It can be hard to stand out when there are so many other teacher-authors selling similar resources as you. How does one stand out in a noisy online world?
Think about any other business outside of TPT. How do they do it?
Here’s the short answer: define your brand with core differentiators.
Listen to the Episode
What is a Core Differentiator?
A core differentiator is something that sets your business brand apart from other similar businesses like yours, and it gives you an advantage in the eyes of your ideal teacher customer.
It doesn’t start visually. It starts with identifying your brand values, which is focusing on who you serve and why you serve them.
Why is it important to stand out with core differentiators?
One reason it’s important to use core differentiators is because there’s the small chance you could end up blending in with the other stores if you don’t.
There are SO many other TPT stores out there, and it can be hard to be memorable, especially if you’re just starting out. There has to be a special element in your store that helps you stand out from the rest.
Another reason to use core differentiators is because you can use it to build trust. Customers feel comfortable knowing they can get quality resources from their favorite TPT stores that they can use over again.
Think about Apple!
Before Apple, we knew of many other phone brands – Nokia, Motorola, Blackberry, etc. But when Apple launched the iPhone, they changed the cell phone game completely. They focused on not just the features the iPhone has, but the experience of the features, and how it is elegant, aesthetically pleasing, simple, and easy to navigate.
Apple stood out by highlighting the experience of the their phone rather than just the specs and features of the phone. And that has built loyal customers who keep them top of mind.
3 Ways to Stand Out With Core Differentiators
1. Find your niche
What topics and subjects come naturally to you? Be honest with yourself. Is it talking about diversity? Sharing read-aloud ideas? Don’t be afraid to get specific in who your products or services are for.
In my TPT store, I would first market to all K-5 elementary teachers, but now my focus is for upper elementary teachers in grades 3-6 for ELA and social studies.
2. Nail Your Story
How did your brand or business come to be? Sometimes sharing a story of your journey can help you stand out, especially if it is relatable or has a lesson or message that will resonate with your audience.
My brand story mainly consists of how I became an active seller after years of inactive selling, and how it’s completely changed with a rebrand and implementing marketing strategies. I continue to grow my TPT store business with sales that result in 4-figure months.
3. Determine the Unique Way You Help Your Customer
What unique way do you solve your customer’s pain points, worries, or problems? Everyone might be offer a course or a Boom Card activity as their product, but what unique way do you offer something similar?
As an example in my business, I offer creative ways to review or learn content, such as color-by-number task cards and WebQuests.
Creative Action Tip
Answer the following three questions about what makes you and your business unlike any of the others out there.
1. What’s your niche?
2. What is your story of how your business came to be?
3. What is the unique way you help your customer?
If you want to stand out (in a positive way), using core differentiators in your brand can make all the difference.