One thing that I've found is very useful in business is to continually look for (and use) proven marketing templates.
A proven marketing template is something that has already been used and has produced great results in the past.
When you find a proven marketing template you can often use it in your own business to get great results as well.
In my experience there are three excellent sources of proven marketing templates.
Source 1: People in your existing business
Many years ago I was selling an advertising service to local businesses.
The service involved bartering and was a good way to help businesses to gain new clients and reduce a lot of their regular business costs.
I found the service difficult to explain to potential clients and was only making about one sale a week.
I noticed that one of the other sales people in my business was regularly making 6 sales a week of the same service. So I asked him what he was doing.
This sales person had a simple marketing template that he used to explain how the bartering service worked.
This template was two pieces of coloured card with some words on each card. My sales colleague used these to explain in around 4 minutes how the bartering service worked and how it could boost sales and reduce expenses for a business.
I was trying to explain the same service just with words and it was taking me close to 20 minutes. (And I'm sure I was confusing a lot of people I spoke with.)
I asked my sales colleague if I could use his marketing template in my sales presentations. He kindly agreed and even made up the template for me.
I began using his template in all my sales presentations and within 30 days I was also making 6 sales a week.
Source 2: Other businesses in your industry
One of the things I've learned over the years is that most business people are very generous when it comes to sharing useful ideas with people who ask them for advice.
I recall when I wanted to become a professional speaker many years ago and did not know how to charge the right fees or get clients to hire me.
I spoke with one of the most successful speakers in the country and asked if he could give me a couple of pointers.
This person spent 2 hours with me and showed me how to price and package my speaking services.
He explained that you don't just sell a 'talk' to a business audience.
Instead you present a workshop on a particular issue that is of great interest to them.
You give your audience helpful resources they can use to put your ideas into action. You give your workshop an interesting title and so on.
Every one of these things was a simple template that could be easily adapted to each audience I wanted to speak to.
I put all these templates into action and within six weeks I had made thousands of dollars of new speaking fees.
Source 3: Paid 'How to' resources from people who have already achieved great results in your area of business.
Whatever business you own there is a good chance that someone has been very successful in your type of business and has created proven marketing templates that you can use in your own business.
Here's a simple example:
Let's say you own a lawn mowing or garden services business. (Or you may want to even start a business in this field.)
Some quick research will show you that there are literally hundreds of 'how to' guides on how to start and run a successful lawn mowing business.
A good example is this website 'Your Lawn and Garden'
This site was created by Australian lawn mowing expert Gary Faehrmann.
Gerry has over 24 years valuable lawn mowing experience and has shared a huge number of his proven marketing templates in a series of short 'how to guides'.
Each guide is less than $30 and gives proven templates that have already worked in this industry.
(One guide for instance shows you how to set up a successful lawn mowing business in less than 30 days for under $300.)
I had a chat to Gary on the phone and asked him why he was sharing such valuable info at such a low price.
Gary told me that he is happy to share what he learned in 24 years of lawn mowing as it will help other businesses in that field to do well. And he makes a bit of money by sharing some helpful ideas as well.
My main point in this column is that there are a huge number of proven marketing templates all around if you look for them.
And if you use these proven marketing templates in your own business they will often work equally well.
"Good ideas come from everywhere. It's more important to recognize a good idea than to author it." - Jeanne Gang
What proven marketing templates can you find that would be useful in your own business?
You might like to start by doing a Google Search on something like
"Marketing strategies for X" (Where X is the type of business you have.)