Hi, I’m Mim! I’m a planning-obsessed, Award-Winning Online Business Owner, Author and 5-Star Planner Sticker Seller.
I help new sticker makers create planner stickers from scratch that stand out and sell … even if you’ve never made a sticker before!

TPP #51 – Becoming a Top Etsy Printables Seller with Sasha Hutchison

Welcome to Episode #51 of The Planner Podcast.

Ooh I know you’re going get so many actionable printables-selling steps from this awesome interview with Sasha Hutchison!

Sasha is a top 1% seller over at Your Frugal Friend on Etsy. She creates products that help sellers, just like you, make more money and more sales.

She loves being a mom, running her businesses, and helping people thrive in their own small businesses.

LEARN MORE FROM SASHA:

(affiliate links)

Got questions? Send me a DM! https://www.instagram.com/mimjenkinson/

Make and sell printables in the E-Printables course from Gold City Ventures
Make and sell printables in the E-Printables course from Gold City Ventures

CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE E-PRINTABLES COURSE

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Transcript

Hi, this is Mim Jenkinson and you’re listening to The Planner Podcast.

Hi hi lovely! I chatted to Sasha Hutchinson who is a top 1% printables seller on Etsyon Etsy. Sasha is a top 1% seller at Your Frugal Friend and she creates products that help sellers just like you make more money and make more sales as well. So she loves being a mshe runs her own business and she loves helping people thrive in their own small businesses and we chatted about so many things in this packed interview.

In fact, I couldn’t show up. I can’t. We both joked about how chatty we are, so I think you’re going to get a lot out of this. Everything from how Sasha went from being an accountant, working 50 hours a week all the way through to starting her own Etsy shop and sailing and soaring to 8, 000 a month. Just completely mind blowing.

She’s selling some really amazing products that really help people, very much focused on solutions. And Sasha has plenty of ideas how you can do the same thing as well. So let’s dive into the episode right now. Hi, Sasha. I’m so excited that you have joined me today. So just for anyone watching and listening, we have been talking for a good 30 minutes before this, but I’m sorry.

I did press record so we could actually share everything that Sasha was saying with you all. So first of all, why don’t you introduce yourself? Tell us all about you and what you do and who you help. Okay. My name is Sasha. I’m also known as your frugal friend. I have an Etsy shop. I’m a top 1% seller on Etsy at your Frugal friend.etsy.com.

I’m an Etsy coach. I am a content creator for others in the, in the digital products world. I focus mainly on digital products like printables, digital planners. Canva templates, stuff like that. I also have a course on how to make fillable PDFs for your printable products. And it’s also fillable PDFs with calculations.

So you can do calculated fields on your printable products to increase the value of them. And that is a. That was something I did to differentiate myself in August of 2019 when I first started my principal’s journey on Etsy, was to make fillable PDFs because I saw that no one was really doing it. I started in the budgeting niche and with calculated fills, I taught myself how to do calculated fills and, There’s no information on that on the internet.

I looked for months. And so I created a course on how to do this over the course of a weekend. So you’re not like me and spinning your wells for four months, 20 hours a week, trying to figure out how to do fillable PDFs. And you can do fillable PDFs for any product. I have a menu planner in my course that you can do.

I take you through the progression of creating a fillable PDF. Basic one to calculate fields on a more complex product. And a lot of people in the, like fill a PS are so big right now, especially in the game, printable niche. Cause people like to make customizable games for bridal showers, baby showers, wedding parties, family get togethers, family reunions, anything.

And so it’s crazy. I feel like I got into it at a really good time. It was. People are just starting to do it now. If you even want to compete in some niches, like the, you know, cleaning niche on Etsy or something with printables, all the people on the first page have a fillable or editable PDF. Yeah, I’ve noticed that.

I’ve noticed, and I think it is so important that if we’re going to dive into this Etsy journey, we do find a way to differentiate ourselves. And I can’t wait to dive into all this with you because I know that you, when you started your business in this world of printables. You haven’t been doing this forever.

You had a whole different career that has helped you, I think has really helped you come into this with a really different mindset, especially putting yourself into the shoes of customers. So tell us a bit more about what you did prior to this and how it links with you starting your shop. Okay, well, I’ll just tell you from the beginning, like, 18, 18 year old Sasha moved to San Francisco, California to be a musician.

I am a drummer. I play keyboards and play guitar. I play every instrument. And so I decided because, I couldn’t afford college. My parents didn’t pay for it. So what am I going to do? I want to get out of here. From Texas in the United States, and I went to San Francisco, and I was a musician until I could get student loans in my own name at 24 years old, and I always wanted to be an accountant, and I don’t know why, because my grandfather was a business owner.

He owned a paving company in Central Texas. And he was a self made millionaire and so he was able to, he was, you know, he came from salt of the earth family, they, you know, they had, they rode on horses to school, super just poor, growing all your own food, raising all your own cattle. They, they lived on a ranch.

My family ranch is still in Texas, my mom still lives there. It’s incorporated in 1863 during the Cowboys days. And so, I didn’t know this, but my grandpa. After my grandfather passed away, I found his World War II manual because he was in World War II. He was in Japan and he served as an accountant.

So I don’t know, it’s in my blood. So then when I was 24 years old, I decided to go to college back in Texas and I put myself through school, worked full time as an accountant. I worked like 50 hours a week while I went to school full time as a day job, as a, like a Went all the way through, got my master’s degree, put myself through school as a grind, seven years of school every single semester.

Then I was a corporate accountant in the private sector for 12, 15 years until the pandemic. And I, I mean, I have certifications in accounting, I was, I was like a director of finance for software companies, global software, I did global corporate taxes. But then the pandemic hit. Yeah. And I got laid off because I was a mid, mid level manager for a software company.

And I was like, wow, I, my kids school shut down. Couldn’t legally operate. I have a four year old and a six year old. They’re really little time, like four and two. And I’m like, oh my God, I guess this Etsy side hustle needs to become a business. So then I, I decided to focus on my Etsy side hustle. While we traveled, we bought a, my husband is an engineer, so he works remotely for his company and we bought an RV, we travel across the US.

last year and I did printables, scaled up my business, spent time with my kids on mountain ranges, trying to keep them alive. And I have turned, I mean, last year I turned my Etsy shop into a full time business. I make full time income on my Etsy shop. And then I decided to make a course on fillable PDFs because I really enjoy Helping others.

I do Etsy coaching too. And I, I’ve been told, you know, like, Oh, you should charge a lot more for your Etsy coaching, but I just like, want to help everyone. I want everyone to make money fast. Like I know how hard it is in the beginning to make a really awesome product that wows people. I’m an overachiever, obviously from my, from my story, I don’t think, but my husband’s like, Baby, you’re ridiculous.

You’re an overachiever, but I want to help people do it faster, easier, simple, give them all the tools they need to do it and just super fast. So that’s my passion is just creating content for people that helps them make money and just learn and have fun. And that’s what I love to do. And that’s, I love it.

So Etsy shop, isn’t it? I mean, my frugal friend certainly alludes to that, but it’s, it’s helping people with printables that are going to help them, I guess. Save money, make money, get money, like, yeah, all of my problems, yeah. Yeah, and when you were like with your sticker business, your goal is to create a product that solves the problem.

People want to have printable stickers in their planners to make it more fun to have more function, stuff like that. So all the printables I make are functional. So I want like For example, I wanted to do fillable PDFs because then I can sell that to someone who wants to use exclusively on the computer.

Maybe they don’t have access to a printer to print it out, then they can also just print it out and write onto it. And then also, you know, I wanted to, I, I make digital planners. And so I wanted to be able to take, cause you know, making a digital planner or any planner, printable, whatever, is very labor intensive.

So you want to try to. Sell that to as many people as you want, but those are different audiences, a printable buyer and a fillable PDF buyer and a digital planner buyer are potentially three different customers. But if you take your template that you created and turn into a fillable PDF, take that digital planner, turn into a printable, whatever you’re able to capture more sales, capture a bigger audience, cast a wider net.

So yeah. So clever. So I love where you went with your journey because. Anyone listening, you know, if you’ve watched my class or when we’ve spoken before about finding a niche and like you said, Sasha, solving someone’s problem, not just doing the same thing as everyone else when it comes to trying to set up an Etsy shop or a business selling something.

And the biggest question is, but how do I find my niche? look at what you’re already doing. Look at what’s already in your life. And I think that your example, Sasha, of how you’ve changed your, obviously it’s a passion for you so much as well as your experience, but you, you know, you’ve got the experience, the credentials, the qualifications and the passion, even if you only had one of those things and you had an idea of something that could really help to make someone’s life easier, help save them money, help Trent.

Like it’s not just about saving money. It’s what. That makes possible for them, isn’t it? And so I love, I love hearing your passion about what you do and who you’re helping. Now listen for anyone, cause I know what a fillable PDF is, but let’s pretend that someone listening has no idea and is like, I get a PDF, but what do you mean by fillable?

Can you just break down what fillable PDF means and how that trends translate to selling something like that? Okay. So a fillable PDF is a document. And it has fillable form fields on it. So I don’t know if you’ve ever, you know, this is something that people are really comfortable with now this concept, because yeah they’ll be like what is that I don’t understand, but you may have in your life, come across a fillable PDF and didn’t realize that that’s what it was it’s a fillable form.

And so your doctor’s office or you know your kids school might send you a form and say hey. Even if you, if you’re in America and you download a W 2, I mean, like a, yeah, like a W 9 or W 2 to fill out for your employer, you’ll get it and it’ll have fillable form fields. So it’s just a template, like a printable document with fillable fields.

put laid over the template. You add the fields on top of the document in the areas that you want to make fillable. Yeah. And yeah. And so that’s all it is. It’s, it’s a very simple concept and people are very comfortable with this. So you don’t have, when you create these products to sell, you don’t have to get a lot of buy in from the buyer because.

They’ve already had exposure to this. Adobe Reader is how they use it and fill it in. And they’re like, Oh, I know how to use that. That’s very simple. I’m comfortable with this idea. So like Canva templates, for example, I sell those too. But when I first started making printables, I was like, what’s Canva? So you have to assume that if you’re like, well, I’m thinking about making this, this.

this document, this template, maybe fillable or editable in Canva. Well, you might have to get a lot of buy in from that buyer because they might have never even heard of it. And they’re like, Oh, I don’t want to learn a new software. But if you present the same thing to people as they fillable PDF, they’re like, Oh, I know what that is.

I’m comfortable with that. I want to buy it now. And so that’s. Yeah. Yeah, that’s why I had a lot of passion about creating fillable videos because I was like, I know what this is. I use it every day in my business, like in my business life, as a mom for my kids school, I know what this is. The doctor sent it to me.

So I’m like, if I’m comfortable with this. And, you know, I’m not, I mean, it sounds crazy, but I’m not exactly the most tech savvy. And so if I know what this is, then I know that maybe my grandmother would know what it is. Cause she had to fill one out and didn’t get my test. Yeah. I remember I was in college.

It was like, write a letter to your grandmother, explaining how to, it was like a communications class, explaining how to use a cell phone. You’re like, That’s a good assignment, because it’s the same thing. So if you feel like you’re able to create a product that even your grandmother might have used and you’re like, Okay, this is something that a lot of people would feel comfortable using and so it’s an easy sell.

This is so good. And also I know having watched some of your YouTube videos, like you are so, you would assume that you were from a teaching background, because the way that you explain It isn’t in like any condescending way, like you speak it to your grandma, but it’s just that, you know, giving them every single step they need so that the journey of what they’re creating or what they’re doing or what they’re learning to use, it makes total sense.

And I think that that’s the best way that we learn anyway, and it’s the best way to coach and to train people who are all different levels, but thank you for clarifying. So I don’t know about you, but now when I open a PDS. Like if someone sends me a form or a notebook or whatever it is, and I can’t fill it in on the, like on the screen and I have to print it and scan it and email it back, that is just so frustrating.

And it’s like, it’s enraging now. Yeah. In that overly busy world. It’s like, are you serious? As if I’ve got that, I don’t know what 30 seconds it’s to like, print it off and sign it. Like really? Yeah. So even you, you’re familiar with it and you use it in your everyday life and you’ve gotten used to it.

You’ve grown comfortable with that technology. And now you. Expect it. And so, yes, it’s exactly how can we, everyone loves it, make people’s lives easier. And then, you know, thinking about the things to sell on Etsy, it isn’t just, like customers like us who want to be able to use things like planners.

Maybe it’s a planner that you wanna fill in on a, on your, computer rather than print it off. But it’s also for our businesses too. There are things that, there’s information that I want to give to my students, as you will with yours like, Things like workbooks where someone might want to print it off for sure.

So I’d give them that opportunity, but if they could fill it in instead, well, that’s going to make their lives so much easier. Yeah. Make them all fillable. You’ve not done a good job at that so far. Well, at the same time, you know, what if you want to transfer knowledge? So I have a babysitter planner and I don’t, I don’t necessarily always make everything I do fillable.

It just depends on how many, you know, like how I feel like the user is going to be using it. So a babysitter planner, I have horrible handwriting and it’s just, yeah. And so if I’m going to have information I’m sharing with someone else, like a babysitter planner with a caretaker of my children, yeah, I want them to be able to read this important information.

So yeah, like. If you’re trying to, if you’re creating a, a fillable PDF workbook for like your, your students or something, and you may pre fill fields to help them get started on a, maybe you’re doing like a email, like this is how to do an email marketing thing. I’m going to pre fill something to help you get started.

Then you fill the rest in and hand wrote that or something. Then they’d be like, Oh my God, is that a T, you know? So I feel like being able to have, you can use the fillable PDF stuff. And so and so many applications is endless like I have them on. I have a lunchbox notes and I also include a bonus fillable PDF template that’s blank, so that the mother or the parents can sit or whatever can write.

You know, I love you so much. Good luck on your homework, or your exam today. So it’s like you carrots, eat your carrots. Love mom. Yeah. It’s your parents love mom. Yeah. So, you know, like it’s, there’s so many random applications, like games. I have them on games now. It’s, it’s insane. I also have, so I sell business templates, like Canva templates.

But then I thought, well, what if people just don’t want to do it? They’re like, I’m terrified of Canva. I’ll take a product, like a receipt template. And I have a receipt template as a fillable PDF. And I have it as like a Canva template. So people can customize it, depending on. their comfort level with technology.

And that’s the whole reason I actually created, a budget with, calculated fields. It’s because a woman, I sell spreadsheets in my Etsy shop too. A woman had asked me if I had a PDF version of my paycheck budget, I had my spreadsheet one. And I was like, Oh, I don’t, but I shouldn’t make one. So I made one.

And then I made it with the calculated fields. Just, just because I was like, wow, this would have the power of spreadsheets in a print, in a, like a philippine document. Yeah, so someone who is once that same technology can have it and so that’s something I teach in the course too. And so, yeah, so you’re able to help people who are maybe.

They don’t have that comfort level with Excel, but they want to, they want to have that same, that same tool at their disposal. Yeah. And so I have like a carb counter module in there for people who wanna have the calculated fields for carb counting, do for calorie counting. You can do it. There’s, I have like a debt savings tracker, so people, it’ll auto, auto calculate their fields so they don’t have to sit there and go, you know, like my goal divided by 100 fields or whatever.

So it’s just, there’s so many applications. Yeah. And it’s just easy, I mean, But you have to know how to do it to do it and it’s, it’s like with anything I do course, I take courses on lots of things because. I want to shorten the knowledge curve. Like I just, I just want to know how to do this as fast as possible, apply it to my, my products and, and sell them.

And that’s, I know I feel that way. So that’s why I created a course to take people to that journey as quickly as possible and as efficiently as possible. I absolutely love this. And I love what you were saying about the Excel spreadsheet and how you can, you can still create a fillable PDF to do something that something else like.

Not even tech, but something that might still be scary to some like, how many people do we know that say, I hate spreadsheets now I can make the assumption that you love them and I love them. Other people just hate them and would not buy if you were to sell an Excel budget tracker or an Excel something.

It might not appeal to so many people because of using the word Excel or spreadsheet, but if you were to say, you know, fillable printable or editable printable or guide or give it a different name because it’s still doing the same job but it just isn’t in the same format that could fly off the shelves because now you’ve made it so much easier for them to get their head around how to use it and to actually use it too.

Yeah I saw a ton of weekly and monthly expense trackers like because I just say you know fillable, P D F, calculated fields, it’s done for you. And they’re like, wow, what’s that? And they buy it and they’re like, wow. It’s awesome because then what they can do, I have, I had, someone who, she bought a menu planner for me and she liked that it was a fillable p f so, ’cause she wanted to share it with her husband in their Google drive, through Lumen.

P D F is a, the Google Drive p d F user. So she shared it and he was able to open it and edit it and they could do it. And she wanted to do that with the fillable pdf. Budget with the calculations done to share their monthly finances. And so, you know, like, wow, I didn’t even think to market it that way, but people, yeah, they take it and use it how they want.

So, yeah, you’re helping, you’re helping people when you give them the same tools. Yes, snowball effect of got to start somewhere on Etsy or wherever you’re selling your things. And with things like printables and fillable printables, particularly, this is where you are learning to see what works to get feedback from your customers.

And then if you choose to, like you’re doing, then create a product that helps them even more or helps them do something that they didn’t think they could do. And then that’s going to just take in that feedback constantly. Like we’re never going to come out or not. Many of us are going to come out with the first perfect product.

First time that flies off the shelves that everyone’s buying that goes viral. But like, that’s awesome for anyone who can do that for sure. But even when we coming up with a good solution to a problem, we still need to. Give it a little bit of time or realize that it isn’t perfect now, but you’re going to keep on changing it if you need to.

And the more data you get from prospective customers, the more feedback you get, the more you can make changes to, you know, basically have it sell more in the future. So you have over 11, 000 sales on Etsy at your frugal friend, which is amazing. So I’d love for you to share a little bit more about how you got going from like your first products and how you got feedback and expanded your range to be able to get to that amount of sales.

Okay. So what I did is obviously I came from the world of personal finance and I’d already created, you know, like a savings tracker. I had created goal tracker to keep me in the mindset of finishing grad school. Cause you know, when you’re X amount of years into school, you burn out. And so I was just like, I got to get there.

So I’ve had a goal tracker and then I had my own personal finance spreadsheet and I had a debt tracker. So the first product I actually made I was a savings tracker because that’s a. easy printable to make with shapes, you can color them in, you put your goalie color them in as you get there. And then it’s easy to sell.

I actually, I have never taken that product down. I’ve never changed it. It’s the same one, the same product I ever, it’s like, oh, it’s a reminder. Like this is where I came from. And I sell that thing all the time. It’s crazy. And I’m like, that’s the worst product. I can’t believe it, but you never know. And so, so then I, I.

Created like 50 personal finance products, bundles, products, spreadsheets, a huge mega calculated filled bundle, all the things. And then I, I got to a point where I was selling so many of them. And I, I mean, I made like 8, 000 in January of, 2020, or something, 2020, 2021, what else, years, with the personal finance.

Yeah, right, but I couldn’t believe it, but you know, I had gone from like 3, 000 to 5, 000, it’s like November 3, December, 8, 000 in January, and then I’m down in February to like, you know, 1300 and then March 500 because you learn when you start selling on Etsy. In the beginning, the first three to six months, you’re just figuring out, you’re getting your product line going, your core product line.

I wanted to focus on a flagship product line, which was budgets and saving stuff. And so then the sales go down because the budgeting and personal finance season. It’s over. It’s evergreen, which means it sells year round in a way because people are dabbling in personal finance all year round, but people really care when those New Year’s resolutions come around like next year.

I’m going to be awesome with my money I care and tackle that debt but then I was like oh my god I want to make all the money year round, you know, so then. Yeah. So then you’re like, okay, I’ve, I’ve mastered how to do this fillable PDF thing. What are other applications? So then I made, I’m a mom. And so I make a whole bunch of chore charts.

I go into the, what I like to do is I like to create different product lines. So then I made a whole bunch of cleaning checklist, chore charts. All that stuff, because when you’re focusing on one product line, you can refine it as you go and make it better, make better listing images, just making everything better.

Then you’re like, I feel really good about this product line. I’m, I’m tired of it. I’m going to move on. So then, you know, then I went into making like scavenger hunts and games. And I also with those games, I create a template of fillable fields so people can create their own scavenger or add more clues, whatever they want to do.

So, and. And then, so then I just kept expanding because I was tackling based on keyword research, what is big each month of the year, like whether it be a holiday or a event. So, you know, like in for Etsy, typically a lot of sellers complain that the summer is the summer slump. We’re not making a lot of money.

Well, you can make money consistently if you’re targeting life events and evergreen things that sell you around and you know the seasons for things. So like people don’t think that bridesmaids and bridal showers and baby showers are really big in the summer because people get married in the summer mostly.

So then there’s an opportunity there to create customizable games for these life events. And so then, you know, if that’s going from May until, you know, the end of September, and then there’s back to school in August and September here in the United States, then you’re like, well, that’s a huge market that I can cater to by making a little product line for each one.

And that’s what I did to make myself consistent year round. And that was my strategy and it worked because, you know, and then. But that’s the thing is I had to get out of my comfort zone when I first started I really was like, it was scary getting out of the personal finance stuff because I knew that making, like, more graphically complex products because my, you know, basic charge black and white.

Yeah, when you get into something like digital planners digital stickers you know you’re doing mom stuff. Stuff with like reward bucks with more color. And then you’re doing lunchbox notes, little clip art. Yeah. You’re starting to get out of your comfort zone, but then you’re like, Oh, why didn’t I do this earlier?

This is so fun, you know? And then it’s just fun to dabble in everything. And so, yeah, that’s how I grew to, I’m almost at 12, 000. So I’ll, I’ll probably be there in a couple of days to do my own horn, but, yeah, but I’m just focusing on life events and, you know, for example, I did research recently.

And so that, you know, meet the teacher templates were really big this time last year, through, like Google trends. I saw that is doing research and I’m like, wow, I’m curious about this. I’m going to go do market research on Etsy. And these are templates can have a template selling for like. And then if you think about that customer, who is a teacher creating a little newsletter for their new students, they’re comfortable with Canva because schools use Canva all the time now.

So I was able to go, okay, I want to create something for this. I need to list it, but I made it, but you start to. You start to think about your own life. Like what am I, what am I doing in November? What am I, you know, is that so I’m people I know like football in America and then I do Thanksgiving. So, you know, you start to target these life events and you do the seasonal content stuff.

And even just, you think of evergreen stuff too, like stuff that sells you around. You might, the first like scavenger hunt I made. was a, a indoor scavenger hunt, no, it was an outdoor scavenger hunt. And I go, well, in Texas where I’m from, it’s a hundred degrees in the summer. I want an indoor scavenger hunt.

And I sell that product year round all the time, the indoor and the outdoor. And so then. You then you make it more seasonal or holiday specific, like. And it’s just getting, so you’re not having those dips. You’re probably still getting, you know, bigger months in the year when particular seasons, like the personal finance ones take off, but then you’ve got that base level consistency.

And what Sasha is saying here is not let’s have a scattergun approach of just help everyone with everything. What you’ve done very carefully is get one niche and one set of printables or one product line, as you say, get it up and running and get it. You know, get it validated as in people are buying it and the feedback is good.

So getting that to a position where it’s working really well and it’s validated. And then when that’s running itself, because when you’re selling printables on Etsy, there’s very little that you have to do apart from some customer service stuff, you can let things go and they’ll sell themselves. And I love it.

Yeah, it’s so good. And then you’ve moved on to the next thing. And then when that’s up and running and then when that’s. Validated or you’ve decided not to do it anymore and you’ve moved on either way. Then you move on to the next one and the next one and the next one. And of course you, and you’re still making money.

Yeah. You’re still making money with the other one. So it’s like this, like waterfall effect of them. They’re still coming in and you add into it, and you could choose to keep adding product lines if you wanted, or you could choose to do. Just leave things as they are now and maybe you’ll make changes, maybe you won’t.

This is the beauty, isn’t it, of having an Etsy shop selling evergreen products that are available all year round and helpful all year round. Yeah, it’s fun. And you know, I have shop sections for each one and I just, I like, I have fun with it. So I, if I get, if I feel like I’m not having fun, like there was something I tried to do a lot, like two years ago, I saw the Instagram templates for Canva for like business owners or social media influencers were selling.

Yeah. And like I tried to do it, but I wasn’t, I wasn’t skilled enough with graphic design and Canva yet to really be successful. And it was. So awful. When it felt like a job, I was like, I’m out. Like, if this was like work, I’m not doing it. So then I actually was like, I’m going to try this again now. And I made a Instagram template that I make like 1, 000 a month on this one product now, because I felt like I was comfortable enough and had done enough work to where I was like, okay, I matured enough in my skill set to be able to do this.

And so. I like to just, you know, maybe I shelve an idea until I’m, I have more skills or I’ve developed my skills better. So, you know, it’s like if you start doing, if you start creating printables or whatever, and you get discouraged, just say, well, maybe you have to reframe it or, you know, just take it and So I’m not ready for this yet.

Let’s go do something else. And it’s not like you failed, you’re just pivoting for now. And then you might pick it back up later on and have a unicorn product and be like, wow, that was awesome. I can’t even tell you how many times that’s happened to me on Etsy and off Etsy where it’s been like, you know, that hasn’t worked for whatever reason, or it didn’t sell.

Maybe I thought it was going to be a bestseller and it just didn’t, or maybe I didn’t, I lost interest or lost focus or whatever it was. Stopped doing something and thought, Oh, was that time wasted? Or why isn’t something happening? And then months or even years later, you found another purpose for the thing.

And maybe it’s printables that you’ve created that you’ve now given a different spin on or use the template with something else or put in a bundle. So it’s a different an, a better value offer for a customer. And all of a sudden it’s taken off. And then you think, well, that’s why it happened.

Like nothing is ever wasted. No, no, never. And, you know, even if you, I have so many products I abandoned because I’m like, Oh, it’s just not the right time. I’m not, my mind’s not there yet. Or like, I like the other day I made a, a truth or dare product for kids for Halloween called truth or scare, because I was like, Oh, that is so cute for Halloween.

I just did it because it. Brought me joy. And I’m like, at least it’ll be in my shop. Maybe it’ll, I think it’ll sell. This is my first time doing this, but it didn’t take me that long. I had a lot of fun doing it. And so maybe it’ll be a bestseller next year. That happened to me this year, last year, I had made like father’s day coupon books and father’s day scavenger hunt.

And then I turned it into a mother’s day product, but for father’s day, the coupon book barely sold, but the scavenger home was like a huge hit. But then this year. The scavenger hunt sold probably one for every four of the coupon book that was sold. So, you know, you just, you just, once you create it, it’s in there, it might be different.

And then you like go, okay, well, wow, people are into this. So now I’m going to take this idea and make it even better or whatever. So yeah, it’s just, and it’s just, you’re developing your skillset always every day. You’re just improving. Yeah, I love it. It’s fun. And, and you’re very focused on customers and you’re very focused on testing and just releasing any attachment to every product I put out in my shop is going to be a bestseller is really important because otherwise what’s the point, you know, we can’t expect everything to be a bestseller from day one.

There’s a, there’s a, Amazing as that would be, but what we can expect from day one is data, like just gathering data. How many people have purchased this? How many people have even clicked to have a look at this? How many people have asked you questions? How many have given feedback? You know, have a hundred people got through to the listing and no one’s purchased?

Well, what is that telling me? Like, it’s just all data. And that’s, we don’t have that data unless like you say, you’re getting out of your comfort zone and putting a product out there and getting it listed to see what happens. Yeah, you have to be flexible in business and, you know, me as an accountant, you’re used to doing the same things every month.

It’s the same thing. Wash, rinse, repeat. You know, you’re opening the books, closing the books. And so you get really used to that routine. So when you start doing sales and you list it and then you’re looking on your app, is it selling? Is it selling? You know, you can’t do that. You have to move on to the next thing.

And like I’ve listed something and it’s sold that day and then I had something else that I made and it took three months and then it really started taking off and it became like a bestseller that month and I’m like, Oh, well, maybe it just wasn’t the season for that yet, but I’m glad I made it, you know, and maybe next year it’ll, it’ll be the third.

thing. Yeah. Of that year. And that’s happened to me and you know, something that’s huge one year and then the next year it doesn’t sell. And then I’m like, Hmm, maybe I’ll run a sell on it. And now it’s selling a ton. So you just really, it’s all about just experimentation and being flexible, not dying on the Hill of, Oh God, this was going to be a, now I’m just going to give up.

No, you just keep going. Yes. I could not agree more. I mean, there was so many things that I’ve, even when I think we’re talking about bundles of things before, when I think about the, The stickers and the printables and the different things that I’ve tried to sell individually over the years that have sold like a trickle here and there some of them or one or two or nothing at all or some have flown but others haven’t.

But then when I put them into a bundle or giving them a different name or just change one thing about them all of a sudden that’s been the catalyst to sales and I wouldn’t know that if I’d given up at the first hurdle you only wouldn’t know. Get to know what works when you experiment and be open to, like you say, those peaks and troughs of things changing seasonally.

So if I want a business that has, you know, consistent income every single month or year round, well, how can I think a bit differently? And you’ve said something else before as well, about looking at like aspects of your life, about how you can. Come up with product ideas and I’m forever walking around life saying, can I make a sticker for that?

Oh, yeah, I bet a sticker for that. Well, yeah, like recently I was, I was looking, I was somewhere and I just saw on the wall in like a really nice hand scripted font. It said like, no smoking, please. Maybe it was a hair salon or something. And I’m like, yeah, that’s a really nice sign. And I’m like, wow, people are making the, they’re using font as art.

And that’s something I just, in the last few months, I was like, I was like, I never really thought of font as art, you know? And so then I’m like, wow, people can make like. These wifi, simple wifi signs. And I saw on Etsy, like for Airbnbs, people are selling a wifi sign where the password and the username, they have fillable fields.

And I’m like, so they’re selling for 7 for the simple black and white U S letter size template. And I’m like, That’s the thing is you can apply, you can take, you could say, but I made a no smoking sign. No one liked it. Well, no one bought it. Well, what you’ve already made a sign. How can you make a more desirable sign by using, you know, font is art or making it with fillable PDF fields, whatever.

And then maybe you’ll have a bestseller based on you already having that experience. experience. Just, I walk around all the time and I do that. Yeah, I do the same thing. So many cute signs now in my, in my radar, like on my daily life. Yeah. Life of an Etsy shop owner, like you can’t unsee things. I just, they’re everywhere.

Now, God, going to Target is like, it’s just overwhelming at all.

They do have a very robust planner section with stickers. Oh my God. It’s so cute. I wanted to buy it all. And now the issue is that’s given me an idea of how I can do this. And this I’m like, no, no, let’s just know. There’s only so many hours in the day. There was an Aaron Condren shop in the same, like.

Like it was, I worked in a giant office and it, yeah, and it was in an office park and I would walk over on my lunch break to the Erin Condren Planner Shop to get ideas for printables. Yes, that’s a printable. They’re stickers. It’s just so good. It’s aesthetically so pleasing. I would just go sit in there and just like look around like, I’m so content.

This is like, this is like therapy for me, visual therapy. It’s like a spa for the eyes. It is just, yeah, just go into, a paper product shop. There’s so many, like, you know, scrapbooking is really bad. I create, yeah. Like I created last year, a vision, a vision board planner. So it was like a regular planner product was filled so you could fill in.

And then I was like, I, I saw that people were just buying like letters, cute letters and cute fonts and stuff and images. For their vision boards to print out. And so I just put that with my vision board printable. And I sell that thing all the time because I’ve married the idea of like, you know, the thing that you can put on your vision board and cut out with just a regular planner product that I do.

And yeah. Just all the time, just looking at stuff and manifestation, all that was, that’s been really big for the last couple of years. Yeah. All about the manifesting. This is so, oh my God, too many ideas now. Too many ideas. Tell me more about your course and tell me who is it for. So for someone coming into your fillable PDF course, and we are going to link to all, I’m going to link to Sasha’s Etsy shop and to the course below too.

But, and I’ll tell you what the right person, do they need to have already been. creating PDFs themselves or where are they, where are they and how can you help them with this? Well, in my course, I actually have a, a set of Canva templates that I’ve done for you. And they’re, they’re given to you for free with the course.

So you buy the course, and then I have a module in the course on, it’s like a quick overview of Canva. And so if you’ve never used Canva before, it’ll show you how to customize a PDA. Printable product, very basic information, and you can take it and then you go through my course through the basic first level of just what is a fillable filled, how do I do this, what does it mean, and then you learn how to make these documents over a weekend, and it goes through all the way to the advanced level and.

It can be for just someone who’s brand new. It could be for a blogger who wants to make their printables more desirable. I have a blogger who took my course and then she made, all of her products that she sells in her Shopify store fillable to be more desirable to her higher end clients that shop from her because it’s like the home to coordinate.

And so then she, then also I sell. My, my course to people in the digital planner niche, the people who have digital planner courses and even digital sticker courses have taken my course and they, they are like, I’m sitting on this mountain. Cause you know, you don’t really think of it that way. All this inventory.

Right. And you’re like, I have this digital hoard of inventory and I want to make it, I want to be able to not just sell these planners. Like at the beginning of the year, you know, people buying planners and focusing on the rest of the year. I want to be able to do more with this. So then maybe they’ll like, there was this woman I was coaching and she had this really great digital goal planner.

And she, is, is going to extrapolate this, one sheet, the smart goal sheet from there and make it into a fillable PDF. Because if you see, If you look in the goals niche, people buy those smart goals things, your ground, if you have an academic planner or something, that’s a digital planner, you can extrapolate that and create a Cornell notes, template based on your lecture note template or something you can.

If you’re in the game niche, you can take your games like I have in the course a module on how to make a customizable bingo card set so you’re given the templates already in Canva done for you, you bring them over, and you learn how to do the syllable fields so that people just enter in into the call card, what they want their call call card to be it could be for like Granny Jane’s 90th birthday party and it’ll be all on the call card.

It’ll be like special things about Granny Jane. Like she loves, the, the color violet and she likes to eat, she likes to eat honey with her, with her cornbread or something. And so, and then Yeah, she loves the smell of lavender. And so then she, then it’s, you put it in and then auto populates all the other cards.

And then so someone in the game niche can now have an entire line of customizable games. I mean, my course has been purchased by so many people from, from so many different, their business owners. They sell to business owners, their business owners who sell to consumers. There’s people who bought my course who saw like, sewn products on Etsy and they wanted to be able to make their own, fillable, like they make customizable tags for each of their sewn products.

So they wanted to be able to make it easier for themselves to do these. Thank you notes or whatever, and print it out or customize it for each of their products. people. So it has so many applications for a lot of, yeah, I’m hearing that this is going to be about my audience. For those of us who, for those of you who have never made a printable before, but just, Oh, wanting to start some a side hustle from home, like Something simple to start with that you can maybe expand upon in the future.

This course is going to be for you because you’re going to be able to use the pre made templates. You don’t need to start from scratch, make them into your own. If you want to learn with Sasha’s course, how to make them fillable coming from that customer user experience perspective, and then just start there to see, and literally follow a journey like Sasha’s to see where the journey goes in terms of, do I stick with this one printable?

Do I add more? Do I change it? Also for my. sticker students. For those of you listening who are already selling on Etsy, who have stickers selling or don’t have stickers selling yet, but you’re in the process of doing that, but you want to add like a complimentary product line of printable planners or trackers or templates, then fillable ones is definitely going to be a way to stand out from the crowd there.

So that would be great. And then bloggers who, like you say, have got I mean, for years I had, did you do this? I think we all did this, had a resource library on our blog where I did Build with pdfs for all of the things that people would just access for free, which is nothing, nothing wrong with that great list builder.

But maybe you’ve got them in your shop, on your blog, and you’ve had them there since 2015 and no one’s buying them or you get a trickle of sales every now and again. Well, use the inventory that you’ve already got, use those things that you’ve already got, make them fillable and then relist them and see what happens then, or list them on it.

See if you haven’t done already. Like there’s just, I think this is a great way to start where you’re at now. And it doesn’t matter where you’re at from the sounds of things, or maybe like you say, it’s somebody who is a business owner and a coach and wants to make fillable PDFs not to sell, but just to give their students or their mentees or whoever they’re with a better user experience of working with them.

So, Oh, lots of ideas. Yeah, I got it so endless like I coached someone who she had made positive affirmation cards for our audience, and she was selling them okay. But then she made ones with a bonus fillable PDF template selling like hotcakes now because she differentiated herself and she made it more customizable yeah people.

Buyers whoever people love to be able to customize something for their own needs and if you like me like you have bad handwriting or something and it’s just it’s just so valuable to be able to have a little more. Yeah, there’s people oh my gosh like someone who they sell daycare forms. They wanted to, to create daycare forms of syllable fields.

And so, yeah, so they’re now they’ve created a product that has so much more value for their buyers and they sell it at a higher price point than they even have a new, that’s a new potential product line. So yeah, like people, the digital planning space, it’s really great for them because they can use the templates that they maybe pre purchased to make a digital planner.

They take out the hyperlinks, download it as a PDF, center everything, download it as a PDF. Throw fillable fields on there. It’s an entirely new product catering to an entirely new customer. That may have been like, I don’t want a digital planner, but I love the aesthetic of this. So now it’s a new audience.

Yeah. That is so clever. And Kate, can you make, like greeting cards as well? Yeah, you can do anything. People do invitations. Well, so yeah, I did market research and I actually had seen that people were selling as like, because there’s so many ways to make editable products, right? You can use Cordial, you can use Template.

I never wanted to jump on the Cordial or Template bandwagon because you have to pay to have a subscription to that. And then when your person purchases it, You have to pay another fee. And then if you want to keep selling your products, you have to always have that, that subscription. So that’s the good thing about that.

Yeah. So like with making fillable PDFs, you could, I was cheap and I wanted to make products that I could. I could turn on the Adobe DC subscription for one month. It’s like 20 for a month. And then take all the, the printables I had, and I wanted to make fillable. And then I just make them fillable over that month and then turn off the subscription.

And I can always sell those products. I don’t have to have a cordial subscription or whatever. And so like you’re saying with. greeting cards or something, there’s a lot of projects that, products that go on Cordial. Like I wanted to make a surprise trip ticket and I wanted people to be able to use this to give as they like to use as a card, like surprise, congratulations on your graduation.

We bought you a trip to Cancun or something. Yeah. And so I made it with fillable fields and that was my bestseller. I think in the month of. May or June this year. I couldn’t believe how much money I made on this sample product by doing something that made people comfortable. And someone actually wrote a review for it and was like, this was amazing.

We used it for a wedding, for place settings for our wedding. And you took a picture of them all hung on some board. And I’m like, what’s like the way people, yeah. So it’s like. There’s so many ways that you can take any product, invitation, surprise trip ticket, greeting card, and then you can customize it.

Like I recently, created a handprint art craft bundle for keepsakes for Father’s Day. And I made a ton of money on that in the month of June. But then I was thinking, how could I make this more customizable? And so what you would do is you would just make like a handprint art craft, just a basic sample.

It’s so easy. Anyone can make it. And, then you could say two and then have a fillable field so that you could type in your child’s name or whatever, like from little Stevie or something. And then they can, you can print it out and then you can do the handprint. And I’m like, wow, there’s just so many ways that you can use this to make.

more customizable products or just make them more functional, more easy to read, whatever. It’s like, I literally have a list. Yeah, I have a list of 500 ideas. I mean, it’s, it’s endless. I really like the fact that you don’t have to use any, Fancy tech, any, you don’t have to use any paid tech at all from the sounds of it.

I mean, when I think about the printables that I first started creating years ago, even if you, I mean, obviously we can use Canva now, even if you don’t have the pro version, we can still be looking at making printables with free version within canvas terms. That’s for people to work out. But even in the most simplest form, I used to create them in like.

PowerPoint, because I was really comfortable with using PowerPoint and then just converting it to a PDF or even Word, you know, like Microsoft Word and then converting it to a PDF, like that you can create a PDF out of so many different things. You don’t have to have any fancy, like use, use your skill level.

If you don’t already own Adobe, don’t use it unless you want to invest in it, use a free software, use something that you already are comfortable with while you’re getting started. Yeah, yeah. And so when, when, people do my course, they actually sent it for a free seven day membership of Adobe, DC, because you get it for seven days.

And then after that, you can shut it off and then you can make, you know, a thousand printables to make fillable, turn it on for a month for 20, make all your things fillable. And I love, yeah. And so, but I make my printable products in Canva. I did it in Canva free forever. I have Canva pro now because professionally I needed to upgrade, but I mean, I’m so cheap.

I literally didn’t invest in any pay technology until I hit 500 cells on Etsy. And that’s when I decided to pay for one month of Adobe DC for 20, whatever, and get E Rank basic. And so, It’s so, it’s just so cost effective to make fillable PSA. You don’t have to sign up for cordial and spend 29 a month to have these more sophisticated products that sell for a higher value on Etsy.

It’s just, I’m so cheap. And so I wanted to do, I wanted to make this to where it’s your frugal. Yes, to a fault. My husband calls me cheap. I guess there’s a difference. Not to me. But that’s where I started

my sticker business, I had to like, I remember clawing together the money to get my cutting machine. I couldn’t afford anything else at that point. I started with the cheapest. 60 printer that I could find. I still have got that printer now. It’s still doing an amazing job. Like you don’t actually have to spend a fortune on all of these things.

And so why would you, obviously, like you’re saying with camera pro, like there was definitely some awesome things about camera pro that even taking away the design elements, just make your life easier as a business person for sure. But yeah, start where you are. Don’t, don’t try and get to the end goal, like immediately when you’re in your business or when you’re adding a new line to it, I’m completely with you on that.

Yeah, I did everything for free. I mean, I would sign up for a seven day trial of Adobe DC after I had all my printables made and then I turn it off and then I would sign up for another free trial of Adobe DC with a different email address. All right, so it’s just getting ridiculous. You need to just use it for a month and then turn it off and yeah, but that’s the thing is I, I.

Did it for free till I made 500 sales and then I invested in one month of it for 20, turned it off because I didn’t need it for that time and then sold the products I turned into fillable PDFs, make 1, 000 on that in the next month or two, when in the beginning I wasn’t making But I mean, when I started to really focus on the fillable PSU and from making like 150 as a side hustle to making full time income, you know, 1000, 2000, 3, 000 a month, it just started to grow.

And so you’re like, Whoa, I’m going to buy that and have them because then, you know, when you have a subscription, you can use it whenever you want. And you’re scaling your business at that point. But in the beginning, yeah, I was like, okay, I’m going to. Do this in a little micro doses of using this technology that might need to spend 20 on for one month and it was, it was so worth it to do.

And you said before about that month where you had like 8, 000 sales. Well, Being able to invest that 20 for that month was probably a huge catalyst in getting to that point. And so, and it’s just so very worth it, you know? So 8, 000 in sales every month isn’t going to come to everyone overnight, but this just shows how one idea from a principle snowballed into another, into another, into refining one, into changing one, into tweaking things, bundling things.

And now this is where you are. And I just have loved hearing about your journey so, so much. Thank you. Yeah, it’s been fun. I enjoy it. And I’m happy to share my wealth of knowledge with others. It makes me happy. You can tell, you can just tell you’ve got so much passion for it. And I’m going to link everything in the show notes, but you can check out Sasha’s amazing cause on fillable, creating fillable PDFs, and you can go to minjenkinson.

com slash. Sasha S A S H A, and I will also link to your Etsy shop. That’s my partner link, by the way. And we’re also linked to your Etsy shop. And, we’re both talking about how we’re not massively active on socials, but I’ll, I’ll link all of your links so people can come and check you out. I know they’re going to be like, what’s she selling?

I need to get onto Sasha’s Etsy shop and check everything out. And they’re going to be sorry. I don’t hide anything. I’m an open book. Is there anything that you want to share today that we haven’t covered? Well, I’m, developing a new course on how to make a video to promote your digital products. So once you have some amazing digital products created, I’ll have that course probably launched.

And then once you get through the world of fillable PDFs and you’re a little bit more down the path, you might be like, I want to do some video to promote this stuff because I personally. Like I said, I’m cheap to a fault, but I don’t pay for any marketing. I don’t pay for any ads. I use all the free ways that I can, I mean, all the stuff in my course is like free tools to use to make video.

And so, I’ve used video too. It’s like, I took the fillable PDFs and then I was like, Hmm, how can I really show the value of this? I made a video of me demoing the fillable PDF. That’s in my Etsy listing images. You can see that when you go to my Etsy shop. And it really wows people and people ask me all the time, all the time, they’ll write me emails personally through Etsy messages.

Other sellers. How did you make that video? You’ve got to choose me. I’m like, Whoa, I got to make it. It’s crazy. I can’t wait for your course. Your videos are so they’re so, so good. And I, I like, students in the Etsy fan are going to be like, Ooh, hello. So I will definitely let everyone know. You let us know as soon as that’s live because yeah, we definitely, we want to know about video.

We know that. See is prioritizing always awesome video listings. And so they should, because they just really help a buyer make a decision and how to just show how to use the product. So it isn’t a scary decision when it comes to find something. We want to make them as easy as possible so that they can add to car and be happy and helpful.

Yes, people love video. It’s amazing. Oh, there’s so many exciting things happening in your world. Well, thank you so much for sharing so generously with us today. I’m going to link the, everything that we’ve spoken about, but remember Sasha’s course is at mimjenkinson. com slash Sasha for my partner link and.

I can’t wait to hear about the new course coming out very soon too. So thank you so much, Sasha. Thank you for having me. It’s been super fun talking to you. Didn’t I tell you that this chat with Sasha was going to be packed full of actionable things that you can do. I know that you will love getting to know her just as much as I have done too.

And I think she’s going to have to come back on the podcast cause honestly, I could have talked to her. So much longer and I know you’re going to have even more questions. So remember you can check out Sasha’s amazing course at minjenkinson. com slash Sasha S A S H A. I’m going to link that in the show notes.

I will also link to her Etsy shop so that you can check that out too. And listen if you have any questions at all on getting set up on Etsy yourself. on making or selling printables, stickers anything like that. Always feel free to pop me a message so that I can help you out or point you into the direction of someone as amazing as Sasha who can help you too.

So you can always tag me at mimjenkinson on Instagram. I can’t wait to hear from you and I hope you enjoyed this interview.

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I hope you enjoy learning how to make planner stickers or how to start a sticker business!

I’ve been making and selling stickers for journals and planners since 2017 and it’s become a wonderful and creative way to turn my hobby into a side hustle, then full-time online business.

Whether you want to make Cricut stickers, Silhouette stickers or you’re starting from complete scratch, you’re in the right place. Making planner stickers can be for you, or to start an Etsy sticker shop and sell stickers online and you don’t need any previous experience to get started.

Want to make planner stickers from home? Check out my sticker making courses, eBooks and other products here!

I acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land I work and live on, the Awabakal peoples, and pay my respects to Elders past and present.
I thank them wholeheartedly and express my love and gratitude for the privilege to live and work in such a beautiful part of the world and for the opportunity for my family to be part of this vibrant and supportive community.