Life is short. Time is precious.
You don’t want to spend hours creating awesome graphics for the information you want to share about your property.
But, you want everything to look great, right?
Your social media posts need to stop the scroll.
Your Covid FAQs, cleaning protocol and your house rules need to look organised.
You know a free e-book can help your marketing efforts, but do you know how to create one?
If there is one piece of technology that everyone should have in your portfolio, it is Canva.
Wrap your head around it and you will be amazed how much you can produce using their free account. Yes! 100% free.
It is seriously awesome and easy to use, so let’s take a look at what you can create for your hotel, lodge, b&b, hostel or restaurant.
First, head over to www.canva.com and set up your free account. My personal preference is to sign up with my email and not with the Facebook or Google options. It feels like I have more control that way.
Once you are in, it can be a bit mind-boggling at first. The best way to get started is to try creating a Facebook post using a template.
Click on “Templates” and then “Facebook Post”.
Once you are there you can use the search bar to refine your search. Say for example you want to create a social media post offering a space at your property for parents of split families to spend time with their kids.
In the search bar type in “kids”:
To edit the template you choose, hold your cursor above the image and click on the three dots in the top right-hand corner. Click on “Use this Template”.
Now, using the tool bar at the top you can, among other actions, edit and align the text, change the fonts and colours, and add hyperlinks and effects. Using the tool bar on the left you can search for new images, upload your own, add elements and new text boxes etc.
Work away to your hearts content until you have created a Facebook post that says what you want it to say with the creative flare of awesome graphic design!
Change the name before you save by double clicking to highlight the text in the field at the top of the page. All changes save automatically.
You can publish straight to Facebook, but because I like to keep my images in labelled files, I choose to download as a png or a jpeg from the top right-hand side.
To download, click on the three dots at the top of the page, click "Download" and choose from the options of png, jpeg, pdf etc.
Here is the finished post ready to be uploaded straight to my social media profiles. It took just under six (yes, 6!) minutes from start to finish to create!
This is a great way to draw attention to your social feed, but remember not to use this much text, if any at all, on posts for paid ads because of their 80/20 image/text ratio rule. The social templates on Canva provide a super fast way to add just a striking image ready to upload to your feed.
So, what else can you create for your hotel with canva.com?
An e-book! If you are not sure why you would need an e-book to help grow your email list and therefore your business, check out my previous post here. At the end you will have access to my free e-book (created in canva.com of course!), where you can learn more.
Here is a screenshot of my e-book under preparation in canva:
Because I like my e-books to be in A4 format, I recommend using the "Proposals" template. Once you are there, click on "Create a new proposal".
You can upload your own images or choose them from Canva's own database. Just drag and drop them into your template and resize as you wish.
Top tip: you can increase the transparency of your images using the top tool bar. This makes it easier to add text on top that is still readable.
Copy and paste your texts into the document, then you can adjust the size, colour and font to match your style. Your designs will save automatically every few seconds.
What else? Menus?
From full restaurant menus, daily specials and catered events; to breakfast, cocktail and even spa options, Canva has you covered with some awesome designs and graphics.
To choose from one of the many templates like those below, go to the search bar at the top of the page and type in "Menus". Every option is fully customisable as all colours, images, fonts and text sizes can be easily modified.
Covid House Rules
You have probably already posted your Covid Rules and your Cleaning and Hygiene protocol. Do they look as professional as they could? Also, do you have a Covid FAQs on your home page?
If not, go to the search bar at the top of the page in Canva, type in "Covid", and choose any one of the many templates such as these. It is a great way to ensure you are offering the right information in the right place, and in an attractive format.
Now you are getting the hang of it, it is time to know that you can also create custom sized images. Why is this useful?
Maybe you want to label something? Folders, jars in the kitchen, homemade amenities.
Here is how to do just that. Click on "Create a Design", then "Custom Size". Enter the size in cm, in, or pixels, and click on "Create New Design".
Here is an example of a handmade body scrub label, a great way to show your guests how personalised your service really is!
And if you happen to need a new logo, you can also do that in Canva with quite some creative flare.
So, we have social media posts, e-books, Covid house rules, menus, labels and logos…. what else?
There are infinite options, but you can also use Canva.com to create event invitations, Christmas cards, press releases, branded check in forms... anything that you want to have a polished feel to it really!
However, my all-time favourite is this gorgeous number to thank those guests who book directly with you. This beautifully crafted text is elegantly framed and left in view, always in view, at your check in desk.
Enthusiastically show it to those guests who do book directly, and for those who don’t, make sure they can see it. Maybe you can even “arrange” to move it to one side with the text facing them in a subtle way so their attention is drawn to it, but they quickly realise that it does not apply to them.
We all want to encourage more direct bookings as opposed to those that come via online travel agencies such as Booking.com for example. It might seem like just a small drop in the ocean in a bid to change consumer consciousness, but that is how tides are turned!
So, that’s it, I hope you have enjoyed this post and I bet you can’t wait to get going now, right? I'd love to hear from you, so please scroll right down and post a comment below.
Just a quick caveat, I am not affiliated in any way with canva.com. I am just blown away by how much it revolutionised the way I manage my own graphic design. It changed the way I produce for social media, it expedited my proposal creation and it even gave me perfect templates for my kids’ letters from Father Christmas too!
Has this blog got your creative juices flowing? I'd love to hear your thoughts. Scroll right down to the bottom and leave a comment.
Still have questions?
I wish you a great day and happy designing, Sarah
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