Thursday, 27 August 2015

How to become a seller on DBT & TpT: Promoting your Products

Welcome to the final post in my series on becoming an online seller: Promoting your Products. Being in tune with the various social networking sites can lead to the growth and success of your business. But how do you become savvy with regards to using social media to boost your business? Knowing how to work each platform right. Whether you’re just starting out or a seasoned social media pro, hopefully you’ll learn something new or take away something useful after reading this post.


In today's world, social media is EVERYWHERE — we can access it through our smartphones, tablets, computers, TVs and now WATCHES! It's probably the easiest way of staying up to date with what is going on in the world, keeping in close contact with family who live away from us (both my brothers - and only siblings - live away from us, one on the other side of the world!) and obtaining information regarding my profession - I can't believe how much I've learnt from reading everything from tips & tricks, blog posts to journal articles online!

So let's explore some of the ways in which you can promote your products:

Online Marketplaces:


It may seem like I'm stating the obvious, but I’m including this one on the list because your DBT & TPT shop is also a good marketing opportunity. When people click “follow”, they’ll get updates about new products you upload and also any specials/sales you may throw. Make sure that the featured freebie you create when you set up your shop is awesome enough to entice fans to click “follow” and check out your paid products too!!!

designedbyteachers.com.au/

Designed by Teachers provides the opportunity to showcase your resources through various platforms including their social media sites, newsletter and blogs.

http://teacherspayteachers.com/


Teachers Pay Teachers also offers opportunities for sellers to feature in their online marketing - you have to apply and there can be a wait depending on the area you're in (there is obviously a TONNE of Primary/Elementary Ed stuff out there, but if you've a Speech Pathologist or O.T your feature may appear quite soon!)

Blogging:


The best place to market your products is a blog.  Why?  Well it gives you the most flexibility to talk about your products in all their glory, and to showcase how they can be used.  On your blog, you can write about anything you want and display all the photos you need to give buyers a good feel of your product.

Again, this is also where quality over quantity is important. Put time an effort into the content of your blog to really start generating traffic. You'll need about 10-15 good posts, and you'll need to post regularly to keep getting people to stop and read (I'm still working on this myself!!)

Most blogs are hosted through blogger - I'm sure you noticed that most teacher  blogs end with .blogspot.com. Blogger is really easy to use and is great for those new to the world of blogging. Fortunately, blogger has created a VERY user friendly Blogger Tour. Click here to check it out. The Teacher Wife has created a great blog that focuses on Blogging Basics, where you can learn what a blog is and how to get started. (Make sure you follow any blogs you like as well and comment on any posts your found interesting and relevant).




What do you write about? Anything related to your products, classroom, your life outside of the classroom, kids...  You don't just have to write about your products. Blogs that are all about products don’t get read.  People want to learn about you, as a person AND teacher, so blog about what works for you, why it works, how you figured things out, and what makes you unique as a teacher.

Teachers, especially those new to the profession, want to know how they can become a better teacher. Reveal the ways you have become better at what you do - and want you would like to be better at! The more real you are, the more followers you'll gain! Throw in posts about products along the way to show readers resources that have helped you become a better teacher.  My most popular posts have been about casual teaching and how to survive it - people have then gone on to read other posts and purchase products based on what they've read on my blog!

Pinterest:


Pinterest is fast becoming the new Google! People use the Pinterest search bar to find all sorts of things including great teaching ideas, including the ones you’re writing about on your blog!

According to most sellers who use Teachers Pay Teachers, this is the MOST EFFECTIVE way to promote your products. This is my biggest source of traffic month after month.  Make sure your boards reflect your brand - for instance, I've made boards for K-2 Literacy Activities, K-2 Mathematics Activities, the same for Literacy and Mathematics for grades 3-6. I've also got boards dedicated to Special Education, Science Experiments, Fine Motor Skills etc. Check them out here and please follow!!!

If you've been on Pinterest for a while, you can either make a couple of tweaks on your personal Pinterest account to make it reflect your brand or set up a separate business account - I'm currently in the process of merging my personal and business accounts and merging the two. If you're new to Pinterest and not sure how to get started, check out this great post from the 3am Teacher.

http://the3amteacher.blogspot.com.au/2013/10/everything-you-need-to-know-about.html

Facebook: 


While Facebook is not the best platform to use to promote your stores and products, simply becuase  even when people like your page they won’t necessarily see your posts in their newsfeed, nevertheless, Facebook is a must. To ensure that people keep interacting with your page, and in-turn get more information in of yours in their newsfeeds, head over to your personal Facebook account and create a “Page” with the same name as your Teachers Pay Teachers shop. Create an eye-catching banner and button and away, and make sure you provide links to your DBT or TpT store and write what your page is about. You can then also provide links to your Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube and other social media accounts which make it easier for your followers to follow you on all platforms.


https://www.facebook.com/MyMumtheTeacher

Facebook has recently created a 'call-to-action' button which you can customise for your personal business - this is great as it means you can provide a direct link to your store!! All you need to do it click on the 'call-to-action' button on your page's banner, then choose what option you'd like (choose 'shop now' so that people are taken directly to your store) and follow the prompts to add your stores URL. 

There are also some fabulous groups that you can join on Facebook - the DBT sellers group is great for those starting out in Australia and provides plenty of help from DBT and those who have been sellers for a while. They also provide times where you can promote your products, or they'll promote your products for you.There are other groups out there that individuals or groups have created off the back of the highly successful (and enviable) TpTVegas Conference. These are also a great way to introduce yourself to the online seller market.

TpT Tips & Tidbits

TpT Social Media Tribe
 

Instagram: 


If you've been an active member of the social networking community for the last few years, you’ll know that Instagram should be a key component to your online marketing strategy, especially as a product-based business as what we do is so visual! Teachers like to see what they're purchasing, and they like it even more if they can see the product in use. 
To use Instagram effectively, you'll need to ensure that you do a few things, consistently:
  1. Have an consistent online presence: to maintain your position in the HUGE world of Instagram, and especially teachers on Instagram, you need to post daily, up to 3-4 times a day is ideal. 
  2. Interact with the people who comment on your photos. @Mention them back. Ask them questions. Share your gratitude. And don’t be afraid to leave comments on other people’s pictures, too. Be generous with your likes. Follow back people who are consistently interacting with you. It’s called a social network for a reason! Let people get to know you by posting things other than your products - show them that there is a person behind the business and they have a life too, and seek ways to get to know your followers.
  3. The number of followers you have is definitely important, as followers act like little votes of confidence and give your brand credibility. And because people do what they see other people do, the more followers you have, the more followers you will get.
There are lots of teachers on Instagram so be sure to use popular hashtags like #teachersfollowteachers  #teachersoninstagram #teachersofinstagram #aussieteachers #downunderteachers #designedbyteachers #teacherspayteachers and any others related to education and teaching so that they can find you and follow you!!

But, what good is a bunch of followers who don’t ever buy your stuff? (I’ll give you a hint: NO GOOD AT ALL.) Numbers aren’t everything - Engagement is what matters most. By putting some key strategies into place, such as having a strong, consistent and quality online presence, you can make sure that you are building trust and turning the followers you do have into raving fans and customers.
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Signup/referral:cgray01

And so concludes my series on "How to become a seller on DBT & TpT". I hope you have found some of the information useful and that is has inspired you to get creative and create quality products that are secure, and that you have the confidence to grow your business and start promoting yourself.



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