Need Creative Images but Don’t Know Photoshop?

canva icon

As much as I love Photoshop and have been using it since version CS2, and even with the awesome Photographers Bundle of Photoshop + Lightroom for only $9.99 that Adobe has now made available indefinitely, I recognize that many people simply don’t want to learn how to use it.  And while I am a huge proponent of all that Lightroom can do for organizing, editing, and presenting photos, for many doctors or team members, even that may be too daunting a challenge.  It shouldn’t be, but it is.  So what do you do?  What even I’m doing a lot nowadays:

Easy Way to Create Attractive Online Images

Here is a selection of images created with Canva just to give you an idea of what can be done (BTW – please remember that all of these images are ©Smiles by Payet and may NOT be used in any way without permission):

How Many Options Does Canva Offer?

Here’s a simplified list of the current pre-formatted (sizes only) options offered on Canva:

  • Twitter post (1024px x 512px)
  • Twitter cover image (1500px x 500px)
  • Facebook ad (1200px x 627px)
  • Facebook cover image (851px x 315px)
  • Google+ cover image (1240px x 700px)
  • Social media image (800px x 800px)
  • Blog image (800px x 1200px)
  • Pinterest (735px x 1232px)

And of course, you can always create and save a Custom set of dimensions for your own use.

How Much Does Canva Cost?

While it can’t compare to Photoshop in many ways, and even though the PS+LR package is ridiculously affordable, I have to admit – Canva is even MORE affordable, for the simple reason that it’s FREE!  Yes, you read that correctly – FREE (ok, with a one small caveat).

To sign up for an account costs you absolutely nothing, and if you like, you can instantly create an account by signing in with either your Facebook or Twitter accounts.  Supposedly, a Google+ sign-in is also on the way, but hasn’t arrived yet.  They have a ton of easy-to-use and attractive backgrounds, icons, arrows, etc. and text options that are completely free, and you can upload your own images to use in your creations, too, and as long as you do that…FREE!

So let’s say you don’t have an image for your topic, and you happen to see that Canva has one you like…..are they ALL free?  No, they’re not.  But for all of their non-free images, each one only costs $1.  Yup.  ONE-FREAKING-DOLLAR-EACH.  How sweet is that?  So far, because I like using all my own photos, the only stuff I usually use from Canva is free.  In fact, I put a $20 credit on my account 2 months ago because I did want a few images, but I haven’t even used 1/2 of my credit yet, and I’m approaching 50 images created in Canva.

How Easy Is It to Learn?

This is the best part of Canva compared to PS or LR: it’s all drag’n’drop.  If you want to drag things around and line them up – when they line up you’ll see dashed lines connecting just which elements are lined up so you can see exactly.  How about resizing?  Just click on an image or text and the little corner/side handles appear for you to grab and resize as easily as you want.  Text?  Of course!  Pick any color from the color picker.  Outlines and shapes?  Pick from a wide variety of pre-formatted ones that can be reformatted as you like.  Upload your own images?  Easy as can be.  Layer text on top of images?  Sure!  Share directly to Twitter or Facebook, even with embedded links?  Absolutely!  (Still waiting for them to get a direct to Google+ sharing button).  Download to your own computer?  Couple of clicks and it’s done.  Create one image and then create duplicates for similarly-themed images?  Of course.  The following screenshot will give you a few ideas:

Canva screenshot


Of course, if you are proficient at Photoshop, you’ll instantly recognize that Photoshop has capabilities far beyond Canva, and it’s not like this will suddenly turn you into a professional graphic designer.  However, you don’t have to be!  You can create pleasing, attractive images and infographics quickly and easily for your website, social media, and even print if you like, and it’s fast, easy, and affordable, and honestly, it’s far more important to have something pretty good that is regularly in front of potential patients, than it is to wait and spend on perfection.



Google+ Primer for Dentists Hangout Series

Have you ever wondered about Google+, the social layer of search, as Google calls it?  Maybe you’ve read a number of news stories on TechCrunch, Gizmodo, or other sites that keep reporting that it’s a “ghost town?”  Perhaps you’ve actually tried setting up your Profile and even a Page for your dental practice, only to have no idea what to do next?  How do you find people to Circle in your Community?  Get them to Circle you back?  How is Google+ similar to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and how is it different?  If these questions sound familiar to you and you want answers, your opportunity is finally here.

social media marketing for dentists

A Star-Studded Line-Up of Social Media Marketing Experts

On Monday, August 18th, I will be announcing a Schedule and Line-up of Social Media Marketing Experts, the likes of which has never before been seen in dentistry.  Starting on Saturday, Sept. 6th 2014 at 1:00 PM Eastern Standard Time, this will be at least an 8-week series of Google+ Hangouts on Air, which are like live video webinars.  Each will last about an hour, and each will feature one or more experts in a particular aspect of Google+, from Pages to Profiles, from Local Pages vs. Brand pages, web apps, training programs, coaches, and more.  I will be hosting each Hangout on Air (HOA), and following each one, they will be posted on my YouTube account for people to view again later at their leisure.

For more information, please follow the embedded Google+ post below and COMMENT that you are interested (yes, you must have an active Google+ profile to comment and participated).  And look for the big announcement next Monday!

Mary Osborne on “The Keys to Unlocking Comprehensive Care”

Do you want to improve your skills in patient communication, with the goals of better patient acceptance of comprehensive dental care?  If so, I highly recommend an upcoming course, and if you attend, you’ll even get to meet me!

Difficult Discussions – The Keys to Unlocking Comprehensive Care

Course Description

During this workshop we will explore communication & comprehensive care and how it exists and happens in each of our practices. Together, we will examine how we view our practice mission & philosophy and how we communicate that with out team and patients. 

-Creating community…the philosophy that we project 
-Efficiency and intention in our communications 
-Coordinating the message…and what is it again? 
-Buttons, Barriers and Motivators…Why patients do or do not pursue care -Case acceptance…when it starts and why it works…and when it doesn’t 
-Staying In The Question…a cornerstone philosophy for success 
-What is working in your office? What would you like to change? 
-A take home plan to put your skills to use This program will involve a customized agenda based on attendees needs and focus desires. 

Who is Mary Osborne?

As I discussed in my review of the Nuts & Bolts Foundations CE not too long ago, Dr. Mike Melkers has been both a friend and mentor for about 10 years, having first met him on DentalTown in my early days there.  He’s been a big influence in several areas:

  • Parafunctional analysis with the NTI
  • Patient communication
  • Occluding vs. Occlusion, and when it matters
  • Even practice management and plannning

Mary Osborne, on the other hand, I’ve never actually met, but given Mike’s enthusiasm for what she teaches, I am really looking forward to it.  I’ve already introduced Mike in that other article, but here’s some more information about here, as well as a link to her website:

Mary Osborne


Mary Osborne has worked in dentistry for over forty years as a clinical hygienist, patient facilitator, and consultant. She brings to her work enthusiasm, intelligence, humor, and a deep belief in the potential for significant growth through authentic communication.

Mary is known internationally as a consultant, writer, and producer of newsletters and audio/video programs for Mary H. Osborne, Resources in Seattle, Washington. Her writing is published in national magazines and she has spoken extensively to state and national organizations including The American Dental Association and The American Academy of Dental Practice Administration. She is a member of the visiting faculty and serves as a Foundation Advisor to the Pankey Institute.

For more information please visit our website:

Course Details

  • Dates: Thurs. and Fri., October 17-18, 2013
  • Location: Boston, Massachusetts (specific details to be announced soon)
  • Tuition: 
    • Doctors $975
    • Team $475

So if you are looking to learn more about effective patient communication, especially with the ones who need a lot of work but may not be aware of it, or aware of the options available that you offer, or who have a difficult history…this could well be the course you’re looking for!