Tools Of The Trade: DIY Social Media Visual Creation
The impact of strong visual marketing has long been known, in fact a study conducted by WebDAM, claims that posts with imagery experience engagement a whopping 650% higher than text-based posts.
There may be the occasional influencer who might succeed while cutting corners, but they are an exception to the rule. The Internet is far too vast and competitive for you to do the same and expect to succeed.
Pablo Image Creator (Buffer) - Here’s a little 2 for one. One of our frequent favorites, the freemium analytics tools Buffer. Talk about value, for just $10, you have access to their post scheduling tool, which by the way even informs you of the best times to post and this awesome and simple design tool.
Branding, Text Editing, Filters, and more all made super easy, with no past design experience required.
PicMonkey - https://www.picmonkey.com Don’t hit send on that selfie just yet, need to make some minor tweaks from teeth whitening, wrinkle removal, air-brushing, all of that and much more editing magic all available on here.
And if you book it for the year, it’s only about $3.33 per month for all the edits you need.
Now, while we’ve covered where we can make some pretty nifty edits, those base images and as we’ll see down the line, vectors and such, need to come from somewhere.
For the more personal images and demonstrations, we’d suggest investing in a phone with a solid camera…or pick up a decent digital camera. But in other instances, you would need to use pic banks and other ways. No pulling images off of Google is not an option.
But we understand, the usual i.e. Shutterstock, Getty, etc while solid options are a little pricy. But no worries, we got you covered, take a look at these free ones.
Every site has their own terms, so it’s important you check their individual licensing allowances prior to using them.
- Pixabay – www.pixabay.com/en/photos/bank/
- Pexels - https://www.pexels.com
- ImageSource - www.imagesource.com
- Unsplash – www.unsplash.com
- Life Of Pix (Free Stock Videos too!) - www.lifeofpix.com
Now you might need a little more time rummaging through these when finding the ‘right’ images for whatever it is your planning, but the quality is surprisingly high. And if a few of them need a slight bit of retouching, that’s what you have the tools above for.
Freepik - www.freepik.com: Free vectors, patterns, and icons for layering. Best suited for when you’re moving onto the next stage of design.
MemeCenter: Be witty and create your own custom memes for free. Or if you see something relevant to your piece, feel free to reference. But yea, do make sure to reference and link back to the original web page.
Giphy: Essentially MemeCenter, but for GIF’s! The combination of these two work wonders for keeping your pages fun, lively and relatable.
Custom Drawing & Image Creation
Between the tools and resources above, if used right, that should be more than sufficient to make your imagery more than respectable for social media.
Do keep in mind, developing design skill is something that will take dedication, time and tons and tons of practice. But if interested in going down that route you could consider taking on some of the more than affordable courses on platforms like Coursera & Udemy. They can be quite extensive and very well structured. Just be sure to check out the reviews prior to signing up.
If it’s your first time working with Udemy, they actually offer you any course on there for about $15.
Combine this with the tons of custom design video tutorials on channels like this PHLEARN (www.youtube.com/user/PhlearnLLC) to learn more specific design techniques and applications.
Design Pickle: Maybe this one doesn’t technically count as doing it yourself, but if you’re too busy to step into the shoes of a graphic designer and you’re trying to custom and quality work done on a budget, then perhaps these guys are right for you. They provide unlimited design work per month and do everything from branding, collateral, websites, graphics, etc. Free stock images included as well. Best reserved for when you’re scaling up though and require frequent design work. They also have a 14-day free trial no strings attached, so you could always try them out for yourselves.