Melanie Perkins: How to Increase Your Social Media Presence

May 1 - Sarah Ashlock


Growing up, my family always seemed to have a yearly calendar that either came from our realtor or the Chinese food restaurant a few miles away. It was positioned right next to the landline phone. Convenient, right? While I have some digital calendars on the cloud or whatever, I also have a glossy paper calendar in the kitchen, right by where a landline would be. (Old habits die hard). What’s one thing you do like that? What would surprise people to know?


One of the things I’ve noticed about the millennial generation, is that even though we know and use tech, we still want to learn how to embroider or ferment vegetables or write in a journal. So, you might be baffled to hear that in 2018, it was reported that four billion people around the world use the Internet. Many of us use the Internet to add value to those face-to-face conversations or hobbies we have.

WOMAN TO WATCH: Melanie Perkins, Co-founder & CEO of Canva

These days, it seems everyone’s life path is different. Few people head straight into college so they can secure a lifelong job at the only company they’ll ever work for. When Melanie Perkins dropped out of college in her hometown of Australia to move to California, I’m sure it came as a surprise to older generations. But Melanie knew what she was doing.

Now, this millennial owns a billion-dollar company. It’s called Canva, and if it sounds familiar, you’re not alone. (We use it right here at On The Dot!) Let’s explore how Canva came to be and how Melanie’s gut instincts were right.

Back in 2007, Melanie and her co-founder took out a loan to start a company called Fusion Books, which is now the biggest yearbook seller in Australia. Melanie learned a lot about building a business, selling and recruiting through this venture. It wasn’t long until she realized that the future of publishing would be tech-focused. So, she and her co-founder connected with a former Google dude, and Canva was born.

Canva is an online platform that helps regular people design anything their heart desires, from quotes to share on social media, to greeting cards to calendars. The idea came about when Melanie was learning to design software at school. A simple task would take a dozen or more steps to complete.

Now, with a few clicks, you can be an insta-designer around the world, in nearly 50 languages. It took three years before Melanie and her co-founders secured funding. Looking on the bright side, though, Melanie feels fortunate for that time. Going from investor to investor over the course of a few years helps you define your pitch, develop your voice.

Melanie says during her funding search, she noticed Silicon Valley has a very different vibe than Australia. Back home, people would be humble when talking about their accomplishments. In the California tech hub, though, people talked up their achievements. Melanie learned to be verbalize (heck, even boast about) what she’s done and what she will do.


Another woman who has accomplished much, Hillary Clinton, said:

"Take criticism seriously, but not personally. If there is truth or merit in the criticism, try to learn from it. Otherwise, let it roll right off you."

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