Marketing and Business Resources for Startup Marketers (v1.0.0)

I’ve followed a far from conventional path to becoming (and staying) a marketer. So my curricula isn’t easy to track – it’s an assembly of experience (there’s a lot of that), teaching moments from coworkers and consultants, articles I’ve read, podcasts I’ve heard, and more.

Here are a few of the resources that I remember – and recommend:

BOOKS

  • Building a StoryBrand: One of the most important books I’ve read on marketing. You must learn from the Hero’s Journey in designing your marketing. Your customer is the hero; you are the guide.
  • Growth Hacker Marketing: A good short read on the scrappy, integrated marketing approach enabled by technology, with important observations on building virality into products.
  • 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing: Includes important observations for avoiding marketing sins like line extension.
  • 22 Immutable Laws of Branding: More work from the authors of the 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing.
  • Delivering Happiness: This autobiography of shoe company Zappos has great lessons for anyone building a brand – and it shows the deep connection between customer service and marketing.
  • The Everything Store: This biography of the rise of Amazon.com contains my favorite branding lessons from Jeff Bezos.
  • Hug Your Haters: a great work by Jay Baer on the brand-building power of responding thoughtfully and kindly to the trolls.
  • Crushing It: This Gary Vaynerchuk book highlights the success stories of people who have built their own businesses on the back of digital content creation, and it suggests tactics for others.
  • Jab Jab Jab Right Hook: Another Gary Vaynerchuk book that still (about a decade later) is one of the best practical guides to social media available.
  • The Thank You Economy: That’s right – it’s another Gary Vaynerchuk book! This one outlines Gary’s thesis that the web is bringing back “small town” business-consumer interactions and shares his tactical advice for brands that want to take advantage.
  • On Writing Well: This is not a marketing book, but writing is key to marketing – and the advice in this book is key to good writing.

P.S. If you’re going to buy any of these books on Amazon, consider doing it through smile.amazon.com so some of the proceeds go to a charity you care about. 🙂 Or check out Scribd to see what books and audiobooks (my primary means of consuming books) you can get on $9/month.

ARTICLES

  • Do Things That Don’t Scale: This Paul Graham essay (just about all of his essays on startups and life are excellent) shares the story of how Airbnb built their early business with highly-unscalable customer marketing.
  • Everything the Tech World Says About Marketing is Wrong: This one is an interesting look at how modern marketing terminology and jargon can confuse thinking about marketing and marketing organizational structure.

WEBSITES

  • Hubspot Blog: One of the best examples of successful content creation-as-marketing-machine.
  • The Praxis Blog: Most of what I learned about marketing myself, I learned from Praxis.
  • Marketo Nation: These forums provide great resources if you will be using Marketo’s marketing automation tools.
  • Salesforce Help and Salesforce Trailblazer Community: If you’re working on a Salesforce CRM, you’ll find many of the answers to your questions here.
  • Stack Overflow: The go-to site for all of your technical questions and troubleshooting with HTML, CSS, Javascript, and other web languages and frameworks.
  • Quora: The answers to many of your marketing questions (e.g. should I use Marketo or Pardot?) answered by the people of the Internet.

PODCASTS

  • Gary Vee Audio Experience: This is one of the few podcasts I listen to on a regular basis. Great snippets of audio from Gary Vaynerchuk’s talks, business meetings, etc.
  • Marketing School: A short daily podcast from Neil Patel and Eric Siu with episodes which cover (in a few minutes or less) everything from SEO to social media to website testing.
  • Copyblogger FM: Great podcast for people creating marketing content from the writer of the Copyblogger blog.
  • Get More Clients with Smarter Email Marketing: This is a great little podcast series which takes you through key principles and tactics in modern email marketing.

TOOLS

  • MailChimp: You can get a free or cheap email marketing from MailChimp
  • Namecheap: I’ve bought most of my domains and some hosting from Namecheap (you can even pay in Bitcoin!).
  • WordPress: A great framework for building websites
  • Squarespace: A good way to quickly build beautiful, functional websites without technical skill.
  • LinkedIn Articles: A powerful (free) content distribution method on one of the best social networks around.
  • Trello: Great project management software.
  • Airtable: Better project management software (though to date I’ve used it less than I have used Trello).
  • Anchor.fm: Hands-down the easiest way to launch a podcast without technical knowledge.

PEOPLE

  • Gary Vaynerchuk: Gary is the author of much of the content on this list for good reason: he has a better marketing sense than most people alive.
  • Ryan Holiday: A young buck who ascended the ranks of marketing thought leaders early in his career; author of Growth Hacker Marketing as well as other great books on Stoicism, etc.
  • Seth Godin’s Blog: Seth has been one of the big popularizers of content or “permission” marketing and blogs frequently.
James Walpole

James Walpole is a writer, startup marketer, and perpetual apprentice. You're reading his blog right now, and he really appreciates it. Don't let it go to his head, though.

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