How Canva Creates Brand Advocates and Raving Fans


Brand advocates. Everybody wants them. They give you referrals, they advertise for you for free. They stand up for you when youre under fire. How does a company attain and retain brand advocates? Sometimes the best way to figure it out is to follow the example of a successful company.

Weve been on Canva since the days when you needed an invitation. Weve written about them extensively online and even in print. Yes, I said, them, without even meaning to because though Canva is a tool, there are very real people behind it, and it is obvious at every turn. And this, my friends, is how they build raving fans who becoming walking billboards for their amazing service.

Brand advocates share your content, they tell other people about you and you dont have to pay them a cent. Which is why all businesses need to do everything they can to create and delight your own. Heres how Canva does it:

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With a Valuable Tool

Canva lets us create amazing designs even though we are not designers for free. Whenever possible, I like to use their paid images ($1/each) just to give them a little love, but you dont have to spend a cent to create images with text that get shared all over. Ive always included an image with our blog posts, and for a long time now, its been a pinnable image with text, but I am no designer. A blank image, or even one with just a photo, does not inspire me. Give me a template with some already added text and images and I can mix and match to make something great.

Ive also learned to include my URL at the bottom of every image. You never know where itll end up. I use the same image on Instagram most of the time, so I make sure the important text is going to be in a square that allows for easy cropping in Instagram.

We use Canva as a team, too. Our presentations and slide shows are designed on Canva. It makes for very easy collaboration. You dont have to email files back and forth and risk working on two different versions. Just send a link and click the allow anyone with this link to edit to allow your team mates to view and modify your design. Nice!

Aside from the product itself, Canva is a standout company because of its people and this is really why I am a raving fan!

With Effective Social Media

When I wrote my first Canva article, I tweeted to the folks at Canva to let them know. Not only did they respond they gave us extra invitations to share with our readers. So smart! Not only did that make for more signups for them, but they did me a favor, giving me more reasons to tell people to visit my blog. And, they made me look good. Who doesnt love that?

The other day I sent them a question on Twitter. Heres the reply I got: Hmm I dont *think* there was. You can use columns in your design to make one. Ill double check. 🙂 Now thats personality. People are attracted to people, not sterile, faceless companies. Be real and some people are going to love you.

With Outstanding Customer Service

When I have a question, Ill either send an email or I tweet them. I always get a swift reply and its always written as if it came from a real person, which you know, it usually is, but you cant always tell!!! Hazel is a gem.

Because of my article, Zack Kitschke emailed me and invited me to a Skype call. We had a great talk about what I liked about Canva and what Id like to see added in the future. He made me feel like I really mattered. Plus, he has a nice accent.

With Peg Fitzpatrick

Canvas management team are a bunch of smarties. So, naturally when they wanted a brand evangelist and social media superstar, they sought out the dynamic duo of Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick. You cannot throw a rock without hitting something one of them is involved in these days. When do they sleep?!?! Aside from their tireless work writing, doing interviews, hangouts, webinars, etc., you will not meet a nicer couple of people.

Wait, well, I havent actually met them. I feel like Ive met Peg and I once tweeted with Guy about his car, but I will get to meet them both next month at HubSpots Inbound conference in Boston. I wont know a lot of people there, but I know that just being in the building with Pegs super-sunny personality is going to make the entire experience a good one. Can. Not. Wait.

With Swag

Peg was kind enough to let me ask her a few questions for the print article I wrote for Canva. When we were done, she sent me a great t-shirt, which makes up part of my work wardrobe more often than I should admit. Ive put pictures of it on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter because Im proud to be an advocate for a fantastic company made up of truly likable people.


You may not be able to hire Guy and Peg, or even send out a lot of t-shirts, but you can certainly use the other techniques and be your own Peg! People love positive. What brands do you advocate for? How did you fall in love with them? Please tell us about it below.

Oh, by the way, this blog post is part of the Word Carnival. Each month, a bunch of us small business owners get together and blog about a timely business topic. Everybody and their mom claims to have the magic panacea that will suddenly jump you from living out of a cardboard box to a six figure income, laughing from the penthouse suite as you throw coins over your balcony not for the morbid fun of it, but just so you can feel something anything again. Anyway, heres a lineup of the Word Carnival business experts favorite tools all for under $10.