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What Software Do You Use to Create Visual Models?

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What Software Do You Use to Create Visual Models?

I love seeing people create their signature systems; extracting the tangled spaghetti mess of decades of experience and knowledge and distilling it into elegant, easy to understand visual models.

One common question I get asked is “What software do you use to create visual models?” There are two answers to this, a long answer and a short answer. Now, because I want you to create the best possible models you can, I’m going to give you the long answer. Because, honestly, the graphic design is the last step and really, a minor detail in the scheme of things.

Extracting the information well.

It’s not enough to spend 10 minutes doodling and mocking something up in a graphic design program. You need to make sure you’re extracting your information correctly and using the right models for the right scenario.

There are four different key types of models which I wrote about in my previous Smallville article, The 4 key models you need in your coaching practice, and they each serve a different purpose inside your signature system.

So, you need to take time extracting that information correctly, ensuring you’ve got the key models you need and the right information to go in them.

Is this your skill set?

We like to think we can do just about everything in our businesses; from accounting to content creation. But the truth is, we don’t excel at everything we try to DIY. When creating models, it is the extraction process and the thinking behind each model that requires a huge amount of skill.

I’ve been doing this stuff for 18 plus years, and I’m still making new distinctions on how to do it better every week. So, focus on getting the thinking behind your models right and putting all your time and energy into that; not tinkering around in a graphic design program.

Also, just like you wouldn’t fix a broken engine in your car unless you’re a mechanic, I highly recommend you work with someone who is an expert in this area to ensure the highest quality outcome. After all, your models become the basis for your whole business (if done correctly) and therefore they should be of a high standard.

Outsourcing the design.

If creating graphics is not inside your zone of genius, I strongly believe that you should outsource it. The learning curve on the software you need to use is massive. Probably 50 plus hours. Ask yourself, “What’s your hourly rate?” Then times that by 50. Is it really worth trying to do it yourself?

If you’re not trained in creating graphics, clearly, you’re better off paying someone to do it for you while you focus on what you do best.

The software that you can use.

Okay, now I will answer the question because I believe in doing that! So, here you are, and it’s not glamorous! You could use something like Adobe Illustrator. I have used Adobe Fireworks for as long as I can remember. However, that is now a discontinued product, and I am transitioning and testing the software I use.

I’m currently playing with Boxy SVG and Gravit Designer. Neither is as good as Adobe Fireworks. So, I’m not really settled on the software I use, and I’m hesitating to get into Adobe Illustrator as I’m feeling unimpressed by Adobe’s decision to discontinue my favourite product! So, there you have it, that’s the long answer to the question, “What software do I use to create visual models?”

Visual models are an excellent way to distil your years of knowledge and experience into simple, easy to use diagrams. They form your signature system and therefore the entire basis of your business. It is worth investing in doing them well.

What are your thoughts? Do you think this is something you could DIY to a high standard? Have you tried and succeeded? What about tried and failed? I’d love to know. Let’s chat in the comments below.

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