Are you a freelance designer, writer or marketer? Are you using the right tools for your tasks?
Well, today, I am going to talk about the best online banner generator you can find (Disclosure: I do work there, but I also use the app), why you should use it and of course, why you need such a tool.
First, however, let’s talk a bit about freelancing in 2017.
The benefits and hardships of working as a freelancer
As a freelancer, you are independent. You don’t have a boss, neither a team to rely on but you don’t have to worry about how to make money at work either.
You get to do what you want, work when you want, from where you want. However, this means that you will have to rely on your own instincts and choose your tools alone, based on your own experience and of course, the advice you get from your peers.
When you are searching online for advice, however, you will find that things are not as easy as it may seem at a first glance. Everyone has their own ideas about what is the best tool for each task and how to effectively complete specific tasks. This is why I will try to shed some light on a specific design issue that may become a problem if you don’t pay enough attention to it.
But if you are a freelancer or you want to be a full time freelancer I’m recommending you to check out Paul’s Creative Class – an online course for freelancers.
A. The benefits of freelancing
There are many benefits when you are working from home.
Let’s take a quick look at the most important of them:
Access to work regardless of distance. Is there a job available in China? You can take it. What about another job, the same day, in London? Well, you can take it as well. You work remotely from your own home or office, you communicate with your employers by email or instant messenger, maybe through a freelance platform. However, everything you do is online based and therefore, accessible from anywhere.
You can easily control your workload. Feeling tired today? No problem, finish the projects you’ve already started working on and take a break. You don’t have to work five or six days a week, every week. You don’t have to work extra hours if you don’t want to. You are free to plan your work schedule according to your needs and of course, your strengths.
You don’t get to waste time. With a 9 to 5 work program, you don’t always have something to do. However, you don’t get to spend your free time doing what you want or what you like, because you are not on your own computer, you are being supervised, maybe even blocked etc. Moreover, your salary is fixed, whether you are working a full day or just two hours. As a freelancer, if you complete a task in two hours, you can get another one, and thus, choose how much you earn. You can get to enjoy your free hours when you have nothing else to do or spend a full day working for your own good, at your own pace.
Fewer chances to get sick. You meet your colleagues and employers online. Thus, you get to interact face to face with other people rarely. According to this report, the more people are in a room, the more sick days they take. We know that most of the companies favor open spaces and the chances to interact directly with many other people are increased in an office. While interaction may be of benefit when it comes to communication and socialization, it can also favor the spread of diseases, especially viral ones. Less sick days also means that you get to work more at full strengths and as a consequence, earn more money and free days.
You get to take a break when you want it and sleep as much as you need. Working as a freelancer means that you don’t have to adapt to a specific schedule. You are free to make your own schedule and take as much work as you can, sleep when you want and take breaks when you need them the most. There is no one to tell you that you have to be at a specific hour at a specific place, there is no one to give you something to work on when you are not fit for the task.
B. What about the hardships?
Apart from the above-mentioned benefits, there are, of course, some hardships when you work as a freelancer full time.
Let’s see some of the most important difficulties you have to face here:
It’s hard to start up. When you start as a freelancer, nobody knows you and therefore, nobody trusts you at first. You need a compelling portfolio in order to catch the eye of the highest paying employers but in order to get there, you will need to work for anybody, just to build your brand and grow awareness of your expertise and professionalism.
You don’t have a fixed schedule. While in many ways you can benefit from your flexible schedule, there will be times when you will feel overworked because you will need money and therefore, you will accept more jobs than you can deal with. As a freelancer, you don’t get to work from 9 to five and then relax until the next morning. You will sometimes work late nights, especially when you will deal with employers from other parts of the world.
Your payments are not always secured. When a company employs you, you know from the start how much you are going to be paid and when. Moreover, the contract comes with liabilities. As a freelancer, however, you get to take jobs from all kinds of employers, without knowing whether or not to trust them. Sometimes, you will have to chase your money and make efforts in order to get them.
The design issues
Now, let’s get back to our main topic and focus on some of the biggest problems freelancers are facing when dealing with banner design.
As I have already mentioned in the previous chapters, one of the main problems freelancers have to deal with is the brand building issue. As a freelancer you need a powerful personal brand as a consequence, you need to make the most out of your personal websites and social media accounts/pages.
Where do you need banners?
As a freelancer, you need a personal brand, something to allow you to present yourself and stand out from the crowd. You have several options to start with here, but first, you need at least a couple of social media accounts and a website.
You need therefore a banner for your website, a banner for your social media accounts and if you want to invest in advertising (for your website, blog or services), you will also need banners to create your campaign.
Also, it may be useful to have some different sized banners at hand when you get the opportunity to display them on the websites of your clients, friends or business partners.
As a freelance marketer, on the other hand, you need access to a banner creator tool in order to be able to design the drafts you will present to your employers for further review.
How to create these banners
The best option you have – that will allow you to also save precious time – is to create an account on Bannersnack and create your banners with their online professional banner generator.
First, sign up with Bannersnack and create your free account.
Then, log in and access the banner generator.
Now, select the type of the banner you want to create. At first, the generator will give you two options: a single banner or a set of banners. If you want to create an entire campaign, choose the set because it allows you to be more versatile and adaptable when it comes to displaying the banners on different websites or platforms. If you only want a Facebook banner, for example, choose the first option. Let’s choose the set for this example because this option covers everything you need on a marketing campaign.
Now, you get to select your size and type of the banner. You can choose a custom size or select one or more of the already built-in templates for banners and covers. There are also options for Facebook and Twitter posts and ads available here, should you need just to create content for your fans or advertise your brand on social media. Check the types of banners you want to build and then, click on NEXT.
The next step is where you choose the template of you banner and whether it will be static or animated.
Click on a specific template. You get to be immediately redirected to the editor interface.
There are two main elements here. We have the tools menu on the left of the screen, followed by the set of banners in the center of the view screen. These are the actual banners you are going to design.
Let’s proceed further and design our first banner set:
The two main tool menus available at this point are Elements and Layers.
The Layers menu
Here, you can add your logo, change the backgrounds, the buttons, the texts and the images featured on your banner set. The screenshot available below will shed some light on what these tools are and what can you do with them
The Elements menu
Here, you can add more elements to your banners, similar to those that already exist.
The individual edit mode
From this view screen, you can select any of these banners and enter into the individual edit more. In order to do that, double click on the selected banner.
You can click on either of the banner’s elements and make some changes, according to your needs.
Each time you click on an element, a new sidebar menu will appear next to that element allowing you to change colors, texts, add links or change the style of your layers.
When you are done editing the banner, click “Escape” in order to return to the main view screen. If you don’t wish to make any other changes, click the “Save all” button, name your banner set and insert your link.
They will immediately appear in your main folder from where you can download them or access them once again to apply some new modifications.
As a freelancer, you are probably already aware of the benefits and hardships of your choice to work remotely, from home. At the same time, you know that your work will get easier when you are doing it with the right tool that allows you to save precious time and also, create professional, flawless design elements.
I hope that this short introduction in Bannersnack’s banner generator will help you save time, at least when it comes to designing banners and covers for your websites and social media pages.