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Field Notes

Tips, guides and articles on marketing, sales and operations to help you grow your business

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No lies

Never tell porkies

Never, ever, ever tell a lie (pork pie, porkies) in selling or marketing. “I never, ever, would” you might say. When does a cool creative idea stray into the territory of half-truths and untruths though? Quite often. The danger of this is in the execution. If you get found out, your whole credibility is blown. You have probably lost a valuable sale because of an idea that seemed good at

use of images in marketing content

“Can I use a movie clip in my video?”

Someone recently questioned whether I had permission to use a 10-second clip from the movie “Dunkirk” in my video “ Why words are not enough ”. The answer is No, and here’s why. I am relying on the interpretation of Fair Dealing (the equivalent is Fair Use in the USA) which provides exceptions to copyright law to allow for free speech. Fair Dealing doesn’t tell you what you can or can’t do, it just provides

Budget studio lighting

Lighting your video on a budget

If you are making marketing videos indoors with a smartphone, webcam or camera, you will need some form of lighting to enhance your subject. If you can get away with using available natural or artificial light, that is ideal (as described in our course on making videos with your smartphone ). In many cases however, that isn’t possible particularly if you have to use a home studio – a grand title for a spare bedroom

How to avoid caption bloopers!

Many people watch video content on their tablets and smartphones in public places or at work where they don’t want to disturb others with sound. The closed captioning (cc) or subtitles feature in many video players means they can read text instead of listening. To add subtitles on  video platforms such as Vimeo you have to upload a file often called a .srt or .vtt file containing the transcript and

Are you offering a free download?

Offering a useful free downloadable document through social media is a very good way of attracting and engaging with potential customers. It provides evidence of your expertise and you are already adding value even before the customer buys something. Examples are guides, tip sheets, checklists, infographics (like the one above) and anything else that is genuinely useful in itself, and is not a sales brochure. Here are four tips to

Saatchi Gallery Tutankhamun Exhibition

How Tutankhamun connects with customers

There are a lot of very good videos and articles on LinkedIn and other social media. They provide evidence of the author’s expertise or skill, but many stand alone, with no links to anything else. If you are selling your services, this is a missed opportunity. Every buyer is on a journey. Customers don’t wake up in the morning, reach for their phone and buy something. They go through progressive

How to make a follow-up call from first contact

This can be a bit awkward if you are not used to it. Also, even if you are used to it, it can have unsatisfactory results. Imagine you were at a networking event or you were exhibiting at a trade show, and you had a conversation with someone who seemed to be a likely customer for your business. You probably also exchanged business cards. The follow-up call A few days

How Frederick the Great Marketed the Potato

I love historical stories of great marketers who weren’t actually marketers ( Cicero , Aristotle   Cave Men ). This week I discovered Frederick the Great’s Marketing Problem. He ruled Prussia from 1740-1786 and although he is probably best known for his military activities, he was also a great moderniser for social improvement and wealth creation. When there was a risk of famine in Prussia, he introduced the potato which had only recently been

Where to go for Brexit help

During October you will be bombarded with “help” to prepare for Brexit, from the DIT to anyone who wants to climb on the bandwagon. Having sat through DIT presentations and seen what other organisations are planning, I can save you a whole lot of trouble. All they will do is signpost you to https://www.gov.uk/find-eu-exit-guidance-business because, quite simply, nobody has a better guide, and nobody has any information on how it will

How to protect your pricing –

– and avoid giving things away! Pricing is always a sensitive topic. Customers want to know how much something costs before they buy it, and suppliers don’t want to tell everyone (including their competitors) what something costs because often “it depends”. Unless you are selling a commodity product where the price is known at the start, there is a debate about whether you should expose your pricing structure early on

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Resources

Here is a collection of our own videos and ones we particularly like from other contributors. There are also ebooks and assessments to download and enjoy.

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Two leaflets compared

A Tale of Two Leaflets

Two promotional leaflets are used to compare what works and why – based on neuroscience and brain activity. Useful to know when you are planning other content, web pages or even presentations.

video how to create action from marketing copy

How to trigger customer action from marketing copy

Here I take two mailshot examples and show why one works and the other doesn’t. It’s easy to create marketing copy that stimulates action – if you do it right. You can use the same approach for web pages, landing pages and emails.

use of images in marketing content

Why words are not enough

Neuroscience helps us understand why images are a vital part of communication. We can communicate our marketing and sales messages quickly and more effectively if we use the right images.