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I’m looking for a few good people. Well, maybe a lot of good people.

People whose work is part of a happier, fuller, fairer world. I call this big picture vision ‘the upward path’. (I’m a big picture kind of guy.)

Some work on it in a zoomed-in way, helping one person at a time. Some work on it in a zoomed-out way, shifting the direction of society.

If we were really good at sharing our messages, we’d be living in a different kind of world. But all too often we get stuck.

Do you ever have that feeling…

Shouting through the wall

That feeling of a message or a purpose pushing you forward, and it’s past time to get through the wall or pull the cork or jump the hurdles so that message can get out and find people and get to work?

That fear of the story never heard and the difference never made.

You know that it’s time to use your writing and online presence to really show the story of who you are and what you do. You’ve probably had a go already but it just hasn’t clicked, somehow.

Now you’re ready to dip your head below the surface so you can pick up skills, tips and ideas that will help on your journey. Then welcome to my sandy bottom…

A journey made of steps

I certainly recognise that feeling. Two of the biggest questions in my life have been: how do you get people to change? How do you get seen for what you do? (Along with, what in the flying folderol is it that I’m supposed to be doing with all this stuff inside me?) I’ve learned useful things, and illuminated surprising gaps. I don’t expect to finish learning any time soon.

In business terms, this is about your brand – as a person or an organisation. Who do people think you are, based on what they see in what you write, how you write it and how you present it? How do you build connection, trust, authority?

Showing up can be scary. Stepping forward and letting people see you (and learning new ideas and skills to do it). Or admitting that there’s a spirit of your organisation, not just a collection of systems. But that’s what people respond to.

It doesn’t mean being noisy (unless you want to). In fact, today’s world has unparallelled opportunities for an introvert with a keyboard to speak loudly from a distance.

It doesn’t mean coming under attack by ‘techy stuff’. You can choose the right tools for you from an array of user-friendly options, and you can make it happen with a little help.

Every web page, every PDF, is a chance to build your connection with your audience. Do you want them to feel like an interesting, smart person is chatting to them over a cup of something? Or like an awkward sales person has phoned to run through a script they don’t believe in? That first one probably isn’t going to happen by accident.

Message Bottle graphicBack in 2012 I published a book called The Radio-Controlled Message Bottle, about principles and practicalities of writing to communicate. I forced a poor artist to realise my rather unusual visual concept.

It’s one I keep coming back to: the idea that so many people effectively throw their message in the sea and hope that winds and tides will take it where it needs to go. But if you gain some perspective and skills you can fit a motor to your message bottle and reach your audience with the thing you want them to hear. That’s what I want to help you do.

There are loads of messages out there about a world we don’t want to see. Our direction of travel can lead us to a future made of our best, or one made of the messes we’ve created. Helping good messages to shine out among the bad ones helps us see the way to go.

Your message can help us see the way to go.

Message: information with direction. It’s aimed at a particular person or group, to influence their thinking or behaviour. Info that does something rather than just sitting there. A story that has places to go and people to see.

What you can get from this site

Writing skills graphic
Visual design graphic
Online presence graphic
Story and psychology graphic
Strategy and channels graphic

You know how to do your thing. But when it comes to telling people about it, do you just muddle along and short‑change your message?

Do you ever feel like people just expect you to be able to write and design things and get them out there? Not everyone has those skills. You just want the basics, explained so they’re easy to understand.

Or perhaps you’ve got going alright but you want to delve deeper so you can be more effective. You’re looking for some new thinking and practical tips you can use.

Getting your message across is about the impressions you create in the minds of your audience. That means emotional intelligence is as big an asset as knowing about the latest tips and techniques.

My approach is based on understanding what goes on in people’s heads when you communicate – and finding ways to deliver the right impressions through the layers of what you say, how you say it and how you present it.

Next steps

  • Go to the working together page for more about services tailored to your needs.
  • Check out the products – guides and e-courses for sale.
  • Read the blog (some recommended posts are linked below).
  • Join the mailing list to hear about new blog posts, events, etc.

How to write for the web so they keep reading

Free 4-page guide and checklist to help you avoid the formatting and content speedbumps that throw readers off. Plus email news and tips.

Key blog posts

Here’s a selection of posts. Some give key ideas; others are particularly good for skills.


(Also check out my book Crowd/Control.)

rocket_75Skill development

(Also check out my book The Radio-Controlled Message Bottle.)


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