Social Media Content Creation in Canva: From Beginner to Advanced | Maggie Stara | Skillshare

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Social Media Content Creation in Canva: From Beginner to Advanced

teacher avatar Maggie Stara, Digital Marketer & Top Teacher

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      What You Need To Know


    • 3.

      Psychology of Colours


    • 4.

      Hex Codes & Colour Palettes


    • 5.

      Understanding Licensing


    • 6.

      Finding Free Images & Videos


    • 7.

      Finding Your Fonts


    • 8.

      Design Dos & Don'ts


    • 9.

      Introducing Canva


    • 10.

      Canva Pro vs Free


    • 11.

      Beginner Canva Hacks


    • 12.

      Master Your Canva Workflow


    • 13.

      How to Find Inspiration


    • 14.

      Canva for Social Media


    • 15.

      Inspirational Quote Graphics


    • 16.

      Interactive Instagram Stories


    • 17.

      Post Your Instagram Stories


    • 18.

      Master Transparent Backgrounds


    • 19.

      Create Instagram Highlights


    • 20.

      Add Highlights To Your Profile


    • 21.

      Captivating Carousels


    • 22.

      GIFs & Memes


    • 23.

      Turn Yourself Into a GIF


    • 24.

      Easy Instagram Reels


    • 25.

      Plan Your Grid in Canva


    • 26.

      Facebook Banners


    • 27.

      Animated Pinterest Pins


    • 28.

      LinkedIn Cover Story & Banner


    • 29.

      YouTube Channel Banners


    • 30.

      Clickable YouTube Thumbnails


    • 31.

      YouTube End Screens


    • 32.

      YouTube Intro Video


    • 33.

      Social Media Video Ads


    • 34.

      Advanced Reel Tricks


    • 35.

      Canva For Business


    • 36.

      Design Amazing eBooks


    • 37.

      Clickable & Fillable PDFs


    • 38.

      Compress Images & PDFs


    • 39.

      Animate Your eBook


    • 40.

      Impressive Business Cards


    • 41.

      Animate Your Email Signature


    • 42.

      Powerful Presentations


    • 43.

      Design a Simple Website


    • 44.

      Make Stunning Mockups


    • 45.

      Add Flair To Your Desktop


    • 46.

      Bulk Create With AI


    • 47.

      Canva Mobile App Tips


    • 48.

      Additional Advanced Features


    • 49.

      Bonus: Looping Smoke Effect


    • 50.

      Class Project


    • 51.

      Thank You So Much!


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About This Class

Whether you're a beginner in the world of social media content creation and content marketing, just looking for some guidance on basic graphic creation, or you're an expert looking to pick up some new tricks - there is something in this course just for you! If you're looking to improve your content creation skills for Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube and other social media platforms - you're in the right place!

This course is packed full of exciting, valuable lessons that teach you exactly how to create beautiful graphics within Canva that will help turn your online presence into something truly remarkable. It's taught using follow-along videos where I share my screen with you, so you can create your projects at your own pace as you watch! Plus, I'll provide you with my custom, downloadable, mobile-friendly templates to ensure that each graphic you create is going to look fabulous on mobile too. 

We will be using the Pro (Paid) version of Canva for this course but I will also be showing you how to get around some of the premium features for those of you who will be using the free plan of Canva by using some clever hacks and external helpful tools.

Are you ready to create something remarkable today? By the end of this course, you'll be able to make your own:

  • Canva graphics to use anywhere online and offline for print

  • Instagram inspirational quote graphics, multi-post carousel images 

  • Easy Instagram reels
  • Sharable GIFs and meme posts
  • Facebook graphics and banners for your business page

  • Animated Pinterest pins 

  • YouTube channel banners, video thumbnails and animated end screens

  • Business materials including eBooks, mockups and business cards

  • Simple websites for yourself or clients

  • Animated email signatures
  • and more!

If you have any questions about whether this is the right class for you or throughout - please don't hesitate to pop into the discussions section and ask me anything and everything and I'll be happy to help!

Make sure to download the course guide attachment before you begin and I can't wait to see you in class :)



Meet Your Teacher

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Maggie Stara

Digital Marketer & Top Teacher

Top Teacher

Hey I’m Maggie. I'm a digital marketer and your creative instructor!

Back in 2016 I was introduced to the world of social media marketing. I was SO excited about the possibility of working online and being my own boss but I was really struggling with the lack of honest, authentic, and high-quality information out there for beginners. So after learning the ropes the hard way and becoming a successful freelancer, I set out to help make things easier for creative overachievers like myself.

So, I went ahead and created everything with you in mind.

My classes are made by someone who knows exactly how intimidating it can be to be trying to master 20 tools at once and stay on top of constant updates with each of them. And my hope is to take away some of the o... See full profile

Level: All Levels

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1. Welcome!: Whether you've been working within Canva for years or this is the very first time you're hearing about it, stick around because this might just be the course for you. Hey guys, my name is Maggie Stara and I'm a digital marketer, online course instructor, digital content creator, and a whole bunch of other things and I use Canva for pretty much all of them. In this course, I'll be teaching you everything you need to know from the basics like how to choose the right fonts and brand colors for your content creation and where to find videos and images that are licensed for you to freely use in your designs, through to creating amazing social media banners, animated pins for Pinterest, quick and easy Instagram reels, video ads for social media, engaging in interactive Instagram stories, shareable gifts and memes, cohesive and captivating carousel post, clickable YouTube thumbnails and animated YouTube and screens. But there's so much more to being a great content creator than just social media. In the last part of the course, you will also learn how to use Canva to create amazing e-books and how to animate them to share them on social media, how to create professional business cards that will impress the pants off of anyone you meet at your next networking event, how you can utilize some lesser known features within Canva to create powerful presentation slide decks, and even how you can use Canva to create an awesome website that you can use to conduct surveys, collect emails, and even book appointments. Finally, we'll also be going through some more advanced techniques for creating captivating videos using ChatGPT and other AI tools to bulk create content within Canva and so much more. This content is perfect for anyone who wants to learn how to create eye-catching content for their own business or for their clients, or who maybe wants to give away some of their designs are templates in exchange for people's email addresses and grow your e-mail list or to actually sell it on platforms like creative market. Whether you're using the free or paid version of Canva, there's something in this course for absolutely everyone. According to a recent study, content creation is the fastest growing form of small business and with the skills that you'll learn in this course, you'll be well on your way to joining other amazing content creators out there on their journey to online business growth. The skills you'll be learning here are the exact skills I've used with my clients to create content for a wide variety of businesses. I'll be taking you through my exact processes that I've developed over the years, including how I gain inspiration for my designs throughout the month, so when it's time to sit down and design for myself or for a client, I have plenty of assets to draw inspiration from for my content. Like I said before, I pretty much live inside of Canva and I can't wait to show you around my home and show you everything that this amazing software has to offer. If you're ready, I can't wait to see you inside my first lesson. 2. What You Need To Know: To kick things off, I'd love to spend a little bit of time over the following few lessons. Just covering a few really great tips, tools, and resources that are out there that are going to help you to make the most of your content creation process. Before you get started, just make sure to go through and download your course guide, which is linked as a PDF in the Projects and Resources section. I've also hyperlinked it for you, in case you're not able to access the attachment. Inside, you will find all of the resources we'll be talking about throughout the course. Including super handy keyboard shortcuts, which we'll talk about a lot in the lessons so you'll always know where things are within Canva, if you want to track things down manually. You'll also learn how to speed up your workflow with these handy shortcuts. In your course guide, you will also see some previews of the kinds of designs you'll be learning to create throughout the course. These will also pop up in the first few seconds of each lesson so that you can get a really quick snapshot of what you'll be creating within that lesson. But before we get into everything, I also wanted to mention that Canva changes its interface a lot. It's a good thing because it means that they're constantly developing the platform. They're making things better for you guys. But it does also mean that some things might look slightly different on your screen, depending on when you're watching this course. It's also because social media platforms change their dimensions and change their preferences and things change, but that's totally fine. Because like I said, I love this stuff. I don't mind continuously updating it and making it better for you guys. But that being said, if something looks slightly different on your screen or you're looking at a bit of a different dimension with social media platforms or anything like that, do not to worry because the skills that I'm going to be teaching you in this course are going to not just give you step-by-step instructions on how to create something, but hopefully also give you the flexibility to adapt as these platforms evolve. But that being said, if there is something that you think needs to be updated, please let me know. If there's something that needs to be added or you've seen something online that you're like this is really cool and it's not covered in the course, I'd love to know how this was created, ask me. Ask away, ask for support, ask for help, ask for feedback. Just ask, I will be happy to help. Now, I know some of you are going to want to just jump ahead and go straight to the lessons where we start creating stuff, but I would really encourage you, even those of you who might have been using Canva already, you think you're a pro and you've been using it for years, I would still encourage you to go through the basics because sometimes we get into bad habits as creators, myself included. It can be really helpful to get back to basics and remember what font pairings go well together. What contrast means, what the hierarchy of your typography means, and all of the basic terminology that's really key to creating amazing epic content online. Making sure that everything stays on brand as well. Not to mention, that I'm going to be taking you through how to find inspiration for your design. Just getting into that creative flow that can be really hard to jump-start, if you're sitting down. You're trying to create something, and your mind just goes blank. We're going to overcome all of those challenges in these initial few lessons. I would really encourage you not to skip these steps. Finally, I also just wanted to manage your expectations, in terms of the version of Canva that I'm using. I'm going to be using Canva Pro to demonstrate a lot of these lessons. That being said, if you're on the Free version of Canva, you will have access to most of the stuff that we're going to be talking about throughout this course. The differences are pretty minor now. They used to be quite intense, but really there's just minor differences in some of the things that we'll be talking about. For example, when we get to branding and storing your different brand assets on the Pro version, you can store pretty much unlimited brand assets, fonts, and colors. Whereas on the Free version, you can only pick up to three brand colors. It's usually just a slight limitation like that. You won't be at a huge disadvantage. If you're brand new to this, I would very much suggest that you just start with the free trial of Canva. Then upgrade only when you feel that it's necessary. But also be aware that when you sign up to Canva, there is a free 30-day trial of Canva Pro that you can jump on, if you want to follow along with absolute everything within this course. You can always cancel it, if you feel that the free plan is enough for what you need in your day to day. As it says here, most of the advantages of the Pro account have to deal with access to better workflow functions like more storage for your designs. There's options for quickly bulk editing designs and those things which are just ways that you can save time, if you're using Canva every single day. I personally wish that I'd upgraded sooner because I spent years creating stuff for myself and for my clients on the Free version. I wish that I upgraded earlier because it has made my workflow so much easier. But if you are not going to be working within Canva every single day like I do, then the Free version might actually suffice for everything that you need. Now, let's get into everything in the next lesson. Make sure to download your course guide so you've got access to all the resources we'll be discussing throughout. I'll see you in the next lesson. 3. Psychology of Colours: Over the many years of teaching branding and marketing, I've gotten a lot of questions specifically around colors and color schemes. Before we jump into the next lesson, where I'm going to be taking you through how to actually go about selecting color palettes for your brand or for your clients, I first just wanted to take you through a bit of the reasoning behind why brands pick certain colors. Because while knowing the psychology of colors may not be the be-all and end-all for choosing your color palette, it can still be a useful tool when trying to decide on the overall vibe that you're wanting people to associate with your brand. Let's take a look at the Color Emotion Guide here and talk about why certain brands have chosen specific colors to connect with their audience. Yellow is the color of the sun, so it makes sense that it evokes feelings of optimism, clarity, and warmth. Brands like McDonald's and Subway use yellow for its playful qualities while CAT who create construction equipment have chosen it because yellow is also a sign of safety and caution. Orange stands out in a crowd. It's creative, it's useful, it's enthusiastic, which makes it perfect for brands like Nickelodeon and Fanta. Red has actually been proven to have the ability to raise people's pulse rate when they look at it because it's a powerful color and it's warm, it's exciting, it's sexy, it's urgent. It's all of these things. It's super bold and it makes it perfect for brands who aren't afraid to put themselves out there like Coca-Cola and Netflix. Purple is the color of royalty and wisdom. Brands use purple's regal "anything is possible" vibe to draw in customers who are looking for an experience that is a step away from the ordinary, which is exactly why brands like Hallmark, Cadbury,, and the Syfy channel all leverage the power of purple. Blue is a calming color that conveys feelings of strength, dependability, and tranquility. Technology brands like Dell, IBM, Intel, and Facebook take advantage of blue's trustworthy message. Green is serine and it's peaceful and it conveys the idea of growth. Many brands whose products deal with agriculture and the environment utilize this color like John Deere and Animal Planet, while brands like Whole Foods take advantage of the fact that people also associate green with health. Lastly, black, white, and gray logos signify balance and innovation. Car companies like Mercedes-Benz and Honda use logos that feature silver, Apple uses white, black, and gray or silver throughout their brand and products, and then companies like Nike just use a simple black logo for a minimalistic look. But of course, there are plenty of brands out there whose logos and color schemes are not this clear cut and they don't just neatly fit into one color category, and that's perfectly fine, but hopefully knowing a little bit about the emotions that we associate with these different colors will help you in creating content for social media. For example, if you're going for a minimalistic and innovative feel, you might use black, white, or gray. Whereas if the emotion you're looking to evoke in your audience is one of trust and calm, you might go for more blue hues instead. You'll notice that even different fonts here evoke different emotions on top of your colors. We'll talk more about that in a later lesson. Canva themselves actually have a really great resource for this in case you're wanting to look up the meanings of other colors. I've linked this within your course guide, but for now, in the next lesson, let's take a look at how to actually create color palettes. I will see you there. 4. Hex Codes & Colour Palettes: Now that we know a little bit about what different colors mean and what emotions they're tied to we will now be talking about color palettes and hex codes in different colors and how they play together in forming a brand's color scheme. Brand recognition is such a huge part of marketing, and colors can be a really important part of that. You'd imagine if Facebook decided to just go purple one day or Coca-Cola just went green. We've got these different associations with particular brands for a particular reason because they use the same color schemes over and over and over again, so we learn to associate those colors with their brand and their logo and everything else. McDonald's the first thing you think of when you think of McDonald's is the golden arches, and it would be super weird if they randomly just stopped using the color yellow and their signature red. Color schemes are such an important part of branding. That's one side of it. The other side is that I would encourage you not to stick with a color palette or a brand color scheme just for the sake of sticking with it and then for the sake of branding, it's totally okay to evolve. My own brand colors have massively evolved over the years. As I felt my own brand has evolved, I've changed my color slightly, so it's entirely possible if you look at some even big brands like Starbucks and Airbnb have totally different color schemes from when they first started, so it's okay to change. But I would say not too frequently because then people will never really recognize that it's you coming across your social media feed if you don't have that consistency going on. Play around with things, but I would say that at some point, it's good to just go, this is my color scheme. These are the colors I'm going to use in my marketing materials over and over and over again, and these are the ones I'm sticking to until it no longer makes sense for these to be my brand colors. If your clients, if you're doing this as a social media manager and if your clients don't have a color scheme in place, you can use the tips within this lesson to help them create one. Now you'll know why it's such an important thing for them to actually have their own brand colors and have them be really consistent in their designs on social media as well. Let's get into it. Let's first talk about hex codes that represent the colors on a page like this. Let's say if you're on a website like this one and you're like, I love all these colors, I would love to use them in my design but you have no idea what the colors are or how to get them into your design. There's a really good free Chrome extension, which is the Eye Dropper tool, which allows you to essentially just hover over any color on a website or anywhere else on the Internet, and it will tell you what that hex code is. Hex code is essentially a representation of how much red, green, and blue exist in this particular color, and it's always six characters, which is a combination of letters and numbers. With this, you can continue doing this for as many colors as you want. You can just keep picking a few different colors and it'll essentially build a color palette here for you. Then if you're ever interested in what that hex code is for each particular color you can find out just by clicking on it or you can export it as well. Now at this stage, we haven't yet familiarized ourselves with the Canvas Editor, so I don't want you to worry about it for now. But the one thing I want you to know is that whenever you are within Canva, a shortcut to this as well as if you've ever have a photo that you want to bring into your design and you're like, I really like those colors instead of going through and using that Chrome extension, you actually have this built-in within Canva. Let's say I want to change the colors of the shapes. I've got a little Eye Dropper here as well, and I can just do the same thing, where I just go, well, let's change these colors to the colors from the photos below. Just so you know that you've got the Eye Dropper there as well or you can use the Chrome extension to identify colors in images or in websites. That's all about picking individual colors, but how do you actually go about building color palettes? We're going to look at a few tools that will help. But first, I just wanted to say I really loved going to Pinterest to look for inspiration first and foremost, because there are already lots of clever people who have put together some really great color schemes that you can use. Whether you're looking for something like minimalist or earthy, or techie or whatever word you want to put in front of the words color palette, and it will pop up with some ideas for the color palettes you could use for this brand with this feel. Canva themselves also have an option for color palette ideas or you can go to their color palette generator and upload a particular image here that you like the look of and it'll build a color scheme or a color palette for you, which is really cool. Then additionally, I want to point you to to resources that are a little bit more graphic designer and Web designers specific, one of those being Chroma. When you first start with Chroma, it will basically look like this because it's trying to get a feel for the colors you like before giving you some options. It'll say choose a set of your 50 favorite colors, so you don't necessarily need to be thinking about color palettes just yet. Just go down and go which colors do I like? I'm going to go through this really quickly and just pick 50 colors so I can show you what it looks like once it's got those colors selected and it begins training to build some color palette options for you. Once you've selected your colors, it's going to then begin training itself and generating some data. Chroma will then come up with some really cool color combinations for you. You can also swap the colors to see what it will look like with the other one on top. Then whenever you like a particular color combo, you can just hover over the Eye and it'll tell you the hex codes of each color. This can be a really cool exercise and at any point, you can go to your settings and edit the training colors if you don't like what it's come up with. It also has the option for web content accessibility guidelines. I like to have this turned on to make sure the contrast between the colors is nice and crisp. We'll talk a little bit about accessibility in just a second. But just so you know that these are some options, I really like the way that this tool thinks, because these are colors that I would probably not ever think to put together. But a lot of the time you just think, wow, that actually looks really, really cool. This is just a way to get some more ideas flowing, and then we'll move on to our final tool, which is coolers. Coolers is a way to actually go in and build your color palette based on all these different ideas and all these different hex codes that you might have floating around. Of course, they have trending color palettes as well. Lots and lots and lots of them. You can always go through and explore their color palettes, but their power is really in the generator. Similarly to Canva within the generator, you can start from an image, but you can also completely start from scratch as well. Let's say I wanted to start from an image, but I want to actually pick the colors from this particular image. It has a little bit more flexibility with that, whereas Canva just decides those colors for you, so that can be really nice. You can then open that in the generator. But let's say I actually have now seen this full screen and I only like a couple of these colors and I want to try out a few different combinations of these. What I can do is I can lock the ones I like, so I'm going to lock this one and this one, and then I'm just going to hit the space bar. It's going to give me some other options for the other three slots for my color palette. I can keep cycling through until I find the ones that I like. But maybe I like this one, but it's a little bit too dark for what I'm looking for. I can have a look at some different options here. I can look at slightly lighter shades of this minty green and then say, that looks pretty good. Then I can keep hitting the space bar to shuffle through some more options. If you click on the actual hex code number here, you can tweak a few things in terms of how much red, green, and blue is in this color or you can head on over to the picker, so you can hand select a particular color or add your own hex code, and if you know you've got a particular brand color in mind that you already really like, you can also move these colors around, so if you want them in a particular order. Finally, of course, you can export them. Once you've got a color palette that works for you, you can head on over to export, either export this as an image or a PDF, or even a URL if you want to share it with somebody. Once you've exported your image, here's what your color palette will look like. You'll have your beautiful hex codes there, and you can use these within your Canva design. Now lastly, I did say, I would talk briefly about accessibility. This is a really great tool that I've linked within your course guide that will allow you to build out your color palette and check that everything is as accessible as it needs to be. I'm just going to put in a couple of my brand colors here, and I don't need too many options. Let's say these are the only colors that are actually want for my brand. I'm only going to have a three-color color palette. It will then tell me how I can use these colors in a way that's accessible for all users, meaning that it's going to be easy enough for them to read the text if it's light text on a dark background or dark text on a light background. It'll essentially tell me you can't use white text on this particular color. I can't also use my turquoise text on a white background. This is a really great option from when you are selecting your color palette to do a last-minute check to make sure that you're actually going to be able to utilize the colors that you're choosing in your designs in a way that's really easy for all users on social media to actually be able to read very clearly and engage with your content. Hopefully, you're starting to see how your design work is starting to take a little bit of shape, and then a little bit we're also going to talk about fonts and font pairings that you can use for your brand. But for now, let's chat about something we all need to be across as content creators, which is understanding different content licenses. More on that in the next lesson, and I'll see you there. 5. Understanding Licensing: As we go into this particular lesson, I did just want to jump on here and say that this lesson is not intended to freak you out because I know it can have an effect whenever you start talking about licensing and restrictions and copyright laws and all of that stuff, I know it can be quite intimidating. Please just note that, first of all, everything in this lesson is intended for guidance purposes only. I'm not a copyright lawyer, so always check the licensing restrictions on any new software and tool that you use and we'll go through how to actually check that on the different platforms. But just know that it's not as scary as a lot of the articles out there make it seem. It's really just sort practices. The actual resources that I'll be giving you that are 100% free for you to use, make it very clear from the very first homepage trough to their terms and conditions that you can use their images and their videos and their graphics for whatever you need to use them. Just if you're ever not sure, just pull from websites that you know 100% free for you to use. If you're ever not sure, then make sure that you seek advice from people who do this for a living, or make sure that you're actually outright purchasing the assets if you're not sure if you're able to use them for free. But we are going to go into exactly where to look for information on all the different websites and how to know what's free, what isn't, and how you can use it, so please don't worry too much. I just want to give you this information so that if you ever come across it, you'll know what it means and you know what it means in terms of how you can use the material that's found there. Hopefully, you're a little bit excited. I know this is a little bit too nerdy, but I just wanted to preface it by saying, it's not as scary as it might seem and we'll get through it together. Let's jump in. Some basic terms to be familiar with in terms of taking images, videos, artwork, photographs, and music off the Internet and using them for your own purposes. Royalty-free is a licensed type that grants the buyer a determined set of rights to use content in multiple ways for a flat one-time fee. This means you only pay for the license once and you can use it forever within the accepted ways without any further payment obligations. You'll often see stock image companies using this term. You can for example just purchase an image once from a company like Shutterstock, then use it on your website as many times as you want. Then there's Creative Commons, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to building a globally accessible public commons of knowledge and culture. They essentially just help creators license their content according to the type of restrictions that they want to place on people purchasing and using their content. CC-0 or Creative Commons Zero is the least restrictive type of license out there. It lets others distribute, remix, adapt, and build on even commercially without needing to attribute the original creator of the work. Other Creative Commons licenses may also allow for free use but might require actual attribution back to the author of the work. Then let's talk about noncommercial versus commercial. Non-commercial means something is not primarily intended for or directed towards a commercial advantage or monetary compensation by an individual or organization. For example, if you're using an asset in a lecture presentation in class, you're taking at a university or for a personal project, then it would be classified as non-commercial. Commercial use of an image or video or what have you would be to reproduce it in any manner that is primarily intended for or directed towards commercial advantage or monetary compensation. For example, any images or media that would be used in TV production or used in advertising where you're actually getting money from using that image. Now the important thing to note is that music distribution is the most monitored of all content use because it's also the easiest for programs to pick up. Obviously, this is a little bit more murky now with TikTok and Instagram Reels, for example, but if you were trying to use a popular song by DJ Khaled as a background song for your Facebook ad, it'll automatically get rejected. Or if you are using it in a YouTube video, you might get a copyright strike. Generally, best practice is for you to either use content that is totally free for you to use without having to attribute the original creator, or for you to actually go and purchase that asset to use for business purposes. The good news is that there are so many platforms dedicated to providing you with either free or paid content who are dedicated to transparency, so it's super easy for you to find out whether the content you're taking from the web is free for you to use or should be purchased. If there are any copyright issues on your work by the way, you'll usually just get a warning to re-upload your work without the copyrighted element on platforms like Facebook and YouTube. Don't read all of the scary articles out there that tell you this is the end of the world, it's really not. But that being said, just get into good habits. Make sure you're pulling content from the platforms that you know are 100% free for you to use and do whatever you want with just in case. That means not Google Images. Please don't pull from Google Images, just don't do it. I had so many clients do this. That is when things get really risky. I'm going to give you lots of really handy resources that will allow you to get access to so many free assets. Just use what you know and if you're ever not sure, make sure you're reading the terms and conditions of the platform that you're pulling content from. In the next lesson, we're going to get into all the amazing free platforms that will give you all the assets you need, so I'll see you there. 6. Finding Free Images & Videos: But your brands out there will often either stick to taking their own photos or purchasing photos from sites like Shutterstock or Adobe Stock which are high-end professional photos that are very specific. What I mean by that is if your client is looking for an image of something like a woman in business attire, shooting a goldfish or cats having a picnic and reenacting scenes from the Titanic, then yes, they will have to purchase these because they are so ridiculously specific. You will not find them for free. But I've found that most of the time people are just looking for a nice background image for a quote graphic or something to include in a blog post. In which case some of the free websites that we're going to be discussing here will totally suffice for that. My first go-to resource for big, beautiful, artsy images that are completely free for you to use on social media or anywhere online is Unsplash. In here, you can either just browse through images that they've got in there, or you can search for your own using some of the keywords. You'll notice that just for the word animals, it's got about 10,000 photos in there. Some will be completely free for you to use and download. There will of course be some ads and then there's also their Unsplash Plus subscription, which is a paid service, which are often lack very specific images but in my experience, everything you need, you can get from Unsplash for free. Once you click into a particular image, you will have some options for the dimensions of the download. You'll notice that the original size photos, because these are taken and submitted by professional photographers, are often ginormous and way too big for what you'll need, especially for social media. When you're downloading photos, think about how big you need the image to be for your purposes. For example, if you're just creating an Instagram post, it's never going to need to be wider than 1080p. So I would just download the medium-size image here, which means it's going to be a smaller file size and it's not going to take up nearly as much room on my computer. While I'm in here if I'm also logged into Unsplash, which is completely free for me to do, I can also like an image or add it to one of my collections. So I can create a new collection. These are all completely private. You'll see the lock there so no one else can see these. It just is a really good way to organize your thoughts especially if you're working with a few different clients and maybe you want to just check a bunch of images all into a folder and then decide later whether you want to download them. This can be a really easy way to do that. Of course, with free image websites, the downside is that there's going to be a lot of downloads of the same image. But if your clients want something really unique, then of course they're going to have to purchase it. If you keep scrolling down as well often it will give you related images to the image that you've just selected. But they're not necessarily from the same photographer so they might have a slightly different look and feel, which is why Kaboompics is another great resource. We're going to jump into that website next. But one thing I wanted to point out is if you head on over to the menu and head on over to license, here's where you can read all about how you can and cannot use Unsplash images. You can basically use them for anything except putting them up on a competitor website or selling them because they are providing them for free. Of course, they don't want you actually selling the images that they're giving you for free. But you can sell the end product that you've created using their image. Now heading on over to Kaboompics. This is also quiet artsy feel in terms of the images you'll find I'm Kaboompics. Their search engine isn't nearly as strong as it is for Unsplash. I find that it is a little bit limited in terms of what you can search for. The categories tend to be quite good, but the actual searchability here, a little bit limited. But the thing that I really like about their particular engine is that when you find an image you like, you will not only have a color scheme here, which is quite cool, but you will also have all the images that have come from the same photoshoot. If you're creating Instagram carousels, for example, or just a collection of images that you want to have in a blog post that you want them to all have that same look and feel, then this can be a really great resource for that because you know that it's taken by the same photographer in the same day of the same area and it will give you that consistent look and feel. Likewise with Kaboompics and their licensing. If you head on over to license and FAQs, it will tell you pretty similarly to what Unsplash told you. You can basically do anything. Attributions not required, but of course, it's appreciated, but it's not always possible, especially in social media posts. Just know that legally according to their current licensing. So always check with every website but according to this, at this stage, you are able to use their images for whatever you want without attribution. Then I want to move on over to Pixabay, which is another great resource. It offers much more stock emoji images and videos that aren't quite right for every single brand. I've had very few clients where they would want images like this on their social media but there are definitely especially more corporate brands for which this is the right look and feel. It also means that their search engine is actually quite good. It's similar to Google Images where you're able to get much more detailed images based on the keywords you're putting in and the benefit of Pixabay is that you don't just have images. You also have vector graphics and illustrations, which can be great if you're putting together a presentation, for example, and you want to have some illustrations included in that presentation. This is a really great go-to, whereas the other two websites don't have this functionality, and of course, they have videos as well, which is great but again, they're a little bit stocky. They can just be really random and I can't imagine too many clients that would want a man with a chocolate egg in a ribbon, I don t know what this is, but anyways, you can download it for free. We'll look at a slightly different website for videos that I find to be a lot more suitable for a lot more brands but the last thing I want to say about Pixabay is that they also have music and sound effects. That can be really great if you're looking for something, let's say inspirational and upbeat. This is where you can go to, to find music that's completely free for you to use, even in advertising, in the background of your reels, in the background of your videos, et cetera. Then you can go by genre and by mood, and just download that straight to your computer. Now lastly, let's look at Pexels, which is my preferred website for getting free beautiful videos and photos as well. They do have photos, but generally I just use them for their video functionality also because you can filter by orientation, which is great if you're specifically looking for videos that can work in the background of your reels or your TikTok or you're looking for horizontal videos for your longer YouTube videos, for example. I find these to be just a lot more human and approachable and beautiful and they also often have similarly to Kaboompics. If the particular creator has shot a couple of different things all in one shoot, generally you will see some related videos underneath. It's not always the case, but sometimes you can get a couple of different shots of the same model. For example, this, this, and this is all the same creator and the same model so if you click into one video, you will see the other ones underneath as well, which can give you that really nice sense of consistency. Now, with photos, we talked about downloading it in the appropriate format, so it's not too big. With videos, likewise, you probably don't want it taking up too much space on your computer. So if you only really need it for Instagram or something like that, don't go ahead and download a 4k video because it's going to be gigantic, just download it in full HD. Once you know what dimensions you need for the video type that you're creating. You can just download that here and like on Unsplash, you can create collections and like a few different things once you're logged into Pexels so that you can create little collections and save them all in your folder. Once you go through to download the video, it will actually say, you can potentially help to support the creators but if you were to check Pexels license, once again, you don't necessarily need to give attribution to the photographer or the videographer. But is always appreciated. In terms of organizing all of your assets, I would make sure that you're creating some a Google Drive folder or folder on your computer that is dedicated specifically to these assets so that you know whether it's three years from now or 10 years from now, that these were assets you pulled from Pexels or Unsplash, and they are completely free for you to use as many times as you like so that you don't accidentally confuse these with your other images that you might have in your folders that you've maybe gotten from clients that might have stricter licenses or copyrights in place. Because those might be assets that your clients purchased from Shutterstock and that means they are the only people that have the license to use them. You cannot use them for future work. Make sure you are dividing up your assets by things that are completely free for you to use, and then any assets that you may have purchased or gotten from your clients. Those are my top resources. Of course, Canva have a really great collection of their own photos and videos that have been submitted by different users but some are also pulling through from sites like Pixabay and you can use those directly within Canva as well but often they are only available for pro users. These websites are really great for those of you who are on Canva's free plan because you can go and download these beautiful images from these websites, bring them into Canva and you don't necessarily need to be on the Pro plan. That's a cool little workaround and now in the next lesson, we'll go into how you can find fonts for yourself and for your clients as well. I will see you there. 7. Finding Your Fonts: In this lesson, I first want to talk about the different kinds of fonts that are out there and how to potentially choose font combinations for your clients or for your own brand, for your designs. Now, this gift here is just for fun because I will have the office. But it's also how designers often feel about people using fonts like Comic Sans in a professional marketing material or papyrus for their logo. I've actually included a really funny Saturday Night Live skit about this in your course guide featuring Ryan Gosling, that makes me laugh every time, so definitely make sure to check that out. But the point is that when it comes to any design, but specifically when it comes to fonts, the simpler, the better. Don't try to pack a really small graphic with six or seven different font styles because it just makes people really confused as to what the most important information on the page is. Let's now talk about the different font styles you might encounter in Canva and in your other design work. Generally you will find serif, sans-serif, script, and hand-written fonts. There will also be other categories like decorative fonts and slab serif fonts, for example, but these are the four main ones that I want you to focus on for now. Largely, you'll be dealing with serif and sans-serif fonts. The main difference here is that serif fonts will have these extra little tapers or lines, which might also be called tails and feet, which extend out at the edges of the letters. Whereas other fonts don't have these serifs, which is why they're called sans-serif, meaning without the serif. Serif fonts, like Playfair Display here, are often considered classic and traditional, while sans-serif fonts like Open Sans are considered a bit more minimalistic and modern. The script fonts like Satisfy here are considered elegant and unique, while hand-written fonts like Permanent Marker are considered much more informal, playful, and artistic. Let's check these out in action. You might have a serif font like these two as your heading font, paired with a sans-serif font as your paragraph font, or you could actually choose to go sans-serif for both the heading and the paragraph fonts, but just choosing a slightly bolder font for your headings to make them stand out a little bit more. Or you might decide to go with a really fun and playful-rounded font for your main heading font if perhaps your brand is targeted at a younger audience. Then you could pair this with a more traditional sans-serif font that has slightly harsher edges or another rounded edge font like Quicksand on the right there. But the point is that there are lots of different font combinations out there and some great tools which can help you out when choosing what the best option is for you. But make sure you're not choosing more than three fonts total for your brand. Otherwise, things can get very confusing. There are sites like Fontpair here, which can assist with just giving you some ideas of different font pairings that work well together. There's lots and lots for you to browse through. But my preference is to actually start with Fontjoy here, which works really similarly to Coolors, which is a tool we covered in a previous lesson for creating color palettes. It allows you to essentially lock in some fonts so you can just go through, generate a whole bunch of different font pairings. It also has three different fonts, not just two, which is a really big benefit. You can keep cycling through a few different options. Then once you find one that you really like, you can lock it in place and then keep generating font pairings that work well, paired with the font that you have already chosen. You can even put in your own texts so you can see how something might look in your brand voice. Then you can also use the sliders here to try and find fonts that are similar to the one that's there, but maybe slightly different, or you can actually search for a particular font. If you've found a font in a previous tool or in another tool that you really like, you can search for it here and add it to your trio of your font combinations. Another great tool I want to introduce you to is called Mixfont, which allows you to see different font pairings in action on a dummy website here. It works similarly to Fontjoy where you can just hit the space bar on your keyboard and it will cycle through a few different options. Then when you find one that you like, you can say, I'm going to lock this in place and keep cycling through a few different options that work well with that as the heading font. I like this because it's a little bit more visual so you can see how something might look on a live website, maybe not so much in designs, but it can give you a lot more perspective of how things will look in a more visual way. The downside is that you can only use two fonts instead of three like you could with Fontjoy. Now bearing in mind that not all of these fonts will be available within Canva, of course. But if you are on the Canva Pro plan, you can import your own custom fonts into your brand kit, and we'll go into that a little later on. But for now if you just want to look at font combinations that are available within Canva, I've also added some resources for this within your course guide. Otherwise, you can also head on over to something like and you can search through different fonts based on the style that you're looking for. If particularly, you don't really want to be looking at serif or sans-serif, but you actually want to be looking at something like a handwritten font, this is a really great way to do that. You can put in your own text and then find fonts that you like. Once you find ones that you like, for example Satisfy is already available within Canva. I know that much so we could actually go through and start using it straight away. But if it's one that's not available in Canva, you can just download it here and then upload it into Canva as well. Also in terms of finding fonts that you like online, you can use a free Chrome extension called WhatFont. Once you have it activated in your Google Chrome browser, you will be able to hover over any font on anyone's website and it'll tell you exactly what font you're looking at. That's a really handy way to find out what fonts people are using and potentially use them in your own marketing materials. Lastly, if you're looking for something really costume, then I would go to something like but knowing that you have to purchase these different fonts because they are custom-designed by designers, and they can get a little bit pricey. If it says $28, that may not be for the full commercial license, that might be for a personal license. Sometimes the different licensing options will make a big difference. For example if you want to use this font on an app, it would cost you a lot of money. It just depends on what you're hoping to use it for, but this can be a great way to just get some really unique font options into your designs and can be a great option for clients that don't mind spending a little bit of extra money. Overall, the reason that I like searching for fonts outside of Canvas, first, this is because it allows you to think a little bit more objectively about the fonts themselves before thinking about how they're going to look in your designs. But if you prefer to just jump straight into Canva and try out a few different font pairings there, then by all means, do whatever works best for you. Now in the next lesson we're going to go into some key design, dos and don'ts to consider while you're creating, so I'll see you there. 8. Design Dos & Don'ts: In this lesson, we're going to clarify a few common terms in the design world as well as covering some key design do's and don'ts that are based on some very common mistakes that people make when they first begin designing. It does hurt me to think about some of the very first designs I ever made for myself and for clients. But I know without them, I wouldn't be here teaching you how to learn from my mistakes. They've served their purpose and please don't be afraid to go out there and get creative and make mistakes. Because each and every single one of these will teach you something about what you can do better next time. Also just definitely make sure you're saving all of your work somewhere in a Google Drive so that in a few months or a few years, you'll be able to look back at those designs and see just how far you've come with your design skills. Let's get started with some key terms here, JPEGs versus PNG files. You've probably heard of both of these at some point. But just to cover the basics, some quality is compromised when a raw image that's taken on a camera is converted into a JPEG. The reason for that is that the compression is what's called lossy, meaning that some unnecessary information is permanently deleted from that image. But it does allow you to create a smaller file size than you would with a PNG. The main advantage of a PNG is that it will allow you to have transparent backgrounds. That can be really beneficial when you're creating graphics with irregularly shaped objects or you're trying to cut people out of an image, in which case you would have to use a PNG file. Generally speaking, I always save my designs in PNG format because this format also holds really crisp lines and gradients a lot better than JPEG images. If you're going to be including a couple of different colors to create a gradient in your graphic, then JPEGs just won't cut it a lot of the time. But photographs that you'll be pulling from the web will often be in JPEG format because they're already edited and don't have the design elements that your finished creation will have. Effectively unless you're trying to really save on space because JPEGs are generally smaller in file size, I would always save in PNG file. Now there are also two different types of digital graphic files, rasters and vectors. A raster graphic is made up of a great many pixels, whereas a vector graphic is instead made up of many lines or paths. One of the biggest differences between a vector and raster is the ability to scale the graphic. Because rasters are made up of just a certain amount of pixels at some point of scaling, they will essentially become really blurry or pixelated. But a vector doesn't actually have this problem. Now since a vector can be scaled to about any size without losing the sharp edges of its shapes, it's generally the best option for logos, which often have a large range of applications that you want to be using them from the tiny side of a little pencil to the giant side of a giant building. Canva does now have a feature for you to export an SVG files, which are vectors. If you need a small graphic to be printed on a poster or a t-shirt, you'll have the ability to export it as a vector and be able to scale it up without losing quality. But keep in mind that any photographs cannot be made into vectors. It only applies to shapes or other elements in your designs. If you're, let's say importing an iPhone photo into Canva and you're trying to export it as a vector file, it still will not be able to be scaled to the size of a billboard without getting blurry because it was originally a raster image because it was a photograph so it was not designed for that purpose. But if you design something like a logo that is just made up of lines and different shapes, then you would be able to scale it up. Now other than just size, it's also important for you to know whether you're designing for web or for print. If you would like to have the potential to use a graphic for both purposes, then design for print because it's going to be the higher-quality format and then you can re-purpose it for web. But the main difference for web and print in terms of using free tools like Canva is that your dimensions will either be in pixels for web or inches and centimeters for print. Now that is important because web graphics will normally be 72 PBI, which is pixels per inch, while print materials will have a resolution of 300 DPI, which is dots per inch. Now all of that sounds a [LAUGHTER] little too jargony, but all of that really means is that in web graphics there will be 72 little pixels of color in every inch of that graphic and for print materials, they'll be 300 colored dots per inch, making them a much more beautiful, solid color when it's printed. But all you really have to concern yourself with is, do you need to print your project? If you do, then just make sure you figure out what dimensions you want to print it out and put those inside of Canva. Canva will take care of all the rest in terms of your resolution, and then allow you to export your document for print once you're finished. We will be going through this throughout the lessons as we talk about how to make business cards and e-books and things like that that you might want to print out. If this is not making too much sense at this stage, it's totally okay. It all will in the future. For now, it's just a bit of an introduction. Then we get onto the more common mistakes that I've see my students making, which is not having enough contrast between the text and the background of their graphics. Make sure you're keeping your contrast high to prevent this issue and make sure you're not overusing capital letters, especially when it comes to cursive or handwritten fonts. Because not only do capital letters make people feel like they're being yelled at in these types of fonts, but they can actually overpower all the other texts in the graphic. Then finally, just make sure you're being careful of the type size you're using. It is better for your text to be too big rather than too small, but neither is really that good. Not to mention that texts that feels too small on your desktop screen will often be completely unreadable on a mobile device. Then within the world of design, hierarchy refers to the arrangement of visual elements in order to signify importance. What this means is that you want your most important elements to hold your viewers attention through things like scale and color and type. The least important elements should be made to hold less attention by making them slightly smaller, slightly less bold. That also allows people to scan your graphic and at first glance and know exactly what the important bits or that they should be taken out of it. Because just remember that when everything stands out, nothing stands out. Don't be afraid to highlight the most important parts of your design for your audience. Now we've talked a lot about branding up to this point, but a lot of the time it's easy to get caught up in a client's brand and style and forget who the actual intended audiences for your design. Remember that while your design may look fantastic, if it's not right for the right people that you're trying to communicate with it will probably still miss the mark. Always be reminding yourself of who you're designing for in terms of the brand as much as the target audience as well. Then let's talk about space, because often overloading your graphic with way too much information can really work against you. The emptier parts of your design can actually just be just as important as the parts that you fill with stuff. Space can help you put more focus on a specific aspect of your composition and it can let your design breathe and help balance out the elements or it can potentially add some sophistication to your design. Again, this is a really common beginner mistake, but even seasoned designers often forget that sometimes less is more and whenever you think, is there too much stuff in this graphic, you probably are correct. Perhaps it might be time to strip a few things down and try to simplify. Finally, calls to action are prone to being overused in graphics. This is more the case with website design than graphic design. But even on simple graphics, sometimes you'll see companies advertising a sale and asking for an email and asking for a subscriber and a follower and linking them to their Instagram and their YouTube channel. It's so much that often people end up doing none of the things you're asking for because you're asking for too many things. In a social media graphic, only ever be asking for one thing at a time. Now we've covered this in a lot of different areas up to this point. But just remember that when it comes to design, less is always more. Finally, always check what your designs are going to look like, both on desktop and on your phone. Because if you are designing on desktop on a bigger screen, that does not mean automatically that things are going to look good on your phone and on social media platforms, on apps, on Instagram, what have you? Always make sure to check your design on different devices. Now I know that's a lot of information and don't worry, we'll be putting all of it into practice throughout these lessons. I just wanted to give you some context ahead of time with covering some of these terms and best practices. Now it's time for us to jump into Canva and take a look around some of the features that are available to you and how you can use them in your design workflow. In the next few lessons so I will see you there. 9. Introducing Canva: We've covered some of the basic do's and don'ts and terminology and resources that you can use for your creation process, and now it's time for us to actually jump into Canva and take a look around. As someone who is not naturally organized as a person, I have really tested just how quickly you can get really disorganized inside of Canva if you're not doing the right things. That's just because you could technically have a completely separate document for every single thing you create, which could be a disaster. At this point, I could have like 1,000 different documents if I was doing that. Especially if you're working inside of Canva with your clients or with teams, this is just an absolutely mess. By doing all the wrong things, I have learned how to do the right things and pass them on to you guys in terms of your workflow and how to organize yourself and how to get into really good habits and practices so that you're not labeling your documents cute kitten pics when it's actually a YouTube thumbnail so that you can actually find your documents in three years from now when you are looking for something that you create today. Lots of good stuff in the upcoming few lessons, I hope you're excited. If organization is not your thing, I'll try and make it as fun as possible, and if we can get through it, then we will save ourselves a lot of time down the line when we actually get into creating our beautiful graphics. I hope you're at least a little bit excited. I know I am, and I'll see you in the next lesson. 10. Canva Pro vs Free: When you're not logged into Canva, at this stage, we're just on the website, you will have the option to sign up for free or check out a few different options here, or you can actually just hit "play with Canva" and this will take you through a guided tour of everything you can expect in the editor. So if you're ever not quite sure or you don't remember exactly what I was talking about in this particular lesson, that can be a really great option to get yourself really familiar with the editor. We're going to start off by jumping into my pro account so that I can show you a few things. But then we'll also talk about how things might differ if you're a Canva free user by jumping into my Canva free account at the end. Depending on your own account settings, your Canva might be in light mode or in dark mode. You can always change that within the account settings option. But I'm just going to keep mine in dark mode. Then what you're actually seeing on your screen, whether you're Canva Pro or free user will depend on how much you've used Canva. It might have some recommendations, for example, obviously, I've created hundreds and hundreds if not thousands of designs within Canva. So Its got some recommendations for what it thinks I'll like, but you might be starting with a completely blank slate, same with your recent designs. I have some of my own designs here, then ones that have also been shared with me by students where they retain ownership of that design. It's just a project they're submitting so I can actually look at it, review it, but I can't edit anything. Those will also be visible in your Canva dashboard if anyone is sharing designs with you on a view-only purpose. You will have lots and lots of designs here, but things can get very messy very quickly as we'll continue talking about throughout this lesson and throughout the course as well. We'll be talking a lot about how to get yourself really nice and organized so you're not depending on getting a design from your recent design section over here. Let's have a look at some options. Over here it'll tell you you can create a doc, a whiteboard, presentation, some social media templates, videos, etc. You can also search for something really specific. So for me, for example, if I wanted to create an Instagram story, it will pop up with some ideas over here and then these ones over here are the ones that will pop up with lots and lots of different templates. You can also search by your own projects. If you have a project where you've created Instagram stories in the past, it will search through just your own designs here and then you can just hit "Enter" or select one here, and that will bring you to this amazing template section. You can also get to it in a slightly different way. If you don't really know what you're searching for yet, you just want to browse around. You can head on over to templates and that will bring you to a similar spot where it'll have some recommendations over here. You can browse by subject, you can browse by topics, or you can head on over here and go to social media and in this case, I could say Instagram story and find me all the Instagram story templates. There's always a few different ways to get to the same place within Canva, as is true with any other software. But once you get into, let's say, Instagram stories, in this case, you'll see hundreds of thousands of templates, which can be really overwhelming, especially if you're a beginner. The more that you can actually filter this down by either using Canva's own filters, where you can go by style, by theme, by feature, by subject, or topics, or any of this, you can take things along. You'll start to see that it's going to narrow things down. For example, if we were looking for Instagram stories that are only collages, we're now down to 5,000 templates, which is a lot better and a lot more doable in terms of searching through, or you can use your own keyword. For example, if I was looking for a marketing Instagram story, I could just look for that particularly and I'm still up to 800,000 templates. I might need to actually filter this down even more, but you can start to see that these are templates that have those keywords in their creation process. So it's giving me a lot more targeted Instagram stories and not just general templates. At this stage, let's just go ahead and select a template and then we're going to start customizing it and familiarizing ourselves with the editor. But before I select the template, I just wanted to point out that you'll start to see some crowns in the bottom right-hand corner here and some templates that don't have these, which means they're free for you to use. If they have that crown, it means that they're a pro templates, so it will only be available if you're a Canva Pro user. I'm just going to go ahead and select a free template for now and going to click on Customize this template. Now just because we have chosen this particular template at this stage does not mean we're stuck with it because we can continue here, in the design section over here, we can continue in the template section to look at more and more templates. We can continuously add new pages to this document as well. So I can go ahead and add a new page, if I like a different template, I can keep bringing a few different designs in here so that I have lots and lots to choose from. Now the first thing we want to do is rename our design because we want to make sure we're getting into those really nice habits. In this case, it says Digital Marketing Instagram story, that's actually pretty accurate. I would probably go Instagram story demo, marketing, something like that. Those are all keywords that I might potentially search for in the future that would help me to bring up this particular design, which again is handy if I've got hundreds of different designs just to choose from. I would also recommend that you go one step further and head on over to file and save your design to a folder. You can have all these different folders and folders within folders here, and it's a nice little way to additionally organize your assets. I could save mine to Instagram assets or Instagram Stories. Then I could also create a new folder, or I could just save it in here. That just makes it a little bit easier for me to search for later down the line. The good news is that Canva is now ridiculously smart. Not only can you search by the name of your design file, but you can actually search for the content within your design. Let's say you don't really remember what you title your design but you remember something from the design itself, so in this case, let's say it says digital marketing agency, in my Canva dashboard, I can search for digital marketing agency [NOISE] and it will pop up within the project section, it will pop up with anything that's a match. Anything that has these words within it that I've created as a design. If I click into it, it will then open that document for me. That's a really handy feature that again is going to keep it really nice and organized. Within this editor, I'm going to be only seeing templates that fit these dimensions. An Instagram story is the dimensions of 1080 by 1920. If you're ever not sure what those dimensions are just go to file and it will tell you exactly what the dimensions are here. It's only going to be showing me templates that fit these dimensions. It's not going to be showing me Instagram posts or tweets or anything else because they're not in the right dimensions. Then I can search for some ideas here. I could search for anything with the word beach in it. I can again just add a new page here and keep on exploring some new options. Once again, you can see that it's got the pro icon in the bottom right-hand corner, or it doesn't if it's a free template. We're going to navigate around the editor a lot more in the future lessons. I'm going to leave it there for now. Let's get into our dashboard because I don't want to overwhelm you with too many things all at the beginning. I just wanted to point out a few key elements over here. We've already talked about what templates mean. Now let's talk about the brand hub. Within the brand hub, you'll have potentially several brand kits if you are managing a few different brands under your account, or you might just have the one, in which case you can add some color palettes. If you're on the free plan, you will be limited to having only three brand colors, but on the pro plan, you can have as many colors, and as many color palettes as you want. Now, it might seem silly for me to have this many variations of essentially the same color palette or the two color palettes for my business, but there is a method to the madness and we'll talk about it in the next lesson. But effectively, I just wanted to show you that this is my main color palette with all my different brand colors. Then I have one that doesn't have the darker colors in it. Then I have one that doesn't have the yellow element in it. So it gives me some slight options in terms of using a function that we'll talk about in the next lesson, which is the styles function. Don't worry about it for now, but just know that this is the reason why I've set up a few different versions of my color palette so that it gives me some more options within the Canva Editor. Then you also have your fonts. Now this is too many fonts. [LAUGHTER] You shouldn't have this many fonts for your business. But effectively, you want to have two to three fonts that you have in here that you can pull from, that you know you're always going to be continuously using for your designs and you can also upload your own fonts. If you are using fonts that are not within Canva, you can upload them here and add them to your brand kit. You can add in some photos, graphics, icons, logos, all of that good stuff if you're a Canva Pro user. Like I said, you can potentially have several different brand kits managed all within one account. Brand templates and brand controls we'll talk about in a later lesson when we talk about our workflow options. But for now, let's switch to a Canva free account so we can take a look at how some things might be different if you're a Canva free user. On my Canva free account, I'm on a light mode, so it looks slightly different. I also don't have any recent designs here. It is making some suggestions, but it obviously doesn't know me very well yet. If I was to head on over to the brand hub, I've got a brand kit here, but it only has a limitation to the three colors. If I tried to add more, it would ask me to upgrade. I can't have fonts and I can't have any of those sorts of things. Honestly, it's not a huge limitation because likely you will have three main colors for your brand anyways. Probably not something to hugely worry about. Same with any templates. If I go to Instagram story, so I'm in my projects and he just switched over to the actual templates. If I was trying to use a pro template like this one, it will then say you need to upgrade or use Canva Pro for free for 30 days in order to use that template. But I can select from hundreds and hundreds and thousands of beautiful free templates, not a problem. I can go ahead and customize this. As you navigate through the editor, you'll start to notice these little crowns over here that will essentially tell you that is just something you do not have access to. One of those things will be downloading your images in PNG format with a transparent background, which is something we'll talk a little bit about. For example, if I was going to try and download this as a PNG, I can't click on transparent background, it's going to ask me to upgrade. But I can still download as a PNG in the correct format without any issues. I just can't have it be transparent, and there is a workaround to that as well. We'll talk about that a little bit later on. Now same with the elements when we were talking about it earlier. If I was going to search for something like beach and go to photos. Now, if I was going to try and load in one of these pro images, you'll see it's got that watermark and it'll say if you want to remove the watermark, you just have to pay $1 for that element. But realistically, you can get around this pretty easily if you're in something like Unsplash and you just download an image from Unsplash and pop it into your uploads folder within Canva. That's a really easy way to get around this and get some beautiful high-quality images into just your uploads folder and then use them in your designs without that watermark. So not to really hugely worry about the elements that might be pro elements because you can usually find them on other sites and just bring them into your Canva uploads folder. The main difference that you will find between these two plans will come down to your workflow because a lot of social media managers or designers just don't have the time to be pulling assets from other websites and manually changing colors and doing all those sorts of things that Canva Pro users have access to, which we'll talk a lot about throughout the course. But that's pretty much it. It comes down to speeding up your workflow for the most part. Every other limitation, there is some free app out there that will help you create a workaround. Also, when you are putting things in your uploads folder, I would just recommend that you go through and add them to a particular folder. In this case, I could create a new folder that says background shots or something like that so I know that it's not going to be in my uploads folder forever. This is just a duplicate image, but it's a good idea to try and not keep too many things in your uploads folder because again, it can be really hard to search for it a year or two years from now. We're going to leave it there for now. In the next lesson, we'll go over some cool beginner hacks that I want to share with you. I'll see you there. 11. Beginner Canva Hacks: Throughout the course, we're going to continuously build on your skills as we go through the lessons because it can be really overwhelming to try and learn everything all at once, but I wanted to take this time in this lesson to introduce you to some really cool areas of the Canvas editor that are really going to help to start you on your design journey. We're going to just be starting with a blank presentation template here. This is where you're going to start to see why we created a few different color palettes in our brand kit. I'm just going to go ahead and actually just select a template here, and I'm going to say, let's apply all 15 pages. I want to take all 15 pages of this beautiful presentation. I'm going to definitely name it Presentation-Brand Pitch. Again, I could put it in a folder but for now, I'm actually just happy keeping it as that. Now in the design tab, I have a few different options. I've got the template section. I've got a layout section which is very particular to only presentations. You won't see it in other design documents, and then we've got our styles option. This is the one that we want to focus on because we'll be able to see that my brand kit is pre-loaded here with my brand fonts and a few different color palettes. This is why I have a few different ones because, for example, these are just my blues with a bit of yellow. But as you'll see, if I apply that to this particular template, it's not very accessible. I don't think people would be able to read this very well. That's where I might want to bring in a few different options. This actually worked pretty well. I don't normally use the one with my yellow in it. I normally use this one for any templates and then I can just keep clicking on it and it'll give me few different variations of my colors. Then once I find one that I really like, I can say, hey, apply that to all the pages in this document and it's going to make everything really nice and branded with my exact brand colors. That's a really quick workaround. You can do the same thing with brand fonts, which is really cool. Now I can click on that. It's going to apply my brand heading font and my paragraph font to this particular template. Then I can say apply that to all the pages. Again, it's going to make everything really nice and branded for me. If you are a Canva-free user, you will have to do a little bit of manual labor with this, where you can still access your brand kit but you won't be able to use the stars function quite as effectively. You will have to manually go through the colors over here, and you will have your brand kit here with your three different colors. Then you can manually go through and select the colors that you want to change. It's not a huge hindrance and a really good framework around is the fact that often you'll find that these templates will have a few different main colors. Let's say you want to change all of the oranges in this template to your particular turquoise or your particular pink. When you do that manually, down here it'll say, do you want to change all of the oranges to your pink? You can say, change all of them. That's a way to get a similar functionality as what you can do with the cell's function but just for free within the actual color editor up here. I'm just going to head back into the Design tab so I can show you a few more things. Within the cells function you will also have some options to see trending combinations that Canva have pre-selected with both fonts and colors or just color palette or just font sets. You can select that there, and you will also have your designs down here that will allow you to apply a style from a recent design to this template. I can say, well, let's try this out. What happens if I select a recent design like this one to use for this slide deck? It's done a pretty good job of applying the fonts and applying this image of me. It hasn't really quite nailed down what to do with the gradient blocks that I've got over here. I might just need to move a few things around, but that's pretty good. These are all just a few ways that you can streamline your workflow. Likewise with the layouts functions specifically for presentation templates, you can cycle through a few different options based on the elements that you have on a particular page. This page might be a little bit tricky for it to master. Let's try and find one like this one, for example, that might be a little bit easier with the different elements. It doesn't always have options in there for you, but with particular layout, it does a pretty good job and it will tell you, you can change it to look a little bit like this or you can change it to look like that. These are just frames that you can pop images into so it's saying here's where I would put an image if I were you. But it can be a good way to just get a few ideas if you're feeling stuck and the actual templates in here are not sparking any ideas for you. The last thing I'll say is when you're in the templates option, if you find a template that you really like the look of but you don't necessarily want to use the information or the assets that are within it, you can also click on the three dots in the upper right-hand corner, scroll down and say apply style only, and that will give you the fonts and the colors of this template. But it won't necessarily replace any of your texts or anything like that. That can be great if you're working with your own design, so you've got all the texts, you've got all the images. You don't necessarily want to replace it, but you really like the look of a particular template and you just want to apply the particular style of that template. You can do that really easily with just one click. Now, let's just add a new page and have a look at what options we have in the Elements tab. If I was going to search for something like coffee, you'll notice, it will say, do you want to look at graphics, photos, videos, frames, audio? You can also see that up here. Let's have a look at photos first, and we can also use the filter functionality to only search for free images, for example. If I know I'm a Canva-free user, I don't want to look at any pro elements. I can apply that as a filter and then I know everything I'm searching for here is free. I can also do that with the cutouts option. For example, if I'm looking to add a coffee cup to a design for social media, I can do that using the cutouts option, which is really cool over here and maybe I'm just gathering a little bit of inspiration. I don't know exactly how I'm going to be using these elements, but I just want to organize myself a little bit. Then at any stage, you can hit the three dots in the upper right-hand corner and add this to a folder. Perhaps you already have a folder for this. In my case, I might add it to something like creative assets over here. Then I could just add that to a folder or I could create new if I wanted to make this coffee inspiration, for example, and add that to a new folder, which helps to keep me nice and organized. One more cool thing when it comes to your photos is with a term like travel. If you go to the filters, you can go by color search. But you can actually put in your specific brand hex code color, and apply that, and it will pop up with any photos within the travel category that have your beautiful brand colors in them. That can be really cool if you're trying to maintain a really consistent look and feel for something like Instagram. That's a little bit about the photo section. Then let's take a look at how we can use the filters within the graphic section. Graphics won't have cutouts, that's for photos only but instead within the graphic section, we can look at static or animated elements instead. If I only want to be looking at animated elements, I can select that filter, and then I know everything in here is going to be beautifully animated. Again, I could use this section to organize myself a little bit or in this case, all I can do is I can look at things like view collection. This won't always be the case. Not every single animated or static element will have a collection but sometimes there'll be designers who created a couple of different assets that look the same. In which case you can go to view collection and then see all, and this will be all of these beautiful graphics that are both animated and static that are created by the same creator, that all have that same beautiful look and feel. This can be really powerful when you're designing a presentation or carousel, for example, for social media and you want all the graphics to look the same. It can be really beneficial to look at graphics that have collections. Sometimes the view collection option won't be there. In this case, let's say this has a collection but it also has an option to say, see more like this, which might give you assets from the same creator but also from other creators that have elements that are similar to the one that you're looking at. That can be a great workaround to getting different graphics that are all the same look and feel. If you're ever not sure how you discovered a particular element by the way but you have it in a design like this, and you almost want to backtrack and figure out what keywords you used to find that particular element, you can always look into the info section here, and it'll tell you what keywords are used to find this element. Then you can again potentially see more like this and look at other elements similar to it from there as well. Sometimes you'll have some graphics that will have editable colors, like this one over here you can see that I can edit these colors and make them into whatever I want, which can be great. Sometimes they're just pure illustrations or animated graphics like this one, where there won't be the option to edit the colors. It can be a bit of a limitation if you want to have everything really nice and branded in your own brand style. You might have to hunt around for some graphics that allow you to edit the colors. But once you find particular collections that you really liked that have editable colors, instead of saving them all to a folder, I actually have a bit of a preference to adding them all to a deck like this. What I use, once I've got a collection, I will add them to its own page inside of a big document like this one, where I can always refer back to this whenever I'm designing a new social media post or a new presentation, and I can always just copy and paste this into a new design. This also allows me to change the colors of all of these assets all at once. Let's say I really like this collection, I'm going to be creating a new carousel and I want to use a couple of these different assets. What I can do is I can duplicate this page and then head on over to design, head on over to styles, and shuffle through my brand kits so that I can make all of these different graphics, my own beautiful brand colors. Now, you'll notice some of them have changed color and some of them haven't. Not all of them have editable colors, but that's fine. Let's say I just want to select the ones that allow me to change it to my brand colors. That's a really nice way to really quickly edit all of the different elements all at once and access them all in one place. Then what I can do is I can let say highlight these three, then hit Command C on my Mac or Control C if you're on a PC. Then I'm just going to Command V on Mac or I could Control V if I was on a PC and just bring them into this beautiful presentation over here. Or alternatively, another workaround is to go into project section here. I can search for animated elements because I know that's what the deck is called. It will pop up with this as a presentation. Then I can select whatever page I want to be bringing in here that I already know is nice and branded, and it's just going to bring all of this beautiful content into my new design. Now, I think Canva occasionally you will also find animated elements that are called lotties which do have editable colors that will allow you to change it to your brand color or just whatever color you want really. But they can be a little bit tricky to find. I've created these collections for you and included these in your course guide, where you know that all the animations within these two collections will be editable and will allow you to change them to your beautiful brand colors. That's a lot of information already. I know it can seem like a lot but I promise we're going to be utilizing all of these different functions throughout the course, where are all the lessons you're going to get so familiar with them. I just wanted to quickly introduce you to a couple of them for now. We'll cover many more beginner and advanced Canva hacks as we move through the lessons. But now, in the next lesson, we're going to go into how you can utilize Canva with your clients or other team members to optimize your workflow. I'll see you there. 12. Master Your Canva Workflow: In this lesson, we're going to cover a few different ways to keep yourself organized within Canva, which is especially key if you're going to be working with multiple clients or team members, or potentially selling your templates on platforms like Creative Market and Etsy. We're going to talk about that in a little bit. But at this stage, I'm actually just going to switch over to a different team, so we can take a look at how this might all work on an account where there are multiple team members. If you want to tag people, you want to comment, do all those things, we can take a look at how to do that. If you are invited onto a team or you're working with multiple team members, it's important that you and your client know that not everything you create within Canva, even if you're creating as a part of a team, is going to be visible to everyone on the whole team. You actually have to give the team access in order for them to see any of your designs. For example, I'm on my mom's team here and you can start to see that certain elements that I've created are visible to the whole team, whereas there are others that don't have any photos next to them, which means this is probably one I created and actually forgot to share with the team, which is just poor etiquette on my behalf. But whenever you're creating something, so for example, these are our YouTube end screens and I want to make sure the whole team has access to it, I can head on over to Share and then I can click on people with access, "Edit" this, and make sure that it's visible to the whole team and say that they can edit. Anyone that's part of the team can edit. Or I can individually go through and add different team members. I can add their names or emails in here and give them either view or edit access that way. This is really important because if you are creating something and you're like, yes, it's in there and your client's not seeing it, or vice versa, your clients created something and they want you to see it, if they haven't actually made it visible to you as a whole team, you won't be able to see the design. Then you've got some options within the design itself, in terms of commenting or collaborating. This stage, you can see it's just me in this design, but you can technically both access the design at the same time. Someone else is in the design, you're going to see their head pop up here. But in this case, I could just say something like, "Can you check this out, please?" Or you could say, can we make this slightly bigger or something like that? I could also assign it to a different team member. Then as soon as I was to hit "Comment" on this, it will then send the team member an email to say they've been tagged in something. They can then review the design and resolve the comment. If you head on over to File and View All Comments, you can go ahead and look at resolved comments as well. If you accidentally resolved something and you're like, oh, I really wasn't supposed to click on that, you can always find it within File and Comments. Now, if you have clients who are not super savvy within Canva, and you might have a design document that has 40 pages of your hard work in it, and you don't necessarily want them messing around with it, but you do want them to have some edit functionality or edit permissions, then what I would do is just go over to "File" and make a copy of your design, and share a copy of it so they don't have access to the original. Because if they make any drastic changes, you can go to Version History and potentially recover your past changes, but it can be a bit more tricky. I would just go ahead and make a copy and share an editable copy of your design with your client if you think they're going to potentially screw things up a little bit. Now let me just switch on over back to my existing Canva account so we can take a look at some options for sharing designs if you don't, maybe, have a team. We're just going to go ahead and select our previous template here, just so we can take a look at some sharing options. If I was going to share this by default, obviously, it's going to say only you can access so that no one else can access it. You can change this to say anyone with the link, and potentially I would leave this as can view or can comment, not can edit. For example, when I share designs with students or they share designs with me, I always make sure that it's just on can view so that they can't make any changes to it, but I can see what they've done because otherwise things can get very messy. But if you are going to be selling your templates on platforms like Creative Market, for example, I just searched for a Canva Instagram template here and you'll notice it's got 600,000 templates. That's a bit excessive. But essentially these are beautiful templates that people have created for social media that are paid but can easily be imported into anyone's Canva account. They're usually a little bit more specific. They might be specific to real estate agents or coaches. Just go a step beyond what you can find within Canva, these will have to be shared in a very particular way. If you are doing something like that with Etsy or Creative Market, you want to make sure you're heading on over to More and Template Link here. When you create this kind of link here, instead of the one that we just looked at, and somebody goes to open it, it's going to share a screen with them that looks like this, which is going to allow them to use the template, but it's not actually going to allow them to view it outside of this little slider here. Obviously this is a very messy template that I wouldn't want anybody using. But let's say this is your beautiful design and you want to make sure people can use the template, but they can't edit it, they can't comment on it, they can't do any of those things because you want to make sure your original stays exactly as you created it, then this is the link that you'll have to use. Once again, if you're just going on over to Share, heading on over to More, and Template Link. This is the link that you'd want to be sharing with people if you want them using the template for their own purposes, customizing it to their own needs, but not actually being able to mess with the original at all. Then you do also have the option to publish it as a brand template. There's probably not too many users where you might need this functionality because effectively, every single time you use a brand template, it's going to create a duplicate of that template for you to customize. More often than not, when you're working with brand designs, you're probably editing an existing document, you're not trying to create a duplicate every single time, but it is an option. Once you create a brand template, in your Brand Hub, you will find any brand templates that you've created over here. It can be really handy for things like LinkedIn banners, for example, because you know that everyone on your team is going to be using the exact same template for creating their own LinkedIn banner. You could create a brand template of a LinkedIn banner and then every time somebody clicks into that, it's going to create a copy for them to use as their own LinkedIn banner. That is always an option. Then because we are in the Brand Kit as well, in here, you've got some options for brand control. If your client is inviting you as a team member or you're inviting other team members into your account, which is an additional paid feature on top of the pro plan, then you will have some brand controls where you can decide who on your team is able to edit your brand color scheme, your fonts, and your designs, and things like that. What's the approval process? That can be key with newer team members where you want to make sure that they're going through all the appropriate approval processes before publishing any designs. Now let's talk about keeping organized. In the Project section, you'll notice I've got lots and lots of different folders here and there's folders within folders. Anytime you are looking to keep things organized with your potential uploaded images and videos, you can add a new folder in here. That way, you can make sure that anything that's checked into your Uploads folder is really nicely organized and is not just staying in here. This is not best practice. Do as I say, not as I do because I often forget to organize things from my Uploads folder. I usually just organize the most critical things that I know I'm going to need to access again. But make sure you're getting into really good habits and keeping things organized in your folders. The same goes for templates. Often when you're creating a new template, because you're just wanting to create a really quick Instagram story post, it's going to create a brand new design document every single time you click into one of these templates. Let's say I want to do this holiday giveaway. Now, this is going to be a brand new design document, and that means you're going to potentially end up with hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of design documents that will all potentially have a very similar title as well. Instead, what I would encourage you to do is combine your designs. In terms of the pages that each design document can have, you can have up to 300 pages in one design document. That means one document labeled Instagram story could house 300 different designs, which makes it really easy for you to access them all in one place. This is also really key for when you're working with clients and you're potentially needing approvals on your design work, and you're submitting 30 Instagram posts in one go, it means you're sending them one link to one file with 30 different designs in it, as opposed to 30 different links. Let's take a look at how we can combine our designs. Let's say we edited this. It's nice and branded and I want to make sure that I'm housing it somewhere in a document that has all of the rest of my designs. I'm going to go ahead and just look at my reels templates. Only because I know this particular document has a lot of different pages in it. Some random, some gray, just a lot of different pages in it. It's got 93 different pages in it. I can go to Grid View so I can look at them all in one go this way, which is really, really cool. With this particular design, what I can do is instead of looking at it from a scrolling perspective like this, I could either look at it from a grid view like this, or I can use this bottom arrow to show the pages. Either way will work and then I can essentially just click on the page that I want to duplicate and I can Command C, then jump into this particular reel template, and I can Command V to bring this page into this big collection of Instagram stories or reels or what have you, they're the same dimension. For just demo purposes here, I'm using this as an example. But that can be a really easy way to bring this in here. Of course, at any stage, you can also access any designs from in here. I can also see it over here, I can bring it in this way as well, whatever is most convenient for you. I just know that sometimes when I have both documents open, it just seems to be an easy thing to just copy and paste. I can just Command C, or Control C if you're on a PC, come in here and Command V, or Control V if you're on a PC, and it brings it all into this one big beautiful document. Now I can just go back to my dashboard and delete this other designs so that I don't have to be trying to chase it down a year from now because I know it's a part of a bigger document with all of my designs in it. That's a little bit about how to keep yourself organized and how to get into a really good workflow with yourself and your clients and other team members within your Canva dashboard. In the next lesson, we're going to take a look at how to find inspiration for your designs before moving on to designing in the next section of the course. I'll see you there. 13. How to Find Inspiration: One of the things that I see my students often struggling with, which is something that I struggled with quite a lot as a beginner as well, is just knowing where to find inspiration for your posts and your graphics and your videos. That's just because I can teach you guys the skills and the tools and the software that you need to create this stuff, but at the end of the day, when it comes time to actually sit down and create something and your mind just sometimes goes blank and you forget what you've been inspired by in the past. This is very common and so if you've ever felt like that, you're not alone. In fact, one of the first clients that I worked for as a social media manager asked me to design 30 Instagram posts in one day a month, which may not seem like a lot to some of you but for me as a beginner to think about how to find inspiration for 30 different, unique, engaging posts for one business, all in one day was really intimidating and I froze. I had crickets in my brain or those tumble weeds in the westerns where you're like, there's nothing going on here, [LAUGHTER] and what do I create? I've developed a process around it so that that doesn't happen to me and I'm going to share that with you in this lesson so that you will never ever run out of inspiration. Let's first begin with Instagram, something I do pretty much every single day I'm on the app, even when I'm not doing this for research purposes, anytime I come across a post like this one from Girls That Invest, which is beautiful, perhaps I have a client in the finance sector, so I want to save this for inspiration. I would just hit the little ''Save'' icon and it's going to ask me if I want to save it to a collection. I've already got couple of collections here, but let's say this is for a new client, so I would say, save this to a new collection and then I can put this in the Finance collection. In this case, I don't want other people to join this collection, it's private just to me and I can go ahead and save that. Then at anytime from my profile, I can just go to my saved folders and I'll be able to find all of my beautiful collections over here, including the finance one that we've just created. That's a really quick and easy way to just organize your thoughts. If you ever see anything on Instagram, I often see people screenshotting stuff and it just gets lost in your photo library on your phone, so make sure you're utilizing Instagram's amazing functionality when it comes to actually being able to save things in these beautiful categories. Then you can refer back to them whenever you're in creation mode. That helps you to make sure that none of your ideas are getting lost in the process. Let's now look at something similar we can do with Pinterest. Let's say we have a real estate client and we want to get some ideas for pin designs, but also maybe potentially we can leverage some of these designs for other social media platforms as well. We're getting a few ideas. Now, these are from my pins, I want to make sure I'm going to all pins. Then let's say hypothetically, I really like this pin and I want to save it to a board, but I don't want it to be publicly available because obviously this has nothing to do with my business account, which is all about marketing. What I want to do is I want to create a board and this is going to be real estate [NOISE] client and I can toggle this on to make this a secret board. That means that I can utilize this board to do research for this client without it really affecting my Pinterest account. If I head on over back to my profile now and I go to saved I'll be able to see any secret boards that I've created over here and I'll know that their secret based on the little padlock that's in the upper left-hand corner. That's a really great strategy that's going to help you utilize your Pinterest account. If you've got one, you can also just create a personal one, it doesn't have to be a business account. Another tool that I really love, which is the Facebook ads or Meta ads library, which we'll talk a little bit more about when we talk about social media and video ads in a later lesson. But for now what I wanted to say is that even though I know I said, don't take screenshots on Instagram because you don't have to, in the ads library, it often is best to take screenshots because once these ads stop running, they're actually not going to be available for you to look at anymore. Let's say you like these ads or maybe even an ad that's running across your Facebook account and you want to save it for later. What I do with that, I just take a screenshot of the image that has inspired me to create something and then I do organize this with any of my folders on my desktop. Once I've got the screenshot on my desktop, I would make sure I'm renaming it or categorizing it in some way, shape, or form. I'm just going to go by Amy Porter Fields, which is the name of the person who's advertising this. I would probably also categorize it by clients, so if this was inspiration for a particular client's brand, I would make sure that they have a folder in my inspiration section. But in this case, I would just put it in here and in this case, it would probably just go under something like Facebook ads inspo and I can make sure that I'm filing it away in a way that makes the most sense. Yes, I definitely have a few screenshots in here that are not super organized, but when I do organize things, it does make things really nice and easy and I do this with both images and videos. I have included some resources for recording screens in your course guide. If you want to have the ability to also record some videos as they're coming across your feed because sometimes the screenshot just won't do. For example, this video here, I saw this coming across my LinkedIn feed and I just grabbed a quick screen grab video recording so that I could recreate this effect later on and a screenshot just wouldn't have done this justice. Make sure that you're checking out the resources that I've put in your course guide for how you can record your screen using some free tools so that you can keep filling up these inspiration folders so that you don't have those tumbleweed moments. Just in case you're curious to find out how the post turned out that was inspired by this particular video, here is how it looked on my LinkedIn profile. It's not quite the same as what we just looked at, but similar style where it's got that looping effect. Again, it was just drawing a bit of inspiration from it, so it helps me create something really cool later on because of that initial inspiration moment. In case you're interested in learning how to make this exact post, I have added this in as a bonus lesson towards the end of the course, so we are going to cover it, but it is a bit of an advanced technique, so more on that a little later on. Here's another example of something I drew inspiration from here on the right and then what I actually created as a add carousel for a previous client of mine when I was working at the agency. Just drawing inspiration from but making it my own. Here's another example of this where I pulled this photo from Instagram for Shine with Natasha, her Instagram account and then also Skillshare's Instagram account on the bottom-left, and then made it my own with my own little animation as well. 14. Canva for Social Media: Now that we have looked at Canva and a few things that you can do within it and how to structure your workflow and also how to find inspiration for your designs, it's now time for us to actually jump in and start creating different graphics for the different social media platforms. But before we do that, I did just want to preface this by saying that Canva does what they do really freaking well and they allow you to design graphics and videos and all these amazing things and they do that so well. But the one thing that they don't do well yet and it might change in the future, but the one thing they don't do well at this stage is to make sure that those designs are compatible across devices. You will often find designs within Canva that are so beautiful and they look great on desktop. Then you see that on mobile and it's cut off or it just looks weird and that's just because that's not their mission. their mission is not to create designs that are going to look great across every single device that graphic appears on and that's where I come in. I'm going to provide you guys with some templates that you'll find inside of your course guide. Make sure to go in and actually download all of your templates there so that anytime you're designing a graphic within Canva that requires slightly different care factor in terms of making sure that it displays beautifully across devices, and you'll know which one they are based on the lessons within this course, you will have all of your templates already there, so you'll be able to just plop it into Canva and you'll know exactly where all of your texts and your images and everything else needs to be placed so that it will look great on mobile, great on tablets, great on desktop, great on desktops of all dimensions. Just great. Everything's going to look great. If that's not making too much sense don't worry yet, we're going to be using the templates that I'm providing you with throughout these lessons. I just wanted you to know that if you can't find them or you don't know where they are, they're all within your course guide. You can download them all in one go from my Google Drive there and then just use them all within Canva. That's the first thing. The second thing is that I want to be really respectful of your time because I'm an avid learner myself. I've taken a lot of courses. One thing I hate is fluff. [LAUGHTER] I'm trying to take away as much fluff and be as respectful of your time as possible throughout these lessons. What that means is that I don't want you guys having to watch me design the same thing over and over again or use the same strategies and tools over and over again because that's not a great use of your time. Occasionally throughout these lessons, what I might do is actually speed up my design process. If I'm designing a graphic and I'm using tips that I've already walked you through in a previous lesson, I might just speed up the video a little bit, maybe put in some background music or maybe talk over it so you know what's happening still. But it might be slightly faster just so that you don't have to watch the same thing over and over again because you already know how to do it. My aim with these lessons is to really build on your skills. Each new lesson is going to give you maybe an additional skill or two that you didn't already know in the previous lesson because your time is so valuable and I don't want to overload you with here are all the skills you need to know right away. But I think by doing it this way, we're just going to learn a little bit more with each lesson. I would really encourage you that even if you're not really interested in learning how to design for YouTube because that's not your platform of choice or Pinterest or Facebook, you just should take the lessons in the order that they're in because of this skill development that are put inside of the lessons. I hope that's okay with you. I hope you're really excited, and I will see you inside the next lesson. 15. Inspirational Quote Graphics: The first thing we're going to learn how to design is an inspirational quote graphic. Now I know that might not be right for your brand or for the brands that you're looking to learn design for, but it is the best place to start because there's really not much to it. You don't have to learn how to edit photos, you don't have to learn how to add animated elements or make things beautiful. You really just have to focus on one background image or one background color and a font and an inspirational quote on top. It sounds really simple, but it's actually simplicity that is the hardest thing for beginners to master because as a beginner, you're always overcompensating for your lack of experience by trying to add too much and do too much. Actually, restraint is the hardest thing to do when you're a beginner and that's why I love starting with quote graphics because they are really simple and it's going to force you to remain restrained and really just pick one font or to fonts that are complimentary to create this quote graphic, maybe an image in the background or maybe just a solid color and be very comfortable with the fact that there really isn't much going on in these graphics. I'm going to show you a few examples that are really great to start with on Instagram, and then we'll jump into Canva and start creating. Starting with digital marketing agency King Kong, here, their quote graphics have a dimmed dark background with a light bulb text on top with quite a masculine vibe, wherein contrast BossBabe is going for very peachy pink vibes really nice, thin, minimalistic fonts, for the most part, some bolder fonts that are quite wide as well, which is quite trendy at the moment and they're utilizing the same colors over and over again, which have very feminine vibes. Lastly, I want to bring up Amber from a creative code because she does something really cool with this carousel post where it's the same graphic over and over but in different styles. If you then hit the Share icon to share this to your story, it will grab the color from the post and make that the story color. It gives people a few different options for which one they might want to share to their story depending on which one is the most suitable for their look and feel and that makes it a lot more likely that people actually will share it when they have this option. Hopefully, some of those examples have sparked a bit of inspiration and now let's just jump on over to Canva and start creating. Jumping on over to Canva, you can just type in the word quote and go to templates to just get a few ideas about what you could create for your quote graphics keeping in mind at this stage, they'll all be in various different dimensions for all the different templates. If you're specifically looking for Instagram templates, you can go to social media and Instagram posts but keeping in mind, these are going to be square graphics. They're going to be 1080 by 1080 pixels, which may or may not be right for the design that you are looking to create. Largely, I would recommend that you create vertical designs. We're going to go ahead and click on "Create a design" and then "Custom size". The vertical dimensions for an Instagram post are 1080 by 1350. They're just a little bit more realistic on the Instagram app, which just means that you have more of a chance of getting your user's attention. Now in terms of getting a quote, ideally, you'd want to be quoting yourself or your team and using your own quotes, but in case you get a bit stuck, momentum is a great free tool that functions on your Google Chrome browser as a free Chrome extension that provides you with a free beautiful quote every day. Then in these settings function, you can also see a history of all the past quotes that you've been shown. You can also then categorize these by liking the ones that you like and then you'll be able to see them in your Favorites tab. You can keep track of your favorites that you might want to use for your designs in the future. I'm just going to go ahead and copy this across. This is linked within your course guide as well and it's a completely free Google Chrome extension that you can use anytime. Now at this stage, I want us to get familiar with using shortcuts. In terms of brain texts and you can do it here in the left-hand sidebar or just hit the letter T on your keyboard and that's going to bring up a textbox for you every time. You can then size that up and paste your text in from a different tool like Momentum. Then once you start moving your textbox around, you'll start to notice these pink lines that are telling you that it's in the center of your graphic. It's in the middle of your graphic or isn't. That's one option in terms of positioning or you can hit "Position" and "Center" and "Middle" or at any point, you can also right-click on your textbox, go to Align page, and again, you'll have Center and Middle as options there. If you want to make sure that you are always in the right spot in the graphic, those are your various options for making that happen. Then you can change the color of your actual background Canvas to your beautiful brand colors and maybe we add one more element to this something like an underline so it's not quite super simple just tanks, but maybe something a little bit more dynamic like we saw with BossBabe. I might use this one here and just use that to highlight the end of this quote. I can also rotate my text box or I can make it bigger, I can make it smaller. I can also just use the arrow keys on my keyboard to slightly move up and down just by one pixel at a time and then I want to make sure that this is behind my text so I can right-click and go to arrange and send this backward. That's one option or at any point, I can use the keyboard shortcuts that Canva is telling me which is Command and left bracket to send backward and command and right square bracket to send forward. Again, these shortcuts are going to be in your course guide, so don't feel like you need to know them all off by heart, but it just makes it really easy for you to streamline your workflow when you can really get the hang of these. The last option is just to go to Position and go to the Layers instead, which is going to show you everything that's on the page and allow you to move things around and put things one on top of the other in a way that's really easy, which again is really handy if you've got 20 different elements in your graphic, which we don't at this stage, but we might one day. I'm going to just go ahead and change the color of my brush stroke to be a little bit more subtle, maybe even more subtle in terms of transparency. I could adjust the transparency down a little bit. It's just floating in the back there, but it's not too obvious. Then I'm just going to bring in one more textbox and put in my author here because I know this was a quote by Albert Einstein and I might potentially change the font of the author's name to be something a little bit more cursive, a little bit more handwritten, maybe something with a script font, perhaps that might look almost like a signature. It's just something that I really like doing. It's completely personal preference, but I do like using fonts that are easy to read as well, so nothing that's so cursive that would be really hard to read on a small mobile screen. Now I'm just going to go ahead and highlight all three of my elements so that I can make them slightly larger all at the same time, and in terms of aligning them, it's actually easier to just group them into one element or I can right-click and group there or use the Command G shortcut or Control G on a PC, and at any point, you can then go through to Align page and hit "Center" and "Middle" and it's going to align all of your elements at the same time. You can then ungroup things if you need to because you might need to edit each of the individual elements. Let's go ahead and add a new page. We're just going to bring in a photo to use for a graphic that's similar to King Kong that we looked at at the beginning. That's a little bit more bold and actually utilizes a photograph in the back. I'm just going to grab a different quote here from Momentum that we can use for this and in photos I'm going to look for a travel photo. Ideally, I'm looking for a photo that has a little bit of blank space around it, maybe like this one. I can just grab it and then I can right-click on it and replace the background, which we'll put it on the whole graphic, or I can just click and drag a photo into my design and that'll snap it into the back there as well. I'm just going to bring in my quote and I'm just going to tidy that up a little bit and size down my textbox might attach the image because I've actually forgotten to change the color of the background to a dark color so that we can then replace the background, and we're going to adjust the transparency of our image to make it nice and dark like what King Kong were doing so that the font on top borders really pop. Of course, we're going to have to change the color, but first, I just want to make it slightly bolder and I'm going to make it all caps as well. Now I'm just going to make it white and I am going to just space down my author name and make it a slightly different font. Now because this is a script font, it needs to not be all caps. It needs to be lowercase. I'm just going to remove that feature and now we're just going to align things a little bit and move it into position so it doesn't quite work with the photo in the back there. What I might do is double-click on the image and that will allow me to move the image around my design so that I can only select the part of the image that I want to be showing. That has really nicely zoomed into just the part of the graphic that I want to be showing that still has enough empty space around it to fill the quote. That looks pretty good. Now I could duplicate this page and head on over to my Templates in my design tab and maybe search for something within the quote realm. I can get some designs that I really like and try to apply the styles of that graphic to my current design. Now it's not going to change the photo in the back. It's just going to change anything that's got colors or fonts on it. It may not work every time, but it's just something that can give you a little bit more inspiration, but may not necessarily nail it every single time. That's just one option, or we're just going to go ahead and add a new page and take a look at how we can work with existing templates in here. I'm just going to go ahead and select this one that says quote of the day. Just going to add in my quote and tidy things up a little bit in terms of sizing my text up and down and just making sure everything is nice and aligned. I'm going to delete the bottom there. I don't think I necessarily need that and space my author name down, change the font maybe a slightly lighter font, because I think that main font that I have for the text there is quite delicate. I would just change that and quote of the day, I would put in all caps. Now I will just make sure that's in the center and in the middle. Now I can change the colors of this background element either manually if I'm on the free plan, so all of the different colors I can change to my beautiful brand colors there and it is a little bit more manual labor, but really not that much extra work or I can go to Design and Styles and go through my styles kit to try and get a few different options like what we were looking at with Amber's Instagram account where you might actually want to present a few different options in the form of a carousel. In terms of sharing my graphic, I could just go ahead and download all of these pages as individual PNG images or I can head to more and send to phone to get a QR code that I can then scan with my phone to open this design in my Canva app. That's exactly what I'm going to do here, and I will check that everything looks good in the app on my small mobile screen, and assuming all the designs look really good, I would just go ahead and in the upper right-hand corner, click on "Share"," Download" and I want to download all the pages and it's going to automatically save everything to my phone. Then I can open that up in my photo library and check that everything looks really good. Then I could just go ahead and share that on Instagram. That's it for this lesson, and in the next one, we'll look at how to create beautiful Instagram stories. I'll see you there. 16. Interactive Instagram Stories: For our Instagram stories, we're going to start off by searching for something within the beauty industry just to give us a bit of diversity. I can then go by the categories and just look for Instagram story templates which is going to give us that nice 10 ADP by 1920 dimension. We're just going to pick a couple that we can use to just start off with and look at different ways that we can play with both Canva and the Instagram app to create some really cool stories. I'm just going to open up a couple of these and then hitting "Command C" on my Mac or "Control C" if you're on a PC to copy over this page so that I can combine it into a different design. This design here is going to just basically take that page and add it in. I'm also going to add a third page here so that we can take a look at a few different things that we can do. I'm going to look for something like plant shadow in the video section so that I can use this to just be a really subtle moving element in the background of a story I'm going to be creating within the Instagram app. This one here looks good I will just rotate it and before changing the background of this page, I'm just going to change the background color to a nice soft orangey tone, which would go with this brand. Then I'm going to right-click and click "Replace Background". Then I can adjust the transparency down just to give it that nice subtle look and I also want to make sure I'm turning down the volume on any video clips, or you can also hit "M" on your keyboard anytime you're in a video and it will automatically mute it for you. Now this was a Canva pro video, so for my second design, I'm going to go on over to Pexels and just search for some free videos that I can look for in vertical format that I can bring into my second design. I only need to be quite small for the second design because it's not going to take up the whole page, so I can just download it in one of the lower resolutions. I don't necessarily need it to be the full page. That helps to save a little bit of space and it just makes it down a little bit quicker so I can rename my beautiful document here and bring in my video into my uploads folder and it's just going to appear in the videos tab. Then I can organize this potentially as well, so it's not just in the uploads folder because this is a video I could potentially use again and again. I could put it into let's say creative assets in this case, I'm going to leave it in my uploads folder, but anytime you bring videos in from Pexels, it's a good idea to organize them. Then we can just click and drag it into the frame and it's going to snap into place for us. I'm going to adjust the volume and it's likely bit too long, so I'm just going to click into it and look, it's 47 seconds. That's a little bit too long for what we need so we're just going to trim that down to maybe 15,20 seconds and then any other elements that are on the page, we could adjust the color to bring it in line with our brand color let's say it's black in this case. All right, now we can click into our texts here and go to effects and see what options we have. With this font. We could look at the outline, the lift, all of these different styles but to be honest because it's such a thin font, I think I'm just going to keep it really nice and simple and maybe just curve it to the edge of the video there. It's too much of a curve so I want to make sure I'm softening that a little bit and then just bringing that down, so it just hugs it really nicely. That's looking pretty good I'll actually go ahead and remove all the texts at the bottom because this is where I'm going to add some elements and within the Instagram app. I want to make sure that that space is blank and I will also probably highlight everything and just move it up so that there is a little bit more space. Maybe even make it a little bit smaller so that it gives me a little bit more room to work with in the Instagram app and I can put some texts over there. Now with my first image, I could right-click on it to duplicate it, or I can hit "Command D" on a Mac or "Control D" on a PC in order to duplicate the page and then I can adjust that second page to be basically nothing except for the button. If I hit "R" on my keyboard or I can go to the Elements tab to of course find my rectangle or my square, but hitting "R" is a bit of a shortcut. It will bring in a rectangle that I can use to adjust to my button shape and then change the color to something that's a bit branded. Now if I just click into my rectangle, I can add a bit of a subtle border around it so that it really pops as a button. That looks pretty good, now I'm just going to go ahead and delete that from my first design because I'm actually going to be bringing this on top of that design within the Instagram app. I promise it'll all make sense once you're in the app. But for now, I'm happy with those designs, I'm going to create one last page so I can show you another cool function. We're just going to start off with a blank page and bring in some elements of plants to the outside. I'm just going to quickly speed this up and bring in a couple just to the edges of my graphic, twist them around so they all look like they're in the right spot here. Then I'm going to hit "R" to bring in a rectangle and essentially what I want to be doing at this stage is just making a frame for the outside of my graphic here. Now I want to move my rectangle behind my plant elements. I could either right-click on it to change where it appears on the page or a bit of a shortcut for you that I've included in your course guide as well is to hit "Command" and the left square bracket key. If you're on a Mac or "Control" and the left square bracket key if you're on a PC, and it will move it behind everything that's on the page the more times you hit that shortcut. Then we can go ahead and change the color of our rectangle and now if I just delete the background and then I hold down option on my keyboard and I drag this element. It's essentially going to duplicate that element for me, if you're on a PC, that's the "Alt Key", not the "Option Key". This is super, super handy again, it's all in your course guide, so if you're not remembering these shortcuts it's totally fine. But at any point if you want to duplicate an element, just holding down option and clicking and dragging that element is going to duplicate it for you. It's the same as copy and paste it's just a quicker way of doing it. We will continue using all of these shortcuts throughout all of the lessons, so by the end, you'll be so familiar with all of them, but of course we will also do a little bit of manual labor. You'll learn where things are located within Canvas in case you don't like using keyboard shortcuts and you prefer to manually find things around. Or maybe you're on the mobile app and you can't use keyboard shortcuts, we will always have alternatives for both ends. The reason we've done it this way is so that we can create essentially a hole in the middle of this graphic. Again, we're going to play with that within the Instagram app. If we're on the Pro plan, we can then download this with a transparent background for our fifth page. If your Canva for user, there is a workaround to this and we're going to cover that in our lesson on mastering transparent backgrounds, so not to worry for now, I'm just going to go ahead and download each of these individually. Page 2, I could download as a PNG as well, but also as a JPEG, because either way we just need that button section, so we're going to play with that in the Instagram app. My first page, I can just download again just as a regular PNG, it doesn't have to have a transparent background. In fact, it shouldn't have a transparent background, so just page one is going to be as is. Then I need to make sure that anything with moving elements in it is being downloaded as an mp4. Page 3 is going to be an MP4 and then Page 4 is going to be another MP4, but you want to make sure you're downloading them separately. Because if you just say select Pages 3-4 and download those as a video, it's going to combine them into one video, and that doesn't really work for Instagram stories. You want to make sure you're downloading them separately and I'll see you inside of the Instagram app. 17. Post Your Instagram Stories: The first thing I'm going to do is I'm actually going to edit this Shop Now button, and just crop it till it's just the button itself. This is why it doesn't really matter if you download it as a transparent PNG or a JPEG because we really just need the button to act as its own image sticker because this is going to be placed on top of a clickable link. It's just to give us a little bit of a branded look inside of Instagram stories, rather than just using the Instagram version of the click now or shop now sticker. That's done, and now if these were assets that I want to use again in the future, I could select these and create album just on my phone with the title of something like Instagram assets, where I can then easily pull these up in the future. Again, it's just a nice way to keep yourself organized. Then we're going to head on over to the Instagram app and create a story and select multiple templates, not all of them at this stage, we just want to select three of them, and hit Next. With this one, we want to be using the link function to put in at this stage just a dummy address so we can make sure that it's clickable, so I can show you how this works. Then it really doesn't matter what the display text is. We're just going to be covering it anyways. We're going to bring in just an image using this option here and bringing our beautiful button. Now I might need to tap on it a few times just to get the original shape and then place that right over the link so it's nice and clickable. Now I'm just going to hit this Sticker option again. I'm going to be using the poll sticker to ask a question. I could say something like, have you got your Mother's Day present sorted, because this is for a potential jewelry brand, I guess [LAUGHTER]. Then the options could be something like, yes, and a little present emoji or not yet, and a bit of a panic emoji or [LAUGHTER] something like that, just to make it a little bit more interactive for people. Then I will just scale that down and I could also bring in a GIF of an arrow, for example, so that it brings a bit more attention to the fact that that button at the bottom there is clickable. Now let's move on to our second design. This is just going to serve as a background for a testimonial in this case, so I'm just going to use the bringing in the image function in the sticker option here and bring in a testimonial. I've just got an album in my phone of student testimonials and reviews that I've gotten as screenshots. I can just bring that in as a screenshot and size that up. This can be a really clever way to feature some testimonials or product reviews that you can then turn into Instagram highlights, which we'll talk about in a later lesson that can live on your profile permanently. I could add in a review GIF above it just to give it a little bit of that extra flare but obviously not necessary, it can just stay nice and clean just without that as well. That's looking good. Now let's move on to our third design, which obviously means a little bit of something at the bottom. We're going to be using the question sticker for this one. Because this can be a really nice way to, again, get your audience to interact with you, and maybe get them to ask you questions about, in this case, skincare [LAUGHTER], which obviously, I would not know [LAUGHTER] how to answer. This is not my cup of tea. But let's say your client or your brand is a skincare brand. This can be a really great way to make it really nice and branded and interactive. Then you can use the color picker option to just select a part of the template that is really nice and branded with your colors just to bring this in line with your brand even more and make it nice and beautiful and branded. These all look really great. I'm just going to go ahead and post these now. We can take a look at how they actually work once they're posted. Now let's look at the search option here to look for a skincare brand. In this case, I'm going to be using raw cosmetics as my example, and looking for a post that I can share to a story here. I'm going to be sharing this to my story, so I can have a look at how we can utilize that last template we made within Canva. I'm going to jump on over to my albums here and copy this photo. I'm going to hit on Share, copy photo, and then jump back into Instagram, back into my story, and hold down my screen which is going to pop up this text function. But it's also going to allow me to paste in my template. Now because there's a hole in the middle, if I then press in the middle, it's going to bring their post to the foreground and it's just going to give it that nice, beautiful, branded background that we're looking for. Now if you don't have the option of having that transparent middle, there is a neat little workaround. Let's just discard this story, and do it again. We can basically just take a screenshot of this post, and crop it down. I'm just going to crop in the post itself. This does only work with static posts not with videos, obviously, but we can then save this to our library. Now I'm essentially just going to be placing things on top of this post. I want to make it as large as possible so the whole story is clickable. Then I can bring in my frame as an image on top of this. Obviously, it would not have the hole in the middle in this case, but we just want to size it to the full screen, and then bring in our screenshot. It is a bit of a hack because, yes, that screenshot is technically not the original post, but no one can really tell, and it's still clickable. Now if we look at our stories, I can say that the Shop Now link is working, my poll is working, everything's nice, and interactive. My Review is there, and then my Question sticker, I could just come in here and ask a question. That's the best I can do with [LAUGHTER] my knowledge of skincare. Then my last story is also clickable because underneath this is that big, beautiful link to that original posts from raw cosmetics. It's just got two images on top of it, but it just looks really great. I hope you enjoyed that hack. It can feel a little bit complicated, so I've included a resource to that last hack in your course guide that takes you through it step-by-step as well. Make sure to check that out, and I will see you in the next lesson. 18. Master Transparent Backgrounds: In this lesson, I just want to take you through some ways that you can work around some of Canva's pro features if you're on the free plan. Specifically talking about the transparent background export with the PNG that we did in the previous lesson and one other feature, which is the background removal feature, which we're going to talk about in just a sec. First of all, let's say I want to download this particular template here. But let's say I can still download as a PNG, but I don't have access to the transparent background feature. I'm just going to go ahead and download the current page. We're going to have a look at how I can get around basically removing a part of this graphic in a different tool and then bringing it back into Canva or into Instagram or what have you. The important bit is whatever you're going to try and remove should ideally be a distinct enough color from the other colors around it. If I had white leaves in this graphic, I would probably just make sure my background is not actually white. My preference is to make it bright green, which looks hideous. [LAUGHTER] But the reason for it is because, and the reason that people use green screen effect quite a lot is because this is not a color that you see in designs very often, and it's not a color that is seen just anywhere very often, so it's an easy one to remove for any software as opposed to more natural colors like white, which might appear somewhere else in your design, so that's just my preference, but as long as the color is distinct enough from the other colors in your design, this should work just fine. The tool we're going to be using is called Pixlr. Of course, it's in your course guide, so make sure to check it out there. I'm going to pull in this second graphic here that we've just looked at. I can just head on over to the one select mode, select my green area here, and then just hit Delete on my keyboard and it's going to remove that middle section for me really nicely. Then I can just head on over to File and Export as PNG. I'm just going to save that to my desktop. Now I'll be able to utilize that within the Instagram app the same way as I would if I had just done that within Canva. The other way that you can use this tool if I jump back into Canva is if you're looking to cut something out of a photograph, for example, if I wanted to cut myself out of this image and I was to go to Edit photo and background remover here, which is a Canva pro feature. It's super, super handy and we are going to use it a little bit throughout the following few lessons. But of course, there is some limitations to it. If you're on a Canva free plan and you still want to use something like this, you just need to get a little bit crafty with using external tools. That's where a tool like Pixlr can come in really handy, where you can bring in an image like the one we were just looking at, then I can use the cutout or mask option where I've got the magic mask option here. But sometimes when it's an image like this one that's got similar colors next to each other, it's not the perfect system, so I will just undo that and use the AI auto option. That's going to select the parts of the image that it thinks I want to be removing. Then I may just need to touch up a few things. If I just look at where my image is, I can zoom in here. Then I can use this red square to navigate my way around the image. For example if I wanted to remove this, then I can use this magic mask and potentially also using the brush option to then tidy things up just a little bit. I can also increase or decrease my brush size and increase or decrease the softness. If I think I want it to have quiet, nice little soft edges, then I can go in and decrease that. Once I'm then happy with the image, I would just make sure that hint removed is turned off, so it's really a truly transparent background. Then I could just go ahead over to File and Export and Export page as PNG and save that. That's the final result there. One other tool that people really swear by is, which can be really great if you've got an image like this one that has a nice solid color background, it does a pretty good job. I would say probably even a better job than Pixlr of removing everything, because it still kept my details of my hair here. If it didn't do a great job or I wanted to just edit a couple of things, I can always go to the erase or restore option and similarly to Pixlr, I can use a brush to then erase parts of the image or restore parts of the image if I feel like it has done a bad job of removing something I didn't want to remove. The one limitation with this is that it will not actually export a big high-quality image. Or you've got limitations to how many of these images you can export, and you do have to sign up for a free account in order to export the image in HD, to use it in your designs. If you think you're actually only going to need a relatively small image, then might actually be totally suitable for what you're looking for. Then either way, you would just go in and import your beautiful PNG into Canva and use it exactly as you would if you were using the background eraser within Canva itself. 19. Create Instagram Highlights: We've already talked a lot about the power of Instagram stories and how nice this can be for connecting with your audience. But unfortunately, because stories do disappear after 24 hours, it can be hard to actually get the longevity out of these that you would like sometimes, especially if you're featuring products or perhaps you're featuring testimonials from your past clients or students in my case, and you want these stories to be on your profile for longer. Which is where highlights can really come in handy, so you often see these on people's profiles where people will have different categories of collections of stories that can potentially be the first introduction somebody has to your Instagram profile, so they can be really, really powerful. I'm just going to show you a couple of examples here. One from Jenna Kutcher, who's just got really, really simple highlights based on things that are business-related, but also things about her kids, and her health, and journaling, and the behind-the-scenes of her house build. It can be quite personal and the design of those that were cut was really, really quite simple. Whereas then let's say James Wedmore here has some cutouts of himself in his highlights. But again, that branding and consistent color scheme is really evident throughout. You want to make sure that these make a really good first impression. Whether you decide to include texts in your highlights or just images, whatever works best for you is totally, totally fine. Luckily, these are really, really easy to actually design and implement, so let's jump into Canva and take a look at how to do that. If you just look for Instagram highlights or Instagram story highlights, it will pop up with a few different options. Usually, there will be a collection of 12 or more or nine in this case sometimes six. But generally speaking, you will start to see a lot more templates that have several pages within them and all different designs and usually within a particular niche or industry. That can be a really easy way to basically get all of your highlights down all at the same time. Now, keep in mind with Canva, the limitation is that often they're not thinking about what is mobile optimized, for example, things like this, you actually wouldn't be able to see on a mobile screen. A, because the contrast is not high enough. I can barely tell that they says hello, but the contrast isn't there, but also that font is just not optimized for such a small screen. Keep that in mind if you ever going to be using texts in your highlights, you want it to be nice, big, bold like these, for example, may not be the prettiest but they are a lot easier to read than a cursive font like this one, or script font. I would recommend either using highlights like these that just have a really nice simple element in the middle to represent what that highlight is about and then you can use Instagram to actually label that highlight underneath. Or if you are going to use text, make sure it's nice, big, and readable. Something like this, I'm confident you could read on a small screen, of course, at the end of the day, you want to make sure you're checking it and we're going to look at how to design a few different styles to see what our options are. But just so you know, there are lots of different options here. I'm just going to start with this one just so we can have the actual just circle icon, and then we'll take a look at how to customize that for ourselves. I'm going to delete all the other elements and we're just going to be left with a circle here. I'm also going to go to the Grid View, and I'm going to just hold down Shift and select all of these pages and then hit "Delete". We're just left with one page that we can use for our Instagram highlights over here. Let's take a look at a couple of different options. One option would be to just include a little bit of text here, so we're just going to go ahead and hit "T" on our keyboard and bring in a little bit of text. Let's say this will be marketing tips. I'm just going to put that over here. I'm going to make that nice and big. I would potentially use a quite bold font for this. I might choose my font over here. I'm going to try and curve this just to make it a little bit more interesting so that it hugs the highlights. In effects, we can go to curve and it has curved it potentially a little bit too much. We'll size it up and see if it's fitting our sphere really well. Actually, it's done a pretty good job. In case I needed to adjust things slightly, you can always play around with the curve depending on where you want to have the text as well. In this case, it's done a pretty good job. We're just going to put it into the center. That's pretty good. There we go. That's perfectly in the center. In this case, I might actually try and use the spacing option here to perhaps increase the spacing of my letters just to give it a little bit more real estate on the highlight, I might then need to readjust the curve. In this case, I think it's still pretty good. Again, it doesn't have to be perfect because it's going to be on a very small screen. But let's say we like this one. Now, in order to make it slightly even more interesting, if we select the sphere in the back there, we can head on over to document colors, choose this, Add a New Color option, and instead of a solid color, we could potentially make this into a gradient. You can choose the gradient style in terms of where you want the gradient to be coming from, whether it's the bottom, the side, or the middle if that suits your style. In this case, let's just go for a side gradient here. Now let's go ahead and make that our brand colors using the color picker here. I'm just going to select, let's say this particular color here, and I'm just going to select my other color here. It's a very slight gradient. I might potentially push this a little bit darker just so we can say that it is a gradient a little bit more. My font itself as well, I want to make sure I'm bringing that to my branded color here as well. That's a really simple start. We're going to go ahead and just duplicate that, delete the text, and now we can have a look at how we can put in let's say an element here. If this was something to do with plant care [LAUGHTER] or perhaps sustainability or something like that, where we could just bring in a bit of an element here, keeping in mind no one's ever actually going to see the outside of this graphic. It doesn't really matter if there is elements that are overhanging because you're only ever going to be showing the middle of the graphic. I'm just going to go ahead and make that white and potentially leave that as a gradient. Actually don't mind that potentially, I would change the direction of the gradient. We can head on over here and change where that gradient is coming from. If, let's say, for some reason these were side-by-side, then at least the gradient is coming from a slightly different direction. That's always an option. I'm just going to go ahead and duplicate that. Then let's make this one a solid color this time. I'm going to be using a frame here. If we just go to elements and scroll down to frames, I'll find my circle frame here, and I'm going to show you just how I would potentially place a cutout of myself into this graphic. You remember we can use the magic background remover within Canva if we just have an image like this one of ourselves and we want to cut out the background. We can just do that within the background remover option, if we're on the pro plan. If you're on the free plan, then refer back to the lesson where we talked about how to remove backgrounds outside of the Canva app and put them into the app afterward. That way, I can just drag it into my frame. It'll snap into place. That makes it really nice and perfectly circular. Again, it doesn't really matter because, like I said, no one's going to see the outside. This is just so you know that there is always 10 different ways to do something within Canva, but this can be a really fun one in case you're looking to get that similar vibe that James Wedmore had on his Instagram profile where he's using little cutouts of himself. If I then double-click into this, let's say I want to just make this a little bit bigger and make myself a little bit more prominent within the circle, I can do that and the circle is still going to remain in place. It's just going to stretch my image. Those are my three highlights. I'm going to go ahead and in this case, I'm just going to download them all and AirDrop them to my phone and use them within Instagram. But of course, you can just open it up in the Canva app and download it straight to your phone as well, whatever is most convenient for you. Then we're going to play with it inside of Instagram. 20. Add Highlights To Your Profile: I'm just over here on my demo account and you'll notice where it says story highlights. If I click "New," it's going to pull up past stories that I've posted on this account, which aren't many. You do have to have some stories in order to create a highlight and it's going to prompt you to do that. Make sure you have posted at least one story and then you can click that story and click on next and it's going to basically walk you through how to create a highlight. If you head on over to Edit Cover, and then you click the little image icon, it'll bring up your beautiful graphics that are hopefully saved to your phone by now, and then just click on "Done." In terms of the actual name, I would just say marketing tips. Then let's do the same thing for our next two highlights. That in, I need to zoom in a little bit to get rid of the white. It's good. Let's say plant vibes. One more. Now I'm adding the same story for all of them in this case just because this account doesn't have a lot of backlog of stories. But of course, you'd want to make sure that each story you add to each specific highlight is very particular to the category that you're talking about. In this case, if this was about me and an introduction to me, I'd want to make sure that all the stories included in that particular highlight have to do with an aspect of my business, or my personality, or my experience, and this is a really neat way to just get people to really get to know you through your highlights and then decide whether or not they want to follow your profile. Hopefully, you find that helpful and I'll see you in the next lesson. 21. Captivating Carousels: Let's look at some Instagram Carousels within Canva. Now you absolutely can go with any of these beautiful templates, but keeping in mind that each of them is just its own individual image on an individual page. It doesn't necessarily have that nice cohesive look, and I want to make sure that I am improving your skills as you go through the course. We're actually going to be creating a custom dimension here. The height will always be either 10 ADP or 1350 in this case, because we're going to be creating a vertical Instagram post. But then our actual width will be dependent on how many posts you want to create. In this case, I want to create 610 ADP posts. My width is going to be 6,480 pixels. However many images you want to have in your carousel is how many times you would multiply 1080 by, the maximum is 10. So that's as wide as it will go. In this case, we just want to go with six. We also want to make sure that we know where those six images will split up. I'm going to go to file and add guides, and I'm going to head on over to custom, and I want to make sure I've got six columns and the gap is going to be zero in this case. This grid will really help me out while designing, and at any point I can hit "Shift R" on my keyboard and it's going to make these lines disappear and reappear if I don't want them to be there. But keep in mind these will not be in your design. They're just there as guides. Now, in these templates, you can say that these are not very carousel friendly because Canva do not design this way for carousels. I would just go through a few different options here and look for some inspiration. I'm going to try to design one like this one in the middle there that's got quite big bold text. This will be my first part of my carousel, but I'm actually going to bring in the inner pages or the second to six pages of my carousel because these will be where my tips will go. I'm going to highlight everything and Command C to copy it and Command V into my design to paste it in. Now the issue with pasting it in and having this grid is that actually it doesn't tell you where the center of each graphic is. If I move this around, you'll see it doesn't snap into place in the middle of these graphics. If I bring in a rectangle just by hitting R on my keyboard, this is a neat little hack where I can actually split up these blocks by putting in the same solid color rectangles into each of these little spots. That will allow me to get that nice middle guideline so that when I'm placing elements in each individual graphic, it'll tell me where the middle of that particular post is going to be. This is just a little workaround, I would then highlight all of them and just make sure I'm locking them into place so they're not moving around while I'm trying to put texts on top. Now I can just Command V and paste my text in. Now you'll see when I move it around, it snaps into the center of each post, which is perfect when you're trying to design one big graphic, but also individual posts within it. Now I'm just going to change all of the text to be nice, bright and white because that works with the color of my background here. Now I'll just remove a couple of elements that I don't think I'll need. I'll make sure I'm updating this to be my handle. I'll probably be changing it actually up the top here. I'm going to put my username up there, and then I'll delete it from down here. Now I'm going to bring in my first page into my design, into the very first graphic. I'm going to paste that in and bring it to the center. Again, I want to make sure I'm updating all the colors. I could do all the colors at the very end. [LAUGHTER] You don't have to do it as you go. I'm just going to make sure I'm also pasting in the texts that I want here. I'm going to be doing the five reasons to use Instagram for your small business. All the texts I'm bringing in is just living in a different word document that I'm pasting in. This can be a really great option if you have a big blog post, for example and you just want to highlight the small important part in a carousel like this. Then you could always tell people to read the whole thing. Read it on my website. With changing colors, you can do it manually or you can right-click and click on "Copy Style'', and then click on a different element on the page and it's going to copy the whole style, so not just the color, the font, the size, but also the alignment. You might need to play around with a few things, but at any point, if you just want to really quickly copy the style of one texts and then use it for other parts of your graphic, that can be a really easy way to do that. Now another hack for you is if you want to select different parts of your graphic, if you hold down Shift and then click on the individual elements of your graphic that you want to be copying over, it will select just those elements and then you can just hold down option on your Mac or Alt if you're on a PC. Then basically copy over just these elements while they're still highlighted. Because we have those rectangles in the back there, it's going to nicely snap it into place for you in the center of each individual graphic. Then of course, in the upper right-hand corner where it says two out of six, you want to make sure you're updating that with the accurate number. It'll be six out of six, then five out of six, four out of six and so on and so forth. I'm going to speed things up here just a little bit as I update these and also bring in my texts for each of my tips. Now I'm just going to bring in some graphics, either photos or individual graphics. In this case, I want to be looking at cutouts of a phone for one of my tiles within my carousel. I might use this hand that's holding a phone. Although it is quite an older phone, but that's totally fine. The main purpose is just to have some dynamic element in each of these different images that make up my larger carousel. I can then twist this around and try to align it with where my text is. Now in order to get a consistent look and feel, I would go to adjust and maybe just make this desaturated. I quite like that look, it's not right for every brand. Of course it has to be right for your brand. But I really like using black and white graphics in my designs. Then I'm just going to continue adding in some elements for each of my other images. In this case, I might go for either a photo or potentially a graphic for the first tile. This is the first thing that people are going to see. Also it's going to appear on my profile, so I want to make sure I get this one right because it's going to determine whether somebody clicks in to see the rest of my carousel information. I always play around with a few different options for my very first image. In this case, I might just use an Instagram logo here that might work out just fine. That's looking pretty good. Now for our second image, I would use a photo because I wanted to represent a large user base. For photos, I might search for a group of people and try and find a photo that will be easy for me to cut out using the background remover. Again, this is a Canva pro feature, but just refer back to the lesson where we talk about how to do this if you're not a Canva pro user. But in this case, let's just try a few different techniques here. I'm going to go to edit photos and background remover, and I'm going to bring these guys just down a little bit. Then I'm just going to go to adjust and desaturate them like I did with the previous image. Now I'm going to speed things up here a little bit just while I'm adjusting a few things, moving my text up as well to make sure that each individual post that makes up my carousel is nice and dynamic. I might do some tweaking at the very end, but I essentially want each of these different images that make up the carousel to have an element that is related to the paragraph texts that's in there. In this case, because we're utilizing this one long big graphic, I want them to overlap. I want each of the elements to be just on the edge of one graphic and the other so that it's this nice continuous flow when somebody is scrolling all the way through. Now for our very last image, I'm just going to go back to my initial template and grab this last page which has some shareable icons and has a little bit of a call to action that I'm going to copy over and paste in here. This is not necessarily one of the tips, this is just a way to get my Instagram audience to take action and either like, comment, share, or save that post. I'm going to just make sure that that is nice and aligned in the center of my graphic. I'm just going to go ahead and change the color to a slightly different color in this case because it is a slightly different image. I'm just going to go with my minty turquoise branded color instead of white this time. I'm just going to go ahead and update all of the icons to this color as well. Now the last thing I want to do is I'm probably going to change this Instagram logo because I don t think it suits the actual carousel as well as it did at the beginning. I'm just going to change that to a more minimalistic icon that I can change to my brand color and replace that and move it behind my image there. The last thing I want to do is go to elements and bringing a square from the lines and shapes option or just hit "R" on my keyboard and bring it in. Because this is going to allow us to understand which part of the first image is going to appear on our Instagram profile, because only the middle square is actually going to appear on her profile. If you're having trouble sizing this up to 10 ADP by 10 ADP, just head on over to position. You can do this manually just by putting in the height and the width. We want this to be a perfect 10 ADP by 10 ADP square and making sure that it's in the middle and the center of that first graphic. That will tell us, okay, this is a section that's going to appear on our Instagram profile once this is published. But this can be a little bit distracting. So instead, because we have our rule is already activated at the top and the side, we can just click and drag and bring in some extra guides for us to use that will allow us to then remove this rectangle or square and still see exactly where our graphic is going to be cut off once this is published on Instagram profile. Keep in mind, the rest of the graphics don't really matter because people will have to view those full screen on their phone. But we want to make sure that very first image, that everything that needs to be in that middle square that you want to appear on your Instagram profile is exactly where it should be. Then I'm just going to go through and unlock and delete all of the initial rectangles that I put into my design because I don't need them anymore. Hopefully everything is nice and aligned. I might need to do some final adjustments if there is some text boxes that are maybe overlapping with some elements in my graphics. I still want to make sure everything is nice and consistent. I would just play around with a few different design elements to make sure everything is exactly how I want. Now I can change the background of the entire graphic if I want. Benefit of doing this is that you could potentially use the gradient function which adds an extra dynamic element to your design. It may or may not be quite right for what you're looking for. For me, I'd probably go with a darker gradient as opposed to a really light one. But this can be a really nice way at the end just to add an extra dynamic element to your design. I'm going to go with a solid color, but just so you know that that is possible. Then we're just going to go to "Share", "Download" and "Download as PNG". And then we're going to use a different tool to break up all of our individual images into six equal size blocks. Now I'm switching to pine in their split image section. We're just going to go ahead and upload our beautiful image. We want to make sure we're horizontally dividing this. Now you can just say we want six blocks, but I find that this works better if you actually say, I want these to be in width of 10 ADP. It seems to give you a much cleaner look for some reason, and then making sure that the quality is up to 100 percent. Now you could just download it as one big zip file or just download each of the individual images and then just transferring these to your phone. Now we're going to do one last cool thing. I'm just going to head on over to Canvas and create a 10 ADP by 1350 design. We're going to do one cool last thing with our last graphic, which is just the sixth image in our carousel. I'm going to bring that into my upload section and right-click and set the image as background, and we're going to add some really cool animated elements to this. I'm just going to search for something like white and making sure I'm looking for animated elements here, and go into graphics and just picking a couple of elements that can help to bring this last image to life. But of course, it doesn't have to be your last image that makes up your carousel. It can be any image in the carousel. It does seem to work better with images that have solid color backgrounds. But for your carousel, you can add up to ten images or videos or a combination of both. Don't be afraid to get a little bit creative with this stuff. Just add a couple of really cool symbol animated elements like this. Then you just want to make sure you are downloading this particular image as an mp4, and it's going to align really nicely with the rest of your images. Jumping on over to Instagram, I've added all these images and my one video to my album. I'm just go to post and making sure I'm selecting the select multiple option and selecting these in the order I want them to appear, of course. Then I can just go to next, and next. In this case, I don't really want to be bothering with the caption or anything. We're just focusing on the actual graphic side of our carousel. Once this is posted, we can see how it looks like one big, beautiful, seamless graphic as we scroll through. There are no glitches, there's no issues with the colors or the patterns, and it's just nice and beautiful and really bold and visual. Because of the way we created it, our video also seamlessly blends into this graphic. Now if I head on over to my profile, I'll be able to see what this looks like on my profile, and that all looks great. Now one last hack for anyone who's interested in re-purposing this for LinkedIn. If you head on over to, you can upload all of your individual images that you got from Pine tools, and combine them into a PDF document. You need to make sure that they're in the order that you want them to be because it's essentially going to make this into one PDF file so you can upload it to LinkedIn because LinkedIn unfortunately won't accept this unless it's in PDF format. You can download your combined file and then go to LinkedIn, whether it's a company page or a personal page, start a new posts and upload this as an individual document. You can go ahead and load that in. Then you want to make sure you're giving it a title and optimizing it before posting. The one limitation is obviously you can't do the same thing that we did with Instagram in terms of that last graphic being a video file. But otherwise you can follow the exact same steps, and then just use this free tool to make it convert it into a PDF for LinkedIn. I'm just going to post it without a caption for now just so we can see how this looks. Again, this would be the same for a personal profile as it is for this company page. You want to make sure everything looks good, which it does, and I will see you in the next lesson. 22. GIFs & Memes: In terms of GIFs and memes, there are some accounts that live on this format and pretty much make it their whole social media strategy, then there are some accounts that might just use it sporadically as a way to connect with their audience, but it's not a primary part of their strategy. So they might use it with reels or potentially some static post as well, but it's not something they utilize day in and day out, it does have to be right for your brand, but it can be a really fun way to show a bit more of a humorous human side to your business. Within Canva, if you actually just look for anything under the term meme, you will get a lot of inspiration from designers that have created templates around this. If you're drawing a blank, but you want to use this format, that can be a really nice place to start. Most of these will be in a square format, which can work for Instagram, it can work for Facebook, technically, it can work for LinkedIn as well, but you probably wouldn't post memes on LinkedIn, or it will be in other formats that probably are best suited more so to Facebook and also Twitter and other platforms. But we're going to create ours from scratch both in static image format and also in real format, because memes can be a really fun way to get into the Instagram reels game without a whole lot of effort. I'm just going to go ahead and create an Instagram post design. Let's just go with square for the time being, but really this could be a vertical image as well. Then I'm just going to jump on over to Again, that's in your course guide, because this can be a really great way to get some ideas for the types of memes that are currently trending, and you can actually customize them in here as well. Anytime you select a popular meme like this one of Drake, it's going to give you some ideas for things that people have created using this generator in the past. If you are drawing a blank, definitely look to that for inspiration. Otherwise, it's also going to tell you the name of the meme up here anytime you click on an image. So if you're thinking, how do I describe this to Google to try and get some ideas, it will tell you what that meme is called, so you could always put distracted boyfriend meme into Google and it's going to give you some ideas of how people have utilized this meme in the past. We can use this within the generator itself, so I can say, in this let's just say text 1, text 2, and then I can generate the meme. I can't remove the image flip watermark because that's a pro feature, but I can just generate the meme, it's going to have a little watermark in the bottom left-hand corner here and then I could just right-click and download the image, that's an option, or otherwise, I'll just go to Change settings, I'm going to remove this text because I want this to be blank, and I'm just going to right-click on this and just save the actual image here. I can bring this into my Canva design and customize it further there. That's an easy way to get around the watermark option, it is also an easier way to keep yourself nice and organized. I'm just going to go ahead and add this into my design, right-click and set image as background. That's possibly a little bit too wide for this. I'm going to right-click again and detach this image from background. I'm actually just going to have to stretch this out so that the graphic at the bottom here, which is the important part of this meme, is going to be there in its full glory and then I can just add some text on top. First I'm just going to make sure I am locking this into place, I might want to just size this down because the background is white, I could change that to a brown color if I wanted to, and then I can go ahead and just lock this image in place and hit T on my keyboard to bring in a little bit of paragraph text so then I can add in my own little fun commentary to this particular meme. I already know what I'm going to say here, I'm just going to paste in my text here. I want to make sure it's not too wide, and probably going to left align that and make sure it's large enough to read. Let's have a look at, maybe even 35. That looks pretty good. Maybe even size it down a tiny bit so it's got a little bit more of that nice white border around. That looks good. That way I can align the text just over here. That looks pretty good. I'm going to hold down Option and duplicate my text box here, and just bringing my second bit of text. Alternatively, I can actually use the same text box and just hit "Return". It pretty much gives you the same effect. Whatever your preferences is, it's totally fine. Now keep in mind these memes are not designed to be super beautiful [LAUGHTER] in terms of the design, they're often slightly misplaced like there's just sizing issues and things like that. It's not supposed to be perfectly aligned, it's just supposed to be something that's quite shareable, that's appropriate for your brand, and that is something that you can use as a part of your social media strategy to connect with your audience. Let's now talk about how to incorporate GIFs into this content. I'm just going to delete my image. Within the app section, I'm now going to search for giphy, and that's going to bring in this integration. At any point if you accidentally exit out of it, you can always find it in apps, and as soon as you start using it, it's going to add it to your left hand sidebar. Then you can just search for GIFs here the same way as you would on and just click on them to bring them into your design. Now, in terms of downloading this, we could use a post like this as a GIF on something like Facebook, but for Instagram, it's going to automatically convert it into a reel and it's not exactly in real compatible format, so we need to change the dimensions. We could use the magic resize if we're on the pro plan and just change the height or search for the Instagram reel option. Now if you're on the free plan, you could just copy and paste your elements into a separate template document that is already in Instagram reel format, so not to worry about it, it's just a little bit quicker, especially if you're working with several designs in one document to just quickly re-size them if you're on the Canva pro plan. Then I'm just going to size things down a little bit and hit R on my keyboard to bring in a rectangle to add around my meme or my GIF here, and just size that just around it and then I can use my keyboard shortcut of command and the left square bracket to bring that to the back. Now I want to add some sort of a video element to the back because this is going to be a reel so it needs to be a little bit more interesting. Background grainy seems to be a really good keyword for somehow, for whatever reason, getting videos of these beautiful gradients. Don't ask me why. They're not actually grainy, but somehow this is just what comes up. I really like using this, especially if your brand is nice, big, and colorful, but, of course, you can use your own videos that you have put in from Pexels or just ones that you've liked as well. That's looking pretty good. I might just need to highlight all these elements and maybe size things down just a tiny bit and move them into the center of my reel so that it's really nice and visible on a phone. Then keeping in mind with the video in the background, it's only 10 seconds, so if you need to shorten that, you could, but you can't exactly make it longer by keeping in mind that reels will loop in on themselves, so that's fine. Lastly, this is something we'll talk a lot more about in the Instagram reels lesson, but this is a template I've provided you with which will help you to check that everything in your graphic is going to be visible once it's actually in the Instagram reels interface, so anything that's colored in here is elements that will be blocked by the interaction icons, by a profile image and all of that, so you want to make sure everything is in the middle transparent area of this template. That's looking good. We're ready to go and I could just go ahead and export that and download that as an MP4 to use as an Instagram reel. 23. Turn Yourself Into a GIF: I absolutely love using GIFs to connect with my audience on LinkedIn and on YouTube, and especially on Instagram in my ads and inside of my posts, and definitely also within Instagram stories. Within this lesson, we're going to be taking a look at how you can turn yourself into a hilarious GIF like these ones over here and also how to use these within Canva, within your designs, and have them be discoverable by other people on Instagram stories and anywhere else that GIPHY has an integration. If you're ready, let's just get into it. Start by taking a horizontal video of yourself against a blank wall and just make sure that everything is really well-lit. You want to have your face well-lit, but also the actual wall