Best Marketing Books For Photographers

Purple Cow – Seth Godin

This is one of the first books I ever read on marketing and it put me on the right track from then on.

Released in 2003, it turned into a cult classic that revolutionized marketing by showing you that you’re either remarkable or invisible. As one of our strongest marketing channels as photographers is worth of mouth, being worth talking about is incredibly important.

Like all highly recommended books by marketing guru Seth Godin, it’s written in his typical easy reading style.

Contagious: How to Build Word of Mouth in the Digital Age – Jonah Berger

“Contagious” is all about how to make sure people will recommend your business to others once you’ve created something worth talking about (which is what Purple Cow above is about).

As you know, personal recommendations lead to higher conversion rates than any other form of advertising. Therefore, it’s really important that we make sure people talk about our photography businesses in the right way. Especially with social media!

This book gives you the tools needed to create marketing messages which will stay in people’s minds.

Unlabel: Selling You Without Selling Out – Marc Ecko

Ah, I love this book.

If you consider yourself even a little bit of an artist, you’ll find it hard to balance “creating your art” with “the business side” of things. I know I did.

In Unlabel, Mark Ecko tells the story of his company Ecko Unltd and teaches you how to grow both creatively and commercially. It’s one of the best books on branding I ever read.

How to Sell Anything to Anybody – Joe Girard

I don’t know about you, but I’m not a salesman and I don’t think I’ll become one anytime soon.

But I got a lot better at it after reading this book full of ‘selling secrets’ by Joe Girard, who is ranked by the Guinness Book Of Worl Records as the most successful salesman ever.

Although some techniques are a bit outdated, most of them are still very relevant and can help any photographer get better at selling his services or art.

22 Immutable Laws: Violate Them at Your Own Risk! – Al Ries

Not all “laws” in this book are as valuable, but still a great quick read to pick up some useful tips.

You can also consider The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding and Positioning: The Battle For Your Mind by the same author.

Words That Work: It’s Not What You Say, It’s What People Hear – Frank Luntz

As photographers and creatives we often communicate with our clients directly, and more times than not we still have to negotiate or convince them. Whether it’s for them to hire us, get them to spend more money or tell them about our concepts.

In that case, “It’s not what you say, it’s what people hear.” And what people hear is what will persuade them in the end, and also the whole point of this book.

It’ll help you to select your words carefully so that they are most likely to convince your clients to accept your ideas or hire you.

Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant – W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne

Would you rather be a small fish in a big ocean or a big fish that dominates a small pond?

If you’re running a business, it better to be the latter.

Blue Ocean Strategy is all about how you can position yourself in a way that you be the best in what you do. By focussing on being different and “inventing your own category”.

The $100 Startup – Chris Guillebeau

If you’re doing this photography thing as a side job or considering going full time, it might seem like a scary jump to leave the safety of a 9 to 5 behind. Or maybe you think you don’t have the necessary experience and resources to pull it off.

In the $100 startup, Chris Guillebeau shows you through interesting case studies that you don’t need much to succeed. Along the way, you’ll learn many monetizing options to your passion into a full-time income.

If you want to try any of these books I recommended for free, you might like Amazon Kindle Unlimited, which let's you read (or listen) to more than a million titles on any device. You can sign up for a one month free trial of unlimited audiobooks and ebooks.

Note: All the links above direct you to Amazon but most books should also be available on Barnes & Noble, FNAC or Bol.com. And if you want to support your local bookstores, please do! If you know of a good book on a related topic, please let me know. And as always, if one of these books helps you in any way, recommend it to someone else.