Carla King interviews Calvina Nguyen on how to use Canva to create better visuals for your brand and your book.

Nonfiction Authors Association Podcast | July 26, 2023

“…It’s very important for us to understand our audience. Like to the tee so that we’re delivering exactly what they want to see. And that’s what your brand is about. So it’s a conversion of who you are and who they are. And that magic middle is where you’re going to be hitting them right there in the heart.”
-Calvina Nguyen!

Calvina Nguyen - How to use Canva to create better visuals for your brand and your book

About Calvina Nguyen

Calvina Nguyen is a designer, photographer, and visual brand strategist. She has spent nearly two decades in the creative field, helping small businesses to build a solid visual brand foundation that empowers them to be confident, professional and grow a thriving business. With a marketing background, her specialty is storytelling, bringing to the surface the depth and heart of each individual and organization. She now educates small businesses to communicate their brand effectively and beautifully to attract their ideal audience.

Nonfiction Authors Podcast: Calvina Nguyen

Find the video podcast, show notes, links, quotes, and podcast transcript below.

Listen and subscribe to our podcast wherever you listen to podcasts. Watch the video interview on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or on our YouTube Channel where you can subscribe to our playlist.

Got feedback on our podcast? Want us to consider a guest or topic? Please let us know on our feedback form here.

Show Notes


In this episode…

  • A look into Canva and what it can do for authors.
  • An explanation of the Brand Kit accessible to Canva Pro users.
  • A step by step explanation on how to create an image for social media using Canva.
  • How to simplify the way you use Canva.
  • Ideas of ways authors can use Canva as a design and promotional tool.
  • How to use Magic AI, Canva’s AI tool.
  • How to overcome your personal taste in design to reach a larger audience.


[00:00:00] Carla King: Hello, and welcome to the Nonfiction Authors Podcast. I’m Carla King, your host, and before we start, I’d like to invite you to go to the Freebies tab at to check out our free reports. We developed these reports to help you figure out things like ISBNs, distribution, optimizing book sales on Amazon, generating book reviews, growing your email list, and we provide checklists on things like publishing and book launches.

Now, stay tuned for this week’s guest.

Hi, everybody. Today we’re talking with Calvina Nguyen about how to use Canva to create better visuals for your brand and your book. This podcast is brought to you by the Nonfiction Authors Association, a supportive community where writers connect, exchange ideas, and learn how to write, publish, promote and profit with nonfiction books.

Subscribe on your favorite podcast app and visit our website to find transcripts, show notes and links to all our episodes. Explore our membership options and download free reports. Search the archives, and get answers to your writing and publishing questions. Now I’d love to introduce our guest. Calvina Nguyen is a designer, photographer, and visual brand strategist.

She has spent nearly two decades in the creative field helping small businesses to build a solid visual brand foundation that empowers them to be confident, professional, and grow a thriving business with a marketing background. Her specialty is storytelling–bringing to the surface the depth and heart of each individual and organization.

She educates small business owners–including authors–-on how to communicate your brand effectively and beautifully to attract your ideal audience. Calvina has also created a flash course for the Nonfiction Authors Association on how to use Canva for book covers, graphics and marketing.

Welcome to the podcast, Calvina.

[00:02:02] Calvina Nguyen: Hey, Carla, it’s so great to be here. Thank you for having me.

[00:02:08] Carla King: I’m so glad to have you. And I think we’re going to start with what we were just talking about before I hit the record button, which is why it’s so great for you to work with authors and storytellers, because authors are storytellers, right?

[00:02:21] Calvina Nguyen: I feel when I started first communicating with you, I was just so excited about authors, because I feel like every single author has so much depth, so much individuality. And it’s so important for that to be recognized. And I feel like one of the most important things that we seek after in life is to feel seen and heard. But more importantly, is to make an impact too. And that’s what we’re trying to do. And that’s what authors are trying to do through their books. The impact is so much greater.

And also because of social media and the way we consume, it’s important for those words that are between the covers of the book to be paired with the impact that social media can do.

I would love for every single author to really feel the story that they have inside. Not just with the words, but then the visuals that can be paired with it.

[00:03:19] Carla King: Beautiful. Yes. And we address a lot of nonfiction authors here. Some are business people who create a book to grow their business or to drive home a specialty, assert their expertise. And then we have memoirists and create nonfiction authors who are making a business from their book. So there’s two kinds of authors–nonfiction authors–and some of us are both. I’m both, definitely. Canva has just become a ubiquitous tool. Some people use it just a little bit, and a lot of people really haven’t delved into it. So why don’t we just start with–what is Canva? What can Canva do for us?

[00:04:02] Calvina Nguyen: I think Canva started because the founder was finding it so difficult to learn. Canva makes all of this creation of visuals more accessible to non-designers.

There are a lot of designers and creators that are contributing to it, so that’s one of the best parts. I think that there are three things–three main reasons– that I personally first started using Canva.

One is the templates, because even though I’m a designer, it’s nice to look at inspirations from other designers just to get things going. You don’t have to start from scratch, and that saves a lot of time and creative energy.

And also the resizing tools–because when we create one thing, sometimes we have to use it in a lot of different sizes. For instance, you need to create something for Instagram, and you create it for one size. And then you need to create it for Facebook, which is another size. And then you might even turn it into an ad, which is another size. And Canva makes it super easy to resize everything,

It has collaboration tools, so that you can have your entire team–or other people–come join and collaborate where you can comment and see each other’s things, resolve issues and close things out. You can create tasks inside,  or assign it to different people. And so that collaborative aspect is super helpful for a team–or for a solo author, or a small business–to be able to collaborate with other people you’re working with. Or maybe your publisher.

And the way I like to look at Canva is–what can Canva do for you? I don’t like to start looking at all of the different bells and whistles, which it has plenty of. I like to approach tools in–what can this tool do for me? And I start backwards. I need to create a lead magnet, so I am going to go into Canva and see what it can do to create a lead magnet. Or I need to create a business card. I need to create social posts. I’m gonna start there. So I don’t like to get too overwhelmed with all the things because it is just not how my brain wants to work.

It’s just so fast and easy. Again, it’s like a lot of designers and a lot of creators are putting stuff inside. And once you’re paying the subscription–which I think is actually extremely affordable. It’s $12.99 a month and you have access to all of these graphics, all of these backgrounds, all of these textures. You have any look that you want, really, inside.

[00:06:34] Carla King: I think a lot of authors dive in and don’t subscribe to it. And $12.99 is a great price, especially considering that you don’t have to pay for royalty free images from the stock photo sites, because it has stock photos there already. You don’t get access to the Brand Kit unless you pay for it, and that’s worth its weight in gold. So let’s start with–what is Canva’s Brand Kit? Why should you bite the bullet, pay the monthly fee, and use that Brand Kit?

[00:07:09] Calvina Nguyen: So the brand kit, I want to say, is like a compass to save time, and point you in the right direction every time. And honestly, you want to spend that time initially to create the Brand Kit.

[00:07:23] Carla King: So it forces you to sit there and go, ‘Okay, what colors do I use? What typeface do I use?’

[00:07:29] Calvina Nguyen: Yes. Exactly. So those are decisions that you definitely have to make independently before you use it. But Canva does actually have some tools in there to help you make some of these decisions.

And of course, what the existing templates that they have, they give you some place to start, and then you can tweak it from there. So again, Canva allows you to do a lot of things not from scratch. It gives you a starting point. But the Brand Kit–it houses everything you need to use in your brand, so that you can save time down the line.

So you load up all your logos in all the different formats, and it’s all right there. And then you want to put on all your brand colors in there. You have all your brand fonts in there. And you can upload your own photos in there. So if you get your headshots done. Anything that you want that is not inside of Canva already, you can upload it into your Brand Kit.

And then I think, Canva now, it’s seriously growing all the time. It’s changing even by the month. You can actually, with a click of a button, once you have everything loaded into your Brand Kit, it will actually almost create a design for you based on those things. But again, you have to make those decisions ahead of time. So it is–it’s a place for you to make those decisions now so you don’t have to do it later. And every time you create, then it’s just really easy and breezy.

[00:08:56] Carla King: So I use it as an individual for my own company. And when I work with the Nonfiction Authors Association, we have a Brand Kit. And I love, in the brand, there are controls. So I can set–for the Nonfiction Authors Association and the Writer’s Conference–that you can only use certain colors, you can only use certain fonts. And, I can require that if someone designs for me–like my social media person–that it requires my approval before publication and things like that.

[00:09:31] Calvina Nguyen: Yeah. You can invite other people into your teams to collaborate, and then you can make notes on it, and then you can approve it in there. It makes collaboration so much easier, too. And then you mentioned about guidelines. Sometimes, having too many options is not a good thing. And you want consistency across your brand so that people know what to expect. And so it’s a really good thing to have these guidelines so that people don’t mess up your brand.

Another thing that I feel like branding is really important is that–the end result is that your readers will feel really seen while they’re reading your words. I feel like my whole entire goal in life is to help people get to that point where they feel seen. And so when you have the right branding, not only will the author feel seen, or you feel seen, but your reader will also feel seen at the same time. And that’s why building the brand identity is so important.

Like that sense of identity–where does your story come from? Where does your authority come from? Beyond words. And that’s the extra layer, right? I feel like words and images really work hand in hand. And depending on the book, right?

And that’s where Canva does come–is that it will help you pair anything. Whether it’s information–you can turn those into graphics or you can pair photos with your words, you can pair textures with your words. You can even find the right arrow–you can find hundreds of arrows, different styles. And that’s what it allows you to do–is to create all that.

Your brand identity is not just about you, but it’s about who you’re speaking to. Canva allows you to do so many of these things yourself. I can’t tell you how nice it is for me to hand over a design to my client, and then if they need to make changes to a date or a time, they can do it themselves. And that’s when something they can do.

[00:11:28] Carla King: As a starting point, where an author would have to start out creating their Brand Kit and designing their colors, there’s this great color wheel in there that shows what colors go together, right? And so for me, I do adventure travel. So my colors are road colors–black and road orange, yellow or overlanding, which is tan and army green and all of that. But I worked with a psychologist and that was purple and blue, relaxing colors. So researching your brand, researching the other authors like you. We always encourage authors to do comparable or competitive analysis with books and businesses to see what colors are popular, because that’s what readers expect to see, right? You don’t wanna be too different. Can we talk about just that color wheel and choosing colors, first of all?

[00:12:23] Calvina Nguyen: The only time I actually use the color wheel, honestly, is with choosing the accent color. I like to help my audience figure out their feel. And what is the feeling? What is the vibe? What is the energy that they want?

And I like to not totally look too literal into things. So I’m actually going to go counter to maybe some of the color wheel and psychology that you might be speaking of. And I might be going against a little bit of that.

[00:12:57] Carla King: Cool.

[00:12:57] Calvina Nguyen: Just because I’m coming from a marketing standpoint. And if you look at different brands, you will see that it’s okay to go against what other people are doing when it comes to the psychology of things. It really changes according to trend. And how different industries look at certain colors–different industries look at colors differently, and I don’t like to just say, ‘Hey, red is just for this use, or red indicates a certain thing,’ because things have just changed so much over time.

[00:13:35] Carla King: So how does an author go about choosing the right vibe, or how many colors that are allowed in their Brand Kit?

[00:13:44] Calvina Nguyen: I like to study and it is an exercise that I like to do, which is creating a lot of mood boards. I go through an analysis of your area of expertise, your industry, and what people are doing, and what kind of colors are being used.

And to be honest, you want something that differentiates you, but also would not be completely like, ‘What?’ Like a sore thumb kind of a thing. But more importantly, I like to go with feelings. And it’s more about your visual aesthetic. What is the visual aesthetic that you want to go with? And what is the visual aesthetic of your audience–who they are. And that’s why it’s so important for us to get very clear on who the audience is . Think about what they wear, how they decorate their homes. Imagine what they do when they’re not reading your book, when they’re not working. Because when it comes to branding, it is an aesthetic, right? It’s maybe a different side of the brain than when we’re working with words. So we have to think–what will appeal to them?

So I don’t love to follow rules. I like to make my own when it comes to my own aesthetic and then my unique audience and what that looks like. So doing a really deep dive into visually figuring out the pieces. Creating a mood board and figuring out how that intersects–that’s how I create the mood. And I always start with that first, before I even think color.

[00:15:14] Carla King: And so once you’ve created your colors, you apply them to your brand kit in Canva. And then say you want to create an Instagram post, a Facebook post, a LinkedIn post, and maybe a blog post header to go with something–to advertise something, a course or your book. Where do you start?

[00:15:39] Calvina Nguyen: So the first thing I start with is what I need to create, because that’ll determine the right template that I need to search.

So for instance, if you were to start with a blog post, then you would go and find a blog template. You would go to ‘blog post header,’ and then there would be some templates that come up. You would find the design that you, that you feel fits you. And then, if you’d want to turn that into an Instagram post, all you’d have to do is click the resize button, and then do a search for ‘Instagram post.’ You might have to resize the image a little bit, or you might need to resize the text, because it’s probably shrunken down and you need to make it bigger, and so you just need to center it correctly now into the new context.

And the cool thing is Canva just came out–and this is one of their newer things and it’s exciting, but I forgot what it’s called–you can literally have Canva create all of the things at the same time. You can input something, and then it’ll just spit out all of the things, it’s pretty cool.

[00:16:44] Carla King: We looked this up after the program, and it’s under the social media area and it’s called Quick Create. And it does create all of your social media assets across channels with one design. It’s pretty great.

[00:17:02] Calvina Nguyen: It’s amazing–from that one thing you create, you can create hundreds more just by changing the color. It can change your image, you can add in other things. And from a design perspective, any design, really, is made up of colors, text, and maybe sometimes a photo. And some graphical elements. Sometimes there’s shapes and lines, right? And then, so that’s. It.

So when you are able to create a Brand Kit that tells you exactly what are the shapes that you normally use. What kinds of line styles do you normally use? Is it a squiggly line, or is it just a really straight line? Do you use triangles a lot or do you use squares and circles? And then you have, say, a limited number of colors you can use, and then pictures of you, pictures of the things that you talk about in your book. And if you just have a set amount of those things you just quickly swap it out.

And that means you start with one template, and you can literally create hundreds more with that one thing. And you don’t need to put in the mental work down the line.

[00:18:09] Carla King: And a lot of authors–we struggle with lead magnets. And infographics are a great way to start with lead magnets, and so are eBooks.

[00:18:18] Calvina Nguyen: So lead magnets. And again, I just begin and look for templates within that.

And a lot of them have multiple pages already created–like the cover page. And so like for eBooks, for instance–or eworkbooks–like workbooks, that would compliment your book, you can actually create that. And all you have to do is just switch out the colors, the image and then change out your text.

And then when it comes to the infographics, I feel like that part–Canva has actually gotten even more advanced, where you can actually plug in data and they can actually create a graph for you.

So you can select something and then they can actually create a graph that is, say, the numbers that you have plugged in. And then if you change the colors and it just, it sits right in there for you. But even if you’re not talking about those types of graphs and info, there’s just so many different types of graphics –when you do a search in their elements–to come up with so many different things and they actually have a specific section on infographics that you can tweak and create. It’s just really limitless when it comes to that.

And then when it comes to book covers, you just find the style–the look–that really feel resonates with you, and then you just go in and you change the words and you change the little things. I don’t like to overcomplicate things, so always start knowing what you need from each of those things.

I actually. Teach people to look for, again, function and layout first. Because it’s so easy to change colors. It’s so easy to change fonts. You can change your font by clicking ‘Change the font’ to the font you want, and there’s a button at the bottom that says, ‘Change all’. So the entire book will just automatically switch over to.

[00:20:11] Carla King: I’m looking at one, it’s called ‘Checklist Lead Magnet,’ and it’s a ebook with a checklist inside that you can change.

[00:20:19] Calvina Nguyen: And that’s exactly what you’re saying is–if you’re looking for a checklist, look at the ones that says ‘Checklist,’ because you have less to change, and then if you’re looking for, say, instructions–like, one step two, step three type of a workbook–then you can go in and then find the ones that say, ‘There are five steps to something,’ and then most likely the interior will be laid out according to that.

I like to look at how I like the information laid out. ybbA531!ecause it’s just so much easier to change the fonts and the colors.

[00:20:57] Carla King: You can even make magnets that you send out or give out at shows, for instance, et cetera. So it’s not just for books.

[00:21:03] Calvina Nguyen: Yes, absolutely.  It’s not just for social media. And if you want to get way more advanced, you can even edit videos in there. Now there’s a huge library of audio and video. Again, because these are royalty–I wouldn’t say royalty free. You can use them when you have your membership to Canva. And so all of that is included, which I think is a steal.

[00:21:33] Carla King:   It’s a steal. And I’ve even started to create presentations inside Canva as well. Because it’s just easier, and they have so many beautiful shapes and graphics.So it makes it easier for me to explain things. And they have beautiful templates as well.

[00:21:50] Calvina Nguyen: And that’s what it is. It’s like, there’s everything that you need for your business. And I do think that’s what differentiates Canva from other creative tools–is that Canva is made for the small business, and for non-designers that need to promote what they’re doing. And that includes authors.

And because there are docs in there. So docs now include Magic, which is ai. And that’s huge. There is, like you said, the presentations. And then I also go over the Whiteboard, which I use a lot now for brainstorming. So I can map out my ideas, I can map out–a lot of times I’m creating a marketing strategy, and I can map out my entire marketing strategy within the Whiteboard just to see what I’m thinking. And I can share that with my team. And that’s really great. So it’s not just made for design. It’s made for promotions.

[00:22:46] Carla King: I’m looking at this mind mapping. Mind mapping looks new. I did not know they had this. I actually have a whole other app for that.

[00:22:56] Calvina Nguyen: Yeah, me too. Nice. I used to. I used to, and now I’m using it a lot more in here just so I can keep it all in one place.

[00:23:02] Carla King: It’s doing everything. And you just mentioned the AI writer, which came out in 2023–earlier this year. I played with the image generation, which I wasn’t satisfied at all with, but the AI writer seems pretty good. How can you create social media posts and other things using that AI writer?

[00:23:24] Calvina Nguyen: Oh, I am so excited to talk about this. So my favorite way to use this–so I did talk about, say, a social media post. Say you need to put words on a post. And you can click on that, and then you can actually have it, rewrite it for you.

[00:23:45] Carla King: So I just put my draft idea, ‘Hey, I’m talking with Calvina about Canva for authors.’ And it will put it in marketing speak–more friendly, more attractive.

[00:23:57] Calvina Nguyen: Yep. It can rewrite it. So there are so many different things you can do. It can summarize everything you sent. So say you put in our entire transcript in here, and you said, ‘Summarize this’

[00:24:08] Carla King: No way!

[00:24:09] Calvina Nguyen: Yes. It can summarize it for you. And then you can actually ask it to expand it, which means it’ll expand it into bullet points for you.

One of my favorite ways to use it for, say, a social post is hooks, right? You need to write, say, a header. And you need to grab attention. And sometimes you are just running out of creative juices to write another version of it. And then you can have it rewrite your header. You can have it write it five times, and then you can then select which one sounds the best. And then, honestly, I like to put it all out there. So you can always post it multiple times and see which one your audience likes better.

[00:24:48] Carla King: I’ve been using ChatGPT to say, ‘Create a title for this,’ because I’m terrible at titles– ‘To create an attention grabbing title that attracts nonfiction authors for this conversation with Calvina,’ right? That kind of thing. And it does a much better job than I do myself.

[00:25:07] Calvina Nguyen: Yes. The nice thing about Canva is that it’s right there in your social post, and you don’t have to go to ChatGPT to do that. It’ll just do that for you. And it just changes it. So that saves a step. And it’s different. I use both too. I use ChatGPT as well, and I use Canva. And the AI engine is slightly different, and it’s probably a little bit more limited than ChatGPT, but at the same time, it’s just what you need for, say, a post. And just what you need for the docs.

[00:25:41] Carla King: Exactly. Okay I hope we’ve convinced authors to take a look and create their Brand Kit and use the features. It’s great to have your advice as a graphic specialist, because my taste isn’t always really the taste of my audience. Personal taste is a tough thing to overcome if it doesn’t match your audience. What do you do about that?

[00:26:09] Calvina Nguyen: You hit the nail on the importance of your branding–is that it’s not just about you. It’s not just about getting your ideas across, getting your taste across, your style, across. It’s needing to also appeal to your audience.

And that’s the big difference between art and design, right? Art is about expression. I studied both actually. So art is about expression, design is about problem solving. And so when it comes to your branding, you’re problem solving for your audience, so you need to get into their minds to know what they’re looking for.

That means it’s very important for us to understand our audience. Like to the tee so that we’re delivering exactly what they want to see. And that’s what your brand is about. So it’s a conversion of who you are and who they are. And that magic middle is where you’re going to be hitting them right there in the heart.

And your words are the information you want to deliver. Your visuals will be what will really quickly attract their attention right away to one, elevate your authority to immediately show off who you are and to make an impression because that is everything. Imagine meeting somebody–before they even open their mouths, your brain has processed what they’re wearing, how they’re carrying themselves, and this is just human nature. It’s not because we’re shallow or we’re judgy or anything like that. It’s just how our brains are made. We are made to process 90% with our eyes, and with the visuals.

And then once we’ve gotten past that, then people start reading. People start really listening to the words you have to say. So that’s why it’s so important, I think, and that’s my passion behind why I do branding.

[00:28:00] Carla King: And then, I just have to ask you this one last question before finding out what’s coming up for you–is that trying to find out who our audience is, or who we want to attract, and trying to get them to find you, is very interesting.

When I was in my thirties, I was a motorcycle journalist and writing books about that. And I thought my audience were women my age. Solo motorcycle travel. I found out that my audience was men over 50. And this was back a ways, and we didn’t have things like Canva.

And I’m like, ‘How can I reach more women my age? How can I research that and figure out how to attract them?’ Is it colors, is it fonts? I know, like in romance novels you have all the curly fonts, and everybody who reads romance novels knows that a curly font equals romance novel, right? But that’s always tough for me. I want to reach an audience that I don’t have. How do I deal with that?

[00:29:10] Calvina Nguyen: Yeah. I think it is a process of study. I almost feel like it’s a therapeutic process to really–you’ve got to give yourself the space to open up. You’ve got to get deep in the, ‘Who is it that I am?’ And be honest about that. And, ‘What exactly is my energy? And how do I convey that energy?’

[00:29:34] Carla King: And I think, looking back, I know that the women my age–they had kids in school. I am childless by choice. So maybe I should have been trying to reach childless by choice women my age, instead of the women who were busy getting their kids through grammar school, or high school, or something.

[00:29:53] Calvina Nguyen: Your story is so funny.

[00:29:56] Carla King: Because men over 50 have the time and resources to take motorcycle trips and travel, and they’re interested in that.

So anyway, that’s just as aside. We don’t have to even publish this, though it might be interesting. I’m just hoping that Canva will help me with that. I don’t know. Maybe the AI can say, ‘Create a post that appeals to millennials, or boomers, or Gen Z,’ or something like that. If they’re using the ChatGPT engine.

[00:30:30] Calvina Nguyen: I think you hit the nail when you said it’s the men over 50 had the time to read your content, whereas the women were busy. And so I feel like that’s marketing right there. It’s understanding when they’re looking at things and delivering at when, and how–at the right time.

And so I think that it’s not necessarily for you that you had it wrong. I do think that you want to reach women your age. But it was just like, you needed to get to where they are, at the time that they are, and then connect with them. And then you said social media wasn’t the thing back then, and so it’s the timing. So I feel like marketing is just–it’s timing and delivering the right message at the right time in the right way, and then in the right aesthetic. And then you’ve got something. And I feel like it’s way easier to do it now.

[00:31:29] Carla King: We have all these tools. We’ve been talking about AI now. I think this is the fifth podcast interview where we’ve talked about AI. It is not insignificant. It’s being baked into all of these tools, and it can help you with targeting your audience. And it can help you attract the right people and create the right brand with all the tools that are there.

So thank you for helping us understand it. So you have the flash course–Canva for authors–with the Nonfiction Authors Association. It’s about how to develop book covers, graphics, and marketing assets. What about that and what else do you do? Where can we find you? What’s coming up for you?

[00:32:15] Calvina Nguyen: You can find me at and also @yourbrandspark on social media. Pretty much everywhere. I’m on TikTok a lot and I’m on Instagram as @yourbrandspark as well. And I love to interact with my clients there. I make a lot of videos–little mini videos–about branding and design and my speciality is–I like to make things easier, right? I’m a photographer, but let me help you, and inspire you to make it with your phone, and just right there so you can create content easily. And use Canva so that you can practice your eye and make good design. What is good design? And that’s the stuff that I like to talk about in my content on a regular basis.

And then about two to three times a year I launch my own program–it’s called Branding in a Week. So you can go to And that is, in one week, diving deep and. It’s the exercise in  just creating that mental space within a week. And it’s pretty intensive. I dig deep, I help you know, everyone, all my students, to dig deep into who they are, who their audience is, and then connecting those pieces to build out everything they need in their brand kit.

And then it’s like net follows through with three months worth of support where we build out, ‘let’s design your website together. Let’s design all your social medias together’. And then and they’ll bring it in and then we, I support them in critiques and guidance and all of that. I love that because I like to get deep, because design is so easy for design to just be so surface. And with something as easy as Canva where you can just click and go, sometimes we forget to get deep and connect truly to the heart or to the depth of the story of who we are and who our audience is. And so I like to make sure we always continue to dive into our deeper story.

[00:34:10] Carla King: Oh, that sounds awesome. Maybe we’ll have to get you to do that for nonfiction authors. Stay tuned.

[00:34:16] Calvina Nguyen: Love that.

[00:34:16] Carla King: Great. Thank you so much for being with us.

[00:34:20] Calvina Nguyen: Oh, I loved it. Thank you so much, Carla, for inviting me here.

[00:34:23] Carla King: It’s been enlightening. Thank you. And thank you to everyone who’s listening. And remember, keep writing and publishing. The world needs your experience and expertise.

Quotes from our guest

“I feel like my whole entire goal in life is to help people get to that point where they feel seen. And so when you have the right branding, not only will the author feels seen, or you feel seen, but your reader will also feel seen at the same time. And that’s why building the brand identity is so important.”

“What is the visual aesthetic that you want to go with? And what is the visual aesthetic of your audience–who they are. And that’s why it’s so important for us to get very clear on who the audience is . Think about what they wear, how they decorate their homes. Imagine what they do when they’re not reading your book, when they’re not working. Because when it comes to branding, it is an aesthetic, right? It’s maybe a different side of the brain than when we’re working with words. So we have to think–what will appeal to them?”

“…It’s very important for us to understand our audience. Like to the tee so that we’re delivering exactly what they want to see. And that’s what your brand is about. So it’s a conversion of who you are and who they are. And that magic middle is where you’re going to be hitting them right there in the heart.”