Welcome to Kate Browning of Cherry Blossom Management, virtual assistant and Canva expert! Kate is sharing how small business owners like you can make the most of Canva, whatever your budget!
Canva is such a fantastic graphic design and marketing tool, where even with the free version you can use some fantastic features to really benefit your business and keep everything brand consistent.
As a business owner one of the biggest commodities we have which we can’t get back is time. I am all for time saving options in business and streamlining so we can have that sacred work life balance.
One of the best ways to save time is to have templates, whether that is for our social media, client proposals, contracts, marketing material, presentations or anything else, if you have templates then the time taken to manage your social media, create proposals for clients and general admin work can be cut by over half. Canva is one of the best tools for creating templates as it has so many options which you can customise and edit and share with others if you wish.
Whether you spend the time creating the templates yourself, or have an expert such as myself create these for you, they will be worth their weight in gold.
Social Media Templates.
If you are a small business and are managing your social media yourself, then having templates for your graphics will not only save you time, but ensure you have brand consistency across all platforms. Brand consistency really strengthens your brand, your products and services, gives a more professional feel and will improve your marketing strategy as your business will become more recognizable.
Each platform has different ideal sizes for posts and if you use the Pro version of Canva you get the re-sizing tool (which again is a massive time saver), however I am going to tell you something that is a cheat and (yes you guessed it) a time saver. If you create your graphics as an Instagram post in Canva, this size works on Facebook and LinkedIn as well, so no need to re-size. Whereas if you used a Facebook template, it wouldn’t work for Instagram.
If you create your graphics as an Instagram post in Canva, this size works on Facebook and LinkedIn as well, so no need to re-size.
It’s always good to consider how you want your social media to look, to feel, to promote. For example if you use Instagram, a normal grid is 9 squares on a phone screen, so you may want up to 9 templates. For me that’s too much effort and I use 4, which I rotate to create an attractive looking grid that flows. Go check it out: @CherryBlossomManagement.
Keep It Simple.
If you aren’t a particularly creative person, have the time to create templates or aren’t overly confident with using Canva you can either delegate it to someone like me to create these for you, or if you chose to create them yourself keep it simple. You don’t have to overcomplicate the design,
have snazzy flashing graphics, or detailed fonts, just keep your design simple.
Have a couple of templates where you share text and a couple where you share images. You can include your logo, an element of your logo or something to tie in your brand. Keep the fonts and colours consistent with your brand and if you use a filter on one image, use that filter on all your images.
Difference Between Free and Pro.
If you don’t use Canva often then the free version is more than sufficient and has some great tools. However if you use it frequently, really want to create consistency and get a bit more creative with it then the £10.99 per month is well worth the investment.
The benefits of having the pro version are;
- You get a ‘Brand Kit’, where you can upload your logo in all formats, your specific brand
colours and codes and the fonts you use. Therefore when you create any document in Canva it will automatically pull those options through first and to the top, one saving you time and two creating complete consistency across all your literature and marketing.
- Unlimited Folders – with the free version you get two folders where you can file and organise the documents you have created, on the paid version you get unlimited folders. As an example I have different folders for different clients I create documents for, I have one for my social media templates, one for client proposals and so on. It makes it easier to find your designs and makes it much more organised.
- Background Remover – if you have a photo or image you want to use but don’t want to use the background, in the old days it would be spending hours in Paint manually removing the image, but with Canva Pro you can literally click a button and it removes the background for you.
- Re-sizing – If you want to have the correct size images for the specific platform without having to duplicate and recreate the designs, there is a resize button which allows you to select an existing design and at the click of a button re-size that image for another chosen platform, like an Insta post can be resized to Facebook.
- Access to a huge library of fonts and images. On the free version you have access to a number of fonts and images, however many are restricted and you have to pay extra for if you want to use them. The pro version you have access to hundreds more options, meaning you can personalise your designs more and save time searching for images on sites such as Pixabay and Pexels.
So you see, Canva is such a fantastic tool that doesn’t have to cost you a penny, however it is well work the £10.99 per month for the pro version (which if you do monthly you can cancel at any time). It will make marketing your business easier, save you time and create brand consistency.
If you would like to learn more about the benefits of Canva I offer 121 training, provide design services and do group workshops on how to get the most out of it. If you do decide to upgrade to pro I am an affiliate and you can use this link.
Kate Browning (she/her)
Kate is the Founder and owner Cherry Blossom Management. She genuinely loves to support people, to see them grow, to empower them and witness that transformation that comes with outsourcing and delegating.
She has over 15 years experience within the industry and has worked in roles such as Personal Assistant, Office Manager, Regional Manager, Executive Assistant before launching her own business in August 2019.