Getting started on TpT can be overwhelming as a new or potential seller. There is a definite learning curve, and it may seem hard to find resources on how to start your store.
I felt the same when I began my own TpT journey. Now, 7 months later, I have made over $2300 in sales and climbing!
I want to celebrate this success by providing resources to help new and prospective sellers like you, get started on TpT the right way from the beginning!
1. Make Smart Business Decisions
The moment you make your first sale, you have now started earning additional or self-employment income, thus your Teacher Pay Teachers store should be treated like what it is: an official online business.
With this comes responsibilities! The money you earn from TpT will not have taxes withheld like your paycheck through your employer. Also, employees aren’t taxed the same as businesses or those who are considered self-employed.
Therefore, it is imperative that you make smart business decisions when you start a Teachers Pay Teachers store! Do your research on:
- Choosing a business entity.
- How different business entities are taxed.
- State specifics and laws related to owning your own business and doing taxes for a business.
- Local tax and business professionals.
2. Choose The Resources You Will Sell
A common misconception about TpT with people unfamiliar with the platform, is that teachers only sell their lesson plans. That is completely false!
Teachers Pay Teachers gives its sellers the freedom to sell many different resources that will help teachers excel in the classroom!
Check out some examples below:
- Clip art
- Classroom Forms
- Movie Guides
- Test Prep
- Study Guides
3. Build Your Brand
Branding is one of the most important aspects about starting a TpT store! As you create more products, gain more customers and market your brand, you begin to build authority. Threfore, making sure your brand is strong and consistent is vital, as this is how your customers, potential or otherwise will recognize you.
When building your brand the following are must haves for you to create:
4. Learn the Platform
The first step to learning the TpT platform is being aware of the two types of seller memberships: basic and premium. You may want to start as a basic seller and earn enough to cover the cost of upgrading to a premium seller. Or you can jump right in and become a premium seller from the beginning. It’s totally up to you!
5. Set-Up Your Store
When first setting up your Teachers Pay Teachers store, there are a few key items that help organize your store, promote your products and promote a great customer experience.
The quote area is one of the first things a customer sees when visiting a store.
Use this place to promote evergreen content, prompt customers to follow you, and market products in general!
There are two banner spots on your store to help market your products: the leaderboard banner (great for promoting seasonal products) and the column banner (great for promoting sales).
TPT gives you the ability to create custom categories to help organize your products and store.
You can do this by numbering and lettering them.
6. Create Your Products
TpT requires that your first product be a freebie that represents the general quality of your work. This is very important! Your first free resource serves as an introduction to your store and shows potential customers the quality they can expect to see in all of your resources!
The following is a list of everything that goes into creating products for TpT:
There are a number of programs you can use to create your resources. Choose the one that you are most comfortable with. Consider the learning curve involved if you plan to use a program you have never used before.
The operating system you use (Windows vs MacOS), can determine what platform you use to create your resources.
Popular programs TPT Sellers use are:
- Power Point
- Adobe Pro
Many sellers who use Windows purchase a product called Flat Pack to use with Power Point as you can flatten and secure your PDF with the click of a button.
There are certain things that should be included in every product you make:
I usually use my product cover as my cover page for my resource and just resize it to fit.
Tells the customer what they may and may not do with your resource. This can become imperative to have if you find someone else has copied your work!
Your content should be high quality and include answer keys if it is applicable to the product.
Promote similar products, encourage customers to leave feedback and even include information for them to sign up for your e-mail list.
Imperative if you have used clip art, fonts, images, etc. that you purchased from someone else.
You should include copyright information at the bottom of every page .
The Security of Your Products
Simply saving your resource as a PDF does not prevent someone else from copying/pasting any text or images you use in your resource. This runs the risk of having your work stolen.
Also, if you incorporate purchased clip art, most sellers will require you to flatten and secure the work to prevent their images from being stolen.
Therefore, it is imperative to flatten and secure your products:
Merging the text and images in your products into one single image. This protects your text and images from being copy and pasted.
Preventing your resource from being edited. Certain programs can allow you to password protect your product from being edited.
Depending on the operating system, many sellers use different methods to flatten and secure their products.
Some save their slides as png (a type of picture file) and then reinsert into their slide show. Some sellers purchase software such as Adobe Pro or Flat Pack to secure.
One of the ways TpT’s search algorithm orders products on the search page is through the keywords in the title and the first three lines of the product description.
If you aren’t aware of the common searches buyers are doing related to the product you want to create, it lessens the chances of it being found! It is imperative you are using the best keywords in your titles and product descriptions!
- Utilize the first 3 lines to input keywords naturally.
- Explain how your resource can solve a problem for the teacher.
- Include a resource breakdown. Link relatable products.
7. Market Your Products
TpT releases a weekly newsletter featuring sellers and their products:
- Submit a free or paid product to be featured.
- Apply to be a featured seller in the newsletter.
- Promo spots are released for purchasing on the 20th of each month, and 3 months in advance.
- You can promote up to 30 products for 24 hrs. These sell out quickly!
Submit a post for consideration to be shared on TpT’s social media. Can be:
- Resources in action
- Teacher Tip or Hack
- Teacher Life Moment
- Teacher Quotes
Customers who follow your store can receive messages from you about:
- New products you have uploaded.
- Upcoming sales
- Any special freebies you only give to those who follow your store.
You can set your store discount up to 20% off. TpT offers an additional 5% off via a sale promo code entered at checkout.
- Back to School
A common mistake new TpT sellers make is trying to market on and master all social media platforms. This can become extremely overwhelming! I personally know because when I first started my Teachers Pay Teachers store, I tried building 3 platforms and I was burnt out! As a result, I always suggest focusing on one platform first and graduating to more platforms as you grow your store and build your following.
For every seller, the number one focus should be using effective keywords for buyers to find products on the TpT marketplace, and then focus on marketing through social media!
There are many different views on which social media platform is the best to use. Different sellers attest that different platforms are the number one driver for traffic to their TpT store, so, it really boils down to which platform you are the most comfortable with.
Here are some examples of posts I have made on different platforms to market my products.
8. Customer Service
TpT encourages reviews by offering credits to customers who review the products they download!
Furthermore, customers have the opportunity to ask you questions about the product in the Q&A section on your store. Be sure to respond as soon as you can an in a professional and courteous manner, even if the customer has not done so themselves. Apply the same professionalism when responding to feedback as well, especially since it is public for potential customers to see! Although Teachers Pay Teachers offers customers store credit in exchange for feedback, it takes a LOT of time to gain feedback on your resources, so remember to be patient!
Get Started Today!
Get Started Today!
Getting started on TpT can be overwhelming as a new or potential seller. There is a definite learning curve, and it may seem hard to find resources on what to do to start your store.
That is why I designed The TpT Success Kit for Beginners! When I made my first sale on August 11, 2019, I never imagined seven months later I would make over $2200 sales and climbing!
The TpT Success Kit for Beginners is designed to make the process of opening a TpT store less overwhelming so that you can get started on TpT the right way from the beginning!
Look below for a more detailed description of what’s included in the Success Kit!
This 55+ page guide was designed to make the process of starting a Teachers Pay Teachers store less overwhelming by providing the most essential tips, tricks and tools to get started on TPT the RIGHT way, so that you can help other teachers with your incredible resources, while also earning income in your SLEEP!
This comprehensive guide includes details about:
- Business Basics
- Building your brand from scratch
- TpT Membership Options
- Setting up your TpT Store
- Creating and Uploading Products
- Marketing Your Products
- Social Media Platforms
- Customer Service
- TpT Data
- The best tools to increase your productivity.
… and more!
This 35+ page task book gives you actionable steps, worksheets, checklists, graphic organizers and more on:
- How to figure out what to sell
- How to choose your store name
- The exact tools you will need to create your logo
- How to market your products/tools needed
- Brainstorm worksheets
- Templates for product creation
- Checklists for business basics and product templates
- Worksheets and graphic organizers for:
- Setting up your account
- Setting up your store
- Creating your brand:
- brand colors
- choosing your store name