Grow your County Durham business with a fully funded two day Masterclass. We've partnered with some of the North East's leading business experts to deliver these dynamic and exciting sessions.

Choose Your Masterclass

Pick the Masterclass that will help you to grow your business.

In this Masterclass you'll find out about the 'market, message, medium' process to help you to do great marketing and win more customers. You'll leave with a marketing strategy and one year marketing plan. Most importantly you'll find out about return on investment and detail how to test, measure and monitor all of your marketing activity.

Here's just a brief look at what you'll be covering during this unique 2 day Masterclass:

  • Core Idea and Values.
  • Brand and Communications Audit.
  • Competitor Analysis.
  • Customer Journey.
  • Measuring Results.
  • Creating A Marketing Plan.

Who's it for?

This Masterclass is ideal for any business that doesn't have a proper strategy (or any strategy at all!) for how to market its' products or services. You'll leave with a practical guide on how to market your business.

This exciting, hands-on Masterclass will cover everything you need to know to increase B2C sales by making better use of Social Media.

Over the two days, you’ll review what you’re doing now and identify your target audience; understand how to develop a Social Media strategy;  figure out the right Social Media platforms to use for your audience; find out how to produce great content that people will respond to; learn how to schedule content and also look at paid Social Media advertising.

You’ll cover the Social platforms that make sense for the group of businesses attending - options include Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram.

Who is it for?

This 2-day masterclass is for any B2C business that would like to use social media more effectively (whether you’re a beginner or already quite advanced) – if your existing use of social media isn’t quite working how you hoped and you want to get some fresh new ideas to attract more customers, this is the Masterclass for you

This is a hands-on workshop for which you will require a laptop.

Every business is unique and we have developed this workshop to be highly interactive and to focus on your individual business needs. Participants are encouraged to ask questions and will be given opportunities to collaborate with other participants throughout the workshop. We also allocate time for one to one coaching in each session.During the four sessions that make up this 2 day workshop, we will aim to build your skills and confidence to create the right growth strategy for your business.

  • How do I grow my business? This session looks at ways to grow a business and how to plan and manage growth in your business.
  • Where my business is now and growth opportunities? This session helps you to understand your current business position and its growth potential.
  • Getting the right messages across and selling. This session helps you to align your marketing strategy with your business objectives and focus on effective marketing that helps you grow your business.
  • Building winning relationships with customers to build a winning business. People buy from people they like. Successful businesses build great relationships with their customers who, in turn, recommend that business to their contacts. This session helps you understand how to put your customers at the centre of your business to achieve business growth.

This unique 2-day training programme is aimed at individuals and decision makers who already have a website but are disappointed by the results. Join us to learn the best techniques to improve the quality of visitors and enquiries from your website.

Day 1 is focused on the many aspects of website user experience from layout to written content, photos, videos, page structures and calls to action. Using best practice tactics and templates, we will show you how to become a trusted brand in your marketplace.

Day 2 is an action-packed day on the art and science of website content creation to help you bring new life to your social media and SEO campaigns. Together we will explore techniques used by bloggers, journalists, filmmakers and photographers to improve your results.

To fully support you, all participants will receive a pre-course workbook and an invitation to a private webinar 4 weeks after the training sessions.

You will learn how to:

  • Review your existing website user experience, removing elements getting in the way of a positive online experience and adding elements likely to convert visitors into enquirers.
  • Use the ‘Website Experience Trust Score’ to plan and implement modifications to the design and content of your website.
  • Compile a 3-month ‘Website Experience Action Plan’ with clear deadlines and review dates.
  • Use simple SEO techniques to make the website more appealing and relevant.
  • Create regular media rich blog posts to drive traffic and encourage long website visits.
  • Design your ‘Content Creation Toolkit’ to introduce more impactful photos and more engaging videos.
  • Know the techniques used by pros to make their websites work harder and to become a trusted brand in their marketplace.

Day 1

We begin with… You - We look at what makes “a great salesperson” and help you to become this great salesperson. You can park all those preconceived ideas about pressure selling; this is about being an ethical, professional sales person. You know what we mean: being the type of sales person YOU would want to buy from. We’ll give your confidence a boost too, with a few simple exercises to put you in the right frame of mind. You'll know the sales process and techniques to become a great salesperson. You'll also know your customer - time to start thinking like your customer, helping them to buy from you. What can you do to put your customer in a positive state of mind and why you really want to do that? We’ll share the psychology behind the “green line” and how it helps your customers to buy more from you, more often.

Day 2

Building on your learning from day 1, adding a more strategic approach to your selling. Remember to bring with you a customer that you want to win, because through the course of the day you’ll be developing your own strategies to win them. We’ll share our reusable model (it’s called SAPS) that will help you to look at your customer in a different way: what’s going on in their world and how can you gather this information?

Anything else?

We’re helping you to find your own way of working based around a framework of proven sales strategies. We’ll help you to build your personality into your selling. It’s not about scripting: it’s about having honest, open conversations with clients. This 2-day workshop will be PowerPoint-free, interactive sessions (not role-play) giving you opportunities to share your own experiences with your trainer and the wider group.

This isn’t a sector specific course; everything that you learn over the two days is transferable to any business that has conversations with customers.

Who is it for?

This Masterclass is ideal if you have been in sales for some time and are looking for some new techniques and ideas to build on your existing sales skills. If you’re in an account management role within your business and want to start finding and targeting bigger clients or customers. Or if you’re a business owner and need to target larger organisations to grow your business.

This exciting, informative Masterclass will cover everything you need to know to increase B2B sales by making better use of Social Media.

Over the two days, you’ll review what you’re doing now and identify your target audience; understand how to develop a Social Media strategy;  figure out the right Social Media platforms to use for your audience; find out how to produce great content that people will respond to; learn how to schedule content and also look at paid Social Media advertising.

You’ll cover the Social platforms that make sense for the group of businesses attending - options include Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram.

Who is it for?

This 2-day masterclass is for any B2B business that would like to use social media more effectively – if your existing use of social media isn’t quite working how you hoped and you want to get some fresh new ideas to attract more customers, this is the Masterclass for you

The level is intermediate to advanced, as such we are not covering the basics of Social Media such as account set-up, posting, etc. A laptop would be useful to take to the sessions.

On this Masterclass, you’re going to be finding out how to make Digital Marketing a key component of growing your early stage business. You’ll find out that Digital Marketing is about a lot more than Facebook – you’ll look into the five key areas: your website, SEO, Content Marketing, Social Media and measuring success with Analytics.

You’ll look at the strategy and practicalities of Digital Marketing in an early stage business, leaving with plenty of great hints and tips to get things going quickly.

Who is it for?

This 2-Day Masterclass is for anyone running a business that’s been trading for less than 12 months. Ideally you’ll have a website (or be planning to launch one soon) and also be making a start with Social Media, but possibly not getting the results you hoped for.

In this 2 day Masterclass, you'll be getting to grips with the basics of Social Media and Digital Marketing.  The starting point will be understanding what Digital Marketing is and where Social Media fits in. You’ll then develop a simple but effective digital marketing plan, focussing on a couple of Social Media platforms, and you’ll also look at the type of content to create (written, photo, video, etc).  You’ll also take a brief look at some of the other key aspects of Digital Marketing, such as SEO, Email Marketing and Content.

Who Is It For?

This Masterclass is for small businesses who want to use digital marketing more effectively to promote their business. Ideally, attendees will have ‘experimented’ with digital marketing (but if you haven’t, that’s fine too!) and will have some kind of (limited) social media presence.

This Masterclass isn’t for more established businesses who are looking to develop and improve their existing Digital Marketing Strategy.

Become a more effective sales person by attending this fully funded masterclass that will give you a thorough understanding in the essential selling skills you need to win new customers. Walk away with at least 7 ways to help boost your business.

This Masterclass is designed to provide you with simple sales techniques and strategies to understand the sales process to help you sell more. At the end of this two-day masterclass you will:

  • be able to develop and implement several simple sales techniques and strategies that will help you generate new leads
  • be able to understand the best approach to prospects which will increase your chances of winning new customers
  • be better able to articulate and demonstrate “Why You” over your competition
  • have a greater awareness of and confidence in selling your products and service offerings that will help you create new opportunities
  • have new skills and renewed confidence that will enable you to grow your business

Who is it for?

The masterclass is aimed at those companies selling to other companies in the Business to Business (B2B) sector. Retail (B2C) will get some value, but the focus will be on B2B sectors on how to generate new opportunities and close sales. Ideal candidates are B2B sales people; new sales people; business owners who can’t sell but need to sell and sales people who need a refresher to help boost their sales.

It's not for companies who are selling on-line!

This two-day interactive course is designed to help you create your own content to help you grow your business. Ideally, it’s for business owners who want to know how to use content marketing to generate more leads and get more customers; members of staff responsible for creating content and managing social media or marketing professionals who would like to be more effective in their content creation.

On Day One you’ll consider what effective content is for your business - what works for one may not be ideal for another. You’ll develop your target audiences - who they are and, more importantly, where to find them (especially online). Once you’ve sorted out the differences between the features and benefits of your products/services you’ll write content marketing materials to take away and use immediately in your business.

Day Two is where you learn to plan your content creation, to avoid the deadly blank screen and wonder what you’re going to write about today! You’ll identify your sales funnel(s) and plan different types of content for each sales funnel touch point. Is it working? Understand if your content is effective by reviewing your Google, web and content analytics. Do more of what does work and stop spending time and money on what doesn’t work.

Executive Compass is a North East-based bid and tender writing consultancy, supporting owner-managed businesses, SMEs and large multi-national companies to win public and private sector contracts. In this Masterclass, we share the knowledge, techniques and strategies that allow us to maintain success rates in excess of 80% and secure over £3bn worth of contracts for our clients:

  • Understanding the tender process
  • Finding opportunities and applying strategic bid/no bid processes
  • Using portals to manage and submit tenders
  • Managing a bid and using bid libraries/model answer libraries
  • Creating ‘win themes’ to tender strategically
  • Evidence-based tendering
  • Deconstructing questions
  • A proven ‘toolkit’ of techniques to avoid common pitfalls, produce clear and concise responses, and maximise tender scores.

Join us for a practical and inspiring 2-day masterclass on how to create your own online videos to promote your business using your laptop or smartphone!

You'll learn simple techniques to create the right videos for your business, from short messages on social media to expert interviews on your blog, customer reviews, live Q&A sessions, and so much more.


 Designed for professionals new to video marketing, we will explore all the steps needed to create online videos for your business by learning the methods used by successful video bloggers, documentary makers and film producers.


A hands-on and practical day designed to help you plan and schedule the many videos you will create in 2018. Importantly we learn some additional marketing techniques to get a maximum number of people to watch your videos and become a trusted supplier.

By taking part in this 2-day masterclass, you will be able to create online video content and increase the number of enquiries by :

  • identifying the right types of videos that will engage your chosen customers and referrers
  • coming up with creative ideas and ways to make the simplest yet most powerful videos
  • learning the storytelling techniques used by independent filmmaker for great video content that feels unique
  • using your smartphones and laptops to create great video content quickly without prior technical knowledge
  • developing the technical skills to record, edit and publish videos from phones or laptops
  • publishing the video content on websites, social media channels and Youtube
  • Learning the difference between video creation and video marketing and plan accordingly
  • getting more engagement on social media and more traffic to the website
  • compiling a video production schedule and a video marketing plan to get maximum results
  • understanding how to approach video creation for marketing and how to keep everything simple

Who is it for?

This 2-day masterclass is designed for individuals and decision makers who are actively promoting their business via the Internet, and who would like to introduce video content as a new format to achieve greater results.


The North East Business Support Fund provides funding to allow currently trading, North East based SME's to attend one of a range of free to access workshops.

Location: We are currently only able to support businesses based in Northumberland, Tyne and Wear and County Durham. Unfortunately, at this stage, we are unable to take applications from businesses based in the Tees Valley.

Previous funding: If you are based in Northumberland or Tyne and Wear and you've recieved NEBSF funding from us since September 2015, you will not be eligible for the workshop programme. If you are based in County Durham, you should be eligible even if you have had funding recently.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many people can attend from each business? Each eligible business can send one person on the Masterclass.

Do I have to attend both days? Yes, each Masterclass is delivered across both of the dates listed below.

Want to talk to us first - just call 01670 813322.

Book Your Masterclass

These are the dates we've got available at the moment.

Introduction to Social Media & Digital Marketing 6th & 13th September Aykley Heads Perro
Creating Effective Content 11th & 18th September Seaham Uber Ella Media
7 Ways to Improve Your Profits, Performance and Sales 13th & 14th September Annfield Plain Arrow Sales
Developing Video for Digital Marketing 18th & 25th September Newton Aycliffe Pascal Fintoni
Developing a Marketing Strategy 2nd & 9th October Stanley Perro
Bid Writing and Tendering 4th & 11th October Durham City Executive Compass
Sales Strategy and Techniques 11th & 25th October Stanley New Results
Boosting B2C Sales with Social Media 16th & 30th October Stanley Digital Sparkles
Boosting B2C Sales with Social Media 22nd & 29th October Bishop Auckland NE Social Media
Growth Through Digital Marketing (Early Stage Businesses) 6th & 13th November Seaham Custard and Bear
Business Growth Planning 15th & 22nd November Bishop Auckland Sphera Consulting
Boosting B2B Sales with Social Media 22nd & 29th November Bishop Auckland Pascal Fintoni

Go to the online application


Register your business as an NBSL provider and stay up to date with the latest funding information.

If you provide business support services like marketing, business planning, human resources or financial planning find out how you could register with us to offer a grant of up to £2800 to your clients for work that you do for them.

Find out more

Our Programmes

We support businesses from start up to growth.

Our unique support programmes can provide help no matter what stage your business is at.