As a small business owner, you wear many hats: CEO, marketing professional, sales manager, and more. With this guide, you’ll be able to add graphic designer to the list of tasks you can accomplish! Until you’re ready to hire a social media marketing team to take over the task of creating graphics, you can take advantage of this free and easy-to-use tool. What is Canva and how can it help your small business? Here’s everything you need to know to get started.
What is Canva?
Canva is a free online graphic design tool that’s easy to use. There is a paid version, with different upgrade options, but you will find that you can do a LOT with the free version. It costs nothing to create an account and check out what Canva has to offer. The software provides templates, fonts, design elements, and photos to help you create your own designs. It’s a great tool to have so you can quickly create social media graphics.
Getting Started with Canva
The Canva homepage will have a lot for you to consider, including quick access to template ideas in various categories such as flyers, Instagram posts, and more. Look to the column on the left-hand side of the screen to find “templates” at the top of the list. This is a good place to start learning how to use Canva.
After you click on “templates”, use the search bar to find designs that match your needs. For example, if you need a Facebook post, type that in and see what options are suggested. Scroll until you find a template that meets your needs, and select it. Once you choose your template you can change the colors, images, and text to suit your personal brand.
Click on “uploads” to add your personal photos, custom graphics, and logos. While Canva has a lot of stock images to choose from, it’s best to personalize your design with actual photos of your team, your products, and your logo. Once you upload the files you can add them to your template design.
If you don’t have any images to use, Canva has got you covered. Choose from one of the photos provided to you by the service. Again, you can enter search terms to help you find photos that match your message.
This section of the design menu gives you access to lots of fun, free design elements that you can use. Frames, arrows, cute graphics, and more can be found via the search feature. Have fun playing around and customizing your template with graphic elements.
The text feature allows you to add copy to your design. This could be a title, a description, or anything else you need for your graphic. One of the perks of using a template is that the fonts are suggested for you. Simply delete the text in the template and type in your own words. You can also choose other fonts from the Canva library and customize your graphic even more.
Once you’re happy with your image, download and save it. Canva will suggest the best sizes, but you can change the file size, format, and quality that you need for your project.
As we mentioned in our post about resizing for different social media channels, Canva makes it easy to resize your graphic. Each channel requires a different size, so you only need to tweak your design a little to turn a Facebook graphic into a Twitter graphic.
Canva also makes it very easy to brand all of your images. You can upload your logo, signature, business brand, or any other desired image and easily add a watermark to every graphic you create. Learn more about this feature in with our guide for how to add a watermark in Canva.
With a little practice, graphic design will become one of your simplest tasks to complete! Canva lets you create social media images like a pro. After you get the hang of it you’ll be able to do things like creating a transparent background in Canva. Once your social media game is up and running, we can assess whether or not your DIY graphics are reaching their intended audience! Our Online Impact Audit can clue you in to what is working so you can do more of that and connect with your prospective customers.