[0:10] [Yong Pratt] This episode is being brought to you by my work-LESS, stress, less-LESS, and guilt-LESS Strategies for a Successful Summer Training Bundle. These 21 strategies are the best, most popular, most impactful and actionable strategies that can help you craft your most ideal summer, all while working less, stressing less, and guilty less. Until June 10, you can grab this entire bundle for only $19. It’s a total steal when compared to the hundreds of hours of interviews I’ve done to gather these 21 strategies for you. Grab your copy today at yongpratt.com/bundle. And now let’s dive into today’s topic.
[1:12] [Yong Pratt] If you’ve ever been scrolling through your newsfeed, and all of a sudden you stop because the graphics you see are just so scroll-stopping good. Well, I have something special for you on today’s episode of the In a Weekend Podcast.
[1:29] [Yong Pratt] I’m your host, Yong Pratt. It’s my great pleasure to welcome you to this podcast, where we help you to simplify, to automate and to leverage the often hidden assets inside your business quickly.
[1:33] [Yong Pratt] On the last podcast, we talked all about using your transcriptions to create graphics and pull them out of text. And then we talked about how to use those texts and create some beautiful graphics. So today, our special guest is Nicole Thompson. She is a 28-year graphic design pro that has helped thousands of businesses really up their game as far as their branding. Today she’s agreed to come share some of the secrets of the pros when it comes to creating those scroll-stopping graphics.
[2:21] [Yong Pratt] Nicole, welcome to the show.
[2:23] [Nicole Thompson]
Hi, Yong. Thank you so much for having me here today. I’m excited to be here.
[2:27] [Yong Pratt] Absolutely. It’s always my pleasure to get to connect with you or to talk with you. And of course, share the wealth of knowledge that you have about graphic design, and all the other amazing things like your podcast, with everybody who is listening to this episode. So Nicole, can you talk about some design fundamentals? Can we go back to the beginning when we talk about what makes good design from a 28 year design pro?
[3:02] [Nicole Thompson] Absolutely. Well, one of the biggest things that I see as a mistake that people make in creating the graphics for social media is they try to cram way too much copy on one little space. Because if you think about, say, your Instagram stories, you have these little blips of time that people are trying to hurry and read your text. And if you’re giving them too much all in one bite, it’s just too much to digest.
[3:32] [Nicole Thompson] So the one of the biggest tricks is to keep it really, really simple. You want to minimize the amount of text that you have, and try and get your message out in one fell swoop. So if you have a graphic that is going to be really bright and colorful, and you have a lot of things going on in your image, you don’t necessarily want to have a ton of copy for people to try read at the same time. It just takes away from it.
[3:59] [Nicole Thompson] And when you confuse the eye, you’re going to end up losing the interest.
[4:03] [Yong Pratt] Absolutely. I’ve heard that in different way…when you confuse people they always say no. So that’s an interesting thought. So as far as creating beautiful graphics that go maybe on Instagram or your Facebook feed or elsewhere, are there rules to maybe the number of words you want to include on a single piece of an asset like that?
[4:26] [Nicole Thompson]
There’s not necessarily a rule of how many words you want to use. If you’re going to say, use it for a story, I would recommend adding layers so that as the story progresses, they get to read more bit by bit, as the story continues through Instagram or Facebook.
[4:47] [Nicole Thompson] As far as a single graphic, if you’re looking at it just in the news feed, you want something that’s going to be easy to read. Something that’s going to grab their attention and something they can get through quickly. Because the average attention span that we have nowadays is about three seconds. When that that scroll goes by and you’re lucky if you get them to look that long.
[5:10] [Yong Pratt]
Right. And I love that you brought up the point about being easy to read, because I’m one who loves a really a scripty font. I don’t use them often, though, because if I have trouble reading them, and I know what they say. I’m sure that anyone who looks at probably thinks…come on, what does that even say?
[5:30] [Yong Pratt] So can we talk about how we use fonts when we think about creating, especially for social media?
[5:37] [Nicole Thompson] Yes, absolutely. Because I know exactly what you’re talking about with scripty fonts. They’re beautiful, they’re gorgeous and they’re really fun to use if you really want to get something pretty going and they’re really tempting because they are pretty. But as soon as you start using more than say about three or four words in a script font, it shrinks down way too small.
[6:02] [Nicole Thompson] The average person is also looking at these social media feeds on their phone. So it’s shrinking down to about two to three inches max that they’re able to see this thing. Compile that with a background picture and you’re going to lose people’s interest. Because the second they start getting frustrated with not being able to decipher what it says, they’re going to scroll on by.
[6:27] [Yong Pratt] And that’s a really great thing you brought up as well – thinking about you have this device. When you’re creating, before you put it out, is it advisable to look at on your phone to see how it looks before you put it on social media? So we know that it’s not confusing, it’s easy to read?
[6:45] [Nicole Thompson] Absolutely, absolutely. Because if you picture, you put something that’s got 1000 words on it on a big bulletin board, people are going to be able to see that fine. But the second you shrink it down and you try to tell your whole story, in that one little blip of a image, you’re you’re just going to aggravate people and they’re going to scroll away.
[7:08] [Yong Pratt] So true. And I have done that myself where if I look at something, especially on social, and I’m not there for any particular purpose, it’s really easy to scroll by graphics that I’m sure people have invested a lot of money in or spent a lot of time creating. But they’re not visually appealing. because, like you said, they’re confusing. The script is not readable and there’s just way too much busyness on it then I’ll just keep scrolling.
[7:36] [Yong Pratt] So today is all about how do we stop the scroll?
[7:40] [Nicole Thompson] Exactly.
[7:42] [Yong Pratt] If we’re going to boil down design, this is a big ask, if you were to boil down the idea of creating graphics that people really stop their scroll and stop to look at, can you give us maybe three or four sort of elements of what we want to be thinking about as we’re designing?
[8:04] [Nicole Thompson] Absolutely, I’d be happy to. The key concept that I tend to teach is I call it give it a K-I-S-S. – Keep it super simple. So when you want to convey your message, you put it together in as brief a statement as possible. Get a nice pop of color. Not necessarily a busy graphic, but a nice pop of color. Make it super, super legible. And nice, clean, crisp, bold font.
[8:36] [Yong Pratt] Such good advice. So good. Because again, it’s tempting, I know I love going into places like Canva, and there’s so many options. And so many fonts and so many colors. And it’s really easy to put too much in there. And then when that happens, it’s just you know, people are swiping by or scrolling up. And, and we don’t want anyone to not stop and look at what you’re creating because if you’re spending any kind of resources on this, we definitely want to try to really make it appealing and captivating for our audiences.
[8:43] [Yong Pratt] Nicole, is there a tool that you recommend? Maybe, maybe you are listening and they’ve never designed anything, they’ve always hired it out? Maybe they’re tired of having to pay those really big bucks times? Or wait weeks and months? What do you recommend to start?
[9:32] [Nicole Thompson] Well, you’ve already said Canva is a great resource because you can either use their free version, or what I tend to gravitate towards is the Canva Pro, which is it’s just got a lot more layers got lot more functionality to it. And it’s not very expensive per month, it’s really inexpensive to use. And there is just limitless options of what you can create. But again, I go back to saying all those options can be very tempting to want to use all at once. We’ve had to really show restraint. That is probably the key thing with any social media graphics is showing that restraint and pulling back. I know you have like a million things that you want to get out there, but you don’t need to do it all in one graphic.
[10:21] [Yong Pratt] And that’s a really, really great idea. Because on the series, we’ve talked about Multiplying Your Message. So if you have your transcript from an interview like this, like you’ve done, you can pull out several things that can be little tweets, little short, little snippets. And maybe you create five or even 10 from every single transcripts. That’s far better, because now you have 10 pieces of content, or five or three. And again, you started with that one piece of video or audio content. And it’s all about how do you get the most bang for your buck?
[11:03] [Nicole Thompson] Exactly.
[11:05] [Yong Pratt] If someone is scared about, about getting started, because again, they’ve never done this, they’ve never heard of Canva or they’ve heard of it and just have been intimidated by it, what words of wisdom can you share with them about just start because you never know what you’re going to create until you start doing something?
[11:27] [Nicole Thompson] Exactly. It’s It’s so you’re so right with that, Yong because if we never start, if we never put anything out there, we’re never going to reach the people that we need to reach the people that are looking for what we have to offer. Because we all have something special that we we can share with the world something that we’ve learned how to do and we’ve mastered.
[11:51] [Nicole Thompson] But there may be just in the beginning stages, and they need to learn how to do this, but they don’t know where where to turn to get started. And Canva is a very good way to do that. Because it is very easy to use. And yes, there’s a lot of components to it there. There are several different sections that take a little finesse, learning how to do. But the basics are right there. They’re easy for you as a lot of drag and drop. And it’s a super simple program to get the hang of. And if you’re, you’re just starting out, you can get something out there. You can tweak it, you can play with it, you’re never going to make a big mistake. Because I mean, in social media, we know it’s gone and blink anyway. So it’s always a good idea to at least get something up, get started and start getting your message out in front of you.
[12:47] [Yong Pratt] And you’re a little tip to for all your parents or grandparents or, or anyone with kids in your life at all. Kids are really really adapt and learn quickly. My girls who are 15 and 12, they have been using Canva, now for a couple of years and they adore it. It is their go-to for graphics. My oldest actually has submitted some artwork for to STEM fairs. And she’s won first place in both of those for digital design using Canva. So it really is a platform designed for anyone at any level. Yeah, absolutely.
[13:30] [Yong Pratt] And Nicole, I know you have something, you put something special together. Because when it comes to graphic design, it can feel overwhelming. It can feel intimidating. And I know for me personally, when I get that point of overwhelm, you kind of tend to walk away. And sometimes I don’t always come back. And we want to make sure, if you’re listening to this podcast, you’re watching this video, we don’t want that to happen to you. Nicole, can you share what you have created to help people overcome those initial steps of just starting?
[14:04] [Nicole Thompson] Absolutely. I created a course called Designer in a Day. And what it teaches is the basics of getting started with Canva Pro. It’s taught on the desktop version, because yes, there is a mobile version, which is a little glitchy. So we tend to stick to the desktop version. But Designer to Day teaches the basics of Canva and it gets you really from beginning starting right from learning the core values of graphic design, the four pillars of graphic design, and moving up through actually designing a graphic right alongside me.
[14:42] [Nicole Thompson] And then it goes into a deep dive where I go into designing letterheads and book covers. And podcast covers and Facebook page covers for that. And, gosh there’s really no limit once you get started the infographics. Like you had mentioned pulling the snippets out of your messages, your live videos and such. It really there’s there’s no limit to what you can do once you can get the basics mastered.
[15:13] [Yong Pratt] Nicole, thank you for mentioning podcasts and ebooks, because if you are the longtime listener of this podcast, you know that those things are my passions to help people create these amazing assets, all with less work, and faster than you thought possible.
[15:31] [Yong Pratt] Nicole, in addition to doing things like ebooks and podcast covers, what else can people use to create within Canva.
[15:41] [Nicole Thompson] A lot of people don’t even realize that I’m sure you’ve seen a social media, you see the different ads for the printed t-shirts with all the fun sayings on them. You can create those graphics in Canva, and actually upload the right to the different print on demand services and create your own little business right out of that.
[16:01] [Yong Pratt] That is so good. Now I know my girls would really, really love to do that. So parents listening or grandparents listening, this could be a really great thing to do together to show your kids how they can turn their ideas into tangible things and start their own side business which could grow and scale as they need. Summer’s right around the corner and I know a lot of kids are out there looking for part-time jobs. And I know my oldest struggles with that because she doesn’t turned 16 until the middle of summer. So getting a job when summers halfway over is going to be tough. So if she can create these t-shirts, and do print on demand, that’s another way she can start funding her own adventure. So thank you for sharing that.
[16:50] [Nicole Thompson] Absolutely. And you know, another cool thing to you actually, when you said funding You made me think of it. These are great options for creating fundraisers. It’s great for teachers. It’s great for family reunions. You can you can use this on so many levels, and you’re not paying a designer or buying designs that you have to wait for forever. Graphic design services can be extremely expensive. And sometimes it’s not easy to get your design conveyed over to the designer in just one shot, then you’re paying for revisions, too.
[17:25] [Yong Pratt] Oh, so good. And I know in your other business, you do things like this, you create these promotional products. And I think that’s a really cool thing to be able to do. And you know, we’re set up. When I had my performing arts school, it was getting really costly. The setup fee alone to do one single run of a commemorative t-shirt. I mean, would run upwards of 100 plus dollars just to do the setup. And that’s with me designing it. And you know, so definitely this is a way to save some money for sure if you have any kind of waiting for design. Or if you just bring your kiddos on board and let them run with it and just give them that encouragement that they need to start creating something that they’re excited about.
[18:13] [Nicole Thompson] Definitely.
[18:15] [Yong Pratt] Nicole, I want to make sure that people can connect with you if have questions about Designer in a Day, or maybe your podcast or any of your other businesses. Can you tell us where to find you?
[18:27] [Nicole Thompson] Yeah, I’m located on all the social media channels, I can typically be found under Nicole Thompson now. That’s usually the tagline I go by. On Instagram is Nicole Thompson dot now. But you can find my website at NicoleThompsonNow.com. You can learn all about Designer in a Day and any of my upcoming courses that I’m offering. My podcast is available through there. My podcast is called Build Your Wealth. And that’s where I talk about how you can actually learn how to start your own business. And you don’t have to be stuck in the nine to five grind.
[19:02] [Yong Pratt] So, so good. And definitely after this video is done, I’ll have you come back in and put those resources down below because I want to make sure people have access to you because it’s not often, especially in the online space, we meet people who have the wealth of knowledge that you have, specifically with graphic design, Nicole. I want to thank you for sharing your wisdom with us today. This is an episode you may want to go back and listen to it again. And if you have someone you think could benefit, definitely tell them about this podcast. Let them know all the cool stuff that we can create here, far easier and far faster than you ever thought possible.
[19:43] [Yong Pratt] Nicole, thank you so much.
[19:44] [Nicole Thompson] Thank you for having me. It’s been an absolute pleasure. I always love talking to you.
[19:49] [Yong Pratt] Well, thanks everyone for tuning in. I look forward to bringing you more ideas in the coming weeks about how you can Multiply Your Message by turning a single piece of content, like a video and audio, into so many different forms that you can literally have hundreds of things to share on social, all from one piece of content. We’ll catch you next time. Cheers my friends.
[20:17] [Yong Pratt]
Before you head out on the day, I want you to ditch the mom guilt and the stress that often accompanies summertime, especially when it comes to raising your kiddos along with your business. Be sure to grab my 21 work-less, stress-less, and guilt-less strategies over at yongpratt.com/bundle. And that my friends is a wrap on this episode. I look forward to catching up with you on the next one. Cheers.