10 Best Books For Freelancers You Can’t Afford Not To Read

Domenico Trimboli

By Domenico Trimboli


How much would you pay to pick the brain of the most brilliant minds in a field that you want to explore? $100? $1000? Maybe more?

Books allow you to do just that for less than $20, at your own pace. You can start and stop whenever you want, wherever you are. And if something isn’t clear, you can hit the Rewind button any time you want – it’s called turning back the page.

Here are 10 books you can pick up for less than $250 total that will change your life as a freelancer.

Happy reading.

1. The Bullet Journal Method – So you can plan your days and weeks

Book cover of The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll

Ever hear of bullet journalling? Ryder Carroll is literally the guy who invented it.

Bullet journalling combines planners, journals, and to-do lists into one streamlined time management method. This book, which is basically a guide to set up your own bullet journal, will teach you how to prioritize what truly matters to you, plan your days and weeks and not forget about a deadline, an appointment or a follow-up email ever again.

Here is how you can apply this book to your freelance business:

  • Set up your week so that you know when to do client work, when to market your services and when to relax
  • Never forget a deadline again
  • Take time off work without guilt, knowing you already did everything you had to do for the day

2. Atomic Habits – To develop a habit of marketing your services

Book cover of Atomic Habits

Ryder Carroll can tell you how to plan your days, but actually marketing your services is not just about time.

Most freelancers I know struggle to really work on their business because they never developed a habit of promoting themselves. And when it comes to habits, no one is more qualified than James Clear to tell you how to develop good ones.

Here is how you can apply this book to your freelance business:

  • Develop a habit of marketing your services to potential clients
  • Create the ideal conditions to actually hit that Submit button on your pitches, blog contents or LinkedIn posts
  • Ditch old habits that stop you from developing the freelance business you want to create

3. 100M Leads – To easily get more freelance clients

Book cover of $100M Leads by Alex Hormozi

I love Alex Hormozi for a reason – he is not afraid to tell you the truth.

In his book 100M Leads, he tells you everything you need to know about how to find clients for your (freelance) business. If you are struggling with lead generation (aka getting clients), the book has all the strategies businesses big and small apply to make millions of dollars.

Here is how you can apply this book to your freelance business:

  • Read all the possible tactics you can use to generate clients
  • Choose one of those tactics, then follow the advice included in the book to execute it
  • Be more ambitious – if the man has built several multimillion dollar businesses with these tactics, I am sure you can get to 6 figures

4. The New Corner Office – To learn how to work from home

Book cover of The New Corner Office by Laura Vanderkam

Avoid commuting, be physically present for your loved ones, get paid based on results, not time. These are all great reasons why working from home is an amazing choice.

Unfortunately, though, it’s also freaking hard. It’s been 12 years for me, and at times I still feel like I am struggling with it. If you are scared to start working from home, or you are already doing it and it sucks, The new corner office is for you.

Here is how you can apply this book to your freelance business:

  • If you are still working a 9 to 5, set the right expectations for what your life is going to look like once you leave the office forever
  • Establish routines and boundaries, both with family and friends and people you work with
  • Learn how to network effectively even though you no longer see your coworkers in person

5. Company of One – To remind you why freelancing is the answer

Book cover of Company of One by Paul Jarvis

It happened to me as well – when I became a six figure freelancer, I asked myself ‘What’s next’. Hiring someone? Subcontracting to other freelancers? Creating an agency?

According to Paul Jarvis, author of this book, the answer might not be any of those. In his book, he explains how staying small – rather than pursuing growth at all costs – might be the best option for freelancers like us.

Here is how you can apply this book to your freelance business:

  • Design a business that fits your life, rather than burning out try to make life work around your business
  • Reconsider your options if you are considering switching to an agency model
  • Appreciate your business more, in spite of feast and famine, ungrateful clients and everything else

6. Stop Thinking Like a Freelancer – If you want to scale your business further

Book cover of Stop Thinking Like a Freelancer by Liam Veitch

Work-life balance is great, solopreneurship is fantastic and all that, sure. But how the f*ck can we make this whole thing more profitable?

Liam Veitch describes just how he built a $1M design business. Liam now owns a web design agency, so he has experience on both sides of the spectrum.

I really enjoyed his book, even though I know nothing about web design (except that it’s expensive).

Here is how you can apply this book to your freelance business:

  • Stop thinking like a solo show and start positioning yourself as a real business
  • Leverage recurring revenue to escape feast or famine and give your freelancing (some sort of) income predictability
  • Increase your online visibility so that your dream clients find you, not vice versa

7. The Art and Business of Online Writing – Because writing is a 10x multiplier

Book cover of The Art and Business of Online Writing by Nicolas Cole

This one is by Nicolas Cole, a guy who’s literally made millions doing one thing only: writing.

If you want to monetize your writing talent but you are thinking it’ll never be enough to make ends meet, if you are struggling to find clients as a writer, or if you keep postponing the beginning of your writing career, then this is for you.


This is a must-read, whether or not you are a freelance writer. Writing is one of those skills that can increase your money-making potential by 10x if you do it right.

Here is how you can apply this book to your freelance business:

  • Find out where you should be writing online (this is super important)
  • How to never run out of things to write
  • How to dominate a niche – and monetize your authority

8. Burn Your Portfolio – For designers

Book cover of Burn Your Portfolio by Michael Janda

I was hooked since I read the title.

While I know nothing about design, this book is not about that – it’s a true master in creating a design business by Mike Janda, who also runs a pretty impressive Instagram account on the same topic.

Here is how you can apply this book to your freelance design business:

  • Feel inspired to turn all the knowledge you acquired in design school into money
  • If you are great at design but poor at business, this is a no brainer
  • Learn best practices to handle clients that can be useful for freelancers in all niches

9. Become A Successful Virtual Assistant – For virtual assistants

Book cover of Become a successful Virtual Assistant by Melissa Smith

This book is such a great intro to the world of virtual assistant services. I really like VA as a side hustle for beginners because you can learn some of the skills you’ll need in very little time, and learn the rest as you go – while getting paid for it!

This book teaches you exactly how to do that.

Here is how you can apply this book to your freelance VA business:

  • Go from your 9 to 5 to freelancing as a VA in 8 solid steps
  • Discover the ins and outs of the VA market
  • Learn from the real world experiences of a successful VA

10. How to Succeed as a Freelance Translator – For translators

Book cover of How to succeed as a freelance translator by Corinne McKay

This book by Corinne McKay helped me to kickstart my own freelance journey.

If you speak two languages and are interested in launching a translator side hustle, or your freelance translation business is struggling, you should read this ASAP.

Here is how you can apply this book to your freelance translation business:

  • Understand how the translation/localization market works
  • Determine your translation and editing rates
  • Get an idea of how to pitch your services to translation agencies/direct clients

Similar Posts