Canva Made Easy (even if you’re not a designer)

Everyone uses Canva, right? Even graphic designers (me!) are happy to admit it’s more than just a time saving app. It’s revolutionary to help brands create consistent content that looks professional and engaging. 

Despite my initial snobbery, this is one of the best graphics and social media template creation tools that I use day in, day out. It’s ace. I love that I can share templates with my clients and they can pick it up and create their own versions.

As fantastic as Canva is for small businesses and solo entrepreneurs, it’s a system that needs to be learnt to get the best out of it for on brand designs. 

Here are some of my top time saving tips for creating content in Canva:

Plan Your Templates

Templates will save you so much time (and your sanity) 

The brilliant people at Canva have already done a lot of the work for us with their large template library but you can create your own or outsource to a brand designer to do it on your behalf. 

However you decide to create your templates, I would recommend starting out with these:

  • Testimonial/Review; these might not be the most high performing posts but having feedback from your clients or customers is essential for showing your expertise and showing this as part of your grid ‘shop window’.
  • Quote Posts; We all love an eye-catching quote and there are so many ways to make these unique. So make sure you do, don’t copy, create your own stand-out style.
  • Tips Post; Value. Value. Value. I love carousels like this one for tips but you can create a template for lots of different tips, Canva even has lots of infographics which might help showcase your tip in a striking visual.
  • Image Frame; Super easy, super effective way to combine images and text. These should be an absolute staple in your Canva set to use time and time again.
  • Engagement Post; Now let’s have some fun! Which posts do you tend to engage with? What do you want to find out about your followers? Using an engagement post can be a fun way to answer a question or offer an opinion in a light way.

Find great templates quickly and batch your content

You might need to shake up your feed and get some inspiration or you have your branded colours and fonts at the ready and a long list of content ideas in your favourite project management tool (trello fan anyone?!) and now you need to create your branded posts that are engaging and speak to your audience. 

Why not let Canva do (almost) all the hard work?

I use this method ALL THE TIME when I’m creating my own brand designs or when I’m working on templates for clients.

The handy little star tool can really speed up the way you find templates you like in Canva.

Here’s how you can try:

* Search through the templates you like and star those you do

* Remember to look for common styles as you select; think about colours, shapes and end use.

* Click on one template you want to use and rename the batch something memorable

* Find your Starred folder and then add new pages and new templates that you’ve already starred

* Apply your branding to these and use the grid view to review the batch, see what else you need and edit from there.

Creating your branded content in the optimum size

Yes, size really does matter – especially when your audience hangs around on Instagram and you have an opportunity to stop the scroll with a little more real estate on the screen. 

With more and more portrait posts appearing in our Instagram feeds you might be wondering how to edit your existing square templates in Canva?

Here’s the lowdown step by step

1. Open up your existing template and resize to 1080 x 1350 in the Canva Pro tools

2. To ensure you have a good grid crop; use elements to make a 1080 x 1080 square

3. Use the pink ‘snap to’ grid lines to get it centred

4. Reduce the transparency of the square to see beneath

5. This is what will show on your grid

6. You can then use ‘Show Rulers’ under File to create a ruler above and below the box

7. This will apply to all pages and make sure you keep essential information within this ‘safe’ area.

If there’s anything else you REALLY need to know about Canva get in touch, I’d love to help.

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