By Laura Harper Lake, REDC Design Advisor
Unsplash is a collection of photography that can be used for commercial and non-commercial purposes, for free. There are other websites that offer this is well, but Unsplash is one of my favorites. They have a wide variety of creative and inspiring photos, which I have been using for years.
If you're looking to create marketing materials like brochures, enhance your website with high-resolution photos, or just need some content for your social media, this is a fantastic resource when you are unable to take your own pictures.
I have seen entrepreneurs unknowingly commit copyright infringement because they were not aware copying an image from a Google search is not acceptable. Whenever sourcing images, please make sure to read the licensing for the photography. Here is the Licensing Policy for the photography on Unsplash.
Another great thing about this site are the filters to help narrow your search by image orientation and color!
Canva is an online design and publishing tool that has free designs you can easily edit and download for your social media, website, and traditional marketing. There are some designs and features you can pay for as well, but there are plenty of free resources on the website.
If you are a graphic designer, your go-to is going to be programs through Adobe Suite that are versatile and in-depth. But for small business owners without their own graphic designer, there are tools like Canva to fill that gap. Canva has designs tailored for specifications for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, as well as designs for business cards, flyers, posters, tee shirts, invitations, and so much more.
I personally really like using Canva for their social media templates. I often drop in my own image, or one from Unsplash, and add the text I need. Here's an example of how we promote client testimonials with a design made on Canva:
Developing and managing social media platforms generate the most common issues I hear from my clients. There are a few management tools out there to help get the job done, but HootSuite has been my go-to.
HootSuite is a social media dashboard that allows you to view and post to all of your platforms at the same time from one source.
I can post just once, and my content goes to REDC's Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIN, and Twitter accounts. (Go follow us now!) This has streamlined the process and made it even easier to review incoming comments and messages.