Small business marketing programmes – in the best pub in Bristol

Apply to join the next group starting September 2017

For small businesses who love what they do, but don’t love marketing. Learn how to build your business in a way that really works and feels good too.

Guided group learning at Pub School

You know that content matters, but how do you get yours right? If you’re struggling with what to say and how you say it through your marketing you’re not alone. Many business owners find it hard to make progress or struggle to carve out the time. We want to help. We hold small group learning programmes in the best pub in Bristol – yes, Pub School!

Learn in a group – outside perspectives, accountability, encouragement. Share the challenge.

Learn and take action on your content

Working with a handpicked group of like-minded business owners and marketers, we’ll guide you to content success through a series of face-to-face workshops, practical exercises and mentoring, over three months.

This is hands on, high impact advice and support to finesse your content and marketing strategy, build your confidence and set you up for success.

If not knowing what to write has been holding you back, or you’re having trouble getting started with content marketing, then Pub School is a practical, energetic group programme and a great catalyst to make it happen. 

Pub School Group 5

Quick overview

  • 12 week programme, with 2 x half day workshops each month + guided assignments + support inbetween
  • 3 x Pub School groups a year, running January – March, May – July, September – November
  • £550 to £900 a month per company (depending on size of business)
  • Only 5 companies per group
  • In the Lion, Cliftonwood, Bristol – delicious cakes and coffee provided!

Next Pub School starts September 2017

Email Sonja to apply or enquire

Ask Sonja

“When you’re running a business it’s easy to get stuck naval gazing. Pub School helped us to approach our content from the outside-in. It’s a very powerful experience.”

Read Sue’s Pub School story

Sue Richardson

MD and founder, SRA Books

“We’ve got our content strategy thinking straight but it has also changed how we describe and talk about ourselves with clients and potential clients, which is a great step in itself.”

Ollie Francis

Founder, Deckchair UX

More Pub School programme details

Sonja and Sharon, authors of the award-winning Valuable Content Marketing book, will guide you to find your content sweet spot, turning that knowledge into an actionable plan for your future marketing.

By the end of this three month programme you’ll be clear what to talk about and how to get the very best from content, your website, from social media and email marketing. You’ll be motivated to get going at last and confident you’re getting it right – a fast track path to content marketing success.

What’s the investment?

Freelancers / solo entrepreneurs: £1650 (paid in 3 monthly instalments of £550) + VAT

Micro business (2 to 10 staff): £2250 (paid in 3 monthly instalments of £750) + VAT *

SME (over 10 staff): £2700 (paid in 3 monthly instalments of £900) + VAT *

* Micro-business and SME owners can bring one other person to each session e.g. business partner or marketing lead. It’s a good way to share the knowledge and engage the wider team.

All Pub Schoolers get a content strategy workbook, templates and a community of peers to support you and cheer you on through the journey.

NB: We run one group programme per term, starting in January, April and September.

What you’ll cover at Pub School:

  1. Why content marketing is important to your business
  2. Understand all the elements of successful content marketing and how this works with other forms of marketing
  3. How to set measurable goals so you can measure the impact
  4. Direct client research so you know exactly who you’re writing for and what content they’ll value
  5. Your business story and message, and how to tell it
  6. What to say on your website, and how to structure your content
  7. Uncover your content sweet spot so you are clear what valuable content is for you
  8. Document your content strategy and create a content channel plan and calendar
  9. Decide how to structure the right content team for your business
  10. Action plan for your content, your website, for social media and email marketing

By the end you will be able to:

  • Explain why content marketing is an important strategic approach to your team
  • Write down your content sweet spot and finish this sentence: “Our content will be the go-to place for ……”
  • Stick your one page content strategy summary and a poster of your ideal customer persona on your office wall to keep you and your team on track
  • Kick off your long awaited website transformation project
  • Create a content calendar to help you plan your activity
  • Start writing blogs, guides and other content
  • Know if you’re getting it right

The benefits for your business

By the end of the programme you’ll have a clear picture of what you want to achieve with your content and marketing. Documenting your content strategy means you will always have something to talk about in your content. You’ll be very clear on your audience and the best way to engage them, with a plan for the blogs, videos and guides that you need over the coming months, and a decision on the team you’ll need to create them. You’ll know what you’re doing on Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram so social media becomes a purposeful and manageable activity.

Your content strategy will become an essential reference point – when planning your content so you’ll know which ideas to say ‘yes’ to and importantly, which to decline.

>> Read: 31 things that Pub School will do for your business

Next Pub School starts September 2017

Email Sonja to apply or enquire

Ask Sonja

“Pub School gives you guidance in terms of what you should be doing with your content. You guys have given us a big chunk of confidence to think, yeah, we can do it. I like the fun way it’s done. It’s relaxed but professional at the same time. It just works. You give businesses a voice and the confidence to talk about what it is they do.

We’ve seen results already – this has inspired us into action!”

Jon Gaunt

MD and founder, FD Works

“We’d been wanting to feel excited about writing and sharing our knowledge for a very, very long time. We knew the benefits but we couldn’t unearth what it was we should talk about that a) made us passionate and b) would resonate with what we do and who our customers are. Now we feel excited and empowered to share our knowledge, and best of all, we are actually doing it and publishing it!”

Becky Taylor

Director, Deckchair

“It’s not spoon-fed. Sonja and Sharon give structure but we generate the work. Instead of paying someone else to do it for you, you are learning how to do it yourself and you’re becoming a lot more self sufficient.”

Lindsey Newman

Founder, Purplehouse HR

Is the Pub School content programme for me?

✓ Yes, if you’re the kind of person who learns best by doing – you prefer practical, hands on learning where you have a chance to talk through challenges, experiment, and put ideas into practice.

✓ Yes, if you enjoy working with the support of a small collaborative group, with like-minded people running a variety of service businesses.

✓ Yes, if you’re determined to make a change in your business and up for a challenge! This course will be fun, but there is hard work and some deep thinking involved.

✓ Yes, if you can travel to Bristol for the workshops. This course is based in Bristol in the relaxed hospitality of The Lion, Cliftonwood.

[NB: We want to make a difference. We offer one free place in each group to a small independent charity. Contact us for details.]

Curious to see if Pub School is right for you?

Have a chat with Sonja

“Pub School was been so worthwhile. We gained more out of six sessions with Sonja and Sharon than we have in a year of business coaching in the past.

It’s given us a structure for our content, and also a language and a personality to use. We feel much more confident about what we want to say about our business. It’s given us real food for thought around strategy – not just what we want to say, but what that means for our business in terms of how we position ourselves and how we target.

And it’s taken the fear away. The sessions really helped me get over that hurdle of starting to write. I’m happy to get on with it now.”

Lindsey Newman

Founder, Purple House HR

“The lightbulb moment for me was that – we do have a story, we do have something to say! We’d been wanting to feel excited about writing and sharing our knowledge for a very, very long time, and we knew the possible benefits. But we couldn’t unearth what it was we should talk about that a) made us passionate and b) would resonate with what we do as a business and who our customers are. 

It wasn’t rocket science that got us to this realisation.. (which was great, because it was bitesize and achievable) but a structured, focused plan at Pub School that involved working on our goals, defining what we do and why, and then who our best customers are and what their challenges and needs are. It’s a lot of what we do in our day-to-day roles as UXers… but as we all know, it’s a lot easier to work on someone else’s business than your own! As soon as we had defined our customer and their challenges, we suddenly had a lot of topics to write about, that we were very passionate about.

Now we feel excited and empowered to share our knowledge, and best of all, we are actually doing it and publishing it!”

Becky Taylor

Director, Deckchair UX

“Focusing on your content strategy will help you take the right marketing action, with confidence. It’s working for SRA Books.”

Sue Richardson

Founder, SRA Books

“Thanks goodness I now know the value of valuable content. It’s helping me to look at our business in a very different way.” Mel Irwin

Operations Director, Ruth Miskin Training

If you don’t really know where to start with your content – what you need to say, what your message is, what your goals are, the clarity of purpose – that’s when you need to talk to Sonja and Sharon.

Rebecca Taylor

Director, Deckchair UX

“It was time to take stock and refocus my strategy as a whole. Pub School was brilliant for me to take a step back from the day to day and have to articulate what I did and what my business goals were to people who didn’t know me or have any knowledge of my work. Working out my ideal client was difficult but a really useful exercise in understanding who I am writing/working for.
I now have loads more understanding of the world of websites & social media, I have been strong armed (!) into publishing blogs, and have a firm plan and a team to help me finally sort out my website. I just kind of get it more now, and I’m taking action.
It was a great environment to work in – very supportive but balanced with challenging & not allowing me to wriggle out of facing up to the challenges!”


Lucy MacLennan

Food Technologist, The Food Technical Expert