Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Mini-Book Reviews

If I were teaching a class on Internet marketing, these books would be required reading:

* Selling on the Net: The Complete Guide by Herschell Gordon Lewis & Robert D. Lewis, was one of the first serious books I had ever read about selling on the net. It hasn't been updated recently, but since it is not a technology driven book, I don't think it is dated at all. One of the best books providing an overview of how the Internet is viewed, how people react to it, and why ecommerce, selling services & marketing will work online. This is a great basic overview, and even if you have been online for awhile, you will benefit from reading it. Has many illustrations of websites that do & don't 'work' and profiles of companies, so you get real examples.

* Net Words: Creating High-Impact Online Copy by Nick Usborne is a treasure! Copyright, 2002. Usborne uses his marketing knowledge & experience to detail just what works in writing on the Internet. He covers everything you need to know on how to make your website work - that means how to get viewers to stay. If you site is not interesting to viewers, from a text & content point of view, they will click in & just easy quickly, click out. But, if your site is well written, they will stay, maybe even long enough to buy! If they don't buy, they will certainly remember you, be likely to use your 'tell-a-friend', bookmark your site, subscribe etc. In fact, what he tells you works for newsletters & zines too. You all know how much I believe in site content folks, so if this guy excites me this much, it must be fabulous! Not to sound like a Ginsu salesman, 'but wait, there's more!' Usborne also covers how to write the text that is your product/service description, or in the biz lingo, 'your sales copy.' So if you want to learn more ways to increase viewer interest & sales, then grab the book.

* A New Brand World: 8 Principles for Achieving Brand Leadership in the 21st Century by Scott Bedbury. Copyright 2002. (I linked to the softcover to give you the cheapest option, however if you prefer, the hardcover is still available.) Some of you may be wondering what 'branding' is... Branding is the ability to make a company be more than just a company. It moves past the idea of selling a product through marketing, but into creating an entire concept around your company. Examples of branding are Nike (Just Do It is the slogan, but we 'feel' that empowering 'I can achieve it' rush), and Coke A Cola (I mean come on, folks buy & collect *anything* that says Coke!). Who is Bedbury to talk about branding? Hehehe, glad you asked! This is the guy who took Nike from just another athletic shoe company, and created the Nike dynasty. Not only that, his next gig was Starbucks! So, this man knows what he is talking about. I kid you not.

This book is a bit more intense to read, not because he is a bad writer, or technical; it is very easily understood. However, he is talking about much larger companies, with larger budgets (even though he discusses how young these companies were, let's face it, they could hire someone full time, and give him a staff of his own!). So the trick then becomes how to take the examples he states & turn them into something folks like us can use. He provides plenty of details as to why he took certain steps, what the strategy was, which helps greatly. You can see what he is talking about. But it still requires some 'bending' and fine-tuning for us. I *do* recommend the book highly. I think Bedbury is the kind of man who's head you want to get inside! If you are struggling to find a way to make your company & its philosophy stand out, then you have to read it.

© GlamKitty, who moderates the Working With The Web newsletter.

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