Want to skip to the giveaway download? Go here and we’ll send it to your inbox. It is the boiled down version of this article with a bit more info.
(I’m going to share with you the tips and tricks that I use to get noticed… this is the first part in a four part series)
I like how easy it is to connect with people digitally, but I dislike how hard it is to get them to notice..
I really think that the digital “revolution” is awesome.. it’s SO MUCH EASIER to connect with new people and customers, whether it is on Facebook, Twitter, through a blog or any other digital medium.
HOWEVER, since the bar is so low, it makes it super easy for anyone (and their pet) to use these same digital channels to share anything and everything – creating infinite noise for everyone spending time on these digital mediums.
And that makes it harder and harder for anyone to get noticed.
To get noticed we must be noticeable
No longer will people read anything on the internet just because it is on the internet.
Heck, I even block most of the stuff on my Facebook wall because it’s so distracting.
So how do we get noticed?
Well, what I (and others) have found is something that everyone knows but nobody realizes.
(you probably knew ALL OF THIS already)
Want to know what that is?
Here it is:
- Use a simple, beautiful, unique graphic to catch the reader’s eye
- Craft a compelling headline
- Make your whole post about your READERS! (most people fail at this)
- Give a call to action (ask the readers to share your article, download an ebook or something else)
And that’s it … it’s as easy as that.
But in reality, it’s not really that easy ..
For instance when it comes to creating a simple, beautiful, unique graphics can be pretty difficult and expensive..
You have to
- find (or take) a good, royalty free picture
- get a graphic designer
- go through countless iterations because what you wanted wasn’t what the designer did..
- figure out how to compress the graphic so it doesn’t take too long to download
All in all, it will take a long time to get your custom graphic and it will cost you an arm and a leg..
Even if you DO want to do the graphic design yourself, you need to purchase really expensive software that only runs on some ultra-high-end computers..
All-in-all, just getting this one picture will cost you a fortune…!
But there is a better (FREE) way …
For the last year or so, I’ve been using a really awesome online tool called Canva.
It is a really cool tool that has ready-to-use templates for:
- Facebook headers, ad and post images
- Twitter pictures
- Advertisement graphics
- Instagram infographics
- Blog graphics (I used Canva to design the graphics in this post)
- … so much more
And how much do they charge me for that?
Nothing, nada, zip, zilch, zero … it’s completely free!
Well, they do have premium images in their designer that cost $1 per piece, but you don’t have to use those pictures if you don’t want to or can’t afford it. (I recommend that you DO buy some pictures from them though … they must eat too)
Want to see some examples?
Bala asked me the other day if I could whip up a Facebook banner for the Startup Iceland 2015 Conference (psst.. buy a ticket if you haven’t already), so I told him about Canva.
It only took him a couple of minutes to sign up and create his first design (one of the versions below) .. but we ended up doing a number of iterations (you can see them below).
As more and more sponsors were added, we had to add these new sponsors to the banner and thanks to Canva, it was only a drag, drop and download .. much quicker than asking a designer to do it whenever he has the chance!
Here are our iterations of the Facebook banner as it stands today:
They’re nice, right?
Not the best in the world, but not too shabby either.
We didn’t use any ready to use templates though .. if we had, it would have been way more professional.
We will probably end up creating a new banner and perhaps get a graphical designer with us, but until we hear from the designer, we won’t have an empty “wall” .. 🙂
“What about professional looking graphics?”
Finding high quality professional pictures on the cheap can be tricky .. you have to know if this “royalty-free” agreement is truly royalty-free for the use case you want to use it for..
And then there’s the price, tokens or subscription?
Are you allowed to use the image after you cancel your subscription?
Are you allowed to use the image in printed material?
It’s a jungle when it comes down to pictures from all stock photo sites ..
… well, nearly all stock photo sites.
When I’m selecting a photograph, I want a high quality photograph that I know I can use in any way I want. Preferably not very expensive.
That’s where another really awesome tool comes in handy, Pixabay.
Pixabay is a search engine / image library with over 380,000 free photos, vectors and art illustrations.
All of the images that Pixabay lists are CC0 (public domain licensed).
I used Pixabay to find the picture for the featured graphic in this article.
The image that I used for this article was free to download and totally royalty free.
I can use it anywhere I want, in any printed material or whatever I choose. It’s awesome.
“What about picking the right colors?”
Picking the RIGHT colors is very important.
I had no clue about what colors matched other colors, what colors go well together and so on .. until I found a free online tool that uses Color Theory to figure out what colors I should use.
The tool was designed by Adobe and is called Color (go figure..)
I simply upload my image or choose my main color and the tool tells me what colors I should use.
No more guessing what colors I should be using when I’m creating my graphics.
What’s even more awesome about this tool is that has a lot of user submitted color profiles, so I can quickly find the colors that Google uses .. or Facebook .. or Instagram ..
“What about when I want to do some modifications to photos?”
Well, there’s an easy to use, free online tool for that as well.
It allows you to remove red eyes, crop your photo, do all sorts of things with your photo.
It’s pretty much like a light, easy to use version of Photoshop online ..
No download or sign up required.
I love it!
It’s called BeFunky.
“But my images take so long to download!”
Welcome to one of the biggest problem of the internet.
Unoptimized large images slow down your website and in turn you lose visitors and potential customers because of that.
I spoke about that topic (website speed) on UT messan in February 2015, you can watch it here:
But don’t worry .. there is a free tool out there that can compress your images (make them smaller) without reducing the quality of your images.
I use this tool all the time!
It’s called Kraken.io and it allows you to use their online compression for free.
They even have plugins for WordPress and Drupal if you want to save even more time and optimize your images automatically, but it requires that you purchase a plan from them.
If you’re a coder, they have a ready-to-use libraries for most languages like PHP, Ruby and more..
That’s all you need to make beautiful graphics in less than 10 minutes!
But I don’t want you to leave empty-handed..
Instead of having to go back here and read this whole post, I want to send you a guide that you can refer to that includes all of these tools and a little more information about them.
But first, can I ask you a favor?
If you got something from this article, like a tool you didn’t know about, or if you liked the article, can you share this article with your friends?
Just go below the image and click on the social network that you use and say something nice about the article.. it would mean the world to me! 🙂
Get The Photo and Graphic Toolkit
I boiled down all the information in a small resource guide for you to download. You can then use that guide to refer to when you’ve forgotten what the tools are called .. (don’t worry – that also happens to me all the time!)
All you have to do is click on the image below and tell us where you want us to send the guide (digitally of course).