Hey, Private Practice heroes! It’s Kathy Colaiacovo, and today I want to explain more about my 5 Minutes Max Rule when it comes to creating marketing images and how it is possible to make this happen with your practice or business. Because honestly as business owners the more time you save on marketing, the more time you have to work on other aspects of your practice or business or hey how about even saving time to get out and live your life! So if you can create your marketing images in less than 5 minutes, I am pretty sure you would gain time back in your day that you can use on other things. You deserve to have that balance and the strategies I’m sharing today can make that balance with your business and life a reality!
When it comes to marketing your private practice or business – I want you to be as effective as possible with not just your time but also the activities you are doing for your business.
Efficiency and effectiveness will lead to more clients! More results!
I’ve had a few people reach out asking me how I make that rule a reality because they take longer – much longer – than 5 minutes to make their marketing images…
And for that reason, I wanted to continue with my lesson from the last episode I want to help you all understand how this is possible and give you some strategies for making it a reality.
So in episode 59, 5 Strategies to Create Effective Marketing Images and SAVE Time, I shared a bonus tip which was to USE TEMPLATES – because they save time.
For that bonus tip, I explained how templates can help you when creating your marketing images … but making that 5-minutes max rule happen includes more than just templates… and that is what we dive into today.
The other items you need in place besides templates so you know exactly how you can have effective marketing images put together and ready to use – and save time doing it all.
I say it all the time, but I really believe that you should not be spending hours and hours marketing your private practice or business. And following this principle… I’ve always done what I can to have systems that help me save time and creating images is one of them.
My rule is 5 minutes max..
But I will tell you I’ve had clients and students come to me saying they have spent hours and hours making their marketing images – and really no one has time like this to spare.
I’ve had subcontractors join my team who have taken 20 minutes or more making one image for my client’s marketing – yeah that lasts for one week – once I share how they can create these images fast and easily and they see the light on how these systems make it possible.
No one…not me nor my clients or even you… have the luxury of being able to take that much time making your marketing images. And to be clear I am talking about images that you use in your social media to go with your marketing content – not your new logo or services brochure okay – Those kinds of images should be very thoughtfully planned and will almost always take more time.
We are talking about the consistent images you create each cycle of new marketing content you create. Images you create on a regular basis to add to your marketing content. They must be useful, helpful, and effective and that means creating them this way but it does not mean they have to take a ton fo time. No way!
Let’s dive into the elements of a 5 Step plan to save time creating marketing images for your private practice
Element #1 – USE TEMPLATES
So the first item you will need are the templates as I mentioned.
Templates are the ideal way to save time, you want to ensure along with your plans for content that you sit down and create some templates for the images you use in your marketing.
Then when you create your marketing content, all you do is determine what words – if any – will go on the accompanying images, and then you copy and paste them into your templates.
Inside Canva there are tons of templates you can use and start with. Most folks I know these days use Canva… and there is good reason why. Canva offers anyone using it – even if you don’t have a design eye – tons of templates and tools that can help you make eye-catching images – easy as pie.
And they go beyond images too… videos, powerpoints, marketing materials… and so much more.
But the templates are the things that will get you going and help you the most.
They can be easily customized and made to have your brand colours and fonts and then off you go.
I have a course I offer on using Canva, and it comes with several templates and training on how to customize them as your own and use them in your marketing. Well, that and a lot more… but the reality is having templates are a game changer with your marketing plans and your time. Templates really do save time! And by the way, the Canva training course is getting some updated lessons and will be available for sale once again in September 2023.
The entire purpose of using templates is to save time… they are crucial to have in place if your want to create effective images in less time
Element #2 – Know What Kind Of Images You Will Create For Your Marketing.
SO this is critical to keeping that creation time to under 5 minutes. If you are creating random images when you sit down to do your marketing, I can promise that not only will you spend more time than you need… but what you create may be too much, too little or worse, not useful at all.
I run into this often with marketing assessments… folks either creating too many or not enough images to go with their marketing content. And yes you can skip them altogether, but as we talked about last week – images help people consume your content. Text only will get blah and boring over time.
Knowing what kind of images you create to go with your marketing guides you and helps you be as efficient as possible.
This is more important when we consider the images needed for our consistent new content – it’s part of your consistent content plan.
I’ve talked about this before – not only in the episodes about how a Consistent Content plan helps you but also in how as part of that plan you want to know how many images you will need, and where you will use them online.
This guides you to know what to create for the specific images but even helps you come up with what kind of image you need.
As an example for me and my business, I know every week we will create 5 types of images… I even name the types because it helps me know what I want on them and what templates in Canva I use to create them.
So for me, I have my quote style images, my circle tip images, the private practice marketing tip, the podcast takeaway image and the Steps Images.
Each one is a type of template I have in Canva, and each type of image gets used for a specific type of social media marketing post too.
Having these guidelines makes coming up with ideas for what you want on your images and in them so much easier. When you plan them with a purpose they do their job better!
Part of the time you put into creating your marketing images also involves saving, storing and even reusing them in the future and that’s what the next two elements in this 5 step plan.
Element #3 – Have a Canva File Storage System
What I mean by this is to have a system for how you organize your images in Canva.
Whenever we do coaching sessions and group calls where members are sharing files in canva and screen sharing to show me what they are working on… I often find them searching and searching for a file to show me, and it’s just complicated to find them. This has been me too! I am a stickler with my team on organizing everything in my Canva account because there is so much and also many hands are in my files.
But even for solo practice owners, having a system for storing everything in canva will help you take less time doing this kind of work.
The 5 things I like to make sure are organized as organized can be are
Now to understand their system in Canva and how these 5 organization items in Canva work – here is how they connect
The top level is a project, and within that project, you can have folders, designs, images and videos.
When you use these and organize them so you know exactly what is stored where – it helps you spend less time looking and looking to find that image you made easier that you want to reuse.
Remember a big strategy to using systems like this is to save time retrieving it for use later on.
To give you an idea of how to set a file storage system in canva I’ll share what I do with some of mine.
So for the overarching project name, this is often when I use the top-level name or category for a set of images… like Social Media or Website Images or Family or even my client names – we do use my system for some clients.
Then inside each project, I have subfolders so under Social Media I have a set of folders by year ie 2023 and then under 2023 I have a folder organized by the type of file so remember I said I have 5 types of images we use, well in the years I have folders for each design – so you find the quotes images, the circle IMages, the private practice tips, the takeaways, the steps etc etc… and then in each one of those folders we have the designs for the images created for that type of image.
Every year we add a new folder and start again creating the images from the templates saved in those folders.
Each year in the top-level social media folder also has other images I use such as holiday posts, social media covers
I have another top-level project called the Podcast. Under that I have folders by year and then under each of those I have podcast audiograms and guest episodes and in each of those are the actual designs for those specific purposes.
So that covers Projects, folders and designs… but there are also images and videos.
These are items you upload to Canva.
Most folks I run into use the main uploads section in canva to upload everything.
Not me – This organization system means all images and all videos relevant to specific projects and even folders within those projects, they also get uploaded into those specific folders. That way if you are editing a design in a folder and upload an image to use as part of this – you will always find that image within that project and folder. This is just another way to organize images and videos
Having this kind of organization is one reason it makes it possible for me to create those images with the 5 minutes max rule.
I know this can be hard to visualize here… it is one of the main lessons I teach in my Canva Training program because this organization is crucial to saving time with your marketing.
You want to take the time to do this because it just makes things so simple to find and use to make those images.
And the 4th element is also about being organized but more so in the way of naming the folder. Files and images… again to make it easier to reuse them later on.
Element #4 is having a Canva File naming convention.
This is all about naming the projects, folders and designs with names that help you find things in the future mostly to reuse them too.
And if you wonder why this is important then I want you to think back to when you have gone into your canva account looking to update an image and cannot easily find it…. When you may have tried searching for something with no luck – you couldn’t find that darn image you needed.
Well, it will be hard to find if you don’t have a name connected to the design file that can be pulled up in a search of your files and projects in canva.
Naming your files in a similar way means you can find the items again when needed. Canva has a search option and you can search their templates or your own projects. But if you never have names or even useful names on your project, folders and designs, then you may search and search and even have to recreate an image to use it. So much wasted time!
As you heard me describe the folders and files earlier, you could probably see some of how these naming conventions work.
There is the main folder – Social Media, then in each the year, then under the year we have the designs folder by the type of image – ie Quote style or Takeaway or Steps.
Well in each of those design files, there is also a place to save a file name with each design – these can be helpful too.
The way I teach people to do this is to use a keyword-rich name for the file.
The quote images are named by the ep and then a keyword rich title. So if the design was an image for episode 56 of the podcast, and the content was a tip on repurposing marketing content then the title on that specific ensign would be Ep 56 – Repurpose marketing content
Now the reason I do this is not only to find the image in Canva if ever needed, but it saves time when downloading the image and saving it to my desktop as well. And I’ll explain that as it is part of element #5
Trust me … when you go in canva looking for that YouTube thumbnail design you made 3 months ago because you’ve made another video and want a cover image on the new one to look like a similar design, well when you search and search for YouTube and cannot find anything, and so you spend 15 minutes scrolling through hundreds and hundreds of images, and then finally find is name YT thumbnail – well you do that once, and you realize how important a naming convention is!
The idea of having a naming convention to your files in canva is to help you when you need to find and reuse them. And trust me most of us will need to do this at some time in our business because reusing and repurposing is another big time saver when it comes to your marketing.
And this is where our final element comes into play
Element #5 – Having a Marketing Image Storage System on your Computer
Now this one is one folks often do not understand especially folks who use canva to schedule their marketing content too.
That is something I do not use canva for – scheduling my marketing content or presenting powerpoints etc I know you can I just do not use this tool for those tasks. … mostly because the perceived time-saving tip you get from this feature is one that can cost you in the long run.
I believe in downloading and saving your images to your computer so you have them on your computer in your files where they can be pulled up and reused again. In your possession – they are your marketing assets. But if you leave them all in canva and use them from there… you may find one day when you need them – you will have to invest a ton of time to get all those images from canva to your computer.
When you take a few seconds to download these as you make them – there will never come a time when you have to invest hours and hours and hours into downloading all those marketing assets from canva to your computer.
I much prefer you to have them saved outside canva as you create them.
So when you do this you also want to be sure you have a storage and organization system on your computer and that you follow naming conventions here too.
Really you want to organize your desktop files in a similar way you organize canva files so that you always know when and where to grab those images as needed.
And these are images you can use in many ways so having them easily findable – is that a word – for the future can help too.
Here’s what I mean, Sometimes I need images for my PowerPoint lessons to members in my programs, or speaking presentations or even inspiring posts to my members in our private community. Often I want to have images to use that may convey a message similar to the topic.
SO I will go back to my files for social media images and pull up ones from those folders by searching for a keyword. This helps me pull up the images with those words in the title, and I can easily insert them where needed to use them… an entirely different purpose.
But it saves me having to go and create specific images to use – why make new ones when the ones you have do the same job and take no time to do.
That why for most people is because they cannot find their images to reuse like this.
Saving those files on your PC with a keyword-rich name and in a purposeful folder helps you get access to them easy peasy.
So again the under 15 seconds it takes in the moment to download and save a keyword rich file name of a canva image to your computer in a specific folder that follows a similar naming convention means you can easily reuse it again whenever you want.
This is a much better use of time than having to make all new images to go in your presentation or lesson or wherever you can reuse it again.
Make life easier for you now and in the future by having a naming system and convention for those files you download on your computer too.
AND best of all now you have all those marketing assets in your possession ready whenever the opportunity arises.
As you can see a lot of the strategy behind these 5 elements are more about reuse and repurposing those images than anything else, and that is because you do not need a ton of images every time you create marketing content – not when you have systems and are organized to be able to easily access and reuse those image any time you need to.
I hope this has given you some ideas on not only how to get better organized to save time with your marketing and image creation but also inspire you with ways to save even more time by reusing those marketing images in other ways.
Canva is my go-to tool for creating marketing images, I’ve been using it since 2018… and it’s so much better than previous systems and one big bonus is the tools and templates i offer to make creating images so easy even when you are not a designer! But sometimes the simple things in Canva can confuse people, be sure to add your name to the waitlist for my soon-to-be-updated Canva Training course and get a bonus offer when it is ready for purchase again. I’ll link to that waitlist in the show notes for you but it is https://pepperitmarketing.com/canvawaitlist
Those elements in the 5 Step plan to save time creating marketing images for your private practice are things you want to factor into your marketing systems, and you will find yourself, making effective images, in an efficient way and ones that work for the long term too.
This is Kathy Colaiacovo, saying thanks for listening in and Remember, to Thrive in Practice means having strategies for many aspects of your practice or business – even the simple act of creating your marketing images. The more you can plan to save time, the more you will save… and that leaves you time to focus on other areas of your business that help you get more clients and build a long-term and thriving business!
I’ll see you next time!