For many Solopreneur you have to somehow have all the skills required to run your business alone. Whether it’s due to lack of financial investment, manpower or out
of choice, you have to at least at the start be able to get your business in motion.
I totally understand as that’s exactly how I started. I had plenty of friends and even family members with valuable skills and know-how but unfortunately they had their own day jobs and some even had their own business to focus on. Also as a Solopreneur you need to work on deadlines and unfortunately waiting for others to make time for your project isn’t a options.
So your now in the digital marketing phase of your business. You’ve decided on the social media platforms your looking to invest your time and possible money in and have even created a social media calendar outlining the time and frequency of your posts. You have even found serval content providers that you can share posts. Part of your strategy is create a branded posts with images company logo and brand colours. You’ve managed to get some great inspirational ideas for your posts and have a rough plan of your posts for chosen social media platform(s).
You don’t have an particular software on your laptop, or pc to help you design your posts and unfortunately do not have any finances to invest in one. So you trial out the 30 days Free tools. You’ve tried out Adobe Photoshop trial and found it difficult to get your head around so you wont be investing in the monthly subscription.
So where to now? I have found some fantastic free tools that got me started on creating my own posts that looks as if a graphic design specialists produced it. I have put together the six tools I use on a regular basis to create my social media posts, website banners and presentation slides.
Pixabay: On Pixabay you may find and share images free of copyrights. All pictures are released under Creative Commons CC0 into the public domain. They have a great selection of FREE images and some premium ones. They have a small selection of videos too. You can copy, modify, distribute, and use the images, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission and without paying attribution. A nice contribution is always welcome to support Pixabay long-term.
Canva: Canva is an online graphic design platform. It offers free access to a wide assortment of design tools and options, as well as premium options for paying customers. They have a very limited number of free images and only charge £1 for their premium images with a special offer on bulk buy. What I love most about Canva is that is easy to use, they have templates for most social media platforms with set dimensions and the option to customise. You create your account by login with a Facebook account and your ready to go. You can upload your own images from your desktop and with their app you can easily create designs using your tablet. As well as free backgrounds, icons, and layouts you can set your designs to use your company brand hex colour code.
Banner Fotor : Fotor Banner Maker is where you can create your own banners in all sizes for free; you can either generate your banner from scratch or customize from pre-designed banners by changing the wording, overlays and pictures. If your also creating your own websites or even need to update your banner photos then Fotor banner is great.
Cut my picture: A fun, free, online web tool that quickly enables you to resize, edit, cut, crop, add rounded corners and a drop shadow to your image, picture or photo. I love Cut my picture, if you don’t have the luxury of having Photoshop and need for example a image in with rounded corners with a shadow this is a great feature. I use it mainly to create and edit images for my website.
Animoto: Animoto is a cloud-based video creation service that produces video from photos, video clips, and music into video slideshows. I’ve used this tool to create my company videos for Facebook page, website landing and home page. I think Animoto is fantastic, they have a free plan which includes the Animoto logo and no option to custom with your logo. This was one tool I decided to invest by purchasing the professional plan as I wanted it branded with Ayes Creative Learning logo. I frequently create my videos and slideshows as its a straight-forward to use, with easy downloads to your desktop and uploads to various social Platforms such as Pinterest, Vimeo and Linkedin. Its also provides an embedded code to use on a static html based website.
Prezi: Prezi is a presentation tool that can be used as an alternative to traditional slide making programs such as PowerPoint. Instead of slides, Prezi makes use of one large canvas that allows you to pan and zoom to various parts of the canvas and emphasize the ideas presented there. I love Prezi, it’s a great presentation tool for spicing up the mundane and very lacklustre PowerPoint slides that you’ve been using for years. It allows for new kinds of visualizations and opportunities to link imagery to motion, which in turn creates a deeper understanding and retention duration.
There are many other tools available and other people may have other suggestions but I highly recommend the above tools to get started. Create some fantastic visual images and presentations using the above five tools above. Remember all theses tools are free and are great for start-ups with lack of investment.
“IT ALWAYS SEEMS IMPOSSIBLE UNTIL ITS DONE”