How I Started A $5K/Month Google Sheets Templates Business

by posted in MAKE MONEY, TRENDING

I’m Andrew Kamphey. Yes I am the resident Google Sheets Wizard behind Better Sheets. Better Sheets is a suite of Tools, Templates, and Tutorials for Google Sheets users.

The business generated total revenue of $200,000 in the first three years. It is very spiky revenue month to month but usually averages around $5k and can peak around $10k for months like Black Friday and when I raise the LTD price.

Recently I added a $9 a month membership after testing out some other price points. And my LTD price is now over $200 so I wanted a better entry point into the Better Sheets universe in addition to the free videos on YouTube, Tiktok, and paid courses on Udemy.

What’s your backstory, and how did you come up with the idea?

After 5 years managing Google Sheets into a huge internal database and tool kit at a startup, I went off on my own. But what did I do? I started a newsletter about the Influencer Marketing industry. And then sold that. And then tried to start building a SaaS. Hda a technical cofounder but we just never got it to a sustainable profitable position.

Not all about Google Sheet is it? Not at all. I never thought I’d be a Google Sheets Guru. I still don’t think I am. But people kept mentioning how my google sheets planners were totally unique. I could do things in Google Sheets people could only dream of.

In April 2020, during the height of covid lockdown I vowed to myself that I’d launch something, anything. And in 24 hours I gave myself a deadline. Launch Something!

The absolutely first idea of Better Sheets was a Dribbble for Google Sheets. I wanted to make a collection of great Google Sheets. But I couldn’t find any. 

So then I was like well maybe I can show people how to make greate Google Sheets and eventually there would be enough to showcase. I made 8 tutorial videos in 1 day. Put 4 up for free, and 4 behind a paywall. That was the first version of BetterSheets.

Launched on a Saturday. Made the first sale on Monday. The 2nd sale took another 2 weeks.

At first I set it up as a side project.  The launch in and of itself was the success. I started it at the time as a one-time payment and to this day there is still a lifetime payment option. It’s just a bit higher price now, than when I had only 8 videos total.

Describe the process of launching and growing the business.

The launch in the first 24 hours is rather boring. I just made the videos.Put up a Gumroad sales page and a Carrd site. That’s about it. I’m looking back and thinking “wow did that really take me a whole day?” 

I think that because I can make a new carrd site in about 10 minutes now. Yeah I guess the writing, the hand wringing, and the general insecurity of not doing this particular thing ever before can take a lot of hours of the day.

These days I open a google doc, start writing, and I even launched a Google Doc as a site within the last week. SellingSpreadsheets.com was available and matches the name of the my next course I’m making. So I just redirect the domain to the Google Doc that explains the course. The functionally of that took about 3-4 minutes. But yeah the writing has taken weeks and the experience I needed has taken years.

Within the past year I made a huge change, or adjustment. I started making more tools for Google Sheets users. 

Originally I created Better Sheets as a library of tutorials, that happen to have some structure. Structured around Courses that you have to watch the videos in a particular order, and Topics where you can watch videos in no particular order. 

I had been making tools in sheets that weren’t for Google Sheets users but rather for users of other things. Like Better Letters is a suite of sheets to help run a curated newsletter. 100 Twitter Templates is a sheet to help you tweet.

But starting 2022 I have built Google Sheet Add-ons, and web based tools. So far I have 6 Google Sheet Add-ons published to the Google Workspace Marketplace. Ones like Sheet Styles and Tiny Sheets have done well with thousands of downloads. They are all free.

In mid 2022 I started created web based tools to help do more things with Sheets like make a copy url and a PDF Export url.

Also I have created Formula Generators you can just explain your issue and it will create a formula. Some are specific to REGEXMATCH or Conditional Formatting, but also a general Google Sheets formula generator that you can ask it anything.

What has worked to attract new customers?

The number one thing that attracts new customer is being listed on AppSumo Marketplace. Once I got listed on there I’ve had tons and tons of customers. 80% of my customers come via AppSumo Marketplace. And I make 85% of my revenue via AppSumo Marketplace. 

They have been very good for me and to me. Helped me build quality links to my work and distribute my work. I offered a package of 19 Google Sheets Templates on AppSumo and that’s been downloaded more than 40,000 times. They’ve featured Better Sheets in blogs and videos.

On the marketplace they are taking around 30% of the revenue but they generate nearly 100% of the customers. Fair deal in my book.

In the past year I’m also pushing my courses on to course platforms like Udemy. It’s been very nice to be able to access a marketplace of people who are actively searching to get better. Instead of spending money on ppc ads, or influencer marketing, or paid marketing, or doing earned marketing on podcasts and newsletters, I’m getting essentially free traffic. 

And at times you can make the claim they are paying me to find new customers for me. Because everyone who takes any of my Google Sheets courses on Udemy have a high percentage chance to want to get a tool to do something better, or learn more to get better, or buy a template to save time.

What are your plans for the future, and what are you currently working on?

Right at the moment I’m building my course Selling Spreadsheets. Trying to distill my own experience of selling spreadsheets for the past 3 years. While also incorporating other sellers’ perspectives and figuring out what’s the most essential steps for a person who is first starting to sell vs someone who is looking to sell more. 

I want to cover both paths and they can both benefit from some fundamentals. But wholly they can both benefit from just thinking in an abundance mindset. There are just not enough  “spreadsheet sellers” these days. 

Everyone should be selling spreadsheets. You should be selling spreadsheets.

It’s so simple to do and can help people in such a nice way.

For decades we’ve had to share Excel files like they are some physical product. And now Google Sheets are so collaborative, and online, cloud based. For a $6 a month tool like Google Workspace, it’s a LOT of value to everyone.

But the one thing that stays the same is everyone wants to hoard their sheets.

Share your sheets more. Learn from each other. Let’s make spreadsheets awesome! Not boring.

And I’m building more and more tools around the advice I give. If I give some piece of advice a lot and make a tutorial about it, I now think about how I can make the outcome possible with one click. I’ve made add-ons like Button Styles that make cool button-like cells in sheets. And built a Coupon Code Maker that generates 1,000 Gumroad Coupons in 1 click. This is specifically for sellers to offer their products on more marketplaces.

I’m looking for more and more opportunities to build tools these days

What tools do you use for your business?

Google Sheets – to do everything

Google Workspace – to internally organize

Gmail – to email

Loom – to record videos

Gumroad – to sell Tools

AppSumo Marketplace – to sell LTD

Descript  – to edit videos

Do you have any advice for other entrepreneurs who are just starting out or want to get started?

Find an accountability group. That could be a single person or heck, a rubber duck. It’s not about finding the people who are accountable to you or that hold you accountable, but rather finding the right people you want to be held accountable to. It could be a writing group, or a marketing  group, or a hacking group.

Meet them at least once a week and make something. Tell each other what you’re working on. Then go make it. Then show it to one another. That’s it.

I have that group. A group called Hackagu and I think the format is infinitely useful. It’s useful if you’re launching. It’s useful if you’re doing marketing. It’s useful if you’re building features or new business models.

Just get together once a week and say what you’ll do and do it. That’s it.

Being able to show someone else the work you do does two things. It makes you do the thing but also it gets you very used to public critique. Showing someone something can be a very daunting task for someone just starting out. 

By getting used to on a weekly basis for saying what you’ll do and doing what you said you would do, it primes the pump of accountability. 

You’ll have a better understanding of what you can say you’ll do and actually do. You’ll also be freer to put more of your self out in the world. 

If it’s tweet you want to do more of, then host a weekly tweeters group at a local coffee shop.

If it’s writing blog posts, host a weekly bloggers group.

9:30 AM Introduce yourself, what you’re working on, and what you’ll do today. Should take about 2 minutes per person.

Have lunch together and a break.

4:00 PM Demos. Show what you made/wrote/worked on. In any form it is. 

By doing this every week you’ll get in the habit of figuring out what to do, what you can do. Focusing on that thing. Doing it. And sharing it.

The entire process is important.

You can see most of the tools that I’ve built over the past year have been built this way. I had a question or a thought of “oh I’d like to make that” and then shared it at 9:30 am and Had it done by 4pm that day. Showed it.  Then launched it to Better Sheets members.

If you can’t find even one other person then make it a weekly habit with yourself. If anyone feels alone and they are reading this. Do it one day and then email me what you made. I’m happy to read any emails.

I think this can be done online and would be happy to see it done remotely but there is absolutely something magical about sitting down and doing the work, with others, in the same room.

The post How I Started A $5K/Month Google Sheets Templates Business appeared first on Dollarsanity.

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