Independent Development Monetization Weekly (Issue 117): Earned $2.1 million by selling Notion templates

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From Notion Template to Million Dollar Empire – Thomas Frank’s Entrepreneurial Journey

Have you ever thought that you can make a lot of money by selling Notion templates? Thomas Frank did it. Not only did he make $2.1 million selling Notion templates, he also built a productivity channel on YouTube with 2.9 million subscribers. How did he do it? Let us learn about his entrepreneurial story together.

Frank began his entrepreneurial journey while in college. At that time, he realized that in order to stand out in the competitive job market, he must improve his productivity. So he started reading a lot of blogs about productivity and tried to set up his own blog - College Info Geek. By sharing his learning experiences and productivity tips, he gradually attracted a loyal following of readers.

Over time, Frank's blog grew in popularity and he began experimenting with making YouTube videos. His channel features high-quality, entertaining learning and productivity videos and quickly attracted a large number of subscribers. By early 2018, he had reached 1 million subscribers.

However, Frank was not satisfied with this. He began to think about how to transform his productivity experience into more concrete and practical products. At this time, he discovered Notion, a powerful productivity tool. He realized that Notion could be used not only for personal productivity management, but also for team collaboration and content planning. So, he started trying to make templates for Notion and sell them to users who needed them.

Initially, Frank just used Notion as a company wiki, but he later found that it was also very useful for managing video production. He built a strong content planning system for the team and continuously optimized and improved it. Eventually, he refined the content planning system he created for his team and released it as a paid template called Creators Companion.

The “Creators Companion” template was released without much market research and marketing promotion. Frank simply promoted it on his channel and blog and attracted a large number of buyers. In the first month, he made $12,858 from 112 sales. By the end of 2021, the "Creators Companion" template had sold 367 copies, bringing him $49,019 in revenue.

Frank, who tasted the sweetness, did not stop. He continues to develop new Notion templates and sell them to a wider user base. Among them, his personal productivity template "Ultimate Brain" has been a great success. This template combines notes, tasks, project goal tracking, and more into one template, allowing people to plan and organize their lives entirely within Notion. In the first month after its release, Ultimate Brain generated $88,000 in sales.

So what attracts and retains these customers? In addition to high-quality products and helpful content, Frank’s marketing strategy also plays a big part. He attracts potential users through various channels such as YouTube channel, free Notion basic courses, free templates, etc., and converts them into actual buyers through email marketing and promoting paid templates. In addition, he continuously collects user feedback to improve products and increase customer satisfaction.

What lessons does Frank’s story have for budding entrepreneurs? First, don’t be afraid to try new things and share them with others. Secondly, focusing on a niche market and consistently providing high-quality content can attract more potential customers. Finally, releasing your product early and frequently and gathering feedback can help you continually improve your product and increase customer satisfaction.

In short, Thomas Frank’s entrepreneurial story tells us: as long as you have a good idea and firm execution, even a seemingly niche market can create huge business value.

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