RUSS CROWLEY

When Microsoft Themselves Contract You To Help Improve THEIR Own Word Templates, You Know You're Doing Something Right!

Microsoft Word Templates

(& Custom Word Training)

  • (since 1999)

‘Working with Russ answers once and for all, “what’s the difference between working with a professional/specialist vs an amateur/generalist?”'

Steve Pinkney, Conceptia

Hi, I'm Russ Crowley

I help businesses master Microsoft Word and achieve exceptional results.

(I make Word sit up and dance)

I’ve been doing 'this' since 1999.

In December 2018, Microsoft contracted me to help improve their own Word templates. Yes, the very ones you see listed within Microsoft Word itself.

(I also made recommendations to them on how to improve their templates, but I'm still waiting to hear back on that one.)

The hiring process wasn't easy, I can tell you.

But, it shows I know exactly what I'm doing.

And, after 19-years of working with businesses...

One of the most common questions I get when new businesses contact me is:

“Can you lock Word down so my team can’t break it?”

"Sure I can. But can I ask why?"

"We’re rebranding and updating all our documents… and we want to make sure they can’t break them.”

“ I can, yes. But it does come with certain… er, constraints. May I suggest a better way… one that will:

  • prevent your team from breaking the template, so neither they nor you keep getting frustrated at every turn 
  • turn them into competent Microsoft Word users where they can advise you on what works and what doesn’t 
  • relieve you and your team a whole heap of frustrations and hassles (Word is renowned for being a major pain for many)
  • improve morale across the board – a smiling, happy workforce who are using Word (unheard of, right?)
  • make your team more efficient (and what business doesn't want that?)
  • save your business money (and that is the goal).

"Want to know how?"

“Teach Them How to Use Word."

Seriously, it’s that simple.

I get that you may have tried it before.

I get that it may have failed before. Multiple times.

But send me your template and give me 10 minu

In fact, no need…

I’m 99% Sure I Know How To Fix Your Template Without Even Seeing It.

I don’t say this to brag, rather because I know Word.

And in the 21-years I’ve been using it professionally, there IS a common theme.

For example, DL contacted me about redesigning 14 Word templates for his company (their whole suite of Word templates).

I took a look at the ‘masters’.

Then I recorded a video explaining what was wrong and what was needed.

His reply (name redacted):

“Russ, thank you so much for you video – super helpful, made me laugh also because I was struggling with all the things you mention – hence me wanting to get an expert to help!”

The next step, well, I see this often (I’m talking many dozens – even hundreds – of times).

And it often comes up (still)...

“Can you recommend a Microsoft Word Training Course?”

My answer's still the same:

“I can but there’s no point.”

(It's also why I won't even recommend my own Microsoft Word training courses to businesses.)

Why?

Because why on earth would you want to put yourself through the whole trial and error process; plus the inevitable:

  • frustrations
  • hassles
  • swearing (typically lots of that)
  • hair-pulling

and so much more.

You’re running a business and do you seriously want to be bogged down with all of this?

Why a Microsoft Word Training Course Won't Work For You...

One reason is because they’re too generic.

Also, and I say this at risking the wrath of every Microsoft Word ‘trainer’ out there…

It’s because it’s taught wrong.

It’s taught by people who can’t be using it in real-life business situations.

Don’t get me wrong, these guys know their stuff (most of them, that is).

But it's what they've been taught and what they’re now passing along to you.

Another is

The Teaching Focus Is All Wrong

It’s not what they are teaching…

…it’s what they’re NOT teaching.

That's the core of the problem.

And is why a generic, bog-standard, off-the-shelf, Lynda.com, Udemy, or Teachable course won’t help:

  • They try and appeal to all.
  • They don’t understand the intricacies of your business and don’t have a clue what you want.
  • They can’t be molded to the specifics of your organisation.
  • The course outcome isn’t aligned with what your business does or needs.

(Most are tick the box ‘I've finished this’ kind of exercises.)

Like casting a fishing net far-and-wide in the hope that you catch something – anything.

I think of it like that children’s game, Pin the Tail on the Donkey.

This is Pin The Tail on the Donkey (Business Version)!

I’m sure you’ll get some wins…

But do you really want to pin your business hopes on snippets, chunks, and trial and error?

(Of course, you’ve still got to apply what you do manage to learn to what you’ve got and are doing in your own biz.)

Seriously, though…

Do You Really Have the Time or Energy For That?

So why risk it?

Not when you can get someone who’s been doing this for nigh on 20-years.

Someone who has created templates for, and has helped, hundreds of businesses.

Has a proven track record.

And delivers.

TESTIMONIALS & FEATURED CLIENTS

“Russ has been a pleasure to work with, he is extremely knowledgeable and has taught me a lot during our time working together. His communication is excellent, I really appreciated the walk though videos – it made a complex job very easy to understand and digest at my own paceThank you so much for all your amazing work, you have made a lot peoples lives a lot easier! hope to work with you again soon.”

Hannah Morris, Head of Digital Design and Development, UK, Impact International

Russ is incredible!!!!!! A true professional & expert who went above and beyond for us. Thank you Russ!!

Matt Mottola, Programme Manager, Microsoft

Makes me reconsider what 5 stars means for everyone else I’ve worked with. Russ recorded videos explaining everything he was doing to help our documents and how we could do it ourselves going forward. Teach a man to fish… Couldn’t recommend Russ more highly.

Colby Howard, Partner, COO, Paragon Intel

“We engaged Russ to turn a graphically designed Report Template into a functional and flawless Microsoft Word Report Template. From the beginning of our engagement, Russ was professional, responsive and demonstrated his knowledge of Microsoft Word by asking questions to fully understand our requirements and what 100% satisfaction would look like. I am happy to report that we are 100% satisfied and will without a doubt be looking at employing Russ’ services in the future.”

Paula Drayton, Founder, Resource Advisory

Russ is a consummate professional and has assisted me in completing an Occupational Health and Safety system that was not only accepted by the regulators, but recommended to other companies by the regulator as an example of good practice. It doesn’t get better than that!

Nick Miller, Owner, Blue Water Shell

“I have to agree with one of the testimonials on his profile that says, “Makes me reconsider what 5 stars means for everyone else I’ve worked with.”

I’ve worked with many consultants in my career (both on Upwork and in real life.) I’ve found that good consultants provide you with the requested deliverable on time and on budget while keeping you informed on progress. Great consultants on the other hand also do this, but teach you something in the process.

I actually learned something from Russ in his initial proposal, before I even awarded him the contract. He showed me some problems in the document I provided for quote purposes, that I was not even aware of, which would have plagued me down the road.

This also answered some long-standing questions I’ve had about Word in mind that I could never quite find the answer to. Working with Russ answers once and for all, “what’s the difference between working with a professional/specialist vs an amateur/generalist?”

As a result of working with him, I have a new way of working with Word. I also now have an asset – a properly structured, beautiful, REUSABLE Word template – in addition to my initial request. And if that’s not enough, he provided videos explaining his work and findings that I can refer back to as needed. By using Russ for this project, I feel as if I’ve made an investment in my project rather than simply conduct a business transaction. I cannot recommend this man highly enough.”

Steve Pinkcney, Owner, Conceptia

“Russ was a perfect resource for developing a fairly technical and complicated application training guide. The customer for whom we were doing the work changed emphasis mid-project, but the work Russ did is exemplary and we will be able to leverage both the content and the layout to great advantage going forward.

Being in vastly different time zones was not a problem for us, and he always provided the expected work in a reasonable time. He asked questions when needed and provided frequent updates to make sure neither of us were going in the wrong direction. He is a very high-caliber resource whom we hope to work with again.”

Dan Opyd, Founder, Datanet

“Russ was fantastic! Very knowledgeable and professional, he’s experienced enough to understand just what our needs were. He went above and beyond by producing instructional videos for my staff. I wouldn’t hesitate to hire Russ…”

Todd Mobley, Principal, Lancaster Engineering

“Russ is able to combine his technical expertise with a knack for writing and communication to develop effective and engaging teaching content. Great to work with!”

Roxanne Kenison, Project Manager, Microsoft

“Russ was perfect for the task (and perfect for most tasks, I’d imagine). He is creative, takes the initiative, writes with the right voice, illustrates appropriately, delivers what and when he promises, and even lets you know when he’s not going to be available. I’ll re-hire him once we get our next deliverable together, but in the meantime, if you need someone with Russ’ skills, we can’t recommend him highly enough.”

Alex Apostolou, Founder, Meerkat

Five stars isn’t enough.

I wish all my staff and contractors were as professional and good at what they do as Russ is.

Russ helped us develop great looking, versatile, stable, but very complicated macro driven word template. The quality of his work, time management, efficiency and communication are outstanding. We have learned so much we didn’t know through working with him.

He also adds value by providing short videos explaining what he has done, so we can now easily do ourselves things that seemed too complicated to even consider.”

Henry Adams, Director & Co-founder, Common Capital

Russ was extremely proactive. His attention to detail was stellar. His communication was immediate and clear. Would highly recommend!

Matt Mottola, Programme Manager, Microsoft

(There are loads more. Check out my testimonials page or the orange links down the side of the page. They're all from clients I've worked with and helped.)

FEATURED CLIENTS

The Savings?

So how much time, energy, and cost will this claw back for you?

Only you know that.

  • Colby Howard, of Paragon International, told me it saved his company approximately 40-hours per month…
  • Hannah Morris, of Impact International, said it saved her company approximately 15-hours per month…(they also use this in offices in 17 countries)
  • Jan Kampman, of MulderKampman, said it saved them 12 hours per month.

Even 12-hours a month over a year… at $100/hour is a saving of over $14,000.

With Colby’s company, my templates and training will save him at least a $48,000/year (they’re on 5th Avenue, Manhatten, so are quite likely to charge more than $100/hour).

As you can see, the cost savings can be quite considerable.

But that’s not all…

…because now your team:

  • know what they’re doing
  • work smarter
  • work faster
  • can deliver to deadlines
  • are all round more efficient (and way happier that they’re not fighting Word any more).

What price success?

I’m Sure I’ll Be Able To Do This Myself?

Perhaps.

I have to admit, my experiences do say otherwise.

But I don’t want you to take my word for it…

Please check out my site, testimonials and feedback.

Also, here are a couple of reviewers on one of my own Word courses. (Again, a generic Word course is no good for your business. Your requirements are more specific.)

I have used Word for 23 years, and thought I was doing pretty good with the basic word-processing that I do. However, after working through the training modules that you have put together, it has made me realize that I really did not even know the basics.

It was not uncommon for me to lose 4-6 hours a week trying to work through some of the issues I was facing

Russ, you're an excellent teacher and your demonstrations are easy to follow. Also, I like how you get to the point and explain the concepts in terms that a layman can understand. I am not tech savvy, therefore, if I can learn from this training course then anyone can!

Richard Haggett

23-years Word Power User

Even us power users curse Word sometimes, especially when for some unknown reason, one of our styles displays a black box instead of the number that it should show, corrupting the Table of Contents in the process. Or we fix a paragraph multiple times and it keeps insisting on changing back. Or we inherit a one-hundred page document that needs totally reformatting, one paragraph at a time. Enter Mr. Crowley’s course, Microsoft Word 2016 for Beginners

The one thing I liked best about the course was Mr. Crowley’s teaching style, clear, concise and reasonably paced. The material is thoughtfully laid out, one lesson flowing smoothly into the next. 

Don’t let the course name fool you. After covering the basics, this course shows you how to do virtually anything that you might need.You’ll definitely be scratching your head, thinking, “wow, I didn’t know Word could do that.”

I would recommend this course to users of all skill levels.

Rick Robertson Van Horn

Sr. Systems Analyst & Sr. Programmer, & Word Power User

But It'll Take You Too Long...

No, it won't.

Once you've contacted me, this is how my process goes...

First off, I need to understand:

  • how many documents/templates you use/require - some companies have 3 or 4, others 20+
  • what your brand is (colors, fonts, design, etc.) - we need consistency and professionalism across the board
  • any specific requirements - with some Word work, a macro or 2 might save a whole heap of time and trouble. For 1 client, after evaluating their processes, it turned out Word's mail merge capability revolutionized their language book creation process. No mailing's, just the process.

(It's this type of thing that shows why generic Word courses won't work.)

Next, I start to build...

  • Create your master template(s) - depending on how many you have. Usually, there's just 1 master.

Once this is approved:

  • Create additional templates - from the master: reports, letters, invoices, legal documents, policy docs, etc.

Building these allows me to identify exactly what your team need to know. This is the requirements gathering for your company training package.

  • Document approval and agreement on training - there's no point in creating the training package until the documents are signed-off as complete.
  • I create and deliver your organization's precise custom-video training package - you can then add this to your training library/university for use by all your team (current and future).

5-7 Days is Typical For This...

Unless you have a large number of templates (or complex requirements). Then it might be 2 weeks. Rarely more.

In under a fortnight, you could revolutionize your organization's weak-point and turn it around 180°.

Because this is specialist, intensive work,

I Can Only Word On 1 Project At a Time

This permits me to devote my time 100% to you.

But it also means I get booked up quickly (and it can take months to get a slot).

So act now.

Contact me via the Enquiries button to the side (a form will open that you can use).

I look forward to working with you and to reaching new heights!

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