When starting a Virtual Assistant (VA) business or ANY entrepreneurial business online, there are so many thoughts that gather in your brain to get you started online. There is always the BIG question… How do I get a website going for my business? Of course, you need an “online home”, although many people use social media as they get started to market themselves, eventually you will need a website. You need a digital place to call your own!
Then the next question that comes to mind… How the heck am I gonna pay for that?! EASY! There are so many platforms that are free to get you started such as WordPress.org, WordPress.com, Wix, or Weebly. Okay, cool! But then… the NEXT question that comes to mind is how do I design it? Ahh… Good question!
With the free website platforms, you’ll find many different templates or themes you can choose from, which gives you an awesome start with creating and making the website your own. However, what makes your website different from all the same cookie cutter websites? The graphics!
Make Your Own Graphics For Your Website With No Budget
Many entrepreneurs freak out when they start thinking about hiring a graphic designer and there are some entrepreneurs who are graphic design inclined who use Photoshop and Illustrator. BUT what if you’re not a designer? What do you do when you’re starting a VA business and you have ZERO money in the budget for graphic design?
You use Canva!
Canva is a FREE graphic design tool for the “non-designer”. No graphic design experience is necessary. You can hit the ground running with SO many different graphics for your website such as: your website header, your logo, your blog graphics, and your sidebar graphics.
Check out what this AWESOME VA created using Canva for her website:
Geniece Brown – Email Newsletter Extraordinaire – uses Canva for her home page and blog post graphics.
Canva is used globally and has reached 2 MILLION users. It’s really no wonder why people are in love with it when they can use Canva in so many ways.
The awesome blogger, Ashley Faulkes from Mad Lemmings does an amazing job with his graphics. When I see his graphics I know it’s him right away! Check out his Pinterest board below:
Using Canva, you not only create amazing images for your website and blog but you’re creating your brand. Make your business stand out from the crowd and get noticed. Not sure if you noticed… there are MANY virtual assistants looking for clients. Set yourself apart! Visual marketing is all about branding. What does your business have that no one else has? Show them with graphics on your site.
Don’t be afraid to be creative and imaginative. Show your personality and it will be so much easier to find the clients that you WANT to work with.
4 Essential Tips To Get You Started In Designing Your Website With Canva
To get you started to use Canva for your website, here are the 4 essential tips to help you create your own website designs:
1) Web Header
Every website platform or theme is different so I can’t give a specific dimension but once you do have a theme picked, then click on the header image and it will give you the best dimension size. In Canva, you can customize your own dimensions and create what you’d like for your business. Have a color scheme, a logo (see #2 if you don’t have one yet), tagline, and photo you’d like to include in the header ready. Then add the custom dimensions in the area shown below.
*Be sure to click on px before entering the numbers of the dimension.
It’s really simple to upload your photo and logo. Place it on the blank canvas area that you created with your custom dimension and play with it. Move things around, add a photo, add your text, and you’ll find a design that suits you.
If you’re feeling really creative, you can create your own logo. Again depending on how big you want your logo, you would use the Custom Dimensions option. However, it will be easier to use inches than pixels (choose inches (in) rather than px in the drop down menu for custom dimensions). Find a font that you like, choose your colors, and find any shapes or lines that catch your eye. It doesn’t have to be fancy. The simpler the better. You want potential clients to be able to clearly read the name of your business. It is best to find design elements away from Canva first to upload to Canva. You can find design elements from Graphicstock, Creative Market, Luvly, and many other creative design sites.
Canva can help you get established until you have the funds to hire a professional graphic designer. For the best quality logo in Canva, download it as a PDF then use smallpdf to convert it to a jpg.
3) Blog Graphics
If you’re just getting started, I highly recommend you to start blogging on your website. A blog is so very important for your business by demonstrating your authority on your VA specialties. There are 2 different types of blog graphics that you can create. There is the blog title image, where you have the title of the blog post listed, this is to get your blog noticed on social media. You can learn about the power of the blog title image here.
Then there are blog graphics for visual storytelling. These are graphics or photos that you can have throughout the blog post to help the readers visualize your points. Click here for an example of a blog post that’s full of visual storytelling graphics.
You also do need to have a clear understanding of your branding to achieve blog graphics that get you noticed. You can get details on branding your blog title image here.
4) Sidebar or Opt-in Graphics
This would be for your subscriber mailing list. You’d want to provide a compelling offer so people can sign up to your blog. If you want to learn more about how to do that, check out Reese’s post, VA website – What You Must Know & Avoid.
Also you’d want a mini-bio with your headshot and a small summary of what you’re blog or website is about. You can use Canva to pretty up a sidebar by placing your headshot into a frame, use your branded typeface, and colors. Here are a few examples of great looking sidebar bios:
Getting Your Website Designed Doesn’t Have To Be Hard or Expensive
I hope these 4 essential tips to get you started in designing your website with Canva will help you. It is possible to make your own graphics for your website with no budget! I understand how it is starting out as VA and online entrepreneur; it’s hard to keep up with everything that needs to be done. The last thing that should be on your mind is getting a website designed. True it’s important to represent yourself well however building the relationships with potential clients is key. The website will always evolve and you’ll find so many people say, “I’m still working on my website!” because it will always be a work in progress. Keep that in mind. It is not the most important part of the business. The relationship building and networking will be the top priority for your VA business.
I’d love to hear from you! Tell me… Have you tried Canva yet?
Lillian De Jesus