I'm Tom and welcome to my site.

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E-Book Testimonials

"Thomas Clifford has made something useful here. This report will give you some really catchy, useful ideas.

It made me reconsider how I do what I do, so you might give it a look-see, too!" 

Chris Brogan, President, Human Business Works 


"Tom Clifford is by trade a filmmaker. For most of his life, he rarely wrote anything longer than a brief comment in the margin of a script. 

Now, though, he's producing tens of thousands of words a year, first as a Fast Company "Expert Blogger," and then as a writer for the Content Marketing Institute. 

How did Tom go from a non-writer to a prolific and much-read one? His eBook, '5 (Ridiculously Simple) Ways . . . , ' holds some of his secrets."

Mark Levy, Author of "Accidental Genius: Using Writing to Generate your Best Ideas, Insight, and Content"


“Tom is one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet—if you have the privilege to meet him. And he does sterling work as well. But don’t just take my word for it.

Read this free report and you’ll not just love its tone and content, but learn a lot as well.”

Sean D’Souza, Psychotactics.com


“Anyone who wants to improve their writing needs this e-book. A lot of ebooks are short because they just don’t have much substance to offer. They’re not worth your time (and so are many of the long ones, too, for that matter). Tom’s is short because he’s so good at giving you only what you need to know. 

‘5 (Ridiculously Simple) Ways to Write Faster, Better, Easier’ lives up to its promise by example as well as in the words themselves. Tom used the very same techniques he teaches you to write this book. 

And what’s in here is not just a rehash of the same tired ideas you find coming from people who have suddenly fancied themselves as writing gurus. There are tricks in here I never heard of (like the Writing Funnel) and some I had forgotten about and was glad to be reminded of (like Sporadic Writing).” 

Michael Martine, Blog Alchemist, Remarkablogger.com 


Tuesday
Aug182009

Tom's SpeedLink #8

Enjoy this roundup. =)

1. DOUG PRAY’S ART & COPY TRAILER
Hang on to your hats, folks. This looks amazing! (RSS read click through). A new documentary about advertising, inspiration and how advertisers grab our attention. Read more on The Documentary Blog.

2. #documentary
Even if you don't care a hoot about Twitter, hashtags (#) are a cool way to find out about certain conversations. I used #documentary but you could try virtually any word to find out what's being talked about on Twitter.

3. Master Storyteller Steve Denning
If you're looking to learn the art of using story in business, Steve is your guy. I've read just about everything he's written (still waiting to get to his new one!) and enjoyed every one. He's got a site packed with tons of neat articles.

4. Remember Les Paul With His Chasing Sound Documentary
With the passing away of Les Paul (the grandfather of the electric guitar) recently, now is good time to catch his documentary, Chasing Sound.

---Tom

Wednesday
Aug122009

Since When Are Employees Not Storytellers? 

You racked up meeting after meeting. The decision is in. Your team decides they need a video to help launch a new product. Now it’s movie time, right?

Wait a minute– have you thought about who is going to tell your story?
Who is going to share your message with the same amount of passion, energy and emotion as you and your teammates? Here’s a hint...

Your best storytellers are right under your nose: your employees.
Before you jump into your video, let’s take a moment and step back to look at the “big picture.”

Do you know the two main approaches to capture your company’s message?
There are two main approaches to tell your company’s message with video. You can tell your story through:
1. Interviews
2. Voice narration

What is the main difference between these two approaches?
In one word: trust. When we hear a narrator, at a very subtle level our brains start thinking: “I bet the marketing folks wrote that. And now someone is just reading a pre-written script. Of course they’re going to say this stuff to me.”

On the other hand, people love watching people in a video.
If you feature employees who are passionate about their work, they will come across in a believable way. You start liking them which eventually leads to trusting them. Not only that, your organization will have a “personality.”

Now your brain is going: “Yeah– I like these people. They’re clearly passionate about this idea. I’m starting to feel connected to them. I like what they’re sharing.”

How do you know your employees will appear believable?
You decided to feature several employees in your video. You even selected several people. How do you know they will share their passion in front of a camera and appear believable? It’s simple. Tell them they can speak their heart out because you will pick the best parts later. The more they share, the better they will look. And the better your video story will be!

Why would employees want to appear in their company video?
The opportunity to appear on-camera is an exciting adventure most people look forward to. For most employees, this is a chance to share their point-of-view and passion in something that is a “once-in-a-lifetime” dream.

Are employees always a perfect fit for every company video?
Employees are a great fit for almost any brand message. With the recent explosion of social media, audiences are expecting a personal experience with company videos. That means they want to see the people behind the company. Videos that are technical in nature may require a different approach such as an on-camera spokesperson or a voice narrator.

The Take-Away?
If your employees are passionate, energetic, articulate and are willing to share their experiences to the world, then your message will not only come across as being highly believable but chances are it will beat the socks off a script written from the ivory tower.

Your next step– get talking.
Your video story is nestled in the heart of every employee. It’s easy to over-think and over-plan what you want people to say on-camera. Be open and you will be amazed at what people will say.

Yup. It’s time to get talking.

---Tom

Tuesday
Aug112009

Tom's SpeedLink #7

Another mixed bag of interesting links...

1. Decisions Come from the Stories We Tell
Kathy Hansen points us to the Decision Manifesto with stories at the heart of every decision.

2. Albert Maysles Keeps Watchful Eye On Life
Many consider Maysles the Grandfather of the documentary. In this recent interview with NY1, he shares a funny moment before he filmed The Beatles arriving in America in 1964: "February 1964 got a telephone call from Grenada Television, 'The Beatles are arriving in two hours would you like to make a film on them?' Put my hand over the phone and said to my brother, 'Who are The Beatles? Are they any good?' He said, 'Oh they're great,'" says Maysles.

3. Are we solving the same problem?
Another fabulous reminder from Seth Godin on the importance of asking the right questions to solve the right problems.

4. Seven Lies About Lying (Part 1)
Errol Morris's recent NYTimes two-part article on the nature of lying.

5. Hands On
An utterly captivating 50-minute NPR podcast on the lost art of working with our hands. Take a short journey on the importance of making things and fixing things. The show features two guests; Matthew Crawford, philosopher, motorcycle mechanic and author of Shop Class as Soulcraft and Richard Sennett, author of The Craftsman. Knowledge vs. craft work. Off-shore vs. domestic. The personal and social importance of working with our hands. The impact of the disappearance of shop class and tools. The most thought-provoking 50 minutes you'll spend in a while!

---Tom

Monday
Aug102009

It Might Get Loud: New Guggenheim Documentary


I'm in guitar heaven...

Director Davis Guggenheim (Inconvenient Truth and much more) is behind "It Might Get Loud," an extraordinary new documentary about the electric guitar. It features Jimmy Page, Jack White, The Edge.

Hitting theaters mid-August. Wow! It's getting loud already. =)

---Tom

Sunday
Aug092009

Fast Company's 30 Second MBA 

An MBA in 30 seconds?

Well, kinda. Take a second– well, um... thirty seconds– and check this out.

The 30-Second MBA is Fast Company's latest adventure in video and thought-leadership.

The concept is simple: capture solid advice from business leaders in "snack-sized" video bits– yup, thirty seconds.

Each week brings a new and challenging question to these business "professors." You can read more about the 30-Second back-story on the Fast Company blog.

Welcome to the new frontier in video.

---Tom