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20 Best Books for Agency Owners (Updated 2023)

Agency owners need to constantly brush up on their knowledge in order to stay competitive in a highly dynamic environment. From staving off the competition to coming up with interesting ideas that can help with business growth, many agency owners find themselves lacking inspiration when they need it most. 

Reading has been traditionally known to be one of the best ways to gain knowledge. And, as an agency owner, it’s a habit that can help you grow professionally and personally. There are plenty of books that can make you a better agency owner. 

Here at Atarim, we’re all about optimizing your processes and getting the most out of your organization, which is why our software is the best online agency management platform. However, being the best leader and getting your agency to be the best in the industry is the knowledge that hides exactly in these books. So, without further ado, here are 20 books every agency owner should read.

Table of Contents:

1. Can’t Hurt Me
2. Blue Ocean Strategy
3. Fanatical Prospecting
4. The Culture Code
5. Contagious
6. DotCom Secrets
7. Rich Dad Poor Dad
8. E-Myth Revisited
9. Leaders Eat Last
10. Radical Leap
11. 7 Figure Agency Roadmap
12. Made to Stick
13. Traction
14. Tribal Leadership
15. Selling the Invisible
16. Lean Thinking
17. The 4-Hour Workweek
18. The Tipping Point
19. Growth Hacker Marketing
20. Becoming a Category of One

1. Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins

David Goggins grew up in poverty and faced racism from an early age. He was even physically abused as a kid. But, despite all of this, Goggins managed to rise above the hatred and became the only man in history to complete training for the Navy SEAL, Army Ranger, and the Air Force Tactical Controller.

Can’t Hurt Me recounts his life’s tale, and he talks about the importance of building self-discipline and how to improve on our performance. It is a fantastic read for agency owners, as it showcases the power of mental fortitude and discipline. If you need inspiration, this is one of the best books to read!

2. Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Cham Kim & Renée Mauborgne

blue ocean strategy

Blue Ocean Strategy is likely to challenge all the major concepts that you might have picked up as an agency owner. As the global markets continue to evolve and change, this book focuses on 150 strategic moves and details the concept behind lasting success, “creating blue oceans.”

It talks about tapping into new market spaces and identifying key areas of opportunity that you can focus on. For the savvy agency owner, this is an excellent book that’ll increase your knowledge and help you create a more comprehensive strategy.

3. The Culture Code by Daniel Coyle

The Culture Code by Daniel Coyle is an engrossing read that delves into the secrets of highly successful groups and talks about building a great culture. Daniel focuses on some of the world’s largest groups, including the Navy’s SEAL Team Six, San Antonio Spurs, and IDEO. 

He identifies key skills that separate these groups from the right and contribute to their success. The knowledge in this book can help agency owners understand how to build a strong organizational culture within their teams, and extract maximum performance from their employees. 

4. Contagious by Jonah Berger

Jonah Berger’s Contagious is a highly interesting read that focuses on different elements that eventually contribute to things going “viral.” Jonah delves deep into the psychology of advertising and why some things become more popular than others.

A marketing professor at Wharton, Jonah has spent more than a decade focusing on this, so he knows what he’s talking about. From focusing on social transmission to unraveling the secrets behind word-of-mouth advertising, this is an excellent read.

It also includes case studies and interesting information from some of the world’s leading brands. Find out what techniques they are using and identify commonalities that you can use to promote your, and your client’s products. It’s an excellent book to help you understand how ideas catch on. 

5. DotCom Secrets by Russell Brunson

In DotCom Secrets, Russell Brunson talks about how to start and scale a company online. Brunson has more than 10 years of experience in starting companies and scaling them in the online world, so there’s actual pedigree behind his words. 

Brunson is the founder of Click Funnels, and in this book, he goes into painstaking detail about how to drive online sales and grow your company. If you have been struggling as an agency owner and looking at different ways to grow your business, this might just be the book you need to read. 

Learn how to diversify your online portfolio and grow your business in different ways.

6. Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

Rich Dad Poor Dad is arguably Robert Kiyosaki’s seminal work. It is a worldwide phenomenon that teaches you all the basics that you need to know about personal finance. In this book, Kyosaki talks about the differences between two of his “dads,” how one was focused on living the simple life, whereas the other was only concerned with maximizing his investments. 

Kiyosaki’s book is a fantastic read for agency owners, as it talks about how to generate and sustain a high income, and how to define assets and liabilities. Managing money is often difficult for agency owners, and this book goes the extra mile in providing details about how to excel financially. 

For bootstrapping agency owners, this is a fantastic book that details the basics of money management.

7. The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber

emyth revisited

The E-Myth Revisited is an interesting read that talks about the myths associated with starting your own business. Written by Michael E. Gerber, the book offers comprehensive insights that Gerber has garnered over the years, including technical expertise and guidance on how to run a business. 

The book talks agency owners through each step and the lifecycle of modern businesses, from infancy to maturity. The book also talks about the differences between working on your business and working in the business.

With agency owners often blurring the lines between the two, this is a fantastic book that will help you focus on the things that really matter in your business

8. Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek

Simon Sinek is one of the most popular authors and motivational speakers of the modern age. Leaders Eat Last is one of his most popular works and became a New York Times bestseller. 

In this book, Sinek talks about the power of inspiration, of building successful teams, and about his experiences. He talks about an insightful conversation with a Marine Corps general, and how workplaces could learn a thing or two from military discipline. 

Sinek talks about steering clear from cynicism and paranoia, and above all, self-interest. Most agency owners are well aware of all of these things, so this book could definitely teach them a thing or two. 

9. The Radical Leap by Steve Farber

The Radical Leap by Steve Farber is an excellent read for several reasons. In this book, Farber goes into excruciating detail about different leadership models and introduces his very own. This model is different, where leaders aren’t scared of making mistakes. 

He links the entire thing by talking about his own experiences and talking about people that he has met in his life. This “Extreme Leadership” model is very interesting and will help agency owners manage teams in a better manner.

10. The Seven Figure Agency Roadmap by Josh Nelson

7 figure agency

The Seven Figure Agency Roadmap by Joshua D. Nelson talks about multiple aspects of running an agency, including how to maximize profits, how to get clients, and how to overcome slumps. 

This book talks about how to overcome your income ceiling and grow your business. Joshua has worked for more than 5 years with several agencies and helped them grow. He talks about scaling mistakes made by common businesses and tells readers to focus on changing their model instead of their mindset. 

The reason why this book is featured on our list is that it offers step-by-step instructions on how to build and scale a digital agency, including anecdotes and personal advice. It includes lots of case studies, interviews, and detailed templates from the author to help you grow your agency. 

11. Made to Stick by Chip Heath & Dan Heath

In Made to Stick, Chip and Dan Heath unravel the mysteries about why some ideas tend to stick and why others tend to fizzle out. By going into anatomical detail about different ideas that “stick,” the authors provide detailed guidance on how to come up with better ideas. 

This book is designed to help agency owners change the way they communicate. It includes comprehensive case studies from many professionals, and it takes a provocative and bold approach in its writing. 

Learn how to come up with interesting and engaging ideas, and understand how to drive positive change within your agency with this book! 

12. Traction by Gabriel Weinberg & Justing Mares

Traction is a fantastic book that details the differences between why some startups fail and why some succeed. You’ll find hundreds of books giving advice on how to run a startup, but very few of these actually provide actionable, hands-on advice like this one.

In this book, Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares focus on nineteen different channels that entrepreneurs can use to build a strong customer base and then select the right one for their business. 

From running ads online to boosting the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns, this is a fantastic book that every agency owner should read. It also details a three-step framework, which it calls Bullseye, on how to identify channels that work best for your business.  

13. Fanatical Prospecting by Jeb Blount

In Fanatical Prospecting, Jeb Blount talks about unique sales tactics and underlines the common mistakes made by sellers. As an agency owner, a large part of your day will revolve around prospecting and pitching to potential clients.

This book outlines a series of innovative steps created by Jeb Blount which have been proven to work for sales professionals across multiple industries. This book talks about creating a steady pipeline of incoming leads and underlines the sales tactics used by some of the industry’s top earners. 

14. Tribal Leadership by Dave Logan, John King & Halee Fischer-Wright

Successful agency owners are excellent leaders. In Tribal Leadership, the authors talk about the different “tribes” that exist in most organizations, and how to develop them. The book offers ideas and guides on how to enhance productivity and help agency owners manage their employees more effectively. 

This is one of the most fascinating reads of the past decade. It is an essential business management book that will guide agency owners on how to take greater control of their organization and help boost employee morale. 

15. Selling the Invisible by Harry Beckwith

In Selling The Invisible, Harry Beckwith adopts a very entertaining style while focusing on the unique aspects of different services that you can offer as a business owner. It focuses on service marketing, which is the core concept that every agency owner should know. 

The book includes fantastic insights and engaging information about what works and what doesn’t, including case studies and interesting insights from professionals from around the globe.

16. Lean Thinking by James P. Womack & Danel T. Jones

Lean Thinking by James Womack and Daniel Jones is widely regarded as a business classic. Written by two of the world’s most popular management analysts, the book profiles multiple firms at different stages of their business lifecycle, including companies like Pratt & Whitney, Lantech, and automaker Porsche. 

It also introduces the concept of “lean thinking,” which takes a very minimalistic approach to what considers “valuable.” By focusing on lean ideas and embracing a similar ideology, businesses can eventually grow and maximize wealth creation, without incurring heavy expenditure. 

It is a fantastic book to read for agency owners looking to get better at managing their fledgling businesses. 

17. The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferris

One of the biggest motivations behind most agency owners’ desire to succeed is because they want to escape the 9-5 hassle. The 4-Hour Workweek is Tim Ferriss’ seminal work, and it is widely considered a game-changer.

In this book, Ferriss talks about people who live the luxury lifestyle, while putting minimal effort into their work. He talks about how you can outsource multiple aspects of your life to focus on what really matters, including business growth. 

The book offers real-world, practical templates for negotiating with clients, including all high-tech shortcuts and the latest tools and tricks. For agency owners, this is one of the best books that will teach you how to better manage yourself and your business.

18. The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell

The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell is one of the most important books that every agency owner should read. Gladwell defines the tipping point as that one magic moment where an idea takes hold and starts to spread rapidly. 

In classic Gladwell fashion, he takes this approach and brilliantly explains the entire phenomenon, using real-world examples. It’s his style of mixing interesting tidbits and advice while linking it to practical approaches that make this book such a page-turner.

19. Growth Hacker Marketing by Ryan Holiday

In Growth Hacker Marketing, Ryan Holiday explores a variety of different strategies that agency owners can use to promote their business. Ryan talks about major brands like Instagram and Snapchat, which rose from seemingly nothing. He goes one step further, talking about how they did it. 

Ryan is a proficient marketing guru and has worked for some of the world’s leading brands. This is an ideal playbook for agency owners looking to change their marketing tactics and grow their agencies. 

20. Becoming a Category of One by Joe Calloway

In Becoming a Category of One, Joe Calloway focuses on companies that have achieved extraordinary success, and how they did it. Packed with ideas, information, and insights, the book has plenty of case studies and detailed interviews with successful business leaders. 

Read how successful CEOs manage business challenges, and how companies are able to drive change to grow in a competitive landscape. This is the book written for agency owners, as it gives them tips on how to set themselves apart from the rest of the crowd. 

It’s a fantastic book that will teach you how to keep your agency relevant in rapidly changing conditions, and more importantly, how to adopt new strategies that will eventually boost business growth. 


These are some of the most interesting books that agency owners should read. Of course, the knowledge contained in these books means little if you aren’t willing to take steps and execute your ideas!

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