Being design challenged can be a hurdle in building momentum when growing your online business. Everything seems to need a graphic or two and then there are the social media posts...
I love tech. Give me two or three softwares that need integrated then I'm happy as a clam. Ask me to create a design and you'd see me physically shudder then break into a cold sweat.
That was until I realised all the software at my fingertips that could help me easily pass as a professional graphic designer or at least as if I have one on my team.
You Don't Need to Waste Time Improving Your Design Skills if You Don't Want to Be a Graphic Designer.
You're Allowed to CHEAT!
These are the design tools you can use to cheat your way into producing professional looking graphics for ANY occasion.
Investment: FREE / £10.99/month / $12.99/month
Hands down my #1 tool in my toolbox out of EVERY tool I own. Although I have a Pro account there are so many things you can do with a free account to get you started. They have thousands of templates and free graphics, photos and fonts to create:
- Lead Magnets (reports, checklist, templates)
- Social Media Graphics (with the Pro account you can 1-click resize your graphic for every social media platform)
- Social Media Videos (they have loads of video shorts to use individually or clip together)
- Journals / Planners
- Graphics for Print on Demand
- Flyers and Posters
You can even choose custom sizes to get your designs just right.
I'm embarrassed that I had a Canva account for years and struggled with Adobe to get my designs created instead of using Canva. This is SO much easier and cheaper.
I created the image on the left for Pinterest using a template within Canva.
They've recently released 'docs' where you can use their ai writer to create content all within your paid membership.
Need to plan out a design or a launch - use Canva's whiteboards to do it.
If you need to invest in any designer tool, make sure it's Canva.
2. Creative Fabrica
Investment: There are free downloads available / £26.99/month / $29.99/month and they often have cut-price yearly subscriptions too.
This is a great place to get over 8 MILLION graphics and templates from that you also get commercial rights to (check the license first to what rights you have) sell your purchases to others.
Sometimes you need to edit the graphic in order to re-sell it, others you can use directly. Their stock includes planners and journals to sell on KDP (Amazon), use the graphics and fonts to create print on demand items, or digital products to sell on your own website OR to give to clients as part of their service package.
Many of their templates have been created in Canva so you can easily (1-click import) buy the template and be customizing it in Canva in minutes.
They've also introduced ai art into their membership so you can write down what you want your graphic to look like and then press 'create' to get the results.
3. Envato Elements
Investment: €29/month / $33/month
I use Envato Elements to find photos for websites, blog posts etc but they're so much more than that.
They've got video and audio files that you can use to create TikTok videos or Instagram reels. The audio files can be used for any number of tasks, from background music to instructional videos or presentations you create, to intros for podcasts.
If you have access to Adobe products, you can find add-ons here too.
Got a WordPress website? Checkout out their plugins that are available within your membership, not to mention all the Website templates and Elementor kits that are included.
I love this website! As a very challenged designer I have NO idea what colors go with each other. I can tell whether a pairing doesn't look like but please don't ask me to suggest something that does go.
It allows you to add the hex code (e.g. #000000 black) and it will give you 25 different palettes to choose your color scheme from. Here's just two...
This is a Chrome extension that allows you to click on the pen in your browser and then click on any element on a page and it will tell you the hex color of the image.
It's great when you come across a color palette that you love but can't tell what color it is.
Use this in combination with ColorSpace to find new palettes to work with.
I LOVE this tool!