How We Made it to $75,000 TpT Milestone
WE DID IT! Carly and I(Adam) have made it to the $75,000 TpT Milestone! We want to share with you how we did it, and give some advice on how you can improve your store.
Everyone Sucks at First.
Yes. Carly and I(Adam) were not especially talented at making resources out of the gate. Carly is an excellent teacher, but that doesn't always translate to TpT. I knew nothing about teaching in the beginning.
Here is our first resource ever. It appears it was updated a little over a year ago, but it's just a basic clip chart that Carly wanted for her classroom. Not really a best seller.
Oh. And here is our first free resource. That cover makes me want to barf. I should probably update these at some point. Carly has used this form a lot with students, so we leave it up.
Comparing yourself to someone else (in business or in life) is not a good idea. The best way to get discouraged is to look at the top 100 sellers and realize how much more awesome they are. Don't do it.
Slow and Steady Wins The Race.
Early on, we adopted the "Tortoise Strategy". We weren't going to burn out or work a lot and slow down and rest. We would simply make one resource every week during the school year, and a few more during breaks.
We also try to make every resource our best resource ever. Just a small improvement with each resource, makes a big difference over time.
Products First. Everything Else Second.
Spend as much time learning teaching standards, teaching techniques, and lesson plan design. Learn Powerpoint, Keynote, or Adobe. (We make everything in Keynote). Figure out how to grow with your tech and design skills.
Just make new resources. The more resources you make, the better you get at making them. Practice makes perfect.
Avoid spending too much time on marketing. Don't do follower parties or Pinterest parties. If you have to pick one social media to market, Pinterest is King.
Listen to All Feedback.
Customers typically know what's best. Most reviews are generic, but occasionally someone offers a piece of advice that's incredibly helpful. If anyone says "I wish this resource had....(whatever)", you should consider adding it.
Feedback also helps you decide what you should create more of. If people are buying a lot of something and leaving super positive reviews, this could be your niche. Make more things like it.
Find a Niche.
There is a common misconception on TpT (and in business in general) that if you make more variety in resources, you will have more customers, and make more money. This is not true.
You should consider what people are buying and make more resources for the people buying those things. You want to make more resources for your current customers as opposed to creating tons of different kinds of resources for different kinds of buyers.
Example, clip art stores do not make math resources. They just make more clip art.
Build a Brand.
Building a brand and reputation is ultimately what will set you apart from other shops. This comes from being known for doing one or two things really well.
If you look at the chart of our sales, we started focusing on a certain type of resource in January 2017. Over the next few months sales gradually grew until we hit a tipping point in August 2017. Sales skyrocketed as we became known for doing one thing really well.
It Takes Time.
Finally, have patience. Building a good business and making it to $75,000 takes time. For the first 2 years of our store, we saw very small, but steady growth. Most of this milestone was reached in the last 6 months.
Your store will not look like a top store for a while, and that's okay. It takes time.