Graphics Programs – You Need One!

Creative Virtual Office - Your Creative Pit-Stop! Affordable Creative Services Online and OfflineHaving all the right tools to do the job you need to do is always vital. Having the finances to buy all those tools is not always convenient or available.

Here’s one of my favorite graphic programs that is … FREE!

More and more tools, software, and gadgets are appearing that are fantastic alternatives to the name brand fancier programs. I’d like to share a few of my favorites with you …

A Good Graphic Program …  Everyone needs this! For simple things like lowering the resolution of an image file to something that can be used on a website, or being able to crop out areas you don’t want, or to resize the image entirely, you’ll need a graphics program. If you want to add text, special effects or even create an animated .gif (advanced, of course) you’ll still need a graphics program. Microsoft Paint isn’t going to cut it – that’s just a super simple software that allows you to save image files and tweak just a little bit.

So … Adobe has outstanding programs such as PhotoShop or Illustrator. But if you can’t afford hundreds of dollars right now, consider an open-source program called GIMP. Open source means that many people are contributing to the creation, development, and improvement and offer the software for free.

Click on any of the embedded links to view the various software that I mention in this post.

Ideas for FREE Gifts to Seek or Give

GiftsOnce you start thinking in terms of marketing, benefits and values, all kinds of ideas start coming to your mind regarding what kinds of free gifts that you can give for marketing efforts. 

Here are just a few ideas … feel free to share your own ideas in the comment box below. We all want to hear your idea!

  1. COUPON: Offering a huge discount on …(fill in the blank)
  2. TIME:  Consultation or counseling 
  3. DIGITAL DOWNLOAD:  A short ebook, an informative report, etc.
  4. TIPS: Valuable tips that contain links that are helpful
  5. AUDIO: Private radio interview, music tracks, audiobook, etc.
  6. VIDEO: Private webinar, or interview, etc.
  7. INTERACTIVE: Coloring pages, worksheets, puzzles
  8. OTHER: Anything that can you download that will reflect a gift of value.

Remember, these digital downloadables contain intellectual property that can’t be gotten anywhere else unless it’s paid for. Always include the value of your gift. For instance, “1 hour consultation = value $150”; “Coupon for attendance at seminar = value $250” etc.

Here are some TIPS:

  1. Appearance – Your downloadable is representing you – make it look nice! 
  2. Branding! Branding! Branding! Include your logo!
  3. Your website is a must – people will want to visit – and may purchase
  4. Create a coupon or a “money-looking” certificate. Communicate value!
  5. Be clear in your terms. I made the mistake at the beginning of just saying “cartoon” for free. That translated (100%) of the time to people as a custom logo or a unique cartoon that they would then resell or use for product use. I provided those to the first four, finally got a clue, and then clarified my terms. A free cartoon for personal, presentation, or marketing purposes only. If a desired custom cartoon or logo was needed, they received a coupon at the bottom of my downloadable that gave them $100 or an additional percentage off – and it had an end date! (Whew … quick learning curve there!)

Graphic Programs – What’s That?

If you plan on doing any kind of marketing, saving, sending or editing any photos, graphics or artwork, you need a graphics program.


A powerful, open-source graphic program that is comparable to Adobe Photoshop is a software named GIMP.  Download this now if you don’t have a good program to edit your image files with.  Yes, this software is FREE! (Open source means that it’s software that is available to all to continue developing and improving it – and it’s free.

To learn GIMP, turn to YouTube – pause it as often as you like until you can get the basics.  You don’t have to be an expert and with this software, you can work with your image files to do simple tasks such as resizing the dimensions as well as the resolution.

There are a “zillion” tutorials on YouTube that will help familiarize yourself with the features and how-to’s that you’ll need while you create your masterpieces. Search YouTube using keywords like these:

  • Beginner tutorials for GIMP
  • Resizing images with GIMP
  • Removing backgrounds with GIMP
  • Changing the resolution of an image in GIMP

Get the idea?  Have fun!