Category Archives: Communication

Training & Planning Techniques from the San People

For 2000 years the San people of Namibia have depended on accurately recording data. Their methods are quite sophisticated.

Watch this short video and learn how they record data, use it to train young people and use it to plan their nomadic existence.

It will remind you of a few good lessons we can all learn from “primitive” cultures.


Does Your Offer “Resonate” With Your Prospective Students?

These bells resonate but does your offer resonate with your propsects In education we often talk about engaging with people as in Employer Engagement.

But isn’t engagement a bit passive?

Would it not be better to resonate with them? Let me explain with some definitions and examples. Continue reading


The Digital Prospectus: What is it?

The term Digital Prospectus is frequently used but it seems to mean difference things to different people.

To some it means a prospectus pdf or page turner on a website; whilst to others it is something much more dramatic.  At this years AOC Digital Conference I  explained the concept as I understand it.

This short video encapsulates my thoughts into less than 5 minutes .. some feat when I’ve taken years to develop a concept that works extremely well.


Mystery shoppers in FE

Mystery shopping for colleges Exciting new service launched!!!

Mystery Student Research

Do you really know what your students and non applicants think about your college? Our new ‘Mystery Student’ service provides insight to all aspects of your provision from the perspective of your students, their parents and your clients. You will be provided with a report identifying strengths and areas requiring improvement. Do you ever ask yourself if: Continue reading


A Voice that Communicates

How to communicate

Whatever you role within FE you need to communicate effectively.


Here are a few tips on improving your vocal communications: –

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Cartoons for Marketing & Sales Literature

How to Tell a Story in Pictures

Free marketing account at Bedford College

Produce cartoons at no cost in minutes
Click the image for a larger image view

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Sourcing & Answering Everyday Questions: What Your Customers Realy Need to Know About

What Really Concerns Your Customers: What are Their Key Questions? What Keeps Them Awake at Night?

Providers often ask me how to source what is really of concern or worrying their students, employers, and prospects.   They need to know so that they can address concerns and offer courses that people really need.

My answer is always the same.  I don’t know; but I know who does.

If you want to know what is worrying these people, what you should write about in magazines and on your website then you can discover the answer very quickly.

The people that know are your telephonists, help desk and website search logs (plus check Analytics for the keywords used to find your website)

This is where the answer resides and all you need to do is ask.

Once you have the questions you can realign your strategy, write web copy, format emails and lots more besides that address real issues.




Elevator Pitches Are About Value: What VALUE Do You Offer

Most Elevator Pitches Are A Waste of Time

There was time when we were all encouraged to have a 30 second elevator pitch ….. and they were usually very dreary and dull.  Today people use variations of the same theme .. even if they don’t realise it.

Go to any networking or similar event and you’ll hear people asking “What do you do?”  Often the answer is something like “I’m Fred (or Mary) and I’m Managing Director of Widgets Ltd.  We are an innovative, leading edge widget agency with a client base spanning five continents> Our colour process technology is awesome and ……… ”

So what did Fred or Mary tell us?

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Advertising Secrets Webinar

Advertising Secrets webinar can be dowloaded hereA few weeks ago, after Marketing Secrets became an Amazon Best Seller, I was interviewed on a webinar by an old friend of mine, Mike Seddon.

During the webinar I go in depth into some of the Advertising Secrets from the book and reveal a few more secrets that never got published.

So let me encourage you to download the webinar to hear and see more.  Get  a download by clicking on the following link …. Advertising Secrets webinar  (takes you to


Why You Should Use Webinars to Market Your Provision

There is another reason why you should see this webinar.  It is just one example of one of the many video based tools that you should now be using to market your provision.

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How to Produce 50 Great Headlines for Your Marketing Message

How to generate great headliness Getting ideas for headlines that attract attention and get great open rates is a real challenge.

We all know that good headlines increase open and click through rates but thinking up great headlines takes a lot of time and perseverance.

I’m only suggest just one thing .. not 50 as suggested in the headline.  But don’t get discouraged as the site I’m going to send you to will produce over a 100 ideas in less than a minute.

Look at this title generator.  It isn’t the total answer to life, the universe and everything but it will get you started.


How to Remember Things: Use a Yellow Sticky!

Yellow Sticky Notes  help you remember the essentials Do You Forget Things Unless You Have A Yellow Post It?

Now you can use On Screen Sticky Notes and keep notes on your desktop.

The picture opposite was grabbed off my desktop and is really easy to use.

It is also free .. and probably already on machine.

Check it out by going to  Start>All Programs>Accessories>Sticky Notes


More on Newsjacking

How to Use Newsjacking to Reach Your Audience

I’ve written previously about how newsjacking can help you raise your profile and piggyback the latest big news story previously.  For example I helped one college piggyback the London Met student visa story and get a lot of PR value.

The important thing to know about newsjacking is that there is more than one way to newsjack a story.  Originally newsjacking was only about piggybacking big stories via social media.  Today I use it is it in lots of ways and often put traditonal media in to the mix alongside social media.

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Use Customer Profiles to Significantly Increase Marketing Effectiveness

Who is your target audience: cusotmer profiles are keyHow to target your marketing and communications.

Writing web copy, sending out flyers and adverts and blasting out emails is likely to be totally ineffective if you don’t align your message with your audience.

To do this you need to profile your target audience.  Let’s start with individuals and think about businesses in another post.

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Royal Baby Advertising Angles

This is an example of a picture used on a jackverted ad on FacebookIn case you haven’t noticed there is a new royal baby.  As I write a name for the baby is yet to be announced, but we know it is a boy.

Notice the blue cast to the ad.  A pink cast, for a girl, could have been just as easy to arrange.

Jackverting ad on FacebookSo how are you capitalising on this story?   I’m doing what I call Jackverting.

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Website Audit

screen grab of the ProviderMasterMind for FE providers websiteHow Well is Your Website Really Performing?

Your website is probably the most important marketing tool you have.  Things like your prospectus, social media, online advertising, PR etc all depend to a greater or lesser extent on you having a really good effective website.

Let’s face it your prospectus is likely to be out of date soon after publication, online ads only work well if you have a quality online web presence and your PR can only go viral by being online (and where better than your own website?).

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Power Words to Use in Your Copy

All about power words in Marketing & SalesWhen writing copy it is important to realise how powerful and yet subtle words can be.

Try split testing your copy to see what works best in a given situation and go with the word combinations that give you the best results in that given situation.

Below are a selection of ten words that I’ve found effective in the copy I’ve written .. in some cases changing one word in a headline, opening para or call to action can result in a ten fold increase in the results.

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Scarcity as a Selling Tool

Scarcity value is enhanced when only two are left. Scarcity promotes action .. and even panic buying

You’ve seen it on the TV.  The news says something is in short supply and we then see film of queues and panic buying.  This is all down to human nature.  It doesn’t even matter if what is in short supply is something people want or need .. they will often panic buy it (just in case).

Clearly we don’t want to our prospects to panic buy courses that may last for several years as we will undoubtedly see retention rate suffer if we try that tactic.

There is however another way to tap into the psychology that is prevalent here.  For example where people are looking at courses we can offer a free “something” to a limited number of people or for a limited time.  It might be a series of relevant free tips on  a related topic.  This has the merit of enabling us to engage the prospect with high quality advice or help and “prove” to them that you are the place to study.

In exchange for the freeby you offer you can capture their contact details and make other offers to them over a period of time.



Are You Advertising on Porn Sites?

Are you advertising on porn sitesI recently visited a provider that had been advertising on porn sites without even knowing it.

They told me that online (PPC) advertising didn’t really work and that newspaper advertising was the way forward.

When I checked their PPC account I found major problems.  Not only had they advertised on newspaper sites hundreds of miles from the College, they had also (presumably also by mistake) advertised on soft porn sites.
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Why Our Recent Seminar Went Viral

A Sneak View of the Marketing Secrets Seminars in London and Manchester  .. that went viral.

marketing secrets seminar s in london and ManchesterThe recent Marketing Secrets seminars in London and Manchester were a bit different to the norm.  As each day proceeded automated previews of some of the topics we were covering were posted on one of my websites, on Twitter, on Facebook, on Triberr and then went viral across the world.

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How to quickly generate a newsletter using ScoopIT

FHE MasterMind ScoopITCreating a college newsletter for young people, businesses & schools  can take ages.  Here is a simple tool that will take the hassle out of newsletter production and save you a lot of time.


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