Should my preview be widescreen, portrait, or square? How many pages should my preview be? How much of my resource should I show? Let’s deep dive into best practices for product previews in this episode!

Episode Highlights

  • What a preview is and where it’s located
  • Main must-haves of previews
  • What to leave out in previews
  • 3 common types of previews
  • A walk-through of a preview from one of my best-selling resources

Resources and Links

Free Product Listing Toolkit

Product Preview Template Bundle



Kirsten 0:01

You're listening to the creative teacher podcast, a show for busy teachers looking for ways to engage, inspire and make an impact in their teacher businesses. I'm Kiersten, a teacher business owner who is all about simple and actionable tips, strategies and resources that result in wins, big or small. If you're looking for that extra spark of creativity, you've come to the right place. Let's dive in together.

Welcome to another episode of the creative teacher podcast. Hope you're doing well. As always, this episode is all about product previews. So this is the second of the product listing series. And we're gonna talk about previews, primarily PDF previews, we're not going to be going into video previews. But it is also a really great way to add some eyes on to your products, I'm going to be talking about the main must haves have a preview, what to leave out in a preview in an example and tips to create high converting previews.

So the preview, if you're looking on a product listing of a resource, you're going to see it it's a little black box that says view preview. Once you click on that button, you'll be able to download and even print the preview. If that's something that you want them to do, we'll talk about how you can do that to your advantage. But the main thing to note is that you can go in depth with previews in a way you cannot with thumbnails and product covers, you're just skimming the surface with product covers and thumbnails, you're not really adding that much information. And the analogy that I like to use is Amazon, think of Amazon. If you've ever seen a book or some type of textbook that you're purchasing on Amazon, it'll probably say something like, look inside or preview included. I'm personally more likely to buy a book if I can see that there's a preview. And I can actually click inside to look and see what's in the book. When you have a preview added it gives potential buyers a chance to look into your resource to see if it's a good fit for them, so that they know exactly what they're getting. So just like an Amazon, you can skim through the first couple of chapters to see if it's the right book for you if it's the style of writing that you like, and you can decide to add it to your cart and buy it. This is the same way with teachers pay teacher's even if you include as much information as you can in the description, people are less likely to read it. It's sad, but it's true. But you can spend a lot of the work in the descriptions and they don't even read it, they would just skim it, it's because people are more visual and they're more likely to know if it's for them if there are actual pictures and sections of that resource available to actually see. Again, with Amazon I am not really reading the description. I'm really looking at mostly the pictures and I like to see that look inside preview part so that I can actually see what's inside the book 62% of customers this is an actual TPT statistic 62% of customers or potential buyers are looking for that preview they will they're more likely to purchase if there is a preview included. So if that doesn't convince you, hopefully that does but it's something that's super, super important. That's more than half of people on TPT

Alright, let's talk about the main must haves have a preview. One main must have is detailed information about your resource. Thinking about large text that describes the important features and information about your resource. Think about how In a few sentences, or even a brief paragraph on each page, highlighting what your resource includes and why it would be useful. Also think about adding all of the components of your resource without giving everything away. Maybe you could have a page dedicated to one section of your resource. So maybe a page talking mainly about the slideshows, or one page talking about the lesson plans and one page talking about the activities. Another main must have would be of course, fonts that appeal to your ideal teacher, customer fonts are very important, they can definitely convert customers. If you're using fonts that are very simple or plain like Arial, Comic Sans times new roman those very, very prevalent fonts we've heard of for many years, it's not going to be as convincing or as persuasive. If you have something like maybe rounded exciting fonts that you have invested on by purchasing on TPT or using from Canva. Just having really nice clean looking and appealing fonts, depending on your target audience. The third and main must have would be having the best photos and screenshots of what's included. Don't be afraid to add photos here. Don't be afraid to showcase what's in the resource. The whole purpose of teachers going on TPT is because they don't want to make the resource More times than not, they want to find somebody that has already solved that problem for them. So all they have to do is add it to their cart and utilize it very rarely I should add, there are going to be people who are just going to see a preview and try to copy everything from that resource and just recreate it, they want to buy your resource or they're trying to find a resource that solves their problem, they just need to see if it is the right fit for them. So that is why it's important to not be afraid to add your best photos and your best screenshots to show what it is in the product so that they can buy it and use it for their students.

All right, let's talk about things to leave out. Now while I say it's important to give information you don't obviously want to give too much away, you don't want to put a preview and it ends up being your whole resource with a watermark on the front, you still want to give that element of exclusivity. And this is part of what you're going to be getting, you can buy the full resource. And this is just a really great sample of what you're getting. There's a fine line between not showing enough. And then also just giving way too many pages away, it can be very overwhelming for a potential buyer to see a whole ton of, you know, all 400 pages of your resource. Another thing to leave out is too many screenshots. Unless you're a clip artist or a font artist, you really don't want to add too many photos, I'd say a few of your best photos, or a few of your best screenshots from each section really does wonders. Another thing to leave out is adding too many preview watermarks all over your preview that kind of takes away from the whole, like getting people to see what's inside. I know that it's really hard to you know, get people to see something and be afraid, you know, you don't want to have people just see it and then just copy it. There's ways you can, you know, hide all of the features by making it smaller, or using overlapping pages or using a mock up and putting a pencil over it. There's ways you can show your resource without showing too much. So not saying that it's bad to add preview watermarks, but when you do it all over. And it's like in big black letters, it's really, really hard to see what's really inside. And it takes away from the whole purpose of preview, in my opinion, a tip I have is, instead of having a preview over the resource, maybe have a sample page that people can actually download and use. This is great. If you have a preview that is in portrait orientation. Let's say you have a year round bundle. And you would want to give one week that you can put in the preview for free. Rather than putting it as a free resource. You can have it in the preview. And you can say download the preview for the first full week for free. I've seen it many sellers do that I've done it before. So having some sample pages or a couple pages that can alleviate that tension of I don't want to add too much but I need to show with resources about so that's one very brief example. Of course there's other ways to do it.

I'm going to be You're describing to you, one of my more recent preview templates that I've utilized. And that's in the widescreen 16 by nine preview. So that orientation is something that I use. And this is, of course, for the Enneagram resource that I mentioned from last week Enneagram. for big kids, I have just one photo, it's actually one of the same photos I used in the thumbnail. And I have just kind of an overview. So the first page of my preview here is just an overview, perfect to use with grades four through six, student friendly personality test community building activity for any time of year, a lot of the copy is repeated from the thumbnail and cover that doesn't always you know, that's always something that is great is that you can reuse a lot of the copy in different ways. So I'm adding it also in my preview, I also have it in my description. The second page is what the resource includes. So my first page, the overview of like the three main things you should get out of this overall, the second page is I'm sharing, it includes the Enneagram test results page and a checklist of other items. There's another nice photo of the resource, I also have on the third page. One really great feature is that it's easy prep. And so I kind of go into how it's easy prep, and I just say just print, copy and assign this Enneagram test and informational text is written in student friendly language, making it easier for students to understand their personality type results. And I also have a small little blurb of how many teachers over 1500 Teachers purchasing this best selling tests. So that's kind of another bonus is like, just it's kind of nice, having a little tiny like, Oh, here's another perk, it's a best selling test. It's been purchased and used by this many teachers doesn't hurt to have that somewhere in your preview where you might have space, the fourth page, another really great feature to highlight digital version test included. So I go into detail about how it's compatible with Google Slides and Google Forms. And then in another part, I have just a small blurb of a review that I pulled straight from my product listing. So I'm reusing the reviews that people have left, and I'm adding it to the preview, I recommend keeping the reviews short and sweet. So if you can find a short, short review that packs a punch at it, just to highlight that resource, even though they might see it you can always doesn't hurt to always have them see it again. The fifth page is another just kind of it actually this one has arrows pointing to the different parts. There's an arrow that's pointing to one picture that says have your students graph and reflect on their results. And then another arrow that says informational texts for students to learn more about their Enneagram personality types. This is a really great page to use. If you might have steps like you can show potential buyers on how students play the resource or play the game or use the resource like you know, have a step one, step two, step three, you know, that's always a really great way to show how they can use that resource in action. And then I have a little bit of a longer review. But it's something that is it was a really great seller review that I wanted to highlight in that preview. The last page of this preview is actually kind of an upsell. So it's summarizing everything checklist style. It says great icebreaker easy prep fun for students build a strong community and confidence in your learners. But then I also have check out the bundle. So this is a content upgrade where they can click on the product cover of the Enneagram bundle for more exciting resources on the Enneagram. And I created this preview in PowerPoint. So I linked it, you know I have a link to the Enneagram bundle. So what can happen is once you save it and upload it as a PDF, people can go on the PDF and click where you say to click and there'll be taken to that specific product listing. So in my case, I have it linked to the Enneagram bundle and they can click on that picture and they'll be taken to the Enneagram bundle listing. So that is a really great way to upsell your product that you might have is to add a link to a bigger bundle relating to that specific resource. So recapping that again, I'm just going to kind of share just overall like the first one. The first page of your product preview can be the overview overall, what your resources about the second page can be What your resource includes, you can have maybe two to three pages depending on how large your resource is really focusing and hyper focusing on certain features that are indicative of your product that make your resource really, really something that your potential customers might want to buy. And then your last page can just re highlight re, word, the important and exciting features of the resource, as well as having some content upgrade or upsell. And then, of course, throughout your preview where there's space, you don't want to make it too much going on, adding in applicable reviews that highlight the great aspects of your resource, as well as maybe sharing insight into maybe how it's best selling how many people so far have purchased your resource, which you can always look into in your product statistics. And that's just kind of where you can go from there.

As far as the type of previews, I really am a fan of all three types. There's three types of previews you can do for PDFs, you can do a portrait preview, you can do landscape preview, you can do a square preview, there's different product lines I have in my store that I have. And I've realized that it's okay to you, you don't have to have just one orientation. I like using my landscape previews for my best sellers, and just ones that I think are short and sweet. And I can really kind of highlight those resources. Sometimes if I'm doing a really heavy volume of resources, like my web quests, I used square previews to make it more efficient to produce those. So I would use some square thumbnails and my cover. And I'd also add a couple more images so that I can have a preview with that. So if that makes sense, I would create maybe six or seven slides of the preview. And then I'd also pull some of those slides as thumbnails. And then of course, the first one would be my cover. And then as far as portrait previews, those are ones I like to utilize when I have maybe a sample from a resource. So I'm doing that currently with my social studies curriculum. It's currently a portrait resource, because I just pull what I have in my actual unit. And I copy a few pages of that, because it gives information about the unit overview. So there's different things you can do for each type of orientation. I feel like it doesn't hurt to use one or more depending on the product you have. If you're ever looking for any templates for previews, I have templates in my TPT store on all three orientations, landscape. Widescreen landscape, I should say, portrait and square, there's a bundle for that, or you can get one if you really prefer maybe a square template or a landscape, widescreen template, however you want to do that.

But as far as your action tip for today, I want you to take a look at those top bestsellers that you looked at last week. And just check out the preview if you have a preview. Number one if you don't have a preview, take some time this week to add a preview to one or more of your top three bestsellers. And if you do have a preview, see what you can do to revise it and beef it up based on the tips I shared with you in this episode. All right, well, that is the end. I hope you enjoyed this nice little talk about previews. Next week, we're going to be talking about titles and descriptions. So I hope you can tune in.

Alright. Well, thanks for tuning in to this very last episode of November. I will talk to you again next week.

Thanks for listening to the creative teacher podcast. If you enjoyed listening to today's episode, feel free to subscribe and leave a review. I'd love to hear your feedback. You can also follow me on Instagram at the southern teach dot designs. Have an amazing day.