Sunday, May 19, 2013

Summer Marketing Checklist Sheet for TpT Sellers



Hi all!

I made an easy checklist to keep track of your summer marketing activities!  Easy-to-use...not a LOT of thinking involved. 

Just a good way to help stay disciplined in your marketing efforts....especially when the pool and sunny weather starts calling! smile

Totally free...always and forever. 

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Prod … ers-701684

Rebecca

Business 101: Fiona Frogmouth takes a Pinning Field Trip-Part Four of a Series


Today, we’re going  to take a field trip to the Pin Marketing Museum. 
You’ll be able to observe:

1)    Popular Pins in their Habitat
2)    Educational Pins in their Habitat
3)    Your Pins in their Habitat
4)    The Viral Pin and it’s Life Cycle
5)    Top Follower "Wranglers"

You’ll also be able to stop at the gift shop on the way out to get some fun goodies to remember your trip.
So here we go…..

First stop….POPULAR PINS!  These pins have been viewed many times and are real crowd pleasers! Please note the visual styles, the descriptions, and the amount of repinning  on these pins. 

http://pinterest.com/popular/

Next stop…EDUCATIONAL PINS! These have been randomly selected but still have gained some popular attention while on exhibit. Again, note the visual styles, descriptions, and the ones that are getting repinned the most.

http://pinterest.com/all/education/

Moving on to….YOUR PINS!  You’ll have to go in here alone…but simply click under your name on the phrase “YOUR PINS" …it will take you directly to the page that contains all the pins you have been pinning.  Note which pins are getting the most repinning action and on what boards that is occurring.  Also observe the percentage of your pins that are getting repinned. Useful knowledge you can revisit at your leisure.

(I DON’T HAVE A LINK TO “YOUR PINS" …ONLY YOU CAN DO THAT.)

Now beware…this next stop is the home of “VIRAL PINS" ….these pins have gone CRAZY! Note their characteristics and the life cycle…interesting stuff!

http://www.seomoz.org/blog/going-viral- … g-solution

And thanks to "Fun with Language" on another thread...  http://pinleague.com/viral-pin/

And finally…meet  some of the TOP PINNERS who have wrangled a ton of followers….inspirational! Plus, you can find more “pin exhibits"   on here too!

http://www.repinly.com/popular_pinners.aspx

Well… that concludes our field trip. You’ve been a great audience. Please stop at the gift shop below and pick up some fun goodies to help remember your trip!

http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/useful-pinterest-tools/

http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/26-t … -business/

Rebecca

Business 101: Thad Thigglemeyer and His "Rule of Threes" Pin- Part Three in a Series

Veni, Vedi, Vici....

Paper, rock, scissors....

Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice....

What do these THREE phrases have in common? Yep...that's right....they are famous quotes AND they all have THREE words in them.  Because three truly is a "magic" number...(thank you,"Schoolhouse Rock"!)

When I was doing improvisational comedy, back in the day....one of the few rules you needed to remember was the "Rule of Threes". And after a few horribly, awkward moments of "crickets chirping" when you were on stage, you learned VERY quickly about the "Rule of Threes".  Now, what I am about to tell you will mess up your sitcom viewing for all time.....you've been warned.

Most GOOD (need to qualify that) sitcom shows on TV follow that rule.  Just watch.  An actor will state three things in order...with the last one being the funniest.  Another may do three things in a row...with the last one being the funniest.  Still there may be three incidents that are happening during the course of the show....

But that's not all....look at these....

The Three Little Pigs. Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Three Blind Mice.

Those are other examples...because comedy isn't the only place that uses the "Rule of Threes".  Authors, advertisers, businesses....use this simple concept.

Why? Because the human brain can remember THREE things easily.  This well-tested theory simply states that two is not enough...and four or more is too much for people to remember.  Our brain works well with threes...it LIKES threes.

So what does this have to do with your pins on Pinterest? Quite a bit.

If you are of the belief that pinning a whole smackload of pins at one time is good...think again.  Besides clogging up the main feed of some of your followers...you have overloaded their brains into "THIS IS TOO MUCH INFO".....making your pins less effective.

Keep in mind,a lot of your pins are going to be seen by followers immediately on their main feed. "FEED" them in threes. And even better ....feed them in AWESOME threes!

What's an AWESOME three?  Here are THREE examples....

1)Blog post on bears, cute bear picture, YOUR Tpt game about Bears.

2)Funny cartoon about shapes in math, news story about teaching perimeter, YOUR "Find the Radius" activity.

3)DIY on how to make gummy worms, A funny picture with gummy worms, YOUR printable "gummy worm" bulletin board pieces

"BUT how I am supposed to pin those?", you ask. "Most of my boards only want my products and nothing else!!", you yell. "Please show me", you whisper. Because you like doing things in threes now.....

In order to do the "awesome three" pinning on " specific niche" boards...you will have to open a tab for each thing you are going to pin.  Then select an appropriate board for each pin. (Ex: The DIY gummy worm pin could go on your "Fun Things to Make" board. The funny picture could go on your "humor" board. And the printable gummy worm pin could go on your "First Grade Fanatics and Fun" board. )Pin as quickly as you can so your three things stay together...or at least very close together on the main feed page.  You say you don't have extra boards for your new kind of pins? Make them!  You could easily  even have ONE board for your extra pins...Call it..."Extra Pin Board" or something equally as boring.

Now, if you are on a board that allows for pinning of all kinds of things....THERE YOU GO! Use the "RULE OF THREES" on that board by pinning your pins together....


And THREE of your products pinned together is NOT optimal UNLESS......there is a VERY,VERY specific common theme.

Good: First grade Geometry lesson, First grade geometry cut-outs,  First grade geometry game

Not so good: First grade bookmarks, First grade science unit on butterflies, First grade homophone game


So there you go.....better pinning...means better results.

So get out there and pin some "threes"!.... ON YOUR MARK!......GET SET!!!!......GO!!!!

And I've included some links to articles on the subject that you might like too!

Rebecca


How to Use the “Rule of Three"  to Create Engaging Content
http://www.copyblogger.com/rule-of-three/

Marketing’s Rule of Three
http://rebelbrown.com/rebelations/marke … three.html

Thomas Jefferson, Steve Jobs, and the Rule of 3
http://www.forbes.com/sites/carminegall … rule-of-3/

Business 101:Clara Carmichael's "Clickable" Pin-Part Two of Series



Do you need ......
More traffic?
More business?
More sales?

Want to know how?

Click on this link...and you'll find out! And use the password Clara (with a capital C) to get in.....

http://www.latenight-coffee.com/2013/05 … et-lounge/


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Business 101-Polly Piper Pinned the Perfect Pin-(Part One of a Series)



This is part one of a series about Pinterest pinning that will be broken down into "easy-to-digest", bite-size pieces.  I know how it is at the end of a school year and I'm sure your brains could probably use a break.

This first part will deal with how the human brain actually uses Pinterest...and how that relates to your pins.

We'll begin with a very simple exercise. 

Go to your main feed on Pinterest. This is where ALL the pins from the boards you follow are being pinned.

Now...once you have gotten to your main feed, I want you to:

1) Stare at the word "Pinterest" at the top. Don't take you eyes off the word. If your eyes go a little fuzzy...even better.

2)Now...at a pretty good pace...not super, super fast...start scrolling down the board...BUT STILL KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE WORD!

3) As you are scrolling, just make a mental note of the characteristics of the pins that are capturing your attention.  Don't look at them...but just mentally note their size, color, visual...anything.

4) Do this for about 30 seconds.

NOW...

Answer these questions...

1) What size were the ones that attracted your eyes?

2)What colors attracted your eyes?

3) Can you remember any "pictures" in the pins that stood out..even with "fuzzy" eyes?

4) Can you remember anything about the ones that did not attract your attention?


These are important things to keep in mind when choosing your visual that will be pinned...most namely...your cover.

Pinterest creates a lot of "static" visually. Meaning, your brain doesn't have the capability to soak up all the information on the page of pins at one time, so the visual part of your brain picks and chooses for it to prioritize. The bigger the size...the louder the color...the more appealing the visual is....the more attention it's going to receive both consciously and unconsciously....and the more likely it's moved to the "front of the line" for the prioritizing.  Think of the eye as a "gatekeeper" secretary for the big boss "THE BRAIN".

So what does this mean for you?  It means that if you don't want to be part of the "visual static" on Pinterest...you HAVE to create pins that stand out. Otherwise....your time and energy pinning aren't being used as efficiently or effectively as you would probably like.

Find one of the boards you have pinned on recently (last day or so)...do the same exercise. Don't peek at the board....just scroll through and see if any of your pins stand out. This will at least give you a starting point. (And keep in mind, they could possibly stand out because your brain has already received "priority" on these from the neurons spent creating them).

Remember back in the day, when people would post things on the bulletin board at the grocery store?  And over time, there would just be this MASSIVE amount of paper announcements, lost and found ads, coupons, the works?  There would still be that ONE that would catch your eye...even in all that visual chaos.  It's the same on Pinterest.

Stand out!  It's better to have one REALLY, REALLY good pin...than twenty "eh" pins.    REALLY, REALLY good pins get repinned...which is how your name gets out to MANY people.

Hope this gave you some insight to your individual pins....they'll be more articles in the coming days about pinning effectively.

I linked some articles about the subject below....enjoy!

Rebecca


How Our Brain Finds Waldo
http://outofmygord.com/archive/2010/01/ … Waldo.aspx

10 Item Checklist for Creating Great Visual Ads
http://www.reachli.com/blog/10-item-che … visual-ads

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Business 101: When the Dust Settles...Or What to do AFTER a Big Event.



Big customer events can bring on many kinds of emotions before they happen:

Excitement
Anxiety
Anticipation

And afterwards those can change to:

Happiness
Pride
and the least favorite,but often played out....Disappointment.

The business world is very familiar with that last one.

Black Friday. Valentine's Day. Halloween.  These are all examples of days of the year that some retailers spend a great deal of time preparing for in their store and within the company.   Upper management is stressed. Lower management is stressed. Workers are stressed.  And when the day is over.....the companies that will continue successfully on in business, whether they had a profitable day or not, will all do the same thing......

Analyze their data and start preparing for the next big event.

They will NOT:

Threaten to shut the whole operation down and watch a marathon of "Grey's Anatomy" as a staff.
Take everything out of their store and start all over.
And they will not "high five" each other for three months straight and do nothing else...but that.

Because a big event is just that.....a BIG EVENT. Not a "Big-Event-That-Will-Destroy-Everything-We-Have-Ever-Done-Or-Will-Do-In-The-Future-Just-Like-That-Giant-Metor-In-The-Movie-Whose-Name-I've-Forgotten
".

They will, however, immediately look at several (if not all) of these:

Products sold
Products not sold
What they advertised
What they did not advertise
Hours of preparation
Amount of traffic
Times of traffic
Types of traffic
Comparison of past similar events
Where they advertised
Where they did not advertise
Amount of return customers
Amount of items per purchase
Analyze  their top sellers
Analyze their bottom sellers
Feedback from customers
What competitors did well
What competitors did that did not do well

And the list goes on and on.  Bottom line....the event's outcome, whether positive or not, shouldn't be a stopping point.  Either way, it COMPLETELY matters what you do AFTER the event.

Did the big event go well for you? Congratulations! You have obviously been doing some good things and they are paying off.  Feel good about that and use that as a STARTING point for the next time around. Businesses are everchanging...morphing...improving...there are always places to do better which could put you in an even better spot the next time.  And the data analyzing is just as important for you, too.

Was the big event a little disappointing? 

This is often where a lot of businesses give up. They don't look at this as a chance to improve and learn...but more of an opportunity to bail.  And if you are in this for the long haul, bailing is not an option.

So....Mr and Ms. Teachers...you've heard this before....get in that data....and start digging!  Analyze. Analyze. Analyze. You're a teacher. You know how to come up with strategies if one or more doesn't work.  You certainly wouldn't kick a student out of your class permanently or quit teaching if the students didn't do well on a test. Even the most stringent standardized testing situations allow for an examination of data...and a chance at a "do over". 

There are very few businesses (if any) that have been successful at everything, every event, every single time. I can't even remember the last "Black Friday" positive report I heard. Certainly, none that stand out.

But the ones that do continue to succeed over the long run....pick themselves up and figure new ways to improve. They bend....not break. And you should be too...

As teachers, we are used to "cheerleading" our students into "wins". It's what we are good at...what we know...what we feel is a special skill that we use daily.  And even when our students don't "win"...we still know how to make them feel okay about themselves. And we find multiple ways to help them win the next time. If you can motivate children to learn and use gazillions of strategies to accomplish that....then you can absolutely do the same with your business.

Remember...you can do ANYTHING...

You are a teacher.

Rebecca G. smile

Here are some great articles to read on the topic(ish)....AND even though they use the word "failure" quite a bit....which I believe is too strong to use for some "big events" ...the information is still quite useful in gaining a balanced perspective that still keeps you motivated for the future.

If you tried, at least take a failure bow! I personally LOVE this one....and will be doing what they say...hehe. smile

Great way to keep perspective!

Great insights!

This is definitely an innovative company....and they "get it".





Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Business 101: You and Your New "Garden"


I've been reading through the topics on the forum for a few weeks now and notice there are a lot of people who just need some reassurance that what they are doing will be successful.  (Yikes...that clearly is a run-on sentence...my apologies...I've barely had any coffee this morning).

I am a "newbie" on TpT (started in March 2013) but not a newbie with online selling.

Background:
Teacher: 12 years
Online antique dealer:17 years (Etsy,Ebay, and my own website)
Blog writer: 3 years (www.latenight-coffee.com)

When I first started online selling, it was just for some extra cash. Then I stopped teaching when I had my son and I needed to "ramp up" my business to make up for the lost income.  I had to learn business skills really quickly, but found my teaching skills came in VERY handy.

Why am I boring you with this?

Because I want you to know that if you are a teacher, you are already halfway there to being a successful business owner....

Skills you have that will help tremendously in business:
Communication
Writing
Patience
Creativity
Thinking "Outside the Box"
Empathy
People Skills......VERY important as you know in this day of "poor" customer service.
Math
Frugality/thriftiness
Multi-tasking

I could go on.....but those are important.

So here are the things that might bring some peace of mind as you continue on with your venture....

1) If your store is brand new, don't even think about the money yet.  Just don't.  It will drive you crazy.  Treat it like a 6 month (at the minimum) garden.  Care for it, add new things, grow it.  Just don't count on eating it for 6 months. Seriously.  It will drive you crazy.  The people who are successful at any online business didn't do it overnight.  My online stores took at the very least 6 months to a year before I could say..."Whew, now we are making some dough".  But that was also 6 months of listing, and promoting, and creating,etc,etc.

2)PROMOTE!!!!  We are so lucky to have Pinterest right now. Seriously.  If you don't know how to do it....find someone to teach you FAST!  Join linky parties...don't know how to do it? Ask!  Seriously...there is competition everywhere...and you may have the BEST teaching materials...but if only a handful of people know about it....it won't matter.  Treat promoting like "fertilizer" for your garden!  My businesses took off ten fold the moment I started pinning.....and pinning correctly.  The internet is truly a web....the more your name keeps appearing by your efforts...the more likely it will appear without you doing anything.

3)Research. Research.Research. Find a niche that isn't saturated.  It may be fun to make items in a certain grade or skill...but if there are already a TON of them....you could still be successful...but it is going to take a lot longer. 

4) Add products as frequently as you can. You don't certainly have to do something everyday...just keep your store (garden) fresh and watered and weeded all the time.  Gardeners plant things all growing season....you should too.

And lastly....

Want to stand out from the crowd?

Give AWESOMELY, TERRIFIC customer service. People don't expect it in this day and age. Go over and beyond.  Use your empathy skills and put yourself in their place. What would you want to have happen as a customer? Prompt emails. Polite responses. Awesome answers.

I hope this helps a little.  And it's okay and perfectly normal to check your stats a hundred times a day....it's fun.  It's exciting.  Just don't let it get you down.  Use the info to figure out what you are going to do next in your garden.  Six months from now...you could be very proud of yourself!

TpT is a REALLY a great place to start a business! You've already done the hard part....signing up and starting a business.  So hang in there!
Rebecca :)



Sunday, May 5, 2013

"I'm sooooo confused!"....Your first site-wide sale.

 Hello again!

While everyone is getting their shop ready for the big sale....you might be one of the ones that is still wondering how to participate.  Don't worry. I was right there with you. Seriously.

So in an effort to not "reinvent the wheel"...I've taken the liberty to just link some great threads and info for you that I found very useful.

And please...if you have any questions about how the sale works...the forums on TpT are always there for you!  There are a couple threads already on there that have been started by people with questions...just add yours!

Basic info:

The sale is this week on Tuesday and Wednesday (May 7-8).  The promo code (for customers) is TAD13.

If you want to add more of a discount besides the site's 10% discount, you need to go to the "Throw a Sale" section in your dashboard. It will walk your right through it...very user friendly!

From the newsletter:
Teacher Appreciation Site-Wide Sale
It's coming! It's coming! The next two-day sale is May 7-8 (beginning at 12:01 EDT on Tuesday morning and ending at midnight in Hawaii on Wednesday night). We ask that you hold off promoting the sale until Sunday, May 5, and then promote like crazy!

TeachersSale

It's easy to join the sale. Simply throw your own sale on the same days by using this tool (also linked from your Dashboard under Marketing & Promotion). You can set it up as soon as you like.

We are offering a promo code for 10% off, which will be in addition to the up-to-20% you can take off your products. That means up to 28% off 1000s of products. (The reason it's up to 28% off and not 30% is because our 10% comes off your already discounted prices.) Our Promo Code is TAD13.

Tip: If you notice that your sale doesn't "stick" or not all of your chosen products are appearing on sale, delete and reset your sale until it displays properly.

Almost all of the Top Sellers will be participating and heavily promoting this sale. You can promote it by placing the sale banners on your blogs, Facebook page, Pinterest, Twitter, etc. The more you promote it, the better everyone will do. We will announce it in the Sunday, May 5 "10 FREE Downloads" newsletter.

Sellers have found that joining the rare site-wide sales is a great way to get new followers, feedback, and, most especially, record-breaking sales.


And here are some good links to look over the next couple of days:

From the forum....a question that was posed on the last sale in February:
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=13014

Here is the banner link that was given by TpT so you can (if you want) download and put in your store:
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Teacher-Appreciation-Two-Day-Sale-Banners

And here are some things that were learned (and then shared) by sellers on the last sale:
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=13543

Hope this helps some!  Good luck and much success to you and your store during this big event!

Rebecca