[Disclosure: this post may contain affiliate links, this means I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links. This is at no cost to you. Please read my disclosure information for more details.]
Printables are all the rage right now as one of the most profitable online businesses. Planners, trackers, binders and more are flying off the Etsy shelves. So we know it is a viable business that has an opportunity, but how do you get noticed from everyone else in the marketplace?
Here are a few tips on what to do to outshine your competition.
Research your competition
You should already be doing keyword research to figure out what are the most popular printables to sell. But there are some tools like Marmalead, that help you figure out things faster.
Data that can make a difference will be: who are your competitors, what printables are the bestseller, at what price point are they selling their printables, are they adding bonuses or extras to their offer, are their products seasonal or can it be sold all year round.
Solve a specific problem in your own way
Do you think out of the box and know how to change things up? Are you able to find different solutions to the same age old problems that might spark interest in users?
Find new alternatives to your customers’ solutions. Innovative solutions will set you apart from your competitors and give your customers new ways to solve their problems.
An example could be how now marketing strategies are using tripwire offers in their sales funnels, making sure a reader becomes a customer right away, therefore more willing to buy other products from the seller.
Do a deep dive on your niche
Go deep and research your niche. If you are in the health>losing weight niche you can specialize in printables for new moms that want to get rid of that excess pregnancy fat fast. It’s basically niching down and you should not be afraid to do it. While generic printables for health are a great idea, you might strike a cord with new moms that need help.
Create an USP – Unique Selling Proposition
Your product needs to shine so that you are chosen from the many. Make sure your documents are properly formatted and there are instructions on how to properly print/use the product you are offering.
Making the best product possible is one of the key elements to success in this type of online business.
Once your product is the best it can be, you can add bonuses to it so that you give more value to your customers, creating a unique selling proposition. This will give you an edge in your business.
Provide excellent customer service – Hug your Customers
There is this great book about going above and beyond the call of duty to help your customers (Hug your Customers by Jack Mitchell). The result is that the more you help them the more business they will send your way.
It’s easy to think that because you are selling a simple digital product like a printable, you can set it and forget it (One of the passive income myths I discuss in my article””). But you are interacting with people that needed help with a product and you delivered. Some customers will need extra help, while others will never bother you at all. Make sure to stand out by providing the best customer service you can.
Do not be afraid to be bold
Are your designs whimsical, with bold colors and new concepts? Make those things show in your designs. You probably have a target customer and know what color palettes they like for their printables but you could do a whole series of products with your bold statements that might blow your customers minds away.
I always buy things in neutral colors, but sometimes am attracted to beautiful, bold colors that brighten my day and decide to get those printables as well.
Be responsible for your mistakes and fix them
If a customer brings up a mistake in your printable, make sure you address the problem and solve it as soon as possible. Don’t make the customer feel like they are inadequate in using the product. Our first reaction is to be defensive but when building a business you need to arm yourself with a lot of patience and understanding.
Perhaps the customer is used to PDF files for their printables and you offered a JPG instead. Learn from that and from now offer PDF’s or both file alternatives.
Offer a guarantee
Rule of thumb with digital products is “No Refunds” because of the type of file. Once the customer has downloaded the file and has it in their possession there’s no taking it back.
This can be tricky, but your products should be high quality and easy to use.
It’s best to try it with products like courses, where you can remove access to the contents if they ask for a refund.
Visibility and credibility
This is where content marketing comes into play. You’ll be growing your audience by helping them through a content channel like a blog or a YouTube channel. There you’ll give helpful advice (for free) that will help users get to know you and your expertise in printables.
How to guides are common or plan with me videos, where you show users how to plan their month with your digital planner.
The more you interact with your audience, the more they get to know you and become a warm audience or even superfans that buy everything you offer.
Embrace social responsibility
The way we do business and treat our customers is a large part of what type of success we will have. Making sure your business is ethical and sensitive to social, cultural, economic and environmental issues.
Being socially responsible is important because you’ll cultivate positive brand recognition, increase customer loyalty and find better quality employees. It sounds very evil plan when you look at it that way, but think of it as good Karma begetting good Karma.
Create a memorable experience
This goes hand in hand with hugging your customers and fixing your mistakes. You want to take your customer by the hand and guide them through using your products so that their experience is good enough that they want to come back for more.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve bought a product only to have to search for the download button and not have any instructions included in the package.
Make things easy for your customer and be on hand to help. I know this online business might be a side hustle, but when you do get to answer their inquires, make sure its in a polite tone and do everything you can to help them.
A lot of people ask if this or that market niche is saturated. The truth is, they all are to some extent. So you need to constantly be looking for that edge that will help you stand out.I understand that making products is hard enough, but at your core you are a creator, which means your brain is full of ideas!