Notion Tutorials

How To Create And Sell Notion Templates [2022 Complete Guide]

Gerrard Lipscombe
11
Minute Read
New

Digital products are one of the most scalable, impactful things you can add to your business.

They're an opportunity to distil expertise (which might otherwise be delivered as a service) into a clear package--which can then be shipped anywhere around the world with an internet connection and an interface to consume.

Particularly recently, a new category of digital products has emerged: Notion templates.

And in this post, I'll walk through the process I follow for how I create all the Notion templates you see on this Landmark Labs site--from the freebies in the components library to the additional steps I take to sell premium models as Notion templates (and perhaps even some insights into how this all comes together in Flotion).

Before diving into the details, here's our high-level skeleton to guide us.

How to create and sell Notion templates

  1. Focus on what you know (very) well;
  2. Brainstorm pain points and common goals within that niche or topic;
  3. Create a shortlist of options that are especially implementable in Notion;
  4. Create your template sketch;
  5. Finish version 1.0;
  6. Share it with someone who may have a use for it--collect feedback;
  7. Pricing your Notion templates;
  8. How to publish and share your Notion templates;
  9. Where to list Notion templates;
  10. Getting user feedback;
  11. Maintaining and updating templates.


1. Focus on what you know (very) well

Notion starts as a blank canvas. That can be overwhelming at first (too many options, too many ideas!), but its flexibility also allows you to be highly specific in the types of templates and products you build.

There are, of course, the stock standard Notion templates: Finance Tracker, Habits Tracker, Tasks Manager, Reading List, etc.

But if you're not particularly interested in these topics, or don't have any specific expertise to bring to the table, then the good news is you're not limited to creating more of the same templates that already exist.

Instead, my advice is to focus acutely on the things you are most interested and capable in. For example, if you're a designer--there are likely processes you follow in your day-to-day work that are specific enough to be unique, while also helping out your fellow creatives.

That might be a specific workflow you follow for completing a web design project from A to Z--the resources and tools you use; checklists for each stage of the design; hey, you could even embed some of your own Figma wireframe templates inside the Notion template to make it stand out further.

The beauty of Notion's flexibility is it lets you be specific in the content you cover--leverage that fact and start with what you know best.

2. Brainstorm pain points and common goals within that niche or topic

You can think of your starting point as a 'topic'. In the example above, our expertise point was 'web design'. Within that topic, now it's time to do a longer brainstorm of pain points, goals and end points that are most relevant to your target audience.

(It's also worth taking a moment here to think about your target personas. Are you speaking to fellow web designers? Or are you creating this template for another group--say, marketers who just want a cookie cutter solution for their landing pages?)

You can use this Brainstorming board template to help you with your brainstorm if you'd like to jump right into it.

3. Create a shortlist of options that are especially implementable in Notion

Once you have your longlist of pain points and user goals, it's time to make a shortlist.

Now, for most shortlisting exercises you'll be prioritizing those ideas which you feel are strongest or most interesting. In this case, we want to shortlist based on one primary factor: 'How Notion-ize-able is this idea?'

What do I mean by that?

Well, some ideas are more conducive to a powerful Notion solution, while others are... a bit of a stretch.

Good Notion Use Case: A workspace covering the A to Z of website planning and design roadmap, leveraging timelines, gallery views, tables for resources, pages for messaging, and kanban boards for tasks.

Poor Notion Use Case: Review all available website builder software and provide your opinion on each.

Both use cases may well be solving a pain point for web designers, but you can see that one is better suited to Notion, while the other could be achieved by other means (say, as a YouTube video review or blog post).

You want to shortlist pain points that will be able to 'wow' your users through Notion's native functionality. So start with those ideas which you feel Notion can do best.

4. Create your template sketch

How you do this, precisely, I leave to you.

Some like to use pen and paper.

Others will use a tool like Figma to create wireframes.

Others still prefer to mindmap in a tool like Miro.

Personally, I use Flotion to map out the skeleton of my new templates, then build out the pages directly on top of that plan.

The goal of this step, however, is simply to:

  • Get all the big pieces (building blocks) of your template down on paper;
  • Piece them together in a way that makes sense;
  • Start to consider how databases will sync and link;
  • Begin to formulate an idea of how long it might take you to complete.

5. Finish version 1.0

And now it's time to build!

Straightforward enough, but I'll add one note here: emphasis is on 'version 1.0'.

While it doesn't need to be perfect right out the gate, you want to ship something that is complete and that you believe can solve the key problem you set out to solve.

It's no good shipping a version 0.

And it's no good waiting to ship version 28.1!

Finish version 1.0, with an understanding that there will be room to improve based on feedback, but that you are confident you'll deliver on the main value proposition implied by the template's features.

6. Share it with someone who may have a use for it--collect feedback

Can I confess something? I don't always take my own advice on this step--and I typically regret it.

Sharing your template with someone before releasing it to a wider audience helps you:

  • Spot things that you miss because you're 'too close to the work';
  • Get a feeling for how easy the main template concept is to understand--can they see how it's supposed to work?
  • Get a feeling for how valuable this template might be--how big of a problem does it solve?
  • And it also helps you explain and talk through what you've built from angles that you hadn't directly considered.

It can be a friend, family member, or past customer (if you already have some). Just gift your template to them with the sole purpose of getting some feedback and talking through their impressions. It doesn't need to be overly structured--but if you want to prepare a few questions for them to answer, that always helps.

7. Pricing your Notion templates

When you've received some feedback and are almost ready to bring this template to your audience, it's a good time to consider pricing.

There are a few approaches to this, which I'll go into more detail on in a future post (so stay tuned).

For now, I just want to cover the basics.

  • Free templates: Typically, if your template is easy to recreate, if it doesn't contain much proprietary work or require expertise to produce--you might want to consider giving it away as a free template. Not because it isn't valuable; but because it will be harder to convince your audience to shell out some cash. If you do take this route, I would recommend publishing the template as a lead magnet--that is, collect an email address (or social media follow) before distributing the template;
  • Low price tier ($8-$19): Templates in this range tend to solve a specific, urgent problem very well. For example, a 'Client On-boarding' workspace might be just the thing your audience needs in order to kickoff a new project they're excited about--paying a small fee to access it, readymade, is a simple ask. Typically, these templates are not used repeatedly, over many months, and can be one-use templates that solve a specific pain point;
  • Mid-range tier ($40-$80): These templates are typically going to be complete 'systems'. That is, they solve a specific set of problems across time, not just in one instance. So, that might be a Hub for YouTube Creators; a complete dashboard for your Web Design audience; or a robust social media posting system. If you can put in the extra effort to take your low-tier template up into this range--I would recommend doing so;
  • High tier ($100-$250+): Typically, the templates and products you find in this range will be a combination of useful product/system + some access to the creator, or some specific 'course materials'. If these materials can be fully digitized and separate from your own time (e.g. you don't need to get on a call, or be present to deliver the materials), then this can be a very high leverage form of knowledge product delivery.

There are many ways to think about pricing your Notion templates, from cost-based to value-based pricing and all sorts of strategies in between. If you'd like some help landing on a figure that makes sense for you, try out our digital product pricing calculator.

8. How to publish and share your Notion templates

In order for your customers to access your templates, the main product file will need to be shared publicly, with the 'Duplicate' toggle activated.

Don't worry; people can only duplicate your template if they have the specific URL to the file--which you can share with them after some purchase event.

Personally, I break up the purchase journey into two steps, and this actually means I need to create two versions of the same Notion template file:

  1. A preview version of the template, where people can browse inside the model or system freely, without the ability to duplicate or edit;
  2. A product version of the template, which is only shared after a purchase is made.

We'll discuss listing your Notion templates on existing marketplaces in the next step, but for this step I'd urge you to consider hosting your products on your own website, and putting them behind a payment gateway.

I use Webflow Ecommerce for this, but Shopify, Gumroad, Kajabi and many other simple solutions exist to help you set this up for yourself.

9. Where to list Notion templates

As a market that is growing rapidly, the demand for marketplaces and aggregators has grown in recent years. The likes of Notionery, Notion Everything and Prototion have emerged as excellent resources for browsing premium and unique Notion templates--updated on a regular basis.

You can submit your templates to these existing marketplaces, and they'll take care of all the hosting and publishing for you. For some marketplaces, you'll need to setup a Gumroad account and add the marketplace owner as an affiliate on all referred sales--for others, you may need to setup PayPal or Stripe in order to receive payouts on sales referred.

Listing your templates on an existing Notion template marketplace might be the way to go if:

  • You're looking for quick validation (without needing to setup your own site);
  • You don't have a large audience of your own and would like to get your template in front of a large Notion-relevant audience; or
  • You're just looking to increase your discovery surface area, and might be listing on marketplaces even though you already have them listed on your own website.

10. Getting user feedback

While the clearest signal for the success of your marketing and launch will be the sales figures, you'll want to dive deeper and find out what's working (and what's not) for your template.  

There's no need to wait until you've sold a bunch of copies before starting to gather feedback--you can (and should) start doing this from Day 1.

The simplest way to do this is to embed Notion form or Google Forms survey in the template itself, and ask people to submit their thoughts after they've had a chance to explore.

I've found it helpful to start with high-level engagement questions, like:

  • How long did you spend exploring the template?
  • What were your first thoughts when you saw the template?

And then move on to more specific questions about the content and design of the template--for example:

  • Is there anything you feel is missing from the template?
  • What would you change about the template, if anything?
  • Do you have any suggestions for other templates I could create in the future?

I like to finish with an open-ended question that allows people to leave any final thoughts or comments.

Don't forget to also ask people for their email address at the start of the survey, so that you can follow up with them later on. Those that are generous enough to leave some glowing feedback are ideal candidates to reach out to for a review and testimonial for your site.

11. Maintaining and updating Notion templates

After launch, you might decide to move on to create a new set of products and templates--but it's worth looking back on your existing templates from time to time and updating where you can make obvious improvements.

Especially with the rate of changes coming from the Notion team (new databases, Status property and kanban board sub-grouping to name a few recent updates), if your existing template is performing well, updating and improving it can be one of your best time investments.

When you do make a large set of improvements--send a message out to your existing customers letting them know about the changes. If it is a significant enough update to justify a '2.0' launch, then you can approach it as a new sales event. However, if it's just minor changes I'd recommend sending out the updated copy freely--they'll be delighted, and delighted customers talk more than mildly satisfied ones.

How much money can you make selling Notion templates?

The figures are only limited by your own reach and audience's willingness to buy. At the highest end, you'll see examples of creators like Thomas Frank earning $100K/month strictly through Notion templates (no, that's not a typo). Earning between $2K-$5K/month is a very achievable target if you have a strong audience and reliably solve their pain points. However, most first-time creators can expect to earn between $100-$500 on a first successful template--and these sales may be stretched across several months.

How to create Notion templates in Flotion?

If you're looking for a rapid way to create your own Notion templates that can be published and monetized, you can also use our powerful Flotion framework--it's the same tool I use to create all the templates and models you see on this Landmark Labs site, and the tool is only getting more powerful with each new update.

Your can learn more about Flotion and creating your own Notion templates with the link, and otherwise; happy building and see you on the Notion marketplace :)

‚Äć

Browse our most popular Notion OS models