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How to Create Stunning Infographics in 30 Minutes or Less

How to Create Stunning Infographics in 30 Minutes or Less

From word clouds to network data visualizations, infographics have become a primary format for content in a relatively short period of time. Although the ‘infographic’ is nothing new, its proliferation and evolution has been nothing short of exponential in the past few years.

Whether you love them or hate them, the rising popularity of infographics can’t be denied.

If you want to get a message across, whether it is for your business, blog, or book club, using an infographic can be the best way to do it. If you’re incapable of drawing a recognizable human stick figure, let alone an entire data visualization, you may be agonizing over the disturbing fact that infographics are all the rage.

It just so happens that there are many people out there who want to deliver a message using an infographic who do not have any artistic skills. It’s lucky for us that tools and resources have popped up all over the place to help even the most hopeless of us (like me) create beautiful infographics.

I’m going to show you how to do it in thirty minutes or less.

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Rules of Engagement

Before we get into the nitty-gritty, there are some basic rules you need to follow when creating infographics. At least you need to follow them when creating infographics people will want to actually read.

Just because you’ve put together a picture with words and numbers doesn’t make it an infographic, certainly not an effective infographic. Before starting, make sure you have the following rules in mind:

  • Make a point: Don’t just slap useless numbers on a chart. Your infographic needs to have a clear and strong beginning, middle, and an end. It must read like a story, not like an excerpt from a trivia book.
  • Don’t waffle: If you find a juicy piece of data that fascinates you but isn’t relevant to your message, please refrain from including it in your infographic. Go marvel over it in private and don’t take your readers off on a tangent. Stick to the point and make it simple.
  • Check yourself before you wreck yourself: For the love of all that is good in the world, do not go to randomguysblog[dot]wordpress[dot]com and assume that all information there is fact. Get your information from credible sources and cite them at the bottom of your infographic.
  • Brand it: Make sure it’s clear that you or your organization created the infographic.
  • Make it sharable: Whether you include tweetables, a Pin It button, Facebook share, or whatever your social network of choice is, make sure that people can spread the word about your new stunning infographic. Don’t forget to also include embed code so people can put your infographic on their own website.

Creating Your Infographic

Since this is an article about infographic creation, it seemed appropriate that I should include an infographic. I’m going to create this infographic using the steps outlined below

Step 1: Research

It’s called an infographic for a reason. You have to include some useful information. Without it, your infographic becomes art. Worse, it becomes very bad art. So, do your homework and do it well. You may be able to skip this part if you’re a true expert in your topic, but even then, it’s good to do your homework. It’s important to do this part first, since the data you decide on displaying will determine what kind of infographic you need to create.

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Step 2: Choose a Template

    I use Piktochart to create all of my infographics.

    Out of all the tools I’ve used, Piktochart is by far the best when it comes to a combination of flexibility, options, and overall ease of use. The trick is to pick a template that will do a good job of representing your data without you having to modify or customize it too much. This is where your research from step one comes in. Use it to decide what kind of layout will best suit your data.

    Piktochart offers a wealth of templates, so you won’t have a problem. You can sign up for a free account or paid account. If you plan on creating infographics more than a few times and you want to do it without spending hundreds of dollars on a graphic designer or losing your mind, I suggest investing in the paid account.

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    Here’s a snapshot (on the right) of just a few templates I can choose from in my Piktochart account.

    Step 3: Insert Data & Customize (30 minutes)

    Take all the data you gathered from step one and put it into the template. Although we’ve basically eliminated the need to consider the design of your infographic, it’s still important that you can present the data in an organized and sensible way. Use arrows to help information flow and make it scannable as you would a blog post.

    Step 4: Reveal Your Infographic to the World

    Here’s the infographic I made in 32 minutes as a demonstration for this article. After doing the research, it was just a matter of organizing my data and inserting it. I had to do only a little customization since I picked a template that suited my data well.

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    If you are willing to spend a bit more time, you could make your infographic longer and more in-depth!

     

      Add this infographic to your site: 

      <img src=’https://cdn.lifehack.org/wp-content/files/2012/11/LifeHackInfographic.png’ alt=”How to Create Stunning Infographics in 30 Minutes or Less”>

      <a href=’http://www.lifehack.org’ title=”Create An Infographic”>Lifehack.org</a>

      Featured photo credit:  Downwards shot of woman employee via Shutterstock

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      Last Updated on July 22, 2019

      10 Killer Cover Letter Tips to Nail Every Interview Opportunity

      10 Killer Cover Letter Tips to Nail Every Interview Opportunity

      A cover letter is an introduction to what will be found in the resume. In a cover letter, the applicant is able to use a conversational tone, to explain why the attached resume is worth reviewing, why the applicant is qualified, and to express that it’s the best application the reader will see for the open position.

      Employers do read your cover letter, so consider the cover letter an elevator pitch. The cover letter is the overview of your professional experience. The information in the body presents the key qualifications, the things that matter. The cover letter is the “here is what will be found in my presentation”, which is the resume in this case.

      Something really important to point out- a cover letter should be written from scratch each time. Great cover letters are the ones that express why the applicant is the best for the specific job being applied to. Using a general cover letter will not lead to great results.

      This doesn’t mean that your cover letter should repeat your most valuable qualifications, it just means that you don’t want to recycle a templated, general letter, not specific to the position being applied to.

      Here’re 10 cover letter tips to nail every interview.

      1. Take a few minutes to learn about the company so that you use an appropriate tone

      Like people, every company has its own culture and tone. Doing a bit of research to learn what that is will be extremely beneficial. For instance, a technology start-up has a different culture and tone than a law firm. Using the same tone for both would be a mistake.

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      2. Don’t use generic cover letter terms — be specific to each company and position

      Hiring managers and recruiters can easily identify generic cover letters. They read cover letters and resumes almost every day. Using words and terms like: “your company” instead of naming the actual company, and “your website” instead of “in your about us section on www.abc123.com”, are mistakes. Be as specific as possible, it’s worth the additional few minutes.

      3. Address the reader directly if you can

      It is an outdated practice to use “To Whom it May Concern” if you know the person that will be reviewing your documents. You may wonder how you’ll know this information; this is where attention to detail and/or a bit of research comes into play.

      For example, if you are applying for a job using LinkedIn, many times, the job poster is listed within the job post. This is the person reading your documents when you “apply now”. Addressing that person directly will be much more effective than using a generic term.

      4. Don’t repeat the information found in the resume

      A resume is an action-based document. When presenting information in a resume, the tone isn’t conversational but leading with action instead, for example: “Analyze sales levels and trends, and initiate action as necessary to ensure attainment of sales objectives”.

      In a cover letter, you have the opportunity to deliver your elevator pitch: “I have positively impacted business development and growth initiatives, having combined two regions into one and achieving 17% in compound growth over the following three-year period”.

      Never use your resume qualifications summary as a paragraph in your resume. This would be repeating information. Keep in mind that your cover letter is the introduction to your resume- the elevator pitch- this is your opportunity to show more personality.

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      5. Tell the company what you can do for them

      As mentioned above, this is your chance to explain to the company why you are the best person for the open position. This is where you tell the company what you can do for them: “If hired as the next (job title) with (company name), I will cultivate important partnerships that will enhance operations while boosting revenue.”

      Many times, we want to take the reader through the journey of our life. It is important to remember that the reader needs to know why you are the best person for the job. Lead with that.

      6. Showcase the skills and qualifications specific to the position

      A lot of people are Jack’s and Jill’s of all trades. This can be a great big picture, but not great to showcase in a cover letter or resume.

      Going back to what was mentioned before, cover letters and resumes are scanned through ATS. Being as specific as possible to the position being applied to is important.

      If you are applying for a coding position, it may not be important to mention your job in high school as a dog walker. Sticking to the exact job being applied to is the most effective way to write your cover letter.

      7. Numbers are important — show proof

      It always helps to show proof when stating facts: “I have a reputation for delivering top-level performance and supporting growth so that businesses can thrive; established industry relationships that generated double digit increase in branch revenues”.

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      8. Use testimonials and letters of recommendations

      A cover letter is a great place to add testimonials and information from your letter of recommendations. Mirroring the example above, here is a good way to use that information:

      I have a history of consistently meeting and exceeding metrics: “(Name) rose through the company and became a Subject Matter Expert, steadily providing exceptional quality of work.”- Team Manager.

      9. Find the balance between highlighting your achievements and bragging

      There is fine line between telling someone about your achievements and bragging. My advice is to always use facts first, and support that with an achievement related to the fact, as shown in the examples above.

      You don’t want to have a cover letter with nothing but bullet points of what you have achieved. I can’t stress this enough — cover letters are your elevator pitch, the introduction to your resume.

      10. Check your length — you want to provide no more than an introduction

      The general rule for most positions is one page in length. Positions such as professors and doctors will require more in length (and they actually use CV’s); however, for most positions, one page is sufficient. Remember, the cover letter is an introduction and elevator pitch. Follow the logic below to get you started:

      Start with: “I am ready to deliver impeccable results as (name of company) next (Position Title).

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      What you know and like about the company, what initiatives, missions, goals resonate with you: “I read/listened to an interview that your Chief of Staff did on www.abc123.com. His/her statement regarding important up and coming employee engagement initiatives really resonated with me”.

      Overview of your qualifications and experience: “I have a strong background in developing, monitoring, and controlling annual processes and operational plans related to community relations and social initiatives”.

      Highlight/ Back up your facts with achievements: “I’m a vision-driven leader, with a proven history of innovation and mentorship; I led an initiative that reduced homelessness in four counties and received recognition from the local Homeless Network and the County Commissioner”.

      Close with what will you do for the company: “As your next (job title), I am focused on hitting the ground running as a transformational leader who is driven by challenge, undeterred by obstacles, and committed to the growth of (name of company).

      Bonus Advice

      When applying for a job online or in person, a resume and a cover letter are standard submissions. At least 98% of the time, both your resume and cover letter and scanned via ATS (applicant tracking systems). You can learn more about that process here.

      The information provided in a cover letter should be written and organized to be compatible with these scans, so that it can make to a human; from there, you want to make sure that you capture the recruiter and/or hiring managers attention.

      More About Nailing Your Dream Job

      Featured photo credit: Kaleidico via unsplash.com

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