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Show Highlights

Alright, this is a dense episode. Ashkahn is busy planning the Float Conference still, so Derek and Graham nerd out on marketing books (and blogs, and podcasts) to give the industry some of their top recommendations for marketing books that might be helpful for the float industry (or anyone, really).

Check the resource in this episode for links to all their recommendations!

Show Resources

For starters, here’s the Float Conference. Visit us and say hi!

On to the marketing book recommendations!

Seth Godin: Seth’s BlogPermission MarketingThe Dip, Purple Cow, Meatball Sundae, Akimbo (Seth’s podcast)

Al Ries& Jack Trout: The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing

Roger Dooley: Brainfluence

Robert Cialdini: Influence, Pre-Suasion

Joseph Sugarman: The Adweek Copywriting Handbook

John McWade: Before & After: How to Design Cool StuffBefore & After Magazine

Michael Port: Book Yourself Solid

Adam Grant: Give and Take

Chet Holmes: The Ultimate Sales Machine

CAKEpdx – Graham and Derek’s small business workshop


Some of the links above are affiliate links. It won’t cost you any more to purchase through those links, but we will receive a tiny percent of the sale to help fuel our book addiction.

Listen to Just the Audio

Transcription of this episode… (in case you prefer reading)

Graham: Alright hey everybody.

Derek: What’s up, what’s up?

Graham: So I’m Graham, I guess first of all.

Derek: And I’m Derek, second of all.

Graham: What? I thought you were Ashkahn.

Derek: Huh. No-

Graham: Ashkahn!

Derek: Come, come, come in.

Graham: No, he’s gone. Ashkahn’s gone. Kahngone. He will be back soon.

Derek: #Kahngone.

Graham: Yeah, #haveyouseenAshkahn, if any of you have seen him out there you go on Twitter and you do that, hashtag.

Derek: Where is Ashkahn?

Graham: He’s working on the conference coming up right around the corner here, August 18th and 19th. Definitely hope to see you out there if you’re listening to this.

Derek: And the day before the conference there’s a marketing forum. That somebody on this podcast is hosting. That you should come out to, and get infused with marketing for your business.

Graham: Yeah not gonna name any names, but it’s Derek. It’s Derek, is the one putting it on.

Yeah, it’s gonna be a great event, in the meantime, we’ve got a good marketing related question for you, since Derek is our master of marketing, at Float On. Today’s question is pretty short, which just is: “favorite marketing books?”

Derek: I have a lot, this is a quick question you said? Quick question-

Graham: I meant short, the person used few words to ask it.

Derek: Oh okay, good, ’cause I’m gonna take about 20 minutes. What do you say we do maybe like what? I’m sure you gotta bunch of books you’d recommend, like 5 books each we pick?

Graham: Yeah, yeah or whatever makes sense as we go along. 5 books.

Derek: 10 books, alright. Go ahead and start it off. What’s a marketing book that’s a favorite of yours?

Graham: Um, so some of the first marketing I got into, I guess this is more than just one book but I’ll put it in the list as sort of a single entry, which is Seth Godin, author and marketer. He-

Derek: Permission marketing.

Graham: Yeah, permission marketing is a good one. He has a great blog, that’s actually some of the first stuffs that really got me thinking about about higher level marketing.

Derek: This is Seth’s blog.

Graham: Yeah, some of my favorite ones The Dip, I’d put on there, even though it’s not straight a marketing book, it’s more about issues you hit with anything you’re dealing with, including marketing, and how pushing through is what separates you from everyone else. Everyone hits hard times, and you need to push through, is kind of The Dip.

Derek: Purple Cow?

Graham: Yeah, that’s what made him famous, Purple Cow. Be Different. Meatball Sundae, which is a basic concept is you can take two really good things like Meatballs and an ice cream sundae and two good things do not combine to make a super good thing. In fact two good things often combine to make something that sounds awful like a meatball sundae.

Derek: Yeah.

Graham: So that’s the Seth Godin side of things. I’ll leave it there one Seth Godin, he’s just a really good author, he’s a marketer by trade.

Derek: He just started a podcast that’s pretty damn amazing. So I’ll put that out there, if you’re listening to the podcast its called Akimbo the first season of it started off as a sponsored season, and it got so many views he just kept it going, and the second season there is no sponsor there is a sponsored non-profit that he promotes, and the guy just talks for 30 minutes on some of the most amazing thoughts on marketing. So it’s a fun podcast, even though it’s not a book.

Graham: Yeah, so Seth Godin. okay I’ll toss stuff to you from there. But yeah most Seth Godin book is good.

Derek: If I had to pick some marketing books foundationally what I run all my marketing filters through, one of them is the 22 immutable laws of marketing. That’s an older book, I’m a fan of older marketing books because it doesn’t get so heavy into the digital technology, but it’s about messaging, it’s about positioning, it’s about what to do when you’re the third float center in town. Not using float centers as an example but it’s like the third cola maker. There’s Pepsi and Coke, what does RC Cola do? So it comes into a lot of those positioning strategies, marketing strategies. It’s just a fun one for me too. And there’s 22 laws, just pick up a law and re-read through it, and just have that running through my head for the day.

Graham: Nice, that was actually on my list too, so I’ll have to think of another one to go on there.

Derek: Haha.

Graham: Yeah, 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing is really good. It’s pretty short read too, you could read that in like a couple hours?

Derek: I’m a pretty slow reader, probably take me a day.

Graham: Sure, sure. Let’s see, I really like a lot of the neuromarketing books, and I think of those perhaps Brainfluence might be one of the best summaries. It’s kinda of like a-

Derek: Is that Dooley?

Graham: Yeah.

Derek: Roger Dooley.

Graham: Yeah, exactly. It was written a couple years ago, a few years ago. At the time, it’s kind of just like a bundle of cool neuromarketing research that’s been done, and tips on how to apply it. I think there’s dozens and dozens of tips now. I want to say over 100 now but I’m not actually sure how many are in there off the top of my head. That’s a great crash course, and they’re so digestible and any page you turn to, you’re like, “Oh my God, that’s the results of that study?” That’s how our stupid brains work? So, I’d say Brainfluence is a great one for that.

Derek: And that’s kind of important, because marketing is business psychology. So understanding the mind, that makes perfect sense why that would be a great book. I have one that’s a good psychology/marketing book, and that’s Influence by Robert Cialdini.

Graham: Ah, and just a tag on the back of that, I have a Pre-suasion by Cialdini-

Derek: His next book.

Graham: Yeah.

Derek: Took him what? 10 years longer to write or something?

Graham: Yeah, yeah.

Derek: So there are 7 principles in Influence, and Pre-Suasion is like that 8th principle or something like that? Is that how that worked?

Graham: Oh man I-

Derek: With that book?

Graham: I’m not even sure if I’d define it like that, I’d almost say Pre-Suasion is kind of just the different take on a lot of the things he’d already been saying. But yeah with Pre-Suasion he did, so the Influence is all about how our brains are tricked by companies that want to influence us and conversely how to apply that yourself in moral ways. You know he always tries to put a moral spin on his books.

Derek: We’ve never used any of that on you.

Graham: And Pre Suasion is all about how a lot of our decisions get made before we actually go to make decisions. So it’s things like if you play Italian music in a grocery store then people will buy more Italian wine than French wine. If you play French music they’ll buy more French wine. So a bunch of things like that. Scents, you know why Cinnabons pops cinnamon bun flavored scent out in the air, and how that affects our decisions.

So a lot of things that happen psychologically for us before we ever even get to the point where we’re consciously making a decision, it’s all that pre-loading.

Derek: So, two books in one basically.

Graham: Yup, and it’s back to you again, ’cause I piggybacked.

Derek: Rapid fire, alright.

I’m gonna go with the Adweek Copywriting Handbook, which is a remake to an old Joseph Sugarman copywriting books. Joseph Sugarman is one of the best copywriters of all time. And again I like older books, because they cut out all the digital noise, even though I’m a digital marketer, I like to get the foundations, the strategies, the psychologies of why marketing works. So that one I would recommend as a good overview of copyrighting. We talk a lot about copyrighting on these marketing podcasts. About getting the messaging right, knowing your audience, digging deep into what really drives them to buy, using that in your headline. Then using that in the next sentence of copy, and having a good call to action. All these things that we talk about, like the Adweek Copywriting Handbook is one that I would recommend highly.

Graham: Alright, I kinda have one that goes hand in hand with that too on the other side. Which is Before and After: How to Design Cool Stuff.

Derek: Oh, okay.

Graham: I like it, it’s not immediately a marketing book, but it is marketing on the visual side of things.

Derek: Absolutely.

Graham: So it’s, if the copywriting one is more about how to do words that convince people to purchase, and how to make good clean ad copy, and letter copy and things. The How to Design Cool Stuff is visually how to tell a story, how you can really easily make some tweaks that will take your design from being kind of blocky, and cumbersome and feeling like a high schooler did it or something, into actually feeling professional. It really does break down the basic tenets of graphic design, and it does it very much from a standpoint of useful things for businesses. Taking out advertising, or doing logo design, and I think I’ve read through that book probably over 2 dozen times.

Derek: Wow.

Graham: Just because it’s such a good back to basics for graphic design for business. So, that’s a really nice one.

Derek: I think I read that one on recommendation, but I’m not artistically inclined. So I read it once and I’m like, “Oh it’s great, I’ll let Graham do that stuff.” But you pair the copyrighting with the visual and you’ve got yourself a pretty smokin’ ad.

Graham: Yeah, even if you’re hiring graphic designers. I just think knowing what to look for, and knowing what makes it good, and being able to make suggestions is really nice. And it’s full of tiny tips, like, oh if you want to make your font to your design, turn the piece of paper upside down, and look at the font, not as words but the actual shape of the font.

Derek: Right.

Graham: And the shape of your font should match the shape of your designs, then all of sudden your beautiful design looks better. So anyway, cool fun tips, go look it up. Before and After magazine does great stuff in general though.

Derek: So, I guess it’s my turn now?

Graham: Yeah.

Derek: Book Yourself Solid. Now this book is mostly for freelancers, but I recommend it to a lot of small business owners about how to keep their schedule full. There’s a lot of tips in there. The first chapter is all about deciding which people you don’t want to serve, and then going after the ones you want to serve. So, a lot of just basic business set up, as well as some marketing tips that kind of help those in the service industries, freelance marketers, float centers, massage therapists. If you wanna keep your schedule full, Book Yourself Solid is a good book I think you should probably get a good foundation on.

Graham: Nice. I probably hear you recommend that book more than anything else, except maybe 22 immutable laws of marketing. Those two seem like your go-to. If someone is like, “I don’t know what I’m doing.” You’re like, “Here read these. Then we can talk.”

Derek: Especially during the CAKE days. Because most of the people we saw were independent business owners, and it was like alright this is how you can kind of keep a schedule full as an army of one.

Graham: By the way the CAKE days makes it sound like we were apart of some weird revolutionary group called CAKE back in the day or something.

Derek: It’s an old band.

Graham: Or band I guess. For some reason I went to the cake days made it seem like we’re in the trenches or something. Anyway it was a small business workshop that taught here in Portland-

Derek: For like four years.

Graham: Cool, and my last one that I have here is one to end on a good note too. Which was recommended to me by another Float Tank Center owner, so thank you Shawn Lavery from Float Toronto. But Give and Take was the one that he recommended that I check out, and said that it was a book that was just right in line with Float On marketing.

Derek: Nice.

Graham: And it’s great, it truly is right inline with our Float On kind of marketing philosophy. And it stems from a giant study done of sales people across the country, and figuring out … kind of classifying them into givers and takers, and figuring out which group actually performed better at sales. With some interesting conclusions. Which were namely that givers performed both the best and the worst. And then takers performed in the middle. So there’s kind of productive ways to give of yourself, and there’s way to give your time and yourself that actually eat up all of your time and are too much. There’s a nice lesson in there, and it’s actually based on some science, and different studies and again this giant national study of actual sales techniques, and success.

So, yeah that one’s a really fun one to look into.

Derek: Alright, so I haven’t heard of that book, I’ll have to check that out, sounds really cool.

Graham: It’s on our company audible. Not even sure if we’re supposed to have a company audible. If you’re listening to this, and that’s illegal then we totally are not doing it, and I made that up.

Derek: Exactly.

I have my own audible by the way, I’m on board.

Graham: We don’t have a company audible.

Derek: What are you doing?

Ultimate Sales Machine is the last book I’ll recommend.

Graham: I almost put that on there but I thought maybe it’s a sales book not a marketing book.

Derek: Well sales is a part of marketing right? So I mean it goes back to messaging again. I have the perception that keeps getting reinforced by my conversations with float center owners that a lot of em are afraid of sales, or feel sales is sleazy, and stuff like that. And this is a pretty hardcore sales book, with a good mindset behind it. Chet Holmes is the guy who wrote it, dynamic sales person, trying to teach you some things about bringing your customer under your wing and having building some trust and stuff like that. One of the nice things I think we all kind of take in is, my problem with sales is the rejection, I can’t take rejection. It’s like that pigheaded determination that he keeps talking about in the book. That’s just one of those mantras like, you know it’s a numbers game. You’re gonna try to sale, and when you close it’s great, and when you don’t just move on to the next one, pigheaded determination. Really good sales tips as well as some encouragement to keep going at it.

Graham: It’s awesome too. I probably would’ve included that on my list if it hadn’t been specifically marketing. Even if just a best of business you should read. Just because it’s a really good, it’s really good advice for anyone. It’s kind of like how to be a successful person, not even just in business. It’s like hey if you wanted to get better at martial arts, or if you wanted to be a better father, or parent, or something like that. Of if you want to be better at marketing. I think almost all the things apply. It’s really solid. I expected to have a lot of cheesy sales tactics shoved down my throat when I picked up that book, and I was delightfully surprised.

Derek: Especially with the title. Ultimate Sales Machine.

Graham: Exactly. It’s like totally expected that kind of like, “you need to get out there and grind.”

Derek: “Don’t take no for an answer.”

Graham: Yeah, exactly, and it’s totally not. It’s a lot more philosophical, but really practical philosophies. Totally also piggybacking on Derek again. Love that book.

Derek: Any other marketing books we got?

Graham: I mean there’s a ton, but that’s a good assortment to keep people busy. If you have a marketing book that you love that we didn’t talk about, or if you actually do want us to spend time on the next 10 books down the rung, that we’d recommend because you’ve already read everything that we said.

Derek: If you would like us just to read you the books and you could skip audible all together-

Graham: Yeah. Let us know. Go to floattanksolutions.com/podcast and tell us what you’d have us do, we’re here to serve.

Derek: Absolutely. Goodbye.

Graham: Bye everyone.

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