From Teacher to Entrepreneur: The Story of a 10 Year TpT Seller (ep 1)


From Teacher to Entrepreneur

Welcome to the very first episode of The Savvy Teacher Seller! To kick things off, I’m sharing the spark notes version of how I went from a classroom teacher to entrepreneur. As a TPT seller, web designer, and SEO coach, I now have three sustainable 6-figure businesses that I love.

If you’re anything like me, there’s a good chance that you started your TPT store with the idea that you could just post resources and they would sell on auto-pilot while you were teaching, traveling, or sleeping! It turns out that it’s not that easy. Now that TPT has more and more competition, we have to do a little more work in order to see the growth that we really want.

Ten years of experience as a TPT seller mixed with lots of SEO knowledge means that I have figured out how to make more sales without being tied to a laptop 24/7. Now I’m here to share these strategies with you!

  • 1:05 Get to know me!
  • 3:06 Why I decided to transition from a teacher to entrepreneur by starting a TPT store
  • 4:25 Learn the secret to growing a TPT business without working more
  • 5:47 3 things I’m really good at that will shape the content of this show
  • 8:07 Podcast launch giveaway details

Hey there! Thank you so much for tuning in to this very first episode of the Savvy Teacher Seller. I’m Kristen and I am here to help teacher sellers like you run a profitable business that you love. Now in ten years of running my own businesses, I have had a lot of ups and downs and I’ve learned a lot of lessons the hard way, but through it all I’ve been able to build a business that is sustainable. One that I can enjoy for the long term. One that gives me and my family the kind of life that we want. Not the kind of life where I’m tied to my laptop all the time, and I’m here to help you do the same thing.

Let’s start with a little bit of get to know you stuff! Now you might detect just a tiny bit of a southern accent. (That’s probably a huge understatement.) I grew up in South Carolina and now I live just outside Nashville Tennessee with my husband and our two boys.

The army brought us here but we really just fell in love with this area and decided to stick around after he retired from active duty. I actually went to college in Nashville, so moving here felt a little bit like coming back to a second home. I was a teacher for nine year. Most of that was in fifth grade and I am a serial entrepreneur currently running 3 different 6-figure businesses and I’ll share a little bit about that journey today.

I definitely get my business sense from my dad and my creativity from my mom. They just moved up here a couple of years ago and let me tell you having grandparents around is a game changer! I just love that my kids are getting to grow up close to them and, you know, the free babysitting isn’t so bad either. I think if you asked them, they would say that it is not at all surprising that I went into teaching and then into online entrepreneurship. I think I started my journey toward both of those in high school actually. Somehow I ended up designing t-shirts for our youth group. And a lot of those shirts were for us to wear on mission trips where we ran vacation bible schools for kids in different areas. Between those two things I really learned to love digital design and working on the computer but I also loved teaching those kids. Back in those days, digital design was not so much a career choice. We won’t talk about my age today, but teaching seemed like the more natural career choice and it really was what I felt led to do with my life. So I became a teacher and as a teacher I often found that our curriculum was lacking things I needed for my students.Things to make my lessons more engaging and fun and even just to cover standards that weren’t included in our box curriculum that the district had purchased for us. So I turned to tpt resources to fill those gaps.

And then like I’m sure many of you could share a similar story, I opened my TpT store because there was something I couldn’t find and I decided to create it myself. And then I thought, “hey if I need this resource, maybe some other teachers need it too” And so my TpT store was born. Yesterday July 11th actually marked 10 years to the day since my very first sale on TpT. So my store is officially ten years old now!

Once those none sales started rolling in I was hooked. I dove head none into creating more products for my store. Now along the way, I realized that I needed a blog to help grow my business and as the tech savvy DIY designer that I am, I knew I wanted to design it myself. After I designed my site, a friend pushed me to start offering this service to other sellers and my web design business was born.

Through web design, I learned a lot about search engine optimization and I realized that I could apply the things I knew about SEO on websites to my TPT business and that that would be the secret to growing my TPT business in a more hands-off way. See, when you’re at the top of search, your products sell more without you having to market them at all. So I created a course and a coaching program around using SEO on TpT and your website to sell more of your teaching resources.

Now I’m obviously one of those multi-passionate people seeing as how I have 3 businesses and I really love using this wide variety of experience to help other TpT sellers grow your business in a way that fits your lifestyle and allows you to have the freedom and passive income that I’m sure you wanted when you first started your store. See, like me I bet you started your store with the idea that you would just post things and they would sell and you would just get to reap the benefits while you were teaching, or while you were at the beach, or even while you were sleeping. And while that was true for a little while, as TpT has gotten more saturated and as it has grown, there’s so much more competition now that we have to do a little more work in order to grow our businesses.

Now when it comes to business, there are 3 things that I am really good at and they are likely to shape the content of this show. The first one is seeing the big picture and finding the best path forward. As the saying goes, you can’t see the forest through the trees. I know sometimes we can get bogged down in all of the day to day and all of the small things we’re doing and fail to see the bigger picture in our businesses. I am pretty good after ten years about being able to step back and see that big picture and figure out what the best direction is to go with growing my business.

Another thing that I am good at is staying calm through changes and being able to adapt so that my business stays profitable. Now if my husband heard me say that he would probably die laughing because he sees the side of me that sees the change and reacts – and gets upset and frustrated just like I know a lot of us do. But the difference with me is I’m able to have that reaction in the moment and then step back, see that big picture, and figure out how to adapt my business so that I can roll with these changes and keep growing and staying profitable no matter what TpT does with the search bar, or the home page, or our profile picture sizes, or anything else!

The third thing I am really good at is figuring out the technical stuff. So whether it’s something you’re trying to do in your PDF products or something you want to add to your website, I’m your girl. I can almost always either tell you what to do or tell you where to find the answers.

Now on this show, you can expect short episodes with actionable tips because I’m as busy as you are and I know nobody has time for hour long episodes. We’ll talk about strategies for growing your passive income, so you’re working on your business less but you’re still making more and you’re still supporting more teachers. I’ll also share website and blog tips…maybe even some techie tutorials to help you get through the more complicated things. And you know I will be here to talk all about SEO both on your website and in your TpT store.

To celebrate the launch of this podcast I am doing a giveaway of two 1:1 strategy sessions with me. We can talk about how to grow your store or questions you have about your website. Either way, to enter all you’ll need to do is screenshot your favorite episode and share it somewhere on social media. This could be in your Instagram stories, on your feed, or on Facebook. Be sure to tag me @kristendoyle.co so that I can mark down your entry. This giveaway closes on July 26, 2022.

Thank you so much for sticking around all the way to the end of this very first episode. Be sure to check out the next episode where I’m talking about SEO!

Ready to see growth in your business? You’re in the right place.

I’m here to give you no-fluff tools and strategies that will really make an impact on your sales. We’re talking SEO, improving product listings, leveraging your website, and more. 

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.

Tune in to hear Kristen cover all aspects of running a TpT business – from leveraging SEO, to improving product listings, to effective TpT seller strategies for your store and website.

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