Not sure how we are already talking about summer, but it’s coming! Here are 4 surefire ways to leverage your summer break in order to give some TLC to your TpT business.
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Introduction to the Episode
Hello there and welcome! I just wanted to start out today by saying thank you for listening. This episode is for all sellers. It doesn’t matter if you are just getting started. Maybe you’ve had a TPT business but you’re not really sure what to do next. Maybe you’ve been doing this for several years and you feel kind of stuck and you’re ready to really scale your business. Or maybe you’ve been around for a really long time, since the beginning of TPT.
If that’s the case, then you of all people know how important it is to continue honing your craft and to continue learning new things and keeping on top of what it takes to be a TPT seller. And also, just reminding yourself that you’re not alone in this journey. Because the minute you start viewing this as a journey you have to do all by yourself, it becomes incredibly overwhelming and it’s just not as fun. So we really created this show for all sellers to build this sense of community because I really think that the more we do this whole TPT thing together, the more sustainable it is for you individually and also TPT as a whole.
I LOVE My TpT Buiness
Today we are talking about one of my favorite topics. It’s one of my favorites because I am a workaholic through and through. And I know workaholic has negative connotations. So let’s kind of agree to use that term but also not use it negatively. So when I say workaholic, what I’m really trying to tell you is that I just love my TPT business. Like I love it. It brings me so much joy.
There’s nothing I enjoy more than sitting down and opening my computer and getting started creating a new product or whatever it is that I’m working on that day. Now obviously, there are some tasks that I don’t love and not every day is a fairy tale. In fact, I probably have more hard days than fairy tale days if I’m being honest. But the truth remains is that having my own teacher business has been my favorite job that I’ve ever had. It really brings me joy even almost eight years into it. And I don’t think that that’s very typical for most jobs.
How You Can Make the Most of Your Summer as a TpT Seller
And the reason why I’m talking to you about my love of my business is that today we are going to discuss how you can make the most of your summer as a TPT seller. Soon enough, even if it doesn’t feel like it where you are, it’s going to be summer soon. And if you are in the classroom you are very aware of how soon summer is happening. You probably have a countdown right up until the minutes and the seconds.
And it’s really ironic because my favorite time of the year from a TPT seller’s perspective is summer. But personally speaking, I hate summer. It is my least favorite season. I hate being hot. And I hate having to be outside all the time. I mean I like the idea of things being outside. Like I like the idea of saying that I’m outdoorsy but when it actually comes down to it, I just don’t enjoy camping. I don’t enjoy sweating. I do love a good like beach or pool day. So I’m not a total summer hermit. But I’m just trying to paint a picture of how much I usually dislike summer. So it’s a really big statement for me to say that my favorite time of my TPT year is summer and I’m going to tell you why.
Why I Love Teacher Seller Summers
I think the biggest reason I love summer as a TPT seller is that for most of us, it’s time to work on our business. Once those classroom doors shut, we have extra time to relax, extra time to spend on our family. And I know I’m not speaking for every seller here but I also know that summer means working on your business and having time to actually sit down and do things and create things and manage things that you don’t necessarily have time to do during the school year. I think beyond just getting to work more on our business, there are some very specific things that summer is good for when it comes to being a TPT seller.
Make the Most of Your Techer Seller Summer
Before I start listing those things, please believe me when I say that I am not endorsing the idea of staying inside all summer. But I am encouraging you to take advantage of this time because it really is the perfect length. Having several months is just enough time to either get a head start on the beginnings of your business or to do certain things that will ensure your business’s growth. And it’s a great time to set up some systems. There are several things that you can do during the summer that will automate things for you during the school year so you’re not scrambling and feeling like you are dropping the ball left and right with your business once back to school season starts.
Start your TeachersPayTeachers store
The first thing that I think is important to share about having this summer time is that it’s a great time to start a new TPT business. I started my own business in June of 2012 and it was the perfect time because I was so sick of school but I still had all of these ideas fresh in my head about what worked well in my classroom and what types of products I thought about creating. It was the perfect amount of momentum to transition from the classroom to being at home full-time for a few months. I had that headspace and that energy to really sit down and figure out things for TPT.
I knew going into the summer that TPT was something I wanted to start and it was an adventure that I definitely knew I wanted to go on. But the one thing I didn’t know was how to go about starting. I had no idea where to start beyond just signing up for a TPT seller membership. Looking back, I wasted a lot of time that summer trying to figure things out and trying to DIY my way into the TPT world.
Seek Out Some Professional Development Opportunities
DIY-ing stuff and figuring things out on your own is never a bad idea. But if you have a limited amount of time, then I highly encourage you to seek out some professional development opportunities. Whether it’s a course that you can purchase, or whether it’s finding Facebook groups to join that will help you answer questions and navigate the beginnings of your business. I recommend having some sort of support lined up so that you have a place to turn and you’re not trying to do this by yourself for these precious months that you have before heading back to the classroom.
With School of Sellers, we are working on a course for up-and-coming sellers. Whether you’re just starting out or you have signed up but you’re not really sure what to do next, our Foundations for Teacher Sellers course is actually opening on May 17th. It’s for anyone who is interested in starting their own TpT business. But I’m not creating this episode to pitch the new course to you guys.
FREE Teacher Seller Quick Start
I really wanted to tell you about the free workshop opportunity that we have for new sellers. I resisted the idea of a course for new sellers for so long because I really just wasn’t sure how to create something for people who are still in the classroom that wasn’t going to ask them to drain their whole entire bank account just to take the course. A lot of the beginner courses I see out there seem so expensive and seem like a big ask for someone who has not even maybe signed up for a TPT seller account yet.
So at School of Sellers, we knew we wanted to create a free opportunity for teachers to kind of test the waters and dip their toes into the TPT world before deciding to invest money in a course. So we have created a Teacher Business Quick Start which is actually the first module of foundations and we decided you know what? Let’s just give that for free to anyone who wants to take it. That way you get a really good idea of what it takes to be a TPT seller, what it’s like to take an online course because chances are if you’re just starting you probably haven’t taken an online course before, and also, to give you an idea of the amount of time it takes and just the basics.
Sign Up for the Teacher Business Quick Start
You can sign up for the Teacher Business Quick Start. There’s a sign up button right at the top of the page and it is really no strings attached, guys. I’m not trying to sit here and trick you into signing up for anything. You sign up for the free module and that’s that. You don’t even have to enter any credit card information or anything like that. But every section of that quick start is like a crash course in being a TPT seller.
So we’ll show you how to pick your niche, how to identify your ideal customer, we’ll get started with your product creation and share the top three ingredients for a product that’s actually going to stand out. And we will also go through all of the branding basics that you need to think about like choosing fonts and colors and creating a logo. Basically all of the things that are probably on your mind that you’re not really sure who to ask or where to go to get all this information, it’s all right there and it’s free. And again, it’s totally no strings attached. Now if you were interested in taking the full course, that is on sale from May 17th through May 24th of this year. So keep an eye out for information on that as well!
Use Your Teacher Seller Summer to Prepare for Back to School
All right. Next let’s talk about how summer is a great time to prepare for back to school. And I know that sounds backwards because it’s like, oh my gosh, I just got done with the school year. Why on earth would I be thinking of back to school already? I really think one of the most valuable things teachers can do, and teacher sellers specifically, is to prepare for the back to school season right at the beginning of the summer.
For someone who’s on TPT, this might look like creating a back to school product and getting it in your store. This might look like creating ads for the back to school time. So that way when August rolls around, you can just set them and schedule them and they’re good to go. Or maybe it’s all about your classroom and taking the time to prepare for back to school season. We know that it sneaks up on us. Even though we have the whole summer to do whatever we want with, most teachers are usually back in their buildings by mid-summer if not the last few weeks of summer setting up their classrooms. So it does sneak up on you faster than you think.
Prepare for Back to School AND Work on Your TpT Store
The good news is that if you are still in the classroom and you have a TPT business or you’re going to start a one, these two things can really work well hand-in-hand. You can create for your business but also prepare your own classroom at the same time. I think one of the best things teachers can do for their TPT business is to create things that work in their classroom because chances are if they work in your own classroom, they’re also going to work in other teachers’ classrooms.
So this is a great time to sit down and think about what you want to do in your own classroom for back to school and how you can incorporate those ideas into your TPT business. Maybe you’re going to create a product that you will sell on TPT and also use in your classroom. Maybe you’re going to write a series of blog posts all about how you prepare for back to school. That way you’re sitting there and you’re going through the plans and you’re not only providing content for your business, but you’re also in your head going over everything that needs to happen during back to school and it’s preparing you mentally even if you don’t realize it.
Use Batching to Prepare for Back to School
Another super helpful thing that you can do for your business and your classroom is to spend your summer tackling all of the things that you don’t get to during the year for your business. You’ll cross everything off your list in one fell swoop rather than having to tackle it little by little throughout the school year. If you’ve been a long time listener of the podcast, you know I’m a huge fan of batching work. When you are short on time or have a lot of undesirable tasks that aren’t getting done otherwise, batching can be the magical solution.
If you’re not familiar with batching, it’s simply taking a group of similar tasks and doing them all together in one sitting instead of trying to tackle them every single day or every single week. It’s crossing things off for a long time. That way you don’t have to worry about them or stress about the fact that they’re not getting done. Some of the things I love to batch are emails. You can create a ton of email newsletters at one time rather than little by little. In the Finishing Framework course for established TpT sellers, we teach how to batch all of your blog posts, your social media posts, your emails, everything so that you are left with a huge wide open window to do whatever you want. If you’re still in the classroom, this would work really well for you to batch everything during the summer.
Batching When You’re No Longer Teaching
That way you have the whole school year to just focus on your classroom and not worry so much about what’s happening behind the scenes of your business. If you’re not still in the classroom, batching is an amazing thing as well because not only are you getting all of those things crossed off your list, but now you are left with wide open space in your schedule to probably get back to creating more products. Because I know that’s one thing that I lost sight of when I started getting entrenched in all of the businessy stuff. Like the emails, the blogs, the social media. The product creation is what fell to the wayside.
But by mega batching and using the Finishing Framework, I’ve been able to have a much larger chunk of time in my schedule to focus on what I truly love which is product creation. So either way, kind of testing out the art of batching and really honing in on the things that you want to cross off your list for a while can be a great summer project. You’ll enter the school year then with a much clearer mind and a clear conscience knowing that those things are done. And you won’t even have to think about them during the school year.
Attend the TpT Conference
Our final suggestion for ways to leverage your summer break as a TPT seller is to attend the TPT conference. And typically this isn’t something I would encourage all sellers to do since in-person conferences can be costly, they are a week long, and there’s a lot of prep that goes into it. And I know depending on where you are geographically, it’s not always the most feasible option for many reasons. However, this year, just like last, is going to be a virtual conference for TPT. And while I usually am a fan of in-person events, I have to say that one of the biggest reasons I’m a fan of this virtual format for the TPT conference is that it’s so much more accessible to all sellers.
Not only is it online which requires no traveling—I mean you don’t even have to get ready to watch the sessions, you can literally wake up and stay in bed and watch—but it’s also a much lower price point. It’s not several hundred just to register for the conference on top of airfare and hotels and everything like that. It is less than a hundred dollars to get access to all of the TPT conference sessions. And the conference this year happens the week of July 5th. But I believe you have access to all of the video sessions through the end of July. So it’s plenty of time to watch everything. It’s still a really exciting week because TPT does a great job of hosting live Q&A’s during the day and making sure that the conference still feels very “conferency.”
Make the most of the TpT conference with the School of Sellers nightly chats!
However, that in-person piece is still missing. So one of the things I love about conference week is having our nightly reflection sessions in the SOS groups. Last year, what we did was host a Zoom call for everyone. Every single night after the conference sessions aired, we had a Zoom meeting with anyone who watched the sessions. Then we broke out into these smaller groups so that we could sit and rehash everything we learned, share our big aha moments, ask questions to other sellers. Like what did you think about this and how do you plan on using this information going forward? Basically, all the conversations that you might have at the in-person conference over lunch or dinner one night. And I’m really excited because we are going to be doing that again!
If you are in the School of Sellers group already, you don’t have to do anything. We’ll be sharing more information as the conference gets closer. But if you’re not, then I encourage you to join the School of Sellers 101 group if you are just starting out. If you are an established seller and you’ve had your business for at least a year or two, go for our main School of Sellers group. Or if you’re not really sure, join both and see which one feels more right for you now. We’ll be sharing all of the information about the Zoom reflection sessions including times and links and all of that fun stuff as it gets closer. And again, this is no strings attached. It’s literally just a fun way for you to reflect with other sellers after the sessions.
Those are the ways that I would take advantage of summer to grow or start your TPT business. And I know that I gave you a lot of options just then. So, if you are just starting your business, sign up for that free module, and that’s where I would start if I were you. If you are an established seller, I would 100% make sure that you are going to tune in to the TPT conference sessions. Also, think about how you can cross off a lot of stuff off your list this summer so that you can breathe more easily during the school year.
Now of course, I have to mention that I really don’t encourage you to stay inside all summer. However, if you can sprinkle in a little bit of relaxation and fun in between your work sessions, I think that you will have the best summer ever. And I just wanted to share all of this with you now so that you can start thinking and start planning. Summer is going to be here before we know it. Thank you so much for listening today and I will see you here again next week!
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Looking for another way to get this episode? Download the transcript for How to Have Your Best Teacher Seller Summer here!
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