This does not mean there aren’t books out there, however, that will indirectly help with your understanding and encourage you to become a better link builder.
Here are three books that I’ve personally found useful that aren’t strictly about link building. I’d welcome any other suggestions people want to make
Cold Calling for Chickens
by Bob Etherington
If I could only recommend one book for link builders who are new to the industry it would be this one by sales expert Bob Etherington.
Although cold calling is traditionally perceived to be almost exclusively the domain of out-and-out sales roles, the principles are directly related and apply perfectly to link building.
What Etherington stresses in this book is that it is not just about that moment you pick up the phone and dial a number, but more about being able to effectively and regularly make cold contact with people is a lifestyle and attitude choice.
It is about being able to create effective habits and understanding how people make buying (or ‘linking’) decisions.
Selling is not telling
Perhaps the key point the book stressed and the best take-away for link builders is that selling is not telling. You can rarely persuade people to buy from you; people persuade themselves.
Just think about what understanding this can do for your link building. Making that first cold contact is the first step to the established order of flow in which you need to influence their thinking.
No one is saying you have to like cold calling. What you have to understand though, is that 85% of the business out there is won by the 5% of the sales people able to make cold calls.
I would wager that there are similar percentages for the best links that are won.
by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith
I really was torn between including this or Seth Godin’s Permission Marketing. Both tackle the same idea, however, Brogan and Smith’s book edged it onto this list because it is a bit more online centric.
Its central theme is about maximising human connectivity and interaction online. You need to be able to understand the internet as a tool and be able to think strategically about building your own presence online.
Whilst a lot of the concepts introduced in the book will not nessessarily be ground breaking to most online marketers who already ‘get it’, what it does do is perfectly articulate the economy of building trust online, which comes as a useful reinforcement even to people with vast experience.
This is an especially good starting point for people completely new to online marketing and the book that, in an ideal world, all clients would read.
One thing that struck me from both this book and Godin’s Permission Marketing is that for a business to really thrive online, it requires a fundamental shift in its culture.
If its traditional ways of operating stay the same, throwing money at marketing agencies becomes like trying to cram a square peg into a round hole.
Bounce: How Champions are Made
by Matthew Syed
My last choice is motivated by the fact I think it’s important to understand that people aren’t born naturally good at link building, marketing, or any other discipline for that matter.
They may have been exposed to situations that have cultivated the basic skills needed to excel quickly in the profession, but it is not a god given talent.
That’s why I have included Matthew Syed’s Bounce on this list. Similar to Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers in its theme, it looks at why and how people excel in certain subjects and sports.
Ultimately, it dispels the myth that people are born talented and reiterates how important positive practice is.
I guess this is important to grasp because even if your work isn’t at the place you want it to be today, you can have faith that through cultivating the right habits, you can get it there tomorrow.
That’s it then. As I say, I would love to hear other people’s suggestions. Other notable mentions that nearly made their way onto my list were: