Gear Up Now for Back to School Success on TPT

back to school TPT strategy

What’s the best way to set yourself up for success at the start of the new school year? It’s to put your back to school TPT strategy in place and begin preparing during the summer! 

Many of you just finished teaching and started your summer break, and you want to relax (as you should!). But now is the time to start getting things ready for back-to-school season in your store. This will help you maximize your sales in one of the busiest times for TPT sellers and reduce the stress of the back-to-school season once summer is over.

In today’s episode, I am diving into how to plan for the back-to-school season this summer,  the best way to analyze your sales data, how to do a product check up on your TPT top sellers, and the best strategies for creating product bundles for your TPT back to school strategy.

00:43 Why is it so essential to implement your TPT back to school strategy during the summer

02:50 The power of analyzing your sales data and high-performing TPT products

04:35 – How to conduct product checkup on your best-selling products 

07:35 – Using bundles in your back to school TPT strategy 

Hey TPT sellers ready to seek growth in your business. You’re in the right place. Welcome to the savvy teacher seller. I’m Kristen Doyle. And I’m here to give you no fluff tools and strategies that will really make an impact on your sale. Let’s get started y’all.

Hey, y’all, and welcome back to the savvy teacher seller. I’m Kristen Doyle. And in today’s episode, we’re talking about how to prep now, for the back to school rush on Teachers Pay Teachers. I know many of you just finished teaching and kicked off your summer break.

But believe it or not, now is the time to start getting things ready for back to school season in your store. See schools in the US start back for the fall anywhere from the very beginning of August, all the way through the week after Labor Day. In fact, there was one year that I did not finish teaching until the middle of June. And my first day to report back was July 31st.

So if you’ve ever wondered why TPT starts their back to school sales so early, that is exactly why. Planning ahead and being really strategic in what you do to get ready for back to school season.

First of all, it can help you to maximize your sales in one of the busiest times for TPT sellers. See the back to school season is when a lot of sellers see their highest sales numbers for the entire year. So you’ll want to make sure that you plan ahead and that you have your store in tip top shape ready for this busy season.

Planning ahead can also really help you reduce your stress during what is usually a busy season for TPT sellers and teachers both in our personal lives with our families, in our businesses and especially if you are also headed back to a classroom at the same time. By planning and creating your strategies and getting a lot of work done in advance. This will help you avoid the last minute scrambles and stressful late nights during back to school season. Because you’ll have things done ahead of time.

Working ahead also gives you a lot more time to really take a closer look at your products and decide what needs to be updated and then go ahead and make those updates as well.

So let’s dive in to some things that you can go ahead and do now to get you ready for a successful back to school season on TPT this year.

First things first, let’s talk about data. Understanding your sales history really is where your back to school strategy starts. Go to your TPT dashboard and take a look at the previous back to school seasons. I would recommend looking at the past two years, and probably looking at a date range of July 15 through September 15. That should get you a nice span that covers the entire back to school season. Take a look at your top sellers.

Once you filtered by dates, click on the drop down for products, which of your products are selling the most, take note of your top five or top 10 products. The default view is going to show you these products by earnings. So take note of those, but then switch the view to units sold as well. And jot down any of those that maybe are not the same as your top 10 In terms of earnings.

Because all of those products are good candidates that you should be focusing on for back to school season. Then, take a little time to think about each of those products and see if you can notice any patterns in the products themselves. That might give you a hint as to why they perform so well. It could be that this is a back to school product specifically. And so it’s just timely and performs well for that reason. Or maybe it’s one where you tried a new cover style last year and turns out that worked well for you. Or you’ve created good previews. See what you can come up with to determine why these products are selling well, and then apply that to other products in your store also.

Once you’ve identified those top performers, you want to give them a checkup. We’ll start with your cover. Is it eye catching? Does it accurately represent your product? The cover is the first thing that customers will see in the search results. And it needs to get them to click your resource over someone else’s. So make sure that that cover image stands out and that it’s reallly clear what you’re offering.

Next up, let’s talk about your thumbnails because that is usually the next thing that people look at when they click over into your product. Those three thumbnail images need to give buyers a snapshot of the product, just the essentials, you want to make sure that they are clear that you have some informative texts that they have beautiful pictures, or even page mock ups, and that they entice buyers to want to learn more about your product.

Remember, you don’t have to squeeze the entire product into those three thumbnails. That is what your preview and your description are for. Speaking as a preview, this is kind of like the trailer for a movie, it needs to provide enough information for teachers to decide if your resources right for them. But you don’t want to give the entire thing away either. I would encourage you to err on the side of sharing more in the preview rather than less.

You want to make sure that teachers really get a full picture in the preview of everything that your resource offers. Because a lot of buyers will look at your preview, instead of reading the product description, because we are just such visual people who would rather see something than read about it and have to visualize on our own.

And if you’re worried that you might show too much in the preview, and a buyer might decide to go back and try to recreate this on their own instead of purchasing from you, I would encourage you to just make a mindset shift. And keep in mind that not everyone is your ideal customer. Not everyone is going to purchase things on TPT.

And the types of teachers who will look at your preview and then try to recreate this product on their own are not the types of teachers who were ever going to become anyone’s loyal customer on TPT. So don’t worry about those people too much. Instead, cater your preview to the teachers who are looking at your product to try and decide if it’s right for their class and if they want to purchase it.

Last on our product checkup is SEO. In simple terms, SEO is about making your product easier to find. So make sure that your title includes the terms teachers are using when they search and then add those keywords into your product descriptions as well. Always remember, keep your text natural and readable in both your title and your product description.

One really great strategy for back to school season is bundling your products. Go back to your sales data again, are there products that are often bought together? Bundle those, see bundles are a win win, because on the one hand, they are a much better value for our customers, because they typically get a lot of products in one package at a discount. But because those bundles are higher priced, they also increase our sales. So they’re good for us as store owners as well.

If you’re looking for ideas of things to bundle, think about products that teachers use all at a certain time of year and make seasonal bundles around that time of year. I have a back to school bundle that is honestly just kind of a hodgepodge of all of my resources that sell really well at back to school season. And they help teachers get ready for the school year. It is a top seller every August and September and my only regret is that I didn’t create it sooner. So think about bundles that you might have that go around certain seasons, even if the resources don’t seem super related, outside of the fact that they all have a season in common. Those are great bundles, and teachers love to buy them.

Another really good option is a year long bundle. This one is all about convenience, and the teacher being able to get everything they need for whatever topic for the year in one go. That means that they don’t have to come back hunting on TPT next month for more writing activities or more math centers because they already bought your year long bundle. If you have activities that cover all the standards for a certain subject and grade level, or you have similar activities that you’ve created for every season throughout the year. Those are great things to put into a year long bundle.

Keep in mind a year long bundle doesn’t necessarily have to be for nine weeks worth of something specific like spiral reviews. It doesn’t have to be daily activities. It can be anything that teachers will get enough of to last them throughout the year.

Now when you create that new bundle, take the time to go ahead and create a bundle preview. Now I know I know, when teachers click on the preview button for a bundle, they get to see the preview of all the included resources, but do not make already busy and stressed out teachers wade through the previews of 26 included resources and figure out what your bundle is all about. Lay it out for them in a quick, easy to read way in a specifically created bundle preview. I promise it will increase your sales. Every time I have added one, my sales have gone up on that bundle.

That’s it for today. To recap, your back to school prep plan for this summer is to analyze your sales data, to do a product checkup on your top sellers, and then to create some product bundles to increase the value for teachers and the sales for you.

Your action step for this week is to take that first step and look at your data. Choose your top five or 10 products to optimize this summer for back to school season. Keep in mind a little preparation now goes a long way in helping to increase your sales this August.

Thank you so much for tuning in to today’s episode. If you found these strategies helpful, please share this episode with your TPT friends. And don’t forget to follow the podcast so you don’t miss out on future tips and tricks to boost your TPT store. I wish everyone our most successful back to school season yet. Talk to you soon.

I hope you enjoyed today’s episode. If you did, please share it with another teacher seller who would also find it helpful. For more resources on Growing Your TPT business. Head to Kristendoyle.co/TPT. Talk to you soon.


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About Your Host

Your host, Kristen Doyle, has a decade of experience selling on TpT and has made all the mistakes so that you don’t have to! As a web designer and the go-to SEO expert in the TpT world, she loves helping TpT sellers stand out in the crowd & grow their businesses with passive income strategies.

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