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I love using Canva and as a small business owner it has enabled me to create social media marketing graphics that are eye catching while keeping my brand consistent. I recommend Canva to small biz operators to help them understand how to create material for their marketing plans. Canva is great as it has both a free and paid version.  The free version is fantastic and the paid version gives you more options at a very affordable price.  The service is used by many well-known users are Huffington Post, Lonely Planet and Hubspot. This alone should tell you that it’s high quality and give you an indication of the standard of work that can be created.

Owners of small businesses can really struggle to create graphics that meet an acceptable standard. You will probably struggle unless you have studied design and own a copy of Photoshop. For most the difficulty becomes a real problem when they have to create a graphic. Photoshop is not a piece of software that can be worked out in an hour. It is time consuming to learn and probably not something that many small biz operators want invest their time into learning.

There are more online software and products that can be used to create graphics, but they really cannot compete with the design options and features of Canva.

Some people in the online world will recommend that Canva only be used by brand managers and experienced designers. I completely disagree; I believe it can be used by someone with no experience. Most small business owners have a ‘can do’ attitude and have to carry out many tasks to keep their business running. Many of these skills we have are not learnt in the classroom or taught to us.

We learn on the job. We are often put on the spot as we do not have anyone to run to for advice nor do we have a superior we can hand the problem to. When we run our businesses it’s 100% you…it’s 100% me.  Being able to operate like this is extremely valuable and makes you capable of many things. You are capable of doing and achieving much.  At times we can feel bogged down by all the different tasks that need to be done. And if your home is anything like mine, you end up having conversations at all times of the day and night about what’s happening in the business and what needs to be done.

The reality is that it never ends. But we as small business owners accept this and thrive on it.  For a small business to operate smoothly we need to find ways and means of carrying out tasks that work. I like to find things that work the first time and that work without too much fuss. I don’t advocate difficult or time consuming. To be honest I flat out try to avoid it and this is why I use Canva to create marketing graphics for posts and tweets and why I use our Social media Tool. By using these 2 tools I have made my work week much easier and find the process enjoyable.

If you want to create marketing graphics that look great and are simple to design Canva is for you. They offer templates for all types of marketing materials like;

  • Flyers
  • Menus
  • Posters
  • Gift Certificates
  • Infographics
  • Resumes
  • Presentations
  • And Social media; banners, headers, posts etc.

The array of readymade templates is awesome. You can also create design to your own dimensions which is very handy.

Why Use Canva?

Get Creative

When creating, communicate your brand and companies personality through your graphics. For example if your business is a beauty salon, you can either choose a soft, pretty feel to your graphics if you specialize in the bridal industry or a modern edgy look if you cater to inner city office workers. This is the beauty of using a sophisticated tool like Canva and doing it yourself. You can play around with many options until you find your ‘right fit’. You will find the colours, tones and textures that match your business.

Ready Made Design Templates

Once you have your colours, textures and tone selected the next tip is to stick to it. When you are designing don’t deviate from it. Don’t start changing colours out or mixing more in. It will to be too busy and lose impact. As a general rule 2 – 3 colours is good. And using only 2 fonts is safe for the novice. Take a look at what’s online and in your local shopping centre. Look at the colour combinations, the fonts they use and the layout of the text. Just start observing. You may not become a designer but you will definitely start becoming more aware of what works and what doesn’t.

Design Examples & Inspiration
Get creative with your copy (what you are writing about) and other variations like lines, shapes and icons. Don’t mess with your colour selection. By sticking to your chosen colour palette you will help your fans and followers recognize your brand. Cguid.anva has plenty of ready made designs that you can use as a guide.

This is important in a busy online world.

Take a look at Canva here. (It is not a referral link).

One last tip… use Canva to design your social media posts and images. Spend an afternoon or evening selecting your colours and design guidelines and then create 4 – 10 image based posts.  You can say something about your business or maybe add a relevant quote.  Then post and tweet two of those images per week. If you create 4 in one session, that’s two weeks’ worth of image posting. If you create 10 in one session that’s five weeks’ worth of image posting.  It’s that simple.

#createwithcanva #LocalbizseoAu @MelanieCanva @localbizseoAu

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