One of my favourite online tools has to be Canva.com. It is an incredibly versatile and yet easy to use graphics tool that will enable even thew most creatively challenged business owner to create stunning looking graphics in minutes. I think the reason why I love this tool so much stems back to my first online business which I set up over 10 years ago.
It was an e-commerce business that I set up from scratch, invested £1200 in an online e-commerce platform and then discovered that to keep up with the “big boys” at that time I needed to invest heavily in getting professional graphics created on a regular basis for promotions and to keep the site looking fresh.
That was because tools like Canva did not exist and you either needed to further invest in something like Photoshop but would then also need to spend a vast amount of time learning the complexities of such graphic design packages.
Nowadays you do not need to invest such sums of money to set-up and create professional looking sites and graphics.
Create Your Canva Account
Creating your account is simplicity itself. Head over to Canva.com and either enter your email address and a password or if you are a Facebook create an account using your Facebook credentials.
From there you will be shown a 23 second intro on how to create a basic graphic and then be presented with a series of tasks to get to know the various functions that Canva has to offer. However the real power of Canva is ability not only to specify the size of image you want to create but also in the selection of pre-sized templates for some of the popular social media channels.
So arrived at this screen:
You can either choose to go through these steps or head over to the main dashboard by clicking the Canva logo in the top left-hand corner. When doing this for the first time you may get presented with the option to share the fact you are using Canva with your email contacts and to discover who else from your contacts are also using it. You can however also choose to skip this step once you click on the Show Me How button.
Choose Your Template
As you can see from the image below there are a number of popular social media templates to choose from:
Simply use the scroll bar under the templates to slide along until you come to the one you want and then click on it.
In this example I am creating a Facebook Page Cover graphic. Here is the next screen with the pre-sized “blank canvas”.
You now have the choice of selecting a number of backgrounds that are made readily available to you, searching over 1m images that are made available through Canva or uploading your own images to use. You will also note the canvas includes a section where your Facebook page profile image will appear. This enables you to create your graphic around it so that when you upload the final version to Facebook, your profile picture will not cut out any important bits of your cover graphic or text you may have used.
If you have connected with your Facebook account you will also have the option to use images that you have previously uploaded to Facebook. In the example below I have used one of the background templates that are presented.
From here you can edit the text in the background, move it around, add more as well as other images over the top.
What you also need to be mindful of is the sections where your page name will overlaid by Facebook and if you want to highlight it the present position of the Like button (in this case on the desktop).
So from here I am going to move and add to the text. When you click on the text you also have other options:
There are so many variations and options you can now play with to create your professional graphic and I would encourage you to spend some time having a “play” and discovering all the options available to you.
FREE & $1 Images
Although Canva comes with a large number of Free images, icons and other elements to create your graphic, it also has the option to select from a vast range of paid for images. The beauty here is that these images only cost $1 for a single use. Amongst these paid for images include ones that have transparent backgrounds allowing you to overlay them on the graphic you are creating without them having large unsightly white or black borders.
The next important step before downloading your image is to name it as below:
Once you are happy with your graphic you can then Download it. You have the option to download as an image (suitable for use on the web) or as a PDF which produces a larger, higher quality file more suitable for printing.
Once you click download if you have used one of the pre-created backgrounds as I did here with the coffee bean image you will be asked to enter your credit card details for payment. If you have simply used any of the Free images and/or uploaded your own photos for use in your graphic you will not be requested to make a payment.
And there you have it. An easy to use, very powerful and flexible tool for creating professional looking images and graphics for use in your business.
Over To You
I hope you have found this article useful and more so get a great deal of value from using Canva in your business. I would love to hear your feedback not only on whether or not you found this post useful but also how you have used Canva to add value to your business. Please let me know in the comments box below.
If you would like to discover more valuable free tools that can help grow your business simply request a copy of my free guide.