How I Bootstrap My Business Using Canva
When people ask me what I do, I often have no idea what to tell them as there are so many different aspects of my self employed life. This often means I am trying to do everything myself and still make it look professional. This is where Canva has actually changed my life.
I have the knowledge and skills to use photoshop and illustrator but honestly it is just too time consuming to make all the graphics and content I need from scratch. Canva is a graphic design site and app that allows you to create content from pre-made templates that are sized for all kinds of different uses. All of the most important parts are free and if you want more options and the ability to resize posts (this has saved my butt so many times) you can upgrade to their work plan for a really great price. Canva also just got a pretty awesome update that is available to work plan customers and I have not even scratched the surface of its new functions.
As I love lists and you probably want me to stop waffling on about how much I love Canva here are 10 things I have made on Canva.
- Business Cards. I have designed my business cards as well as client business cards on Canva and they always look so good. Bonus: Canva does printing as well so you don't even need to go to another service.
- Logos. Both of my logos were created on Canva. And I have made several others for clients using free templates. Yes if you don't customize the templates then you can run the risk of having a logo similar to someone else's but when there are so many options why wouldn't you customize it to be just what you want.
- Post Cards. Remember how I said the resize feature with Canva for Work saved my butt. Yeah this is one case it came in handy. I love my business card design and wanted to make postcards but I could not find a similar design in the post cards. So all I did was take my business card front and resize it. With a couple tweaks it was perfect.
- Youtube Thumbnails. I make youtube videos, at least once per week I need to make a new thumbnail for my videos. What saves me a ton of time is setting up a template that I just make a copy of and then drop the new screenshot into and change the text. It takes less than 3 minutes and I have a uniform look to my channel.
- Instagram Stories. Yes you can make text stories right from your computer. Or the mobile app. It is awesome! There are pre-made templates or you can make your own and add photos, graphics, text etc. This especially easy if you get the free app on your phone.
- Blog Graphics. The header photo on this post was made in Canva. So were the ones on all my other posts. I did a similar thing to making a thumbnail and set up a style I like then just change the text content and photo as I need. It save so much time to not have to reinvent the wheel every time I need to make something.
- Recruiting Magazine. This one was so much fun. At my 9-5 before I became fully self employed I was tasked with creating a modern, clean and interesting looking recruiting brochure. While it required a lot of work with building content the end result was so good.
- Real Estate Open House Announcements. One of my first clients needed a template that could be easily be used with just a few clicks. So I customized an existing template to be branded to their company, then adjusted some elements so any photo could be dropped in and would look good. Then all I had to do was change the text and photo as needed.
- Door Hangers. This is not a pre-made template for Canva but that did not stop me. You can make something from custom dimensions and then build your layout from there. I used one of the stock photos that Canva allows you to purchase (it only cost $1.00) and then added in different text elements. I did the same thing for the back and even used a Canva created logo.
- Gift Certificates. The holidays are coming up quick and if you are a small business owner it can be pricy to get gift cards made so this was an awesome way to make gift certificates that are customized to your needs and print them in small batches.