As a busy entrepreneur I'm a fan of anything that makes my daily to-do list move a little quicker. Or, it's because I love seeing that unicorn fly across my Asana dashboard. Hmmm. One of these two, exceptionally valid reasons, is why I batch schedule my content, automate anything I can and utilize design templates.
Design templates make my life easier in multiple ways, through streamlining my visuals, my design process and my marketing strategies.
Personally, I utilize design templates from the new JPD Shop. But, you can also find templates at Creative Market or create them yourself! So, let's jump in to the three tangible ways design templates improved my business.
1 | Streamlined my visuals
As a brand designer, my visuals are my most important marketing asset. They highlight my design style and skill in a non-salesy way and simultaneously promote my blog and business. In order to do this well, I decided to use custom templates for my business as a way to appear more professional and increase brand recognition.
In business, you wear a lot of hats. From blogger to sales-rep to designer. As a brand and web designer, creating design elements for my business is easier for me than it can be for many others. But, the pressure of creating professional graphics for each marketing platform still remains.
Looking professional with your graphics, is a must-have in our digital age. Professional-level graphic's gives your entire business a professional appearance and a professional appearance makes your brand more trustworthy, shareable and engaging.
In order to ensure my visuals were always held to the same level of professionalism, I needed design templates. Design templates ensure each pin, Instagram post and blog graphic are held to specific design guidelines. For example, my pins are always a variation of four background colors, with the same typography and layout.
By taking this time to create guidelines for my visuals, I could create a sense of professionalism and increase my brand recognition.
Increased brand recognition
Brand recognition is the concept that when someone see's one of your marketing efforts they are able to correctly identify your brand. Unfortunately, brand recognition isn't easy to come by. Especially as visual marketing efforts continue to grow.
This quote from Forbes says it well:
“Harnessing the power of images and visuals will make your marketing more powerful and more memorable. Images — when done deftly –can turn concepts and intangible things into something concrete. That helps people envision your brand and your message in their mind’s eye — and remember you when it comes times to buy.”
Effective brand visuals now come down to the details. In order to ensure that my brand visuals were increasing brand recognition, I began utilizing design templates.
Each design template I use has very specific attributes that I ensure not to stray away from. This makes my brand easy to recognize even if my logo is not present.
2 | Streamlined my design process
Utilizing design templates not only improved my visuals and marketing strategies, they also improved my day-to-day work flow. Design templates save me time and ensure each visual is consistent. Before I began using templates I had to reinvent the wheel for each new graphic. Now, I simply plug in the information and move on with my to-do list.
As a freelance designer, my time is my greatest resource. Whenever I am creating new visuals, it is taking time away from clients, partnerships and prospective marketing opportunities.
But, as a freelance designer, my visuals are one of my most important marketing assets. If I can't create stunning visuals for my business, who would trust me to make stunning visuals for their's?
That puts a lot of pressure on each pin, blog post graphic and Instagram story. That's where design templates come in.
Since implementing design templates into my business, I have streamlined this process and vastly decreased the amount of time I spend creating each graphic. Now, I simply open up Adobe Illustrator, add a new Art Board and update text and colors.
As you can see below, a process that used to take me 15 minutes, when starting from scratch, now takes me about 2-3.
Visual consistency refers to the consistent use of visual design elements, such as color, typography and layout.
If you've already gone through the process of creating a brand, you should already have these design elements identified. At least, your color, typography and icons. You may not have your layouts secured. That's where design templates come in.
Design templates go beyond guiding you with color and font choices, it keeps your content is a specific place. You may always keep your logo at the bottom of your pin. You may always keep your logo at the top of your pin. The layout doesn't matter as much as the consistency across each pin matters.
That's how people begin to recognize your brand. The Baby Boomer Entrepreneur put's it best:
"A prospect needs to see or hear your marketing message at least seven times before they take action and buy from you."
You view your graphics all day long, your audience does not. By implementing design templates, you take all the guess work out of your process, save yourself time and improve your visual consistency.
3 | Streamlined my marketing strategy
My visuals and design process weren't the only improvements made to my business when I began using design templates. I also saw a vast improvement in my marketing strategy. Now, I am able to create eye-catching visuals, test which templates perform best and grow my blog traffic.
Eye-catching visuals made easy
Eye-catching visuals are as important to your business as the content you share and the products you sell.
Unfortunately, creating eye-catching visuals isn't always easy and it gets harder when you force yourself to reinvent the wheel each time your blog needs a new graphic. Utilizing design templates makes it simple to create eye-catching graphics and analyze how your target audience responds to a graphic.
For example, if you are testing two types of pin designs and one pin consistently gets more saves and click-through's. You are able to implement that design as your standard and increase your blog traffic. But, if you're always creating different pins you can't properly analyze what your audience responds to.
Increased shares on social media platforms
Eye-catching visuals are shared more. It's that simple.
Nobody likes to save a pin of an image they don't like and they're never going to save a pin of an image they don't notice. By utilizing design templates, I was able to ensure that each pin I created was eye-catching. These pins were then shared more frequently.
When your graphics are shared more frequently, your website gets more traffic and your business begins to grow.
Easy to use design templates vastly improved my business. It streamlined my visuals, design process and market strategies.
Do you use templates for your brands visuals? I'd love to hear why or why not in the comments below!