in depth on the importance of finding and understanding your ‘why,’ that is, the core reason behind your motivation to succeed. His Golden Circle exercise will help you uncover the deepest truths about what really drives you to succeed as a self-employed individual. Don’t miss it!
Next up is the well-known 10X Rule that has made a lot of fuss in the media these past couple of months. Although definitely not his best book, 10X Rule is one of the most popular titles by Grant Cardone.
It teaches you to set goals that are 10 times larger than the ones you would originally set and then follow up by putting in 10 times more effort into taking action. Grant’s 10X formula will motivate you to hustle harder and take more action than ever before. Just be careful because you don’t want all that ‘hustle’ to lead you to a tough burnout.
Last but not least, The Gig Economy is something like a freelancer’s Bible. The full title of the book goes as follows: The Complete Guide to Getting Better Work, Taking More Time Off, and Financing the Life You Want.
That’s pretty much the best summary anyone could come up with. Besides, what else do you need? Being a freelancer who can afford to take time off and enjoy travelling sounds like a career of your dreams, doesn’t it? Pick up Diane’s book to learn more!
The truth is, there are so many great books about entrepreneurship out there—this list could go on and on. We’ll stop here and let you pick your favorites. Make sure to look into the works of other popular authors including the legendary Dale Carnegie, Chris Guillebeau, Michael E. Gerber (the author of E-Myth Revisited), Sara Horowitz, David Heinemeier Hansson and Jason Fried (the authors of Rework), and others.