Canva. The $ Debate.

Who doesn’t love a graphic design tool? Especially when it is so simple to use, and one that is going to make your organization stand out. Well, I introduce to you Canva, the graphic design tool that has been helping make my social media look beautiful since way back.

What is this Canva thing?

If you haven’t already heard of Canva you are going to be grateful you are hearing about it now. As mentioned, Canva is a graphic design tool that provides everything you need to create a killer design for your business or other purposes.

Canva gives you access to millions of photos, images, and fonts as well as pre-made templates to make things super simple. Because let’s be honest, we aren’t all natural born graphic designers, so the more help the better, right? I think yes! And may I add it also has pre-made measurements for Facebook posts, Instagram, cover pages etc.…. I know! No more are the days where you spend time creating graphics only for it to be half cut off in the uploading process.

What’s also great about Canva is it can be used for both web and print media, basically your one stop shop for graphics. AND you can have its basic version for FREE! Yes, Canva offers a paid and unpaid version, so depending on your needs there is an option for everyone.

So, what’s the difference between the paid version and the FREE version?

The main difference between the paid and unpaid version of Canva is the levels of customization and organization. For example, unpaid users have access to some free graphics, can save a personal colour choice or two, and you can have up to two separate folders to save your work in. You can get away with the free version if you are just doing very simple social media and basic design.

Due to the work I do, I personally prefer the premium version. It is only $12.95 per month and totally worth it. It allows you to choose more design templates, upload yours or multiple brand guides and you are able to create many folders to organize your designs.

The best way to know what version is right for you is to go have a look and check it out for yourself. Start off with the free version and if you need more out of it then you’ll know the premium version is right for you. But trust me, you won’t regret taking a look and testing it out. Why not give it a go.

Facebook Facts…. Covers

Facebook, we have heard it before… “Facebook is easy…you can increase your exposure and hit your target audience with the click of a button.” However, we know it isn’t all that easy. Staying active on Facebook is key and posting the right content for your business is essential in order to get your business noticed.

Cover pages are a great way to get found and seen within your follower’s news feeds. You are able to educate your followers on the most recent comings and goings of your business and can get creative doing it.

So, what about your cover photo? We recommend that you update your cover page at least every two weeks, or, every time you launch a new promotion! How often do you change your cover page? 

So, why refresh your page anyway? Here are some great reasons!

  • Highlight the special offers that are currently running within your business.
  • Educate your followers on the current news within your business (everyone loves a little inside look) and servers love a good press release!
  • Keep your page exciting, fresh, and interesting for your followers which will help spur interest and onboard new followers. The more activity your followers see, the more they are going to remember your business and its brand.

So now that we’ve convinced you to update your Facebook cover page, we also feel obliged to share with you some ‘must dos’ when creating your Facebook cover.

  • Keep the text to a minimum! You want to catch your follower’s attention, not bore them. So, keep it short and sweet-but catchy!
  • Keep the design simple. We recommend around 2-3 elements to ensure it catches the eye but doesn’t confuse it.
  • Make it fit! There is nothing worse than spending time creating a Facebook cover all for it to get cut off once you’ve uploaded it. Ugh! The measurements are 820px x 462px (you’re welcome).
  • Always add your branding and always keep it unique. You want to stand out, not blend in! For example, you can always add a video instead of an image to your cover, it’s rather cool and it can bring in more engagement to your page. Canva is a great way to do this and helps make it easy. We recommend keeping it between 20-90 seconds long.

What are you waiting for? Go and create a killer Facebook cover and get noticed!

The Fundraising Flight

People fundraise for many different reasons, whether it be for charity, a startup, or a business. Fundraising is a great way to make money for a worthy cause and promote your business at the same time. It gives you a chance to get your message out there and raise awareness of what your organizations’ purpose is all about.

If you’ve ever been a part of a fundraiser you would have noticed it has this way of bringing people closer together. It brings people with different resources, ideas, and strengths to create something where the community gets to be involved in your organizations’ final goal.

So, where to begin?

There are many different ways you can fundraise, and we have named a few here:

1) The classic but very enticing sausage sizzle outside your local Bunnings or Warehouse (because who doesn’t love a good sausage sizzle)?

2) Run an office raffle.

3) Run an auction for some of your products and/or services.

4) Collect donations from friends and family (did you know that people are more generous around the hours of 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM and 8:00 and 9:00 PM? Hah!).

Whichever way you chose to fundraise, promotion is as or if not more important than the fundraiser itself. The success of your fundraiser will often lay on the success of your ability to promote it. If no one knows about it or what it’s about, then why will they donate? The key is in the story.

I am just about to launch my own little fundraiser with Alzheimers Northland. It is part of a program called Dare to Dive. If I can raise $600+ for Alzheimers Northland I get one free skydive. Apart from taking care of a very special neighbour of mine locally,  my family too have been touched by dementia. A very special Great Grandfather of mine, as well as his daughter, my Grandmother, both struggled with it. Given that they were such incredibly clever, lively and fun human beings it was terribly sad to see and feel their confusion. So now you know my story, my motivation behind getting involved with this charity. Given that I have promised to be their photographer on the day I will be giving away my free dive in a draw for anyone who enters. Would you like to donate?

Given that I will be Promoting your fundraiser doesn’t necessarily have to cost a thing. Which is perfect! The main reason we are fundraising is to make funds not lose them, right?

  • Sending out a newsletter to your email subscribers explaining the details can be a great way to get the word out there. Tip: make sure your subject line is written in a way that people want to click on the email, not just send it straight to the trash.
  • Network!! Never underestimate the power of ‘word of mouth’. People like to talk, so share your ideas and your message and you’re bound to find someone who shares the same values that will be more than happy to help with your cause.

You can find more great ideas about free advertising here.

Don’t forget the message behind the fundraiser is just as important as collecting funds. People want to know what their donation is going towards, and how it is going to help. Leave a lasting impression and entice people to continue to back you. Find new and different ways to fundraise, or stick to the classics, either way, build lasting connections and spread your message.

 

Happy fundraising!

Facebook Facts #1 Setting it up Correctly!

Ok since this is the very first #facebookfacts….let’s start at the very beginning. It is a very good place to start… or so I’m told!

Regardless. Log into your Facebook Account… yes now… not your personal one, your business one! Excellent work, now, jump into your settings. Top right, should live right next to “help” – which incidentally you won’t need today because you are going to smash this!

Brilliant – you have arrived on your settings page. We can’t cover EVERYTHING on this page, but let’s cover some basics so that you know you are well supported.

Jump into Messaging: Lets set up your response assistant.

Treat Facebook like you have a physical shop open, 24/7. I know that can seem really daunting, so take a deep breath! The cool thing about it is that you don’t have to be there 24/7 to still engage with your clients. You have access to a free staff member – the response assistant. You can choose what you would like to say and how you would like to say it if someone messages you at 4:30am or – add a welcome message that can start a chat with someone who has hung out on your page.  Go ahead and add what you would like to say using response assistant.

rsponse

Next: Make sure your page is backed up! Jump into Page Roles.

It is unlikely, but in the event you mash the keyboard accidentally, and suddenly your page goes hinky (yes I accidentally turned my Facebook into fluent Chinese – it may come as a surprise to you but I cannot! I repeat Cannot! Speak! Chinese! only 3 weeks ago – it happens to the best of us) you need a little back-up! So you are going to want to choose a reliable human with a little Social Media Nouse to become an admin. They need to be a trusted person, non-business related that will always have your best interest at heart.

Why? Because you have to be comfortable with them knowing the correspondence on your page, and also because you don’t want to have someone on there that might do a nasty and post on behalf of you!

An Admin can manage all aspects of the Page. They can: send messages and publish as the Page, respond to and delete comments on the Page, create ads, see which admin created a post or comment, view Insights, respond to and delete Instagram comments from the Page, edit Instagram account details from the Page, and assign Page roles.

adming

We thought we would stop there for now! Bite size and all! More coming soon!

Are you Chasing Field Mice or Antelope?

Being an owner operator can be tough. You have worked all day only to be sitting there at 9.27pm trying to finish that last wee thing that is going to keep you awake at night. It’s sometimes worthwhile to take a step back to see if we are operating at full efficiency.

“A lion is fully capable of capturing, killing, and eating a field mouse. But it turns out that the energy required to do so exceeds the caloric content of the mouse itself. So a lion that spent its day hunting and eating field mice would slowly starve to death. A lion can’t live on field mice. A lion needs antelope. Antelope are big animals. They take more speed and strength to capture and kill, and once killed, they provide a feast for the lion and her pride. … So ask yourself at the end of the day, ‘Did I spend today chasing mice or hunting antelope?” – Gingrich

Makes you think doesn’t it! Now, where did my wonderful intern go…? Its bed time for me!

5 Ways to Advertise FREE

Apart from making sure you have the basics covered like, a Facebook page or Instagram, twitter, maybe LinkedIn, here are 5 great ways to get advertising for FREE!

1. Use Google My Business to Optimize for Local Search

One of the most powerful free ways to advertise your business is through Google My Business, which enables companies to manage their presence on Google Search and Google Maps. The tool can bolster your rankings in local search results. Ranking high in local search shows you’re a legitimate and relevant company: you wouldn’t rank #1 in Google for “pizza places near me” if you’d closed down six months ago. Plus, if you rank high in local search, more consumers will choose your business over a competitor’s. In today’s fast-paced world, convenience is key.

14. Take Advantage of Your Partnerships

Partnerships are an opportunity to offer supplementary services that you don’t provide. For example, offer to help man the a stall of a brand you work with closely at the A&P Show in November if they are already going, and give away some goodies. This increases consumer satisfaction, and it also provides exceptional advertising opportunities. When your partner’s consumers need your services, your partner will point them in your direction.

3. Promote Your Website on Your Email Signature

With all the emails you send every day, it’s a shame if you aren’t taking advantage of the promotional potential of your email signature. Your email signature can also be unexpected property to promote a sale, contest, event, or even a new blog post. Add a link to your business’ website on your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram profiles, as well.

4. Send Email Newsletters

An email newsletter can be a useful vehicle to promote content, share business-related news, and build deeper relationships with both potential and existing customers. There are plenty of free tools out there that assist you in designing, sending, and optimizing your newsletter. With the right time investment, an email newsletter can be the perfect place to share quality content with leads and potential consumers, establishing your brand as helpful and informative.

5. Network at In-Person Events

Connecting with fellow professionals at industry networking events is a great opportunity to meet potential consumers in a place where they are eager to discuss your business. The niche topics of networking events ensures you’re meeting high-qualified leads. For example, a “Innovation Club” event will primarily be filled with participants who are interested in local business and networking. Particularly for small businesses looking to make their first connections, networking is a chance to get your name out there, meet potential partners, and find opportunities for growth. Plus, it’ll keep you up-to-date on trends in your industry.

List of Local Groups & Pages to Network in Person/Online: