When we first started on TpT, we were hesitant to spend money on our business. After all, our goal was to make money, not spend it. After seeing some success, (hitting the first and second milestones), we discovered some ways to spend a little bit of money (around 5%) in order to make a significant impact on our business. It’s important to remember that everyone is on their own TpT journey. You need to find the amount of money that you are comfortable with spending on your store, and this definitely won’t be the same for everyone. If finding financial success is part of your motivation, here are some tips that have helped us along the way:
- Become a premium seller as soon as you can. If you had to make one financial investment on TpT, this should be it. Keeping 85% of your sales (as opposed to 60%) and not paying that $.30 transaction fee for each sale will make a big difference to your bottom line. It will cost you $60 per year, but should give you the motivation to work hard to make that money back. Also, new sellers tend to have smaller, less expensive products, so selling a $1.00 product means making just $.30 each time if you aren’t a premium seller. If you are worried about spending that much at once, wait until you start making some regular sales and then take the plunge.
- Buy clip art, fonts, backgrounds, and borders. If you invest a little bit of money on making your products look more professional, you will sell more products, period. If you find a $5 piece of clip art that perfectly aligns to your novel study unit, you will make your money back with one or two sales. You don’t need to buy the most expensive products from the biggest sellers – oftentimes you can find great deals on up-and-coming sellers. Pay attention to site-wide sales too – if you know a sale is coming up, load up your cart and get that discount. Look for bundles that include several useful components instead of buying everything separately. And while TpT is a great place to find inexpensive bling for your products, look at other sites too, such as Etsy and Creative Market.
- Think smart when purchasing advertising. We are not the experts in advertising, but definitely think it’s worth it to get yourself and your store into the marketplace. Put yourself in front of your ideal customer. Consider when and how your audience shops. From TpT promo spots to Facebook ads to promoted pins, there are several avenues for marketing your products. You may need to do a little bit of experimenting to find out what works for your store, but it should be a relatively inexpensive venture – around $5.00 per attempt.
- Try to get into the newsletter for a paid product – the more expensive the product, the better. Everyone knows that getting a freebie in the newsletter is the jackpot on TpT, but a paid (sponsored) resource is amazing as well. We’ve been lucky enough to have 2 sponsored products in the newsletter. TpT suggests a $4 minimum and this is for a very specific reason. If you do get a paid product in the newsletter, it will cost you $50. Hopefully you will make that money back quickly, but obviously the more expensive your product is, the more likely you are to end up ahead. Picking a timely resource that is well reviewed is the best way to get in the newsletter.
- Spend money to take a course that will help you. Courses are all the rage right now and there are TONS available on everything from branding yourself (check out the awesome Stand Out Brand Camp from Kelli Alaina) to social media marketing courses. These courses are typically in the $100-200 range, which sounds like a lot but will give you actionable steps to take to make thousands of dollars on TpT. Many of the courses are self-paced, so you can complete them on a schedule that works for you. Some courses even come with private Facebook groups to provide you with continual motivation and support.
- Go to the TpT conference! Okay, now this one really isn’t spending a “little,” but we had to include it anyway because the conference is a true investment. The cost of a plane ticket, hotel room, and conference fee can add up quickly. If you are able to swing it, you will make lasting connections and learn how to take your store to the next level. This could result in big bucks for your business.
- Pay someone else to make to make your store look more professional. Are you a graphic designer? No? Most of us aren’t! You can learn to make a good looking quote box, banner, and logo, but think of how much time it will take you to do those things. Hiring a professional will give you back time that you can put into the things that you are good at, like creating content. Plus, a professional-looking store will keep buyers making purchases and coming back for more.
- Buy Adobe Pro. Okay, this is probably the most boring tip out there, but if you are using clip art, fonts, borders, and backgrounds that require flattening and securing, just bite the bullet and buy Adobe Pro. You can get an educator’s discount, but it will still cost you about $120. Not ready to spend that much at once? You can get Adobe Pro monthly (although it adds up to $120 pretty fast – we say spring for the one-time fee if possible). Make this purchase early in your TpT journey. You can do a lot more than just flatten and secure your products using this product too – for example, you can easily combine horizontal and vertical slides in the same product, or you can use it to make your resources editable.
- Purchase programs/apps to do the marketing for you. There are many virtual schedulers out there designed to save you time, such as Tailwind for Pinterest and Zapier for all things social media. Do some research, use some free trials, and devote the time you’ve saved to other other TpT tasks.
It doesn’t cost thousands of dollars to make some smart investments related to your TpT store. A few hundred bucks of year can yield incredible results and save you your most important resource: time.