It’s not always feasible to get a designer to build images for your posts on the company blog or social media. Luckily there’s a really easy tool to use for these images that most people have access to. 

I’m a massive fan of the humble Microsoft Powerpoint. Now before all the designers reading this light their torches and start sharpening their pitchforks, there are a lot of times when Powerpoint just won’t cut it. But for mocking up a nice little image for LinkedIn, YouTube or Passle then it’s so hard to go past Powerpoint in my opinion. It’s fast, it’s simple and you end up with a great end product that takes no time at all and has a massive impact on the quality of the video or post it supports.

Here’s my own template, sized for LinkedIn but just fine for Passle. You’ll need to setup the slides to be the right size. I use 28.5x28.5 for LinkedIn & Passle images.  For Youtube, I use a different presentation in a 16:9 aspect ratio.

Once you’ve set up the slideshow, create a blank slide with all your logos, images, colour samples, and all your branding. This will help when you get creating and don’t want to jump back and forth to the shared drive every five seconds.

Next, you want to get your creative right. There are a few simple rules I like to follow for mine:

1. Use as few words as possible and the biggest font that works

2. Use as few colours as possible and make them contrast strongly

3. Stay on brand, use a limited number of colours & images

4. If it takes more than 10 minutes I’m probably trying to be too clever and could do something simpler and more effective

5. Look at the share image from a long way away before deciding on it

These are all pretty straightforward, I like the last one because a share image will have to stand out from the crowd. The “step back” test is a good way to make sure your image makes sense and catches the eye.

It’s that simple really, try, experiment and keep all your old ideas as separate slides so you can use them in the future.

I’ve included a few samples below to show you what’s possible. They are simple but add so much to a post.

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Graph visualisations are easy & work really well.

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Straightforward lists are striking and show the reader exactly what they’ll read

Take your podcast to the next level with a classy image of your guest.

Create a classy Youtube thumbnail to catch attention