It’s time to celebrate – hard to believe that it’s been over 3 years of The Creative Teacher Podcast and we are now looking at 100 episodes!

Today is a juicy episode of 100 tips and best practices we as teacher sellers should all know about and do – it’s pretty much everything I have learned throughout my journey as a TPT seller in one episode.

Share this with a seller friend or if you have a teacher friend who is thinking about being an entrepreneur.

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Kirsten 0:04

You're listening to the creative teacher podcast, a show for busy teachers looking for ways to engage, inspire and make an impact in their teacher businesses. I'm Kiersten, a teacher business owner who is all about simple and actionable tips, strategies and resources that result in wins, big or small. If you're looking for that extra spark of creativity, you've come to the right place. Let's dive in together.

Hi there, and welcome to another episode of the creative teacher podcast. This is a super special episode because it is the 100th episode of the podcast. It has been a long time coming. And I am so grateful for every single one of you listening in, whether you've been listening in from the very beginning from episode one. And you've been tuning along ever since or you have listened in at any time in 2022, or 2023, or 2024. It's hard to believe that this show will be almost three years old. So I truly appreciate you from the bottom of my heart. And I wanted to do an episode where I share 100 tips. So this is a very lofty goal. And I'm hoping I'm not going to ramble on too much with it. But I wanted to share an episode about everything I have learned as a TPT seller all in one. So just thinking about best practices and tips that we should all know about and do and already likely do a lot of these and are successful or are working towards our goals with all these tips. So I encourage you if you haven't already shared this podcast, to definitely share this specific episode with the seller friend. Or even maybe you might have a teacher friend who's thinking about being an entrepreneur, I'm hoping that this episode kind of gives a kind of like a quick tip, Episode full of goodness that you can apply whether you're a beginning seller or a seasoned seller.

So I bucketed these tips into different categories. So here are the categories, branding and design, of course, resource creation, product listing and optimization, websites, social media, Pinterest, and email marketing, customer management and promotions, and collaboration and connection, productivity and mindset. Then, of course, the very last one CEO business tasks. So this is going to be a very jam packed, juicy episode full of 100 tips, one for every episode, of course. And I'm hoping that you can take away with something or are just kind of like you're preaching to the choir sister, or you're just kind of like, oh, wow, I didn't really think of that. Or maybe I could try something. So I know that whether or not you might already be applying these tips. You'll find this episode beneficial. So let's get started.

All right, so the first category is branding and design. Of course, we had to start with something that I'm very passionate about. I love personally branding my own store and helping other sellers with branding in their store, and just designing things in general. I've always been a doodler. Even as a kid I would draw pictures and cartoons and just I had a really creative side and artistic side. And so in combination with playing around with Microsoft Paint and PowerPoint as a kid and making random newsletters and brochures, it kind of all accumulated into what I do today. So it's kind of interesting how that evolved in my life. So starting with the first tip, Define Your Niche. Identify this specific subject or area you will focus on for your teacher resources. This is key. Number two, understand your audience. Know the needs and preferences of teachers in your chosen niche. Number three, clear brand identity develop a recognizable and consistent brand image for your business, the key being consistent. It may be super tempting to try to change up things all the time, but I recommend to stay the course. Number four Unique Selling Proposition or USP, highlight what sets your resources apart from others in the market. And number five consistent branding across platforms. Make sure your brand message is consistent across all online channels, whether you're on your TPT store or website or Instagram or Tiktok. Number six, create a logo. Design a distinctive logo that represents your brand. But I will mention Simplicity is key. You don't want it to have too many clashing elements. You want it to look pristine, polished, professional, but also distinctive. Number seven, clear brand messaging. Clearly communicate your brand's mission and values what characteristics What are things that you hold dearly to your in your business. Number eight, clear a call to action. Guide your audience on the actions you want them to take. Whether it could be asking them to follow your store, or signing up to join your email list or to buy a product. Number nine, competitor analysis. Stay informed about your competitors and adapt accordingly. Keep tabs on them, you have to stay relevant and just kind of ahead of the game. Number 10. Personal Branding share your story to humanize your brand. What is your origin story? How did you start creating resources? How did your business come to be? Number 11 innovative solutions offer creative and unique solutions to common problems that relate back to what your niche is problems are thinking about who your target audiences pain points are 12 industry thought leadership position yourself as a thought leader in your industry, whether it's upper elementary science, or math or ELA or SEL resources, make yourself a thought leader. Don't be afraid to do that. Number 13. regular audits conduct regular audits of your branding, and also even your marketing strategies, what's working what is not working. Number 14 color palette, choose a consistent color scheme that resonates with your brand, recommending no more than three to five colors for your overall brand. But of course, this varies as I always say. And then also think about color palettes for your specific resources. What you might have in your overall brand may not be the same as what you have in your actual resources or potentially on your website or other aspects of your business such as maybe a course or membership. Number 15 typography, select fonts that align with your brand personality that are easily readable, no more than two to three fonts for a design and also for your overall branding. Number 16 brand voice define a consistent tone for communication that matches your brand personality. Think about how your voice is in your emails, your social media, is it fun? Is it polished and professional? Or is it just silly, humorous, think about your voice. Number 17 brand guidelines document and maintain guidelines for consistent branding all across platforms. This is more in depth than your typical brand board. It's going into the do's and don'ts of what you want in a resource and what elements should be included in resource, your logos, how logo variations can be used. There's all sorts of things that can go into brand guidelines 18 market research, stay informed about industry trends, customer preferences, and competitor strategies, numbers 19 crisis management plan, develop a plan for potential crises that could affect your brand and how you can manage it and be kind of ahead of the game and be successful and come out of that crisis.

So now we're going into the second category resource creation. This has been a big learning curve over the years. I cringed, thinking about the resources I quote revamped in 2020 They look very horrible right now and I have loved how far I've come and I'm sure you can relate. You might have resources that you can cringe at that, you know, you've learned so much in the last couple of years. It's just all about learning and growing from what we're doing as far as what we're putting in our resources. So these tips kind of relate to product creation and creating different content. or your products and offers in your business 20 quality content create high quality teaching materials that align with educational standards 21 free resources, offer some freebies to attract new customers and showcase your expertise 20 to clear licensing terms, clearly communicate the terms of use for your resources. And if you haven't updated it or looked at it in a while, and you just kind of copy it and put it in, take a look and make sure it's still relevant and you don't need to add anything else. Number 23. Printable options offer both digital and printable versions of your resources. So just thinking about options if your potential customers or your audience would prefer paperless versions, that's something you can make sure to communicate in your product listings and what you create for your resources. 24 seasonal content, don't solely focus on evergreen create resources aligned with holidays or specific seasons. When I started on TPT when I was revamping my store and kind of basically reviving it from the dead. I was mainly focusing on evergreen resources. And while it was great, I have learned that having a mix of both is great as well having seasonal content and not just necessarily related to holidays, but it could be something that is taught really heavily at a specific time of year 25. Consider accessibility make your resources accessible to a diverse range of students feel like that is a non negotiable 26 legal compliance and other non negotiable. Ensure that your resources comply with copyright and licensing laws. 27 Diversity and Inclusion represent diverse perspectives and backgrounds in your resources. 28 suggestions for use guides provide how to use pages in your resources to help teachers quickly implement your resources. I used to do bullet points of like tips. And of course now I kind of go more in depth depending on what the resources and I'll go from like explicit directions on how you could use it to actually teach your guides and lesson plans. So that's always ways you can kind of help support your teachers who are buying your resources 29 in depth tutorials, create video tutorials to guide teachers through specific features of your resources. 30 Stay adaptable, be flexible and adapt to changes in Educational Standards and Technology 31 cross platform compatibility. Make sure your resources work across various devices and platforms such as Macs, PCs, Google Classroom, Microsoft Teams, and even boom cards and easel. 32 online courses offer comprehensive online courses or memberships for teachers that will help develop a skill or solve a problem 33 Don't put all your eggs in one basket. Diversify your offers outside of just TPT 34 professional graphics use visually appealing graphics and layouts for your TPT resources. 35 include differentiation options cater to various learning styles and abilities. Think about maybe having not just all multiple choice questions for your passages, think about maybe short answer or extension answers where they are kind of thinking more outside the box and 36 stay informed about curriculum changes ensure your resources are aligned with current curriculum standards. So if your specific state standards or a set of standards change, make sure to make the necessary changes in your actual resources so that it stays aligned to those changes.

Alright, next category going into product listing and optimization. This is also something I am really loving to do and I always try to really have to force myself to not try to change covers all the time, but I wanted to share some tips with this as well. 37 competitive pricing. Determine fair and competitive prices for your resources 38 regularly update resources. Keep your resources and listings current and relevant 39 resource bundles package complimentary resources together for added value If you can do this in one listing, or you can use the bundling tool on TPT number 40 data driven insights, use data analytics to understand customer behavior and preferences. 41 positive messaging frame your listing messages positively, obviously not too superficial, but make sure to emphasize the benefits of your resources already to spice up your store. Keep your storefront graphics and profile up to date 43 optimized titles, make sure to use descriptive titles with relevant keywords in your resources. 44 write compelling descriptions, make sure to clearly explain the benefits and features of your resources. And why this would help solve a problem for your intended audience. Number 45 provide sample pages allow teachers to preview a few pages of your resources and have samples you can do this through having a sample in the preview or you can have an opt in where teachers are opting in to receive the freebie headed into their inbox through email. There's a lot of different ways you can provide sample pages. Or you can just have it as a free download 46 Specify grade levels and standards clearly indicate the target audience and educational standards that are covered. Make sure you are tagging those grade levels and tagging those applicable standards. Definitely make sure to tag Common Core. And if whatever you're able to just like if it's TEKS. If it's you know the science standards, make sure you're tagging as much as you can, and make sure it's actually applicable to that resource. Don't go tag happy 47 Use keywords strategically. Optimize your product listings for search engines within your platform 48 utilize custom categories make it easy to navigate in your storefront with custom categories. They recently have announced that there is a more robust way to bulk edit and utilize custom categories. So it is definitely more user friendly. So make sure to take advantage of that.

Moving on to the next category. website. I don't have too many tips for this. Because this is all kind of like I'm still learning. I'm still growing in this, especially with a new WordPress website, actually two websites. But it's been a fun journey. It's been really cool to kind of have that techie side web techie side, I should say, and just kind of venture into managing that. So the best tips I have for you for here is 49. professional website, invest in a user friendly website to showcase and sell your resources. Hire somebody if you need to invest in that. If you feel like you're not able to DIY it or put things together, find somebody in your price point or save up for somebody to help you with that. Number 50 mobile responsiveness. Make sure your website is accessible and functional on a variety of devices. think mobile first mobile friendly. If you're previewing a page or you're making a sales page or a landing page, look at it in different areas, look at it on the tablet mode, look at it at the mobile mode and look at it on the desktop mode and adjust accordingly. 51 SEO optimization, implement SEO strategies to enhance the visibility of your website, Uber suggests is really great tool. It's something that I highly recommend 52 Engaging blog share valuable content related to education on a blog to attract and engage teachers. You would be surprised if you do your keyword research how you can even if your blog has only been published for maybe a few months, you never know you could be really focusing on those keywords. And depending on what those keywords are, you can rank in those search results 53 Google Analytics use Analytics to track website traffic and user behavior. While I have no idea how I was able to connect my website with Google Analytics, I did it I figured it out. I don't know what how I did that. It was like years ago. I do appreciate having Google Analytics to be able to go in and see which landing pages are getting a lot of clicks. And I love the Google console. I believe it's the Google console search tool or something like that. And it will send me monthly updates of which landing pages have gotten the most clicks and page views. And I also like to use sidekick on WordPress just to kind of get the very basic view of how my websites are doing and 54 optimized load times. Make sure your website and resources load quickly for a seamless experience, you can pop in a URL at the website page speed dot web dot Dev, and you'll get a score for performance accessibility best practices and SEO for both desktop and mobile devices.

Moving into the next category, social media Pinterest and email marketing, love social media, love email marketing, love, not really loving Pinterest. Honestly, I don't use it really at all. But I do have some tips for when I did utilize Pinterest at one point in time. Number 55 social media presence. establish and maintain active profiles on Facebook, or Instagram or tick tock whatever you prefer 56 update social media regularly. Stay active on social media and share updates and engaging content in your reels or stories or, you know, however you want to engage with your followers, make sure you're staying up to date on that 57 paid ads, grow your email list through paid Facebook or Pinterest ads that are constantly running for five to $10 a day. That's probably one of the best things I wish I had done sooner. 58 A B testing experiment with different strategies to optimize performance. So you can think about a B testing in your emails or on your Facebook ads. There's different ways you can a B test. But just thinking about if you're just changing and tweaking one thing, and you're just sending it to a subset of audiences, see what works best 59 Share behind the scenes content. humanize your brand by showing the people behind the resources you don't always have to have posts on Instagram about what resources you sell. You can you know think about just other connecting things about like what you did as a teacher or what you do as a teacher what you do in your free time you do some CrossFit running, whatever you like to do, it's okay to share some behind the scenes 60 content repurposing, repurpose content for different platforms and formats. One of my favorite things to do is create for Tik Tok first as far as video content. And then I will repost one of my tiktoks onto Instagram. One currently, it went viral at the time of this recording 116k views, which I've never ever had in my life. But it originally started as a tick tock which did okay there. But then it just took off on Instagram. So I didn't have to create anything new, same video, same captions, I think I might have changed a little bit of the hashtags. But you never know. Sometimes if you repurpose content it could take off on one platform if it doesn't take off on another 61 utilize Pinterest for traffic create visually appealing pins to drive traffic to your resources. You always want to make sure you're using the appropriate dimensions and just those best practices of if you're creating a design similarly of how you would create designs for your resources and your product listings and your social media you want to do the same thing for Pinterest, you want people to be able to click on them. 62 email list building, collect emails for a mailing list to keep teachers informed about your latest resources. My favorite email list provider is ConvertKit. But I know a lot of teachers sellers love flow desk as well. 63 email marketing campaigns create and develop targeted email campaigns to promote your resources. Think about maybe a product you want to highlight, discuss the benefits, how it would help them and send an actual email campaign, maybe a set of three emails, or three to five emails if you want and just really talking about it. You can always segment your audience and if maybe a certain amount of people click on the link, you send follow up emails. There is a whole bunch of different ways you can do that. But I do recommend outside of your consistent newsletter that you might send to send additional email marketing campaigns like sales emails to your list.

All right, going into the next category. If you're sticking around with me, you're amazing. I am not done but we are more than halfway done and we are going to just keep trucking through customer management and promotions. This is mainly thinking about your audience people who have already To purchase your resources or your membership or your courses, and just thinking about the best practices to, you know, keep them around and hopefully buying more of your resources or recommending your resources in a positive way. So 64 customer support, offer responsive and helpful customer support for any questions or issues 65 Customer testimonials, make sure you are showcasing your positive feedback and testimonials from teachers posted on social media in your previews. There's all kinds of ways you can showcase that social proof that your resources are really valuable. 66 Teacher generated content, encourage teachers to share how they use their resources in their classrooms. 67 customer surveys gather feedback through surveys to identify areas for improvement or also what's working well. And you can always attach a giveaway raffle and if people are completing the survey, they are entered in to win like an Amazon gift card or Starbucks gift card. I find that more people will fill out the surveys if they know that they may be getting a chance to win something 68 customer onboarding for courses and memberships create a smooth onboarding process for new customers guide them on their next steps after purchasing the offer 69 offer a FAQ section. Anticipate common questions and make sure you're proactively providing those answers. 70 respond to inquiries promptly aim for quick response times to customer questions in your q&a tab. It always gives me the itches. If I see this TPT seller, it's like somebody has a question. You get an email notification. And I always always like freeze up I'm like, Oh my gosh, what question Is it? And I'm very quick to answer I try to answer within 24 to 48 hours 71 handle customer complaints professionally addressed issues with the positive and solution oriented approach. As much as we want to get offended that people don't love our babies like we love our resources, that we have to realize that not everybody is going to be 100% satisfied and we are going to do our best to be professional, even if they are not 72 promotional discounts run or participate in occasional promotions such as TPT sitewide sales to make sure that you can incentivize purchases, and 73 community challenges, organized challenges or giveaways to engage your community. I love to pair those two giveaways right before that TPT sitewide sale.

All right. Next is collaboration and connection. And this is more related to collaborating with other teachers in your teacher audience and also with other sellers. I think both are important. And along the way I've learned tips of what to do and what not to do. I'm just going to share like my best things of like, this is really what you want to think about 74 collaborate with sellers, partner with other sellers to promote your brand. You don't have to do it every single month or every week. But if there's an opportunity that arises and you have the bandwidth to do it, I say why not 75 attend conferences, network with other entrepreneurs or TPT sellers have in person or virtual conferences 76 Join online teaching communities participate in forums and Facebook groups where teachers are discussing topics in your niche. Facebook groups are always my favorite place. And I try to type in related keywords of groups that are related to my target audience. And of course respecting the rules of those Facebook groups if you are let in, but just kind of getting some intel of what their pain points are 77 continual learning stay informed about educational trends and approaches make sure you are staying up to date. It could be maybe keeping up to tabs with your teacher certification if you're not currently in the classroom and just having those hours, PD hours and you're just current and up to date with that. Number 78. Be a guest be a guest on a blog, podcast or YouTube channel in a complementary or similar niche to expand your brand's reach 79 Stay informed about changes in TPT policies. Make sure you're attending TPT town halls and read the seller blog or forums to stay up to date with all the TPT news and updates.

The next category we have is productivity and mindset. This is something that I have to grapple with a lot I get impostor syndrome I'm, I really have to work on my mindset and my time management of all things. And that's just something that I am continually trying to learn and grow from. But I know that each time each time I am just slowly getting better and just improving as a business owner of managing all of what I need to number 80 project management. Use a project management tool, such as clickup, or Asana to help keep track of all the different tasks in your business. 81 stay in your own lane, don't copy what others are selling. Definitely don't do that. Your resources needed to be unique. And while yes, we can't copyright ideas, you can tell if other people are completely ripping off other people, you want to be a part of the solution, not that problem. Add to plan ahead, plan ahead monthly and quarterly tasks to help you reach your goals. 83. Use AI to help you AI can be your friend and assistant but you don't want to completely rely on it. You want to make sure to use AI as a tool to help you create content and products ad for hire out hire VAs or service providers for tasks that you need help with find VAs and service providers that are proven to show really great results, whether it's through their portfolio, or they might specialize in something 85 track your time, conduct a time audit to see how long it takes for you to complete certain tasks, you might be surprised or maybe not surprised. But if you kind of know how long it takes you to start do certain things, then you can always adjust accordingly. A lot yourself that time to do what you need to do 86 have dedicated work hours have a consistent time of day to be able to get out all the tasks you need done in your business, my current work hours, which will change, I know it will change because my all of my kids will be in school at some point. But right now I'm working before they get up for the most part, like maybe a couple hours before they usually get up and they get up pretty early. So I get up even earlier. But I enjoy it. I have my coffee. And I just get into that work mode. And it's just a really great way for me to start off the day. Then if I need to. I can work in the afternoon during nap time. Or in the evening after they go to bed. Like right now, as I'm recording this podcast episode 87 Say no. Don't try to please everyone and say yes to everything requested of you. It's okay to say no. And really, I know people say oh, we need to have that year of Yes. I don't know when my year of yeses, but I know it's definitely not anytime soon. Ada it's okay to take a break. If you feel burnt out, you can take a hiatus or break. It's okay. Like nobody's gonna come at you and be like, Why are you not doing this anymore. We are all business owners and we can literally do whatever the heck we want. So that's just what we want to make sure to remember 89 trust your gut, go with your gut on decisions, even if it may rock the boat, it might be something that might rock the boat with your team. Or even maybe other sellers. Maybe you have an opinion that goes against the grain of what a lot of other people are doing or following. But as long as it's, you know, obviously legal and ethical, trust your gut. Number 90, get out of your comfort zone. Every once in a while do something scary or different in your business. Sometimes going out of your comfort zone can get you really great results that you may not have expected 91 Don't compare your success to others. Focus on competing against yourself, not with others. I think a big thing that I am going to mention is related to when the rankings were first announced and released. I cannot tell you how many already just in those comment threads. We saw a lot of people already comparing themselves and it was like, just kind of I felt like really negative. And of course we can't always be toxic positivity all the time. But I think it might have kind of knocked down some people and just kind of with all the like, graphs and comments about oh, this is my rank and this is my percentile, what's yours, you know, that kind of thing. That is not what we need to focus on. You need to kind of stay in your own lane and just compare your own success to yourself, not with other people. It's nice to have a poll check on what you are doing in comparison with like the marketplace as a whole. But we don't need to go in. Oh, what's Judy's rank? What's Jill's rank? What's whoever's rank, that does not matter, we don't want this to be a competition. At the end, we all want the same results. And that is more financial freedom, more people buying resources, more people being able to consume resources. So that's kind of like my random unsolicited thoughts on that. Alright, number 90 to balance your work and life, don't constantly be on the grind, balance your work on TPT, with your personal life, and hobbies, this is something I continually work on, because I will work as long as I want if I had that, but I know I literally can't, because I have children to take care of, and food dinner to make and all you know, cleaning all that stuff. So and also I do like to, you know, work out and do all of those different tasks as far as my health and just, you know, my sanity, just kind of having that knee time. So just make sure to have that balance 93 That's your content, that's your like tasks together to make it easier to focus on one thing. I'm a bachelor, it's just something that works best for me.

Okay, we are at the final category, CEO, business tasks. 94 identify trends, stay ahead by spotting emerging trends in education and marketing. You may think, oh, it's trending. It's not it's gonna go away eventually. But you may never know how long that trend may go away or how long it may stay. That's kind of where I'm at with one of my resources where it was very, very trendy, and I created a resources specifically for elementary kids. And it really took off and it it still stayed steady over the course of three years. And while it is kind of like declining, it's still one of my best sellers. It's undeniably something that is still trending, but just not as trendy as maybe a few years ago. However, you still want to say how to and see if there's any other emerging trends that may pop up. Because you never know if that's something that you can also hop on. 95 reevaluate and pivot as needed. regularly assess the market and be willing to adapt your strategies if organic marketing isn't working, and you're like, why is my followers not stagnant and you're just hating, you know, doing organic marketing, don't do it organic marketing, pivot, find another solution. 96 Build a professional portfolio, highlight your educational background and achievements. Make sure you post it prominently and proudly on your website, on your TPT Store Profile wherever you can, so that it is something that people are able to see and gives you more credibility 97 Stay informed about tax obligations, course financial stuff, it's not our favorite thing. But we do want to make sure to understand and comply with tax regulations for our business and our state. Especially if we might be filing taxes. We'll definitely Of course, as we're filing taxes each year or quarter, and also thinking about if we're selling on our own website, making sure we're staying ahead of the game with that 98 SWOT analysis, assess your business's strengths, any weaknesses, opportunities, and potential threats. 99 you're the CEO, you're the boss of your business, and you can make whatever decision you want to or need to. And number 100. This is the last one. Celebrate milestones, acknowledge and celebrate business milestones with your community. Maybe you've reached 100 followers, maybe you've created 100 podcast episodes, whatever the milestone is, make sure you acknowledge it and celebrate it big or small. I think that's always important.

All right, we've made it to 100 tips. These are all tips that I have learned along the way. And while I may not be implementing 100 of them 100% of the time, I try my best to work towards these and strive to be the best CEO and business owner I can be and hopefully these tips have helped you as a reminder and is something that you'll want to listen to later on. So thank you for tuning in to 100 episodes. I Hope you have a wonderful rest of your week and I will talk to you again next week. Thanks for listening to the creative teacher podcast. If you enjoyed listening to today's episode, feel free to subscribe and leave a review. I'd love to hear your feedback. You can also follow me on Instagram at the southern teach dot designs. Have an amazing day.