Staring at a blank Canva document, I felt a rising panic. As a solopreneur trying to grow my coaching business, I knew I needed eye-catching graphics to promote my free challenge giveaway on Instagram. But how could I make something that would cut through the clutter of carousels and Reels?
As a self-declared design amateur armed only with enthusiasm (and a Canva subscription), I turned to my network for help. My friend Dana, a talented graphic designer, gave me her top tips for creating social graphics that capture attention and drive engagement.
After a crash course briefing from her, three actionable lessons stuck out:
Lesson #1: Lead With Bold, Vibrant Visuals
“Our brains process images 60,000 times faster than text. Lean into that with vibrant photos and illustrations that pop,” Dana advised. As I absentmindedly doodled shapes and lines, she emphasized the importance of visual hierarchy, scale, and negative space.
As I began gathering images—searching for ones with rich and vibrant colors contrasted against white backgrounds—her guidance clicked. My graphics drawings were instantly elevated from lackluster to lively.
Lesson #2: Use Clever, Benefit-Driven Text
“Keep your text short, scannable, and benefit-focused,” said Dana. “Ask yourself: ‘So what? Why should your audience care?’ and address that in your headline and captions.”
I had been agonizing over different challenge name options, none of which clearly conveyed the benefits. After this key reminder from Dana, I came up with: “The 7-Day Self-Confidence Challenge: Find Your Voice and Value in Life and Work.”
Lesson #3: Add Personality With Handwritten Elements
As I enthusiastically clicked font after font trying unsuccessfully to inject personality, Dana smiled knowingly. “Add your actual handwriting. It feels authentic and human.”
After some less-than-perfect attempts, I ended up neatly printing my challenge details over the graphics. While not perfectly uniform, they gave my creations personality and heart, elevating them beyond amateur.
As I sent my finished graphics to Dana, I awaited her verdict anxiously. “These are great!” she replied with enthusiastic emojis. I breathed a huge sigh of relief. Not only was she impressed but she validated that I could in fact create catchy graphics myself using her tips!
While I don’t consider myself a design pro yet, this experience taught me that vivid, benefit-driven visuals with personal touches can help my content stand out on social media. And with some strategic guidance rather than expensive software or teams, I can create engaging graphics myself that support my business goals.
As for my challenge giveaway post? Between the eye-catching orange and teal design and the confident text, it caught attention and signups started rolling in. Proof that strategic graphics—even created by amateurs like me—can work some visual magic!
Now I tackle Canva with renewed creative confidence, no longer intimidated by that blank page. And my new graphics superpowers will continue to evolve with Dana’s generous coaching. Well, that and a healthy dose of trial-and-error.
On my solopreneur journey to success, crafting compelling social media graphics is now a creative process I look forward to rather than dread. And I can’t wait to see how captivating and converting my next design will be!