The Importance of Creating Video

As technology progresses year after year, consumers continue turn to it, even rely on it, for advice, news, networking opportunities, and so much more; and as the digital world is advancing, it is YOUR job to keep up with it.

Give the people what they want!

Consumers are out there using this technology, searching for answers to their questions and problems, and YOU need to be out there, too! You need to be there, providing solutions to their problems; and you need to be current with not only the information you provide them, but also in your marketing strategy and message delivery.

How do you connect with this technologically-savvy, digital-age audience? To keep up in today’s modern world, VIDEO needs to be a major component in your marketing strategy.

It was recently reported that, on average, 100 Million hours of Facebook videos are watched every single day! And Business Insider reports that YouTube earns approximately six times that amount, 650 Million hours! … every day! (mediakix.com)

Then, in a study from Facebook, The Persuasive Power… , researchers used eye-tracking to find that people gaze five times longer at videos in their newsfeed than they do at still, static content. (Facebook states: “We identified five factors related to the rise of online video viewing: smartphones, shorter attention spans, binge-watching, the importance of context, and the thrill of novelty.”)

According to Livestream.com, video dominates again. Apparently, 80% of a brand’s audience would rather watch live video from a brand rather than read their blog. Additionally, 82% of the audience prefers live video from a brand rather than social posts. The bottom line is: online audiences have definitely taken to video… 78% of online audiences are ALREADY watching video on Facebook Live.

Last but not least, YouTube reports that mobile video consumption rises 100% year over year. (livestream.com)

What that all boils down to is that, basically… You should to be making videos for your business! 

Use native videos rather than shared.

A recent study (quintly.com) proved that original videos (native videos) that are uploaded to Facebook get a 1,055% higher share rate than videos shared from links (like from YouTube or Vimeo, for example). Native videos also get a 186% higher interaction rate.

If you want to get serious with video content, the only way to do it is to BE ORIGINAL! Create and upload your own videos natively; or, do your own live videos!

With your own, original, entertaining content, your reach, engagement, and share rates will increase.

 

Is Live video better than pre-recorded?

They both have their places…

If you want a perfect, polished video, you will obviously want to plan it, prepare for it, pre-record it, edit it, the whole “shebang.” With live video, however, it’s generally much more quick and spontaneous! It’s an easy way to create quick, original content for your page; plus, it will boost reach and engagement.

A major perk of live broadcasting is that you are able to connect and interact with your audience in real time. Viewers can write in the comments section, and you can read and respond to them in your video. This is neat because viewers have the ability to sway the conversation into exactly what they want; you will know that you are providing the content that the audience wants!

You have lots of options for live broadcasting, including: Facebook Live, YouTube (need 10,000+ channel subscribers), Twitter Live (Periscope), Instagram Stories, and Snapchat Stories.

Facebook’s Newsroom recently reported that FB Live videos are watched three times longer than regular videos.

Have you considered going live!?

The successes of programs like Meerkat, Periscope, and Snapchat have proved that worldwide viewers thoroughly enjoy original and authentic, candid content.

 

What should you do when you go Live?

Here are some things you can do to entertain your audience (on Facebook Live):

  1. Share a helpful tip. All you have to do is open your Facebook page on your mobile device, go to make a normal post but instead click “Go Live.” Next, choose your front/rear camera preference, give your video a description (this can be edited later), and “Go Live.” Finally, go ahead and share a quick, helpful tip with your audience, and if questions come in live, respond!
  2. Let them behind the scenes. People love sneak peeks! Share a quick, candid video of what’s going on “behind the scenes” at YOUR business. You can also share videos of events – setting up for them, during them, or even when you are the one attending them.
  3. Host a live discussion, talk show, or mini-webinar. This video might be a little longer. If you want to do some of these videos, it’s a good idea to plan ahead so that you can give your audience a head’s up through email and you will have more people “in attendance.”

Remember, though, video doesn’t always have sound.

Keep in mind that videos don’t necessarily have to have sound. In fact, 85% of Facebook videos are viewed without sound! (mediakix.com)

This means you need to make your videos versatile. Design your videos for sound-off, just in case. The viewer should be able to get the main gist of the message regardless of whether or not they can hear it.

If words are necessary to get the point across, you can always use captions. The key is to make videos that are captivating and engaging, even if watched in silence.

Check out the app Animoto, which allows you to easily create professional quality videos using video clips and/or images. You can also add text overlay (This is GREAT because people tend to watch a lot of videos with the sound off).

Ripl is another cool tool that we personally like to use for our Instagram posts!

It’s okay to be camera shy!

If you or your team is not comfortable being in front of the camera, there are still PLENTY of things you can do to create videos without ever personally being on-camera. For instance, create a tutorial for your product (maybe showing just your hands, demonstrating the product), or get guest speakers to come on and do little mini-talks. Videos can also be easily created by making slideshows of images, using animated effects, and getting creative with apps.

Adobe Spark is a FANTASTIC free tool, for both desktop and iOS users, for creating videos and fun animations. If you’re new to the “video-game,” camera shy, think video-making will take too long, or think you need a lot of equipment, you need to try this app! Your smartphone and this app is all you need to create attractive, professional quality videos. It’s definitely a great place to start. 🙂

Here is an article that will walk you through filming and putting together the best, most eye-catching videos using just your phone and Adobe Spark: 16 Time-Saving Tips for Making Awesome Videos with Your iPhone

Just Make it good.

If you’re putting the time and energy into making videos, make them good, so that viewers want to continually come back and keep watching your videos. Put some thought into them, even if they’re candid, so that they are interesting and engaging.

90% of Facebook viewers think video quality is the most important aspect of Facebook Live videos. (livestream.com)

Repurpose.

Over time, your little video library will become a big video library. With all these videos in your “repertoire,” feel free to repurpose them! You have different audiences on different platforms, so share them everywhere! Don’t post the same video to ALL of your social channels on the same day, but save your videos and post them on your various channels over the coming weeks. Recycling your videos (that you put your precious time and energy into creating) will save you tons of time while allowing you to reach new audiences.

Even live videos can be saved for later, “non-live” use. For instance, on Facebook, after you “go live,” you have the option of downloading and saving your video. Then, you can post it to any platform you choose, or consider embedding it into your website or blog! Share the wealth 😉

Now, hit record.

It’s your turn!

Video can definitely seem a bit scary at first, especially LIVE video, but don’t let it intimidate you.

Just start recording! Everything gets easier with practice.

– Mandy

The Importance of Newsletters

e-newsletters

e-newsletters

The Importance of Newsletters

How do you stay connected to your fans? How do they stay informed and “in the loop”? Is there a particular method you use to reach out to them? If you need to send them a message, how do you do it? …Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, newsletters, snail mail?

If you’re relying strictly on social media to communicate with and build connections with your fans, that’s probably not enough…

You need a direct mode of communication to your fans. You need a way to send them messages that they will receive right in their inbox.

E-Newsletters.

E-newsletters are an essential piece of your marketing plan. It’s not safe to just assume you are connecting with your fans on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or through your blogs. There are too many reasons your posts on these pages might be overlooked or never even shown to your audience. For example, Facebook and Instagram use algorithms to decide which posts will appear in each user’s newsfeed; posts that are getting more “likes” and/or “reactions” will automatically receive a higher post ranking in the newsfeed, thus gaining a higher reach and exposure. Far too often, posts on social media get overlooked.

Newsletters, though, are a way to directly send a message to your audience.

Newsletters are great because people tend to feel an emotional connection to their daily/weekly/monthly subscriptions. If it’s a good newsletter, fans might even look forward to and anticipate getting it each term.

Fans have to first agree to receive your newsletter, either simply by sharing their email address with you, or by making the conscious effort to personally sign up for your e-newsletter through your website. So in that, you already know your mailing list contains an audience that is interested in you and your business. As long as you continually add value to the lives of your readers, they will continue to open and read your newsletters.

newsletters

How do you add value?

Think in terms of, “If I signed up for this newsletter, what would I want to see?” What information would I find interesting? What photos would I enjoy? Are there links I would like to be included, in case I want to read more about a topic? Is there a certain length and depth of detail that I would expect in a newsletter from this company?

Tips for creating a captivating e-newsletter:

  • Be creative.

    The Subject line of your email is the first thing the reader will see. Be creative! If your reader isn’t already sold on your e-newsletter, the Subject line could be the one factor that determines whether or not the reader chooses to even open your newsletter. (Tip: Emoji’s are sometimes a good way to make your Subject line stand out among the other emails in a reader’s inbox.)

  • Use a professional email service.

    MailChimp and Constant Contact are two examples of email marketing tools. They are especially helpful for newsletters because they allow you to create and save a general template for your newsletter; then, with each publication, you simply need to update the details within the letter. Speaking of “professional”… Don’t forget to proof-read for spelling or grammatical errors!

  • Make it informative and relevant to your readers.

    Most importantly, your newsletter HAS to interest them. You could include items such as: links to your own (or 3rd party) blog posts, how-to’s, tutorials, current industry news, events, local happenings, promotional offers or coupons, helpful/educational information, interesting facts, fan photos, contest winners, any deadlines or other important dates, etc.

  • Be reliable.

    Provide accurate, up-to-date information that your readers know they can trust.

  • Be consistent.

    Pick a schedule, whether it be monthly, weekly, or daily, and stick to it! (You might want to include in the reader’s e-newsletter opt-in form the frequency of your newsletter. Some people want to know exactly what to expect when subscribing to new email lists.)

  • Make it look good.

    The newsletter should be professional, visually appealing, and enjoyable to look through. Use content blocks, pictures, blurbs, and an attractive color scheme.

  • Keep it short and sweet.

    Your readers’ time is precious, and in today’s modern world, their attention span is spread thin! Not only should the content of your newsletter be interesting and informative, but it needs to be easily scannable and easy to digest. Use content blocks, snapshots, and bullet points to help organize the letter and make it easier to scan. Keep the information short and sweet; then, you can use links to direct readers to things like: articles on your website, your “shopping” page on your website, your Facebook page, etc.

  • Don’t sell.

    The reader was already kind enough to let you into their home by agreeing to receive your newsletter; now don’t be a salesman! Readers want to be informed of special promotions or sales, but they don’t want to be pushed. Either just briefly mention upcoming sales in your e-newsletter (e.g., “Don’t forget about our 25% off Spring Savings Sale this weekend!”), or, use a separate, promo-specific email to relay the message. E-newsletters are not the place for selling; they are a means to convey information to, and build a connection with, your audience.

  • E-mail is not one-way communication.

    Let your fans know you are listening. If they reach out to you, respond! When creating your newsletter, in the “From” label, make it clear who the email is from and who the reader can respond to (e.g., “info@diannarands.com”). Use a company, not personal, email address.

It’s time to start building relationships.

Now, do you see the value an e-newsletter can bring to your audience?

The ultimate purpose of newsletters is to relay information; inform and educate your readers. In the process of supplying interesting, reliable, consistent newsletters, your audience will begin to know you, trust you, and love you! It’s time to start building relationships with your fans.

Don’t forget to include clear, specific call-to-action buttons in your e-newsletters.  Give readers the option to click and instantly be directed to wherever you choose – your website, your blog, etc. It’s time to start building those relationships, and let your fans know you are there for them. Give them the information they need and want, and give them the information they didn’t know they needed and wanted!

If you already write newsletters for your business, way to go! We hope this article has motivated you to re-evaluate your process and think a little deeper about how exactly you are creating your newsletters. With everything we do, there’s always room for improvement. Practice makes perfect! 😉

newsletters

Mandy

The Importance of Writing Articles

The Importance of Writing Articles

The Importance of Writing Articles

It can be a challenging task for some of us.

If you’re not a natural-born writer, writing articles for your website can sometimes be really challenging. It can be hard to think of the appropriate topics, fill in the correct details, and tie it all together with the right words.

 

It's worth it!

… But the pay-offs are worth it!  

Writing your own original, informative articles is a super important factor in your marketing strategy. It increases your SEO and discoverability, has the power to boost your sales, and provides value for your customers.

Provide value. Increase customer loyalty.

It’s important to understand your audience. What are they looking for? What resonates with them?

Have you created your buyer persona? Who is your ideal customer? Think about what he/she would be interested in, and create your article topics based on their needs.

With monthly or weekly articles, a wide array of topics can be covered. Just plan it out! As your fans come to know, trust, and love your articles, they will look forward to the next one. They might rely on them for pertinent information in the industry, or look to them for tips/pointers. You will have developed customer loyalty and trust within your fanbase.

 

Plan ahead!

Plan ahead.

As long as you know and understand the topic at hand, blogging isn’t hard at all! It just takes a little planning, and with proper organization, the task will become far less daunting.

For example, after considering your target audience, come up with a list of topics they might find interesting. Then, choose a date for each topic (monthly, weekly, daily, etc.). Now, you will already know exactly what you are writing about each time you sit down to blog.

With the topic already nailed down, you will have more energy and brainpower to put towards the actual article.

A good way to start each article is to create a layout. First, figure out general headings for each topic you want to cover, then fill in the details. Write about what you already know, then do some research (if necessary) to gather additional details, examples, statistics, or facts. During writing, or when you are finished, you can go back through the article and see if you are able to make the headings more interesting, captivating, or fitting to the material discussed in the section. Also, please don’t forget to proofread and edit your articles! Nobody wants to take advice from the “pro” who can’t form a proper sentence.  😉

What do you want the reader to do?

It’s helpful to include a Call-to-Action (CTA) at the end. What do you want the reader to do next? Subscribe to your blog or newsletter, download an e-book, register for an event? CTA’s are a way to offer additional value to your readers, and if the reader follows your CTA, he/she could instantly become a lead (and even a customer) for your business!

Call-to-action

In one of our recent articles (about Editorial Calendars), our CTA was an offer for readers to download their free 2017 EC. They entered their name and email to receive the free template, and in doing so, became an instant lead for us! (Click on the photo above to view our article about Editorial Calendars and download YOUR free copy.)

 

don't forget to add visuals

Make it pretty.

Last but not least, add some visuals! (Pay attention to copyright laws.) Find images that are relevant to the topic at hand. Images help create and develop a story. Studies have shown that readers are more drawn to articles with images than those without.

Once your article is complete with images, proof it one more time (or give it to a co-worker to look over). Fix spelling and grammatical errors, correct any alignment or formatting issues, and make it look beautiful.

Organization and planning can go a LONG way in making blogging a more desirable task!

 

still struggling?

Still struggling?

If you still just have no idea where to begin, check out this article: 20 Prompts to Inspire Your Next Professional Blog Post. It has lots of really great blog ideas/topics you can adapt and use for your own business! This is a great article to bookmark and refer back to whenever you are having a hard time coming up with new ideas.

 

Your audience is out there searching the world wide web, every single day, for solutions to their problems.

Be the solution.

Give them the information they are looking for. Start writing articles for your website (and your target audience) today!

 

Using an Editorial Calendar

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While there are many pieces that go into a complete marketing strategy, one piece that is central to many other parts is the Editorial Calendar. The complexity of the calendar you use can vary. However, not having one at all means you are working blindly.

If you spend time creating your business’s marketing strategy, you need to make sure you follow through with it. Your Editorial Calendar helps you follow through with your strategy by giving you guidelines and a planned strategic schedule to follow. Your editorial calendar will keep you on track.

Many people feel like staying on top of their social media accounts is overwhelming and time consuming; but the reality is, if you take the time to plan ahead, then the actual posting will seem quite effortless. Also, if you have a central Editorial Calendar for your business, you can have it open to your team so everyone knows what each other is doing.

It’s a Breathing Animal

Orca

You want to think of your Editorial Calendar as a living, breathing tool. You can do all the planning in the world for your entire year, only to have something pop up unexpectedly later in the year. Therefore, you want to make sure your Editorial Calendar can evolve with your business as time passes. At a minimum, make sure you review your Editorial Calendar once a month. This way you can add or modify any social media/print messages when new opportunities arise.

Remember to also reference the calendar to keep you on track with the type of content you should be sharing during that week or month. For example, if you know you are going to talk about “Image Editing Tools” in a February article, then you would also want to have your social posts for that month talk about Images.

Know Your Timelines

Sales Timeline

Be sure to have a good understanding of the life cycle of your sales process. Know the timeline you follow when starting a promotion to the closing of a sale. This will dictate how far out in advance you need to start promoting your business before a launch, during a launch, and after a launch. TIP: This information can be quite valuable with your CRM, as well.

What Should You Plan For?

Large corporations start their planning well in advance of the following year. Think April-May planning for next year (sometimes they may even start two years out). However, many “solopreneurs” and small businesses find themselves in a reactionary position scrambling the week of a launch to get their ducks in a row. Ideally, small businesses should start planning the following year by the 4th quarter of the current year… that time is now! Think of things like:

  • Season changes
  • Slow times of the year
  • Busy times of the year
  • Holidays (locally/nationally/internationally)
  • Product launches
  • Specials on pricing
  • National events
  • Local events
  • Speaking engagements
  • Trade Shows
  • Really anything you want to make sure you share with your audience

Seasons

By creating the content for your Editorial Calendar well in advance, you will hopefully notice all the “seasons” and layers of your business. During the planning, you may find that you are missing out on important events in your industry; or it may show you that you are putting too much focus on items that do not bring you leads. The calendar planning gets your gears grinding and creative juices flowing so that you are able to stay on top of your business and the industry in which it competes.

Let Us Help You with an Editorial Calendar!

DR Editorial Calendar sample

We understand that it may seem quite overwhelming to think about everything you need to include in your Editorial Calendar. That is why we have created a Calendar template that you can start using today. We created it in Excel, so that you can easily modify it to your specific needs. This provides you with a starting point to alleviate some of the stress. Get your free 2017 Editorial Calendar today! Start piecing it together now so you are not scrambling after the new year to get it filled in 😉

Dianna Rands

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Researching Your Competitors

The biggest point you want to keep in the back of your mind when looking at your competitors is NOT to do what they are doing, rather to see what they are doing and do something different and unique! When you started your business, it came from the place of seeing a need and knowing you could satisfy that need. Even if your industry seems saturated, there is always something you can focus on that will set you apart.

As I mentioned in my last post, your website is where you want to focus on creating and sharing your original content. Then you will use your social media platforms to point back to your website. You want to build your authority by creating this original content. Therefore, the first place you want to look is the websites of your competitors. Again, not to copy them, but merely to see what type of keywords are the most popular on their sites.

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The first (and easiest way) to start watching your competition, is to sign up for their e-newsletter if they have one. You also want to like/follow/connect with them on as many platforms that they participate on. This way you can monitor which types of content they get the most engagement on. You can see this by the number of likes & shares (on Facebook) or retweets and favorites (on Twitter). If you see a post all of a sudden get lots of engagement, take notice on what was different about that post from their other posts. Was it a photo, video, a paid ad or something humorous?

Another tool that can be really resourceful (and it has a FREE version) is Semrush. I highly recommend registering for their free account to be able to see the top 10 keywords that your competitors get found by. Simply go to www.semrush.com and create your free account now. Once you have gone through the steps to create your new account, simply enter the url for your competition in the search field to pull up statistics on that page. You can learn which keywords were entered in searches that resulted in their page being found. There is a limit to how many you can search per day (with the free version), so have 3-4 competitor urls determined ahead of time.

Here is a screen capture of the results I got when I did a search on Andrea Vahl’s website. You will see that not only did I learn which keywords were used to find her site, but also who her competition is. This can assist you in further research of competition in your area of expertise.

With the free version, I was able to drill down to see the top 10 keywords by selecting “View Full Report” under the section labeled “Top Keywords”.

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SEMrushAndreaVahlKeyWords

By using this feature, you can see what people are typing in to find your competitors’ websites. You want to incorporate those words into your original content on your website, so that traffic starts to come to you.

Another interesting section in the Semrush results is the backlink domains. When I drilled down into this section, I can see which sites are linking to Andrea’s website. For your purposes, you can see who is linking to your competitor’s page. These are then the pages you want to get noticed by, as they will likely link to you in the future when you provide valuable original content.

SEMrushAndreaVahlReferringDomains

Next you can use the tool Social Crawlytics. This site is free and can be quite resourceful in capturing data that you can use to come up with post ideas in the future. By knowing what types of content get shared the most by your competitors, you will know what people are interested in learning more about. Inversely, you can see what content is not interesting to your target market, and not waste your time creating content on that subject matter. You can also learn who is sharing this content and become engaged with those individuals and/or businesses.

The main takeaway I want you to get is there are resources out there which you can use to see what your target market is interested in learning more about. Find out how your competitors are being found, and then create original content that will set you apart from them. You do not want to copy what they are doing. Because at the end of the day, being different is what makes you stand out.

Dianna

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Making the connection between Social Media and your Website

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It was 1982/83 and I was pulled out of my 3rd grade class with 4 other kids in my Atlanta elementary school to go to the library and write computer code using BASF cassette tapes, keyboards and televisions. It was a bunch of 1’s and 0’s used to write very basic programs. I couldn’t tell you today what we created, but I remember trying to play that cassette tape at home weeks later in an audio cassette tape player, and all I heard were these screeching sounds.

1983 computer

The average Internet user today is more visually savvy than the best web developer 20 years ago. Not only have the older generations become more critical of what they find pleasing to see and use on websites, but the educational standard in schools today for the younger generations include learning programming code. And these kids are not using cassette tapes and televisions!

The point of this little history lesson is to point out how far programming has come, and why this is important to you. Printed media is on a downward trajectory. Many news and entertainment periodicals are going the way of electronic subscriptions. E-readers are replacing paper as a means to get your news. TiVo created a way to fast forward through commercials. Sirius/XM Radio & Podcasts created a listening environment that was commercial free. Through these developments, businesses lost their means to speak to their customers. Websites became the #1 resource for B2B and B2C businesses to get in front of their audiences.

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On September 26, 2006, a new player opened their doors to the public: Facebook. This company changed the way businesses would look at their marketing for years to come. The age of Social Media Marketing began and shortly after exploded. There are almost too many social media platforms to name today. However, some of the big players are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest and Instagram. This new marketing revolution helped level the advertising playing field for small businesses. We now have the opportunity to target our marketing efforts just as efficiently as the huge conglomerates with their billion dollar marketing budgets.

FB-f-Logo__blue_100     Twitter_logo_blue copy     InBug-60px-TM     g+icon     Pinterest_Badge_Red copy     Instagram camera logo

The biggest “hiccup” of businesses’ pages on social media is that they do not own those platforms. We are all just visitors there. The most important feature of your website is the simple fact that you own it. This is why you need to make sure your website not only has as much information for your current and potential customers, but you also have the means to gather contact information.

Social media is a great way to make sure you are getting your message to the right audience. You can really drill down and target your ideal audience. At the end of the day, the ultimate goal of social media is to direct people to come to your website.

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Your main objective for using social media for advertising is to get traffic to your website, because this is what you have 100% control of. Realistically, most of these social media platforms are not going away anytime soon. However, I would like for you to think about what you would do if they all disappeared tomorrow. Do you have a way to reach out to all the connections you made on those sites? If not, it is time to start building your audience to your website.

When you engage with people on your social media platforms, be sure to create a way to also get their contact information. Typically you want to do this by offering them something of value (ie: ebook, whitepaper, trial, etc). You also want to consider making this offering free. Just because it is free, doesn’t mean it should be worthless. That will only upset the receiver. It must be something of value, so they know staying connected with you will continue to bring them value.

Remember, your website is the one thing you have 100% control over in the virtual world, not social media platforms. So take advantage of your audience on those sites and get them coming to your website. Today is the day to take control!

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Dianna

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Creating Images for Blogs and Posts

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Images. They capture us and invoke emotions when we least expect it. A picture is worth a thousand words. Our brains can process an image faster than it can read a string of text. We’ve all heard those descriptions about images, and those are the reasons they are so important in social media. Life is fast paced, and if you can’t get your message across in 1-2 sentences, then you have lost your audience (well, if you’ve gotten this far then I have captured your attention!).

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Now that we are snug into the second month of 2015, we are starting to get the statistics and data from 2014. And one of the biggest results is the importance of the use of visuals in posts (on any platform). If you want to really get into the numbers from 2014, I encourage you to read 17 Stats You Should Know About Visual Content Marketing in 2015, by the great minds at Hubspot.

You can find countless articles written on all the great tools available for designing images for your posts and articles. They tout numbers like “Top 30 tools for …” or “My 15 Must Have Tools…”. Today I just want to share ONE tool with you: Canva.

Canva Header

 

Not only is this a FREE tool, you don’t have to be a graphic designer to create stunning images. As with other tools, there are paid features. However, if you do end up using their paid features, they only cost $1. And that’s pretty affordable in my book.

The first thing I want to point out is the pre-made templates they offer for creating your images. As everyone knows, every social media platform out there is in constant change. That means that image size requirements for different locations are changing all the time. Canva keeps on top of this for you. When you go to change your Facebook cover photo, they will have the most current dimensions for you.

I’m going to go show you step by step how I created my cover image for this article using Canva. You will see just how easy it is to do this for yourself!

Step One: Select type of image to create

Choose the style/size image you want to create from the header selections (I’m assuming you have already created an account with Canva – remember….it’s free). I have chosen the “Presentation” design.

Choosing Canva style

Step Two: Name and design image

This will open up a new tab/window where you will create your image. The first thing you want to do is name this image/file. Click on “Describe and #tag” and name this image (you can also use hashtags if you want to track this image in any way).

Naming image 3

One the left side panel, you are given several options for creating your image. If you do not have any stock photos, I recommend looking through the “Layouts” tab. There are both free and priced items you can choose from. For this example, I am going to use an image I already uploaded by selecting the “Uploads” tab on the left. If you have an image you want to use on your computer, simply select the green “Upload your own Images” bar to start the process.

Header photo 1

Now you simply drag and drop the image you want to use (this method also applies to any other features you want to ad to the image you are creating).

Now I’m going to go to the “Search” tab. In this area you will find lots of features you can add to your image. We will be looking under the “Text Holder” category.

Header photo 2

Here you will see the Text Holder feature I selected. I simply dragged it into my image and added the text and colors I wanted to use.

Header photo 3

Next I just drug my logo from the uploaded images in my account and placed it in the image.

Header photo 4

 

Step 4: Save image

Once you are satisfied with your image, select the “Download” button in the top right of your screen. You will be given two options to save your image to your computer (I typically use the “As an Image” option).

Header photo 5

Here is my final image (and it is the version used as my header image).

DRLLC 2.10.15 Article Header Image

It really is that simple to create images for all things online. There are many other tools out there for you to choose from. I didn’t want to overwhelm you, so I stuck to just one. Now go out there and be creative!

Dianna

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