Flynn’s Educational Grotto Blog#3: Year 2 of Publishing Sept 2017 – Aug 2018 Selling Teaching Resources Online by Michael Flynn

17 Jun

Grotto Hindsight Wisdoms II: Start to build your brand as soon as you upload your first resource (this is an on-going process; it is not something you complete quickly)

When a customer is satisfied with a product or service, they typically come back. A brand is your way of providing a tangible return point. A brand encompasses a number of things and is communicated in a number of different ways. I will not cover all the elements in this blog (it’s a topic that needs to be done justice), I only want to underscore the belief that it’s something you should be thinking about from day 1, if you are serious about selling teaching resources. So … (and please don’t think I’m teaching anyone to suck eggs) Start by deciding upon a name for your business. A name that concisely incorporates what type of subject resource you are selling and if possible, what a customer can expect overall from your resources. It’s simple I know, but the further you progress into this arena, the more you will realise how important a ‘brand’ is.

Next a logo. An image and a motto connected to the name of your business. Yes, I know this feels like a KS3 lesson on advertising, but it is what it is. In regards to the logo, think carefully about colour and what it symbolically represents. If you are including a motto, think carefully about your target market and how your audience will gain meaning from your words. It’s a subjective thing … but try not to be ‘cliché’ or ‘cheesy’ (although clearly defining what is, or what is not a ‘cheesy’ motto is difficult to conclude).


Sept 2017 - Aug 2018 (Year 2): what a year! I had really pushed things during this 12-month period, donating all my spare time towards this new business. At the end of year 2 I had uploaded a total of 750 products to the TES and achieved a net sales of £6800. This sales figure had totally eclipsed my personal expectation of £3800. In my own mind, I had now become unstoppable. It was inevitable that this business would continue to grow, it was fate that I would soon become the Jeff Besos of education. Business plan? Awwwww, there was no need for that. I felt that my instinctual drive for volume had worked well so far .. And within this naive simplicity, I believed that ... if something was working, there was no need to fix it!However ...I had started receiving the odd poor review and low-star rating here and there. At the time I was still intoxicated by the success of my endeavours, so I passed these complaints over, reading them but essentially ignoring them. Stupid yes, but there is merit and learning in every confession or failure.

What I learned in year 2:

1. New teachers feared teaching poetry and Shakespeare. The sales of these products remained steady.

2. Customers who purchased my products liked the way my PowerPoint slides were illustrated - students found them engaging.

3. Creating discounted bundles of resources, seriously increases turnover.As I have always said, hindsight is a wonderful thing, but to this I would also like to add that – knowledge is only valuable if you use it.

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