Making Money In Your Free Time: Quality Freebies
Last time we talked about how to use Canva to make great banners for your TpT store. Today we are going to talk about adding a high quality freebie to your store and why it is sooooo important to the success of your store.
For a freebie you want to make sure you are giving away one of your highest quality products.
One of Your Best Products:
One of the first things people usually ask me is: Why would I give away one of my best products? I could be making money off of this one. That's easy! Think of this from the buyers perspective. As a buyer, if you go to a TpT store and they are giving away somethings absolutely amazing what would you think?
If you are like me, you would probably think "Wow! If this is the freebie, how awesome are the paid products going to be?!?!!"
That is exactly what you want people to think about your products!!!! If that is what they are thinking, you did a great job selecting a freebie!!!
If you can get someone to download a freebie and they love it, they are statistically much more likely to take a chance on you and buy a paid product from your store.
If you can get them to buy just one time (even just a $1 item), they are much more likely to come back and buy again... and again... and again. They are also more likely to tell their friends about you and/or share your products on social media (free advertising!)
The Featured Free Download in your TpT store can literally make or break your store. It is their first look at your work.
Don't Shoot Yourself In Your Foot:
Warning: Don't shoot yourself in the foot by having an amazing freebie and horrible low quality products for sale. Your for sale product should be equal to or better in value than your amazing freebie.
If your paid products aren't as good or better than your freebie you will get horrible reviews that could potentially kill your TpT ratings and future sales! Choose wisely and always make sure your descriptions are spot on.
Put Yourself In Your Buyer's Shoes:
Choosing your freebie doesn't have to be hard. Put yourself in the shoes of your buyers. Do you have something fabulous in your store that your buyers will want to try before they buy?
For me, one of my biggest sellers (an more expensive products) are my Preschool Curriculum packs. I carry a years supply of preschool curriculum sold in individual pieces, weekly bundles or in trimester mega packs. (If you are in the market for Preschool Curriculum check them out Here) Right now I sell the individual pieces for varying amounts, but most run $1-$3 per piece. To save people money and help them with planning, I also sell weekly packets that include the lesson plans on how and when to use each piece and additional ideas. I sell these weekly plans for $9.50 per week (currently on sale for $8.00 per week). For those that want to save even more I offer a huge discount to them if they buy them in trimester mega pack bundles... but those bundles range from $45 to $70 each. I don't know about you, but as a buyer I wouldn't risk buying something that cost $45-$70 without seeing an example first.
Asking someone to risk their hard earned money on you requires quit a bit of trust up front. In order to gain this trust I offer them one of the weekly lesson plan packs for free. My goal is for them to see that what I offer is high quality and going to save them a ton of time in the long run. I want them to see that my product is totally worth a couple bucks a day and I want to offer them a chance to save even bigger if they do decide to trust me and buy one of the brand new mega packs for $45-$70.
It is better in the long run for me to forfeit the $9.50 now and hope that they will love it enough to buy the $45, $50 and $70 mega bundles in the long run. For them to make that risk they will need to trust me and see some of my work first.
What to Choose:
With that being said, I choose my A is for Apples themed unit as my freebie. A TON of preschool teachers teach an apple theme during the year. Rather they buy from me or not, this is something they can use in the future. Since my items are branded (we will talk about this in a future post) anyone that sees that teacher using my product will see my logo and web address. Meaning that even if that teacher never buys a single thing from me, they are still advertising for me by simply using the product. My main goal is still to provide high quality, easy to use curriculum and resources to teachers and home schooling parents. I have received a TON of great feedback on this Apple product from people that are blown away I would give this away for free. A huge number of them come back and buy other units. Some buy the whole curriculum set, others just buy a few weeks to use as enrichment with what they are already teaching. Either way it translates into more sales and/or free advertising in the long run.
You want people to fall in love with your products by providing them with an accurate snapshot of what your products are like before they ever spend a penny on you.
Choose a product that represents you, your style and the quality of your work. Make it your freebie. Keep it up to date and check it every once in a while to see if there is anything you can update to make it even better. I have updated my A is for Apples Themed Lesson Plan pack many many many times over the past few years. As my products get better, so does my freebie.
You can choose to change your freebie at any time, but I have found that the A is for Apples theme has served me well for years! Since I do a lot of marketing on Pinterest I want to make sure that every time someone clicks on that Pinterest link they always get the freebie they think they are getting.
I haven't tested it, but I would assume that if I ever made it a paid product I would have a lot of angry new people coming to my store looking for a freebie only to find that it cost money now. I don't want anyone to be angry or disappointed when they enter my store. I don't plan to ever do that to them. If I ever change my featured freebie, I will still leave my A is for Apple theme free for anyone that follows the links I have out there.
Featured Free Download:
After you decide what product best represents your work you will need to set it up as your Featured Free Download in your TeachersPayTeachers Store. The following directions are assuming that the product is already uploaded into your store. If it is a new product and you need help uploading it, please see the precious post about uploading products.
Free Downloads appear at the top of your Stores Screen:
Remember, this is probably what people will judge your whole store by, so make it a good one.
To add/update your Featured Free Download you will want to click the dropdown arrow next to your name at the top of the screen.
Then "My Product Listings" in the menu. It will take you a screen that shows all of your products and some basic information on them. If you already have a lot of items in your store, you might want to use the 'Sort' option and sort by 'Price (low to high) to see all the freebies currently in your store.
Now that you can see all your freebies, Just click 'Quick Edit' under the title of the freebie that you want to feature.
Let's pretend like I want to change my primary freebie to this Highlighter Gift Tag. All I would have to do is click the box that says "Primary Free Item" to make the Featured Free Download at the top of my store. Please note that this option only appears on products that are free. A paid product will only have the option for "Active" and "Featured". If you have a paid product that you would like to change to a free featured product you can change it to free by clicking the dropdown next to the word "Free" as pictured below and make it say "yes".
Side note: You can also feature four other products that can be paid or free by clicking the "Featured" box. Those four items will then be pinned to the top of your store like this:
I choose to include my A is for Apples Theme as one of "My Featured Items" as well. People are more likely to see it if it is featured in two places in your store and the "Free Download" box at the top of the screen doesn't show a thumbnail image so people are likely to miss it.
Once you click the "Primary Free Item" box just click the green "update" button and your store should update for you. It's pretty easy to do.
TpT does require that you offer something for free as this featured free download at all times. They let you choose what it is that you feature, but they require something to be selected at all times. If I remember right, they asked you to choose a freebie when you signed up for your store so you should have something already listed there. Depending on what you choose that first day, you may or may not want to update it now.
This Weekends Homework:
1. Decide what product you will give away that best represents your stores quality and best loved products.
2. Upload your freebie.
3. Make this new freebie your featured free download following the steps above.
4. Market your freebie by pinning it on Pinterest.