If you work as a self-employed consultant or plan to start, it’s important to continuously sharpen your skills and update your industry knowledge. One of the best ways to do this is by hitting the books. There are plenty of must-read books for consultants that can help you improve your services and run your business. But if you don’t know where to start, we can help. 

This guide will list some of the must-read books for consultants, including: 

  • Getting Started in Consulting, Alan Weiss
  • The Consultant’s Toolkit, Mel Silberman
  • Flawless Consulting, Peter Block
  • Influence: Science and Practice, Robert Cialdini
  • Leadership for Dummies, John Marrin
  • Cracked It!, Bernadette Garrette, Corey Phelps, and Olivier Sibony

Also, see: five best apps for independent consultants

  1. Getting Started with Consulting by Alan Weiss 

Getting Started with Consulting is a great book to prepare you for success if you’re new to consulting. In this book Weiss covers how to get started with self-employed consultancy, covering critical skills and knowledge you’ll need. 

This book is just as much about learning about consulting as it is about learning how to run your own consultancy business. It discusses business organisation, budgeting, and operations. Weiss also includes interviews with self-employed consultants who achieved rapid success. With this book, you’ll be able to plan for a successful consulting business and establish productive marketing, earnings, and consulting services. 

  1. The Consultant’s Toolkit by Mel Silberman

The Consultants Toolkit is another must-read book for consultants because it focuses on consulting techniques rather than running your own business. This book is full of worksheets, questionnaires, and templates to organise and guide your consulting services. It walks you through working with clients and diagnosing and solving key consulting problems. 

Silberman offers useful insights into consulting practices to add to your services. It’s also a great reference to keep nearby and reference as you take on new challenges. 

In this book, Silberman focuses on consulting for finance and investing. So, if you offer financial consulting, it may be a great read. But, the techniques he covers can work for a broader range of consultants and be helpful for all. With that said, you might consider looking for a book that focuses on your specialisation as well. 

  1. Flawless Consulting by Peter Block

The next book, Flawless Consulting by Peter Block, is also a great way to sharpen your consultancy skills and learn about the industry. Block’s expert advice can help you increase the efficiency of your consulting services and earn more clients. 

This book also discusses the consulting challenges and how the industry has changed in the 21st century, including the increasingly digital world. With this information, you’ll develop a broad understanding of trends and shifts in consulting to better inform your own business. 

Block also covers international consulting, which may be something you consider if your consulting services are entirely online. Digital consulting services offer a range of client opportunities, but you’ll need to think about the logistics. 

  1. Influence: Science and Practice by Robert Calidini

To achieve strong results as a consultant, you’ll need to know how to persuade your clients of your credibility and solutions. Because of this, Robert Calidini’s book Influence: Science and Practice is a great pick. 

This book looks into the psychology behind compliance, or following an influence or rule. Calidini mixes research with helpful advice that can improve your communication. He simplifies the science of persuasion and shows you how to put it to work in your daily practice. 

With this knowledge, you can better convince clients of your ideas. The more convincing you are, the more credible you’ll appear, which can build trust. On top of that, it will allow you to help clients more quickly and take on a larger client base. 

  1. Leadership for Dummies by John Marrin 

Just like you need the power of persuasion, you’ll also need leadership skills to succeed in consulting. So the next must-read book for consultants is Leadership for Dummies. This book covers the meaning of leadership and its many approaches. With this information, you can determine your leadership style and guide others effectively. 

Written by successful leadership coach John Marrin, the book does more than cover the meaning of leadership. It offers tips and tactics for dealing with remote-working leadership and organisational change. These tips are crucial as clients expect you to direct change. Marrin’s advice will help you feel more confident and comfortable leading your clients through consulting solutions. 

  1. Cracked it! By Bernadette Garrette, Corey Phelps, and Olivier Sibony 

Finally, you may want to read up on problem-solving since that is one of the main roles of consulting, no matter your specialisation. In Cracked It!, Garette, Phelps, and Sibony discuss solving problems with advice from experts in strategy consulting. 

The book explains how to understand your clients’ situations fully. Then, it covers how to form and approach solutions with the proper techniques. With this advice, you’ll be able to develop better strategies for your clients and convince them you’re worth listening to. Ultimately, it’ll help you sell your solutions to strengthen your business. 

Simplify your consulting finances with Countingup 

As you strengthen your consulting services and increase your earnings with these books, you’ll need to consider your financial organisation. The truth is, financial management can be stressful and time-consuming when you’re self-employed. That’s why thousands of business owners use the Countingup app to make their financial admin easier. 

Countingup is the business current account with built-in accounting software that allows you to manage all your financial data in one place. With features like automatic expense and receipt capture, you can stay on top of what you spend to run and grow your business. These tools will help you store and find expenses for accurate bookkeeping. 

Plus, the app generates ongoing cash flow insights so you can better understand your business performance and how your educational efforts make a positive impact. With these insights, you’ll also be able to make better business decisions and confidently keep on top of your business finances wherever you are. 

Start your three-month free trial today. 

Find out more here.