Before you start your template, a couple of questions…
We’ve talked about templates before, but now we’re smack bang in the middle of the crazy season. You know, that time when all your clients, bosses and colleagues want work done NOW before the end of the year. I thought it a great time to revisit one of my favourite time savers, the MS Template.
They truly are a time saver and we have lots and lots of awesome clients who use us to make their templates snappy, stand out, save time and generally … pretty awesome. But I thought to myself, I’d better let you know that not everyone really NEEDS a fancy high-falutin template. It’s true my friends, as much as I love them (and so should you), you really have to be sure that you are sinking your resources into the best places, and right now no doubt, your resources are thin on the ground.
If you want to remember why I think they are such a fantastic tool – revisit it HERE. But if you’re too busy to read it, here’s a synopsis: creating a template is a great idea because you’ll save time, your material will look consistent and you have complete control of your branding.
Not only that, we can automate the boring stuff like instantly inserting branded tables, key message boxes, Biographies or CV’s and entire pages of content.
See, what’s not to love?
But wait! Before you jump into setting up your template, it’s a good idea to ask yourself a few questions – i.e. plan it out a bit. It may feel like planning is slowing you down, but planning will in fact help you decide if you truly need one. If you do decide your company could benefit from one, you can then choose what template will give you your biggest bang – do you need a vanilla template, or will it require lashings of hot sauce?
So can you answer these questions?
- What are you going to use it for? (internally or externally)
- Do you need a document template, a spreadsheet template or a presentations template? (All three even.)
- How often is it likely to be used?
- Who will be using it?
- How much of your branding do you want it to include – logo, tag line etc
- Do you use marketing and branding guidelines?
- How quickly do you want the template created?
- What features do you want it to include? (Boilerplate text, layouts, styles etc)
- Are you proficient at making it, or is someone else better suited to the task?
Now you’ve had more of a think about creating a template, does that change anything for you? Have you realised that you could’ve saved yourself many “discussions” with various people in the sales department by having a template ready to go? Never fear, at least you can fix the problem and save yourself future headaches.
So now what? Well, if you’ve realized that you would in fact benefit from a template, you can do a couple of things:
- Rope in someone in-house who is pretty whizz bang at these things, and get it done!
- Call in the experts (that would be us) http://ideaseed.com.au/. You no doubt will be asked the same questions as above. Then, quick as a speeding bullet it will be in your hot little handles and you can let out a sigh of relief.
If you are ripe for a template, you won’t regret getting one made. They really are a time saver, an argument fixer, and a branding machine all rolled into one.