I have been blessed with fortuitous timing in my professional life. Time and time again opportunities have presented themselves at the exact right time when I needed them most in order to solve problems or issues I’m currently dealing with.
This past winter I finished reading Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World by Gary Vaynerchuk and it helped to completely change my thinking about how one should treat social media channels. In short, this book helped to convince me that one should treat each social media channel as a separate and distinct entity with specific channel audiences, strategies, and most importantly, the need to create and share images formatted for that particular social media channel.
The issue I now faced was how was I going to create images for each social media channel every time I wanted to make a post.
Was I going to learn photoshop?
Did I need to begin to outsource my image creation?
Maybe putting my new beliefs into action wasn’t going to be possible.
Then I fortuitously received an invitation to beta test Canva, an amazingly simple online graphic design tool that allows you to create images for blogs, social media, and so much more. I have fallen head over heels for this tool and wanted to share 8 reasons why I love Canva.
1. Pre-defined social media sizes
When you decide to create a new image, you’ll be presented with a similar picture to the one below. As you can see you can select the proper image sizes pre-defined for the specific social media channel that you are creating the image for. This is a huge timesaver and ensures that I have the appropriate image size every time.
After you select the image size, Canva will present a large number of templates which you can use as a guide to create great images and graphics. I am not a graphic designer by trade, but by using these templates, it allows me to have the appearance of being one. I like using the templates as a starting point and then customize each image to my tastes. If you don’t want to use a template Canva will allow you to create images from a blank canvas.
3. Use Your Own Images
Canva allows you to upload your own images to use in their templates or within your own designs, e.g., your school logo or an image of campus.
Canva has tons of installed fonts that you can select to use in your images. There are so many font choices that I have yet to use everyone.
Probably my favorite feature of Canva is that it is free. Yes, you read that correctly. FREE. Canva does a have large stock image library that will cost you a dollar to use an image, but I have only paid for images twice.
Another feature I appreciate is the fact that Canva stores my uploaded images and the images that I have created. While Canva allows you to download the images, you create in PNG, JPG, or PDF format I like having all my Canva images in one place as sort of an archive.
The one negative of creating specific images for each social media channel is that you have to create a lot of images. I love the copy feature within Canva which allows me to make a copy of a previously created image and then use that image to make a new image for a different social media channel. Once I make a copy, it does not harm the original image. This feature saves me a ton of time!
8. Collaboration Features
There are so many reasons why I love Canva it was hard to select only eight, but the final feature that I find valuable is the built-in collaboration feature to create images. Once you create an image, you can share it with someone and allow them to only view the image or edit the image. While this feature is excellent if you need to share the image with someone across the globe I’ve also found it extremely helpful sharing images with someone across the office.
What Are You Waiting For?
Canva has been a wonderful resource for me, and I encourage you sign-up today for a free account. As I mentioned earlier, there are more than eight reasons why Canva has become my image creation tool of choice. For me, Canva is like graphic design for dummies, and you won’t be disappointed when you check it out.
If you are currently using Canva, please share your favorite feature in the comments below.