Welcome to Cardschat. I always am excited to see more STT's players here
Often times how well you do when you're ITM depends on how you play when you're 4-5 handed. For example, you've gotten to the bubble, you have t2000 chips and blinds are t100/t200. So you're not in the best shape and you're not desperate yet. There are some players close to your stack and a bigger stack. You wait since you can't get into a bunch of spots, and when you're back down to t1500 one of the other guys busts. So now you're ITM, but say blinds are up to t120/t240, or t150/t300... Unless you get lucky and get dealt some good cards, there's not a whole lot you can do to finish higher than 3rd. It's all out of your control, basically.
Now say you get to the bubble with t4000 chips, and the blinds are still t100/t200. There is a player with t5500 chips who is to your right, and two players at t2000 to your left. This is a situation where you can abuse the opponents to your left, because neither of them is going to want to play a lot of hands - rather, they're both gonna wait for the other to bust out. So you can steal a lot of chips, and if they do manage to wake up with a hand, the consequence is you have t2000 now, which is not terrible.
So say we manage to bully them both a little, and we knock one of them out. We probably have t7000 or so, the shorty has t1500, and the other guy has t5000. Now we actually have a chance to get heads-up and win this thing. Often times in this dynamic the second place stack will be pretty tight, as he is waiting for the short stack to fold, so while he's waiting we can take this opportunity to steal his chips. This is going to help us when the shorty does finally get knocked out, because what happens if the second place guy KO's the shorty? We're pretty much even-stacked, which makes it a lot harder for us to win heads-up. But if we steal some of that guys chips, we can further ahead when we get heads-up. Even if we don't end up knocking out the shorty, if we can have t8500 or so when we're heads up, that's going to help us out a lot. So in the same way that our 4-5 handed play can set us up for good ITM situations, playing ITM well can set us up for good HU situations.
One thing that is in your control - often times players will loosen up once the bubble has burst, so calling ranges will get a lot wider. As such we can't be too aggressive in these situations. Also, let's consider the example before, but instead we're the t5000 stack. It's a crime to go crazy here before the other stack goes out, because often times we can just wait and we'll be guaranteed 2nd place prize money.
So, cliff notes - your ITM play has a lot to do with what you do before you get to the money.