Thursday, June 15, 2017

Feeling Frustrated with Canva? Say Hello to Crello!



Created and released by depositphotos.com, Crello boasts 6,000+ free templates, 10,500+ free images, 10,000+ free design elements and an in-design search of over 60,000,000 images that is lightening fast.

Those that experience frustration with the lack of intuitiveness in Canva menu's, will find the Crello menu's more familiar. Although the interface looks similar to Canva, there are significant differences in menus and ease of us. This focus on ease of use also simplifies backgrounds and layers. You can select any element and lock it in place, while still being able to move all unlocked elements around.

Select a colour and Crello will give you a range of colour options for contrast. There are visual effects and filters and you can upload your own images and your own fonts. Yes, you can upload your own fonts. That solves a lot of branding issues when creating social media images.

Aside from all the free stuff, there are very budget friendly design elements and photos you can purchase. Better still, once you purchase them, they remain available for use in your account so you never need to buy the same element or photo twice!

In addition to all of that, many of the Crello templates have interesting, complex and layered designs that will make it possible for even the graphically-challenged can create stunning images.

The drawback vs. Canva? I am really going to miss magic resize while I explore all these new templates.

There is no paid version so you get all functionality features for free and even sign up is optional. You can simply go to crello.com, hit the Create a Design button, and you are off and running.

Read the press release for more info, or head on over and create now!


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Great Learning Option from Your Local Library

Have you ever searched for a course on a specific subject online? How do you know which course is better than another? It can be hard to choose and expensive to find out you were wrong.

I was asking a WordPress consultant what she recommends for WordPress training and I found out something even better.

Apparently lynda.com is the best place to go for just about any technical training. This is because of the way they rigorously curate their content. Good to know. Even better, though, was finding out that I can access lynda.com for free because I have a library card. Just log into your local library's website and you should find access to lynda.com in the learning section.

Here in Regina, check this link for great free training you can access with your library card!

Guest Post by Linda Daley, republished from Work Better, Not Harder.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Branding Images


Pablo (by Buffer)

This is an online program that you can use on your desktop computer without downloading software. Their promise is that you can design engaging images for your social media posts in under 30 seconds and I would say that is a stretch. But what you can do is brand all your social media images or create blog title images to accompany you blog link posts in easily under 30 seconds. Limited in functionality (no design options), what Pablo does do simply and fantastically, is allow you to upload your logo and type your domain name to add to images you plan to post. For that alone, it is well worth the bookmark.

There are sharing options, including an option to send your branded image direct to Buffer.

Enhance (by Hootsuite)

Similar to Pablo, this is the Hootsuite version. Available only for mobile apple products, Enhance does provide sharing links with an option to send your branded images direct to Hootsuite.

What does it mean to brand an image?

Loosely, it means to create an image that no matter how or where it is shared, the person viewing it will recognize it as you. The really important bit for your marketing though, is that they be able to find you. That usually means adding your logo and website address (domain name) to the image. Depending on the call to action that you are sending with the image, or the type of business you have, that can mean adding your address or phone number as well. Also depending on the image and the room you have on that image, it can mean dropping your logo. We recommend you always include at least your website address. That ensures that anyone viewing the image can find you quickly.

Originally published in May 18 Luncheon Resources.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Some Email Marketing Options

Robly

For mobile users, it has a lot of really great features that are easy to use but they do have a double opt-in process. They also have some onerous rules about adding contacts because what their promise is... is deliverability... and contact management effects deliverability more than any other single variable.

Convert Kit

Built for bloggers, Convert Kit offers some great automation functionality that is not difficult to use. It is not just for bloggers and if you have multiple streams you want to funnel your contacts into for targeted email marketing, it is worth a look.

What is double opt-in?

Double opt-in is when you sign up for something online and get an email confirmation in which you need to click a link to confirm your sign up. If you do not click the link, you are never signed up. As the email marketer, you are never allowed to send to any email address where the double opt-in is sent but the link is not clicked to confirm by the user. Double opt-in is not required under CASL. Click here for more reasons to avoid double opt-in.

Originally published in May 18 Luncheon Resources.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Facebook Pages App

Do you work mobile? If so, make sure you have the Facebook Pages App rather than trying to manage your page through the regular Facebook App. Search the App Store for Facebook Pages and download that. You will find much better functionality and options for managing your business pages.

Originally published in April 20 Luncheon Resources.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Email Address Verification

The other way to add contacts to your list, is to add them yourself. You can gather addresses at trade shows, networking events, at the counter in your location and your social media contacts. For example, there is nothing in CASL that prevents you from adding your LinkedIn contacts. You want to do this only with some review. Look through your LinkedIn contacts and add only those that make sense to add to your list.

When you first start your list, and when you are adding large lists from places like LinkedIn, you want to verify that the email addresses are real addresses. A high bounce rate or complaint rate on your first few sends after adding large numbers of contacts will negatively effect your deliverability rate (the number of inboxes your email actually arrives in) and can cause your bulk email service to shut you down.

Here are some email verification checkers you can try:

  http://email-checker.net/
  https://hunter.io/email-verifier
  https://neverbounce.com/

Originally published in April 20 Luncheon Resources.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Promote Your Content

Writing and sending your newsletter is only the first step in marketing your business through email. You need to promote your newsletter in order for people to find it, read it and possibly subscribe.

Your email list will shrink through attrition at a natural rate of 20% per year. You need to be growing your list at a higher rate and promoting your content is one way to accomplish this.
  • Share your newsletter on your social feeds at least once a week until you send your next issue.
  • Use anchor links to change up the way the post looks in your feed to increase the number of people that click through and read.
  • Make sure the newsletter sharing posts have an interesting graphic to accompany them.
  • Put an attention grabbing tagline or title on the graphic that is relevant to the article topic.
  • Share your newsletter sign up link at least monthly.
These few steps will generate more subscribers. Once they are subscribed, you can put any message you need to right in front of them in their inbox.

Originally published in April 20 Luncheon Resources.