You’re probably already using Canva, but are you using it strategically? Does it support your marketing strategy and help you grow your business? If that sounds like something you could be doing more of, then you’re listening to the correct episode of the Whin Big Podcast!

This week, Katie looks at harnessing the power of Canva AND Instagram and combining them so you can support your marketing strategy and bring in new customers. This is 100% strategy, so grab your notebook and let’s get to work!

Today's episode is sponsored by the Instagram MOT. This 20-point checklist and free training are freshly updated, so get stuck in to find out if your profile is fit for purpose or needs some attention! Click on the big yellow button below to get started right away.

Getting strategic with Canva and Instagram

Creating graphics on Canva is hardly a new concept, and Katie loves the cool Canva tools and features as much as any of us. But this week, Katie’s taking us away from the bells, whistles, and shiny things of Canva and showing us something way cooler.

“This week, we’re going to think about being more strategic with the way we use Canva designs to support our Instagram strategy and overall business growth goals.”

In the episode, Katie will cover:

  • Brand awareness & connection
  • Using Canva to sell things
  • Improving planning, workflows, and processes

Most of the tools Katie covers are included in the free version, so you’re not going to miss out if you haven’t upgraded to Pro yet.

Brand awareness and connection with Canva

Consistency with brand colours

When you upload your pictures and graphics into Canva, key colours from the image are highlighted by Canva so that you can use the same colours elsewhere in the design. Here’s an easy way to keep the colours consistent:

  • Upload your logo or branded graphics into Canva
  • Canva will pull out the colours in the image
  • Select 2 or 3 colours you want to use consistently
  • Create squares of those colours onto a white background
  • Download the image onto your desktop
  • Re-upload into Canva
  • Add the image to the graphic you’re creating so you can pick the colours easily.
  • Don’t forget to remove the graphic with the coloured squares!

Take this same approach with fonts and visual flourishes (like shapes or lines) that you can use every time you post online.

“Using consistent colours, fonts, and visual elements mean you will be recognisable. People will know it’s you because your visual prompts reflect your branding, and it helps people connect with you.”

Create a connection with consistent designs

Another great way to create connection and recognition is to use a fairly consistent design style. To do this, Katie suggests:

  • Avoid designing posts from scratch every time
  • Pull out a copy of a post that you’ve done before
  • Change the words and images and move elements around, but keep it consistent.

“Try to think of your designs as being part of a series, rather than one-offs.”

When you think about the content you produce, can you see how it could be a series? Katie gives the example of having ‘Motivational Monday’ quotes. These could easily have the same style of post every Monday. It goes a long way to helping your community recognise your content and instantly connect with it.

Sell with confidence with Canva

Katie’s spoken before about feeling a little less confident around sales and selling than she’d like. However, she’s found that having a plan and strategy can work around her discomfort and still move through the process.

Part of that plan is around her visuals. Solid visuals and graphics will elevate your products or services and give an air of confidence (even if you’re not feeling that way yourself).

There are lots of different ways to create visuals around your product or service, but here are two that Katie’s found most effective when she promotes her masterclasses, courses and workshops:

1. Take a nice photo of you or your clients – and put text over it that includes the title of your product or service. 

2. Look for frames or images that let you upload a screenshot of your webpage or course into it, so it looks like your site is on the device in the image. 

Think about:

  • Do you want to use pictures of you and/or your clients?
  • Do you have great photos for advertising your thing?
  • Avoid using too much text – make it easy for people to see what you’re selling.

“Your sales posts might not get the highest reach, the most comments and saves, but they’ll tell interested people – those who are excited to work with you – exactly how they can buy from you.”

Keeping organised with Canva

If you have a Pro subscription, they have a scheduling tool. While Katie acknowledges that it’s handy, she doesn’t feel that it’s essential because you can schedule your posts directly into Instagram Creator Studio. If you don’t know what Instagram Creator Studio is, don’t worry, we covered that in a previous episode! 

Designing and posting effortlessly

When it comes to keeping organised and sticking to a content plan, Katie finds the link between the mobile app and desktop handy.

She will design a more complex graphic using her desktop – something she finds easy with a large screen and a mouse – and then quickly edit from her phone to post when she needs to, wherever she is, or whatever she’s doing.

Think about:

  • What are the obstacles that stop you from getting great designs on Instagram?
  • What’s making Canva feel like a ‘hassle’?
  • What can you do to take the effort and faffing out of the process?

Did you find this episode useful?

If you did, we’d love it if you could share it with a friend, leave a review or send us a DM to tell us your thoughts.

You can DM Katie over on Instagram.

Resources in episode 78 of The Whin Big Podcast

Want to know more about Instagram Creator Studio? Episode 40 of The Whin Big Podcast gives you all the information you need to get started.

Want to get even more out of Canva? Meet Thea Newcomb, one of only 2 Canva trainers in Scotland and Katie’s guest on episode 55 of The Whin Big Podcast

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