If you do content marketing for startups, you know you’re expected to wear many hats.

Sure, you need to be a great writer, comfortable on webcam moderating a webinar or hosting a podcast interview, decent at the mechanics of on-page and off-page SEO, fluent in the social media platforms that matter most to your core buyer personas, and adept at the basics of project management.

However, what about the soft skills and business skills that are startup-specific

How can you ensure that your content marketing initiatives play at a strategic level for the startup? More like a fractional chief marketing officer (CMO) than a marketing coordinator or content marketing manager.


Here are five must-read books to add to your reading list if you truly want to be a more well-founded startup content marketer.

The Business of Expertise

David C. Baker

Even the best content marketers will get commoditized and marginalized if they sit still too long. David C. Baker offers a great solution around focus, deep expertise, selecting the right niches, positioning, and demonstrating expertise.


The Win Without Pitching Manifesto

Blair Enns

Content marketing agencies frequently get manipulated into doing free consulting work as part of the sales process. Blair Enns, a close friend and professional colleague of David C. Baker, has a much better way forward based on 12 proclamations.


Purple Cow

Seth Godin

Content marketing is really starting to blend together. But it doesn't have to. Seth Godin's classic bestseller provides a great refresher course on how to make your content stand out from the pack, like a purple cow.


The Sales Acceleration Formula

Mark Roberge

Content marketers' most important internal clients are on the sales team. If you want to learn to speak the language of sales directors and chief revenue officers, so that your content campaigns deliver stellar pipeline-building results, Mark Roberge's book -- where he introduces the concept of the thought leadership committee -- is a must-read.


The Lean Startup

Eric Ries

If content marketers at startups want to win their boards' and VCs' hearts, minds, and budgets, they need to speak the language. And run content marketing like a minimum viable product, with a build/learn/measure methodology around faster cycles and quicker learnings.


Bonus Sixth Book:

Growth IQ

Tiffani Bova

When leading marketing for startups, you have to be really good at explaining marketing to non-marketers -- including startup founders, their boards, and even their investors. As a long-time, highly-rated IT industry analyst at Gartner and now top digital evangelist at Salesforce, Tiffany Bova’s book will give you tons of great analogies and examples from both within and outside tech startups -- everything from streaming music to meal kit delivery subscription startups -- to bring into your startup growth conversations.

Do you have another favorite book that should be on every startup content marketer’s must-read list? Let me know in the comments.

And if you want to make your startup's content marketing a major driver of growth, enroll now in our free 7-day eCourse: Go-to-Market Strategy 101 for B2B SaaS Startups and Scaleups.

New call-to-action


Submit a comment