One of the most popular questions I have been getting since helping clients create their visual brand with my Branding on a Budget service is, “Do I need to upgrade my Canva account to the Pro version?”
First, let’s rewind. Wondering what Canva even is?
Canva is a graphic design platform, used to create social media graphics, presentations, posters, documents and other visual content. The app includes templates for users to use. The platform is free to use and offers paid subscriptions like Canva Pro and Canva for Enterprise for additional functionality.
I’ve been creating all sorts of graphics in Canva now for about 5 years. For the first couple of those I used the free plan. But there were a few things that finally made me make the switch and upgrade.
My Top Five Questions to Ask Yourself Before Upgrading:
There are many, many uses for Canva. I primarily use it for social media graphics (IG Feed and Stories, FB, Pinterest, etc.) as well as workbooks, flyers, and other marketing pieces like postcards, business cards, labels, etc.
When reflecting on why I made the switch, these ended up being my Top 5 reasons for upgrading my account. Ask yourself these questions to help you decide if the upgrade is right for you:
- Are you creating images in Canva for yourself or do you create for clients?
I found the free version worked well when I was just creating images for myself. The moment I took on another client who needed images, my account was a disorganized mess! I could no longer find anything in the UPLOADS folder (which is where all your photo uploads go) and my home screen looked as if a bomb went off.
The ability to organize all of my content and my clients into (an unlimited amount) of folders was a huge bonus of the Pro plan.
2. Do you rely on Canva for it’s photos/images or do you bring your own in?
Speaking of photos, while I was creating images for myself, I was bringing in photos that the S&D marketing team provided. It wasn’t until I started working on images for clients that I realized how amazing the image/photo gallery in Pro really was. As I scrolled through looking for something, everything I clicked on was labeled Pro – go figure, right?
With the free version, you can purchase the Pro images for just $1 but I’ll be the first to tell you, it adds up! Plus it is for a one time use. If you want to download the image again, it’s another $1.
3. Do you make collages?
This is kind of a specific question but if you ever tried to make a collage with your favorite products and layer them just right so you do not see the white box around it, you know what I am talking about.
The Pro version gives you a BACKGROUND ERASE TOOL which removes the background from your image therefore allowing you to have a color as your background – no more white backgrounds only!
I could no longer live without this feature – I use it daily.
4. Do you have a brand kit?
Right now the free version on Canva will allow you to save the Hex Codes of 3 of your brand colors in the Brand Kit feature – but that is it! You cannot save your brand’s fonts or logos (at the time of me writing this.) I do have a work around for this so it may not be a huge issue for you. But, for someone like me who has over 10 client’s brands saved, the use of this feature is important.
5. How much time are you spending each day in Canva?
When I realized that I was spending more than half of my day inside Canva on work related tasks, I knew it was time to upgrade. At this point, the annual fee (see below) was nominal.
There are many other reasons why I personally upgraded my account; the ability to upload fonts, download a transparent png file, the magic resize function, and increased storage being just a few more.
Need further convincing one way or the other?
Since I don’t use Canva like everyone else, I found the below side by side comparison HERE for you. This website goes into much further depth on each version if you need more convincing either way!
You can get a FREE 30 day trial of Pro to see what you think! Click HERE to grab my Referral Link.
If you are considering upgrading your account, the monthly fee is $12.99 or you can grab the annual plan at $119.99. If you are using Canva for your business (FT, PT or side gig) this fee is a tax write off.
I hope these questions help you with your decision. Feel free to reach out if you have any other questions.