Running or starting a small business but not sure where to start with graphic and web design? Below are some of the obvious but also not so obvious tips and tricks that have helped me build our brand along the way. I am a big believer in trying to figure things out on your own before hiring out projects. The internet is a very powerful tool. It may be overwhelming now, but you will be happy down the road that you gave it your best effort to wear as many hats as possible during the start up stage.
⋙ Canva makes it SO simple to make professional looking marketing + social media materials. There is a free version which is still incredible resourceful or a paid version for $12.99 that has many more features (the best $12.99 we spend each month!). I also use Canva to create ALL of the graphics for our website, social media, menus, marketing fliers, and sometimes even photo editing (with almost the click of a button...it's too easy). Combine your Iphone photography skills with Canva's resources and you are officially a pro!
⋒ When in doubt......google it! Having printer issues? Google it. Can't figure out how to edit a pdf? Google it. Need inspiration for a pastel holiday color pallet? Google it. Need to remove the white background from an image or logo? Google it. Can't figure out how to upload a document to your website? Google it. There are often 100% free solutions to all of the above and more on the good old world wide web, it just sometimes takes a little research.
♡ I am a big believer in bringing back good old Pinterest! Every time we launch a new product, a new campaign, a new website, or anything that requires creativity and fun branding......I ALWAYS start a Pinterest board for it first to let my imagination run wild. Before photoshoots, I make a board with all of the shots that we want to achieve. When we launch a new product, I create a board with all of the packaging designs that I love. When we build a new website, I always create a board to help funnel our ideas, pick the best colors, and make sure to include everything it needs. Pinterest may be a thing of the past for some.....but it is a GREAT tool for organizing ideas. It is a simple + fun way to pull all ideas together and build a quick little vision board.
⇢ I highly recommend the Shopify platform for anyone who is building or running an e-commerce business. It is very easy to use and my biggest advice is to refer to the google machine again. If you need an to add apps to customize your products and product pages, google or look up on Shopify to see which come recommended. Do research on your own before hiring someone. I bet you can figure it out :) Some apps that I have added to our Shopify site: Product Options by Bold (to select flavors, sizes, add notecards, gift messages, upload photos for custom labels and more), Order Delivery Date so the customer can choose their delivery date, Promo Banner to add a countdown or promo to the top of your website. Download the Mailchimp, Quickbooks, Facebook and Instagram apps to sync. If you are patient with the learning process, you will thank yourself later when you are in full control of your website. You got this!