Design like a Pro!

Are you a small business owner trying to build your digital marketing strategy?

How you present your brand is just as important as what you say and where you say it.

Have you ever come across a website with clashing colours, difficult to read the text, or distracting images? How did it make you feel about the company who put the site together?

Online platforms are largely visual mediums, and your brand’s credibility can be helped – or hurt – by how well you take advantage of this fact.

Creating compelling images for your social media posts or consistent design themes across your newsletters and blog (for example) will present your business as a professional and detail-oriented outfit, helping build trust.

Making your own designs 

If you have some experience with design or more time than a budget for marketing, it is worth it to build your familiarity with online design tools.

We recommend Canva (we use it ourselves!) for ease of use and budget-friendly options. 

If you are trying to decide whether you need the free or premium version of Canva, check out our article discussing the benefits of each here.

Why we like it

We like Canva because it helps you avoid making common design mistakes like using low-quality images, poor proportions, or discordant styles, colours, or fonts. 

If you already have a logo, you can use this tool to get your brand colours and save those in Canva so they’ll be readily available every time you make a new design.

Canva also has dozens of templates that let you simply drag-and-drop your text and images in – it doesn’t get much easier than that!

Even the free version of Canva will give you access to a large library of professional photography to take your designs to the next level.

This can feel a bit overwhelming at first, but keep it simple – use the templates and don’t try to create anything too complicated and you will have some great designs in no time. There are also plenty of articles and other resources available online to learn more about designing on Canva.

Outsourcing your designs

Of course, not everyone has an eye for design or the patience to create their own designs. If this is the case for you, it is probably worth it to set aside a small budget to contract out your design work.

If you are just getting started: you can hire a graphic designer on platforms like Fiverr or Upwork to help you create a logo and decide on your brand’s colour scheme, fonts, and style tone. You will then use this style guide for all of your future designs.

If you already have a style guide for your brand: finding a contractor is even easier – just send over your details and what you want the designer to create (e.g. flyers for an upcoming event, a banner and posts for your Facebook page, a template for your newsletter).

Tips on hiring freelance designers:

  • Read reviews and look at ratings
  • Saving a few dollars up front may cost you more in the long run if you need to re-do something
  • Communicate your expectations clearly and in as much detail as possible upfront

And that’s everything you need to take your brand’s image to the next level – substance AND style!

Need some help getting started? We offer Canva tutorials! Contact us here for next steps.

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