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Picture Perfect 🎨

September 22, 2021


Canva goes from living room startup to $40B company

Picture this: It’s 2007. Melanie Perkins, a scrappy college student, noticed that designing posters and flyers is a real pain in the you-know-what. Especially for students with no graphic design experience. 

So, she started Canva in her mom’s living room. AKA the drag-and-drop graphic design tool that’s so easy grandma can use it. And while Canva was originally made to only design yearbooks, Melanie had a vision for it being used for so much more.

Everyone before Canv

Fast forward, and Canva has 60M monthly users, including 85% of Fortune 500 companies. Not to mention it is now valued at a whopping $40B.

So, how did Canva become one of the world’s most recognizable startups? They:

  • Made something complex, really simple. Unlike Photoshop, Canva made graphic design easy by providing thousands of beautiful templates that anyone can use.
  • Let people try before they buy. Meaning, they introduced a freemium model where people can use the service risk-free before taking out their wallet. This led to 3M paying customers as of April 2021.
  • Played to the industry trends. With social media presence becoming a must-have for businesses, Canva pitched their services as a way to “design social media campaigns without a budget” in minutes.

Today, the design tool still does all these things - helping them raise $200M last week. And with a proven playbook, Melanie plans to double the team’s headcount and potentially acquire other companies to scale even bigger.

That’s because the founder still believes in the vision that the company was founded on. “It shouldn’t matter where you are in the world, or socioeconomic status, or your skills and experience. Everyone should have the ability to design.”

👉 See what's next for Canva.


Most webinars suck, but yours don't have to

You've seen webinars. In fact, you've probably seen 100+ in your lifetime, and 99 of them sucked (yeah - we said it). 

But the irony is, your small business still probably hosts webinars because they're a super effective sales lever. In 2017, 73% of B2B business leaders said webinars are a top way to generate high-quality leads.

We couldn’t find a post-pandemic version of this same study. But we'd bet that number increased, and webinars only got more effective since most folks went remote. 

But that brings us back to the original problem: Most webinars will have you saying…'s terrible!

That's because they fail to engage attendees. They leave people confused or wanting more. And in a lot of cases, they feel like a complete waste of time. 

And this can be caused by any number of factors, namely: 

  • A snooze-worthy facilitator
  • Text-heavy slides with endless bullets
  • Little interaction
  • No lasting value
  • [Insert any other reason you hate webinars]

Here's the worst part: Most folks have seen so many suckish webinars that they sign up for your webinars expecting them to suck. As a result, they're disengaged from the get-go. And your facilitator is behind before they start.

Fail to prove that this won't be just another wimpy webinar within the first few minutes? Then, the audience doesn't take away any real value. So, they can't build an affinity for your brand and probably won't develop into a promising lead. And the webinar ends up being a complete waste of time.

Luckily, your webinars don't have to suck! You just need to understand the #1 rule of creating engaging webinars: Be intentional. In other words: 

  1. Share your passion
  2. Use visually interesting slides
  3. Let participants participate
  4. Provide immediate value

👉 How to create impactful webinars.


The secret to scaling your systems and processes?

Free training on building systems and processes

Short answer: Have background dancers for your business! But unless you're Montell Jordan, we don’t mean that literally.

Instead, we’re talking about building a support system that keeps your business running. (That way, you can step out of the spotlight and focus on the big production.) 

In an exclusive with Trainual CEO Chris Ronzio, Entrepreneur On Fire breaks down how you can document what needs to get done, delegate your responsibilities, and scale your business. All with proven examples for how he does that at his company.

That way, you can have your own "background dancers" and start scaling!

👉 Stream the episode now.


Is remote work killing creativity?

Creativity isn't just a bunch of sticky notes

Creativity isn't just brainstorming jams in boardrooms with sticky notes everywhere. Shakespeare wrote his masterpiece, Macbeth, while isolated during the plague. Newton came up with the theory of gravity while quarantined.

In fact, remote work can lead to better creativity than an office environment. You just need to get your (somewhat) newly remote team's creative juices flowing again.

And no - this doesn't mean you should tell your team to "be more creative" or randomly ask people to throw out ideas on a Zoom call. (This will likely backfire.)

Instead, try building a few habits that foster creativity: 

  1. Turn off all notifications. Talent and genius aside, Shakespeare didn't have texts, Slack, and emails to distract him. So, turn your devices to DND mode whenever you're working heads-down. Just make sure to let your team know you'll be slow to respond.
  2. Brainstorm alone. Carve creative time into your schedule - even if it's just 10 minutes each morning or an hour weekly to write down ideas. This gets your creative muscle working. But when ideas start to come at odd hours of the day (they will), jot them down before you forget.
  3. Promote collaboration. It's true - the best creativity happens on your own. But bouncing ideas off someone can help you identify the best ones. So, host recurring quarterly syncs that are dedicated to team-wide ideation.
  4. Encourage time off. Sounds counterintuitive - but burnout is the real killer of creativity. And unfortunately, remote workers are more likely to burn out. So, encourage folks to use their PTO and hold them accountable for disconnecting when they're offline.

👉 Get more ways to spark creativity.


This week's highlight reel

  • Show me the money! Adobe will let SMBs accept payments directly on their e-comm platforms later this year. A move that goes head-to-head with Shopify.
  • Who runs the world? In a company-wide sustainability push, online fashion giant Asos commits to filling half of its leadership roles with women by 2030.
  • Here’s my card. Bet you haven’t heard that in a while! Vistaprint saw business card sales plummet by 70% early in the pandemic. And they still haven’t fully recovered, thanks to new alternatives like QR codes.
  • Walkin’ in a streaming wonderland. Per Roku, 1 in of 3 holiday shoppers will be unreachable with traditional TV ads in 2021. Meaning, streaming ads may be the best way to capture holiday shoppers’ full attention.
  • Level up your SEO game. Even with Google’s recent algorithm overhaul, you don’t have to guess what impacts your search rankings. This guide breaks down 88 factors that determine who makes the first page.

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