Sunday, December 18, 2016

Plan, Focus, and Move Forward with Your TPT Store

Plan, Focus, and Move Forward with Your TPT Store; set goals; organization; schedule

The year is coming to a close, and it is time to start setting goals and planning for 2017. I didn't take planning and goal setting seriously until about a year ago. I have now settled into a routine that I use every 90 days. I am more organized, more focused, and more productive with my TPT work. I put everything together in a mini seller course. If you are looking for some structure to your planning, this might be what you are looking for. In this mini course, I share how I create a schedule, set goals, plan out a product calendar, and plan my week. I also provide some tips on focusing and moving forward with your business. This is a mini course and focuses a great deal on the planning part. You can find this mini seller course in my store here. Let me help you get off to a great start for the new year!
Plan, Focus, and Move Forward with Your TPT Store; set goals; organization; planning; schedule

Also, if you want to start tracking your TPT data, I have the data tracking spreadsheets that I have used for the last 3 years in my store. You can find them here.
Plan, Focus, and Move Forward with Your TPT Store; TpT Data Tracking Sheets

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Starting Out on TPT

Starting Out on TPT, 10 Tips to Start Your TPT Store

You've created materials for your classroom for awhile now. You've decided you need a little extra cash. You decide to sell your created materials on TPT. Now what?

Here are a few things to do and know.

1) Add a photo or logo. You will be seen as a more serious buyer if you have a picture/logo vs the default logo. Go to My Account (or your name depending on the screen)>Store Profile>Edit and upload your profile image.

2) While you are on your Profile go ahead and fill out all of the information. You can always change anything later. Some people do look at your profile, so you should have answers in each category. You can also add images or links in this section.

3) The first product you upload will be your Primary Free item. Be sure everything you upload is copyright & trademark free. Check out this post for all of the other important things of what your product (free or paid) should include. This free item should be just as high of quality as anything else you put in your store.

4) Add paid products. Again be sure everything you upload is copyright & trademark free. Focus on making quality products that are unique and professional looking. Don't just copy someone else. Do your own thing!

5) Make sure your titles and descriptions are clear and buyer friendly.

6) Avoid all of the "bright shiny objects" that are distractions. They will eat away at your creation time. They can be time & joy suckers. Just because "everyone" has a blog, FB page, IG account, Twitter account, Pinterest account, is on Snapchat, is making videos, is turning everything digital, is using this scheduling app or that program, etc. doesn't mean you have to. Start with what you can handle. That may be just creating quality, professional products. You may be able to do a couple of things, but you don't need to do it all. There is something "new" that comes about all the time. We don't have time to do it all and be good at it all. Pick what you have time for. I would highly suggest a Pinterest account over everything as it is a way to advertise your products.

7) Be aware there are ups & downs and things will start slowly. If you spend all of your time worrying about, reading about, and commenting about the slow times and no one is buying your products, you won't have time to create and you won't have any joy. Leave the negative nellies behind you, and focus on the positives. TPT is not a get-rich-quick.

8) Followers and feedback will come in spurts. It will be slow. Organic is the best way to go. You want people to follow you that are interested in your products. You want your feedback to come from people who actually use (or will use) your products.

9) TPT product creation takes a lot of effort and hard work. You have to put in the work to see the rewards. Don't compare yourself to other sellers. Let your journey be yours.

10) Ask questions! Ask in the Forums, FB groups, or email/contact another seller.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Using Your TPT Note to Followers

Using Your TPT Note to Followers

Is the Note to Followers worth using? Some sellers say it isn't because they never look at them. I used to think that way as well. Then I decided to give it a try again. I became a believer in using them. Here's why:

1) It's a great way to a) provide an exclusive freebie as a "thank you" without having to do a flash freebie that they probably won't see and b) remind them of your new products, old products, and seasonal products.

2) It's free promotion going directly to people that clicked on the green star. Okay some of them may just be following you because of a giveaway or something, but maybe you'll hook them in with your fabulous notes.

3) Over 50 followers clicked on the download link I provided. Yes, I have over a thousand followers, but that is over 50 people continuing to interact with me. Buyers that aren't sellers don't always act like seller-buyers. Many of them do open those notes, so send them out!
 You can send out a note every 30 days. I would NOT waste it on just announcing a site wide sale. TPT puts up banners announcing the sale right on the site. Also, everyone puts up images on all of the Social Media outlets to announce a site wide sale. So use it for something more important.
 You can access your Note to Followers from the drop down menu or the Marketing tab on your dashboard.
Using Your TPT Note to Followers

Using Your TPT Note to Followers
 You can add images to your note. Your image needs a URL. You can host your image on a site such as Flickr or Tinypic. You can also copy from your Mailchimp newsletter and everything copies over (images and hyperlinks). You can also host on a secret Pinterest board. If you are using an image already on TPT, just right-click on the image and choose "copy image address". Click on the tree image in the toolbar and insert the URL in the pop-up box.
Using Your TPT Note to Followers

Using Your TPT Note to Followers

Using Your TPT Note to Followers
 You can hyperlink to products, blog posts, social media, etc. Highlight the text you want to link. Click on the chain link image in the toolbar and insert the URL in the pop-up box. If you want to track the number of clicks, use a bit.ly link.
Using Your TPT Note to Followers

Using Your TPT Note to Followers

 Do not use emojis. This evidently causes problems with your post showing everything.
 You should be following your own store. If not, go click your own green star. Once your note arrives, be sure to check it. I had one go out that didn't attach the image even though it showed the image on the preview. If this happens, submit a ticket to TPT. They were able to delete the note and allow me to resend it.

Happy Note sending!!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Motivational Monday


Write your goals down for the week and keep working. Have a fabulous week!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Be Professional

be professional

Most of us are or were teachers and consider ourselves professionals. We want our customers to view us as professionals just like the big teacher resource companies. Here are a few things to consider to see if you are being professional as a TPT seller.

1) Products
*Are you just slapping something together as fast as you can to get it in your store? Quality over quantity is so important.
*Are you lining things up or centering items on the pages so your products look polished? Take the time to line text up or clip art up. Make sure your titles and frames are centered. You also don't want text overlapping onto frames or missing parts of borders because you put a white rectangle with text over it. Another thing to be mindful of is your clipart. Try to use clipart in png format so you don't have to worry about the big white box not blending in with your colored background. You are now a publisher, so you want things to look polished.
*Are you editing your products (or having someone else edit) for spelling or grammar errors or mistakes in your answer key? We are all human and sometimes errors do slip through even after editing, but do take the time to edit.
*Are you using appropriate fonts for titles, directions, student sheets? Many of us love our fonts, but we also need to use them carefully in our products. Think about your audience and age group.

be professional quote

2) Response to Feedback
We don't always get the best feedback. Not everyone is going to like your product. Some people will never give a 4.0 rating. Some buyers will only put a smiley face or "Thanks" for feedback. It's okay. Do you think everything sold on the internet has the highest possible rating? Has everything you've ever purchased been fabulous that you would give it the highest rating possible? It hasn't for me and that includes what I've purchased over the years on TPT. Please be realistic! Just because you love something doesn't mean everyone else is going to love it in the same way. Maybe they have purchased something that was a bit better than what they purchased from you.

Your professionalism will show in how you respond. Do you go on a rant about why they didn't give you 4 stars? Do you come off as abrasive demanding to know what is wrong with the product? Or do you thank them for their feedback and use it to take a closer look at your product and work? My mom always said, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything." This applies to your response to feedback. You don't have to respond at all. As a teacher, you would not go on a rant to a parent if they had something negative to say about you. I've been yelled at during IEP meetings for hours and had to act professionally. I couldn't just say what I wanted to say. Responding to feedback is the same thing! If you choose to respond to negative feedback (by the way, I don't consider a 3.0 - 3.9 poor feedback), make sure you do it in a kind and professional manner. You don't need to beg them to tell you how to fix your product. You need to step back from the feedback and at a more calm moment, review your product to see if there is anything you could change to make it better. Most likely the original buyer will not take notice of your response, but other potential buyers may read it. Do you want to do business with someone who rants and is abrasive? I don't.

3) Social Media
How do you use your social media accounts? Are you being professional with a bit of personal thrown in? Are you complaining about customers? Are you bragging about how much money you make on TPT and what you are buying with that money? Whether you are posting in a group or on your own pages, be aware of your audience. Remember that not all FB groups about TPT are just sellers.

be professional quote

Monday, September 19, 2016

Motivational Monday



This is a great TED Talk about Your Why. Do you know Your Why?

Have an awesome week!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Just Be You

Just Be You Don't Steal Ideas

I see way too often the complaint of "this product looks exactly like mine". I've had it happen to me. It appears the person took one of my free products, changed it from matching to open-ended, and created a product line with a similar title based off of my resource. Maybe they did, and maybe they didn't.

If you sit down with someone else's product and recreate it with some tweaks here and there, this is wrong! You definitely were not inspired. You are actually just copying someone else.

There are some ideas out there that have been tossed around classrooms for years. For example, bingo or a quiz show style game are not new ideas. And those type of resources will most likely look very similar from one seller to the next. That doesn't mean they stole your idea.

Sometimes you make a product that you think you created from your very creative and brilliant mind only to realize later that someone else made something similar before you. This happens!

I know it is hard not to be inspired by someone else if you spend a lot of time on Pinterest or searching through TPT for things to buy. Sometimes we struggle to know where the idea actually came from.

Some things to keep in mind before creating:
Did you think of it on your own?
 Is this something that would benefit your students?
 Is it something new that you don't think has been done before?

Your products should be something that you have created based on your ideas.

Just Be You Don't Steal Ideas


Monday, August 29, 2016

Motivational Monday


Have a positive mindset, set some goals, and have a fabulous week!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Making Changes - Featured Items and Primary Free Item

Sometimes your store just needs some small changes. One way to do that is to change out your Primary Free Item and/or your Featured Items. These are super easy to change up.

Primary Free Item
 Either create a new Primary Free Item or choose a free resource that is already in your store. If it is something that already exists, be sure it is representative of your store. If it was something you created a while ago, it may need some updates first.

✎ Once you have picked out your free item and it is uploaded to your store, go to your TPT drop down menu and click on My Product Listings. You can also get to the same spot from the new dashboard by clicking on Manage Resources.

✎ My Product Listings looks like this:

✎ Scroll until you find the free resource you want to be your Primary Free Item. Click the Quick Edit link.

✎ Click the box next to Primary Free Item. Click Update. You now have a new Primary Free Item.

Featured Items
✎ This is a great place to show off some of your resources. It's great to change them around every now and then. I make changes at least once a month but usually more often than that. Which items should you feature? It's up to you! I like to pull out seasonal items. I put up new resources that I've just uploaded. I also like to pull out some older products that need to be "dusted off" and showcased. I don't put items in the featured spots that are already on the first page. Of course, if you are new, you may have to.

✎ To add resources to your Featured Items or to change them up, go to My Products Listing like described above. If you don't have any Featured Items or less than 4, find the product you want to feature and click Quick Edit. Click the box next to Featured Item, and click Update.

✎ If you already have 4 items featured, scroll to the bottom and on the left-hand sidebar you'll see Product Status>Featured Items. Click on that. If you don't have a lot of products yet, you can just scroll through your resources to find the one you want to drop from the listing.

✎ Click Quick Edit of the product you want to drop from the listing. Uncheck the box next to Featured Item and click Update.

✎ Then find the resource you want to feature. Click Quick Edit and check the box next to Featured Item. Click Update. You now have a new Featured Item.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Followers

followers

We all want people to follow us. You might think that if you just had hundreds of thousands of followers in all of your social media and store then you would be a millionaire. Well, I'm not really going to tell you how to get hundreds of thousands of followers. First of all, I can't because I don't have that many. What I am going to tell you some Do's and Dont's to getting followers.

THE FOLLOWER DON'TS:
 Don't tell people you are following them and ask them to follow you.
 Don't post on another seller's Q&A that you are following them and that they should check out your store.
 Don't give things away just so people will follow you. You know the, "If I get 10 more followers, I'll do a Flash Freebie."
 Don't do giveaway after giveaway just to get followers. Once in awhile is fine.
 Don't do a "Follow Me and I'll Follow You" party.

THE FOLLOWER DO'S:
 Do let people know where they can follow you by having it on your blog, Pinterest account, or Social Media accounts where appropriate and in a not-so-spammy way. For example, add links in on your profiles where you can.
 Do mention in your newsletter and note to followers where people can follow you.
 Do put it in your products and product descriptions or TPT profile.
 Do work to gain your followers organically.

The thing about followers is this:
followers

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Ways to Market Your TPT Products

Ways to Market Your TPT Products

The first priority you should worry about is making QUALITY products. If you don't have products, you can't market your store.

When you do start marketing, there are some different opportunities for you. Remember though that you don't want to be pushy or sales-spammy on many of these.

✪ Submit a free and paid resource to the TPT newsletter weekly. The free item must be 10 pages or less. That includes the resource, cover, credits, etc. Everything is included in this count. The paid resource will cost $50 if your product is picked. The paid resources that I have had selected have been worth the fee. The money comes out of your monthly earnings.

✪ Promoted Resources on TPT. You can check out the blog post here for more information.

✪ Pinterest. Remember this isn't about just posting product cover pins. Create pins of your resource in action or staged. Also, try to pin with the 80/20 rule in mind - 80% content (blog posts, articles, funnies, memes, etc that are yours or others) and 20% products (yours). If you want to pin for other people, do it by pinning their blog posts not their products. As I've said before, I don't think pinning parties are good Pinterest etiquette. You can also pay to promote pins on Pinterest. Once your pin is out there, it will keep going! You can also do Promoted Pins and pay to advertise on Pinterest.

✪ Facebook. Interact with your followers. Again try to keep the 80/20 rule in mind by posting memes, videos, blog posts, etc. 80% of the time. Your FB feed isn't meant to push your products on your followers day in and day out. Try a video about educational tips or how your product can be used in the classroom. You can pay for FB ads.

✪ Instagram. Again no one wants to see product after product. Include pictures of your classroom, family, pets, favorite quotes, etc. If you pay for a FB ad, you have the option to include Instagram as part of the ad.

✪ Blog. On your blog, you want to provide content. In your content, you can do a "soft sell" on a product. The focus should be on helpful tips and information for the classroom. If you have a product that fits the topic, then link to it. Make sure you have great photos to pin it on Pinterest for your content.

One thing to keep  in mind that I keep seeing and others keep mentioning as well, do not post your products in FB groups that are not specific for product posting. I belong to quite a few FB groups and most have the rule of NOT posting products. Read the rules and follow them. Think about who your potential buyer is. Unless you are selling clip art, it is most likely NOT a fellow TPT seller. So unless someone is asking for resource suggestions or the board is for posting resources, don't use your FB groups for marketing.


Monday, August 8, 2016

Monday, August 1, 2016

Motivational Monday

motivational monday

Have a positive attitude with your life, your family, your job, and your business. Enjoy your week!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Stop the Time Suckers

Stop the Time Suckers

Summer is winding down for many. You may or may not have accomplished that giant to-do list you created right after school was out for the summer. Hopefully, you were able to get a few things crossed off the list.

What I find to be my downfall are TIME SUCKERS. You know them by Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, the TPT Forums, email, and on and on. You think you are only going to spend just a couple of minutes checking something. And then, WHAM! You've spent 2 hours of doing nothing but social media. It's true and you know it.

What do you do about it now that school is going to be starting soon? TURN THEM OFF! Yes, that's what I said. Turn them off. If you have 3 things you want to accomplish for the day, you will not get them done by being on social media. Turn them off until you complete those 3 things. Turn off the notifications and the sounds so you aren't tempted to look.

Yes, I've been there. Yes, I've gotten myself lost on social media and not completed my tasks.

Maybe there's a 12-step program for this. But you don't have time for it now. Summer is ending and you still want to create 5 more resources before going back to school.

This is go-cold-turkey time.

You can do this!