For those that follow me, you know that I have my own Teachers Pay Teachers store that I am honestly super proud of! I saw many of my favorite teachers selling amazing lesson plans and figured that I could do the same.
This is probably one of the number one things I get asked, so figured a blog post would be a great place to start. First of all,my philosophy is you're on the fence is to just go for it! What is really your loss? You make no money? My mantra when creating was there's nothing really to lose because you're not going to suffer a financial loss if nothing happens. You are simply putting your work out there, and seeing if others are interested in it.
So the first thing is obviously picking a store name. You might want to consider that this is something that shouldn't change, as you want to brand yourself. In my opinion, I recommend not being tied down to a grade level or room number as those can easily change in our profession. I would also think about your last name as if you aren't married, it is also something that might change. I also recommend searching up the names you are thinking of in instagram or the TPT store to see if it's already taken. I say look on instagram because one of my best ways of marketing is through my instagram and you obviously want your names to somewhat match!
After you have created the hard part, TPT asks that you upload a free product. This doesn't have to be crazy, in fact I think mine was just an easy one page writing prompt. You will want to think of something versatile, that really shows off your vibe.
You will also want to create a shop header, and add something to your store bio. I recommend for the bio part adding what types of resources you are going to focus on! For my shop header I just made a little part at the top that said my store name yet again. Use the same colors and fonts as you are trying to brand yourself. It's okay to look at other store fronts for inspiration, but make sure it's different so that it sets you apart from others. As you can see my bio highlights podcasts as to me, that's my niche and focus point for resources. I then created a header with my logo for the store front. Notice I use that same fonts and colors to make it cohesive. (how to create these click here)
Tips for Resources
+ Make sure you ALWAYS credit when you use fonts, clipart etc. in your resources. You can do this by adding a credits and terms page. I made mine on powerpoint without the products used, saved it as image, uploaded the background to google slides and that way can quickly add whose clipart or fonts I am using. I then click download as. a pdf and just throw that into each of my projects.
+ Make sure you add a copyright and your name somewhere on the pages where it can't be deleted so no one steals your work!
+Find your medium and stick with it. I use powerpoint to create everything. I usually will make it all, save each slide as an image, and then put it as a background when I want things to be editable. That way, the template stay the same, but the buyer can add whatever they want on top.
+Create SQUARE covers. I go into powerpoint settings and change them to 8 x 8. These just look so much cleaner that letter size. I save different variations in a slide deck, change what I want for the new product and save that image as a jpeg. That way I am not recreating the wheel, and my template is saved for me.
+Add pictures and previews of your product for buyers to see. The more in depth you are with this the better! This allows them to see what you are offering.
+Add a description of what your product is, how you use is and everything the product entails.
+Take criticism. You will get it. Just learn to not take it personally, and use it to make things better. A lot of times I get better ideas from my comments. Don't read every single one, as you might go down a deep dark hole, but don't ignore them either. Some of the best changes I made or added was because of comments. Think of them as a way to help you make things the best it can possibly be.
+Throw sales! Obviously the best are sitewide sales, but sometimes I like to do my own for special occasions or just because.
+ Don't be afraid to market on your instagram. I suggest sharing about the product in a deep dive so they can really get a feel for what it is like. Show it being used in your classroom and make it authentic. Just throwing the screenshot of your TPT page isn't going to do much, and I honestly would just tap on by. Same goes for just adding a picture of the TPT cover on your ig feed. I like when it's authentic. I want to see how students use it and how it looks in your classroom.
+ Lots of free resources. The best way to get people to trust your product is to give out plenty of freebies. It not only gets people invested in your work, but they begin to trust your resources as you are coming across as a place of "I want to help", not "here is my product please buy it".
+ Keep creating. It took me awhile before I starting seeing real revenue come in. Honestly, it took for just one product to really make it big. Test around with maybe what your niche is going to be and once you find your "hot ticket item" you'll understand what people actually are interested in buying.
+ Invest in fonts and clipart as it will make your products better!
+ If you are starting to see real revenue, do not forget to think of tax write offs, and make sure to save some money on the side for when you have to pay back taxes. Things like computers, iPads or anything that helps your business is considered a write off! (and will help you in the long run, trust me)
+ Do not be afraid to share about the same product(s). I say this because you are constantly getting new followers, and possibly not everyone always sees your instagram stories. I know you might feel like maybe you're repetitive, but you're not.