Looking to either start a printables business or expand the business you already have? Here are some tips for creating printables to sell. Even if you are a seasoned entrepreneur, you may find some nuggets here to improve your listings.
Brainstorm Ideas for Printables
1. Start by brainstorming ideas. What kind of printables would people want to buy? And, what do you enjoy creating?
If you are thinking about creating a wedding planner for example, look at other wedding planners to see what pages are included, how many pages, what are the sizes offered, etc. Not to copy others, but to gain inspiration.
What are the popular colors right now? Perhaps you want to include other sizes such as A4, A5 or even 8 x 10 inch or 6 x 9 inch in addition to the typical letter size.
And, if you don’t enjoy what you are doing, then find something you do enjoy. I believe that the joy in creating will be apparent in your final product.
Research Printables Online
2. Do your research. What are other printables that are being sold in your niche? What can you improve upon?
Check out other sellers. Products are being created on a regular basis. How can you fit in that niche and still stand out? What can you offer that is complementary but has your own unique talent?
We all have strengths and talents and even if we all create the same planner, they will all be different. Don’t get caught up in the mindset that everything has already been created and there is nothing new left.
Create Quality Printables
3. Create a high-quality product. This means using good design principles, high-resolution images, and attention to detail.
Use the tools that you have available to create the most beautiful product that you are able. I have found that the products I created when first starting in business are not the same quality as the products I create now.
“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” Maya Angelou
Check your spelling, make sure if you are providing images they are 300 d.p.i. PNG images. Use fonts that are easy to read, but not boring. If you are making a printable and provide a PowerPoint, provide the links to any fonts you used.
4. Make sure your printables are printer-friendly. Use standard paper sizes and avoid complex layouts that may not print correctly. Check the margins.
Test print anything you make that is meant to be printed. It may look great on the screen, but printing will show you if there are any alignment problems, font issues or sizing problems in the margin.
When I have created math materials, I print until I want to scream. The ink and paper wasted is so irritating but, I can count on one hand the number of customers over the years who have had a problem printing my resources.
5. Set prices that reflect the quality of your product. Don’t undercut yourself, but be reasonable with your prices too.
This is such a tough subject. And one that I struggle with constantly. My best advise is to check what is the average going rate for what you are selling. If every other seller offers a planner for $27 then think about keeping yours in the same range. To try and sell it for $57 would seem to be a bit much, as well as selling it for $7.00.
If you are selling on ETSY, the best suggestion is to do your research and then stay in the middle. Or perhaps use the research to add more value to your product and sell at the higher range.
6. Offer a variety of designs and templates to choose from. This will appeal to a wider range of people and give them more options.
Sell in different sizes and colors. This is easy to do if making a planner or journal, just change the color palette and offer different colors. I personally love jewel tones, but others prefer neutrals. Color is so subjective, so offer choices.
I also like florals, but many people prefer a clean, modern look. Being able to offer a variety of designs will increase sales.
7. Create attractive graphics that showcase your printables. These can be used on social media, your website, and other marketing materials.
I create all my sales graphics in Canva. I upload images, and then depending whether I am making a Pinterest pin, Instagram post or ETSY sales image, I use my templates. Using templates in Canva allow you to quickly create the images you need in the correct sizes.
ETSY Images are 2500 x 2000px
Instagram 1080 x 1080 px
Pinterest 1000 x 1500 px.
Facebook Posts 1200 x 630 px
8. Write persuasive copy to sell your printables. Describe what they are, why people need them, and how they can benefit from using them.
It is said that people buy based on emotion. You need to appeal to their need and not their logic. Color and design set the mood, so continue with that mood and suggest how lives are improved, changed, happier, etc. with your products.
Sales and Coupons
9. Offer discounts and coupons to encourage people to buy your printables. You can also run sales or promotions for special occasions.
Setting up a sale or a coupon on ETSY is easy to do. Try running a sale on specific products for a holiday and gauge the results to see how it works for you. It does increase traffic, but it may not increase sales substantially.
10. Provide excellent customer service. Respond to questions and concerns in a timely manner to build trust with your buyers.
All your hard work will be for nothing if you have poor or nonexistent customer service. I have to bite my tongue on a regular basis when I get questions that have been answered in the description.
But not everyone reads a description before buying.
Adding a checklist or extended directions can be a great addition. One customer selling digital planners offers two small videos showing how to upload the product into Goodnotes/Notability. And another quick video shows how to use those digital stickers, add Washi tape and customize the look of the cover.
12. Get creative with how you market your printables. Think outside the box and come up with unique ways to promote your products.
Try a Facebook live, an Instagram story or Tic Tok. I have never paid for an ad to sell my products, this is just a personal choice. But that doesn’t mean that I would not consider it in the future.
Join with other sellers and do an Instagram contest where potential customers visit all the shops to be eligible for an entry for a gift card. Each seller can contribute a gift card or coupon for their store.
13. Keep track of your sales and analytics. This information can help you fine-tune your marketing strategy and improve your overall business.
Pinterest has analytics that tell you different demographics. You can see who has clicked your pins. Consider doing an A/B testing. Trying different images when you promote products and see which ones do best.
When a product doesn’t perform as expected, analyze what could have been better. Ask for suggestions from a community to see ho you can improve.
Selling printables is a lucrative business but like every business there is more to being successful that just offering a product for sale. You need to consider all the aspects of selling: creation, marketing, sales, service, delivery. You may find these other blog posts helpful when designing: Making Money with Printables and Finding Color Inspirations for Color Palettes
If you have any questions, drop a comment or email me at email@example.com. I would love to hear about how you are marketing your products.