Top 7 Free Resources to Improve Your Graphics Skills

The Direct Sales Husband's Handbook

This topic may not apply to every direct sales husband out there, but it’s one I’m very familiar with, so maybe you’ll get something out of it.

How to Gain Graphical Skills to Help Your Direct Sales Wife

I’ve been dabbling in computer graphics for years. Well, decades, really. Because of that, I’ve learned some skills for a lot of higher-end tools like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign, and more others than you probably want to hear about. Breaking out these applications and working on a project is pretty satisfying to me as it allows me to be creative in a directed way. Luckily for me, Holley seems to never run out of little and big tasks for me to help her with her business.

Direct Sales Tasks That Benefit From Graphical Skills:

  1. Product photos – Holley likes to make flyers for her own personal specials, fund-raisers, or different sale ideas. Thirty-One is great for this in that there are all sorts of product combinations that go particularly well together or you can show how to use the items in cool ways that make them enticing to the customer. With Rodan + Fields, we’ve taken a few “before” photos for the skin-care products.
  2. Creating specials or party flyers – it’s amazing what you can do with an 8×5 x 11″ sheet of paper. You can use almost anything for this. You probably have some tools already available.
  3. Creating a newsletter template – MS Office and Apple’s products have some great newsletter templates. You can modify these for your own uses for team newsletters.
  4. Fund-raisers – creating a specific sets of products that are emphasized for a fund-raiser helps. I also create order sheets for these things.
  5. Web site design – Holleycox.com is Holley’ site. Over time this is going to be a more highly utilized resource for her team.
  6. Email templates – Holley has a lot of emails she sends regularly. We’ve created a “pipeline” of emails for new consultants and are working on other training in this as well. I also create emails for her for special team incentives and the like.
  7. Create team logos – This is an important element of “branding” that unifies the experience for Team Cox.
  8. Create business cards – I had a recent post on this not long ago.

This is by no means an exhaustive list. But I find there is something I create on the computer for Holley at least weekly, often daily.

So where do you start? Has your wife asked you to help her already? What types of things does she need you to do?

With that in mind, there are tons of tools you can use to learn and improve your skills in graphics.

Top 7 Free Resources to Improve your Graphic Skills:

PhotoshopUser TV – this is a podcast available on iTunes (for free) and you can go back and even get old episodes because so much of that is still 100% useful even in the latest application. Also, though much of this is directed toward the Photoshop user, much of it is applicable to most any graphics app (Gimp, CorelDraw, Painter, Photoshop Elements). If you have something you want to do in Photoshop, chances are really good that it is covered in here somewhere, so do a search.

YouTube – yes, YouTube. While you can’t believe everything you see on the internet, I find that YouTube is an incredible source for tutorials for pretty much any graphics application. Probably any application for that matter. Search for general tutorials or for how to do something very specific and you’re probably going to find it here.

Photoshop Killer Tips – This is a great resource for short specific tutorials about how to do one specific thing in Photoshop or Photoshop Elements. I don’t think they’ve been making new tips for a while, but the ones that are there are absolutely invaluable and they’re likely to start making new ones again soon.

Photoshop Support – This is a website that essentially surfs through the web and collects tutorials for photoshop that are out there. They also mention free resources that become available, which is really useful, too.

PlanetPhotoshop.com – Another tutorial site that I like to visit from time to time. Always good stuff.

Bittbox – This is a fun site. They regularly put up free textures, vectors and tutorials that you can use to make your own stuff, or to make it better.

Font Squirrel – Whether you’re creating banners, flyers, websites, or just about anything for your wife’s business, it’s likely you’re going to need some cool, fun fonts. Font Squirrel gathers up the best free fonts out there and makes them easier for you to access.

This ended up being a LOT longer than I had hoped it would be (sorry!) And I think I need to do 1 or 2 more articles for this topic (if there is interest) – One on what tools you should buy and maybe another one on learning resources that are not free.

There are a ton more GREAT resources out there. If you are looking for something but can’t find it, drop me a response in the comments section.

Question:

What tools and resources do you use for creating business graphics? What website(s) do you find useful?

 

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