7 WAYS CANVA TEMPLATES CAN HELP YOU GROW YOUR BUSINESS

7 WAYS CANVA TEMPLATES CAN HELP YOU GROW YOUR BUSINESS

When you start your own business, you need to learn so many new skills: financial, social, motivational and beyond. Given that you’re the one responsible for making everything happen, it’s easy to think that you need to do it all yourself, but that’s just not true. In fact, experts say you need to build systems for others to follow as soon as you can, so you can stay doing the thing you love and let others do the rest. Doing this prevents frustration and burn-out. One of the easiest systems you can introduce to your business are Canva templates for your social media graphics. Here are seven reasons why you might want to use them to grow your business and stay sane at the same time.

1. SAVE YOUR VALUABLE TIME WITH CANVA TEMPLATES

Time is one of the scarcest resources of a business owner. Do you really want to spend hours creating graphics, when you could take a short-cut with templates, updating with your branded colours, fonts and text in a few minutes? And once you have your favourites updated with your branding, simply duplicate pages in your design and swap out the text and photos. It’s that easy!

Using brand fonts and colours consistently means your followers recognise your posts as soon as they appear in their feed – an easy way to build your brand. And templates make it possible to batch weeks or months of content at a time and schedule out your posts, so you have time and bandwidth to work on other parts of your business, secure in the knowledge that your social media posts are going out when they should. 

Even if you ‘like’ designing social media graphics, is spending hours on them a great use of your time? Is there something else that would be a better use of your time? Hint: it may be something you don’t want to do and designing social media graphics is a displacement activity. If you really need a break from work, you could choose an activity that is completely unconnected.

Canva business templates - an example of a carousel template for Canva that could save you hours.

2. STAY IN YOUR ZONE OF GENIUS

We often start a business because we want to work in a particular field on our own and we’re passionate about that – or certainly about the freedom that working for yourself can bring. What can remove the shine from that vision are the other tasks that are not part of your chosen profession. For instance, if you’re a yoga teacher who loves helping their clients build stronger and more flexible bodies, it doesn’t automatically follow that you also love running an Instagram account, learning to set up an online shop to sell classes or completing tax returns. You may not be skilled at these either. 

Give yourself the gift of freedom and outsource or minimise those tasks where possible, so that you can spend most of your time connecting with your clients. Canva templates are an easy stepping stone that give professional results for your marketing without needing to learn design principles yourself. Just add in your own fonts, colours and text. 

3. KEEPS YOU IN TOUCH WITH DESIGN TRENDS

It can be easy to be stuck in your own design world – the way it’s always been done. By tapping into Canva business templates, you’re staying current with trends and your business reflects it’s moving with the times.

This can be simple updates such as using a gradient rather than a single colour or using trending elements. And because someone else is doing the designing, you don’t have to stay on top of the latest looks. Win-win!

You can still retain your brand colours and fonts most of the time, with the trending elements or designs swapping in to keep your social media graphics and other marketing visuals fresh. 

4. LEVERAGE YOUR HOURS

In order for your business to earn more, your average hourly rate has to increase. Whether that’s raising what you charge for professional services, or spending your time creating products that can be sold multiple times to leverage your time, your hourly rate matters. 

Given this, you need to ask yourself if it makes any sense to spend hours creating a graphic that someone else – an expert in THEIR field – has already 90% created. This is their leveraged product that is available at a much lower price point than it would cost to have a custom design created. 

Unless your outgoings need to be as close to zero as possible or you’re outsourcing your social media completely, Canva business templates are the efficient middle way to create marketing graphics efficiently. 

5. READY TO PUBLISH IN MINUTES

Yes, we’re talking about your time again and how to make the most of it. Canva templates can help you publish in minutes rather than hours. This can mean you’re able to create and schedule a social post in a small pocket of time between meetings or at the end of the day.

And because you’re not wasting time thinking about text size or balancing elements, you never end up taking five times as long as you planned to work on your socials, abandoning other important tasks in your schedule. Apart from anything else, having your daily plans hijacked by a marketing graphic is discouraging.  

6. TEMPLATES HAVE THE LATEST FEATURES

Many Canva business templates make the most of recently added functionality and new additions to the library. They could feature animations, text variations or simply using the latest elements, which add the ‘ooh’ factor to your social posts. It also means you don’t have to ‘stay up with the latest trends’ – as they’re already baked into the templates. 

7. TEMPLATES ARE SYSTEMS FOR YOUR BUSINESS

When starting your business, you want to create systems for efficiency. It also means that when you’re ready to delegate tasks, they’re ready to hand over. In the case of creating weekly Instagram content, for example, this could be tasks that include reviewing the past week, choosing topics (based on your content pillars), writing posts, recording and editing video, creating graphics, scheduling and daily engagement.

You might make these into a checklist, a set of Trello cards or a section in Notion, depending on how you like to run your business. You can link the URL of your Canva templates quickly and easily into any online system – even a PDF checklist.

Once you’ve built your systems, you can see easily which parts – if not all – you can delegate to others.  Systems also keep you on track: it’s easier to work through a checklist than remember what you need to do and in what order every time. Systems also mean knowing how long a set of tasks take, so you can plan enough time in your diary. 

What do you think? Do any of these points resonate with you and your business? Have you tried using Canva templates for your marketing? There are a range of them available in the shop

HOW TO CREATE A SOCIAL MEDIA SCHEDULE IN FIVE EASY STEPS

HOW TO CREATE A SOCIAL MEDIA SCHEDULE IN FIVE EASY STEPS

If you want to learn how to create a social media schedule so you can be consistent on platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest, here are the five easy steps you need to take. If you want any further reasons for creating a social media schedule, that’s explained in the last blog post about why you need one.

1. CHOOSE YOUR PLATFORMS

You have limited time, so choose the platforms that are giving you the most return on your time and resources. Review these every quarter, to make sure that they’re still working for you and to check if you need to change anything about your posting schedule or content. If you want to leave a platform, you can explain in your profile and/or a pinned post that all your latest news is now on Instagram or Facebook or wherever you are active. If you’re just starting out and have no idea which platforms to choose, have a word with a couple of your clients and see what platforms they’re on. Also bear in mind that photographers deal in the visual, so you may be better off with visual-centric platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest, rather than podcasts and Twitter.  

2. CHOOSE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA POSTING SCHEDULE

Choose your social media posting schedule based on what you want from it. Someone wanting to build a Facebook page to 1000 fans inside a few months might post two or three times a day; someone who just wants their Facebook page to look up to date for visitors might post once a week. Start out with the minimum viable posting schedule for each platform if you haven’t been able to post consistently until now. Better to start out slowly and make sure it’s sustainable for you than to crash and burn. You can always increase your posting schedule later. Your schedule is also reliant on you creating content. As a photographer, you’re ahead of most in having a selection of professional photos to choose from. But if you’re including video in your scheduling, you still need to create and edit that. Make sure that you have enough time in your schedule to curate and create social media content including captions and hashtag research. If you don’t have enough time to create all the content and/or schedule it, you could hire a social media manager to do some or all of it for you. They may also be able to provide a strategy for you.  

3. WHAT TO POST – YOUR CONTENT

Well, photos, obviously. And video if at all possible. Facebook and Instagram stories are perfect for vertical video that you’ve shot yourself and looks a little messy. The buzzword is ‘relatable’ – the kind of video anyone could shoot – the antithesis of corporate or polished. Think about your audience and what would be useful to them – that’s what is most likely to get most engagement. You can vary the format too: for Facebook, this can mean Lives, memes, gifs and questions. Think of this as a bit of a science experiment: try lots of things, look at what is most engaging for your audience and do more of that.  

4. CHOOSE YOUR SCHEDULER

A scheduler can make or break your social media posting. Sure, you still have to engage with your audience, but schedulers mean your content goes out when it should. For Facebook, I recommend its own native scheduler. It keeps Facebook happy, by which I mean you are staying on Facebook which it likes, and is easy to use. You can find it on your page’s publishing tools just below published posts. For Instagram, Planoly and Later both have paid and free schedulers, which cover up to 30 posts a month. If you have an Instagram business account connected to Facebook, both services will post single images automatically for you. For many people, that’s enough. HootSuite will also do the job, just not as visually. For Instagram Stories, it’s a bit trickier. Although you can plan your Stories in Planoly, Later and a number of other schedulers, you need to post Stories at least partially manually. So when scheduling, you want to think about when you’re available to post.  

5. KNOW WHEN TO POST

The best times to post your social media content are when the highest number of your followers are online. You can check this on Instagram in your insights / audience, assuming you have a business account. On Facebook, it’s a similar story. Go to your page insights / posts / when your fans are online. Pinterest (no, technically not a social media platform, but useful to include here as it helps amplify our marketing messages) does not have a ‘good’ time of day to post, but it does like daily posting of new content. So that’s how to create a social media schedule for your business or blog. When you set it up, it can help you be consistent and totally on top of your schedule through batching and your scheduler.  

JUST ONE MORE THING …

If you’re a visual thinker or want to have a bird’s eye view of all your platforms, you can use a spreadsheet such as Google sheets or my new favourite AirTable. The basic version is free and more than enough for a social media scheduler, although I upgraded, for some of the extra capabilities including watching my posts change colour when I’ve created and scheduled them. There are even social media templates you can find in the Universe section.
7 REASONS TO CREATE A SOCIAL MEDIA SCHEDULE AND CHANGE YOUR LIFE

7 REASONS TO CREATE A SOCIAL MEDIA SCHEDULE AND CHANGE YOUR LIFE

If you’ve ever ever struggled to post regularly on Instagram and Facebook or regard planning as something a creative avoids, here are seven reasons to create a social media schedule and change your life.

CONSISTENCY – WHICH HELPS BUILD YOUR BUSINESS

Posting consistently helps humans and Google return to your content again and again. We humans like to know you’re going to entertain or inform us regularly, just like your favourite Tuesday night TV show. And algorithms like us sharing new content regularly too – that’s Google, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest right there.

So consistency is possibly the best reason to create a social media schedule – in one fell swoop, you can please your visitors / potential clients, Google search and your social media platforms.

YOU CAN BE STRATEGIC WITH YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA POSTING

When you have a plan, you can be strategic in your posting. You can deliberately post your best work, captions and hashtags based on how posts have performed in the past.

Compare that to last-minute posting, where your photo may not be a great choice, your caption is rushed and you probably haven’t been that careful to figure out the best hashtags or tagging other accounts.

SCHEDULING MAKES SUCCESS EASIER TO MEASURE

When you’re posting at the same frequency over time, you’re able to analyse your successes more easily. For instance, you can compare website traffic numbers month on month in Google analytics, knowing that your blog post and social media frequency is consistent, so any changes in traffic are related to particular posts or other reasons.

The same goes for analysing your success on social media platforms. Consistent posting allows you to compare weeks, months or quarters with each other and spot trends.

For instance, Instagram photos are getting less traction than they did previously for many, because of the rise in Instagram Stories. If you were watching a drop in engagement or reach with regular posts, you could try varying your posting schedule, content or add in Stories to stop that slide. If you aren’t posting consistently, it is far more difficult to see these trends or blame them on your posting.

YOU CAN COAST THROUGH BUSY PERIODS

With all of your social media planned, you can schedule ahead – or at least plan ahead so you know what you’re posting and when. Even if you haven’t shot or processed a wedding yet, you can plan your usual ’just one’ or ‘sneak peak’ alongside your other content.

It also helps you spot dry patches, when you might not have much new content. You could take this opportunity to shoot some styled photos of your latest sample albums or other products for using on social media and your website. You could use client testimonials to create styled graphics in Canva or Photoshop.

You can schedule out content several months in advance, which is likely to cover your busiest time of year. Can you imagine your peak summer time without having to even think about what to post?

A SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS SAVES YOU TIME

One of the main reasons photographers give for not posting consistently on social media platforms or blogging is that they don’t have time. Here’s the good news: a social media scheduler can save you time.

Here’s how:

When you use a social media scheduler, you can batch your content. That’s all of your Instagram grid content for June, for instance. Perhaps you go into Lightroom, choose 12 photos for four weeks of posting three times a week. Export. Upload into your scheduler, schedule and write the captions.

Then you might research three new sets of hashtags that cover the three areas those photos cover and you add those. That’s a month COMPLETELY FINISHED!

By batching your content, you’re being super efficient, cutting the number of times you context switch or change your focus between each step.

If you are sceptical about the time saving of context switching, time yourself scheduling out one month as detailed above and then scheduling out another month one post at a time.

YOU KNOW WHEN YOU’RE DONE

Who doesn’t like that smug feeling you get when you’re totally up to date with your processing, even if it only happens once a year? Well, it’s kind of the same when you’re done scheduling your social media posts for the week, month or quarter. (Yes, some people really are that organised – almost weird, huh!)

If you choose to post a certain number of Instagram photos, Stories, Pinterest pins, blog and Facebook posts and you do this all at once for the month, you’re done for another 29 or so days. All you have to do in the meantime is engage on your platforms.

If this is already you, high five! If not, this is what you could have for yourself with a social media schedule.

BE ON TOP OF IMPORTANT DATES

Knowing important dates such as Mothers and Fathers days, Easter, Black Friday and local school holidays can be key for photographers to maximise their sales and profits.

If you’re a portrait photographer, you may plan months in advance for promotions for some of these dates. This might start with a model call on social media platforms for promotional photos or asking your audience what kind of studio set-up they would like for a portrait series.

If you’re a wedding photographer, you might run promotions for past clients for particular dates such as Mothers Day with reprints, albums, photo jewellery or other products.

Being this organised can have other benefits. If you’re this organised with your social media, chances are, you’ll be planning any printed collateral such as flyers or brochures. Plan that far enough ahead and you’ll avoid express shipping fees or save with long turnaround times.

So there are seven reasons to create a social media calendar. Convinced? Would love to know your thoughts if you’re not. Next week, I’ll be going into detail on the essentials of building a social media schedule, so stay tuned.

LOCAL MARKETING USING INSTAGRAM: IT’S EASIER THAN YOU THINK

LOCAL MARKETING USING INSTAGRAM: IT’S EASIER THAN YOU THINK

Local marketing using Instagram is easier than you think! Here are three simple tips to get you in front of potential clients in your local area.

WHY DO LOCAL MARKETING WITH INSTAGRAM?

With Instagram allowing us to reach anywhere in the world, why would it be especially good for marketing in our local area? Instagram’s geotags and hashtags for geographical areas are the perfect way to be found for your town or city and the surrounding area. An increasing number of Instagram’s 800 million users use it to explore areas they are visiting, planning to visit or simply to stay on top of their community.

The power of you posting using geotags and hashtags for an area is that you don’t have to have a marketing budget or – like for Google – done months or years of work to be found. You can open an Instagram account today and be found by locals within a few hours, as long as you’re using  hashtags and geotags.

TIP 1: USE LOCAL GEOTAGS OF POPULAR LOCAL PLACES

If you’re a wedding photographer, an obvious use of geotags is to link to a wedding venue. If you haven’t been doing that, you could go back to the past month or two and edit any photos in your feed without a geotag. Couples considering booking the venue for their wedding or who have booked and want to see ALL the photographs from there are going to be looking – your PERFECT potential clients.

As examples, here are photos taken at London’s Asylum Chapel and Gosfield Hall.

For portrait photographers, think about the local clothing stores or boutiques that stock the clothing your clients wear. If you do location portraits, you could tag the location you use or tag your studio, so potential clients can find you if they search Instagram. If you’re searching Instagram places, the first option that comes up is ‘Near current location’, for which you could appear.

If you work on your laptop or phone sometimes, why not work from a coffee shop or restaurant, especially the ones where your target clients go. Get seen!

TIP 2: TAG LOCAL BUSINESSES IN INSTAGRAM STORIES

When you tag accounts in your Stories, they get a notification of your mention and can re-share Stories where they are tagged. Be aware that they can only re-share Stories where they are mentioned, so if your Story has multiple photos or videos, you need to tag them in all the photos/videos.

You could even put together an Instagram highlight of great local service. That way, if a potential client is flipping through your account, they learn that great service is a value of yours – and chances are – if they book you for a job, you’re going to do your best to offer great service too.

It doesn’t hurt to use local businesses and share a photo from there with the business geotag and mention them in your comments, whether that’s a much enjoyed coffee, product or fabulous service. As an aside, while you’re out in your community, you’re most likely meeting more people and connecting with them.

TIP 3: INSTAGRAM HASHTAGS

You can use local hashtags such as your town or city name. If you live in a large city and only want to target a small part, mention just your local neighbourhood or the ‘local’ version. As an example, the #miami hashtag has 55 million posts, which means that you’re unlikely to be seen for any more than a few minutes and there’s fierce competition for the most popular spots.

The hashtag #miamiliving has less than 400,000, where you’re much more likely to appear!  And you’re more likely to find Miami locals with that hashtag rather than visitors.

You can mix your location with an interest too, for niching down further. If you target well groomed women in Miami, for instance, you could add  tags like #miaminails (290,000 photos) or #miamiboutique (373,000 photos). So now you’re getting your local area AND niching down, potentially being seen in front of thousands of your potential clients – and certainly local ones.

For more help with hashtags for your business, you can pick up the Hashtag Hotshot ebook to nail the hashtags that will help get you in front of the right people on Instagram. 

 

 

 

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