Design

User Story: Democratizing Graphic Design with Johanna Morley and Piktochart [video]

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Piktochart User Story Profile - Johanna Morley

“For us, Piktochart has meant that we can actually compete on a level that we wouldn’t be able to do it. In the past you had to have a big budget… It has almost democratized graphic design so that anyone can do it.”

Just in time for the upcoming Mother’s Day, we present you with an inspiring story of our PiktoSuperMom – Johanna. We had a great pleasure of meeting her in Sydney this April and are proud to feature her in our first Piktochart video user story below!

3 years ago, Johanna Morley was sitting in a hotel room with her 6 month baby, bored out of her mind, while her husband was working in the mines. Most people would’ve turned on the TV, put on Netflix and started watching the final season of Breaking Bad. But Johanna isn’t most people: ‘For some strange reason I taught myself how to code. It all started from there.’

When she says ‘all’, she is referring to Aussie Mom Network, one of Australia’s largest websites for moms. In it, you can find amazing, unique information about weddings, cooking, gardening, photography, horoscopes, profiles, decluttering your life, beauty, parenting and much more. Johanna describes it as ‘a place for where moms can rely to and find anything they are after’.

Why did Aussie Mum start?

Johanna started in the public service in 1999, in a call center, and moved her way up to a management position. She was happy, but constantly feeling frustration in her role: ‘I wanted to do all those things, but I had to wait some many people to sign off. Nothing moves fast and is frustrating. This is what I like with Aussie Mum. I can go and make the decision myself’.

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6 months ago, Johanna would’ve said that she started Aussie Mum Network to get it to a point where it is very well known and make a lot of money, but now, she realized it’s more about the actual journey: ‘I’m loving what I’m doing’.

What a day to day looks like at Aussie Mum Network

Johanna lives in Blue Mountains, and although they have a virtual office in Sydney, she usually works from her dining table. Her day to day is never the same: she might go to a screening, do a bridal shoot, research ideas of great recipes that are easy to make within a budget for the cooking section, write horoscopes, or plan out gardening tips. Most of her day is spent creating unique, valuable content but she also needs to answer emails and get back to people who have inquiries, following bloggers and establishing relationships.

It can be really easy to get caught in the day to day stuff (responding emails, answering phone calls, creating recipes)’ says Johanna. Sometimes, she wishes she’d be better at the actual business side of it – business strategy, establishing goals so they don’t lose sight of things, or financial planning.

The real challenge and beating obstacles

Our biggest issue as a business is acquisition and getting people into our website, as it’s a ridiculously crowded market. We have a lot of competitors in our field and everyone is competing with headlines to get people into their site, even Buzzfeed’.

Buzzfeed is a news and entertainment website that was founded in 2008 and has raised $93.5M to date. Competing with them can’t be easy, so Johanna’s team started focusing on their core demographic: moms in Australia from 25 to 49.

‘Out of the challenge of competing with bigger websites and creating headlines and visual material for our core audience, we surprisingly started growing into other demographics’.

‘It all started because of horoscopes. I’ve been doing it for family and friends since I was 12, but I never knew they were so massive in India. At one point, we got over 1 million hits in one week and entered India’s top 28,000 sites. That started a chain  reaction that got us into the top 100,000 sites in the UK and brought us a huge influx of visitors’.

How Aussie Mum uses Piktochart

‘I’m creative in certain ways, but it’s limited. I’m great at photography, and I love brides, so that intersected perfectly. But graphic design? No idea. That is something we used to struggle in the beginning,’ retells Johanna. That’s how they bumped into Piktochart.

At first, they started out just knowing that they really needed content to be far more graphic. Now, they use Piktochart for just about anything. Even for their website redesign: ‘on our new website we’ll use it even more because we know we need more visuals. It actually helped us design our website.’

Piktochart played it’s own part in the ‘horoscope viral effect’. The initial logo of the Horoscope Series was created by a graphic designer. Aussie Mum Network started with monthly releases but they quickly realized that they needed the other 3 too: daily, weekly and yearly. ‘We thought ‘oh we need to go back’, but that would’ve costed thousands of dollars. That’s when we realized we could use Piktochart to change the wording. It saved us a lot of money’.

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Apart from horoscopes, Aussie Mum Network uses Piktochart for all design related tasks. A great example is their social media updates and tips: ‘we take a graphic, put it into Piktochart and put a tip on top of it. Shares went up a lot more’. For instance, our most shared post was The Origins of Drinking Tea, a simple infographic telling the story of tea.

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We used a combination, we took the base of a template, and took some content, and then used Piktochart elements and built around that content. People loved it.

Aussie Mum Network is really excited about Piktochart: ‘it makes my life easier for it makes it easy for our team. Much easier. So many things an organization like ours really need to be competitive that we can’t afford’. Johanna came into the media game with no experience and while her competitors have graphic designers and resources, they are on a tight budget.

‘That’s why, for us, Piktochart has meant that we can actually compete on a level that we wouldn’t be able to do before’, and she is right. In the past, businesses that wanted to have really good media campaigns needed to have a big budget or know someone who could help them. ‘It’s almost democratized graphic design so that anyone can do it. We couldn’t have grown or succeeded without having something like Piktochart’.

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