Marketing is so important for ALL business owners, but for many micro and small business owners, it is not feasible to hire a marketing or design expert. As a result, oftentimes, micro and small business owners do not market their business the way they should. However, the truth is this - even without your own creative director, marketing is one of the most important verticals of your micro and small business and you MUST market your business!
What is the solution?
Finding a design platform that will help you create beautiful designs that make you look like you have a top-notch creative director on your team. Reverie's favorite design platform is Canva! It is a free, online graphic design program for anyone and everyone. And when we say anyone, we really mean anyone!
How do I get started?
Head on over to www.canva.com and sign up for a free account. You can upgrade your Canva account later - which will offer you additional benefits, but to get started, simply sign up for the free account and get started!
Since we know learning to use a new platform can cause anxiety, Reverie put together this step by step tutorial for you. Let’s get started!
Begin at the home screen - where you have access to all the functions of Canva, folders, designs, account information, the list goes on!
Starting in the upper right hand corner, you will see your initials in a colored circle. Here, you can access your account settings which includes your name, email address, password permissions, language preferences and notification center. Any changes to that info will be made here.
Trick #1: Whenever you want to go back to the home page, you can always click the Canva button in the upper left hand corner and it will take you back.
Next, if you look at the top of the home page you will see the following dropdown menus - Home, Templates, Features, Learn & Pricing. These are all of the general Canva functions that you have easy access to. For this tutorial, we are going to focus on Templates- just because it’s the most relevant. However, we will run through the others quickly, just to give an overview.
Features: All of the things mentioned above in terms of access to different design elements like photos, videos, apps, and icons are all listed here for easier access. We typically access these features in the design portion/page when we are creating a design, instead of clicking on this dropdown. All the elements listed here are also available when designing on a separate menu.
Learn: This menu provides Courses, Tutorials, and Blogs that are available to learn more about functions of Canva, design tips, and education on the platform.
And finally, Pricing outlines all of the account options available - including the free account, as well as Pro & Enterprise that come with a cost. As mentioned earlier, the Pro and Enterprise options have more advanced tools and permissions.
Now onto Templates! Canva categorizes the different templates by social media, personal, business, marketing, education and trending. There are even more categories, but these are the most popular. The cool thing about social media - the sizing is already preset, so no need to adjust sizing based on each platform sizing restrictions. It’s already sized according to Instagram, FB, LinkedIn, etc.
You can access the templates from this dropdown menu OR the Search Canva engine here!
Filters, Free vs. Pro, … vs. Clicking
Now let’s run through the menu on the left hand side of the home screen. One thing that is different from the menu at the top - this one is specific to your designs on Canva. The top menu is more general that every user has access to on their homepage. This menu is YOUR menu!
Recommended for you - designs that you may like that you can access via the Templates menu.
Your designs - Every Design you’ve ever made wil show up here, similarly in a carousel style.
All your designs - All the designs you create can be found by clicking here. If you ever get confused on where to find something, always look here!
Shared with you - Other Canva users can share designs with you and give permissions to view only, edit, download, etc. When designs are shared, they will appear here - just note, you do not have ownership of the design.
Brand Kit - Pro Account Upgrade, but really cool! Upload your logo, add brand colors, and save fonts to use when designing your graphics.
Content Calendar - When building out your social media content calendar, you can do it directly from Canva! You can link your social accounts directly to this calendar and schedule the posts in advance. Again, this a pro account upgrade, but something to keep in mind!
All your folders - create organization among designs! You are limited to the number of folders you can have with a free account. Upgrading to Pro will allow you an unlimited number of folders to use to organize your designs.
Trash - 30 days, delete permanently or restore to “All my designs”
Next, let’s focus on design. You can create a design with 2 options:
Select a template to work off of, or
Create a blank design
Select a template - click on the Templates dropdown menu and select your template. From there, you can personalize the template to make it your own. Swap out photos or change the wording to fit your needs!
Create a blank design - click on the upper right hand corner “Create a design”
Suggested - Standard sizing for various graphic types - presentations, poster, Logo, etc. with the size listed next to them when you hover over
The dimensions vary from inches, mm, cm and pixels.
If you don’t have an idea of sizing, you can click custom size and input your size - there is a sizing guide that you can access in the help center resources or simply google for sizing!
You can upload photos and videos from your camera roll, use stock images, insert shapes, and other fun elements as you create your designs.
You can also use a variety of different fonts and colors to make your design match your brand!
The key is to just start by creating a design and clicking on buttons to learn all about the features and tricks you can do to design your next marketing campaign.
Now with this tutorial in hand, and the confidence that you can be a design expert, what is stopping you from marketing your business?