The Top 3 MUST Have Tools for Creating Social Media Graphics

smgraphics_1.jpg

Social Media has become more and more visually appealing.  It is no longer an option NOT to use visuals within your social media strategy.  Sometimes, creating those visual components can be kind of stressful, especially if you are the non-designer type of entrepreneur.  Another struggle with the visual element is cost.  Many of my clients are the DIY type, just starting out, and can not afford always to hire a designer.  In this article, I will share THREE of my favorite design tools to help you create beautiful graphics for your various social media platforms.

#1 PicMonkey

PicMonkey has a free and paid option.  You have the ability to create a wide variety of customized social media visuals.  I love the fact that you can resize images, create customized sized images, add frames, cutouts, delete backgrounds, add texts, use your own fonts, and so much more!

You can create custom graphics, add your own graphic elements, and even use your own fonts.
You can create custom graphics, add your own graphic elements, and even use your own fonts.

#2 Canva

Canva is another design tool that has both a free and paid option.  One of the great features with Canva is that there are pre-set templates for social media that you can use immediately. Another excellent feature of Canva (it's premium feature ~ Canva for Work) allows you to create and save branded templates.  This function is approximately $9 a month.

Screenshot 2016-01-03 00.30.32
Screenshot 2016-01-03 00.30.32

Canva saves all you work so you can always go back to something and edit it as often as you like.  Other great features of Canva is the ability to purchase stock photography directly on their site, collaborate with others, and even create pdf documents.  The other plus, for ios users, is the Canva app for iPad.

#3 BeFunky

BeFunky is a great combination of Canva and PicMonkey.  Just like Canva and PicMonkey, BeFunky has a paid and free option.  Like Canva, it has preset templates you can use for your social media profiles.  BeFunky allows you to edit photos, create collages, and design various graphics.

BeFunky Collage
BeFunky Collage

One of the big things BeFunky has going for it is that it is both a web application and a mobile app.  You can get BeFunky on Android and iOS.

I will never say that these tools are better than hiring a graphic designer, but they are fantastic for managing your social media.  You can use these tools to create daily posts, Facebook Ads, blog post images, and more.  I find each of these tools have their place in creating a social media strategy.

So, what are your favorite design tools?  Have you tried any of these?

Bye Bye 2015, Hello 2016

cal_byebye2015hello2016-e1454525090733.jpg

I seriously can't believe 2015 is over.  Well, we actually have two more days, but still. I have been working diligently on completing Leonie Dawson's Create Your Shining Biz Planner which makes you reflect on the past year, before ever looking at the coming year.  This is such a great exercise and for me I can not begin to believe all the things I have accomplished.

In Feb 2015, I launched by business website.  I just recently started blogging and have written approximately 6 blog posts (not so good), sent out 43 emails (almost weekly), did 6 webinars, conducted 26 LIVE social media trainings, created two small e-courses, was booked for two speaking engagements, was a guest speaker for three different training programs, managed the social media presence of a well known beauty company, created a one of a kind Hybrid Social Media Coaching Program and assisted 15 entrepreneurs in successfully building their online business.  Holy moly!!!

I'll be honest, I didn't realize I had accomplished all this in less than one year of full-time business. Let me be honest, the road was not easy and I sure as hell did not do it alone.

Here are some of the things that I believe helped me this past year:

FAMILY

Well, these guys are my WHY and my ROCK.  Not only am I lucky enough to have a super supportive husband, my kids are probably the best cheerleaders anyone can ask for, and hell...my parents and brother ROCK. My "Tantetante" (aunt), is also someone that has shown tremendous amounts of support for this super scary business endeavor.

My B-SQUARED

We just came up with that name, but this is my business bestie (never thought I would use this word).  This girl has been my sounding board for some of my craziest ideas and has been there to listen to all my s@#$ this past year.  We chat every Monday not only about business but about life as an entrepreneur.  Thanks Makeda!!!

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

My business is about training, so why would I not follow my own advise.  This year I invested in several trainings that I feel increased my knowledge base.  Some of my favorite trainings were Andrea Vahl's Facebook Advertising Secrets and Create Awesome Online Trainings by David Siteman Garland.

NETWORKING

OMG, I can not begin to tell you how important networking is in creating a successful business.  And please, networking is not just posting things here and there in Facebook Groups, it's actually about creating connections with people, and maintaining those relationships.

FRIENDS

I wanted to acknowledge this group, because I realized that there are people who have been watching me and just sending me supportive inbox messages on Facebook or just sending people my way.  I feel like I do not thank this group enough, but this group deserves a huge shout out.  The little messages of support mean so much.  The lesson with this group is, you never know who is watching you or where your next client is coming from.

So, what lessons have I learned?  Too many to count, but here's what I know for sure:

FOLLOW YOUR INTUITION

When I first started out, I truly believed that everyone knew more than me, I was DEAD WRONG!  Each time I went against my intuition, well...it didn't pan out so well.  I have learned to follow my gut a little more and create a truly authentic business experience for myself and my clients.

CREATE SYSTEMS

I teach people to create systems in their business, but in the beginning I did not create enough of them for myself.  I wish I had created them earlier, but they are now there and as I enter 2016, I will be creating more standard operating procedures in my business and will definitely use Trello to house them.  PS - Trello is my go to project management tool.

BE VISIBLE

I love when people work with me and say, "Damn Daphné, you know your s@#$!"  The thing is, I need to increase my visibility and let more people know that I know my s!@#$.  Some of my plans for 2016 include using live streaming more often and more consistently, grow my Facebook Group ~ The Social Biz Café, and blog more.

Well, bye, bye 2015 and hello 2016!!! I look forward to all the new people I will be working with and supporting, but also, I am really looking forward to seeing what I will accomplish in 2016.

[Tweet "Now that 2015 is over, what did you accomplish and what are your looking forward to in 2016?"]

 

New Facebook Ad Changes

facebook_ad_changes.png

I work with many clients who are trying to figure out the Facebook puzzle.  A key to Facebook mastery is understanding just how Facebook ads work.  But are you confused about Facebook ads as well?  What about keeping up with all the latest changes? Running ads has become much more important but there are a lot of different types of ads to run.  If you aren't careful, you could waste a lot of money without getting a real return.  

freewebinar_facebookads
freewebinar_facebookads

My friend

Andrea

Vahl (co-author of

Facebook Marketing All-in-One for Dummies

) has an upcoming FREE webinar on Thursday, November 12th where she is going to outline all the latest changes and show you how to run ads without wasting your money.  Her webinars consistently get rave reviews on the amount of valuable content she shares.  Get all the details

here

:  

In this

webinar

you will learn:

  • What new Advertising options are available on Facebook and how to pick the best ad for your goal. 
  • The EXACT steps you need to get leads from Facebook and what converts the best. 
  • How you can get the cheapest clicks and understanding when to turn your ads off. 
  • When to use Boosted Posts and when NOT to! 
  • How the new Facebook Ads Pixel works 
  • How to read the Facebook Ad Reports so that you aren't wasting money! 

Sign up

now

! There will be a recording, but you need to sign up:

SIGN UP LINK

P.S. I'll be there too! I believe in continually educating myself!